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6 Feb 2001 : Column WA93

Written Answers

Tuesday, 6th February 2001.

Protocol on the Position of the UK and Ireland

Lord Shore of Stepney asked Her Majesty's Government:

    On what occasions since the Treaty of Amsterdam was signed has the United Kingdom under Article 44 of the Protocol on the Position of the United Kingdom and Ireland notified the European Community that it wished to accept a measure of the Council pursuant to Title IV (formerly iii a) of the European Community Treaty. [HL332]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): The Protocol on the Position of the United Kingdom and Ireland consists of eight articles and it is assumed that the noble Lord intended to refer to Article 4 rather than Article 44 of the Protocol. The United Kingdom has never notified the Council and Commission under Article 4 of the Protocol on the Position of the United Kingdom and Ireland that it wishes to accept a measure previously adopted by the Council pursuant to Title IV of the European Community Treaty.

The UK has, however, notified its intention, in accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol, to participate in the adoption and application of a number of proposals under Title IV in the areas of asylum, combating illegal immigration and civil law, in accordance with the Government's general policy on Title IV.

National Asylum Support Service

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many staff are employed by the National Asylum Support Service; and of these how many are employed centrally and how many in each region of England, in Scotland and in Wales. [HL527]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: As at the end of December 2000, there were 492 staff employed by the Home Office in the NASS. In addition there were 42 agency staff.

Of the total of 534, 523 are employed centrally and 11 in the regions; one in each of the following areas: Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the North West, Yorkshire/Humberside, the West Midlands, the North East, the East Midlands, the East of England, the South West, the South Central/East.

6 Feb 2001 : Column WA94

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What proportion of employees in the National Asylum Support Service are full-time and on permanent contracts, full-time and on temporary contracts, part-time and on permanent contracts, and part-time and on temporary contracts.[HL528]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: All of the staff currently employed by the Home Office in the NASS are on permanent contracts, almost 18 per cent of whom are part time.

A further 8 per cent of staff in NASS are employed by agencies. These staff are not contractually bound to the Home Office.

In addition, there is a small number of contractors and secondees (about eight at present) whose contracts are with their agencies and original departments respectively.

Asylum Seekers Detained in Prison:Language Facilities

Lord Greaves asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What language support and training are provided to prison officers in prisons that are used to detain asylum seekers; and what translating and interpreting services are provided to such asylum seekers.[HL529]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Prison Service has recently re-negotiated its contract with Language Line, a 24-hour telephone interpreting service available to all prison establishments. A training day for staff on the use of the service was held at the Prison Service College in September 2000 and further sessions at the Race Relations Liaison Officers National Conference in November 2000. The Prisoners' Information Book, jointly produced with the Prison Reform Trust, is available in 21 languages.

Establishments have access to an Interpreters' Directory which gives details of interpreters registered to immigration ports in England and Wales. Immigration staff--who hold "surgeries" for immigration detainees--have access to a database of 3,000 interpreters in over 200 different languages.

The Prison Service will continue to work in partnership with the Immigration Service and other agencies to minimise any language or cultural difficulties experienced by foreign nationals, including asylum seekers, detained in prison.

Air Weapons: Permit Requirement

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 15 January (WA 99), whether for the avoidance of confusion and doubt they will list the categories of air rifles and air pistols for which permits are required.[HL615]

6 Feb 2001 : Column WA95

Lord Bassam of Brighton: I understand that air weapons of the type used in competitive target shooting such as the Commonwealth Games shooting events are restricted in power to give muzzle energies of less than 12 foot pounds for rifles and 6 foot pounds for pistols. They are classed as low powered air weapons and do not require any form of certification.

