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Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 8 March 1995:
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking what action has been taken following the interview of Private Lee Clegg at Wakefield prison by a journalist.
Mr. Clegg's visitors are now required to produce satisfactory evidence of their identity before they are allowed to visit him.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: The estimated cost of conducting the market test of the Home Office's administrative information technology services division was £1,565,000. Estimated average annual savings arising from this market test are about £4.8 million or a saving of about 30 per cent. of the cost of comparable IT services under the former arrangements.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to privatise the police national computer; if he will list those bodies with whom he has recently discussed this topic; and what assessment he has made of (a) the advantages and (b) the disadvantages of privatising the computer.
Mr. Maclean: There are no plans for the privatisation of the police national computer--PNC2--which is housed at the Hendon data centre. But the Government continue to believe that it will in the longer term be beneficial to market test the operation of the police national computer service, with a view to contracting out its delivery while maintaining the ownership, control, and use of the records it contains in the hands of the police service. For the reasons given in my reply to a question by my right hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge (Mr. Shersby) on 8 February at columns 254 55, the current market test of the Hendon data centre will not proceed to competitive tendering at present. The position will be reviewed in about 18 months' time, when the requirement for the third generation computer-- PNC3--which will eventually replace the current installation, becomes clearer.
Column 186Recent discussions on these matters have been held with the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Scotland), and the local authority associations under the aegis of the tripartite Police Information Services Board, which is the management board for the police national computer; and further discussions with the Hendon data centre trade union side have been arranged.
Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the ongoing cost to his Department of monitoring the current costs relating to the contract for his Department's data processing work.
Mr. Michael Forsyth: The total costs of managing the contract for information technology services provided by Sema Group plc are about £420,000 a year. They reflect the separation of purchaser and provider roles in the Department and would have been incurred whoever had won the market test for information technology services. Estimated average annual savings arising from this market test are about £4.8 million or a saving of about 30 per cent. of the cost of comparable IT services under the former arrangements.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria were used by him to assess the suitability of members of the new Warwickshire police authority when he considered the deletion of names from the list supplied to him.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 27 February 1995]: I exercised my judgment as to who were the best candidates for appointment using the criteria of the qualities listed in the information for applicants for these appointments: good communication and financial skills; the ability to challenge accepted views in a constructive way; the ability to represent a wide range of people in the community and have an understanding of their policing needs and the pressure and challenges which face the police themselves; and possession of skills and experience which would broaden the expertise available to the police authority.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many names he himself deleted from the list supplied by the local nominating panel for the new Warwickshire police authority.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with whom he consulted about deleting any of the names supplied by the nominating panel for the new Warwickshire police authority; and with which hon. Members he held discussions about the nominations to the Warwickshire police authority.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many names were supplied to him by the nominating panel for the new Warwickshire police authority; and how many he deleted from the list.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 27 February 1995]: The selection panel for Warwickshire police authority supplied 20 names to me, which I reduced to ten for further consideration by the councillor and magistrate members of the authority.
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) each constabulary in the east midlands; and how many were serving in 1979.
Mr. Maclean [holding answer 7 March 1995]: Information on those police forces in which I understand the hon. Member is interested is set out in the table. Information on England and Wales was given in the reply to his question on 1 March at column 575 .
I Police officer strength Forces |<1>1979|<1>1994 ----------------------------------------- Derbyshire |1,757 |1,793 Leicestershire |1,701 |1,838 Lincolnshire |1,167 |1,208 Northamptonshire |926 |1,171 Nottinghamshire |2,125 |2,331 <1> As at 31 December.
II Civilian staff strength Forces |<1>1979|<1>1994 ----------------------------------------- Derbyshire |646 |624 Leicestershire |362 |687 Lincolnshire |312 |504 Northamptonshire |249 |464 Nottinghamshire |535 |870 <1> As at 31 December.
