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Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what were the sums assigned within the budget of the Metropolitan police for (a) additional costs of police officers attending magistrates-courts, if separately identified, (b) costs relating to the attendance of police as Crown prosecution witnesses; and if he will give the nature of reserves held to ensure that no case is abandoned or withdrawn due to financial constraints.
Mr. Maclean: I understand from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that funds to cover the additional costs of police officers attending magistrates courts during the course of their duty or as Crown prosecution witnesses are not identified separately within the force's budget. The actual costs of officers attending court as Crown prosecution witnesses are not collated. From April 1995, the Metropolitan police will have available a financial reserve and it would be possible to consider the use of funds from the reserve in cases where actual expenditure exceeds the sum allocated in the force's budget estimates.
Mr. David Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list by European Union member state (a) the number of applications for citizenship of that member state which are currently being processed and (b) the number of applications for political asylum.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The number of applications for British citizenship which were outstanding at the end of January 1995 in the United Kingdom was 42,327. Corresponding information on citizenship applications in other EU member states is not available. Information on persons who applied for asylum was given in a reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Davyhulme (Mr. Churchill), on 3 February 1995, Official Report, column 899.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The information available relates to gross inward migration, including temporary migration, of non-EEA nationals into European Union countries in 1992, and is given in the table. Corresponding data for 1993 94 are not yet available.
|Gross inward |migration of |non-EEA nationals Country |in 1992<1> ------------------------------------------------------ Belgium |27,000 Denmark |15,000 France |85,800 Germany |1,080,000 Greece |10,400 Ireland |4,600 Italy |n/a Luxembourg |2,740 Netherlands |58,700 Portugal |12,100 Spain |18,500 United Kingdom |50,800<2> Austria<3> |n/a Finland<3> |9,240 Sweden<3> |31,000 n/a Not available. <1> Source: Burostat (except for the United Kingdom figure) based on annual returns from member countries. Definitions will vary between countries but are likely to include temporary migration, mainly for six months or longer. <2> Figure relates to non-EEA nationals accepted for settlement, that is, allowed to stay indefinitely, in 1992. The corresponding figure for 1993 was 54,200. <3> Joined the European Union on 1 January 1995.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what facilities are available for people with hearing impediments seeking entry into the United Kingdom, with special reference to those seeking political refugee status at ports of entry; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: There are no special facilities at immigration controls at ports for interviewing people with hearing impediments. The interviewing officer is required to confirm and record in writing that an applicant for asylum understands what is being communicated and that he or she is understood. If necessary, information will be obtained in writing using translator assistance as necessary.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what legal objections have been reported to him advising that for the police to withdraw passports from known troublemakers wishing to travel overseas would be illegal; in what way the powers differ from the powers of Immigration Service officers to retain passports from people wishing to enter the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: The police have no power to remove a passport from someone unless passport facilities have been withdrawn from him by my right hon. and learned Friend under the royal prerogative or a court has required surrender of the passport. The Immigration Service has power to retain the passport of someone seeking entry until the person concerned is given leave to enter the United Kingdom or is about to depart or be removed following refusal of leave.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture regarding evidence of torture in India to male Sikh asylum seekers.
Mr. Devlin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list (a) the current number of police officers per 1,000 of the population and (b) the current amount spent per annum on the police per person, in rank order for each (i) police authority and (ii) county police authority in England including average figures.
