Dame Angela Rumbold : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the tribunal of Sunday trading legislation policy proposed by the Keep Sunday Special campaign and Retailers for Shop Act Reform with the Government's policy on reducing bureaucracy and burdens on business ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Peter Lloyd : We shall publish in the next few weeks a draft Sunday trading Bill, together with a covering text explaining the options for reform. Hon. Members will no doubt weigh the effect of each of the options on businesses before choosing from among them.
Mr. Hargreaves : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much of the quarter per cent. betting duty reduction announced in the Budget in 1992 has been received by the British Greyhound Racing Trust Fund for the 1992-93 financial year ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maginnis : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what was the cost of IRA terrorist bombings in Great Britain in each year since 1985 ; and what is his estimate for 1993 up to 31 May.
Letter from D. Lewis to Mr. Tom Cox, dated June 1993.
The Home Secretary has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the number of (a) men and (b) women at present serving prison sentences in England and Wales for terrorist offences.
Readily available information on the number of prisoners serving sentences in England and Wales whose offences were related to terrorism is limited to those classified as Category A.
Column 2There were 37 such men and 2 such women on 14 June 1993.
Mr. Howard : Since 1 January 1985, 26 people have been killed in Great Britain as a result of terrorist activity attributed to the Provisional IRA. The numbers of people killed in each year are as follows :
Number of people |Year killed by the Provisional IRA --------------------------------------------------- 1985 |0 1986 |0 1987 |0 1988 |1 1989 |11 1990 |3 1991 |3 1992 |5 1993<1> |3 <1> To date.
Mr. Maclean : Various aspects of the appeal system fall within the remit of the Royal Commission on criminal justice, to which my predecessor gave evidence. We shall consider whether any changes may be needed in the light of the commission's report.
Mr. Charles Wardle : On 16 June, my right hon. and learned Friend agreed to a scientific evaluation of the expandable side-handled baton. Decisions about trialling this piece of equipment will be taken following the evaluation.
triable-either-way cases committed to the Crown court in 1979, 1983 and in each year from 1987 to 1992.
Mr. Maclean : The numbers and proportions of persons aged 17 and over committed to the Crown court for triable-either-way offences for 1979 and 1983 and 1987-1991 are given below. Data for 1992 are unavailable until the autumn.
Persons aged 17 and over committed for trial at the Crown court for triable-either-way offences in England and Wales Committed for trial Year |Number (thousands)|Percentage ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1979 |55.3 |15 1983 |79.6 |18 1987 |93.5 |23 1988 |93.1 |22 1989 |80.4 |21 1990 |80.4 |20 1991 |81.3 |19
Dr. Wright : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will give details of the initiatives taken under the citizens charter programme to develop user consultation, representation and participation in public services.
Mr. Waldegrave : The citizens charter calls on all public services to consult their customers on a regular and systematic basis. Survey programmes are being carried out across the public sector, and many organisations recognise and consult groups who represent their customers. There are numerous initiatives nationally and locally. These include :
Charter Mark Scheme : organisations that apply must demonstrate that they consult customers on a regular and systematic basis and take their views into account when service standards are set or revised. Thirty-six awards were made in 1992.
Inland Revenue : has conducted a major survey of taxpayers to find out views on their service and are also surveying employers. Inland Revenue is considering how to improve services in response to these results.
Customs and Excise : work is in hand on two national surveys of travellers and VAT traders. Results of a qualitative survey of travellers carried out last year were used when redrafting the travellers charter.
London Underground : customers are surveyed on a four-weekly basis on over 20 performances indicators, including the five key targets set out in the customer charter.
Police : the results of a survey of public satisfaction with police services were published in December 1992. A number of police services also use local customer satisfaction surveys or questionnaires.
National Health Service : the patients charter encourages all health authorities to seek the views of local people on local services in a variety of ways. In Scotland, an independent survey of NHS users was undertaken to measure progress towards the achievement of charter commitments and identity problems and priorities for further action. In Wales, health authorities regularly carry out consumer research through patient satisfaction surveys, focus groups and local consultations.
Education : all school governing bodies are required to have elected parental governors. Since 1986, school governors are required to produce an annual report for parents and hold annual parents' meetings where parents can pass resolutions concerning the school. The parents charter has extended these rights to require schools to provide parents with annual reports on children, including exam and test results.