Mr. Stern: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what was the number of applications his Department received for the sale of birds listed in appendix 1 of CITES and appendix C1 of EC regulation 3626/82, and how many such birds were sold in the last year for which figures are available;
(2) what estimate his Department has made of the number of bird species and the number of individual birds currently held in captivity in the United Kingdom which are listed in appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and appendix C1 of EC regulation 3626/82.
Sir Paul Beresford: In 1994 my Department received 1,276 individual applications to sell specimens of bird species listed on appendix I of CITES, or annex C1 of EC regulation 3626/82. Exemptions were subsequently issued permitting the sale of 1,958 birds. My Department has no estimate of the number of species or specimens in this category which are currently held in captivity.
Column 188councillors of Westminster city council to discuss the district auditor's interim report.
(2) when he or any of his predecessors have met the hon. member for Westminster, North (Sir J. Wheeler) and the right hon. member for City of London and
Westminster, South (Mr. Brooke) to discuss (a) Westminster city council's designated sales policy and (b) the district auditor's report on the designated sales policy; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Stern: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will state the number of licences his Department has issued in each of the past two years for the importation of Stellar's sea eagle; if he will indicate the countries of origin and whether the birds were captive-bred; and if he will list the criteria that have to be met before a licence can be issued for the importation of Stellar's sea eagle.
The criteria that have to be satisfied before an import permit can be issued are set out in article III of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species and are that:
the import will be for purposes which are not detrimental to the survival of the species involved;
the proposed recipient of a living specimen is suitably equipped to house and care for it; and
the specimen is not to be used for primarily commercial purposes.
(2) when he expects those metropolitan areas which have expressed a strong desire for a change in the structure of local government to be referred to and considered by the Local Government Commission.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: We intend to consider directing the commission to conduct boundary reviews of metropolitan areas alongside, and in the light of, any individual district structure reviews that may be required following my right hon. Friend's announcement on 2 March, Official Report , col. 1183.
Mr Steinberg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money was allocated to the educational components of the single regeneration budget in the successful local authority bids; and what he estimates to be the change in level of funding for section type projects transferred to the single regeneration budget.
Mr. Curry: Some 135 of the 201 approved bids from successful single regeneration budget partnerships are expected to include educational components. The SRB provides flexible financial support towards the overall
Column 189cost of approved schemes. The amount of money likely to be spent on particular components, of what are generally multi-faceted bids, is therefore not available.
The Government are providing £83 million in 1995 96 across the country for new and existing schemes under section 11 of the Local Government Act 1966 which assist minority ethnic communities overcome linguistic and cultural barriers. All the projects transferred to the single regeneration budget will continue to be funded for their planned lifetimes.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make an announcement about the spending plans of his Department, Ordnance Survey and the Office of Water Services for the years 1995 96 to 1997 98.
Mr. Gummer: Yes. I have today published the Department of the Environment's annual report for 1995. This sets out in detail the outcome of the public expenditure survey announced in the November 1994 Budget Statement as it affects the areas of my responsibility. The report provides an overview of how my Department, Ordnance Survey and Ofwat have discharged their functions over the past year. It provides background to each spending programme and sets out our plans for the future.
Mr. Robert Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will set out the amounts of the council tax which are currently owing to the Harrogate borough council and each of the other district councils in North Yorkshire.
(2) if he will set out the amounts of community charge which are currently owing to the Harrogate borough council and each of the other district councils in North Yorkshire.
Column 190is not available centrally. However, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy regularly publish estimates for individual authorities: figures for 31 March 1994 are available in its "Revenue Collection Statistics 1993 94" publication and are as follows:
|Community |Council tax |charge arrears|arrears |(£000) |(£000) ------------------------------------------------------------ Craven |752 |302 Hambleton |618 |467 Harrogate |4,288 |1,261 Richmondshire |1,234 |254 Ryedale |671 |413 Scarborough |2,144 |2,811 Selby |n/a |n/a York |2,783 |866
The figures for Selby were not published by CIPFA.