Mr. Maclean: The latest available information for police to population ratios can be found in the appendix to the annual report of Her Majesty's chief inspector of constabulary for 1993. Details of police expenditure per head of population are set out in the table:
Police expenditure per head of population |Estimated |Average |expenditure |expenditure per |1994-95 |Population |head |£000 |1993<1> |£000 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- City of London |56,186 |4,000 |14,047 Metropolitan |1,638,659 |7,420,000 |221 Merseyside |222,217 |1,441,000 |154 Greater Manchester |330,361 |2,579,000 |128 Cleveland |71,037 |559,000 |127 West Midlands |323,607 |2,634,000 |123 Northumbria |176,002 |1,445,000 |122 West Yorkshire |240,140 |2,102,000 |114 Wiltshire |66,362 |583,000 |114 Cumbria |55,697 |490,000 |114 Surrey |86,912 |770,000 |113 South Yorkshire |145,647 |1,306,000 |112 Nottinghamshire |112,458 |1,028,000 |109 Humberside |95,452 |884,000 |108 Lancashire |151,890 |1,421,000 |107 Kent |160,948 |1,540,000 |105 Gloucestershire |56,084 |544,000 |103 Durham |62,578 |608,000 |103 Warwickshire |50,510 |494,000 |102 Avon and Somerset |147,302 |1,447,000 |102 Lincolnshire |60,485 |601,000 |101 Thames Valley |198,813 |2,001,000 |99 Essex |147,572 |1,489,000 |99 Northamptonshire |58,624 |592,000 |99 Dorset |65,161 |667,000 |98 Bedfordshire |52,463 |539,000 |97 Staffordshire |101,365 |1,054,000 |96 Devon and Cornwall |143,917 |1,526,000 |94 Hertfordshire |79,097 |849,000 |93 Derbyshire |87,227 |951,000 |92 North Yorkshire |66,156 |722,000 |92 Sussex |130,749 |1,440,000 |91 Hampshire |155,219 |1,718,000 |90 Cambridgeshire |61,216 |683,000 |90 Suffolk |57,426 |646,000 |89 West Mercia |98,399 |1,109,000 |89 Leicestershire |80,672 |910,000 |89 Cheshire |85,533 |972,000 |88 Norfolk |66,561 |765,000 |87 <1> Population figures are provided by the OPCS. 1993 is the latest available estimate.
Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce his decision on section 11 funding bids for 1995 96; what the total funding bid was in each case; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: It remains our hope that it will be possible to announce the outcome of the bidding round by the end of February. The following table shows the amount of grant sought by each applicant in relation to the 1995 96 financial year.
Amount of grant sought 1995-96 |Grant sought in |1995-96 Applicant |(£) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Local authorities etc Avon |584,488 Barking and Dagenham |265,750 Barnet |221,000 Bedfordshire |93,200 Berkshire |19,500 Bexley |49,261 Birmingham |487,636 Bolton |217,411 Bradford |3,723,014 Brent |775,500 Bromley |37,800 Buckinghamshire |1,138,021 Burnley |50,603 Bury |35,940 Calderdale |74,250 Cambridgeshire |185,000 Camden |1,506,763 Cardiff |24,093 Cleveland |180,056 Clwyd |139,968 Coventry |165,355 Crewe and Nantwich |35,627 Croydon |427,174 Derbyshire |347,176 Devon |83,000 Doncaster |54,654 Dorset |45,700 Dudley |811,318 Ealing |1,242,773 East Sussex |88,480 Enfield |561,647 Essex |113,716 Gateshead |27,000 Gloucester |49,160 Gloucestershire |83,608 Greenwich |1,043,000 Gwent |184,000 Hackney |531,692 Hammersmith and Fulham |488,876 Hampshire |66,750 Haringey |357,258 Harrow |26,989 Havering |35,484 Hereford and Worcester |175,500 Hertfordshire |29,000 Hillingdon |205,650 Hounslow |653,700 Humberside |127,480 Hyndburn |30,500 Islington |1,590,701 Kensington and Chelsea |175,370 Kent |172,600 Kingston |53,604 Kirklees |2,207,312 Lambeth |1,649,969 Lancashire |1,214,630 Leeds |880,686 Leicester |148,420 Leicestershire |234,083 Lewisham |1,527,759 Lincolnshire |18,437 Liverpool |163,855 London Boroughs Grants Committee |22,210 Luton |136,004 Manchester |240.970 Merton |147,570 Middlesbrough |74,829 Milton Keynes |52,725 Newcastle |19,670 Newham |624,605 Norfolk |217,051 North Tyneside |33,513 Northamptonshire |293,846 Nottingham |80,000 Nottinghamshire |729,500 Oldham |207,500 Oxford |14,856 Oxfordshire |174,000 Peterborough |18,488 Portsmouth |93,830 Preston |23,902 