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Marriage: Interdepartmental Working Group

Lord Brougham of Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Lord Chancellor (Lord Mackay of Clashfern): The terms of reference for the interdepartmental working group on marriage, which is to be chaired by my department, are as follows.

The interdepartmental working party on marriage will seek to identify:



    the range of services currently available in this area, the extent to which their existence is known and how this knowledge might be increased; and


    how existing resources might best be used to meet the needs of couples who are considering marriage or whose marriage is in difficulty.

The following Departments will be represented on the group: the Lord Chancellor's Department, the Home Office, the Department of the Environment, the Department of Social Security, the Northern Ireland Office, the Department for Educationa and Employment, the Department of Health and the Welsh Office.

Stonehenge

Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their policy towards the future of Stonehenge, and whether the Department of Transport has yet fully discussed detailed options for the re-routing of the A.303 with English Heritage and the Department of National Heritage.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of National Heritage (Lord Inglewood): Stonehenge, with its surrounding landscape, is one of the most important of Europe's pre-historic monuments. Its significance is recognised by its designation as a World Heritage Site. The Government fully support the efforts of English Heritage and the National Trust to improve the setting of the stones and provide better facilities for visitors.

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The possible re-routing of the A.303 trunk road is a key factor in any plans for improving the Stonehenge landscape. Discussions have taken place between the Department of Transport, English Heritage and my department over the last few months; and I understand that the Department of Transport and English Heritage will be in a position to undertake public consultations later this year, both on route options for the A.303 and on plans for improved visitor facilities.

Listed Building Policy

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is their policy that listed buildings should be repaired and maintained.

Lord Inglewood: The Government's policy on the repair and maintenance of listed buildings is set out in PPG 15, Planning and the Historic Environment.

The National Lottery

Viscount Hanworth asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they believe that lottery wins of £1 million or more offer a real benefit to the recipients and are acceptable to society.

Lord Inglewood: It is the Government's view that large lottery wins have a clear and tangible benefit to their recipients and that large prizes are acceptable to society at large. Lottery tickets sales increase each time that there is a large jackpot. That is clear evidence that large prizes are a popular feature of the National Lottery.

Organophosphorus Sheep Dips: Manufacturers of Protective Clothing

The Countess of Mar asked Her Majesty's Government:

    To list the manufacturers who have received the CE mark for the following items for their suitability for use when dipping sheep in organophosphate sheep dips; (a) boots; (b) overtrousers; (c) jackets; (d) aprons; (e) gloves; and (f) hats.

The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Fraser of Carmyllie): The Personal Protective Equipment Directive (89/686/EEC) does not require the keeping of lists of manufacturers who CE mark their products covered by it.

Details of manufacturers of equipment providing protection against chemical attack may be obtained from the British Safety Industry Federation, the lead association for the sector.

Exeter Prison: Suicide of Remand Prisoner

Lord Brain asked Her Majesty's Government:

    In the light of the most recent suicide in Exeter Prison, whether they are satisfied that all the recommendations of the independent review into

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    previous suicides at that prison promised by the Director General of the Prison Service [HL Deb, col. WA 86, 26/7/94] have been implemented.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Brain from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Derek Lewis, dated 17/7/95.

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the recommendations of the independent review into suicides at Exeter prison.

I share the dismay expressed by the governor and staff at Exeter prison about the recent tragic death of Graham Harries, who was on remand there. An enquiry into the circumstances leading to his death is being conducted by John Lawrence, the governor of Dartmoor, who is due to submit his report by 14 July.

Dr. Mary Piper MSc FRCP visited Exeter prison in 1994 to review the existing arrangements for the treatment of potentially suicidal prisoners and to advise the governor on whether they could be improved. Dr. Piper concluded that the commitment, expertise and professionalism of the staff at Exeter were excellent and was struck by their concern for the welfare of the inmates.

Dr. Piper's report contained 35 recommendations, of which 30 have now been implemented. She has now been asked to visit the prison again, during the week commencing 17 July, to look at the medical aspects of the decision to allocate Mr. Harries to Exeter, as well as to review the procedures which were followed after his reception there.

This will also give her the opportunity to review progress on the remaining recommendations in her original report.

Mr. Barry Gray

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What were the circumstances in which Mr. Barry Gray, extradited from France to face charges of obtaining money by deception and subsequently convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment at Southwark Crown Court, was mistakenly released from custody; and whether they will place the report of any inquiry in the Library of the House.

Baroness Blatch: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Lord Harris of Greenwich from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Derek Lewis, dated 17 July 1995.

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the circumstances in which Mr. Barry

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Gray was mistakenly released from custody and whether a report of any inquiry will be placed in the Library.

Mr. Barry Gray had been held for 18 months in a French prison until he was extradited in January this year. He was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for deception at Southwark Crown Court on 19 June this year. In passing sentence the judge publicly stated that he had taken into consideration the time Mr. Gray spent in custody in France. Nevertheless, he should not have been discharged from Southwark Crown Court.

A senior governor is conducting an investigation into the circumstances. In accordance with normal policy for such internal investigations it is not planned to publish the report. I will, however, write to you again when the investigation is complete, setting out the conclusions.

Untried and Convicted Unsentenced Prisoners: Average Periods in Custody

Baroness David asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the average length of time spent in custody in 1994 by (a) male and (b) female untried and unsentenced prisoners.

Baroness Blatch: Responsibility for this matter has been delegated to the Director General of the Prison Service, who has been asked to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter to Baroness David from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Derek Lewis, dated 17th July 1995.

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question asking what was the average length of time spent in custody in 1994 by (a) male and (b) female untried and unsentenced prisoners.

The information requested is given in the attached table.

Estimated average time spent in custody for Untried and Convicted Unsentenced prisoners, in Prison Service establishments in England and Wales in 1994(i) by sex.

Type of custody Estimated average number of days in custody(iv)
Male Female
Untried(ii) 59 44
Convicted Unsentenced(iii) 36 29

Note

(i) Provisional figures.

(ii) Time spent in custody before conviction.

(iii) Time spent in custody after conviction before sentence.

(iv) Estimated from a number of receptions and average population in 1994.



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