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Mr. Goodlad: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs has no firm plans to visit Hong Kong in 1995, but he intends to continue to pay regular visits to the territory.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy towards the accession of Cyprus to the European Union; and what conditions he attaches to such accession.
Mr. David Davis: We agreed at the Corfu European Council that Cyprus would be involved in the next phase of enlargement. We welcome that prospect. The Council is currently reviewing Cyprus's application. We want to see the whole island join the EU, and want to help remove the obstacles presented by the intercommunal dispute.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is his policy towards the proposal of the French Foreign Minister for holding a summit meeting in Paris to which representatives of Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia would be invited.
Mr. David Davis: We, along with our EU and contact group partners, support the French Government's initiative. If successful, such a meeting could be a major advance towards political settlements of the conflicts of former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.
Mr. Goodlad: My Department has not taken court proceedings against a consultancy firm in the last five years. On one occasion during that period a legal dispute with a consultancy firm was referred to arbitration. This concerned the alleged failure of an architectural practice properly to carry out design, supervision and administrative functions.
Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to offer former bases in Antarctica to non-governmental organisations; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. David Davis: Our policy is to offer, where appropriate, UK former bases in Antarctica to other Antarctic treaty parties, to promote the spirit of scientific co-operation between states foreseen by the Antarctic treaty. There are no plans to change this policy.
Mr. Michael Spicer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what financial assistance the European Movement received from his Department in 1994; and what commitment has been given for 1995 or future years.
Mr. Baldry: The European Movement was given a one-off grant of £10,000 in 1993, which was paid in January 1994. It has received no financial assistance this year. No commitment has been given for 1995, or for future years.
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice he gives to the Secretary of State for Defence on the transfer of equipment which is likely to violate human rights.
Mr. David Davis [holding answer 30 January 1995]: If my Department judged that defence equipment, if transferred, would be likely to be used to violate human rights, it would advise against the transfer.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about reported Sudanese military air attacks on Uganda, the reasons for such activities and the British and international response.
Mr. Baldry: We are aware of the recent incident in which two bombs were dropped on Ugandan territory near the border with the Sudan. The Sudanese authorities have stated that this was an accident and continue to maintain normal relations with Uganda. There has therefore been no requirement for a formal British or international response.
Mr. Barry Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what account the Government take, in considering applications for licences for the export of defence equipment, of its likely use for internal security purposes.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 15 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the cost of searching for and recapturing the three prisoners who escaped from Parkhurst prison in January.
It is difficult to give a definitive answer to your Question as some costs have not yet been finally calculated. The estimated additional cost to the Prison Service of mounting the operation to recapture the escaped prisoners is about £25,000.
The cost of the police operations from the beginning of the incident until Thursday 9 February was £252,000. It is not anticipated that this figure will increase substantially.
Mr. Thurnham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the benefits from the contract with Group 4 Ltd. for court services in Merseyside, Greater Manchester and north Wales.
Column 688Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Peter Thurnham, dated 15 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about court escorting and custody services in the North West. Group 4 has been awarded the contract for the court escort and custody service in the North West (Area 6). Based on the tender submitted, the terms of the contract and prior experience, this contract is expected to lead to fewer escapes, a better quality service to the courts, less disruption to the police and Prison Service, and lower costs.
Experience in the East Midlands and the Metropolitan Police District shows that there are fewer escapes than occurred when the police and Prison Service were responsible for escorts. In the East Midlands, where Group 4 has been running the service for more than a year, escapes are now 40 per cent. fewer than under the previous arrangements.
Contract standards are enforceable, with penalties for non-compliance. Two full time Prison Service monitors will be based in the contract area carrying out regular spot checks. In a recent survey in the East Midlands, over 90 per cent. of court staff said that Group 4 was providing a service as good or better than under the previous arrangements.
Contracting out this task also relieves prison and police officers of a non core task, enabling them to concentrate on more important duties. Police forces and prisons will be relieved of a task which is unpredictable in its demands and will no longer have to redeploy officers to meet unexpected peaks. They will be able to plan better how to use their resources most effectively.
The overall cost saving, following the award of Area 6 to Group 4 is estimated to be £11 million or 14 per cent. Duplication between the police and Prison Service will be eliminated.
Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will give the salary scales for (a) prison officers and (b) prison auxiliaries; and if he will distinguish between the duties of each.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 15 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the salary scales for a) prison officers and b) prison auxiliaries; and to distinguish between the duties of each.
The salary scales are from £15,630 to £19,491 for prison officers and £8,348 to £9,299 for prison auxiliaries. In addition to their basic salary, all prison auxiliaries receive 12.6 per cent. shift disturbance allowance and additional hours worked are paid by overtime. Prison officers are compensated for additional hours by time off in lieu.
Prison officers are required to undertake and pass formal training at a Prison Service College and accept that they are fully mobile. They are required to demonstrate a wide range of skills and competencies in dealing with inmates in order to perform their duties, which include supervising activities, searching, escorting prisoners, counselling, offending behaviour programmes, advising on legal procedures, sentence planning, categorising prisoners, crisis intervention and support, report writing, security information collation, disciplinary action, interviewing, incident response (including control and restraint techniques) and pre-release course leadership.
Prison auxiliaries are non mobile and perform a wide range of support duties, such as staff mess caterer, gate keeper, records officer, escorting contractors and assisting in control rooms.
Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. George Howarth, dated 15 February 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the next phase of contracted out prisons.
The next phase will be the first two design, construct, manage and finance prisons, one in Bridgend in South Wales and another in Merseyside.
We have received a first round of tenders and we are discussing those with the tenderers under the negotiated procedure of the EU Services Directive. We hope to issue a final invitation to tender in the next few weeks.
After consideration of tenders, we would expect to make an announcement of the successful contractor or contractors in the spring or early summer.
Mr. Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what monitoring he carries out of radio broadcasts to see whether they comply with the Race Relations Acts or Public Order Acts; (2) what investigations he has made into the organisation, Muslim Community Radio;
(3) how many staff are employed monitoring radio broadcasts to consider whether they are racially offensive or incite racial hatred;
(4) what guidelines are issued to the Radio Authority with regard to broadcasting of racially offensive or anti-semitic material.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: Section 22 of the Public Order Act 1986 makes it an offence to broadcast material intended to stir up racial hatred. The investigation of any complaints is a matter for the police and prosecuting authorities.
The Home Office has no role in the monitoring of radio broadcasts. The responsibilities of the Radio Authority are a matter for the Department of National Heritage.
Mr. Litherland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people have been detained at Manchester airport under Immigration Act powers in the last two years; (2) how many people were detained on entry at Manchester airport over the past two years; and what was their country of origin; (3) how many people detained at Manchester airport under Immigration Act powers were subsequently transferred to other detention centres or prisons over the past two years.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The available information set out shows the number of people detained at Manchester airport overnight or longer broken down by nationality. Of these, 94 were detained on entry in 1994 and an estimated 82 in 1993. The other information requested is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Country |1993 |1994 ------------------------------------------------- Not determined/stateless |27 |32 Afghanistan |3 |5 Albania |3 |- Algeria |20 |34 Angola |1 |7 Antigua |- |1 Argentina |- |1 Australia |3 |1 Austria |2 |- Bangladesh |27 |33 Bermuda |1 |- Brazil |1 |1 Bulgaria |1 |1 Cameroon |3 |- Canada |4 |1 China |6 |6 Colombia |7 |4 Congo |1 |- Croatia |3 |- Cyprus |3 |2 Czechoslovakia |- |4 Dominican Republic |1 |- Ecuador |3 |- Egypt |1 |3 Gambia |11 |13 Ghana |15 |28 Guyana |1 |- Hong Kong |21 |13 Hungary |1 |1 India |153 |244 Iran |1 |7 Iraq |- |1 Israel |6 |- Ivory Coast |3 |1 Jamaica |19 |20 Japan |- |10 Jordan |1 |1 Kenya |2 |2 Latvia |1 |- Lebanon |1 |2 Liberia |2 |- Libya |1 |-1 Lithuania |- |4 Malawi |2 |- Malaysia |21 |18 Malta |2 |- Mauritius |1 |1 Mexico |- |3 Morocco |3 |4 Nepal |4 |- New Zealand |2 |- Nigeria |36 |49 Pakistan |127 |184 Peru |2 |2 Philippines |7 |1 Poland |4 |9 Portugal |3 |- Romania |3 |2 Russia |3 |2 St. Lucia |- |1 St. Vincent and Grenada |1 |- Senegal |1 |- Sierra Leone |3 |6 Singapore |1 |1 Somalia |2 |6 South Africa |9 |7 South Korea |- |1 Spain |- |1 Sri Lanka |10 |24 Switzerland |- |1 Syria |2 |- Tanzania |1 |6 Thailand |2 |1 Togo |2 |- Trinidad and Tobago |1 |- Tunisia |5 |2 Turkey |23 |72 Uganda |2 |- Ukraine |- |3 United Arab Emirates |1 |- USA |7 |7 Yemen |4 |1 Yugoslavia |- |2 Zaire |4 |4 Zambia |2 |1 Zimbabwe |- |2 Total |663 |918
Mr. Pendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the Carling Premiership and Endsleigh Insurance league clubs together with the total season's attendance at (a) matches played in the Carling Premiership and Endsleigh Insurance leagues and (b) matches played in the FA Cup, Coca-Cola Cup and Autoglass Trophy with the total number of (i) arrests and (ii) arrests as a percentage of the total attendance at each category of such matches, accurate to four decimal places, for the 1993 94 season.
Premier league 1993-94 season |Total |Arrests Club |attendance|Arrests |Percentage ---------------------------------------------------------------- Arsenal |641,833 |80 |0.0125 Aston Villa |609,314 |141 |0.0231 Blackburn Rovers |372,145 |59 |0.0159 Chelsea |407,732 |94 |0.0231 Coventry |280,392 |90 |0.0321 Everton |480,391 |75 |0.0156 Ipswich |344,025 |28 |0.0081 Leeds |724,363 |130 |0.0179 Liverpool |808,361 |214 |0.0265 Manchester City |560,899 |46 |0.0082 Manchester United |929,133 |59 |0.0064 Newcastle |707,269 |82 |0.0116 Norwich |381,436 |70 |0.0184 Oldham |263,815 |19 |0.0072 Queens Park Rangers |298,782 |59 |0.0197 Sheffield United |410,805 |87 |0.0212 Sheffield Wednesday |571,002 |67 |0.0117 Southampton |309,765 |61 |0.0197 Swindon |320,761 |31 |0.0097 Tottenham |570,359 |62 |0.0109 West Ham |432,008 |59 |0.0137 Wimbledon |219,961 |17 |0.0077 Total |10,644,551|1,630 |0.0153
Division one 1993-94 season |Total |Arrests Club |attendance|Arrests |Percentage ----------------------------------------------------------------- Barnsley |175,037 |77 |0.0440 Birmingham |333,636 |92 |0.0276 Bolton |241,462 |50 |0.0207 Bristol City |203,596 |47 |0.0231 Charlton |185,279 |11 |0.0059 Crystal Palace |360,092 |61 |0.0169 Derby |365,549 |54 |0.0148 Grimsby |143,747 |28 |0.0195 Leicester |351,209 |20 |0.0057 Luton |181,197 |13 |0.0072 Middlesbrough |239,218 |26 |0.0890 Millwall |225,893 |98 |0.0434 Nottingham County |197,726 |25 |0.0126 Nottingham Forest |529,168 |25 |0.0158 Peterborough |170,477 |57 |0.0334 Portsmouth |268,918 |50 |0.0186 Southend |140,404 |24 |0.0171 Stoke |366,419 |89 |0.0243 Sunderland |389,493 |54 |0.0139 Tranmere |186,278 |94 |0.0505 Watford |181,607 |20 |0.0110 West Bromwich Albion |387,327 |123 |0.0318 Wolverhampton |505,190 |119 |0.0236 Total |6,487,104 |1,359 |0.0209
Division two 1993-94 season |Total |Arrests Club |attendance|Arrests |Percentage ------------------------------------------------------------ AFC Bournemouth |100,156 |28 |0.0280 Blackpool |109,403 |129 |0.1180 Barnet |55,906 |13 |0.0233 Bradford |147,095 |33 |0.0224 Brentford |129,043 |37 |0.0287 Brighton |177,301 |21 |0.0118 Bristol Rovers |122,214 |8 |0.0065 Burnley |259,283 |23 |0.0089 Cambridge |84,773 |6 |0.0071 Cardiff |139,150 |15 |0.0108 Exeter |76,366 |20 |0.0262 Fulham |107,068 |28 |0.0262 Hartlepool |47,742 |14 |0.0293 Huddersfield |146,556 |42 |0.0287 Hull |136,199 |15 |0.0110 Leyton Orient |97,442 |8 |0.0082 Plymouth |206,075 |33 |0.0160 Port Vale |191,435 |38 |0.0199 Reading |158,437 |117 |0.0738 Rotherham |85,438 |29 |0.0339 Stockport |117,081 |13 |0.0111 Swansea |81,281 |9 |0.0111 Wrexham |91,098 |48 |0.0527 York |106,160 |55 |0.0518 Total |2,972,702 |782 |0.0263
Division three 1993-94 season |Total |Arrests Club |attendance|Arrests |Percentage --------------------------------------------------------- Bury |54,529 |4 |0.0073 Carlisle |116,244 |16 |0.0138 Chesterfield |66,958 |33 |0.0493 Chester |67,008 |30 |0.0448 Colchester |59,998 |6 |0.0100 Crewe |83,809 |13 |0.0155 Darlington |47,796 |8 |0.0167 Doncaster |52,041 |8 |0.0154 Gillingham |66,110 |10 |0.0151 Hereford |47,499 |1 |0.0021 Lincoln |66,758 |0 |0.0000 Mansfield |57,082 |19 |0.0333 Northampton |72,534 |12 |0.0165 Preston |154,918 |56 |0.0361 Rochdale |55,788 |7 |0.0125 Scarborough |35,302 |20 |0.0567 Scunthorpe |66,816 |5 |0.0075 Shewsbury |92,435 |162 |0.1753 Torquay |72,167 |2 |0.0028 Walsall |88,977 |10 |0.0112 Wigan |39,844 |17 |0.0427 Wycombe |114,411 |17 |0.0149 Total |1,579,024 |456 |0.0289
Cup competitions in the 1993-94 season |Attendance|Arrests |Percentage ------------------------------------------------------- FA Cup |1,989,474 |761 |0.0383 Coca-Cola |1,744,120 |487 |0.0279 Autoglass |251,381 |48 |0.0191 Total |3,984,975 |1,296 |0.0325
Mr. Maclean: We have no specific plans to do so. We do, however, keep under review all of the provisions of the Football (Offences) Act 1991, as well as other football legislation concerned with public order.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to take decisions on applications for British citizenship by (a) Mr. Ali Al Fayed and (b) Mr. Mohammed Al Fayed; if he has all the information he requires on which to take decisions; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: As I explained in reply to a question from the hon. Member on 31 October 1994, Official Report , column 947 , I do not propose to comment further on the detailed processing of these applications.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the occasions during the last five years when his Department or its agencies has taken legal action against a consultancy firm; and what were the reasons in each case.
Mr. Howard: The Government intend to undertake a significant reinforcement of the asylum determination system, and of the independent immigration appellate authorities in respect of their responsibility for hearing asylum appeals.
Column 694The United Kingdom fully adheres to its obligations towards genuine refugees. But the number of abusive or otherwise undeserving asylum applications has grown massively since the late 1980s. Currently, nearly 80 per cent. of asylum applications are rejected outright, and the great majority of appeals are dismissed. It is not in the interests of genuine asylum seekers for the system to be overloaded with applications from people whose real motives have nothing to do with a well-founded fear of persecution.
Additional money is being made available to fund 150 additional determination staff in the asylum division of the Home Office, and there will be a corresponding reinforcement in the independent appeal system. Once the additional staff are in post and trained, it will make possible an additional 7,000 initial decisions annually.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what use is being made of the power in section 7 of the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Act 1993 to curtail the leave to enter or remain of an asylum seeker at the same time as his claim is being rejected; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard: The use of the curtailment power has been reviewed in the light of the first year's experience of the operation of the Act. The curtailment power has deliberately been used sparingly while the new asylum procedures were settling in. I have concluded that it would now be right to make wider use of this power.
A refused asylum applicatant with extant leave at the time of his application may, if the curtailment provision in section 7 of the 1993 Act is not used, appeal twice, first against the asylum decision, and then, if he overstays, against deportation. This is wasteful of resources, leads to delay and is not in the interests of either genuine refugees or an efficient asylum system.
Greater use of curtailment will speed up appeal procedures and make it easier to remove those with existing leave to enter or remain who have sought to abuse the asylum procedures. Genuine asylum seekers are better served by a system that deals with undeserving cases swiftly and effectively.
Section 7 of the 1993 Act allows curtailment of any existing leave to enter or remain at the time of refusal of an asylum claim. Curtailment takes effect immediately the decision is served. The applicant's appeal right is triggered by the service of a notice of intention to deport. The applicant's detention may be ordered pending his deportation. If the applicant decides to appeal, then all relevant aspects of the case, including the asylum and deportation aspects, may be addressed by a special adjudicator at a single hearing.
During the passage of what became the 1993 Act, the Government indicated that it was not the intention that curtailment should be used either automatically or punitively. We propose no change of approach in these respects.
However, discussion of curtailment during the passage of the Bill tended to focus on the case of a person who is admitted as a bona fide tourist but makes an asylum
Column 695application soon after, thus revealing that the real intention in coming here was to apply for asylum. Experience since implementation of the 1993 Act suggests that it would restrict the curtailment power too narrowly to confine its use to cases of this sort.
At present, some two thirds of all asylum applications in the United Kingdom are made after entry, rather than at the port. More than half of these in-country applications are made by people with existing leave to enter or remain. In the bulk of cases, the asylum application is not made immediately after leave to enter or remain has been granted, but shortly before it is due to expire. We have concluded that in these cases there is significant scope for proper use of the curtailment power.
There will in future be a general presumption that curtailment will be used where available except where this would be inappropriate. Each case will continue to be looked at on its individual merits and, as before, curtailment will be neither automatic nor punitive. Cases where curtailment might be inappropriate include those where it is right to allow existing leave to run after the asylum decision has been taken; where the applicant qualifies for leave to remain under another category of the immigration rules--for example, if they are married to a British citizen or person settled here; or where there are compelling compassionate or other circumstances which would make it inappropriate to proceed to deportation action. Where the curtailment power is used, a notice of intention to deport will normally be served at the same time. This is necessary in order to trigger a right of appeal against the refusal of asylum. It will still be open to the applicant to leave voluntarily, either before or, if it is unsuccessful, after the appeal.
The receiver for the Metropolitan police district is issuing, with my approval, a precept of £47.86 per property in band D of the council tax valuation band for Metropolitan police purposes. I have discussed the estimates for the Metropolitan police expenditure in 1995 96 with representatives of the London local authority associations.
Mr. Howard: I have today laid before Parliament the fourth periodical report of the Boundary Commission for Wales together with a draft Order in Council for giving effect, without modifications, to the recommendations contained in the report.
Mr. Eric Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to change Government policy in respect of directing the Scottish utilities, Scottish Power and Scottish Hydro to accept Scottish Nuclear's total generation production at any time.
Mr. Kynoch: Scottish Power and Scottish Hydro-Electric purchase all of Scottish Nuclear's output of electricity under the terms of the nuclear energy agreement. Any change in this commercial contract would be a matter for the three companies.
Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many malicious calls were made to Strathclyde fire brigade in (a) Inverclyde and (b) Strathclyde in each of the past three years; and, of these, how many led to successful prosecutions in the district courts in (i) Inverclyde and (ii) Strathclyde.
Malicious calls made to Strathclyde fire brigade |1991 |1992 |1993 |1994 ----------------------------------------------------- Inverclyde |<1>- |<1>- |<1>- |292 Strathclyde total |11,370|16,349|13,970|7,914 <1>Information about calls in particular districts is not readily separable from brigade totals for years prior to 1994.
Persons with a charge proved under section 31 of the Fire Services Act 1947 (false alarms of fire) |1991|1992|1993 ----------------------------------------------------- District court Inverclyde |- |- |- Strathclyde |1 |- |- Stipendiary Magistrates |4 |4 |3 Sheriff court Greenock |1 |- |2 Strathclyde (including Greenock) |10 |17 |19 Note: Information for 1994 is not yet available.
Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will introduce legislation to require those who benefit from the services of Scottish mountain rescue teams, and who subsequently receive payments from newspapers to provide details of such rescues, to pay over such sums to the rescue services in question; and if he will make a statement.
Sir Hector Monro: I cannot commend too highly the work carried out by our mountain rescue teams, the members of which provide their services free of charge. Although it is most disappointing when a rescued person seeks to sell the story to a newspaper and does not donate the proceeds to the rescue services concerned, I do not consider it appropriate for the Government to legislate in the manner proposed.
Mr. Raymond S. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what compensation will be available for staff made redundant as a result of reorganisation of local government in Scotland; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kynoch: I am laying before the House today regulations setting out the compensation which will be made available, in general, to local authority staff who may be made redundant or prematurely retired as a result of local government reorganisation in Scotland. Further regulations will be laid shortly covering members of the teachers' superannuation scheme who are in administrative posts and who may be similarly affected. Copies of the regulations will be placed in the Library.
In determining the compensation package, I have given careful consideration to the comments received on the draft proposals which were circulated for consultation at the end of last year. In response to these comments, I have simplified the administrative arrangements and, as indicated, will be bringing forward regulations to provide similar arrangements for members of the teachers' superannuation scheme who are in administrative posts in local authorities. I believe local authorities will welcome these changes.
I believe the compensation package being made available represents a sensible and balanced approach to an important issue and one which will allow authorities and their staff to take forward the necessary planning for transition to the new unitary authorities.