Reading |25,704 Redbridge |323,000 Redditch |13,536 Richmond |25,200 Rochdale |97,000 Rotherham |393,384 Salford |99,110 Sandwell |494,395 Scunthorpe |19,750 Sefton |24,165 Sheffield |763,500 Shropshire |124,884 Somerset |34,273 South Glamorgan |91,943 South Tyneside |168,000 South Yorkshire FCDA |12,194 Southampton |47,110 Southwark |939,453 St. Albans |27,770 St. Helens |20,064 Staffordshire |320,000 Suffolk |40,100 Sunderland |52,920 Surrey |47,985 Sutton |126,343 Tameside |160,481 Tower Hamlets |1,198,519 Trafford |61,959 Wakefield |265,000 Walsall |1,462,469 Waltham Forest |290,749 Wandsworth |220,536 Warwickshire |863,500 West Glamorgan |237,244 West Midlands FCDA |53,250 West Sussex |15,165 West Yorkshire FCDA |50,586 Westminster |270,821 Wigan |80,000 Wiltshire |67,600 Wirral |54,300 Woking |35,513 Wolverhampton |1,323,600 Grant-maintained schools and City Technology Colleges Alperton Common School |46,626 Anglo European School |10,877 Ash Green GM School |8,527 Avon Valley School |10,000 Beechen Cliff GM School |20,000 Beechview Middle GM School |13,675 Billericay School |7,000 Bishop Challoner RC GM School |5,240 Blessed Edward Oldcorne RC GM School |3,599 Brentside High School |33,000 Broomhill Infant GM School |4,000 Brushwood Middle GM School |4,625 Castle Hall School |8,280 Castlefield GM School |97,527 Chadwell Heath GM School |20,979 Claremont School GM |40,924 Copland Community College |15,000 Deacon's School |27,302 Desborough School |23,000 Dixons City Technology College |4,000 Djanogly City Technology College |26,535 Dormers Wells Infants GM School |70,807 Dormers Wells Junior GM School |29,423 Drayton Manor School |25,000 Dunraven GMS |37,600 Durand Primary GM School |45,504 Francis Bacon School |13,000 Gordon's GM School |1,710 Graveney GM School |49,489 Greenford High GM School |74,460 Greenwood Dale School |23,568 Hall Green GM School |11,322 Hamilton Combined GM School |42,469 Hendon GM School |43,758 Hollingwood 1st School |1,200 Holly Hall GM School |29,250 Holy Cross Convent GM School |9,250 Holy Trinity School |12,000 Holywell School |2,973 Hopwood Hall College |9,625 John Kelly Girls's Technical College |11,366 Kelsey Park GM School |82,754 Kingsbury High School |42,000 London Oratory GM School |35,930 Merrill Community School |39,922 Montagu School |7,950 Myton GM School |18,413 Northampton Boys GM School |12,637 Northolt High School |20,000 Norte Dame GM School |9,000 Oldfield GM School |4,785 Prospect School |13,300 Queens Park GM School |79,500 Radcliffe School |23,000 Raines Foundation GM School |32,660 Reading Girls School |14,750 Reay Primary GM School |24,166 Richard Challoner GM School |8,500 Scared Heart RC School |5,718 Small Heath School |63,000 St. Andrews RC GM School |26,367 St. Bartholomew's School |2,500 St. Benedict's Catholic High School |4,000 St. Bernadette RC GM School |11,000 St. Marks West Essex GM School |5,000 St. Martin in Field GM School |12,271 St. Thomas the Apostle GM School |5,707 Stantonbury Campus |12,048 Stopsley High School |5,000 Stratford GM School |34,426 Surrey Square GM School |16,340 The Gilberd School |14,752 Weavers GM School |24,000 Wood End Junior GM School |7,336 Woodnewton Junior School |4,750 Wrenn GM School |32,900 Colleges of Further Education Amersham and Wycombe College |20,000 Arnold and Carlton College |22,600 Barnet College |19,942 Bexley College |9,675 Bilborough College |51,058 Birmingham Fe Consortium |1,733,926 Bolton College |72,700 Calderdale College |49,500 Cambridge Regional College |15,000 Charles Keene College |333,000 City College Manchester |40,189 City of Westminster College |72,000 City and Islington College |88,000 Clarendon College |90,712 Coventry Technical College |70,000 Crawley College |4,113 Croydon College |36,352 Dewsbury College |4,268 Doncaster College |13,611 Dudley College of Technology |138,000 Ealing Tertiary College |213,000 East Berkshire College |17,616 Enfield Fe College |45,515 Gateshead College |36,000 Gateway 6th Form College |38,250 Gloscat |30,451 Greenhill College |293,063 Hackney