Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how long and in what circumstances the Lloyd Pacifico has been arrested in the Port of Tilbury ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Lloyd Pacifico was arrested at Tilbury by the Admiralty marshal on 16 April 1994. The action was instituted by the Admiralty court on behalf of Reparacoes Navais Do Tejo LDA of Portugal in respect of a claim against a sister ship of the Lloyd Pacifico, the Rio Negro, for alleged unpaid costs of repairs carried out between October and December 1993 in the sum of US$677,000.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many seamen and ship's officers remain in the Port of Tilbury as a consequence of the arrest of the Lloyd Pacifico.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The seamen are entitled to the payment of wages. If they are not receiving them, they may make a claim against the vessel through the court. Should the vessel be sold by the Admiralty marshal, the crew will have a high priority against the proceeds of the sale. If an order for sale is made, it is usual for the crew to be repatriated.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what representations have been made to the Government of Brazil about their obligations as owners of the Lloyd Brasileiro shipping line to the creditors of that company.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department under what powers the Lloyd Brasileiro shipping line vessel, the "Lloyd Pacifico", is being detained at the port of Tilbury.
Mr. Mackinlay : To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what United Kingdom agencies have made contact with the seamen of the Lloyd Pacifico in order to ensure that their rights and welfare are protected.
Mr. John M. Taylor : The Admiralty marshall is in frequent contact with the vessel's agents at Tilbury on various matters including the crew's welfare. He has also met members of the crew to assure them that food and other necessary supplies would be provided for their comfort.
Ms Primarolo : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) how many deaths were from tuberculosis in each year since 1988 ; (2) if he will give the number of notifications of tuberculosis in each year between 1987 and 1993.
Deaths from Tuberculosis in Scotland Year |Number --------------------- 1988 |48 1989 |56 1990 |39 1991 |56 1992 |46 1993 |<1>61 <1> Provisional figures.
Notifications of Tuberculosis in Scotland Year |Number --------------------- 1987 |560 1988 |528 1989 |533 1990 |563 1991 |546 1992 |559 1993 |<1>554 <1> Provisional figures.
Mr. Stewart : The Government are currently considering the report of the Select Committee on Health entitled "Better off in the Community? The care of people who are seriously mentally ill". The Select Committee did not address the situation in Scotland, but the Scottish Office will take its report into account in the development of policy concerning the care of the mentally ill.
Mr. McFall : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to his answer of 28 April, Official Report, column 324, what restrictions were placed by Councillor William Petrie in respect of the publication of his response to the consultative document on local government.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) if he will list the interested parties he proposes to consult in relation to his review of the role, membership and functions of the Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Scotland's Travelling People ; (2) if he will make a statement concerning his review of the work of the advisory committee on travellers in Scotland ;
(3) what proposals he has to provide financial assistance to bona fide travellers' organisations to provide and develop sites where local authorities or landowners have been, or are, unable to offer such facilities during the last five years ; and if he will make a statement.
Lord James Douglas-Hamilton : The review of the work of the advisory committee on Scotland's travelling people, to be undertaken before the committee's three-year term of office expires at the end of 1994, is in its very early stages, and no decisions have yet been taken about external consultation. The review will include consideration of grant assistance for the provision of sites.
Dr. Godman : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the capital budget and actual spend on the provision of grant aid for the establishment and modernisation of travellers' sites in (a) 1991-92, (b) 1992-93 and (c) 1993-94 and the estimated expenditure in the year 1994-95 ; and if he will make a statement.
|(1) |(2) |Vote |Outturn |provision|£ million |£ million ---------------------------------------- 1991-92 |2.327 |1.850 1992-93 |2.385 |2.372 1993-94 |2.445 |<1>1.060 1994-95 |2.506 |<2>2.506 <1> Provisional. <2> Estimated outturn.
The figures in column 1 represent the Department's best estimate in advance of each year of the value of work in progress during the year, or completed in previous years which will be subject to claims for payment by local authorities.
The figures in column 2 represent actual claims met during the year. Claims for payment can be affected by delays in the completion of work, in the submission of claims, in audit certification, and by agreed contractual retention moneys.
Mr. Worthington : To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the role of the Mental Welfare Commission regarding community care policies for the mentally ill ; and what changes he is considering in this role.
Mr. Stewart [holding answer 20 May 1994] : The functions and duties of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland are set out in part II of the Mental Health (Scotland) Act 1984. The Act places a general duty on the commission to exercise protective functions in respect of mentally disordered people who are, or may be, incapable of adequately protecting their persons or interests. In the exercise of that duty, the commission is constantly monitoring the implementation of the community care policies as they affect individuals with a mental disorder.
Mr. Dorrell : Like the rest of the civil service the Inland Revenue has a strong commitment to achieving further significant improvements in service to the public, in operational effectiveness and in cost efficiency. To achieve these objectives the Revenue has embarked on a major programme of change. The first part of the programme is already under way and involves restructuring the Inland Revenue's local office network.
