Mr. Eggar: I have today published, jointly with the Health and Safety Commission, its report on safety in the new gas market. I welcome the report's recommendations for a comprehensive gas safety management regime. The proposals provide a firm framework which will allow the proposed safety regime to respond
proportionately and flexibly to the unfolding impact of liberalisation.
The report examines the safety implications of liberalising the domestic gas supply market, and of a more open framework for gas pipeline systems. It describes the means which will be required to maintain, and if possible improve upon, the safety record of British Gas as the extent of unitary control of the pipeline system reduces over time.
Each system transporting gas to the public will be required to appoint a system manager, who will set out in a written safety case how management of the system will be achieved. Some of these safety cases are likely to be quite simple and straightforward. They will all, however, have to address key safety criteria approved by the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE will need to accept the safety case before operations can begin, although transitional arrangements will be put in place to avoid disruption as these new arrangements are introduced.
When a number of public gas transporter systems come together, a network manager will be appointed to be responsible for producing an over-arching safety case for the network as a whole, which will also have to be accepted by the HSE. It will set down the specified emergency conditions in which the network manager will have statutory powers to override the operation of the whole network, and how this should be done. These powers will be backed up by licence obligations on shippers and suppliers to co-operate in an emergency.
The report also covers other important issues, such as emergency response and safety downstream of the meter. Although adequate interim provision for safety is made in the Gas Bill, the HSC has set 1 April 1996 as a target date for agreeing new regulations and the associated documentation, to coincide with the opening up to competition of an initial area covering some 500,000 consumers. Copies of the report have been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Robert Ainsworth: To ask the President of the Board of Trade what plans he has to introduce legislation which would place a duty on the regulators of (a) the gas industry and (b) the electricity industry to have regard to the environmental impacts of the companies they regulate.
Mr. Eggar: Section 3 of the Electricity Act 1989 places on the Director General of Electricity Supply a duty to take into account, in exercising his functions assigned or transferred to him under the Act, the effect on the physical environment of activities connected with the generation, transmission or supply of electricity. It is proposed to include a broadly equivalent provision in the forthcoming Gas Bill.
Mr. Heseltine: The Invest in Britain Bureau is responsible for promoting the UK as a destination for foreign investment. It has achieved some notable successes over recent years. At regional level the Invest in Britain Bureau part-funds a network of regional development organisations to promote overseas investment. Cumbria is served by INWARD, which received a grant of £1.29 million for 1994 95 to promote inward investment into the whole of the north-west region. The county also benefits from the activities of the Northern Development Company in this respect. At a more local level, my Department has contributed to the Cumbria marketing initiative and has worked closely with west Cumbria agencies to improve the attractiveness of the area for inward investment. West Cumbria benefits from the availability of regional selective assistance and a major investment programme by English Partnerships.
Mr. Home Robertson: To ask the President of the Board of Trade how many households in the United Kingdom use gas from cylinders for (a) cooking and (b) heating; and if he will make a statement on the scale and impact of recent increases in the price of such gas supply.
Mr. Page: It is estimated that about 300,000 households use gas from cylinders for cooking and/or heating in Great Britain and 150, 000 households in Northern Ireland. There are no statistics available breaking down the use of cylinder gas between cooking and heating. I understand a temporary gas price surcharge was introduced around the beginning of February, reflecting an exceptional supply/demand imbalance in the international market for propane. The surcharge appears to be around 10 to 20 per cent. The suppliers have indicated that they expect to remove the surcharge in March.
Mr. Heseltine [holding answer 28 February 1995]: As far as I am aware Ministers in my Department have received a total of six items of correspondence. They include one invitation for a reception and one invitation for drinks--both refused--one letter of congratulations to my right hon. Friend, the Minister for Industry and Energy for winding up the debate on regional electricity companies in the House of Commons on 20 February, and three letters of congratulations to my hon. Friend the new parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry and Energy.
