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2 May 1996 : Column WA155

Written Answers

Thursday, 2nd May 1996.

Secure Training Centres: Tenders

Lord Allen of Abbeydale asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, in view of the lapse of time, a further notice relating to secure training centres has been placed in the Official Journal of the European Communities since the one placed there on 5th January 1994; if not, when a fresh note is likely to be placed in the journal; and whether it is intended to invite all those who tendered for Cookham Wood and Gringley to submit revised bids.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Blatch): Invitations to tender for the provision of secure training centres at Cookham Wood and Gringley were issued on 31st March 1995 under the terms of the restricted procedure notice placed in the Official Journal of the European Communities (OJEC) on 5th January 1994. Following receipt of the tenders on 12th June 1995 it was deemed necessary to discontinue the restricted procedure and adopt the negotiated procedure. Negotiations with tenderers are continuing with the aim of signing contracts for the provision of secure training centres at these two sites as soon as possible.

A fresh notice for the remaining three sites was placed in the OJEC on 9th August 1995 seeking expressions of interest under the negotiated procedure. All those who expressed an interest under the original notice were invited to re-apply. Bids were invited for the third site, Onley in Northamptonshire, under the terms of this notice on 4th March 1996.

Prisons: Education Provision

Baroness Hilton of Eggardon asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether 60 per cent. of gaols are reducing education classes.

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 Hilton of Eggardon from the Director General of the Prison Service, Mr. Richard Tilt, dated 2nd May 1996.

Lady Blatch has asked me to reply to your recent Question about education reductions in prisons.

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Education is an essential part of the opportunities which must be provided in prisons. The Prison Service has given guidance to governors which identifies the core curriculum areas to which priority should be given. This includes the necessary support for prisoners who lack the basic skills of literacy and numeracy. But it is right for governors to review all regime activities and make considered decisions on how available financial provision can best be utilised. There is, for example, scope for improving the targeting of education provision and for considering whether other activities, like work and programmes to tackle offending behaviour, can better address identified prisoner needs.

Prevention of Terrorism Legislation: Searches

Earl Russell asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many searches have been carried out under the Prevention of Terrorism (Additional Powers) Act 1996, and how many charges (a) for terrorism-related offences and (b) for other offences have so far been made as a result of these searches.

Baroness Blatch: The Prevention of Terrorism (Additional Powers) Act 1996 came into force on 3rd April. Figures are not yet available.

Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti

Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they have on the wellbeing of Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, the Commonwealth Medical Association's representative on the Commission of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and President-elect of the Nigerian Medical Association, who was sentenced to 15 years' imprisonment by the Nigerian military tribunal in 1995 and whether they have made representations for his release from prison.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): We are aware of reports that Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti's health is deteriorating in Katsina Prison. Our High Commission in Lagos is in regular contact with members of the Ransome-Kuti family and the Nigerian Medical Association. We have raised our concerns about Dr. Ransome-Kuti, and other human rights activists in detention, with the Nigerian authorities and continue to press for their release.

Outer Space Treaty

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it is their belief that any military activity other than those specifically precluded by Article 4 of the space treaty is (a) permitted, and (b) is not governed by Article 1 of the Treaty.

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Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Outer Space Treaty as a whole applies to all activities in outer space. Whether particular activities in outer space are lawful depends on whether they are consistent with the Treaty (and, as reflected in Article III, with international law generally).

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether it has been generally understood by signatories of the space treaty that only those military activities specifically precluded by Article 4 of the space treaty are prohibited and that no other military activity in space is governed by Article 1 of the Treaty.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: It is for each party to a treaty to express its own understanding of its provisions.

UN Register of Conventional Arms

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether by 30th April they submitted to the UN Secretary-General a return from the UK to the UN Register of Conventional Arms and whether a copy of the return will be placed in the Library.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: We submitted our return to the UN Register covering calendar year 1995 to the UN Secretary-General on 30th April 1996. A copy has been placed in the Library.

EU Council: Forthcoming Business

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the forthcoming business in the Council of the European Union.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Subject monthly forecast of business for May 1996.

1. The following Councils are scheduled:


    3rd May: Special Planning and Regional Development (Informal)


    4th May: Special Planning and Regional Development (Informal)


    5th May: Agriculture (Informal)


    6th May: Agriculture (Informal)


    6th May: Education


    7th May: Agriculture (Informal)


    7th May: Energy


    13th May: Foreign Affairs Council


    14th May: Foreign Affairs Council


    14th May: Health


    20th May: Industry


    20th May: Agriculture


    21st May: Agriculture

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    23rd May: Civil Protection


    28th May: Development


    28th May: Internal Market


    29th May: Telecommunications

2. The following subjects are likely to be discussed:

3rd/4th May: Special Planning and Regional Development Council (Informal)


    Agenda not yet available.

5th/7th May: Agriculture Council (Informal)


    Agenda not yet available.