High powered air rifles with muzzle energies greater than 12 foot pounds and air pistols with muzzle energies of greater than 6 foot pounds are classed as being of a type declared by the Secretary of State to be specially dangerous, and this moves them into the same classification as conventional cartridge firing weapons. This means that high powered air rifles come under the control of Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended) and must be kept on a police-issued firearm certificate or visitor's permit. High powered air pistols are prohibited under the terms of Section 5(1)(aba) of the Act and may not be possessed without the express authority of the Secretary of State. In addition, they would also need to be kept on a firearm certificate or visitor's permit.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate: Casework Programme

Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What progress has been made on the introduction of the casework programme of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate.[HL640]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: In 1996 Siemens Business Services Ltd and the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) of the Home Office agreed a specification and contract for the development and operation of an integrated casework system. For a number of reasons delivery in the timescale originally anticipated did not occur.

Officials have however worked closely with Siemens to ensure that the Information Technology (IT) provided by it supports the expansion of immigration casework and current priorities. The systems already operating as an interim solution, with which the directorate has achieved 110,000 asylum decisions this year, provide the practical support needed. The original full casework application now seems over-complex and out of touch with current working practices. IND has accordingly agreed with Siemens that it should stand down the resources it is using to develop the full casework application.

Siemens continues to work actively in partnership with IND on a programme of further improvements to IND's current IT, to be completed over the next year.

6 Feb 2001 : Column WA96

IND and Siemens will together work through the consequent changes to the contract and payment schedule. At present, there is no change to the current contract, which runs to October 2003.

Clandestine Entrants: Rail Freight Regulations

Lord Rea asked Her Majesty's Government:

    When the application of the civil penalty for carrying clandestine entrants to rail freight trains will be extended; when the amount of such a penalty will be set; when a code of practice for rail freight will be brought into operation; and whether a report on the consultation process will be published.[HL641]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Following a formal consultation period, which ran from 13 November to 25 December 2000, the main set of regulations extending the civil penalty to rail freight (the Carriers' Liability (Clandestine Entrants) (Application to Rail Freight) Regulations 2001) has been laid before Parliament today, along with a draft code of practice. The main regulations come into force, for the purposes of making and laying two related instruments--namely the Carriers' Liability (Clandestine Entrants and Sale of Transporters) (Amendment) Regulations 2001 and the Carriers' Liability (Clandestine Entrants) (Code of Practice for Rail Freight) Order 2001--on 7 February 2001. The remaining provisions of the main regulations and the two related instruments will come into force on 1 March 2001.

The purpose of the main regulations is to enable penalties to be imposed in respect of clandestine entrants who arrive in the United Kingdom concealed in a rail freight wagon. The other two instruments provide respectively for the amount of the penalty (and certain procedural matters), and for the coming into operation of the Code of Practice.

A copy of the report, summarising the main responses to the consultation process, has been placed in the Library. Copies are also available on the Immigration and Nationality Directorate website at


Lord Lucas asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will list, for each school, college or university having a combined cadet force (CCF), (a) its name, (b) its postcode, (c) the services with which it has connections, and (d) the number of cadets linked with each service; and what is the total annual cost to the Government of maintaining such CCFs.[HL464]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean): The details requested are in the following table.