Mr. Dorrell: I have over the past few months been conducting a review of the performance of the tourism industry and of our policies towards it. The analysis is complete and I have today published my agenda for Government action to help the industry improve its competitive performance. Details of my proposals are contained in a document entitle "Tourism: Competing with the Best", which I placed in the House of Commons Library earlier today, together with the analysis by McKinsey which underlies the agenda.
Mrs. Maddock: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what proportion of those accepted for fast-stream entry for which his Department is responsible (a) in 1991, (b) 1992, (c) in 1993 and (d) in 1994 were women.
|Total number of |Proportion that were Year |faststreamers |women (per cent.) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1992 |0 |0 1993 |1 |100 1994 |2 |50
The Department was formed in April 1992 and therefore there are no figures for 1991.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will ensure the enforcement provisions contained in the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994 apply to all regulations for which his Department is responsible, past, present and future, and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Sproat [holding answer 27 February 1995]: I refer to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on 27 February 1995, Official Report, columns 431- 32.
Mr. Gareth Wardell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will list (a) the percentage of civil cases considered by the Court of Appeal that were successful and (b) the percentage of civil cases in which (i) the successful party was British and (ii) the unsuccessful party was foreign for each of the last five years.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The percentage of civil appeal cases disposed of by the Court of Appeal that were successful in each legal year from 1989 90 to 1993 94 inclusive was 25.5, 26.1, 27.9, 27.8 and 28.7 respectively.
Information relating to the nationality of parties is not recorded.
Mr. Gareth Wardell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will give the arithmetic mean of the ages of the current judges that hear civil appeal cases in the Court of Appeal.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The arithmetic mean of the ages of the Master of the Rolls, the president of the family division, the vice-chancellor and the lords justices of appeal is 63. This figure is based on the judges in post on 27 February 1995, and their ages on that date. Lords justices are, of course, available to sit in both the civil and criminal divisions of the Court of Appeal. They are occasionally assisted by serving High Court judges and retired lords justices of appeal.
Mr. Gareth Wardell: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make it his policy to collate information on the number of civil appeals unsuccessful in the Court of Appeal for which applications for leave of appeal to the House of Lords were refused.
Mr. John M. Taylor: The Lord Chancellor attaches the highest importance to the constitutional principle of judicial independence. He has established no procedures for monitoring the performance of the full-time judiciary. Recourse from a judicial decision in the Court of Appeal properly lies through the normal appeal process to the House of Lords.
Mr. John Marshall: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department pursuant to his answer of 17 February, Official Report , column 845 , if the legal aid fund expects to pay the costs of Mr. Bryce Taylor.
Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to (a) the United Nations and (b) the World bank for funds to assist construction projects with the Palestine National Authority.
Mr. Baldry: We are in close touch with both the United Nations and the World bank and discuss their programmes and priorities in detail with them. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has planned a number of labour intensive projects and the World bank is funding an emergency rehabilitation programme with the Palestinian authority: both programmes include construction projects.
Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the total amount of United Kingdom funds so far (a) pledged and (b) remitted for the purpose of assisting the Palestine National Authority; and to what purpose the funds are directed.
Mr. Baldry: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary announced last year our intention to provide £75 million during 1994 95 to 1996 97 to the Palestinians and in support of the peace process. This includes direct bilateral assistance and aid channelled through multilateral institutions, particularly the United Nations Relief and Works Agency and the European Community.
In 1993 94 we spent £3.3 million from our bilateral country programme, and we expect to spend around £6.4 million in 1994 95. This includes a £3 million contribution for police salaries. Most of the remainder will support a range of projects, in partnership with the Palestinian authority and non-government organisations, in public administration, finance and private enterprise, water and health. Since the signature of the Israeli-Palestinian declaration of principles in September 1993, the European Commission estimates that it has spent 73 million ecu. Over the same period we have provided £9 million direct to UNRWA.
Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which specific projects the Overseas Development Administration is involved, or planning to become involved, in the Palestine National Authority.