Mr. Rendell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what is the assumed rate of interest for 1995 96 in respect of local authorities' assumed interest receipts; and what were the corresponding figures for 1993 94 and 1994 95;
(2) what is the control total for the interest receipts element of the standard spending assessments for 1995 96;
(3) what is the assumed amount of interest receipts for each county council for 1995 96; and what were the corresponding figures for 1993 94 and 1994 95.
Mr. Robert B. Jones [holding answer 6 March 1995]: Interest receipts appear in both the all other services and the capital financing SSA elements. The former element includes allowance for interest which local authorities might earn on cash balances, reserves and usable receipts; the latter an allowance for interest which could be earned on reserved receipts--the portion of a capital receipt which has to be set aside as provision for credit liabilities.
Table 1 shows the interest rates used for each SSA element for 1993 94, 1994 95 and 1995 96, together with the national control totals. Table 2 shows the assumed amounts for each county council.
Table 1-Interest rates and control totals Interest receipts Interest receipts element in the element in the All Other Capital Financing Services block block |Notional interest|National control |Notional interest|National control |rate |total |rate |total |Per cent. |£ million |Per cent. |£ million ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1993-94 |10.4 |-525.8 |9.9 |-301.0 1994-95 |5.9 |-432.4 |9.2 |222.0 1995-96 |5.4 |-351.0 |9.1 |-237.0
The interest rate used for the interest receipts element in the all other services block is the average LIBOR short-term interest rate. The rate used for the capital
Column 190financing element is an average of short and long-term interest rates.
Table 2: Interest receipt SSA elements for County Councils All other Capital Financing services block block |1993-94 |1994-95 |1995-96 |1993-94 |1994-95 |1995-96 Local Authority |£ million |£ million |£ million |£ million |£ million |£ million --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Avon |-7.410 |-6.027 |-4.446 |-0.757 |-0.840 |-0.865 Bedfordshire |-4.761 |-3.881 |-2.844 |-0.470 |-0.513 |-0.525 Berkshire |-6.176 |-5.054 |-3.786 |-0.760 |-0.828 |-0.859 Buckinghamshire |-5.419 |-4.486 |-3.248 |-0.847 |-0.920 |-0.934 Cambridgeshire |-5.084 |-4.221 |-3.165 |-0.694 |-0.772 |-0.797 Cheshire |-7.498 |-6.160 |-4.597 |-0.947 |-1.058 |-1.128 Cleveland |-5.272 |-4.262 |-3.125 |-0.661 |-0.730 |-0.761 Cornwall |-3.664 |-3.040 |-2.308 |-0.586 |-0.643 |-0.658 Cumbria |-3.945 |-3.221 |-2.365 |-0.531 |-0.595 |-0.619 Derbyshire |-7.040 |-5.831 |-4.340 |-1.010 |-1.116 |-1.114 Devon |-7.944 |-6.526 |-4.947 |-0.986 |-1.096 |-1.132 Dorset |-4.797 |-3.943 |-2.995 |-0.612 |-0.678 |-0.689 Durham |-4.844 |-4.072 |-2.995 |-0.595 |-0.667 |-0.684 East Sussex |-5.524 |-4.529 |-3.421 |-0.768 |-0.853 |-0.910 Essex |-12.594 |-10.523 |-7.729 |-1.559 |-1.697 |-1.745 Gloucestershire |-4.050 |-3.289 |-2.482 |-0.563 |-0.627 |-0.657 Hampshire |-12.037 |-9.909 |-7.285 |-1.529 |-1.697 |-1.795 Hereford and Worcester |-5.040 |-4.151 |-3.105 |-0.569 |-0.621 |-0.633 Hertfordshire |-7.978 |-6.658 |-5.164 |-0.843 |-0.915 |-0.930 Humberside |-7.400 |-5.998 |-4.439 |-0.985 |-1.086 |-1.106 Kent |-12.842 |-10.590 |-7.852 |-1.772 |-2.010 |-2.221 Lancashire |-11.543 |-9.466 |-7.017 |-1.615 |-1.765 |-1.816 Leicestershire |-7.348 |-5.942 |-4.428 |-0.969 |-1.052 |-1.068 Lincolnshire |-4.723 |-3.868 |-2.868 |-0.599 |-0.671 |-0.711 Norfolk |-5.713 |-4.724 |-3.503 |-0.669 |-0.749 |-0.781 Northamptonshire |-4.792 |-3.843 |-2.875 |-0.667 |-0.720 |-0.729 Northumberland |-2.327 |-1.958 |-1.582 |-0.319 |-0.362 |-0.389 North Yorkshire |-5.251 |-4.336 |-3.282 |-0.690 |-0.776 |-0.812 Nottinghamshire |-8.342 |-6.741 |-4.986 |-0.821 |-0.909 |-0.915 Oxfordshire |-4.272 |-3.557 |-2.633 |-0.421 |-0.476 |-0.503 Shropshire |-3.156 |-2.590 |-1.949 |-0.499 |-0.557 |-0.581 Somerset |-3.535 |-2.907 |-2.147 |-0.486 |-0.541 |-0.558 Staffordshire |-7.997 |-6.571 |-4.867 |-1.015 |-1.105 |-1.111 Suffolk |-4.852 |-3.925 |-2.794 |-0.731 |-0.812 |-0.851 Surrey |-7.143 |-5.935 |-4.524 |-0.882 |-1.018 |-1.097 Warwickshire |-3.637 |-2.977 |-2.197 |-0.361 |-0.401 |-0.413 West Sussex |-5.324 |-4.480 |-3.361 |-0.596 |-0.642 |-0.651 Wiltshire |-4.319 |-3.547 |-2.613 |-0.539 |-0.583 |-0.590 Isle of Wight CC |-1.014 |-0.843 |- |-0.177 |-0.200 |- Isle of Wight Council |- |- |-0.969 |- |- |-0.882 The 1995-96 figures do not include interest receipts in respect of shire police authorities. However, the figures for 1993-94 and 1994-95 for all shire countries, except Northumberland, contain an element in respect of police services since the SSA elements for police-related expenditure formed part of the county council SSA in those years. The figures for the Isle of Wight Council cover the whole Isle of Wight area. The interest receipts element in the capital financing block assumes that all reserved receipts are set aside to repay debt, ie no part of such receipts is used to repay debt early.
Mr. Fishburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the implications of the Department of Trade and Industry's new energy projections for the United Kingdom climate change programme.
Mr. Gummer: The new projections, announced today by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Industry and Energy, show that we can be confident of meeting our commitment under the climate change convention and that we now expect to exceed it, with emissions of carbon dioxide by the year 2001 significantly below 1990 levels. This achievement reflects the impact of the United Kingdom climate change programme which was published in January last year. In some areas we have exceeded our earlier expectations. In particular there has been a significant reduction in the carbon intensity of fuels used for electricity generation, through increased investment in combined cycle gas turbines and through improved performance of nuclear generation. This reflects the success of our policies of privatisation and continuing deregulation of the electricity and gas industries.
Column 192Some parts of the programme are not now expected to deliver as much as originally envisaged. In part this reflects the lower carbon intensity of the electricity displaced by some energy saving measures as a result of the success of the supply side changes. On VAT on domestic fuel and power, the 8 per cent. rate is now expected to contribute about 0.4 million tonnes of carbon--MtC--compared with the original estimate of 1.5MtC at the full rate of VAT. In addition, the Energy Saving Trust is currently reviewing its plans. It estimates that the programme of activities already established and financed and will save about 0.3MtC. This compares with an assumption in the new projections that the EST would deliver 1.6MtC by 2000, based on full delivery of the original target of 2.5MtC, adjusted for changes in carbon intensity of electricity displaced. The trust's further schemes will make additional contributions to the programme but are not yet established.