6 Feb 2001 : Column WA97

School or College (a)Post Code (b)No of cadets by service section as at 1 April 2000 (c), (d) RN/RMArmyRAF
Abingdon SchoolO14 1DE--7550
Adams' Grammar SchoolTF10 7BD--11055
Alleyn's SchoolSE22 8SU228464
Ampleforth CollegeYO6 4EY--17327
Ardingly CollegeRH17 6SQ--105--
Arnold SchoolFY4 1JG119164119
Audenshaw High SchoolM34 5NB--2732
Bancroft's SchoolIG8 0RF--8750
Bangor Grammar SchoolBT20 5HJ70107--
Barnard Castle SchoolDL12 8UN--9858
Batley Grammar SchoolWF17 0AD294663
Bearwood CollegeRG41 5BG--120--
Bedford SchoolMK40 2TU427783
Bedford Modern SchoolMK41 7NT517231
Berkhamsted Collegiate SchoolHP4 2BB2513242
Birkenhead SchoolCH43 2JD309072
Bloxham SchoolOX15 4PE--75--
Blundells SchoolEX16 4DN--146--
Bournemouth SchoolBH8 9PY338085
Bradfield CollegeRG7 6AU4916730
Bradford Grammar SchoolBD9 4JP--58--
Brentwood SchoolCM15 8AS4029271
Bridlington SchoolYO16 4QU214941
Brighton CollegeBN2 2AL5411976
Bromsgrove SchoolB61 7DU--17937
Bury Grammar SchoolBL9 0HN--139--
Calday Grange Grammar SchoolCH48 8GG315038
Campbell CollegeBT4 2ND12030971
Canford SchoolBH21 3AD67143--
Caterham SchoolCR3 6YA--5851
Charterhouse SchoolGU7 2DJ495945
Cheltenham CollegeGL53 7LD2314633
Chichester High SchoolPO19 2AE--6059
Christ College, BreconLD3 8AG2310322
Christ's College, FinchleyN2 0SE--112--
Christ's HospitalRH13 7LS2010145
Churcher's CollegeGU31 4AS356050
Churston Grammar SchoolTQ5 0LN--50--
City of London SchoolEC4V 3AL3612134
Clayesmore SchoolDT11 8LL--10555
Clifton CollegeBS8 3JH7011289
Colfe's SchoolSE12 8AW--4421
College of Richard CollyerRH12 2EJ--71--
Colston's Collegiate SchoolBS16 1BJ249025
Cowes High SchoolPO31 8HB--4420
Cranbrook SchoolTN17 3JD--4530
Cranleigh SchoolGU6 8QQ--117--
Daniel Stewart's & Melville CollegeEH4 3EZ--20291
Dean Close SchoolGL51 6HE4228364
Denstone CollegeST14 5HN--4534
Dollar AcademyFK14 7DU1814527
Dover Grammar SchoolCT17 0DQ--4550
Downside SchoolBA3 4RJ45126--
Duke of York's Royal Military SchoolCT15 5EQ--29334
Dulwich CollegeSE21 7LD226065
Dundee High SchoolDD1 1HU22146--
Durham SchoolDH1 4SZ2010536
Eastbourne CollegeBN21 4JY1925120
Edinburgh AcademyEH3 5BL2310561
Elizabeth CollegeGY1 2PY193528
Ellesmere CollegeSY12 9AB2913037
Epsom CollegeKT17 4JQ4228398
Eton CollegeSL4 6DW--17621
Exeter SchoolEX2 4NS9214296
Felsted SchoolCM6 3LL--9916
Fettes CollegeEH4 1QX4018047
Forest SchoolE17 3PY--42--
Framlingham CollegeIP13 9EY4411452
George Heriots SchoolEH3 9EQ305065
Giggleswick SchoolBD24 0DE2410223
Glasgow AcademyG12 8HE368260
Glenalmond CollegePH1 3RY--16743
Godolphin SchoolSP1 2RA--55--
Gordon's SchoolGU24 9PT3326748
Gresham's SchoolNR25 6EA--27498
Haberdashers' Aske's SchoolWD6 3AF868796
Haileybury CollegeSG13 7NU4515050
Hampton SchoolTW12 3HD--8575
Harrow SchoolHA1 3HP10728340
Hele's SchoolPL7 4LT3710036
Hereford Cathedral SchoolHR1 2NG1711079
Highgate SchoolN6 4AY--62--
Howard SchoolME8 0BX--926
Hulme Grammar SchoolOL8 4BX--4937
Hurstpierpoint CollegeBN6 9JS--5757
Ipswich SchoolIP1 3SG--5235
Judd SchoolTN9 2PN--4578