Mr. Baldry: A wide range of projects is being implemented or planned in the priority sectors agreed with the Palestinian authority. Information about a number of projects is given in an information folder called "British Aid to the Palestinians", copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Announcements will be made about other significant projects as these are finalised with the Palestinian authority.
Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 6 December 1994, Official Report, columns 118 20, if he will give the exact date of formal appraisal documents submitted by the Overseas Development Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry in respect of the aid and trade provision support for shortwave radio transmitters to Indonesia; and if he will place in the Library the relevant evaluation documents.
Mr. Baldry: The Overseas Development Administration engaged the transmitter projects group of the British Broadcasting Corporation to appraise the shortwave radio transmitters project, Indonesia. The appraisal report is dated 25 October 1990.
In line with established policy, the ODA does not publish its project appraisals.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much of the aid given to Bangladesh in (a) 1993 and (b) 1994 has been spent on assisting the training of Bangladeshi troops.
Mr. Baldry: No development funds have been used for the purpose of training Bangladeshi military officers. We do however provide assistance under the FCO-administered United Kingdom military training assistance scheme and the police and other training scheme--POLOT.
Mr. Baldry: We consider the arrangements which the bank has for accountability to the member Governments to be broadly satisfactory but, along with other shareholders, we continue to keep this matter under review.
Mr. David Nicholson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contributions (a) the United Kingdom and (b) other EC countries are making to the recovery of the humanitarian measures in Rwanda.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 27 February 1995]: The EU and its member states have responded generously to humanitarian needs in Rwanda. The table, which is supplied by UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs, gives the breakdown of contributions up to 31 December 1994:
Donor |Value US$ --------------------------------------------- Austria |427,097 Belgium |9,569,819 Denmark |12,022,532 Finland |3,147,876 France |4,969,849 Germany |54,032,033 Greece |169,193 Italy |13,698,477 Luxembourg |1,621.114 Netherlands |30,642,032 Spain |4,162,772 Sweden |36,340,848 United Kingdom |52,998,195 EC |<1>223,875,090 Total |447,676,927 <1> Of which about 13 per cent. is provided by the UK.
The UK has already responded quickly to the 1995 UN consolidated inter- agency appeal for Rwanda with a pledge of £4 million. I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member of Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington) on 6 February, column 24-26, in respect of contributions to Rwanda's rehabilitation needs.
Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) police officers and (b) civilians are currently serving in constabularies in (i) England and Wales and (ii) the west midlands; and how many were serving in 1979.
Police officers Civilian staff |West |West As at |England |Midlands |England |Midlands 31 December |and Wales |police |and Wales |police ------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |113,580 |6,160 |35,382 |1,413 1994 |127,358 |6,996 |50,978 |2,611
Mr. Howard: It is the Government's intention that compulsory competitive tendering should be introduced to police white collar support services as part of a rolling programme. Detailed consultation proposals for police legal services were issued on 3 May 1994, and for police
Column 574construction-related and property services, and the proposed statutory accounting framework on 6 June 1994. The Government have now considered the responses received from the police service, local authority associations and other interested bodies.
With police legal services, the Government have decided that police authorities will be subject to the same CCT regime as other authorities defined under the Local Government Act 1988, except for a number of specific exemptions. The exemptions centre on the legal work associated with the criminal justice process, police complaints and discipline, unsatisfactory performance proceedings against police officers and licensing functions undertaken by police forces. The exemptions will protect operational policing and management functions special to the police service.
Similarly, with the police construction-related and property services, the Government have decided that the same CCT regime will apply to both police and other defined authorities except for one specific exemption. The work of police architectural liaison officers will not be included within this defined activity, but will be specifically excluded because such a specialist crime prevention role should properly remain within the police service.
The Government have also decided that police authorities will be subject to the same statutory accounting framework as other similar defined authorities, which will involve the annual publication of a statement of support service costs. The publication of SSSC's will enable informed discussion of support service costs, and promote efficiency and value for money.
