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Mr. Nicholas Baker: During 1994, 32,830 applications for asylum, excluding dependants, were received in the United Kingdom. Some 20, 990 decisions on asylum applications were taken during the year, of which 825 cases were granted asylum and 3,660 were refused asylum but granted exceptional leave to remain.

The latest month for which data are available is January 1995. During this period, 3,570 applications for asylum were received and 2,450 applications were decided. Of these decisions, 130 cases were granted asylum and 460 cases were refused asylum but granted exceptional leave to remain.


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Settlement Visas

Mrs. Wise: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many wives have applied from (a) India and (b) Pakistan for settlement visas to join their husbands in the United Kingdom in each of the last three years; and how many have been (i) granted and (ii) refused;


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(2) how many husbands have applied from (a) India and (b) Pakistan for settlement visas to join their wives in each of the last three years; and how many have been (i) granted and (ii) refused.

Mr. Nicholas Baker: The information is given in the table.


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Applications for entry clearance for settlement in the United      

Kingdom made by spouses in India and Pakistan, 1992-1994           

Number of persons                                                  

                          Wives             Husbands               

                         |1992 |1993 |1994 |1992 |1993 |1994       

-------------------------------------------------------------------

India                                                              

Applications received<1> |1,840|1,930|1,960|620  |620  |580        

Granted<2> <3>           |1,860|1,660|1,710|570  |480  |450        

Initial refusals         |290  |310  |410  |300  |280  |340        

Pakistan                                                           

Applications received<1> |2,940|3,020|3,210|3,090|2,640|2,720      

Granted<2> <3>           |2,670|2,390|2,290|2,370|1,990|1,720      

Initial refusals         |440  |620  |710  |1,550|1,900|1,690      

<1> Including applications subsequently withdrawn or lapsed.       

<2> Granted initially or on appeal.                                

<3> Applications granted may include applications received in the  

previous year.                                                     

Law Enforcement Officers

Mr. Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if members of the Renseignements Ge ne raux are authorised or need authorisation to work in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Maclean: Law enforcement officers representing foreign Goverments working in the United Kingdom must observe guidance issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. A copy of the guidance, known as the "Whitehall Guidelines", has been placed in the Library.

Prisons (Drugs)

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug and related finds by type of drug were made in women's gaols in England and Wales in each year since 1990.

Mr. Michael Forsyth: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Dr. Lynne Jones, dated 9 March 1995: The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about how many drug and related finds by type of drug were made in women's jails in England and Wales in each year since 1990.

Information drug finds was not recorded centrally until 25 September 1990.

The table below lists the drug and related finds in women's jails for the calendar years 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994.


Items              |1991 |1992 |1993 |1994       

-------------------------------------------------

Heroin             |5    |4    |10   |36         

Cocaine            |4    |6    |4    |6          

LSD                |0    |0    |5    |2          

Amphetamines       |1    |0    |3    |2          

Barbiturates       |0    |0    |4    |3          

Cannabis           |32   |27   |44   |58         

Cannabis Plant     |4    |1    |4    |11         

Crack              |0    |0    |0    |0          

Other              |3    |9    |10   |23         

Authentic syringe  |3    |10   |23   |21         

Improvised syringe |0    |0    |0    |0          

Authentic needle   |0    |0    |2    |3          

Improvised needle  |0    |0    |0    |0          

Pipe               |1    |0    |1    |0          

Roach              |0    |0    |2    |2          

                                                 

Total              |53   |57   |112  |167        

It should be noted that increases in the numbers of finds may reflect more effective searching, as a result of the priority being given to the control of drugs, and are not necessarily an indication that there has been a corresponding increase in the presence of drugs.

North East London Probation Service

Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was the effect of the November 1993 budget statement on the budget of the North East London robation service;

(2) what will be the impact of the November 1994 budget statement on the North East London probation service.

Mr. Nicholas Baker: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given to a question from the hon. Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard) on 6 March, Official Report, column 30 .

Non-governmental Agencies

Mr. Streeter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what non-governmental agencies are funded by the Government to work in crime prevention; and what initiatives they are undertaking.

Mr. Maclean: The Government provide a contribution to the core costs of Crime Concern, whose main objectives are to establish local crime reduction schemes and to develop new approaches to crime prevention. The


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Government have also contracted Crime Concern, the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders and the Society of Voluntary Associates to manage safer cities projects in 30 towns in England and Wales. The projects in turn provide grants for local crime prevention schemes. In addition, we have made extra funds available in 1994 95 for local partnerships which wish to install closed circuit television schemes in their areas as a crime prevention measure.