Community College |57,750 Hendon College |105,000 Henley College |34,400 Huddersfield Technical College |57,000 Huntingdonshire Regional College |21,000 Joseph Chamberlain Coll |48,000 Keighley College |16,894 Kensington and Chelsea College |56,835 Kingsway College |86,000 Language and Literacy Unit Southwark |119,535 Leyton 6th Form College |43,352 Manchester College of Arts and Technology |79,070 North East London College |185,310 Newcastle College |37,236 Newham Fe College |447,000 Newham Sixth Form College |101,790 North Herts College |67,650 Northampton College |17,336 Oaklands College |96,000 Oldham College |55,123 Park Lane College |68,198 Peoples College of Tertiary Education |12,016 Rotherham College |13,650 Runshaw College |13,440 Sheffield College |272,150 South Nottingham College |21,000 Southgate College |72,900 Southwark College |22,000 St. Francis Xavier College |24,955 Stoke on Trent 6th Form College |12,000 Stourbridge College |21,000 Swindon College |11,100 Tameside College of Technology |32,000 Thomas Danby College |113,500 Tile Hill College |47,500 Tower Hamlets College |181,000 Tresham Institute |50,000 Uxbridge College |48,500 Wakefield College |111,255 Walsall College of Arts and Technology |67,000 Wandsworth Adult College |42,000 West Hertsfordshire College |75,184 Woolwich College |21,737
Ms Lynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what estimate he has made of the impact of the 1994 probation budget reductions on staffing levels with each grade of staff; and what assessment he has made of the likely redundancies within each grade of staff in the Greater Manchester probation service; (2) what assessment he has made of the impact of the 1994 probation budget reductions on (a) liaison with victim support, (b) work with victims, (c) staff terms and conditions of service, (d) the implementation of national standards for the supervision of offenders, (e) probation centre provision and (f) hostel provision in respect of the Greater Manchester Probation Service;
(3) what was the effect of the November 1993 budget statement on the budget of the Greater Manchester probation service; and what assessment he has made of the impact of the November 1994 budget statement on the work of the Greater Manchester probation service.
Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the effect of the November 1993 budget statement on the budget of the South Yorkshire probation service; and what assessment he has made of the impact of the November 1994 budget statement on the work of the Greater Manchester probation service.
Mr. Bill Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made as to the effect of the November 1993 statement on the budget of the South Yorkshire probation service.
Mr. Caborn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff were employed and at what grade, by the South Yorkshire probation service on (a) 30 June 1992, (b) 30 June 1993 and (c) 30 June 1994.
Staff employed by the South Yorkshire probation service, in post at 30 June, whole-time equivalent<1>, by grade and type. |Number of |staff, whole |time |equivalent |30 June 1992|30 June 1993|30 June 1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Probation Officers Chief |1 |1 |1 Deputy Chief |2 |2 |2 Assistant Chief |6 |7 |7 Senior |37 |40 |42 Main grade |176 |178 |180 Total probation officers |222 |228 |232 Non-probation grade staff Probation Services' Officers<2> |81 |78 |78 Clerical/Secretarial |109 |120 |114 Administrative |34 |37 |40 Other non-probation grade staff, excluding hostel staff<3> |42 |40 |31 Hostel staff |64 |62 |46 Total non-probation grade staff |330 |336 |308 Total probation staff |553 |565 |541 <1> Whole-time staff plus whole-time equivalent of part time staff. Figures rounded to the nearest whole number. Components and totals are rounded independently and so components may not add precisely to totals. <2> Formerly ancillaries. <3> Figures include sessional supervisors on community service schemes, staff employed in student training units and on miscellaneous functions.
