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Written answers

Friday, 30 April 2004

  • Cabinet Office

    • Regulation

      To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many instances of gold plating have been brought to the attention of the Cabinet Office Regulatory Impact Unit, with particular reference to the...

  • Constitutional Affairs

    • Consultants

      To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what sum has been expended on consultants by (a) the Department and (b) its predecessors since May 1997.

    • Immigration

      To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Immigration Appeals Authority has received from the Home Office the papers relating to the case of Mr. S. M.,...

      Immigration

      To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will set a time limit on the maximum length of time between an appeal against the withdrawal of United Kingdom...

      Immigration

      To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what action he proposes to take to reduce delays in hearings before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in cases...

      Parliamentary Questions

      To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs if he will name all hon. Members who, since 1 August 2003, have been sent a standard departmental reply concerning the...

  • Culture Media and Sport

    • BBC (Commercial Advertising)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to her answer of 31 March 2004, Official Report, column 1454W, on BBC (commercial advertising), how much the BBC spent in each...

    • Departmental Communications

      To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the total expenditure on communications for her Department has been in 2003–04, broken down by expenditure on (a) Government...

      Departmental Communications

      To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff were employed in the Department to work in the communications field, and what the total expenditure on communications for...

      Press Officers

      To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many press officers were employed in her Department in each year from 1990– 91 to 2003–04; what the total cost was in...

  • Defence

    • Civil Servants

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list for each civil service grade within his (a) Department and (b) Department's executive agencies, the total number of staff employed,...

    • Iraq

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent changes have been made regarding the use of free postage for military personnel serving in Iraq; and if he will make a statement.

      Manning Control

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers subject to manning control in the last 10 years are (a) still serving on an S-type contract and (b) have been discharged, and under...

      Manning Control

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many soldiers who were subject to manning control and were discharged or signed on to S-type contracts and subsequently discharged since 1994 have...

      Defence Statistics

      To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the contribution his Department makes to the West Midlands economy.

  • Deputy Prime Minister

    • Antisocial Behaviour

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many evictions by housing authorities for antisocial behaviour took place in (a) the last three months of 2003 and (b) the first three months of 2004.

    • Betting Shops

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance he gives to local authorities in consideration of an application for planning permission to open a betting shop from someone who has already...

      Planning (Flag Poles)

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what planning restrictions apply to (a) the erection of flag poles and (b) the flying of national flags; and if he will make a statement; (2) if he will...

      Land Use Change

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much land changing to residential use was within 1997-designated Green Belt in each year since 1997, broken down by region.

      Land Use Change

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many new dwellings were built within 1997-designated Green Belt in each year since 1997, broken down by region.

      Land Use Change

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much land within 1997-designated Green Belt changed to developed use each year since 1997, broken down by region.

      Land Use Change

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the locations of each development on (a) Green Belt land and (b) non-Green Belt green field land for which he or his predecessors have given...

      Local Authority Housing

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on how the change in the level of council funding for housing has affected the residents of Preston since 1997.

      Local Authority Housing

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how the change in the level of council funding for housing has affected the residents of Bootle since 1997.

      Parliamentary Questions

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he will reply to the questions tabled by the hon. Member for Cotswold on 25 March, ref 163886, on Coverage Care (Gloucestershire) Ltd.

      Roadside Advertising

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what advice his Department offers local authorities regarding planning for roadside and roundabout advertising.

      Site Development

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) when the sites owned by the Department of Health will be sold to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, in accordance with the announcement made by him...

      Rent Arrears

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many evictions there were from local authority housing stock for rent arrears during each of the last three years.

      Rent Arrears

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the latest figures for rent arrears in council housing stock are, broken down by region; and what the figures were for (a) 2003 and (b) 2002.

      Wind Farms

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the installed capacity and location of wind turbines granted planning permission was in (a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) Northern Ireland in each...

      Wind Farms

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidance he issues on the minimum acceptable distance between sizes of proposed windfarms and the nearest dwelling.

      Wind Farms

      To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to (a) amend and (b) relax the planning guidance in respect of planning permission for windfarms.

