Previous Section Index Home Page


Departmental Cash Limits

Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what proposals he has to change his Department's cash limits for 1998-99. [47508]

Mr. Prescott: My Department's cash limit for class VI, vote 1 (Housing, construction, regeneration, countryside and wildlife, England), will be increased by £1,395,000 from £1,800,144,000 to £1,801,539,000 to reflect a transfer of non-voted provision from the Department for Education and Employment in order to fund European Regional Development Fund expenditure in advance of European Commission receipts on the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts. The increase is offset by the transfer and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

Local Government Reorganisation (Basildon)

Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will announce his decision on the Local Government Commission's recommendations for the reorganisation of the district of Basildon; and if he will make a statement. [47142]

Ms Armstrong: I am today announcing that we have decided not to accept the outstanding recommendations on the reorganisation of the district of Basildon which the Local Government Commission have made. I do not believe that the recommendations offer a satisfactory way forward for Basildon in terms of efficient and convenient local government. We have also decided not to direct a further review by the Commission. This decision should end a period of uncertainty and enable the authorities concerned to plan more confidently for the future.

Nuclear Discharges

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what will be the Government's policy at the Portuguese conference on nuclear discharges, with particular reference to Sellafield and Dounreay discharges into the sea. [46358]

23 Jun 1998 : Column: 440

Mr. Meacher: We are looking to make real further progress in protecting the marine environment, and in particular to reach agreement on a strategy that aims to continue reducing sea discharges of radioactive substances.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what is the Government's policy towards nuclear discharges into the sea. [46359]

Mr. Meacher: All radioactive waste disposals, including discharges into the sea, are closely regulated under the Radioactive Substances Act 1993. Government departments and the environment agencies carry out monitoring of marine environmental media and foodstuffs around nuclear licensed sites that discharge radioactive waste into the sea. This ensures that any doses to the public are well below internationally agreed limits and that such discharges pose no risk to the environment.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Social Exclusion (Coventry)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proposals he has to encourage local communities in Coventry to tackle social exclusion. [46593]

Mr. Michael: A number of Home Office policies and programmes contribute to tackling aspects of social exclusion. These include, within local communities, its work to promote voluntary and community activity and to support a healthy and cost effective voluntary sector.

The Home Office has been working closely with the Social Exclusion Unit on the Unit's first three priorities of rough sleeping, school exclusions and truancy, and worst estates. In its recent report to the Prime Minister, the Social Exclusion Unit recognised that rough sleeping and related problems such as begging might be identified as local issues of concern by the crime and disorder audits required under the Crime and Disorder Bill [Lords]. They would therefore need to be addressed within the local crime reduction strategy.

The approach required by the Bill of local agencies and the local community working in partnership to address identified local problems with clear priorities and targets is particularly appropriate for tackling issues of social exclusion. I commend the way it has already been adopted by Coventry in production of the Coventry Community Plan.

Football Hooligans

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will assess the advantages of withdrawing the passports of convicted football hooligans during the period of the football tournaments involving British teams abroad. [46553]

Mr. Michael: The withdrawal of passport facilities to persons convicted of football-related offences would be a very serious step. But we will give consideration to it and to other possible steps that might be required for the future.

23 Jun 1998 : Column: 441

The Football Spectators Act 1989 already allows the courts to impose restriction orders on persons convicted of football related offences. These require them to report to a police station on the day of a football match abroad involving a team from England or Wales.

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many restriction orders under the Football Spectators Act 1989 have been made since 1 May 1997. [46567]

Mr. Michael: Sixty-nine.

Drug-related Offences

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the total number of drug-related offences in each of the past 10 years in (a) London and (b) the rest of the United Kingdom. [47123]

Mr. Michael: The information requested is not collected centrally. However, the Home Office has a research programme designed to shed further light on the links between drugs and crime. A study conducted by the University of Cambridge of drug use by samples of people arrested by the police in various English cities was published recently (Home Office Research Study 183--Drugs and Crime: the results of research on drug testing and interviewing arrestees). This research found that, in those places surveyed, around one third of property crime was drug-driven.

Police (Out-of-court Settlements)

Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what sums have been paid out of public funds and in respect of how many cases, for out-of-court settlement of claims made by former and serving police officers against the Police Service. [47085]

Mr. Michael: This information is not collected centrally. Claims are a matter for the police authority and the individuals concerned. The Home Office has no role to play in their resolution.

Lloyd Report

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the White Paper on the Future Law on Terrorism based on the report of Lord Lloyd will be published. [47002]

Mr. Straw: The consultation paper on permanent, United Kingdom-wide counter-terrorism legislation will be published shortly.

International Criminal Court

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received from Professor Paul Wilkinson of the University of St. Andrews on the suitability of the proposed International Criminal Court for hearing cases involving the aut dedere aut judicare principle. [41122]

Mr. Michael: None. Representations have been received recently from Professor Wilkinson proposing that the International Criminal Court should have jurisdiction in relation to terrorist crimes. The United

23 Jun 1998 : Column: 442

Kingdom Government's position is that the Court should not have such jurisdiction. The policy was revisited in the light of Professor Wilkinson's comments but confirmed.

There are several reasons for the view that the Court should not be able to deal with terrorism. Paramount among them is the need to protect confidential sources, which would be compromised if an international body were to investigate and prosecute terrorist incidents. In practical terms it would be very difficult for the Court to act in terrorist cases, countries naturally having a predilection not to volunteer sensitive national security information.

In any event, the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court in this area is unnecessary given the range of terrorist conventions in place, including the recently concluded United Nations Terrorist Bombing Convention. These require their parties to co-operate against terrorism and, in some cases, to take extraterritorial jurisdiction over terrorist crimes. Indeed, the involvement of the Court could even undermine or set back progress in combating terrorism, on which there is increasingly effective international co-operation.

Prisoners (Incentives and Earned Privileges

Scheme)

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 11 June 1998, Official Report, column 640, how many new in-cell television sets his Department proposes to procure under the present procurement; and what estimate he has made of future numbers required. [46514]

Ms Quin: The invitation to tender stage has not yet been reached, but the Official Journal of the European Communities Notice issued on 1 June was for approximately 20,000 sets over a contract period of three to five years. Extension of in-cell television will be gradual over this period.


Next Section Index Home Page