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Probation Officers

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the social work skills required as essential in respect of the training of probation officers. [5327]

Mr. Sackville: I refer the hon. Member to the core competences for probation officers published by the Home Office in March 1994, a copy of which is in the Library.

Police Station Civilian Staff

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many unpaid civilians are currently working in police stations in each of the local police authorities; and if he will make a statement. [5367]

Mr. Maclean: This information is not collected centrally.

Bull Bars

Dr. Marek: To ask the Secretary of Stae for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 29 November 1995, Official Report, column 781-82 if he will ensure that bull bars are removed from Metropolitan police vehicles. [4937]

Mr. Maclean [holding answer 11 December 1995]: This is an operational matter for the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis. However, I understand that he

12 Dec 1995 : Column: 603

is reviewing the use of bull bars on police vehicles following the initiative by the Association of Chief Police Officers referred to in my answer to the hon. Member on 29 November 1995, or, columns 781-82.

Liquor Measures

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated saving to business from the Deregulation (Long Pull) Order 1995; for what reasons; and when it was introduced. [5554]

Mr. Kirkhope: This order, which was introduced on 27 November, repeals the offence--created by the Licensing Act 1921-of supplying more than the amount of intoxicating liquor requested by the customer. The object was to end offering over-measures, then perceived as an unfair trading practice. No direct saving to business has been estimated, but the customer and business may benefit from the freedom to use in confidence a wider range of means of dispensing liquor--for example, serving draught beer by hand pump into "over-size" glasses.

Deregulation

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the estimated saving to businesses from the Deregulation (Special Hours Certificates) Order 1996. [5555]

Mr. Kirkhope: Business respondents to the consultation which preceded the order considered that it would produce substantial, although unquantified, financial benefits by reducing planning uncertainty, creating greater investment confidence and promoting tourism.

Metropolitan Police Committee for London

Ms Hodge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) who employs the staff of the Metropolitan police committee for London; [5264]

Mr. Maclean [holding answers 11 December 1995]: The estimated cost of the Metropolitan police committee for 1995-96 is £399,000. This includes the cost of the secretariat--eight full-time staff and two part-time staff, all seconded from the Home Office--accommodation costs and other expenses.

Ms Hodge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when and with whom the Metropolitan police committee for London has held public meetings since its inception; [5262]

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Mr. Maclean [holding answers 11 December 1995]: These are all matters for the chairman of the Metropolitan police committee.

However, I understand that since the inception of the Metropolitan police committee the members have met representatives of the Association of London Government, the Outer London Metropolitan Police Consultative Association and the Government office for London, made more than 40 visits to individual police and community consultative groups, lay visitors' panels and community groups, held a meeting for all PCCG chairmen, open to the press and public, and held nine full, formal meetings, and several meetings of sub-committees on remuneration matters and performance indicators.

Ms Hodge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home department (1) what recommendations the Metropolitan police committee for London has made to the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis; [5267]

Mr. Maclean [holding answers 11 December 1995]: The duty of the Metropolitan police committee is to advise Ministers on policy and the minutes of their meetings are therefore confidential. I expect the chairman to produce an annual report and I shall place a copy of that in the Library in due course.

Asylum and Immigration Bill

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, in respect of each principal proposal and related amendment contained in his Asylum and Immigration Bill, he will publish a document which lists (a) the principal amendment or addition to annual legislation, (b) related paving amendments, (c) any consequential amendments and (d) the reasons for and the purposes of each change; and if he will circulate the document to each of the bodies referred to in his answer of 28 November 1995, Official Report, column 658. [4464]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 6 December 1995]: Notes on clauses will be made available after Second Reading in the usual way. Copies will be available to interested parties from the Home Office.

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what requests he has made to his Metropolitan police advisory committee to (a) consult and (b) report to him on the (i) operational, (ii) financial, (iii) police public relations and (iv) other implications, of the implementation of the measures contained in his Asylum and Immigration Bill; [4466]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 6 December 1995]: A copy of our consultation exercise on the prevention of unauthorised employment has been sent to the Association of Chief Police Officers.

12 Dec 1995 : Column: 605

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list any legislative link between the list he intends to publish relating to countries whose citizens will not be eligible to apply for political asylum and any list of nations arising from article 100c of the treaty on European Union relating to a common system of visas within the European Union. [4477]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 6 December 1995]: There is no link between the list of countries which will be designated under clause 1 of the Asylum and Immigration Bill as in general not giving rise to a serious risk of persecution and any list of countries under article 100c. Applicants from countries designated under clause 1 of the Bill will still be able to apply for asylum, but there will be a rebuttable presumption against granting asylum. Accelerated appeal procedures will apply, and there will be no further right of appeal from the special adjudicator to the immigration appeal tribunal.

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to circulate to (a) hon. Members or (b) other interested bodies and persons the public response of bodies and persons to the proposals and operation of the measures contained in his Asylum and Immigration Bill. [4478]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 6 December 1995]: The result of the consultation exercise that we are conducting on our proposals for the prevention of unauthorised employment will be made known to Parliament. However, it will be for individual organisations to decide whether to make public their responses to this exercise.

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will send the text and full details of his Asylum and Immigration Bill to each of the statutory police community consultative committees in the Greater London area, asking for (a) their general observations and (b) their suggestions as to the means of achieving his purposes by alternative means. [4479]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 6 December 1995]: My right hon. and learned Friend made clear in his statement to the House on 20 November why he considered the proposals in the Asylum and Immigration Bill to be necessary. We are happy to make available a copy of the statement and this Bill to any interested body on request and to consider any representations that may be received. Copies of our consultative document on prevention of unauthorised employment have been sent to more than 150 bodies, including the Association of Chief Police Officers.

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will be present in Committee during the Standing Committee stages of the Asylum and Immigration Bill. [4481]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 6 December 1995]: The composition of Standing Committee is a matter for the House and will be announced in due course.

Mr. Spearing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what consultations he has conducted with high commissions of any member states of the Commonwealth prior to the publication of his Asylum and Immigration Bill. [4465]

12 Dec 1995 : Column: 606

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 6 December 1995]: It is not normal practice to consult high commissioners about domestic legislation.


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