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HOME DEPARTMENT

Firearms

Mr. Corbett: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will lay before Parliament the tenth annual report of the Firearms Consultative Committee. [102606]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I have placed a copy of the annual report of the Firearms Consultative Committee in the Library.

Terrorism Legislation

Mr. Darvill: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish a summary of the responses to the consultation paper, "Legislation against Terrorism". [102607]

Mr. Straw: I have today published a summary analysis of the responses to the consultation paper "Legislation against Terrorism". Copies of this have been placed in the Library and the Vote Office.

Scottish Devolution

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the bilateral concordat between his Department and the Scottish Executive. [102609]

Mr. Straw: I am pleased to announce that my officials have agreed the text of a bilateral concordat with their counterparts in the Scottish Executive. A copy has been placed in the Library.

Hunting with Dogs

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will announce the full membership and terms of reference of the inquiry into hunting with dogs in England and Wales. [102608]

Mr. Straw: The full membership of the Committee of Inquiry into Hunting with Dogs in England and Wales will be as follows:


The Terms of Reference are:


    To inquire into:


    the practical aspects of different types of hunting with dogs and its impact on the rural economy, agriculture and pest control, the social and cultural life of the countryside, the management and conservation of wildlife, and animal welfare in particular areas of England and Wales;


    the consequences for these issues of any ban on hunting with dogs;


    how any ban might be implemented; and


    to report the findings to the Secretary of State for the Home Department.


    Biographical Details of Members are:


    Lord Burns--formerly Permanent Secretary to Her Majesty's Treasury (1991-98), and Chief Economic Adviser to the Treasury and Head of the Government Economic Service (1980-91).


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    Professor Sir John Marsh CBE--Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Reading, Department of Agricultural and Food Economics (since 1997); Member of Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Minister's Independent Advisory Group (since 1997); Chairman, Agricultural Wages Board (1991-99) and Director of the Centre for Agricultural Strategy (1990-97).


    Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior MA (Cantab) PhD DSc DVM DVSM FAMS FRCVS--Emeritus Professor of Animal Pathology, University of Cambridge; President, Royal Society of Medicine; Chairman: Veterinary Advisory Committee, Horserace Betting Levy Board (1985-97); Chairman, Animal Research Grants Board (1986-89); and President, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (1984-85).


    Professor Michael Winter--Professor of Rural Economy and Society, Cheltenham and Gloucester College of Higher Education (since 1993), Member, Policy Committee, Council for Protection of Rural England (since 1998); Member, two Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Regional Agri-Environmental Forums (since 1996) and Director, Centre for Rural Studies, Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester (1987-93).

Jury Trial

Mr. Marshall-Andrews: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many and what percentage of defendants who opted for trial by jury in either-way offences and pleaded guilty at the Crown court were committed together with co-defendants who contested indictments at the Crown court, in the most recent year for which figures are available; [99562]

Mr. Charles Clarke: In 1998, 42 per cent. of the 40,000 defendants who pleaded guilty to either-way offences in the Crown court received sentences which could not have been passed by the committing magistrates courts. These figures relate both to cases directed by the magistrates and to those where the defendant has elected; it is not possible to separate them.

The other information requested is not collected centrally.

Departmental Estate

Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the value of land and buildings, both leasehold and freehold, held by his core Department (i) in Scotland, (ii) in the United Kingdom, (iii) overseas and (iv) in total; and what is the value of (a) plant, machinery and vehicles, (b) IT and communications equipment and systems and (c) other taxable fixed assets. [99821]

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Mr. Straw [holding answer 26 November 1999]: Currently, the core Home Office holds land and buildings, both leasehold and freehold, valued at £92,462,000, all of which are in England and Wales.

Plant, machinery and vehicles are valued at £12,077,000; Information Technology and communications systems and equipment are valued at £12,633,000; and other tangible fixed assets are valued at £7,368,000.

Mrs. Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the value of land and buildings (i) in Scotland, (ii) in the United Kingdom, (iii) overseas and (iv) in total held by (a) the UK Passport Agency, (b) the Forensic Science Service, (c) the Fire Service College, (d) the Prison Service and (e) each of the non-departmental public bodies within his Department's responsibility; and what is the value of other assets held by these bodies. [99822]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 26 November 1999]: As of 31 March 1999, the estimates of the value of land and buildings and other assets held by the United Kingdom Passport Agency, the Forensic Science Service, the Fire Service College and the Prison Service are set out in the table. All land and buildings are held in England and Wales.

£000
Land and buildingsOther assets
United Kingdom Passport Agency--1,646
Forensic Service College16,22712,207
Fire Service College10,5918,065
Prison Service4,225,20090,500

Unfortunately, information on assets held by the Home Office's non-departmental public bodies is not centrally available and will need to be collected. I will write to the hon. Member when the information is available to me.


Detention Centre, Oakington

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when planning permission was obtained for the proposed detention centre at Oakington; what conditions were attached to the permission by the planning authority; and which of those conditions his Department does not intend to accept. [101340]

Mrs. Roche: Planning permission was obtained from South Cambridgeshire District Council on 10 November 1999. The Council proposed the following "conditions":



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My officials will shortly be writing to South Cambridgeshire District Council to confirm Home Office acceptance of the planning issues and to indicate that we broadly agree with the other points.


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