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17 Jan 1995 : Column WA35

Written Answers

Tuesday 17th January 1995

MOROCCO—GIBRALTAR—PARIS AIR SERVICE

Lord Merrivale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether discussions are proposed for an airline designated by Morocco to operate a route with points in Morocco, Gibraltar and Paris in accordance with the provision of Schedule (II) (1) of the Exchange of Notes (Cm 6798) which entered into force on 20 December 1976.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): Royal Air Maroc, the only airline currently designated by Morocco, can commence operations on a route Morocco—Gibraltar—Paris at any time without the need for prior discussions with the United Kingdom Government. The 1976 Exchange of Notes (CM 6798) does not, however, confer the right to pick up passengers in Gibraltar on this route. If a Moroccan airline wished to pick up passengers in Gibraltar for Paris, and vice versa, it would be for the Moroccan authorities to seek to amend the current UK—Morocco air services arrangements accordingly. At air services talks held in Rabat on 12 and 13 January the Moroccan authorities made no such request.

WHEELCHAIR ACCOMMODATION PROVISION: REPORTS

Lord Swinfen asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they can confirm the findings of the housing research report entitled Living Independently published by the Department of the Environment on 16th December 1994 which suggests that there is a shortfall of 12,988 wheelchair units in England as outlined in table 2.22 page 55 of the report; Whether they can confirm the findings of the housing research report entitled Housing for People with Disabilities published by the Housing Corporation in October 1991 which suggests that there was a shortfall of 330,000 wheelchair units in England at that time as outlined on page 21 of the report; and What is the cause of the discrepancy between the estimated shortfall in wheelchair units outlined in the report entitled Housing for People with Disabilities published by the Housing Corporation in October 1991 at 330,000 and the estimated shortfall of 12,988 as outlined in the report entitled Living Independently published by the Department of the Environment on 16 December 1994.

The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Viscount Ullswater): Her Majesty's Government are aware of the different figures in these two research reports for shortfalls in provision of wheelchair accommodation in England.

The data is not comparable because:

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a. the source of the estimate in Housing for People with Disabilities was a general survey of disability which did not specifically examine housing needs and provision. The Living Independently estimate was based on a survey of disabled adults which was intended to produce estimates of housing need; b. the Housing for People with Disabilities estimate covered all tenures whereas the Living Independently estimate covers only the shortfall in accommodation provided by local authorities and housing associations; c. the Housing for People with Disabilities estimate was a shortfall of wheelchair standard dwellings, whether purpose-built or not. The Living Independently estimate relates to purpose-built wheelchair dwellings only; and, d. the Living Independently estimate contains an element to take account of the housing aspirations of disabled people. The study showed that 70 per cent. of disabled people households wish to remain in their existing homes. The Housing for People with Disabilities estimate took no account of housing aspirations.

ROUGH SLEEPERS INITIATIVE

Baroness Fisher of Rednal asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the rough sleepers initiative, which started in London, also operates in Birmingham and other large cities.

Viscount Ullswater: The Government's £182 million rough sleepers initiative continues to be focused on central London where there remain the greatest concentrations of people sleeping rough. A count by voluntary sector organisations in November 1994 found 288 people sleeping rough in the main central London sites. Outside central London, it is properly the responsibility of each local authority to consider the housing needs of all the people living in its area, including people sleeping rough, when drawing up its housing strategy. The rough sleepers initiative has shown how voluntary and statutory agencies can work together towards the relief of street homelessness, and I commend this model to all local authorities.

CAERPHILLY NEW DISTRICT: POLICING

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What plans they have for the future policing arrangements for the new unitary district of Caerphilly.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): We have consulted the forces, police authorities and local authorities in the area on the future policing arrangements for the new unitary district of Caerphilly. We also asked Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary to report on this issue. In the light of the replies received and of the professional

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views of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Constabulary, we have decided that the Gwent Constabulary shall be responsible for policing the whole of the new district from 1 April 1996. An order will be made in due course, under Section 21A of the Police Act 1964 (as inserted by Section 14 of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994), to give effect to this decision, following discussions with the police authorities and forces concerned on the details of its content.

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY LEGISLATIVE INSTRUMENTS

Lord Bruce of Donington asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will state, in respect of legislation published in the Official Journal of the European Communities for each of the years 1993 and 1994 whose titles are printed in bold type and preceded with an asterisk, the number of decisions, directives, regulations and recommendations (stated separately) on the authority of (a) the European Council and (b) the European Commission.

The Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Earl Howe): According to the Commission's CELEX Database on Community legislation, and the Official Journal of the European Communities, legislative instruments produced by the Council and Commission in 1993 and 1994 fall into the following categories:

1993 1994
Council Commission Council Commission
Directives 65 52 17 24
Regulations 325 1,160 180 1,579
Decisions 135 520 72 445
Recommendations 5 2 5 3

A breakdown which excluded those acts not printed in bold type with an asterisk in the Official Journal (i.e. relating to day-to-day management of agricultural matters which are generally valid only for a limited period) could only be produced at disproportionate cost.

EUROPEAN SOCIAL CHAPTER

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will submit their decision to opt out of the European social chapter to a referendum.

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Lord Inglewood: The United Kingdom Government's refusal to accept the proposed new social chapter was enshrined in the Maastricht Treaty and approved by Parliament in agreeing to the ratification of that treaty. The question of a referendum on the issue does not therefore arise.

ADOPTED CHILDREN: STATISTICS

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report a table showing the total number of children in England and Wales who were adopted at (a) under one year of age, (b) between one year and five years, and (c) over five years for each of the last 30 years for which figures are available.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Department of Health (Baroness Cumberlege): The information is given in the table.

Children adopted, by age at adoption, 1962–1992, England and Wales

Year Age at adoption
Under 1 1–4 5 and over(1) All ages of children(1)
1962 9,214 3,872 3,808 16,894
1963 9,896 4,129 3,757 17,782
1964 11,506 4,699 4,207 20,412
1965 11,650 5,049 4,333 21,032
1966 12,308 5,611 4,873 22,792
1967 12,170 5,688 4,944 22,802
1968 12,641 6,313 5,877 24,831
1969 11,096 6,344 6,268 23,708
1970 8,833 6,776 6,764 22,373
1971 7,780 6,502 7,213 21,495
1972 6,593 6,421 8,585 21,599
1973 6,026 6,298 9,923 22,247
1974 5,172 6,148 11,182 22,502
1975 4,548 5,523 11,228 21,299
1976 3,608 4,216 9,797 17,621
1977 2,945 3,002 6,801 12,748
1978 2,816 2,593 6,712 12,121
1979 2,649 2,183 6,038 10,870
1980 2,599 2,090 5,920 10,609
1981 2,365 1,910 5,009 9,284
1982 2,177 2,162 5,901 10,240
1983 1,962 2,094 4,973 9,029
1984 1,836 1,935 4,859 8,648
1985 1,605 1,645 4,340 7,615
1986 1,572 1,748 4,496 7,892
1987 1,333 1,694 4,121 7,201
1988 1,235 1,975 4,099 7,390
1989 1,115 1,875 4,033 7,044
1990 969 1,871 3,688 6,533
1991 895 2,071 4,205 7,171
1992 661 2,270 4,409 7,342

(1) Age 5–17 for 1973–1992; age 5–20 for 1962–1972.

(1) From 1984, the total includes adoptions where age was not stated.


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