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Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

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 Avebury from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Richard Tilt, dated 26th April 1996.

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about the health care service in Holloway prison.

A project has been set up to look at health care provision at Holloway. This will include a detailed review of the assessment carried out by the North Thames Health Authority in 1994-95. Its aim is to improve the quality of the service provided at Holloway.

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

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 Avebury from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Richard Tilt, dated 26th April 1996.

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about suicide awareness at Holloway prison.

Significant attention was paid to suicide awareness in 1995 with particular priority being given to staff training. Some 32 managers and 51 other staff received training.

In addition the Samaritans visit weekly and there is a befriender team of prisoners who have been trained by the Samaritans.

Land Mines (International Ban)

Lord Hylton asked Her Majesty's Government:

26 Apr 1996 : Column WA118

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Earl Howe): I refer the noble Lord to the reply given on 23rd April by my honourable friend the Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Official Report, Commons, Col. 84).

Defence Minister's Remarks

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the Secretary of State for Defence was speaking for the British Government when he said, after military briefing in Israel on the attack on Lebanon code name "Grapes of Wrath" that "I would not describe the Israeli reaction as disproportionate" (The Times, 16th April).

Earl Howe: My right honourable friend made it clear that Her Majesty's Government looked to the Israelis to make their responses measured and proportionate. He also said that the problems would not be solved militarily, and that we look for a diplomatic solution and a return to the peace process.

Habitual Residence Test: British Citizens Returning from Liberia

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether British subjects returning for reasons of safety from Liberia will be allowed exemption from the habitual residence test.

The Minister of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish): We do not consider it necessary to exempt British citizens who have returned from Liberia from the habitual residence test.

Question for Written Answer,15th April (Cost)

Lord Harris of Greenwich asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the cost of answering the Question for Written Answer of the Earl of Northesk on 15th April (WA51).

Lord Mackay of Ardbrecknish: The information requested is not available. The Treasury undertakes an annual exercise to assess the average Government-wide cost of answering written parliamentary questions, but does not cost individual questions.

Israel: Radio Report, 7th March

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, as reported by Israeli radio, officials of the European Commission in Tel Aviv have stated

26 Apr 1996 : Column WA119

    that visiting European diplomats would not in future meet Palestinians at Orient House in Jerusalem.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The report carried to this effect on Israeli radio on 7th March this year was incorrect. The Commission representative in fact had made clear that EU policy on Orient House was unchanged.

Yahya Ayyash Assassination: Terrorist Operations

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider that the assassination of Yahya Ayyash ("the Engineer") within the autonomous Palestinian National Authority allegedly by the Israeli authorities was, as was feared by members of the Israeli Knesset and by President Arafat, and as was stated by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the trigger for the suicide bomb attacks in Israel, and whether they will ensure that this assassination is not overlooked at the Sharm el-Sheikh follow-up meeting later this month.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Sharm el-Sheikh follow-up meeting to which the noble Lord alludes has been postponed sine die. It is not clear whether Hamas and Islamic Jihad needed the pretext of the assassination of Yahya Ayyash to launch their deplorable terrorist operations aimed at undermining the peace process.

The Gambia

Lord Avebury asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they now have about the resumption of party political activities and the timetable for the elections in the Gambia.

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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Provisional Independent Electoral Commission announced on 12th April that voter registration would take place between 13th May and 22nd June, to be followed by a three-month period for the registration of political parties and political campaigning. The commission undertook to publish a definitive electoral timetable soon.

Historic Scotland: Performance Targets

The Earl of Liverpool asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish the key performance targets they have set for Historic Scotland for 1996-97.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Scottish Office (The Earl of Lindsay): My right honourable friend has set Historic Scotland the following key performance targets for 1996-97.

Target
Protecting Scotland's Built Heritage
Number of monuments scheduled370
Weighted number of listed building resurvey units176
Percentage of scheduled monument consent cases resolved within 12 weeks81%
Percentage of listed building consent cases resolved within 28 days97%
Number of historic building repair projects newly assisted by grant145
Total value of grant-assisted repairs in progress£33.5m
Backlog of conservation of monuments in carereduce
Promoting and Presenting the Built Heritage
Number of visitors to monuments in care2.4m
HS market share compared to major paid heritage attractions in Scotland47%
Percentage of satisfied visitors (based on surveys)95%
Average spend per visitor£1.02
Agency management
Percentage efficiency gains/savings on all non-grant expenditure1.5%
Total agency income£9.9m



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