The controller of the South Yorkshire regional executive office is considering moving work from the tax office in Wakefield to a restructured office in Barnsley. The proposal is currently being evaluated to ensure that it is cost efficient and provides a good quality service to the public.
(2) if he will make a statement on the future standard of services available for persons in Wakefield provided by the Inland Revenue.
Mr. Dorrell : Further detailed work is required before a decision can be made on this proposal, but preliminary estimates suggest that it offers considerable financial savings as well as the opportunity to offer a better quality service to the taxpayer.
Sir Richard Body : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what is his estimate of the number of gang masters operating in Lincolnshire in the last 12 months of which the agricultural compliance unit is aware.
Mrs. Roche : To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 12 May, Official Report, column 224, if he will specify the representations he has received since 1 April regarding increases in taxation.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment which United Kingdom companies were recognised in the European better environment awards for industry awards ceremony in Copenhagen on 9 May.
Mr. Atkins : A winner in the eco-product category was Pilkington Glass Ltd., St. Helens. Highly recommended United Kingdom entrants were : Stanhope Properties plc, London (Good Environmental Management category) ; Wade Furniture Ltd., Leeds (Environmental Technology Transfer category) ; and BEWT (Water Engineers) Ltd., Alcester, and Ricoh UK Products Ltd., Telford (both recovery of waste category). The United Kingdom's total of five finalists out of 18 finalists in all was the largest from any EU member state.
Mr. Gummer : The numbers of 1990 non-domestic rating appeals outstanding with English valuation tribunals each year on 31 March were--to the nearest thousand--582,000 in 1991 ; 558,000 in 1992 ; 412, 000 in 1993 ; and 259,000--provisional figure--in 1994. These figures take account of all appeals received in valuation tribunals since the rating lists came into force.
Mr. Straw : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received from (a) local authorities, (b) local authority associations, (c) the Audit Commission, (d) publishers of free newspapers and (e) others about the requirement in the Local Government Act 1992 to publish local authority performance indicators in a paid-for newspaper ; and if he will make a statement.
Column 96Commission, and others, including publishers of free newspapers, that the requirement of the Local Government Act 1992 for information on local authority performance indicators to be published in a paid-for newspaper should be modified to allow publication in free newspapers. We are concerned to ensure that information about an authority's performance has the widest possible circulation in the local community, and hence we are carefully considering these representations with the view, if necessary, of seeking at a convenient opportunity amending legislation to the 1992 Act.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what new information he has received to update paragraph 15.4 of the third- year report of "This Common Inheritance", Cm. 2549, concerning the progress made in commissioning the Sizewell B nuclear plant.
Mr. Atkins : Her Majesty's chief inspector of pollution and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food are undertaking public consultation on whether the operation of Sizewell B is justified ; that is, whether any detriment from the discharge of radioactive waste would be outweighed by the overall advantage. The consultation began on 19 May and is due to finish on 16 June.
Mr. Llew Smith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what date he has set for receipt from the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Committee, of its views on the options for waste substitution in the return of reprocessing radioactive waste to foreign countries of origin.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment who represented the Government at the 10th session of the conference of European Ministers responsible for local government in The Hague on 15 and 16 September 1993.
Mr. Gordon Prentice : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what assessment he has made of the report on local referendums prepared by the steering committee on local and regional authorities for the 10th conference of European Ministers responsible for local government.
Mr. Baldry : My hon. Friend, the Minister for Local Government and Planning, made it clear at the conference that it is for local authorities to decide for themselves whether to hold referendums on particular issues. This remains the Government's view.
Column 97(2) when he expects to publish the new regulations concerning the registration of hotels and bed-and-breakfast establishments which now accommodate DSS benefit claimants ;
(3) what criteria he will include when determining which bed-and-breakfast establishments will require registration ; (4) which Department will be responsible for the registration of DSS hostels.
Mr. Baldry : As my right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister indicated on 5 May, Official Report, column 843, we are considering introducing a licensing scheme for hostels. We are currently considering how such a scheme might operate, and to which properties it might apply. Any scheme will require primary legislation.
Mr. Milburn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 9 May, Official Report, column 70, if he will provide such information as is available on the cost of employing consultants in connection with privatisation programmes.
Mr. Gummer [holding answer 13 May 1994] : The cost of employing consultants for privatisation is available centrally for only some programmes completed prior to 1992-93 and is approximately £26 million. All but £70,000 of this expenditure was due to the privatisation of the water authorities which generated net proceeds of £3,594.4 million. The remainder has been incurred in respect of the pending Docklands light railway privatisation.
Mr. Waldegrave : Departments and agencies who wish to receive mail in any of the electronic forms currently available are able to include details in their entries in the list of ministerial responsibilities or the civil service year book, or in their own departmental material. It is for Departments and agencies to judge whether it is valuable to them to receive correspondence in this way.
Mr. David Shaw : To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he will develop plans to create more openness in Government by publishing Government press releases and other information on a free access electronic news or bulletin board system.
Mr. Waldegrave : The Central Office of Information's HERMES database of Government press releases is already available to the public via a number of on-line services. Charges for access are determined by the database hosts. I have no plans to examine the feasibility of setting up a bulletin board system for free public access. Distribution of press notices to the public is a matter for individual Government Departments.
Mr. David Davis : A leaflet has been produced explaining the operation of the code, giving a contact point for further information and mentioning the telephone inquiry service on 0345 223242. To coincide with the launch of the code in April, the Central Office of Information wrote to public libraries, college and university libraries, citizen's advice bureaux, independent advice centres and law centres inviting them to stock the leaflet. By 17 May there had been a very encouraging positive response rate of 15 per cent. This means that 52,500 copies of the leaflet explaining how to apply for information under the code of practice have now been distributed to some 1,300 outlets.
Ms Mowlam : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what events his Department has itself organised to commemorate the D-day landings ; what other events are included in the co-ordinated plans ; and which Members of political parties have been invited to these events.
Mr. Sproat : In April, the Department of National Heritage arranged a launch of the popular programme of D-day commemorative events and a memorial in Grosvenor square to which members of the main Opposition parties were invited. It is organising a "Tribute to the Normandy Campaign" family day in Hyde Park on 14 August. An invitation list has not yet been drawn up, but members from the main parties will be included. There are some 700 separate events being organised by others in different parts of the country.
Mr. Menzies Campbell : To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what contribution his Department is making by way of finance and expertise in the development of sports coaching, sports science and sports medicine in the United Kingdom.
Mr. Sproat : These activities are not supported directly by my Department but by the Sports Council, which it sponsors. I understand that the principal planned Sports Council grants in 1994-95 are as follows :
|£ million ------------------------------------------------------- National Coaching Foundation |1.5 Sports Science |0.7 National Sports Medicine Institute |0.6
Mr. Brooke : The Government will continue to look at how best to take advantage of the opportunities this technology offers. Studies are continuing into the feasibility of launching an analogue Channel 5 without prejudicing the development of digital terrestrial television in the United Kingdom, and an announcement on this issue will be made before long. These studies are based on technical work which has recently become available. The relevant sentence in the "Competitiveness" White Paper is overtaken by this answer.
Mr. Flynn : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to include (a) khat, (b) gamma hydroxybutyrate, and (c) ketamine hydro-chloride on the list of the proscribed drugs ; and if he will make a statement.
Mr. Maclean : We have no plans at present to schedule these substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The key criterion in the 1971 Act is whether the misuse of a substance has or is capable of having harmful effects sufficient to constitute a social problem. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs considered the misuse of khat in 1988 and ketamine in 1992 against this criterion and reached the view that bringing them within the 1971 Act controls would not be appropriate.
We are keeping the situation in respect of all three substances under review.
Mr. Charles Wardle : My right hon. and learned Friend yesterday laid before Parliament a statement of changes in the immigration rules. The new rules will come into effect on 1 October. The format of the rules has been revised to make them easier for applicants, practitioners and staff to use. The changes of policy which I announced last July, when a consultation document was published, have been incorporated, including the removal of sexually discriminatory provisions, the creation of a new category of investor, and changes in the rules relating to working holidaymakers. A statement listing and explaining all the changes is available in the Vote Office.
Mr. Cox : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicted sex offenders who were sentenced to life imprisonment in each of the last 20 years have now been released from prison.
Sex offenders sentenced to life imprisonment, received into a Prison Service establishment in England and Wales who were released on licence by 31 December 1993<1> Year of |<2>Number of sex |Number of sex reception |offenders received,|offenders released |sentenced to life |by end 1993 by |imprisonment |year of reception -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1974 |9 |3 1975 |9 |3 1976 |11 |4 1977 |11 |2 1978 |9 |2 1979 |8 |2 1980 |9 |2 1981 |10 |- 1982 |20 |- 1983 |12 |1 1984 |9 |- 1985 |11 |- 1986 |13 |- 1987 |21 |- 1988 |15 |- 1989 |21 |- 1990 |13 |- 1991 |17 |- 1992 |16 |- 1993 |16 |- <1>Provisional figures. <2>Of these 23 have been transferred to hospital or to a Prison Service establishment outside England and Wales and 30 have been discharged on appeal.
Mr. Charles Wardle : We regard a marriage of convenience as a sham marriage entered into solely for immigration purposes where neither partner has the intention of living permanently with the other as man and wife in a settled and genuine relationship.
Mr. Beith : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 23 March, Official Report, column 219, when he now expects to reply to Alnwick district council's representations to him of 12 March 1993 about bait-digging.
Mr. Redmond : To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list those European Union countries that provide ballot papers in local, national and European elections in Braille or a similar system ; and if he will make a statement.