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European Union Flag

Mr. Redmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what instructions were issued to his Department's offices and agencies in respect of flying the European Union flag on 8 May; and if he will make a statement. [31514]

Mr. Hague: None.

Unitary Authorities

Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the amount of standard spending assessment per person for each of the new unitary authorities. [31166]

Mr. Gwilym Jones: Information for the 1996-97 settlement is given in the following table. This information is also available in the "Local Government Finance Report (Wales) 1996-97," a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

6 Jun 1996 : Column: 551

UnitaryStandard spending assessment per head of population (£)(6)
Blaenau Gwent880
Bridgend822
Caerphilly844
Cardiff799
Carmarthenshire878
Ceredigion860
Conwy814
Denbighshire860
Flinshire775
Gwynedd910
Isle of Anglesey889
Merthyr Tydfil939
Monmouthshire761
Neath Port Talbot860
Newport855
Pembrokeshire880
Powys950
Rhondda, Cynon, Taff866
Swansea838
The Vale of Glamorgan796
Torfaen859
Wrexham798
Wales846

(6) The usually resident population at 30 June 1994 as estimated by the Registrar General.


ATTORNEY-GENERAL

Wasted Costs orders

Mr. Donald Anderson: To ask the Attorney-General how many wasted costs orders have been made by courts against the Crown Prosecution Service in the last accounting year, with the breakdown of each Crown Prosecution Service area and the total sums for such areas and further broken down by the Crown courts and the magistrates courts. [28306]

The Attorney-General [pursuant to his answer, 14 May 1996, c. 384-285]: Information is now available about the number of costs awards against CPS central casework One such order was made in the magistrates courts and four in the Crown court. That answer also overstated the number of costs awards in the magistrates courts for the CPS Yorkshire area, by including some awards in favour of the CPS. The actual number of awards against the CPS was 11. An amended table is set out.

Costs awarded against CPS 1995-96

Number of cost awards against CPS
AreaCrown courtsMagistrate's courtsAmount paid £
North2193,102
Yorkshire11118,215
Mersey/Lancashire11 63,259
Humber9622,827
North-west5149,363
East midlands203918,347
Wales1045,108
Midlands977,503
Anglia61612,637
Severn/Thames16 1616,798
South-west442,227
London1119563,804
South-east132619,528
Central casework4152,003
Total231264244,721

1. Information is not available to establish the enactment under which the orders were made and awards of costs made otherwise than in accordance with the Prosecution of Offences Act 1985 may be included.

2. The information in relation to the number of awards is limited to Crown courts and magistrates court cases. It does not include cost awards made in the higher court.

3. The number of awards relates to all cases dealt with by the CPS areas, but does not include any orders made in respect of the specialised work handled by central casework.

4. Information about the amounts actually paid includes payments in respect of orders made in the higher courts and those in respect of the specialised work handled by central casework, but the amounts paid cannot be broken down by type of court.


6 Jun 1996 : Column: 552

HOME DEPARTMENT

Eastwood Park Prison

14. Mrs. Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received about Eastwood Park prison. [30276]

Miss Widdecombe: My right hon. and learned Friend and I have received a number of letters from hon. Members and from members of the public about Eastwood Park and these were mainly about cell size.

Assaults on Prison Officers

15. Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison officer hours were lost during the financial year 1995-96 due to injuries sustained as a result of assaults by prisoners; and what was the estimated cost to the Prison Service. [30277]

Miss Widdecombe: Absence by prison officers due to assaults on duty is recorded in terms of days rather than hours lost. The total number of days lost for this reason was 11,788 in 1995-96. The cost to the Prison Service is £543,150.

Identity Cards

16. Mr. Michael Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce a nationwide identity card scheme. [30280]

Mr. Sackville: We will announce our final decision on identity cards as soon as possible based on the options set out in the Green Paper published last year.

6 Jun 1996 : Column: 553

Ministerial Visits (Prisons)

17. Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many ministerial visits have been made to prisons int he last 12 months. [30282]

Miss Widdecombe: Since 6 June 1995, Home Office Minsters have visited Prison Service establishments on 75 occasions.

Fake Guns

18. Mr. French: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is his policy on fake guns. [30283]

Mr. Maclean: There are strict law against the misuse of imitation firearms and the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1994 further strengthened the law. The Government's evidence to Lord Cullen's inquiry into the events at Dunblane discusses controls on imitation firearms and we shall take account of any comments Lord Cullen makes.

Firearms

19. Mrs. Helen Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review his Department's policy in respect of the issue of (a) shotgun and (b) other firearm licences to those aged under 18 years. [30286]

Mr. Maclean: Lord Cullen's inquiry into the circumstances of the tragedy at Dunblane will also examine wider issues including the controls on firearms. On 21 March the Government announced a review of firearms controls in Great Britain. As part of that review, the Government have provided detailed evidence to Lord Cullen's inquiry. Any changes to the firearms controls must await the outcome of that inquiry.

Asylum and Immigration Bill

20. Mr. Chisholm: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the impact on employment of the Asylum and Immigration Bill. [30287]

Miss Widdecombe: We believe that the Asylum and Immigration Bill will improve employment opportunities for people lawfully resident in the United Kingdom and entitled to work here.

Euro 96

21. Mr. Tony Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what additional resources are being made available to the Metropolitan police in respect of crowd control during Euro 96. [30288]

Mr. Maclean: Policing outside football grounds is part of normal police duties, and costs are met from existing resources. The cost of policing inside the stadia will be met by the Football Association.

Police tactics for Euro 96 include the use of modern technology to transmit quickly to the regional centres photographic images of those involved in any disorder. The Football Trust is meeting the cost of this equipment, which is being made available close to the grounds hosting matches, in New Scotland Yard and in the national criminal intelligence service football unit.

6 Jun 1996 : Column: 554

Youth Justice System

22. Mr. Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will bring forward plans to reform the youth justice system. [30289]

Mr. Maclean: The Government's priority is to ensure the effective implementation of the range of positive initiatives and changes that are already in hand to help tackle juvenile crime.

Life Sentences

Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons are at present imprisoned for life; and what were the comparable totals 10 and 20 years ago. [30268]

Mr. Howard: On 30 April, there were 3,436 life sentence prisoners in prison in England and Wales. The corresponding figures for mid-1976 and 1986 were 1,181 and 2,194 respectively.

Betting and Gambling

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place the green seal service on a statutory basis. [30829]

Mr. Kirkhope: No. The Sporting Life green seal service is a useful independent arbitrator on disputed bets. We consider that these should continue to be dealt with by voluntary regulation.

Mr. Hinchliffe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to improve the regulatory framework for gambling. [30279]

Mr. Kirkhope: The present framework has kept gambling well-ordered and crime free but we believe there is scope to reduce unnecessary regulation. We have proposed changes for casinos, bingo clubs and advertising of commercial gambling; and we are considering the position of the pools.


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