  • Education and Skills

    • Children (Residential Care)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children were placed in residential care by each local authority in the last year for which figures are available.

    • Pre-school Places

      To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) free nursery and (b) pre-school places were available for (i) three and (ii) four-year-olds in Burnley in each of the last...

  • Environment Food and Rural Affairs

    • Illegal Meat Imports

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what estimate she has made of the amount of meat illegally imported into the UK in each of the last 10 years; (2) what...

    • Abattoirs

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 16 March 2004, Official Report, column 156W, on abattoirs, how many individual case files there are...

      Abattoirs

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost was to the Department in (a) 2002–03 and (b) 2003–04 of a charge successfully brought...

      Abattoirs

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost was to the Department in financial years (a) 2002–03 and (b) 2003–04 of a charge brought...

      Animal Welfare Bill

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to introduce an Animal Welfare Bill.

      Sea Bass

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her Department's policy to source sea bass used in catering outlets for which her Department is...

      Blue Tongue Virus

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the risks of a blue tongue virus outbreak in the United Kingdom.

      Bovine TB

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what lessons can be learned in respect of UK TB control measures from the New Zealand experiences of possum clearance.

      Cotswold Conservation Board

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will set out the (a) proposed role and (b) level of funding planned for the Cotswold Conservation Board; whether it...

      EU Rural Development Regulation

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the new requirements which will be imposed by the 2007 EU Rural Development Regulation.

      Fisheries

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the lease of sea bed for fish farming.

      Fisheries

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will request that the European Commission conduct as a matter of urgency a study to establish for each EU member...

      Fisheries

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what proportion of UK fishing effort in fisheries under the provisions of the new Regulation agreed at the Fisheries...

      Fisheries

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Government will (a) publish and (b) implement their Cetacean Bycatch Response Strategy.

      Fisheries

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many UK vessels were fishing in the pelagic trawl fishery in area VII for bass during (a) March and (b) April on the...

      Growth Promoters (Animal Feeds)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the EU ban on the use of antimicrobial growth promoters in animal feeds; and if she will make...

      Japanese Knotweed

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has for a coordinated and strategic approach to the problem of Japanese knotweed.

      Litter (Fines)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to allow local councils to keep income from on the spot fines for dropping litter.

      Sites of Special Scientific Interest

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why English Nature did not inform the hon. Member for Totnes of its wish to extend, under section 28C of the Wildlife...

      Sites of Special Scientific Interest

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many changes to the geographical boundaries of sites of Special Scientific Interest have been made in each of the last...

      Sites of Special Scientific Interest

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what changes have been proposed by English Nature to the rules and regulations affecting sites of Special Scientific...

      Sites of Special Scientific Interest

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many sites of special scientific interest there are, broken down by region; and if she will list the additional sites...

      Sites of Special Scientific Interest

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the reasons were for the Standard Types of Operation 19 and 21, in Annex 3 of English Nature's notification under...

      Civil Servants

      To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many officials in (a) her Department and (b) executive agencies reporting to her Department are employed in the Vale of York.

  • Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

    • Human Rights

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether he plans to sign and ratify the First Optional Protocol to the International Council on Civil and Political Rights on...

    • Cyprus

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is towards (a) Cyprus and (b) Turkey in the light of the outcome of the referendums in Cyprus on 24 April.

      Managed Migration

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how long embassies will retain the passports of citizens of (a) Romania and (b) Bulgaria seeking managed migration employment...

      Sudan

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has held with the National Islamic Front Government of the Sudan over the continuing use of Hudud.

      Departmental Wine Cellars

      To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many bottles of wine are held by his Department.

  • Health

    • "Winning Ways"

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what progress has been made in setting up a rapid review process for new procedures and products claiming to prevent or control...

    • Agency Nurses (Weston Area)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 7 April 2004, refs 163515 to 163518 on public bodies, what he estimates the staff and administration costs have been to his...

      Anaesthesia

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what evaluation he has made of international trials to examine awareness devices that monitor the depth of anaesthesia.

      Kidney Transplants

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many kidney transplants have been carried out by the NHS in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement.

      Knee/Hip Operations

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many replacement (a) knee and (b) hip joint operations have been carried out in each year since 1980.