Overall, it would be reasonable to adjust the projections by about 1 MtC to reflect these changes in the trust's plans, suggesting that carbon dioxide emissions will be6 13 MtC below 1990 levels by 2000. This represents
Column 193savings of 16 24 MtC against the projections of which the climate change programme was based.
While there have been some changes in the relative contributions expected from the various elements of the programme, the Government continue to be fully committed to the package of measures set out in the UK climate change programme, and will continue to seek further cost effective ways of reducing carbon emissions. My Department will publish an update to the CO2 chapter of the climate change programme as soon as possible, reporting progress on each of the measures.
Mr. Fishburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what new commitments on greenhouse gas emissions for the period beyond 2000 he will be proposing at the first conference of parties to the climate change convention.
Mr. Gummer: In our national programme under the climate change convention we made clear the need to begin now to look beyond 2000 at further steps which may need to be taken to combat the risk of climate change. We held a national conference last year to discuss the way ahead. This will be an important issue at the first conference of the parties to the convention, which takes place in Berlin at the end of this month.
The countries of the European Union have led the way in calling for a decision at Berlin to begin negotiations on new commitments beyond 2000. We have said that Berlin should set in hand the negotiation of a protocol which should strengthen and extend the existing commitments.
The EU has called on all developed country parties to take measures aimed at stabilising CO2 emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000 and to work towards further steps to limit and reduce emissions of all greenhouse gases.
At Berlin I shall therefore be calling on all OECD countries to accept this challenge recognising that, in order to encourage others to demonstrate their commitment to the convention, these countries must continue to take the lead. We cannot wait until the end of the century before deciding what to do next. Negotiations must start in Berlin towards agreeing new commitments which, using a comprehensive or "basket" approach, would aim at beginning to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries below 1990 levels.
Column 194The Government believe that developed countries should agree a new objective for the year 2010 to guide their commitment to adopt appropriate policies and measures. Agreement on a figure for total greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the range of 5 to 10 per cent. below 1990 levels would seem to be a credible and achievable next step for these countries to take, within the framework of the convention.
This would represent a challenge set against the projections of likely growth in our economies over the next 15 years. But the UK would undertake to set in hand work on implementing policies and measures needed to achieve such an objective, assuming others could agree to do the same. The prompt and successful implementation of our existing commitments, and the continuing effects of the measures we have already taken, will put us in an excellent position to do so.
Mrs. Bridget Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what consultations he has had with the director of the Office of Water Services about the pay and perks of directors and executives of the North West, Severn Trent and Yorkshire water and sewerage companies.
Mr. Hardy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the sums (a) pledged to and (b) provided for housing associations to build new homes for rent in each local authority area in Yorkshire and Humberside in the latest available year, together with the number of such homes which will be built in 1995 96 and the number of applications on current housing lists in each area.
Mr. Robert B. Jones: Allocations made to housing associations from the Housing Corporation's approved development programme at the start of 1994 95, and those for 1995 96, to build new homes for rent in Yorkshire and Humberside are as listed by local authority area.