Prisons

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the staffing ratio of (a) privately managed prisons and (b) publicly operated prisons.

Mr. Michael Forsyth: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. Martin Redmond, dated 9 March 1995:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the staffing ratio in both privately managed prisons and publicly operated prisons.

On 31 January 1995, the staff:inmate ratio for privately managed prisons was 1:2.43. The staff figure is based on the number of prisoner custody officers employed, which equate to the three officer grades in publicly operated prisons. The inmate figure is the number held in these prisons at the end of January.

On 31 January 1995 the staff:inmate ratio for publicly managed prisons was 1:2.0. The staff figure is based on the officer, senior officer and principal officer grades and includes specialist staff. The inmate figure is the total inmate population as at 31 January 1995, excluding those held in police cells and privately managed prisons.

The ratio for publicly managed prisons is affected by the inclusion of dispersal prisons and other prisons with specialist functions which have a relatively high staff:inmate ratio, as well as accommodation being out of use for refurbishment. The private sector does not include prisons in this category, and is not currently undergoing refurbishment.

Football Pools and Lotteries

Ms Lynne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to guarantee the continued viability of the football pools and society and local lotteries.

Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 7 March 1995]: The Government have made a number of changes to the law to remove unnecessary restrictions on football pools and lotteries and more changes are on the way.

A number of measures benefiting football pools were introduced in November 1994, when part IV of the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 came into force. The age limit for participation was reduced from 18 to 16; the use of premises for the collection of coupons and stakes were permitted; and roll- over of prize money was permitted in certain circumstances.

More recently, the Government have invited the broadcasting authorities to revise their advertising codes so as to permit broadcast advertising of the pools. In addition, we will shortly be issuing a consultation paper on gaming machines and betting offices which will include a proposal to allow betting offices to pay winnings on football pools coupons and to handle "spot the ball" coupons. Depending on the outcome of the consultation, the changes will be put into law later this


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year by an order made under the Deregulation and Contracting Out Act 1994.

I am currently considering what scope there is for further deregulatory measures.

Ashford (Middlesex) Remand Centre

Mr. Wilshire: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the future of the site of the former Ashford (Middlesex) remand centre.

Mr. Michael Forsyth [holding answer 7 March 1995]:

Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Derek Lewis to Mr. David Wilshire, dated 9 March 1995:

The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the future of the site of the former Ashford (Middlesex) Remand Centre.

No decisions have yet been taken regarding the future of this site. The Prison Service's estate strategy recognises a need for additional accommodation by the end of the century and sites are still being sought for some of the new prisons announced by the Home Secretary in 1993. Current assessments of future needs indicate that Ashford is not an ideal location for meeting future population pressures. Other sites are being sought but Ashford may be considered if more suitable locations are not available.

WALES

Public Appointments

Mr. Gareth Wardell: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the dates on which he intends to publish advertisements inviting applications to fill the vacancies on (a) the Arts Council of Wales, (b) the Sports Council of Wales, (c) the Wales tourist board, (d) the Wales Youth Agency, (e) the Welsh Development Agency, (f) the Glan Hafren NHS trust, (g) the Powys Health Care NHS trust, (h) the Morriston Hospital NHS trust and (i) Swansea NHS trust.

Mr. Redwood: I am keen to keep the boards of non-departmental public bodies and health bodies at the minimum number which is consistent with efficient management. Where there are vacancies to be filled, candidates are drawn from a variety of sources. These sources include the Welsh Office register of candidates for public appointment and, in some cases, specific advertisements. Recent health trust chairmanships were advertised.

Lead Piping

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action he is taking to encourage the replacement of lead piping in drinking water supplies; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Water companies must comply with the requirements relating to lead set in the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 1989-- SI 1989 No. 1147. Among other relevant provisions, the regulations require water companies to replace their part of a lead service pipe when requested to do so in writing by a consumer intending to remove his or her part of the pipe.


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The Government fund the mandatory home renovation grant system available from local authorities and which may be used for lead pipe replacement. Mandatory home renovation grants are available to bring properties up to the statutory fitness standard, which includes the provision of an adequate piped supply of wholesome water: it is for local authorities to determine applications and decide whether an individual property meets this standard. Minor works assistance, which is always discretionary, may be available to those home owners in receipt of an income-related benefit, for small but essential repairs to their houses. Dwr Cymru Welsh Water has a grant scheme to help any of its customers wishing to replace lead plumbing and, when this is done, also undertakes to replace its communication pipe.

Cadw

Mr. Dafis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what changes in the priorities and approach of Cadw will be made following the appointment of a new chief executive.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: My right hon. Friend's priorities for Cadw will be set out in the Cadw corporate plan.

European Regional Development Fund

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the allocation of European regional development fund to each of the objective 2 and 5(b) regions in Wales for the current programming period.

Mr. Redwood: The ERDF allocations for the industrial south Wales and rural Wales programme areas are £111.2 million over 1994 to 1996 and £89.9 million over 1994 to 1999 respectively.

Public Transport

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what initiatives his Department is pursuing to increase the use of public transport in Wales, and if he will make a statement;

(2) what new initiatives his Department is pursuing to improve public transport in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The provision of good quality public transport services is a matter for the transport industries. County councils have a duty to supplement services where they identify a need. The Welsh Office assists by means of the bus priority scheme. Privatisation of the railways will provide more opportunities for improvements in that sector.

Through Ticketing

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with colleagues in the Department of Transport to discuss future ticketing arrangements for rail services in Wales and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The Rail Regulator and Ministers are committed to continuing easy access to through ticketing for passengers. The regulator has recently consulted widely on this subject and is considering the representations he has received.


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Railways

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what new proposals he has to improve rail communications in Wales, and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: The development of rail communications is a matter for the railway industry. The Government's plan to transfer the railways to the private sector provides the best opportunities for improving rail services in Wales.

Rail Freight

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what initiatives his Department is pursuing to increase the use of railways in Wales for the transportation of freight; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Publicity will soon be given in Wales to the availability of enhanced grants to attract more freight on to the railways. The Welsh Development Agency has also been asked to consider the provision of rail freight connections at industrial estates in Wales.

Sickness Absenteeism

Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what measures he is taking to combat sickness absenteeism in (a) Cadw and (b) the Welsh Office.

Mr. Redwood: In addition to programmes to promote good health, Cadw and the Welsh Office have well-established procedures applying to all staff and their managers, for reporting and monitoring sickness absence, so that potential problems can be identified and addressed at an early stage. In appropriate cases, the advice of the civil service occupational health service is sought.

Cable Franchises

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales in what parts of north Wales he expects cabling to take place; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: The Independent Television Commission has responsibility under the Broadcasting Act 1990 for administering the local delivery franchising process. The ITC is considering franchises in Wales in response to expressions of interest already received, but would welcome further approaches from companies interested in providing services in any currently unfranchised areas in Wales.

Vehicle Spot Checks

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales in what location in Wales, he proposed to make roadside spot checks concerning atmospheric pollution caused by motor vehicles and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Staff from the Department of Transport's Vehicle Inspectorate will be carrying out roadside spot checks of vehicle emissions at various cities and towns nationwide, including Wales, over the coming weeks. There will be no advance warning of specific locations.


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Optical Fibres

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next proposes to visit the optical fibres production centre on Deeside industrial park.

Mr. Redwood: I visited Optical Fibres Ltd. on the Deeside industrial park last October. I have no plans to do so again in the near future.

Optical Fibres is a world leader in the manufacture of fibre optic cables and is an excellent example of a Wales-based company at the forefront of the multimedia revolution.

Unemployment

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what action he is taking to reduce unemployment in Clwyd; and what (a) job creation schemes and (b) training schemes he (i) has initiated in the last five years and (ii) will initiate.

Mr. Redwood: Unemployment in Clwyd, as elsewhere in Wales, is falling as the recovery proceeds. In the past five years, the strategic development scheme has been initiated by the Welsh Office while the Welsh Development Agency has participated in a number of regeneration schemes with the local authorities in the area. For 1994 95 and 1995 96, nearly £11 million has been allocated under the strategic development scheme to projects to promote economic development and job creation in Clwyd. The WDA's contribution to the urban and rural regeneration initiatives in which it is involved will amount to around £4 million in 1994 95.

Over the past five years, the North East Wales training and enterprise council has provide a wide range of services to help unemployed people back to work.

Significant measures introduced in the last five years include modern engineering apprenticeships and youth credits.

