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Viscount Goschen: The Government are determined that the transport sector will play its part in reducing air pollution. As a result of improvements to vehicle standards and measures such as the recent initiative on enforcement, launched by the Secretary of State for Transport, we are now set to see a marked decline in pollutants that will extend well into the next decade.
Local authorities also have an important role to play in reducing the environmental impacts of transport. Planning Policy Guidance Note 13 (PPG 13) and the department's "package approach" to funding of capital projects illustrate the way the Government are seeking to help local authorities perform that role. These measures aim to help local authorities to develop coherent approaches to transport and land use planning which look beyond road based options , with a view to giving people a choice of modes and of reducing the need to travel.
Lord Inglewood: There is no evidence that work with visual display units causes any permanent damage to eyes or eyesight, but it can cause temporary visual fatigue. Under the Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992, employees who habitually use a display screen as a significant part of their normal work can ask their employer to provide them with eye and eyesight tests, and special spectacles if required.
Employers should also help minimise eyestrain by providing satisfactory lighting and taking steps to avoid refections and glare on screen. The Health and Safety Executive has explained these points in its guidance publications. These include an illustrated booklet VDUs: an easy guide to the Regulations, which gives practical advice for employers, and a free leaflet Working with VDUs for employees, copies of which are available in the Library.
Since their inception in 1964, the role of industrial tribunals has steadily developed as their jurisdiction has expanded. The Government believe that the industrial tribunals have proved to be a fair and effective means for adjudicating employment rights disputes. They are firmly committed to ensuring that they continue to provide an "easily accessible, informal, speedy and inexpensive" means of redress in accordance with the criteria laid down in 1968 and accepted by all governments since then.
The industrial tribunal system has been subjected to growing pressures in recent years. Employment legislation has grown both in extent and complexity, the numbers of tribunal applications have doubled since 1989 and are expected to continue rising, and hearing delays have increased unacceptably. The department's internal review was commissioned to find ways of helping the tribunals to cope and to achieve greater efficiency and reduced delays.
The Green Paper sets out a range of proposals designed to increase the proportion of disputes settled voluntarily by the parties themselves or with third party assistance, to simplify and improve tribunal procedures and to improve the organisation and management of the administrative support.
The Government invite views on those proposals. Improvements which can be achieved through administrative action by the department are already going ahead; decisions on whether and how to proceed with those requiring legislation will be taken in the light of the consultations. However, the Government have decided that tribunals should have discretion whether or not to obtain a view from an independent expert when deciding claims for equal pay for work of equal value.
In accordance with Section 8 of the Intelligence Services Act 1994, my right honourable friend has appointed Lord Justice Stuart-Smith as the Intelligence Services Commissioner for a period of three years. Sir Simon Dennis Brown has been appointed President of the Intelligence Services Tribunal, John Colin McInnes Vice-President of the Tribunal, and Sir Richard Kennedy Harvey Gaskell a member of the Tribunal, by Royal Warrant, each for a period of five years. All appointments take effect from 15 December 1994.
The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): As promised in the Government's White Paper on Police Reform (Cm 2281), we have provided the Chief Inspector of Constabulary with a clear statement of the duties and responsibilities which we expect the inspectorate should fulfil.
The statement emphasises the key role of the inspectorate as an independent watchdog monitoring police performance and ensuring that standards are maintained. We have made it clear that we will also be looking to the inspectorate to report to my right honourable friend the Home Secretary on the progress being made by police authorities and forces in establishing local strategies for building effective partnerships between the police and the local community.
We have placed copies of the statement in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament. We are also arranging for it to be circulated to all chief officers of police and to clerks of police authorities.
|Receptions of untried and convicted unsentenced prisoners by age(2)|
|Establishment||15 year-olds||16 year-olds|
(1) Provisional figures.
(2) Initial receptions into Prison Service establishments.