      Medication Review Curriculum

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards developing a medication review curriculum for (a) providers of education and (b) those seeking training on medication...

      National Service Frameworks

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health what specific funding has been allocated for the implementation of each of the national service frameworks in each of the last three years.

      Neurosurgical Consultants

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many neurosurgical consultants are expected to retire in each of the next five years.

      North Bristol NHS Trust

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been lent by the NHS Bank to North Bristol NHS Trust in (a) 2002–03 and (b) 2003–04; and how much is expected to be lent in (c)...

      Patient Experience

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 7 April 2004, ref 162425, on Patient Experience, if he will set out how the money for the Patient Experience project was spent.

      Pension Schemes

      To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 2 March 2004, Official Report, column 865W, on pension schemes, how many people have (a) transferred their pensions into the NHS...

  • Home Department

    • Operation Artemis

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, under (1) what authority police officers on Operation Artemis ask gamekeepers to sign a pledge supporting the Operation; and what penalty...

    • International Terrorism

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what extra funding has been directed to individual constabularies to make contingency preparations, including training and extra manpower,...

      Animal Experiments

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what provision is made to alleviate the suffering of animals in xenotransplantation experiments.

      Animal Experiments

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it his policy to commission an evaluation of the efficacy of animal experimentation.

      Animal Experiments

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment the Government have made of the level of harassment of suppliers and customers of businesses regulated under the Animals...

      Asylum Seekers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons the asylum appeals of (a) Fariborz Gravindi, (b) Mokhtar Haydary and (c) Faroq Haidari were dismissed; under what...

      Asylum Seekers

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of failed asylum seekers absconded in the last 12 months.

      CCTV

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much public funding has been spent on CCTV security cameras in Heywood and Middleton since 1997.

      CCTV

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much public funding has been spent on CCTV cameras in Stalybridge and Hyde since 1997.

      Drugs Misuse

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what public funds were spent on tackling drugs misuse in Burnley in (a) 1997–98 and (b) 2003–04.

      Drugs Misuse

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what public funds were spent on tackling drugs misuse in Heywood and Middleton in (a) 1997–98 and (b) 2003–04.

      Drugs Misuse

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent by the Government on crime reduction, protection and security in the London Borough of Redbridge since 1997.

      Dangerous Driving

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase penalties for drivers who cause accidents (a) while banned from driving and (b) who do not have the required...

      Mobile Phones

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what resources he has devoted to enforcing new laws to combat driving while using mobile phones.

      Ncis

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he or his Department have had from (a) Greater Manchester police, (b) South Wales police and (c) the UK Immigration...

      Serious Organised Crime Agency

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely effects of the proposed new powers of the Serious and Organised Crime Agency on client...

      Substance Abuse

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answers of 19 April, Official Report, column 116W, on substance abuse, what mechanisms he uses to gauge the level of misuse...

      Under-12s Concession

      To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the decision was made to withdraw the concession for under-12s to join a parent in the UK; and when the information was posted on the...

  • House of Commons Commission

    • Water Services

      To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission what change in water consumption was achieved by the rationalisation of water services...

  • Leader of the House

    • Official Photographs

      To ask the Leader of the House if he will place in the Library the most recent set of official photographs taken in the House while it was sitting.

  • Trade and Industry

    • Mobile Telephone Industry (Hacking)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with the mobile telephone industry to reduce the vulnerability to hacking of Bluetooth-enabled telephones and...

    • Civil Partnerships

      To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 24 March 2004, Official Report, column 861W, on civil partnerships, whether legal rights and benefits to which...

      Departmental Entertainment

      To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her latest estimate is of the amount spent by her Department on official entertainment in each year from 1996–97 to 2004–05.

      Post Office Closures

      To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions a decision to close a post office in Scotland as part of the urban reinvention programme was reversed following the six...

      Post Office Closures

      To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make electronically accessible the Royal Mail's estimates of delivery times for the Isle of Wight under the single delivery...

      Renewable Energy

      To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent meetings (a) she and (b) the Minister for Energy have had with organisations concerned with development of the renewable energy...