|Allocation 1994-95|Related Units |Allocation 1995-96|Related Units Local Authority |(£'000s) |(1994-95) |(£'000s) |(1995-96) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Barnsley |1,445 |59 |875 |33 Beverley |812 |20 |409 |11 Boothferry |708 |25 |295 |12 Bradford |8,373 |280 |5,438 |212 Calderdale |3,067 |92 |1,206 |47 Cleethorpes |867 |31 |367 |17 Craven |711 |28 |187 |7 Doncaster |2,878 |122 |1,585 |70 East Yorkshire |1,149 |42 |425 |25 Glanford |609 |31 |305 |16 Great Grimsby |2,047 |88 |1,108 |51 Hambleton |520 |27 |382 |16 Harrogate |1.851 |79 |815 |31 Holderness |368 |28 |252 |15 Kingston upon Hull |3,959 |145 |1,843 |87 Kirklees |6,950 |231 |3,126 |116 Leeds |9,877 |461 |4,708 |231 Richmondshire |530 |26 |249 |11 Rotherham |1,076 |45 |578 |30 Ryedale |821 |38 |444 |22 Scarborough |1,851 |86 |553 |23 Scunthorpe |- |- |155 |10 Selby |743 |41 |370 |40 Sheffield |7,444 |291 |2,786 |121 Wakefield |2,861 |117 |1,126 |52 York |1,497 |72 |672 |42
The number of households on local authority housing waiting lists in Yorkshire and Humberside on 1 April 1994 is given in section B of the "1994 HIP1 All Items Print", a copy of which is in the Library. Data on housing associations waiting lists are not collected centrally.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will publish the names of the authorities to be included in the programme for housing transfers by councils in 1995 96; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Curry: I am today announcing the names of the 11 authorities who will be able to proceed, on a voluntary basis and subject to the approval of their tenants, with proposals to transfers their housing stock to housing associations in 1995 96.
I am pleased that it has been possible to include 11 authorities on the 1995--96 programme of large scale voluntary transfers which comprises nearly 47,000 dwellings valued at over £500 million. This is part of the Government's commitment to a continuing programme of transfers as means of generating private finance to repair and improve the condition of social housing and to increase the diversity and choice for tenants.
The 11 authorities which have successfully gained a place on the 1995 96 programme, together with 12 recipient housing associations, are as follows:
East Hampshire District Council (4,300 dwellings) to East Hampshire Housing Association;
Eastleigh District Council (4,682 dwellings) to Eastleigh Housing Association;
Hastings Borough Council (4,662 dwellings) to the Hastings and St Leonards Housing Associations;
Kennet District Council (4,996 dwellings) to Sarsen Housing Association;
Manchester City Council (1,460 dwellings) to Manchester and District Housing Association;
North Wiltshire District Council (6,300 dwellings) to the North Wiltshire Housing Association;
Purbeck District Council (1,860 dwellings) to Purbeck Housing Association;
Rushmoor District Council (5,000 dwellings) to Rushmoor Housing Association;
Spelthorne District Council (4,291 dwellings) to Spelthorne Housing Association;
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (3,236 dwellings) to Windsor and District Housing Association.
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (2,981 dwellings) to Maidenhead and District Housing Association;
Wyre Borough Council (3,036 dwellings) to Wyre Housing Association.
To date, 37 authorities have disposed of all or part of their stock to new landlords and three more are due to do so by the end of this financial year. I know that, in addition to the 11 authorities listed, other authorities are working up proposals to transfer. There will be opportunities to add these authorities to the 1995 96 programme if they make good progress with their proposals in the coming months.
The Government's policy is that transfers should be housing associations which are registered with the Housing Corporation and which are independent of the council. Authorities owning more than 5, 000 dwellings
Column 196will normally be required to split these between two or more new landlords. Transfers are to be wholly funded by private sector sources and the Secretary of State will consent to transfers only where the majority of tenants are not opposed to the idea.
Mr. Milburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which permanent secretaries have left his Department's employment in the last five years; and which public positions they have been appointed to subsequently.
Sir Paul Beresford: Sir Terry Heiser and Sir Geoffrey Chipperfield have retired as permanent secretaries in this Department in the five years from 1 March 1990. Ministers have appointed them to the following positions:
Sir Terry Heiser to the trustees of the Victoria and Albert Museum; Sir Geoffrey Chipperfield to continue as chairman of the sponsoring committee for the construction of the international cross channel gas interconnector. Sir Geoffrey has also carried out two internal management reviews; of the senior staffing of the Health and Safety Executive and of finance, planning and policy arrangements of the Royal Fine Arts Commission.