(2) how many court reports were completed by South Yorkshire probation service during (a) 1992 and (b) 1993.
Column 234south-west regions for projects under the drug prevention initiative;
(2) which local authorities in the south-east and south-west regions made bids under the drug prevention initiative; what was the amount sought in each case; and which were the successful bids; (3) what assessment he made of the extent of the drugs problem in each of the local authorities in the south-east and south-west regions which sought to participate in the drug prevention initiative.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: From 1 April, there will be one Home Office drugs prevention team in the south-east region, covering the counties of East and West Sussex, and one team in the south-west region, covering the counties of Avon and Somerset. These areas represent extended coverage for the present teams in Brighton and Hove and Bristol. It was not possible to provide teams in additional areas in these regions, as was explained to Southampton city council when it inquired in December about inclusion in the drugs prevention initiative.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people were issued with tickets for the England v . Ireland football match in Dublin by the England Travel Club; what was the total number of tickets issued to the Football Association; how many tickets were returned to the Football Association of Ireland; and what discussions took place between the Football Associations and the British and Irish police about the allocation of returned tickets;
(2) what reports he has received about the transfer of police intelligence about known troublemakers travelling to Dublin for the England v . Ireland football match; to whom in Ireland such information was made available; on what dates information was issued; and what steps he has taken to ensure that there was full and proper assessment made of intelligence by responsible bodies in the United Kingdom;
(3) if he will call for reports from the police on varying use of powers to stop people travelling to attend the England v. Ireland football match in Dublin (a) at Holyhead and (b) elsewhere; (4) how many British police travelled with persons travelling to Dublin (a) the day before and (b) on the day of the England v. Ireland football match in Dublin.
(5) if the advice of the British police was sought by the FAI and or the Irish police over the kick-off time of the England v. Ireland football match in Dublin, the seating and segregation arrangements of English and Irish fans and the reallocation of tickets not taken up by the England Travel Club.
Mr. Maclean: I have asked for reports from the police on the assistance given to the Irish authorities and other action taken in relation to this match. As my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister told the House on 16 February, Official Report, column 1125, the Football Associations of England and Ireland are conducting a joint inquiry into the events in Dublin and this will also look into some of the matters which the hon. Member has raised. I do not think it would be helpful for me to comment in advance of the results of the joint inquiry.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what considerations underlay the decision of the police not to use, to stop known troublemakers travelling to attend the England v. Ireland football match in Dublin, the powers used during strikes to stop persons joining pickets; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: The police may limit numbers in any particular place in order to prevent breaches of the peace and it was under this common law power that the police stopped and turned back pickets during the miners' dispute. This power is not available to the police in situations where breach of the peace is likely to occur outside this jurisdiction nor have they any other such power to stop known troublemakers travelling abroad.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what policy initiatives he is taking as a result of public disorder at the England v. Ireland football match, involving British citizens before and after the match in Dublin and by persons wishing to travel to the match who were prevented from taking ferries to Ireland at Holyhead; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean: Over the last few years, we have introduced a range of measures to counter the threat posed by football hooliganism both inside and outside the ground. I will consider--in consultation with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for National Heritage--what further measures may be necessary in the light of the events which took place in Dublin, of reports from the police and of the joint inquiry being undertaken by the Football Associations of England and of Ireland.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what policy action he is taking, jointly with ministerial colleagues from appropriate Departments, to address the threat posed to public order within the United Kingdom and overseas by fascist groups based in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard: I ensure that the police have the resources and powers that they need effectively to discharge their responsibility to assess and counter threats to public order from any quarter. The police pass information about threats to public order overseas to their counterparts in the countries concerned.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what inquiries he is making, jointly with Ministers in the Northern Ireland Office, and the British and Irish police, to ascertain what links exist between Combat 18, the British National party, and other British-based fascist groups, and Unionist paramilitary groups including the UDA and the UFF.
Mr. Howard: Responsibility for gathering information about extremist organisations and their members, and for the investigation of specific criminal offences, rests with the police. They exchange relevant information with their counterparts in the Irish Republic as necessary.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will convene, jointly with Foreign Office Ministers, meetings with European Union ambassadors, and the American ambassador, to discuss the links between British-based fascist groups and fascist groups in Europe and America.
Column 236the other member states of the European Union on police co-operation matters, including illegal activity by extremist groups and possible international links between them. The Justice and Home Affairs Council on 30 November and 1 December 1994 approved a report on work within the third pillar to combat racism and xenophobia. The police exchange relevant operational information with their counterparts in other member states and in the United States of America and the security service has also confirmed publicly that it continues to monitor the possibility of contact between extreme right-wing nationalist and racist groups in this country and overseas.
Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will arrange to meet the American ambassador to discuss what action can be taken to close down post office box numbers, held by the Dixie Press in North Carolina, used by Combat 18 in the United Kingdom to disseminate information covertly to the United Kingdom.
Mr. Howard: Until the Metropolitan police have completed their investigation of the publication and distribution of written material by Combat 18, it would not be sensible to decide whether separate action or inquiries might be warranted.
Mr. Mans: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funds his Departments has provided for Victim Support since such funding began: what other help is being provided for victims of crime; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Howard: Home Office funding of Victim Support has grown at a rate unprecedented for a voluntary organisation. Grant in the coming financial year will amount to nearly £11 million, an increase at 8 per cent. over the current year's figure. The record of Home Office funding of Victim Support is as follows:
|Year on year|Percentage Year |Grant(£) |increase |increase ----------------------------------------------------------------- 1979-80 |5,000 |n/a |n/a 1980-81 |10,000 |5,000 |100 1981-82 |18,000 |8,000 |80 1982-83 |16,000 |-2,000 |-11 1983-84 |38,000 |22,000 |138 1984-85 |62,000 |24,000 |63 1985-86 |126,000 |64,000 |103 1986-87 |286,000 |160,000 |127 1987-88 |1,763,000 |1,477,000 |516 1988-89 |2,740,000 |977,000 |55 1989-90 |3,910,000 |1,170,000 |43 1990-91 |4,735,000 |825,000 |21 1991-92 |5,670,000 |935,000 |20 1992-93 |7,260,000 |1,590,000 |28 1993-94 |8,375,000 |1,115,000 |15 1994-95 |10,016,000 |1,641,000 |20 1995-96 |10,817,000 |801,000 |8
The additional funding given in 1994 95 and 1995 96 will enable Victim Support to complete the programme of establishing witness support services in all 78 Crown court centres by the end of 1995, and to develop further the work of its 365 local schemes and branches which provide emotional support and practical help to over 1 million victims of crime a year throughout England and Wales.
We published the victims charter five years ago today, the first charter to be published. Most of the 50 standards in the charter have been, or are well on the way to being met. This has done a great deal to improve the way victims are treated by the criminal justice system, and we will build on this by publishing later this year a statement of service standards for victims of crime. This will be a charter-style document telling victims more clearly what they can expect of the criminal justice system and what they can do if they do not get it.
The Government have taken a range of other measures to help victims of crime. These include giving them better information about progress in their case, and ensuring that their views are taken more into account at all stages of the criminal justice process. A good example of this was the establishment in December of a victims' helpline so that any victim concerned about an inmate's possible temporary release can tell the prison authorities. The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 contained a number of measures designed to help victims and witnesses, including the abolition of committal proceedings and the creation of a new offence of witness intimidation. These, and many other measures, are firm evidence of the Government's concern for victims of crime and their continuing desire to improve services for them.