Kelly CollegePL19 0HZ13173--
Kelvinside AcademyG12 0SW365726
Kimbolton SchoolPE18 0EA3110680
King Charles I High SchoolDY10 1XA--45--
King Edward's School, BathBA2 6HU--114--
King Edward's School, BirminghamB15 2UA168252
King Edward VI Grammar School, ChelmsfordCM1 3SX--80--
King Edward VI Grammar School, LouthLN11 9LL------
King William's CollegeIM9 1TP3110249
King's College, TauntonTA1 3DX53148--
King's College SchoolSW19 4TT6110977
King's School, BrutonBA10 0ED922534
King's School, CanterburyCT1 2ES258035
King's School, ChesterCH4 7QL--7654
King's School, GranthamNG31 6RP--11034
King's School, RochesterME1 1TE456839
King's School, WorcesterWR1 2LH--4460
Kingham Hill SchoolOX7 6TH--8832
Kingston Grammar SchoolKT2 6PY--2127
Kirkham Grammar SchoolPR4 2BH--13376
Knox AcademyEH41 4EW--56--
Lancing CollegeBN15 0RW283238
Langley SchoolNR14 6BJ2110222
Leeds Grammar SchoolLS17 8GS--3162
Leys SchoolCB2 2AD--62--
Liverpool CollegeL18 8BG4022658
Llandovery CollegeSA20 0EE--118--
London Oratory SchoolSW6 1RX--5561
Longhill SchoolBN2 7FR--75--
Lordswood Boys' SchoolB17 8BJ------
Lord Wandsworth CollegeRG29 1TB--11729
Loretto SchoolEH21 7AF50131--
Loughborough Grammar SchoolLE11 2DU26165110
Magdalen College SchoolOX4 1DX3610961
Maidstone Grammar SchoolME15 7BT268258
Malvern CollegeWR14 3DF506814
Marlborough CollegeSN8 1PA--274--
Merchant Taylors' School, CrosbyL23 0PO3218138
Merchant Taylors' School, NorthwoodHA6 2HT8919583
Merchiston Castle SchoolEH13 0PU--212--
Merrill CollegeDE24 9FE--80--
Mill Hill SchoolNW7 1QS4915417
Milton Abbey SchoolDT11 0BZ408835
Monkton Combe SchoolBA2 7HG4411043
Monmouth SchoolNP5 3XP--12332
Morrison's AcademyPH7 3AN--111--
Mount St Mary's CollegeS21 3YL--12950
Newcastle under Lyme SchoolST5 1DB288061
Northolt High SchoolUB5 4HP--5535
Nottingham High SchoolNG7 4ED319376
Oakham SchoolLE15 6QG--9686
Old Swinford HospitalDY8 1QX--16063
Oratory SchoolRG8 0PJ2912139
Oswestry SchoolSY11 2TL--109--
Oundle SchoolPE8 4EN2934079
Pangbourne CollegeRG8 8LA9332--
Pate's Grammar SchoolGL51 0HG--11973
Perse SchoolCB2 2QF239560
Plymouth CollegePL4 6RN406536
Pocklington SchoolYO4 2NJ--12251
Portsmouth Grammar SchoolPO1 2LN577456
Presentation CollegeRG30 2BB--5335
Prior Park CollegeBA2 5AH445018
Queen Elizabeth's CollegeEN5 4DQ--60--
Queen Mary's Grammar SchoolWS1 2PG--137115
Queen Mary's, The Vyne SchoolRG21 2PB--3137
Queen Victoria SchoolFK15 0JY227758
Radley CollegeOX14 2HR4513553
Ratcliffe CollegeLE7 4SG--5525
Read SchoolYO8 8NL--8436
Reading SchoolRG1 5LW--5566
Reading Blue Coat SchoolRG4 0SU2811639
Reed's SchoolKT11 2ES--6731
Reigate Grammar SchoolRH2 0QS 213953
Repton SchoolDE6 6GG--24936
Robert Gordon CollegeB9 1FR--7654
Rossall SchoolFY7 8JW3585--
Royal Belfast Academical InstituteBT1 6DL--140111
Royal School ArmaghBT61 9DH--8437
Royal Grammar School, GuildfordGU1 3BB--187--
Royal Grammar School High WycombeHP13 6QT427988
Royal Grammar School, LancasterLA1 3EF186257
Royal Grammar School, NewcastleNE2 4DX22108--