Column 4Benefits Agency : carries out an annual independent customer survey to ask customers what they think of services, and publishes the results ; holds regular meetings with customer representative groups ; and has received nearly 600 written submissions on its discussion paper "One Stop" about service delivery.
Employment Service : conducts an independent national customer satisfaction survey, and has piloted local surveys.
Under the Council Tenants Charter, tenants have the following rights to : be consulted on changes to the management of their homes ; annual information on how the council has managed its housing stock ; attend meetings of the housing committee and to see the records of its meetings ; transfer to a new landlord, and increased opportunities to get involved in the management of estates, for example, through tenant management co- operatives. The Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Bill includes a right to manage for council tenants.
United Kingdom Passport Agency : surveys customers by post and in person to find out their views and satisfaction levels. A consultative panel of users is planned for the future.
Land Registry : users' customer views obtained from a programme of : meetings with user groups, surveys of regular customers, open days, visits and exhibitions to review targets to reflect customers' needs and wishes.
Ms Mowlam : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will list all the market tests that have taken place in his Department since November 1992 and indicate, in each case, whether the result was the maintenance of in-house provision, or whether the service was contracted out.
Mr. Waldegrave : The market tests completed since November 1992 by the Office of Public Service and Science, including its agencies, HMSO and the Central Office of Information and the outcome of these tests are as follows :
Activity tested (and |Outcome area) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Bristol distribution centre (HMSO) |Retained in-house Distribution of College 1993-94 |Contracted out prospectus (Civil Service College) Elements of payroll development |Contracted out (Chessington computer centre) Manchester forms centre (HMSO) |Retained in-house Reprographic unit Basildon (HMSO) |Part contracted out, | part retained in-house Reprographic unit Manchester (HMSO) |Retained in-house Security guarding (Recruitment and |Retained in-house Assessment Services) Stationery store (COI) |Service abandoned Telephonist service for Downing street |Contracted out (OPSS) Typing services at publications centre |Contracted out (HMSO)
Mr. Chris Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what will be the impact on his budgets for research into air quality, marine pollution, and waste management of the recent announcements relating to Warren Spring Laboratory.
Column 5my budgets in these areas of research. In the longer term, the Government believe that the merged organisation will be able to offer better value for money to all its customers.
Mr. Baldry : Circular 10/92 "Housing and Community Care", issued jointly by my Department and the Department of Health on 24 September last year, advises social services and housing authorities of their roles under community care. Social service authorities have a statutory duty to assess an individual's needs for community care services and are advised to co- operate with housing authorities where appropriate, in making that assessment.
Mr. Simon Hughes : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what plans he has to continue meetings of the investigation of the air pollution standing conference following the closure of Warren Spring Laboratory.
Mr. Yeo : The Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP), the independent statutory committee which advises Ministers on the approval of pesticides, has examined data relating to benomyl--the active ingredient in the product Benlate--on two occasions in the past 15 months. On both occasions, the ACP advised that there was no need for concern over its continued use in the United Kingdom. A ban would, therefore, not be appropriate.
Sir George Young : I have placed in the Library copies of a consultation paper published today discussing the performance and effectiveness of present private house renewal programmes, including the renovation grant system, and outlining a variety of options for change. These include both changes that might be made in the short term, by adjustments to secondary legislation, and those that could be introduced longer term, subject to primary legislation. The Government are keen that there should be a full public dialogue on how policies in this area should develop and, accordingly, the consultation paper has been given wide distribution with three months for comment.
I am also publishing today a preliminary report from the 1991 English house condition survey providing
Column 6information on the number of unfit dwellings in the English housing stock. Between 1986, the date of the last survey, and 1991 there has been a welcome decline in the number of unfit dwellings whether measured against the fitness standard in force in 1986 or against the new, higher standard introduced under the Local Government and Housing Act 1989. Under the old standard, 3.9 per cent. of dwellings--0.753 million --were unfit in 1991 compared with 4.8 per cent.--0.909 million--in 1986 ; under the new standard, 7.4 per cent. of dwellings--1.456 million--were unfit in 1991 compared with 8.8 per cent.--1.643 million--in 1986.
The report also reveals that most progress has been made in those sectors of the stock which have the highest proportions of unfit dwellings, namely pre-1991 housing and the private rented sector. It further shows that, under the new standard, over half of all unfit dwellings fail to meet only one requirement in the standard. Many of these may be remedied relatively easily.
We also plan to publish during the consultation period the first main report from the survey, which will give fuller information about the condition of the stock and household characteristics.
£96,000 net contribution to the Exchequer.
Income to cover full economic costs of a trading basis. Non-Exchequer component to be 10.9 per cent. of total net research commissions.
An improvement of 5 per cent. in the unit cost ratio of research output on the target for 1992-93.
The strategic plan is subject to further discussion with my Department. If, as a result, there are any changes to these targets, revised targets will be published.
Sir Rhodes Boyson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the total amount of revenue expenditure by local authorities in (a) England, (b) Greater London and (c) the south- east, excluding Greater London, for each year from 1982-83 to 1992-93, estimated.
Local authority revenue expenditure<1> £ million Year |England |<2>Greater London |South East |(excluding Greater |London) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1982-83 |19,737 |4,111 |3,541 1983-84 |20,809 |4,677 |3,691 1984-85 |21,312 |5,000 |3,768 1985-86 |21,661 |4,676 |3,933 1986-87 |23,760 |5,128 |4,201 1987-88 |25,686 |5,408 |4,582 1988-89 |27,667 |5,553 |5,162 1989-90 |29,404 |5,969 |5,395 1990-91 |32,493 |6,371 |6,041 <3>1991-92 |36,416 |6,956 |6,999 <3>1992-93 |38,945 |7,392 |7,628 <1>Total expenditure figures are given for 1982-83 to 1989-90. Net revenue expenditure figures are given for 1990-91 to 1992-93. Although both are net of spending met by specific and supplementary grants, direct comparisons cannot be made as figures derive from two different financial systems. <2>Includes Metropolitan police, which covers small areas outside Greater London. <3>Revised estimates.
Sir Rhodes Boyson : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the total amount of (a) net and (b) gross capital expenditure by local authorities in (i) England, (ii) Greater London and (iii) the south-east, excluding Greater London, for each year from 1982-83 to 1992-93, estimated.
Capital expenditure by local authorities in England £ million Net expenditure Gross expenditure Year |Total England |Greater London|South East |Total England |Greater London|South East |(excluding GL) |(excluding GL) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 1986-87 |3,033 |522 |285 |5,846 |1,362 |1,147 1987-88 |2,488 |470 |120 |6,224 |1,433 |1,265 1988-89 |1,964 |145 |106 |7,206 |1,592 |1,648 1989-90 |4,837 |1,215 |910 |9,822 |2,593 |2,103 1990-91 |3,755 |695 |691 |6,924 |1,473 |1,542 1991-92 |4,316 |776 |882 |6,571 |1,306 |1,401 1992-93<1> |4,977 |665 |1,030 |6,921 |1,267 |1,449 <1> Local authority forecast. Source: Local authority capital outturn and capital payments returns. (a) Outturn (provisional). (b) Estimate.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate has been made of the amount of transitional relief each authority will pay in 1993-94 ; and if he will express this figure as (a) a percentage of total provision for transitional relief and (b) an amount per council tax payer.
Ms Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list all the market tests that have taken place in his Department since November 1992 and indicate, in each case, whether the result was the maintenance of in-house provision, or whether the service was contracted out.
Mr. Baldry : Only one of the projects in the Department's market- testing programme which involves exposing in-house functions to competition has yet reached the stage where a contract or service level agreement has been awarded. The market testing of a research project commissioned by the Department from the Building Research Establishment has resulted in the award of a contract to an outside bidder.
Mr. George Howarth : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what factors were taken into account in determining which tenders were acceptable for shortlisting for the housing management contracts for the Liverpool HAT ; what (a) guidelines and (b) procedures were used for evaluating the tenders ; and if he will publish them ;
(2) what information will be given to those organisations or individuals who submitted tenders for management contracts for Liverpool HAT which were rejected as to why they were not acceptable ;
(3) if he will list those organisations or individuals which have been shortlisted for the management contracts for Liverpool HAT, indicating which are black-based associations.
Mr. Baldry [holding answer 18 June 1993] : Responsibility for awarding the contracts rests with the Liverpool housing action trust. The HAT board is evaluating tenders received in accordance with standard public procurement procedures and against the criteria in the information pack sent to prospective tenderers and in the tender document. I am arranging for copies to be placed in the Library. Any future discussion between the HAT and tenderers on tenders not selected for shortlisting is a matter for the HAT board.
I shall write to the hon. Member with the names of those shortlisted organisations which agree to the release of their names. Information was not sought in the tender process on the ethnic backgrounds of tenderers.
Mr. Boswell : One, from the assistant registrar of Liverpool university. I announced on 14 June that a total of £23.8 million will be available for access funds in England for the 1993-94 academic year. This represents an increase of over £2 million--nearly 10 per cent.-- over 1992-93. We believe that if properly targeted to genuinely needy students, this should be sufficient for the purpose of supplementing an already generous student support package of grants and loans.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many (a) county primary schools and (b) voluntary-aided primary schools have applied for and been granted grant-maintained status ; and what percentage these are of all schools in these categories.
|Primary schools |As a percentage of |operating/approved|all schools in the |for self-governing|category |governing status ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Total |139 |0.7 of which county or former county |96 |0.8 voluntary or former voluntary |43 |0.7 of which VA<1> or former VA and SA<2> or former SA |23 |0.6 VC<3> or former VC |20 |0.7 <1> Voluntary aided. <2> Special agreement. <3> Voluntary controlled.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education if he will bring forward proposals to clarify the legal liabilities of individual governors of (a) local education authority maintained schools, (b) voluntary-aided schools and (c) grant-maintained schools ; and what plans he has to underwrite the legal liabilities of school governors.
Mr. Forth : The Education Bill currently before Parliament provides for the incorporation of governing bodies of LEA-maintained schools. This will ensure that governors do not incur any personal liability for decisions taken in good faith. Subject to Royal Assent, the Department will be issuing guidance on incorporation later this year. A separate fact sheet on legal liabilities is available on request to governing bodies of self- governing--grant-maintained--schools. It is for local education authorities and governing bodies to cover legal liabilities with their own insurers.
Column 10assisted places are subject to a means-tested contribution from parents. Hence the lowest cost to the Exchequer is nil where the parental contribution exceeds the fees charged. The highest cost to the Exchequer would be a pupil at the school charging the highest fee-- £8,595--accepted under the scheme, who for reasons of low parental means was entitled to full fee remission. The average cost to the Exchequer for an assisted place was £3,100. These figures relate to England only.
Mr. Forth : There were 26,740 children on assisted places in the academic year 1990-91, 27,641 in academic year 1991-92 and an estimated 28,670 assisted pupils in the current academic year 1992-93. These figures relate to pupils in England only.
Dr. Wright : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what percentage of parents secured the school of their first choice for their children in (a) 1979 and (b) the last year for which figures are available (i) nationally and (ii) for each local education authority, and for (1) primary and (2) secondary schools.
Mr. Robin Squire : My right hon. Friend has no plans to extend the national curriculum and the associated testing and assessment arrangements to schools in the independent sector. It is for independent schools themselves to decide whether to implement the national curriculum. Some have already decided to do so. As the arrangements become better established, I expect many more to follow.
Mr. Robin Squire : It is not for my right hon. Friend, but for each local agreed syllabus conference, to determine the religions to be included in its syllabus for religious education in the light of the requirements of the law.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what proposals he has to provide local authorities with appropriate guidelines on providing a youth service ; and if he will make a statement on the policy and the priority to be attached to a youth service by local authorities.
Mr. Boswell : The Department's circular 1/93 of 5 January 1993, "The Further and Higher Education Act ation, including the youth service. The duty is placed on LEAs, and it is primarily for them to decide on their policies and the priority to be given to their local youth services in the light of local needs and circumstances.
Mr. Austin-Walker : To ask the Secretary of State for Education what was the expenditure on the youth service for (a) 1990-91, (b) 1991-92 and (c) 1992-93 ; and what is his forecast for expenditure in 1993-94.