Mr. Howard: I am today publishing a consultation document setting out proposals for wide-ranging changes to the present arrangements. Copies of the document and of the report of the departmental scrutiny carried out last year of which my proposals take account are being sent to a wide range of interested bodies and are being placed in the Library.
I propose to sweep away the barriers to the recruitment as probation officers of people who have relevant skills and experience to offer but who lack the social work diploma qualification which is at present required by law. Under the proposals set out in the consultation document, probation committees will be able to recruit from a much wider range of sources; and the initial training prospective probation officers undertake to equip them with competence to practise will be made more flexible to take account of mature candidates' previous work. On this
Column 238basis, I am proposing to terminate the present scheme under which the Home Office sponsors students on selected social work courses after students joining this autumn have qualified; and to fund area probation services on the basis that they will meet their own training requirements. This change will be arranged so that it is not to the detriment of those committed to existing courses.
The scrutiny report highlights strengths as well as weaknesses in the present arrangements; and I am determined that standards of training and recruitment should not be compromised. On the contrary, I believe that there is scope for more rigorous assessment of individuals' training needs and competence to practise to be introduced. The social work dimension of probation officers' responsibilities will not be ignored in these arrangements and it is not my intention to discourage applications from suitable candidates with social work qualifications. But the work of probation officers and social workers is different, so there is no good reason for a common training qualification. Now that core competences for probation officers have been published, and are to be used as the basis for performance appraisal, training arrangements should be specifically geared towards those competences. My proposals envisage greater ownership of training and the maintenance of standards by the probation service itself. I shall over the next three months welcome comments on these proposals, which are intended to ensure that the probation service has a firm long- term foundation for the provision of high quality services to the courts and to the community.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the severance payments made to special advisers in each of the last five years indicating (a) the amount and (b) the date.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: My noble and learned Friend the Minister of State has recently received correspondence about the proposed new community hospital in Forfar from the hon. Member for Tayside, North (Mr. Walker) and from GPs in Forfar and others.
22. Mr. Tom Clarke: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next expects to meet Greater Glasgow health board and Lanarkshire health board to discuss the effect of the Government's community care policies in their area.
The Greater Glasgow health board is consulting until 28 February on its joint community care plan. Lanarkshire health board is consulting until 24 March on the joint community care plan for its area.
25. Mr. McAvoy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the cost of building a maternity hospital to deal with the births currently being dealt with at Rutherglen maternity hospital.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: It would be inappropriate to anticipate a possible outcome of the Greater Glasgow health board public consultation on maternity provision, the results of which will not be known until after 30 April. There are many aspects to be taken into account in any reprovision costings, including location, size and design considerations.
26. Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has received a report from the Carstairs state hospital management committee into the recent breakdown in security at the hospital; and if he will make a statement.
27. Mr. Norman Hogg: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he next expects to meet the chairman of Scottish Enterprise to discuss the future boundaries of local enterprise companies; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Kynoch: My right hon. Friend meets the chairman of Scottish Enterprise regularly. He has asked Scottish Enterprise to consult interested parties about the possible implications of local government reorganisation for the
Column 240boundaries of local enterprise companies, and will consider its findings before taking any decision.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: NHS trusts are accountable, through the NHS executive, to me and to Parliament. Their directors are required, as a condition of appointment, to subscribe to codes of conduct and accountability; and through the establishment of the Health Appointments Advisory Committee my right hon. Friend has made the process of appointment of non-executives more open. Trusts are required to publish an annual business plan, and an annual report and audited accounts which are presented to a public meeting. I will shortly be issuing a code of practice on openness, setting out the public's right to information, which has recently been the subject of wide consultation with interested parties.
Mr. Kynoch: The Government's economic policies provide the right framework for the regeneration of the Scottish economy exemplified by a record level of manufacturing productivity, record levels of exports, record levels of inward investment, a larger number of employees in employment, increasing business confidence and a steadily reducing unemployment level.
32. Mrs. Ray Michie: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what measures he has taken to ensure that Scottish farming interests are taken into account when discussing the future of the common agricultural policy.