Mr. Renton : We intend to introduce legislation which will authorise new television and radio services, set clear limits on broadcasting ownership, encourage competition and efficiency, and safeguard diversity and high quality in programming, to the benefit of viewers and listeners.
Mr. Renton : The average time taken to complete applications for registrations and naturalisations in September 1989 was 20 and 24 months respectively. We anticipate that there will be a substantial improvement during 1990-91 when the backlog of 1987 registrations has been cleared.
Mr. Harry Greenway : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will state the cost of running statutory police consultation committees for London boroughs in the past years (a) for Ealing borough and (b) for all those boroughs with a statutory police committee ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : The cost of running the Ealing community and police consultative group in the 1988-89 financial year was £30,500. Each group operates independently and levels of expenditure are affected by the amount of each group's activity, the nature and location of the borough and the degree of council support. In the case of Ealing, the majority party borough council has refused to take up its place on the group or provide any administrative support. The cost to the Metropolitan police fund has therefore to cover the cost of independent administrative support to the group.
The refusal of Ealing borough council--together with four other local authorities in London--to take part in the
Column 448statutory process of police-community consultation is misconceived and irresponsible. I urge them to support arrangements which are playing an increasingly important role elsewhere in London and throughout England and Wales in involving local people in policing issues that concern them. Figures for the other consultative groups which come within the Metropolitan police district are as follows :
Figures for the 1988-89 financial year, rounded to the nearest £100 |£ ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Barking and Dagenham |8,000 Barnet |<1>9,200 Bexley |<1>8,900 Brent |6,500 Bromley |2,000 Camden |7,900 Cheshunt |<1>600 Croydon |7,800 Enfield |3,800 Epping Forest |5,000 Epsom and Ewell |4,200 Esher |4,000 Greenwich |2,100 Hackney |2,700 Hammersmith and Fulham |22,000 Haringey |6,900 Harrow |10,700 Havering |400 Hertsmere |<1>1,300 Hillingdon |6,300 Hounslow |10,000 Islington |15,000 Kensington and Chelsea |9,200 Kingston upon Thames |<1>5,200 Lambeth |51,400 Lewisham |17,900 Merton |6,200 Newham |<2>6,600 Redbridge |3,800 Reigate and Banstead |<1>200 Richmond upon Thames |12,000 Southwark |20,500 Spelthorne |<1>1,900 Sutton |<1>4,100 Tower Hamlets |23,000 Waltham Forest |10,000 Wandsworth |<1>16,700 Westminster (includes Paddington, South Westminster, West End Central groups and Westminster-wide co-ordinating group |47,500 <1>Estimated where final account not yet received or agreed. <2>Part of a year only. Group in its first year. Note: Figures also include costs of lay visitors panels where established.
Mr. Frank Field : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what moves he intends taking with EEC Governments to ensure that those British subjects who are victims of crime within the EEC are able to claim compensation equivalent to the criminal injuries compensation paid to EEC nationals who are victims of crime in the United Kingdom.
Mr. John Patten : When we ratify the Council of Europe convention on the compensation of victims of violent crime, British citizens who suffer criminal injuries (or their dependants if they are killed) in countries party to the convention will be able to obtain compensation in those countries. We have to examine some of the detailed requirements of the convention before we ratify it.
Column 449Once we have ratified, we shall take every opportunity to encourage other countries (including the European Community countries) to do likewise.
Mr. John Patten : Offices where more than 20 persons are at work at any one time or more than 10 persons are at work elsewhere than on the ground floor, are already required to have a fire certificate unless they have been exempted by the fire authority from this requirement. Fire authorities have powers to enforce the requirements of fire certificates which require offices to be provided with adequate means of escape and means for fighting fire and to provide training for employees in action to be taken in the event of fire. In offices which do not require a fire certificate, the occupier must by law provide such means of escape in case of fire and such means for fighting fire as may reasonably be required.