Royal Grammar School, WorcesterWR1 1HP5462112
Royal Hospital SchoolIP9 2RX190137102
Royal Russell SchoolCR9 5BX--8318
Royal Wolverhampton SchoolWV3 0EG--4635
Rugby SchoolCV22 5EG2820140
Ruthin SchoolLL15 1EE3376--
Rutlish SchoolSW20 9AD--5948
Ryde SchoolPO33 3BE62--62
St. Albans SchoolAL3 4HB--13636
St. Bartholomew's SchoolRG14 6JP110191101
St. Bees SchoolCA27 0AD--13337
St. Benedict's SchoolW5 2ES--72--
St. Brigid's SchoolLL16 4BH------
St. Columba's CollegeAL3 4AW--3424
St. Dunstan's CollegeSE6 4TY2539--
St. Edmund's CollegeSG11 1DS--5146
St. Edmund's SchoolCT2 8HU--115--
St. Edward's SchoolOX2 7NN339033
St. Ignatius CollegeEN1 4NP--7070
St. John's SchoolKT22 8SP5812673
St. Joseph's CollegeIP2 9DR--10324
St. Lawrence CollegeCT11 7AE327431
St. Mary's CollegeL23 3AB--7853
St. Peter's Church of Engand High SchoolEX2 5AP515662
St. Peter's SchoolYO3 6AB--8535
Sandbach SchoolCW11 3NS249141
Scarborough CollegeYO11 3BA20149--
Seaford CollegeGU28 0NB319837
Sedbergh SchoolLA10 5TJ2516220
Sevenoaks SchoolTN13 1HU5015759
Sherborne SchoolDT9 3AP7785--
Shiplake CollegeRG9 4BW377732
Shoreham CollegeBN43 6YW--65--
Shrewsbury SchoolSY3 7AR4612146
Sir Roger Manwood's SchoolCT13 9JX--135--
Skinner's SchoolTN4 9PG--186--
Solihull SchoolB91 3DJ3113999
Stamford SchoolPE9 2BO2017095
Stonyhurst CollegeBB7 9PZ--150--
Stowe SchoolMK18 5EH3212540
Stathallan SchoolPH2 9EG6325--
Sutton Grammar SchoolSM1 4AS--7443
Sutton Valence SchoolME17 3HN4112133
Taunton SchoolTA2 6AD386937
The Priory LSSTLN5 8PW--4532
Thomas Hardye SchoolDT1 2ET--4422
Tonbridge SchoolTN9 1JP267950
Trent CollegeNG10 4AD--12560
Trinity School, CroydonCR9 7AT4191112
Trinity School, TeignmouthTQ14 8LY--88--
Uppingham SchoolLE15 9UD6813727
Victoria CollegeJE1 4HT426483
Warminster SchoolBA12 8PJ--88--
Warwick SchoolCV34 6PP--11525
Welbeck CollegeS80 3LN--185--
Wellingborough SchoolNN8 2BX3415243
Wellington CollegeRG45 7PU9929364
Wellington SchoolTA21 9NT47203--
Wells Cathedral SchoolBA5 2ST--6430
West Buckland SchoolEX32 0SX1911969
Whitgift SchoolCR2 6YT2620675
William Hulme's Grammar SchoolM16 8PR--10958
William Parker SchoolTN34 2NS--5050
Wilson's SchoolSM6 9JW--5152
Winchester CollegeSO23 9PF804672
Woodbridge SchoolIP12 4JH638938
Woodroffe SchoolDT7 3LS--4824
Worksop CollegeS80 3AP4013540
Wrekin CollegeTF1 3BH--8936
Wycliffe CollegeGL10 2JQ--100--
Wymondham CollegeNR18 9SZ--4025
Yarm SchoolTS15 9EJ--69--

Contingent strengths are reported annually. This means that contingents that have opened since 1 April 2000 have no strength recorded in this table.

6 Feb 2001 : Column WA103

Funding for the CCF is provided through single service budget holders. During the financial year 1999-2000 over £7 million was spent in direct support of the CCF. This does not, however, represent the total cost to the MoD. There are a number of costs that cannot be separately identified, associated with accommodation, equipment, the running and maintenance of CCF camps and training activities.

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