      Science Strategy

      To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps she has taken to enhance science in her Department since the publication of the Government's science strategy, Investing in Innovation.

  • Transport

    • Battersea Park Station

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with Network Rail about improvements to Battersea Park Station.

    • Departmental Events

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the conferences and seminars that his Department organised between 1 September 2003 and 28 February 2004, detailing the cost of each.

      Railway Improvements (Burnley)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the likely effects of investment in railway improvements over the next 10 years upon residents of Burnley.

      Transport Infrastructure

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the effect of investment in railway improvements over the next 10 years upon residents of Heywood and Middleton.

      Transport Infrastructure

      To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the effect of investment in railway improvements over the next 10 years upon residents of Stalybridge and Hyde.

  • Treasury

    • Connexions

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, (1) what (a) discussions and (b) correspondence he has had with the Secretary of State for Education and Skills concerning the written encouragement...

    • Council Tax (Pensioners)

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what mechanism will be used to deliver the £100 council tax payment to pensioners aged over 70 years announced in the 2004 Budget; and when it will be paid.

      Gender Equality Directive

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the (a) financial and (b) regulatory impact to (i) consumers and (ii) business of the Gender Equality Directive with regard...

      VAT (Learning and Skills Council)

      To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on which transactions and activities relating to the provision of services the Learning and Skills Council is entitled to reclaim VAT costs.

  • Work and Pensions

    • Age-Related Payments Bill

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions under what circumstances he expects to use the powers in the Age-Related Payments Bill to make payments to pensioners under the age of 70.

    • Council Tax

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people aged over 70 years are in receipt of council tax benefit in Scotland, broken down by (a) local authority area and (b)...

      External Consultants

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 22 April 2004, Official Report, column 666W, on external consultants, what the cost of the external consultants for...

      National Insurance Rebates

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his latest estimate is of expenditure on national insurance rebates for those who are contracted out of the state second pension (a) in...

      Nursing Home Residents (Benefits)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants for winter fuel payments were disallowed because of late application in (a) 2001–02 and (b) 2002–03.

      Nursing Home Residents (Benefits)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons Mr. G. Mack of Bradenstoke, Chippenham, Wiltshire had his winter fuel payment disallowed in (a) 2001–02 and (b)...

      Nursing Home Residents (Benefits)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by what mechanism a pensioner is informed of eligibility for winter fuel payment where, through clerical error, their details do not appear on...

      Nursing Home Residents (Benefits)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many senior citizens in Manchester, Gorton have benefited from the winter fuel allowance since 1997.

      Nursing Home Residents (Benefits)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in a residential or nursing home have been ineligible for the winter fuel payment in each year since its introduction.

      Nursing Home Residents (Benefits)

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in a residential nursing home have been in receipt of the minimum income guarantee and pension credit in each year since 1997.

      Pension Credit

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what comparison has been made in take up rates for pension credit between rural and urban areas; and what causes he ascribes to the lower rate...

      Pensions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will publish the results of the pilot exercise for combined pension forecasts carried out with certain employers and pension providers...

      Pensions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress he has made in identifying pension funds that have gone into wind-up with inadequate funds to meet their liabilities since Royal...

      Pensions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether local authorities will be liable for the pension protection fund levy.

      Pensions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many full-time equivalent Pension Protection Fund staff he expects to employ; and if he will make a statement.

      Pensions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his policy is on the rights of individuals to continue to work (a) part-time and (b) full-time after retirement; and what rules apply to...

      Pensions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 25 March 2004, Official Report, column 1030W, on pensions, if he will list the gross costs of the proposal referred...

      Pensions

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people under 30 have taken out a stakeholder pension.

      Sure Start

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many mothers in Stalybridge and Hyde have made use of the Sure Start maternity grant.

      Winter Fuel Allowance

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many senior citizens in Burnley have benefited from the winter fuel allowance since 1997.

      Winter Fuel Allowance

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many senior citizens in Heywood and Middleton have benefited from the winter fuel allowance since 1997.

      Winter Fuel Allowance

      To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners received the winter fuel allowance in Liverpool, Walton in each year between 1997 and 2003.

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