Guidance for occupiers in the form of a code of practice for fire precautions in factories, offices, shops and railway premises not required to have a fire certificate was issued in April. It is available to the public from HMSO outlets.
The Home Office will be publishing next month a basic guide to fire safety at work which will also be available from HMSO outlets. It is aimed not only at occupiers, but at all those with management responsibility.
Fire safety in schools is primarily a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will authorise the payment of interim compensation to the four persons whose convictions for the Guildford and Woolwich pub bombings were recently quashed.
Mr. Mullin : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will consider appointing lay assessors to Sir John May's inquiry into the Guildford and Woolwich bombings convictions ; and if the evidence to the inquiry will be published.
Anybody giving evidence to the inquiry may, if they wish, publish it, and there will be hearings in public. The question of publishing evidence not given in public will be considered when the inquiry is complete.
Mr. Parry : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if, with a view to improving Anglo-Irish relations, he will reconsider the request of Irish Republican category A' prisoners held in English prisons to be
Column 450transferred to Northern Ireland to alleviate the suffering and hardship caused to their families ; and whether there are any plans to close a high security prison in Northern Ireland due to the dwindling prison population in the Province.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : Requests by prisoners for permanent transfer to Northern Ireland are considered in the light of the criteria set out in the reply by my right hon. Friend to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Bury, North (Mr. Burt) on Friday 23 June 1989 at column 263. These criteria, which do not distinguish between category A and other inmates, deal not only with the circumstances of the inmate in question but also with any family circumstances which may be put forward in support of a transfer request. It is open to any inmate whose transer request is refused to make a fresh application which would be considered in the light of the criteria and the circumstances applying at the time of the fresh request. Prisons in Northern Ireland are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland from whom I understand that there are currently no plans to close any prison establishment in the Province.
Mr. Grist : Speech therapy requirements have been examined in the context of the annual manpower resource planning exercise undertaken by the Health Service in Wales in 1988 and 1989. The purpose of the exercise, initiated by the manpower steering group established by the Department in 1986, is to identify future manpower requirements and enable action to be taken to meet these requirements at the all-Wales level.
The report of the 1988 manpower resource planning exercise recommended an increase in speech therapy provision within Wales. This is being considered within the context of the provision of education and training within the NHS in Wales generally and taking into account the results of the 1989 manpower resource plans (a report of which will be available early next year), the implications of the proposals contained in the White Paper "Working for Patients" and the recommendations contained in the report of a review of the role of the combined training institute at Cardiff.
Mr. Michael : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of measures taken following the drought which affected Welsh water supplies in 1976, especially in the light of the shortage of supplies in the reservoirs this summer.
Mr. Grist : A number of improvements have been made to the water supply distribution system since 1976. Of particular note is the River Wye transfer scheme and the establishment of a mini-grid system in south-east Wales. Whilst this summer was the driest since 1910 in that area, the improvements have enabled Dw r Cymru Cyf to maintain supplies despite the low level of water in local reservoirs.
Mr. Grist : It is the responsibility of Dw r Cymru to ensure that water supplies within its area can be maintained at times of below-average rainfall. The company, in liaison with the NRA who have overall responsibility for water resource management, will keep the position under review.
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list for each Welsh local education authority the number of primary schools with (a) fewer than 10 pupils, (b) fewer than 20 pupils, (c) fewer than 30 pupils, (d) fewer than 40 pupils, (e) fewer than 50 pupils, (f) fewer than 60 pupils, (g) between 60 and 100 pupils, (h) between 100 and 150 pupils and (i) between 150 and 200 pupils.
Number of pupils |Clwyd |Dyfed |Gwent |Gwynedd |Mid Glamogan |Powys |South Glamorgan |West Glamorgan ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Fewer than 10 pupils |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 |0 Fewer than 20 pupils |8 |5 |1 |2 |1 |2 |0 |0 Fewer than 30 pupils |17 |36 |9 |19 |3 |20 |1 |1 Fewer than 40 pupils |29 |77 |11 |35 |7 |29 |2 |4 Fewer than 50 pupils |39 |106 |13 |55 |12 |41 |2 |5 Fewer than 60 pupils |52 |133 |20 |74 |15 |49 |4 |5 60-99 pupils |39 |55 |24 |50 |35 |31 |10 |15 100-149 pupils |50 |60 |35 |28 |62 |13 |12 |15 150-199 pupils |31 |35 |56 |22 |107 |8 |36 |45
Mr. Nicholas Bennett : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will list the number of primary schools closed by each Welsh local education authority in each year since 1974 in each of the following categories, (a) fewer than 10 pupils, (b) fewer than 20 pupils, (c) fewer than 30 pupils, (d) fewer than 40 pupils, (e) fewer than 50 pupils, (f) fewer than 60 pupils, (g) between 60 and 100 pupils, (h) between 100 and 150 pupils and (i) between 150 and 200 pupils.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is the purpose of the office and management support system for tax compliance based at Basingstoke, Telford and Worthing ; and what measures have been taken to ensure the system will comply fully with the provisions of the Data Protection Act.
Mr. Lilley : The Inland Revenue has introduced a new office and management support system in its specialist investigation offices. The main purpose of this relatively small computer system is to collate factual information and avoid duplicate research by the Revenue's investigators in those offices. The system will also monitor progress on investigations and includes a full range of automated office functions such as diaries, electronic mail and computational facilities. The system became
Column 452operational in September and is distinct from the large COP/CODA computer project which has been operational for sometime, and provides support for local tax districts.
The Data Protection Act has been fully complied with and the system has been registered with the Data Protection Register.
Mr. Wigley : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he has received about the revised system of testing taxpayers' cases for Inland Revenue apeal hearings before the general commissioners ; and if he will take steps to ensure that the new computerised system meets the reasonable needs of accountants and others representing the appellants.
Mr. Lilley : Representations have been received from accountants and clerks to general commissioners on the new computerised procedures used by the Inland Revenue in listing cases for general commissioners hearings and printing the clerk's notices. An evaluation exercise will shortly be undertaken which will take full account of representations received.
Mr. Norman Hogg : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will publish a table in the Official Report showing (a) the estimated total cost of mortgage tax relief in 1989-90, (b) the average value of relief per mortgagor and (c) the numbers receiving mortgage relief broken down in the income ranges (i) under £4,000, (ii) £4,000 to £5,000, (iii) £5,000, (iv) £5,000 to £6,000 (v) £6,000 to £7,000, (vi) £7,000 to £8,000, (vii) £8,000 to £9,000, (viii)
Column 453£9,000 to £10,000, (ix) £10,000 to £12,000, (x) £12,000 to £15,000, (xi) £15,000 to £20,000, (xii) £20,000 to £25,000, (xiii) £25,000 to £30,000 and (xiv) over £30,000.
Column 454survey of personal incomes and the 1986 family expenditure survey. However, all estimates are provisional.
Latest estimates for 1989-90 are given in the table and include mortgages formerly under the option mortgage scheme which are now subsumed within MIRAS. The estimates take account of the recently announced increases in mortgage interest rates.
Tax units receiving mortgage interest relief by range of total income 1989-90 Range of total income |Number of tax units with|Average value of relief |Cost of relief |mortgage interest relief|per mortgagor |Thousands |£ |£ million ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Up to £4,000 |470 |520 |240 £ 4,001 to £ 5,000 |170 |470 |80 £ 5,001 to £ 6,000 |170 |510 |90 £ 6,001 to £ 7,000 |270 |520 |140 £ 7,001 to £ 8,000 |410 |640 |260 £ 8,001 to £ 9,000 |430 |660 |290 £ 9,001 to £10,000 |420 |670 |280 £10,001 to £12,000 |860 |680 |590 £12,001 to £15,000 |1,400 |680 |950 £15,001 to £20,000 |1,880 |740 |1,390 £20,001 to £25,000 |1,200 |750 |900 £25,001 to £30,000 |610 |890 |540 over £30,000 |1,010 |1,240 |1,250 |--- |--- |--- Total |9,300 |750 |7,000
Mr. Redwood : In the light of my Department's consultations with interested parties about the implementation of the structural proposals in the Dearing report on the making of accounting standards, I have asked Sir Ronald Dearing, and he has agreed, to become chairman designate of the Financial Reporting Council. His task will be to negotiate terms with all concerned so that the new arrangements for making and enforcing accounting standards are in place next summer.
When the Financial Reporting Council is established, it is the intention of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, acting jointly with the Governor of the Bank of England, formally to appoint Sir Ronald as chairman of the council. Clear unambiguous accounting standards which are effectively enforced are essential to the good working of a market economy. The report of the committee chairman by Sir Ronald has been widely welcomed as identifying the way to enhance the authority and general acceptance of accounting standards. I can think of nobody who is better
Column 454qualified to carry through the important task of setting up the new arrangements, and I am delighted that Sir Ronald has agreed to undertake this role.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 24 July 1989] : The proposed acquisition by Pembridge Investments of DRG is currently being considered by the Director General of Fair Trading who will advise my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State in the normal way on the question of reference to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will seek to arrange for the EEC Commission to renegotiate agreements with China concerning textile imports from China within the EEC ; what representations he has received about increased Chinese textile quotas to the United Kingdom ; what action he is taking to reduce Chinese textile imports into the United Kingdom ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Redwood [holding answer 24 July 1989] : No. The bilateral textiles agreement negotiated between the European Community and China under the multi-fibre arrangement at the end of the last year lasts for four years. I understand the concern that has been expressed in a number of representations to me and to my Department about the increased levels of access for Chinese textile and clothing products under this agreement. However we were satisfied that the new agreement was the best that the Commission could achieve. We continue to watch developments closely and if unrestrained imports from China cause or threaten to
Column 455cause disruption to the United Kingdom market, Ministers would be willing to consider whether it would be in the United Kingdom interest to put a case to the EC Commission for restraint action under the provisions of this agreement.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what are the total figures and percentage rates of unemployed people in each individual Glasgow constituency ; and what were the comparable figures in 1979, 1983 and 1987.
Mr. Lang : The information is not available in the precise form requested. The table below gives the number unemployed in each Glasgow parliamentary constituency in August 1989, the latest date for which information is available, together with comparable figures for 1983 and 1987. There are no unemployment estimates for parliamentary constituencies prior to June 1983. Percentage rates for unemployment are not calculated for parliamentary constituencies.
Glasgow Parliamentary |August 1983 |August 1987 |August 1989 Constituencies -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cathcart |4,249 |4,196 |2,976 Central |6,754 |7,301 |5,641 Garscadden |6,204 |5,648 |4,482 Govan |5,975 |5,922 |4,609 Hillhead |4,939 |5,787 |4,267 Maryhill |7,226 |7,771 |6,097 Pollok |7,405 |6,945 |5,382 Provan |9,437 |7,915 |5,902 Rutherglen |7,131 |6,313 |4,574 Shettleston |6,610 |6,324 |5,055 Springburn |8,334 |8,152 |6,402 <1> There have been a number of changes in the compiliation and coverage of the unemployment count. Therefore the figures given above are not directly comparable with each other.
Mr. Sillars : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent representations he has received from the Confederation of British Industry about the effect of high interest rates on the Scottish economy.
Mr. Lang : I am aware of recent statements by the Confederation of British Industry on the interest rate rise announced on 5 October. The Government continue to believe that interest rates are the most effective weapon to counter the risks of inflation.