Mr. David Porter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the future arrangements for the placement of young offenders, sentenced under section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, in local authority accommodation and youth treatment centres.
Mr. Howard: From 1 April 1995 the responsibility for seeking and financing placements for young offenders, sentenced under section 53 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933, in local authority accommodation and youth treatment centres will transfer from the Department of Health to the Home Office.
Dr. Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will ban the use of wild-caught non-human primates in scientific procedures and introduce further administrative controls on the use of non- human primates in such procedures.
Mr. Howard: I have considered recommendations from the Animal Procedures Committee on the use of non-human primates in scientific procedures and have accepted its view that I should ban the use of wild- caught non-human primates except where a project licence applicant can establish exceptional and specific justification.
Column 575In the light of the committee's advice, I have taken a number of administrative steps to ensure the effectiveness of such a ban, I have decided that:
(i) a condition will be placed on a project licence authorising the use of non-human primates, requiring records relating to the breeding and conditions of housing and husbandry at the breeding centre(s) from which animals are obtained--and in the case of wild-caught animals the conditions in any holding centre--to be available for inspection by the Home Office;
(ii) waivers under section 10(3) of the 1986 Act to allow the use of purpose-bred primates from non-designated sources will be conditional upon lifetime records being supplied;
(iii) if the source of the animals is not know when the project licence application is prepared, or if the proposed source is likely to change, a condition will be placed on the licence that the source must be agreed by the Home Office before the animals are obtained and any procedure commences;
(iv) the inspectorate will take into account the potential adverse effects, for example during transport, which may occur to the animals concerned before arrival in the United Kingdom; and (v) the Home Office will keep under review the availability of information about primate use, and will ensure that as much is published as is permissible within the restraints of the legislation and the need for commercial confidentiality.
I have agreed also a number of other changes to the condition upon which non-human primates may be used:
(i) applicants for project licences will be required to explain clearly why only non-human primates as opposed to any other species, including man where appropriate, are considered essential for the programme of research;
(ii) where applicable, the applicant will be required to provide a clear explanation in the project licence application of why the use of old world, rather than new world, primates is proposed;
(iii) procedures to be carried out using primates will be required to be described in separate protocol sheets on the project licence application, and primates must not be grouped with other species in such descriptions;
(iv) when old work non-human primates have been used under a toxicology project licence in procedures of more than mild severity, the licence holder will be required to provide a justification to the Home Office. The Department will keep such use under review and report to the Animal Procedures Committee;
(v) more detailed, collated data on primate use will be published either in the annual statistics of scientific procedures on living animals or in the annual report of the APC.
In the case of the requirement on the use of old work non-human primates under toxicology project licences, I have accepted the objective of a recommendation from the Animal Procedures Committee but have taken the view that this can be achieved by alternative means. The approach to be adopted will impose less burden on the companies involved in regulatory toxicity testing, and will ensure that the animals--scientific procedures-- inspectorate is not diverted from its primary tasks of advising on applications for personal and project licence and visiting scientific establishments.
I have placed in the Library a copy of the committee's recommendations, and of the Home Office ministerial reply.
Column 576(2) what was the effect of the November 1993 statement on the budget of North East London probation service.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: The 1993 Budget statement resulted in a specific grant cash limit for 1994 95 for the North East London probation service of £7.2 million, 6.8 per cent. higher than for 1993-94. The 1994 Budget statement resulted in a specific grant cash limit for 1995 96 of £7.1 million, plus a further £200,000 to support probation service partnerships with the independent sector previously funded separately by the Home Office.
It is for the North East London probation service to decide how these resources are best used and to determine what specific changes within the service should be undertaken on the basis of the total expenditure limit implied by this level of grant support.
Mr. Timms: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many staff were employed, and what grade, by the North East London probation service on 30 June 1992, 30 June 1993 and 30 June 1994.
Staff employed by the North East London probation service, in post at 30 June, whole-time equivalent<1> by grade and type Number of staff, whole time equivalent |30 June|30 June|30 June |1992 |1993 |1994 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Probation Officers Chief |1 |1 |1 Deputy Chief |- |- |- Assistant Chief |3 |4 |4 Senior |21 |21 |22 Main grade |102 |114 |109 Total probation officers |127 |140 |137 Non-probation grade staff Probation Services' Officers<2> |36 |40 |36 Clerical/secretarial |92 |99 |101 Administrative |11 |13 |12 Other non-probation grade staff, excluding hostel staff<3> |10 |17 |17 Hostel staff |12 |17 |13 Total non-probation grade staff |161 |186 |179 Total probation staff |287 |326 |316 <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.
Mrs. Golding: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is (a) the maximum and (b) the average penalty imposed on any person convicted for offences relating to the employment of children, and (c) how many served a term of imprisonment in the last year that figures were available.
Sentencing data for offences against the employment of children England and Wales 1993 data Fine |Offence |Maximum |Conditional |Total |Average Legislation |description |sentence |Prosecutions |Convictions |discharge |fined |fine given ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Children and Young |Causing a child or |£500 or 3 Persons Act 1933 |young person to be |months or Sec 4 |in any street, &c, |both |for the purpose of |begging |29 |25 |16 |8 |£31 Education Act 1944 |Employment of |£200 or 1 Secs 58-60 |children or young |month or |persons |both |2 |1 |- |1 |£50 Children and Young |Restrictions on the|£1,000 |5 |4 |- |4 |£159 Persons Act 1933 |employment of Secs 18 to 21 |children (including (Sec 18 as amended |street trading) by the Children Act 1972)
Mr. Fisher: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) for how long the person who has been detained for the longest period of time, while seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, has been in Haslar prison;
(2) if he will list (a) nationalities, (b) gender and age, (c) number of each nationality, (d) annual cost to Her Majesty's Government and (e) the total number of all those seeking asylum in the United Kingdom who are detained at Haslar prison.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: At 23 February 1995, a total of 83 people who had sought asylum were detained at the all-male Haslar holding centre. This figure includes people awaiting the setting of directions for removal following the refusal of their applications, as well as those whose applications were under consideration or subject to appeal. Information on the nationality and age of these detainees is given in the tables. The longest currently detained person at Haslar who had sought asylum has been detained since 23 March 1994.
Haslar is a Prison Service establishment run almost exclusively to house people detained under immigration powers. The Prison Service does not separate out costs according to the category of inmate but, in 1993 94, the net operating cost per prisoner place in local prisons and remand centres was £21,400.
Numbers of persons detained at Her Majesty's Holding Centre, Haslar<1> who have sought asylum, by nationality, as at 23 February 1995 |Number Nationality |detained -------------------------------------------- Europe and Americas Bulgaria |1 Columbia |1 Poland |1 Russia |1 Turkey |3 Turkish Cyprus |1 Yugoslavia |1 Middle and Far East Bangladesh |2 China |6 India |3 Iran |1 Pakistan |1 Africa Algeria |11 Benin |1 Eritrea |1 Ghana |18 Kenya |2 Liberia |2 Nigeria |21 Sierra Leone |2 Sudan |3 Zaire |1 Total |<1>84 <1> One Haslar detainee is currently in hospital.
Numbers of persons detained at HM Holding Centre, Haslar<1> who have sought asylum, by age, as at 23 February 1995 |Number Age |detained ------------------------------ 19 or under |2 20-24 |18 25-29 |30 30-34 |17 35-39 |12 40-44 |4 45 or over |1 Total |<1>84 <1> One Haslar detainee is currently in hospital.
Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish a list of airlines which have been charged under the provisions of the Immigration (Carriers' Liability) Act 1987, stating the number of passengers involved, the amount of charges paid and the amount of charges unpaid for each of the past five years.
Mr. Nicholas Baker: I am unable, for reasons of commercial confidentiality, to provide details of the charges incurred by individual carriers, and the numbers of passengers involved. The total value of charges paid and outstanding for each of the last five years were as follows: