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Mr. Steen: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress is being made towards (a) establishing lead inspectors and (b) merging different enforcement regimes as part of the Government's deregulation policy. [15589]

Mr. Freeman: The deregulation task force and the local government enforcement review recommended piloting the concept of the lead inspector approach and, where different regulatory and enforcement regimes overlap, recommended merger or alignment. The Government accepted these recommendations and we have made progress in implementation.

Under the joint working programme, Inland Revenue and the Contributions Agency announced plans for joint audits for some large employers, and single audit visits for all other employers, to cover both PAYE and national insurance contributions. Guidance was issued to Inland Revenue and Contributions Agency staff in December 1995 on single audit, and the new arrangements have now been implemented. Work is continuing to develop a programme of joint auditing for larger employers.

The lead inspector approach is existing practice in Her Majesty's inspectorate of pollution. This will become part of the Environment Agency, which comes into being on 1 April 1996, bringing together a number of regulatory regimes under one umbrella. The agency will be setting up first stop shops in its local offices.

As part of a wider review of regulation and inspection, the Department of Health is addressing the need for certain residential care and nursing homes to register with two public authorities. This review also puts forward for discussion alternative regulatory structures.

In the food hygiene area, statutory codes of practice have clarified demarcation lines to achieve single body enforcement.

In the case of community premises, we are promoting a single licensing process for a number of activities. Guidance encourages local authorities, wherever possible, to arrange for a combined inspection covering the entertainment application and any other inspections required by the premises, covering for example, food hygiene and health and safety.


Carl Bridgewater

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out all the new evidence he is considering in deciding whether to refer the Carl Bridgewater case back to the Court of Appeal. [15395]

Mr. Kirkhope: All new material weighted by my right hon. and learned Friend in reaching his provisional conclusions in this case has been made available to the applicants' solicitor; details of the main points in the case were set out in a Home Office news release dated 7 December 1995.

19 Feb 1996 : Column: 6

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his letter to the Bridgewater defendants' lawyer, what is the nature of the information which allegedly implicates Vincent Hickey and Pat Molloy in the murder. [15396]

Mr. Kirkhope: The specific information referred to in my right hon. and learned Friend's letter is confidential. The letter makes it clear that, in reaching his provisional conclusions, my right hon. and learned Friend has placed no reliance on that information.

Licensed Restaurants

Mr. David Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to allow licensed restaurants to be able to sell alcohol to customers who do not take food; and if he will make a statement. [15393]

Mr. Kirkhope: We are currently considering the scope for relaxing restrictions on the sale of alcohol in restaurants. Any proposals for change would be the subject of public consultation.

Voluntary Sector

Mr. Chris Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with representatives of the voluntary sector in relation to statutory funding difficulties and delays in payments. [15387]

Mr. Sackville: Home Office Ministers regularly meet voluntary sector representatives to discuss a wide range of issues, including funding.

Criminal Justice and Public Order Act

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library all research conducted by his Department concerning the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1944; and if he will make a statement. [15232]

Mr. Maclean: Work concerned with evaluating the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 is in progress, and all publications arising from this work will be placed in the Library.

Prison Service

Mr. Alex Carlile: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects the publication of the study commissioned by his Department into relations between the Home Office and the Prison Service; and if he will make a statement. [15233]

Miss Widdecombe: As my right hon. and learned Friend informed the House on 16 October 1995, the work is under way and he will report on it to the House when it is complete.

Ponies (Research)

Mr. Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received concerning the injection of equine flu and herpes viruses into mountain ponies bred for research purposes and the extraction of antibodies from carcases following slaughter of such ponies at different time intervals after injection; and if he will make a statement. [14242]

19 Feb 1996 : Column: 7

Mr. Sackville [holding answer 8 February 1996]: The Home Office has obtained the recent report by the organisation Animal Aid on the use of ponies in this area of research.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Madden: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he reached a decision on the designation of (a) India and (b) Pakistan in respect of his determination of countries from which asylum cases are likely to prove unfounded; and what considerations underlay his decision. [15349]

Miss Widdecombe [holding answer 15 February 1996]: My right hon. and learned Friend indicated to the House during Second Reading of the Asylum and Immigration Bill on 11 December 1995, Official Report, column 703, those countries which the Government currently regard as candidates for designation. No actual designations will be possible until clause 1 of the Bill has come into force and an order has been made under it. The considerations we will take into account have been outlined it the relevant background note on the Bill, copies of which are available in the Library.



Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Eduction and Employment how many heads of household below retirement age and available for work have mortgages. [14300]

Mr. Clappison: I have been asked to reply.

The latest estimate for England is that 7,540,000 heads of household who are below retirement age, and were either in employment or seeking and available for work, have mortgages. This estimate is from the 1994-95 survey of English housing and is subject to sampling error.

Pupil Testing

Mr. Blunkett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what account her Department has taken when issuing the results of national tests of those children who were re-assessed for national tests at 11 years old, having initially failed them; if these children were counted more than once in the results released to date; and what estimate she has made of the number of pupils who have been doubled counted. [15372]

Mr. Paice: The aim of statutory assessment is to assess pupils' achievement against national curriculum levels. The standards at level 4 have been set to challenge typical 11-years-olds, but it is incorrect to suggest that pupils either pass or fail the tests.

The collection procedures in 1995 were designed to give accurate national results while minimising schools' compliance costs. Schools were asked to indicate whether pupils were to be entered for tasks as well as tests in maths and science, but not all did so. Any double counting in the national results for those subjects is estimated to be small, at around 1 per cent.

19 Feb 1996 : Column: 8

Employment Service Dispute

Ms Lynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to her answer of 18 January, Official Report, column 699 on the Employment Service dispute, if she will list the percentage of employees in grades represented by the Civil and Public Services Association who received a pay award for 1995-96 of (a) less than 3.7 per cent. and (b) between 2.7 and 2.9 per cent. [15837]

Mr. Forth: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its chief executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Mike Fogden to Ms Liz Lynne, dated 19 February 1996:

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