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Animal Experiments

Linda Perham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans he has to modify the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 following developments in genetic modification; [2559]

Angela Eagle: We have no current plans to modify the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 following developments in genetic modification. The Act provides that all use of the animals covered by its licensing controls must be justified, and that consequent animal suffering should be minimised. The terms of the Act are sufficiently broad and flexible to take account of scientific developments, without compromising the protection it affords to the animals concerned.

No specific guidance has been issued on the assessment of applications under the 1986 Act to produce animals by nuclear transfer cloning, though general guidance to applicants applies as much to this area of scientific research as to any other. All such applications are however considered at a central point within the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate. This ensures consistency of approach and identifies any cases that may need to be drawn to the attention of Ministers, who may seek further advice as required from the Animal Procedures Committee (APC), external assessors and others.

We have no plans at present for consultation on the subject of genetic modification of non-human primates. No applications to conduct such work have so far been made under the 1986 Act—either to produce such animals in the United Kingdom or to use such animals imported from elsewhere. Any applications would be considered in the light of advice from the Inspectorate and the APC.

HMP Swansea

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of and timetable for the planned programme of capital works are at HMP

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Swansea; when it will be completed; and what plans exist to bring the remainder of the prison buildings back into prison service use. [5202]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The only capital project currently under way at Her Majesty's Prison Swansea is the replacement of the central heating boilers. The expected cost of this project is £1,040,000 and it is expected to be completed in November 2001. This work has not involved loss of accommodation.

Capital works in A Wing to remove asbestos, renew the heating system and install in-cell electricity at a total cost of £520,000 have been completed during September 2001 and the accommodation is being brought back into use in a phased programme to be completed by mid-October.

Twenty-five work places in Workshop 3 have been temporarily closed for a six-week period for essential electrical maintenance.

Most of B Wing remains out of use. There are no plans to return this accommodation to use. B Wing is a listed building and, as a result of the conditions required by CADW/Welsh Historic Monuments, the cost of the works needed to bring it up to current standards, including in-cell sanitation, mean it is not viable to restore it.

A capital project to the value of £147,000 has been authorised in the health care centre to provide improved cells and a lift for disabled prisoners. The contract for this work has not yet been let and there is therefore no definite timetable for it. It will not involve taking prisoner accommodation out of use.

It is also expected that various roofing repairs will take place at Swansea in the current financial year. The details have not yet been finalised. This is also not expected to involve the loss of accommodation.

Private Prisons

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions private prison operators have been (a) fined and (b) had payments withheld for breaking contract conditions; if he will provide details of each default notice issued, indicating the dates and amounts concerned; and if he will make a statement. [5106]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 19 July 2001]: The contractors running privately managed prisons are financially penalised in the form of deductions from the fee payable to them by the Prison Service. There have been 36 occasions on which deductions have been made; these are listed in the tables for each of the five prisons which have incurred deductions, together with the amounts, reasons and dates. The five remaining privately managed prisons have not incurred deductions: Ashfield, Doncaster, Dovegate, Forest Bank and Rye Hill prisons. Buckley Hall prison transferred to Prison Service management on 26 June 2000; a fine of £526 was deducted in February 1997 for performance points while under private management.

Number of occasionsPenalty: £Reasons: PP = performance pointsDates
HMP Altcourse
12,368.50PP's for Qtr 2September 1998
2195,000PP's and Doubling Qtrs 2,3 and 4November 1998
34,144.97PP's for Qtr 3December 1998
43,954.04PP's for Qtr 4March 1999
53,511.23PP's for Qtr 1June 1999
63,304.27PP's for Qtr 2September 1999
7440.40PP's for Qtr 3December 1999
8108,039.25PP's for Qtr 4February 2000
94.82PP's for Qtr 4March 2000
1034,061.74PP's for Qtr 1May 2000
119.77PP's for Qtr 1June 2000
HMP Blakehurst
125,000EscapeNovember 1998
HMP Lowdham Grange
1702.00PP's for Qtr 1June 1998
245,080.00PP's for Qtr 2August 1998
331,231.00PP's for Qtr 3November 1998
46,334.00PP's for Qtr 4February 1999
511,865.00PP's for Qtr 4February 2000
65,703.00PP's for Qtr 1May 2001
HMP Parc
154,782Performance pointsMarch 1998
21,308.56PP's for Qtr 1July 1998
3298.09DoublingJune 1998
4750,000.00PP's for Qtr 3 + doublingNovember 1998
57,520.17PP's for Qtr 1 doublingMay 1999
680,390.38Doubling Qtr 2August 1999
72,296.94Doubling Qtr 2September 1999
8109,329.27Doubling Qtr 3November 1999
9601.77Doubling Qtr 4January 2000
107,708.10PP's for Qtr 1April 2000
115,401.68PP's for Qtr 2July 2000
123,448.07PP's for Qtr 3October 2000
1359.22PP's for Qtr 4January 2001
HMP Wolds
13,607.50PP's Qtr 3October 1999
210,432.50PP's Qtr 4January 2000
315,353.00PP's Qtr 2July 2000
49,782.50PP's Qtr 3October 2000
54,680.00PP's Qtr 4January 2000

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Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the basis is on which financial penalties imposed on contractors of privately managed prisons are calculated; and if he will make a statement. [5105]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 19 July 2001]: There are three ways in which contractors can incur financial penalties. The contracts for privately managed prisons require the contractor to operate to a range of standards measuring the performance of the prison. Failure to reach any of these standards results in the accumulation of penalty points; the number of points incurred depends on the seriousness of the failure. If these accumulated penalty points exceed a specified threshold, financial penalties are imposed by means of deductions from the fee payable to the contractor. There is an upper limit to the level of financial penalties that can be imposed. In some contracts an escape attracts a fixed fine.

Additionally contractors can be penalised for unauthorised overcrowding, if the contractor holds more than a specified number of prisoners in a cell, and for

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unavailable places, the criteria for which include levels of security, control of prisoners and physical requirements such as lighting and heating.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many former Home Office officials and Prison Service staff have taken paid employment with private companies involved in the operation, management and building of private prisons in each of the last 10 years; how many of those employees were formerly responsible for overseeing, managing and inspecting contracts for private prisons; and if he will make a statement. [5103]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 19 July 2001]: There is no contractual requirement for companies to record the information requested. Such information as has been recorded could be collated only at disproportionate cost.

National Address Database

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans the Government are making

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to create a single national address database; what the expected timescale is for the implementation of this project; and what its purpose is. [4942]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 19 July 2001]: There are no current plans to establish such a database.

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