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Deputy Lieutenants

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what criteria are used to ensure propriety in appointments; [158363]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The Lieutenancies Act 1997 requires the lord lieutenant of a county or area to notify to Her Majesty the name of any person whom he proposes to appoint as a deputy lieutenant. A commission as deputy lieutenant is not granted to that person until the lord lieutenant has been informed by the Secretary of State that Her Majesty does not disapprove of the granting of the commission. Appointments are not based on political affiliation, but on place of residence and service to the community. Lords lieutenant are advised to stand aloof from politics in their counties.

Assuming the second question relates to this issue, appointments are made on merit to satisfy these criteria.

Deputy Lieutenants (Lancashire)

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many deputy lieutenants there are in Lancashire; to what extent they are representative of all parts of Lancashire; if they are all members of one political party; how many are Lancastrians by birth; and what steps he is taking to reform the system of appointing deputy lords lieutenant. [158365]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: There are 41 lieutenants in Lancashire. They come from all parts of the county. The deputy lieutenants of a county or area are appointed by the lord lieutenant, subject to the Queen not disapproving of the granting of the commission. When considering the appointment of deputy lieutenants, the lord lieutenant looks at the geographical spread, to ensure that all parts of the county are represented. No information about the political affiliation of deputy lieutenants is held, though appointments are based not on political affiliation but on place of residence and service to the community. Information about how many of the county's deputy lieutenants are Lancastrians by birth is not held. Lords lieutenant are specifically advised that within each county or area, deputy lieutenants should be widely representative of its life in social range, gender, ethnic mix and service to the community.

Illegal Drugs

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department by what measures he judges the success or failure of his policies on the use of illegal drugs. [158221]

Mr. Charles Clarke: For the first time Departments and agencies nationally and locally have been brought together to work in partnership towards joint performance targets. The Home Office has been at the fore of the 10-year strategy launched in May 1998 to break the link between drugs and crime. The strategy was underpinned with an additional £217 million over three years for anti-drugs activity from the 1998 Comprehensive Spending Review. This is in addition to the £1.4 billion spent annually on anti-drug work. The targets for the 10-year strategy as set out in "Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain" are:





The Government's anti-drugs strategy clearly recognises that law enforcement continues to be vital in tackling the drugs problem in the United Kingdom. The police service at all levels will continue to concentrate on targeting drug dealers and traffickers and bringing them to justice. There is a particular emphasis on Class A drugs, as these cause the greatest harm. The strategy encourages the police to work with other agencies to disrupt local drug markets and to force drug dealers off our streets, thereby reducing the harm to our communities and the exposure of young people to drugs. The strategy builds on the existing work by the police with the aim of reducing levels of street dealing and the availability of drugs in communities.

The Drug Treatment and Testing Order (DTTO), a community sentence aimed at serious drug misusing offenders, has been available to courts in England and Wales since 1 October 2000. Its main aim is to get offenders to stop re-offending, with the longer-term aim of getting them off drugs for good. The decision was made to roll-out the DTTO in the light of an independent

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evaluation of three pilot schemes which found that on average there were significant reductions in the spending on illegal drugs and number of crimes committed by offenders subject to DTTOs. A reconviction study will be undertaken in due course to establish the longer-term impact of the order.

The Government are well on the way to ensuring that all police forces in England and Wales have Arrest Referral Schemes in place to help drug-misusing arrestees to access the treatment they need ahead of our 2002 target. While it is too early to properly measure the success of this scheme, initial feedback from October to December 2000 suggests that half of arrestees seen by arrest referral workers had not accessed treatment previously, which suggests a positive impact on crime.

In the Prison Service, in the short term we look at measures such as the random mandatory drug testing (MDT) rate or the take up of drug treatment. Both show extremely encouraging results with the random MDT rate falling from 20.8 per cent. in 1997-98 to a projected figure of 12.5 per cent. in 2000-01. We expect over 37,000 CARATs (Counselling, Assessment, Referral, Advice and Throughcare services, the new drug package of treatment services) assessments to have been completed in 2000-01. In the long term, the Prison Service is establishing independent research to measure the effectiveness of its drug strategy in reducing both drug misuse and reoffending rates.

Correspondence

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Totnes dated 22 March regarding Ms Olga Maiboroda's application to his Department, made on 20 January; for what reasons the completion of her passport application has been delayed; and if he will explain the loss of her papers. [158282]

Mrs. Roche: I wrote to the hon. Member on 20 April 2001.

Prison Governors

Mr. Stinchcombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer on 14 February 2001, Official Report, column 176W, on prison governors, when he will write to the hon. Member for Wellingborough concerning changes of governor in prison establishments in the last five years. [158745]

Mr. Boateng: I wrote to the hon. Member on 20 April 2001.

Lord Birt

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to which sections of "Criminal Justice: The Way Ahead", Cm 5074, Lord Birt contributed in his capacity as an adviser on crime; and if he will make a statement. [158241]

Mr. Straw: Lord Birt's advice spanned the full range of issues tackled in "Criminal Justice: The Way Ahead".

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) to which Government policies on crime Lord Birt has contributed personally; [158350]

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Mr. Straw: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Taunton (Ms Ballard) on 27 March 2001, Official Report, column 594W.

Monica Masiti

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what grounds the Zimbabwean war veteran Monica Masiti is making her application for asylum in the United Kingdom; where she is resident in the United Kingdom; and in what capacity within the NHS she is employed. [158322]

Mrs. Roche: At present we can find no trace of a Monica Masiti but in any event information about an individual's immigration status is treated as confidential.

Electoral Commission

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whom he has consulted, and what representations he has received, about the amount specified in the Electoral Commission (Limit on Public Awareness Expenditure) Order 2001. [158420]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: The limit of £1.5 million specified in the Electoral Commission (Limit on Public Awareness Expenditure) Order 2001 reflects the estimate for expenditure under this heading, for 2001-02, proposed by the Commission and approved by the Speaker's Committee in accordance with paragraph 14 of Schedule 1 to the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. As required by section 13(6) of the Act, the Order was made with the consent of the Treasury. We have received no representations about the amount specified in the Order. Consideration will be given to making a further Order in due course to take effect from 1 April 2002.

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will place in the Library the Electoral Commission's rules for making grants under section 13(4)(b) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. [158421]

Mr. Beith: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Speaker's Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the exercise of the Electoral Commission's functions.

Section 13(4)(b), in common with the other provisions of section 13 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, does not come into force until 1 July 2001. I understand from the Chairman of the Electoral Commission that no decisions have yet been made as to how the Commission will exercise its grant-making powers under section 13. No rules have been prepared for this purpose, nor is there any requirement under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act for the Commission to make such rules.

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