6th May: Education Council

"A" Points


    As advised by Council Secretariat.

"B" Points


    Open debate on White Paper on Education and Training


    Draft resolution on Multimedia Software


    Draft conclusions on synergies between Academic Recognition and Professional Recognition of Qualifications


    Commission note on the assessment of the quality of higher education


    Commission note on the assessment of the quality of school education


    Commission information on:


    European year of Lifelong Learning;


    Cooperation with third countries;


    Progress on Green Paper on Obstacles to Mobility;


    Key education figures (1996 edition)


    Communication from Greece on setting up a European Centre for Classical Literature

7th May: Energy Council

"A" Points


    As advised by Council Secretariat.

"B" Points


    Electricity liberalisation: common position (possible item)


    Euro-Mediterranean energy cooperation: Council conclusions


    Commission's Energy Policy White Paper: Council resolution


    Commission communication on gas supply: Council conclusions


    SAVE II energy efficiency programme: political agreement (possible item)


    SYNERGY programme for energy cooperation with third countries: debate


    Integrated Resource Planning Directive: debate


    Energy Charter Treaty: programme report


    Commission report on civil protection, tourism and energy;


    Commission presentation


    Commission report on oil supply: Commission presentation

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13th/14th May: Foreign Affairs Council


    Agenda not yet available.

14th May: Health Council

"A" Points

As advised by Council Secretariat.

"B" Points


    Adoption of the draft agenda


    Proposal for a decision adopting a programme of Community action on health monitoring within the framework for action in the field of public health; adoption of a common position


    Proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the council creating a network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases in the European Community: orientation debate


    Creation of an EU/US (EU/United States) action group charged with developing a global early warning system and response network for communicable diseases: information on work to date


    Proposal for a decision of the EP and the Council adopting a Community programmme of Community action on the prevention of drug dependence with the framework for action in the field of public health: second reading, in preparation for conciliation with EP


    Amended proposal for a Council directive on the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States relating to the advertising of tobacco products: orientation debate


    BSE and the potential risks for transmission to man: information from the commission and exchange of views

20th May: Industry Council

"A" Points


    As advised by Council Secretariat

"B" Points


    SMEs: draft Council Decision for new multi-annual programme for SMEs: orientation debate


    Industrial cooperation with third countries, and the Mediterranean Basin in particular: draft Council resolution

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    Automobile industry: Commission report on follow-up on Council Resolution of 22nd April 1994


    Competition policy: 25th Annual Commission Report on Competition Policy


    Steel:


    State Aids--Commission monitoring report


    Extension of Steel State Aid Code: presentation and exchange of views


    Commission document on expiry of ECSC Treaty in 2002: exchange of views


    Draft Council regulation on state aid for shipbuilding: exchange of views

20th/21st May: Agriculture Council

"A" Points


    As advised by Council Secretariat

"B" Points


    Reform of the fruit and vegetable regime


    Price fixing


    Bananas (possible item)


    Wine reform (possible item)


    Olive oil reform (possible item)


    Tobacco reform (possible item)


    Plant health: solidarity and responsibility (possible item)


    Veterinary and fish fees (possible item)


    BSE

23rd May: Civil Protection Council

"A" Points


    As advised by Council Secretariat

"B" Points


    Community action programme on civil protection


    Resolution on civil protection research


    Resolution on cooperation with the CEEs on civil protection

28th May: Internal Market Council

"A" Points


    As advised by Council Secretariat

"B" Points


    Sweeteners: common position


    Traditional foodstuffs: common position


    Miscellaneous additives: common position


    Foodstuffs for particular nutritional uses (PARNUTS): common position (possible item)


    Food irradiation: orientation debate

28th May: Development Council

1. Links between emergency aid, rehabilitation and reconstruction


    Debate on priorities for immediate action

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2. Conflict prevention


    Presentation by the Commission

3. Operational Coordination


    Council conclusions

4. Council conclusions on:


    Environmental Impact Evaluation


    Decentralised Cooperation


    Migration and Development


    Counterpart funds

5. (poss.) Proposals for legal bases for EC development cooperation [i.e., draft EC Regulations governing EC aid].

6. AOB:


    Cocoa (requested by Belgium)


    UN Reform (requested by Sweden)

29th May: Telecommunications Council

"A" Points


    As advised by Council Secretariat

"B" Points


    Directive on a common framework for general authorisations and individual licences in the field of telecommunications services: common position


    Directive on common rules for the development of Community postal services and the improvement of the quality of service: common position


    Directive on the processing of personal data and protection of personal privacy in the telecommunications sector in particular ISDN and in digital mobile networks: common position


    Decision on the adoption of a multi-annual programme to promote the linguistic diversity of the Community in the information society: common position (possible item)


    Commission communication on universal service for telecommunications in the perspective of a fully liberalised environment


    Political debate

2 May 1996 : Column WA162


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