In 1995 96, modern apprenticeships will be supported in other occupational sectors and a new programme of accelerated modern apprenticeships will be aimed primarily at 18 and 19-year-old college leavers.

Regional selective assistance continues to make a significant contribution to creating and safeguarding jobs in Clwyd. Over the past five years, over 150 offers have been accepted which are forecast to create or safeguard almost 11,000 jobs.

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how he proposes to tackle long-term unemployment in Alyn and Deeside.

Mr. Redwood: Long-term unemployment, like unemployment generally, is falling as the recovery proceeds. A number of specific measures are in place to assist people who have been unemployed for more than a year to get back to work. These include training for work and restart.

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what proposals he has to get people aged 25 years and under into work and out of long-term unemployment.

Mr. Redwood: A wide range of support is available to unemployed people under the age of 25. This includes training and practical help in finding work. All 16 and 17-year-olds who are not in full-time education or employment are guaranteed the offer of a suitable youth training place. Recent surveys have shown that 71 per


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cent. of young people who completed their training go into jobs or further education and training. Training opportunities for young people are being extended through modern apprenticeships and accelerated apprenticeships. Priority for recruitment under the training for work programme is now given to young people under the age of 25 who have never worked. Finally, the Employment Service offers a range of opportunities to help unemployed people into work including client advice, community action, job interview guarantee, jobclubs and work trials.

Drugaid

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultations he has had concerning the grant aiding of the 24-hour helpline for drug addiction problems run by Drugaid; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Redwood: In October 1994, Drugaid was informed of the Government's proposal to establish a national HIV/AIDS and drugs telephone advice and information helpline from 1 April 1995, covering England, Scotland and Wales. Drugaid was invited to tender for the contract, and did so as part of a consortium. The contract was awarded to Network Scotland.

From 1 April, Network Scotland will provide an integrated 24-hour freephone English and Welsh language HIV/AIDS and drug helpline, which will refer users of the service to the appropriate local agencies.

It would be inappropriate for my Department to continue to support a Welsh helpline which would duplicate work undertaken nationally.

HEALTH

Nursing Homes

Ms Jowell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many elderly people in registered nursing homes have paid the full cost of their care in each year since 1990.

Mr. Bowis: This information is not available centrally.

Private Psychiatric Hospitals

Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received regarding the standards of care at private psychiatric hospitals.

Mr. Alfred Morris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received regarding the standards of care in private psychiatric hospitals; and if she will make a statement.

Mr. Bowis: Arrangements for monitoring the standards of care given to national health service patients in private psychiatric hospitals are agreed between health authorities and NHS trusts and the private hospitals as part of the contracting process. Private psychiatric hospitals are subject to registration and inspection by the local health authority under the Registered Homes Act 1984.


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Electro-convulsive Therapy

Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received (a) about and (b) calling for the banning of the use of electro-convulsive therapy on children under the age of 16 years.

Mr. Bowis: We have received some such representations. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has advised us that it has updated its guidance on the use of electro-convulsive therapy. This guidance includes a series of recommendations on the use of electro-convulsive therapy in the treatment of young people.

Pensioners' Nursing Care

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pensioners have had to sell their homes to pay for their nursing care in the latest available year; and what percentage of them could have remained in day or respite care.

Mr. Bowis: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Sir A. Bowden) on 14 February, Official Report , column 642 .

Cycling

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will issue a consultation document on the work of the physical activity task force; and if the consultation process will reflect her recent statements on the health benefits of cycling by targeting cycling as a widely accessible form of exercise.

Mr. Sackville: No decisions have yet been taken on whether to issue a consultation document based on the work of "The Health of the Nation" physical activity task force, but I shall continue to endorse the health benefits of cycling.

Minimal Access Surgery

Mr. Illsley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received regarding the adequacy of training for doctors using minimal access surgery.

Mr. Sackville: We have received a number of letters concerning training issues associated with minimal access surgery. The Department of Health and the Wolfson Foundation have provided funds to establish two national training centres in London and Leeds. The two centres offer a range of training courses in addition to those already well established in the national health service.

Epilepsy

Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of NHS medicines prescribed for people with epilepsy was licensed (a) within the last five years, (b) more than five years ago, (c) more than 10 years and (d) more than 15 years ago.

Mr. Sackville: Records from the Medicines Control Agency do not relate specifically to national health service medicines. However, records show that there are currently 215 products licensed for prescription to people with epilepsy.


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