Mr. Wray : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many forensic scientists were employed by his office in (a) Scotland, (b) the Strathclyde region and (c) Greater Glasgow for each year since 1979.
|Scotland |Strathclyde region (all |located in Glasgow) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1979 |21 |14 1980 |21 |14 1981 |21 |14 1982 |22 |14 1983 |24 |14 1984 |24 |14 1985 |25 |14 1986 |33 |20 1987 |33 |20 1988 |34 |20 1989 |38 |20
Mr. Pawsey : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of letters from hon. Members to his Department received a reply (a) in under four weeks, (b) within four to six weeks, (c) within six to eight weeks and (d) over eight weeks, in each of the last three years.
Mr. Rifkind : Disproportionate costs would be incurred in the preparation of an answer in the form requested. An ad hoc survey conducted within my Department during a representative period in 1988 showed an average response time of 23 days.
Mr. Lang : As at 31 March 1988, the latest date for which information is available centrally, 226 mentally ill persons and 1, 713 persons with mental handicap were resident in local authority homes and homes registered by them. Comprehensive information on unregistered accommodation is not available but 304 mentally ill and 464 mentally handicapped persons were recorded as resident in other establishments of which local authority social work departments were aware. Also at the same date 770 persons resident in homes for the elderly were described as mentally ill and some 620 as mentally handicapped.
Mr. Lang : As at 31 March 1988, the latest date for which information is available, there were 749 persons under 65 reported as physically handicapped in local authority homes and homes registered by them.
Mr. Michael Forsyth : The latest information available is from the 1981 census of population which recorded 9.1 per cent. of residents of Scotland aged 75 years and over as residing in establishments other than private households.
Mr. Norman Hogg : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of the total housing stock is comprised of sheltered housing ; and what proportion is provided by local authorities, housing associations and the private sector in Scotland.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : Reliable information is available centrally only for public housing authorities and for housing associations. As at 31 March 1989, the latest date for which information is available, these agencies provided some 26,555 sheltered houses representing approximately 2.6 per cent. of the total stock of these agencies (1,016,000).
This total is broken down as follows :
|Number |Percentage ---------------------------------------------------------- Local authorities |14,703 |55.4 Scottish Special Housing Association |1,768 |6.7 New towns |434 |1.6 Housing associations |9,650 |36.3 |--- Total |26,555
Mr. Bill Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he has completed his consideration of the application by the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority and British Nuclear Fuels plc for permission to construct a demonstration fast reactor fuel reprocessing plant at Dounreay.
Mr. Bright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) how many voluntary youth and community workers have received grant support for training in the youth service under the Education (No. 2) Act 1986 since the scheme came into operation ; (2) how many youth and community workers not employed by local education authorities are likely to receive grant-supported training in the current financial year.
Mr. Alan Howarth : It is estimated that some 105,000 youth and community workers in England will have received training by the end of this financial year, with support through the local education authority training grants scheme. This includes more than 33,000 workers in 1989-90. Separate figures for voluntary workers are not collected centrally.
Mrs. Rosie Barnes : To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he intends to take in the light of the London borough of Greenwich's decision to change its secondary schools' admission policy contrary to the undertakings given in its education development plan as published in February 1989, thus excluding children living in the London borough of Lewisham from local schools ; and if he will make a statement.
Mrs. Rumbold : Inner London borough development plans were published under section 165 of the Education Reform Act 1988 as a basis for local consultation designed to inform councils' formal policy decisions. In relation to school admissions, the relevent formal decisions are those subsequently reflected in admission arrangements published, by Greenwich as by other inner London boroughs, under section 8 of the Education Act 1980. Under section 6 of that Act, parents may express a preference for any school, regardless of its location ; LEAs and governors are required to comply with that expression of parental preference, subject to strictly defined reliefs as set out in sections 6(3) and (6). LEAs and governors may not as part of their admission policy refuse to admit out-of-borough pupils. Where schools are oversubscribed, admission authorities may, however, give priority to in-borough children in the allocation of places, provided they make their policy clear in the information published under section 8.
Mr. Madden : To ask the Attorney-General what representations he has received about the refusal rate to applications for legal aid from applications in Bradford ; how many legal aid applications have been made by people living in Bradford in each of the last five years ; and in each year to date how many applicants have been (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful.