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NORTHERN IRELAND

Positive about Disabled People Symbol

Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list for his Department and each of the

31 Jan 1996 : Column: 792

agencies for which he is responsible if it uses the Employment Service's positive about disabled people symbol for (a) external recruitment and (b) internal recruitment and promotion. [11916]

Sir John Wheeler: The Northern Ireland civil service and Norther Ireland Office do not use the Employment Service's positive about disabled people symbol. The NICS's arrangements in respect of the recruitment and management of disabled staff are set out in the code of practice on the employment of people with disabilities in the Northern Ireland civil service. The principles and guidance applying to the recruitment and management of the home civil service staff group in the Northern Ireland Office are set out in the programme for action to achieve equality of opportunity in "The Civil Service and Disabled People" published by the Office of Public Service and Science, now the Office of Public Service.

Honours Recommendations

Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is his policy in respect of consultation with the Eire Government in respect of recommendations for honours; and if he will make a statement. [11684]

Sir John Wheeler: There is no consultation with the Irish Government regarding the recommendation of individuals for honours.

Unemployment

Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what is the overall percentage and proportionate rates of unemployment of Catholics, Protestants and others, the numbers involved and those figures broken down by gender with sources; [11685]

Sir John Wheeler: The information in the table is based on those for whom a religion was recorded in the 1991 census of population.

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Male Female Both Sexes
Protestant and othersRoman catholicProtestant and otherRoman CatholicProtestant and othersRoman Catholic
Economically Active212,574143,234148,99895,490361,572238,724
Unemployed26,89540,64711,94313,86338,83854,410
Unemployment Rate12.728.48.014.510.722.8

A very small proportion of the "Protestant and others" category--approximately 0.5 per cent.--were members of non-Christian religions.


31 Jan 1996 : Column: 791

The difference in unemployment rates between Catholics and Protestants is due to the interaction over time of a complex range of factors which has been the subject of academic debate since the 1970s. This is one of the issues to be addressed in the employment equality review currently being undertaken by the Standing Advisory Commission on Human Rights.

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Coinage

Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, pursuant to his answer of 9 January 1995, Official Report, column 107, if he subjected his decision to agree to the Royal Mint's proposal for a Celtic torc and a Celtic cross to be the symbols representing

31 Jan 1996 : Column: 793

Northern Ireland on the new £1 coin to his Department's policy appraisal and fair treatment guidelines. [11686]

Sir Patrick Mayhew: No.

Donna Maguire

Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will arrange for the costs of Donna Maguire's criminal activities to be deducted from her award for ankle injuries. [11687]

Mr. Moss: An appeal against the award is under consideration. It would be inappropriate to comment further on the case in these circumstances.

Housing (Residency Requirements)

Mr. Robert McCartney: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many years residency are required before a United Kingdom citizen not born in Northern Ireland becomes eligible under the standard rules to be housed by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive; and if he will detail some comparable rules in England and Scotland. [11688]

Mr. Moss: As I confirmed to the hon. Gentleman in my letter of 14 November 1995, the housing selection scheme operated by the Housing Executive and approved by the Department of the Environment provides that, before they can be considered for public housing, applicants--other than those with an entitlement to be housed on a priority basis--must:


In England and Wales, local authorities are responsible for allocating housing within the framework laid down in sections 22 and 23 of the Housing Act 1985. A survey carried out by the Department of the Environment in London shows that around 90 per cent. of local authorities in England operate a residency condition. Details of the length of time that each authority requires an applicant to reside in their area is not held centrally.

Sections 9 to 21 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 set out the framework for allocating and managing housing in Scotland. Scottish authorities are required not to take account of an applicant's length of residence. Details of the individual schemes and the authorities' observance of this requirement are not held centrally.

Development Grants

Mr. McAvoy: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what economic development grants Northern Ireland has received in each of the last five years from (a) the EU and (b) other sources; and what is the total value of these. [9625]

Mr. Ancram [holding answer 25 January 1996]: The following table shows what has been drawn down in each of the last five years in respect of economic development grants from the European Union.

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Year£000
199158,135
199296,035
1993120,116
199430,213
199514,003
Total318,502

With regard to funding from other sources, the international fund for Ireland provides financial contributions which support economic development in Northern Ireland. Information about the financial support provided by this independent international organisation is contained in its published annual reports, copies of which are available in the Library.


Telecommunications Masts

Mr. William Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many planning applications he has received from Millennium Communications, Stockport, for the erection of telecommunications relay station masts in Northern Ireland; what are the exact locations of each of these masts; and what steps he intends to take to apply planning controls to such structures. [12150]

Mr. Moss: No planning applications have been received. The erection of telecommunications relay station masts by licenced public telecommunications code system operators is, subject to certain criteria, permitted development by virtue of article 3 of the Planning (General Development) Order (Northern Ireland) 1993.

Fisheries

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what studies have been undertaken by the Department of Agriculture to establish catch figures for fisheries on the Rivers Maine and Kells water system. [12083]

Mr. Ancram: None. There is no statutory requirement for anglers to make catch returns.

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the need for counters to be employed on the River Maine system to enable the fishery division to compile accurate figures on the health of the migratory stocks. [12084]

Mr. Ancram: None. The provision of fish counters on watercourses is a matter for fishery owners. Funds are currently available to assist such projects.

Balmoral-Malone Traffic Scheme

Rev. Ian Paisley: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the cost benefit analysis check sensitivity test for induced traffic effects on the Balmoral-Malone roads traffic scheme; what estimate he has made of the time savings in pounds sterling for each of the 30 years' assumed life of the scheme from the COBA output; if he will indicate the total (a) vehicle kilometres and (b) number of predicated accidents by category for (i) the do nothing and (ii) do

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something options for (1) the opening year and (2) the design year (year 15); and if he will list the value accident savings in pounds sterling for each of the 30 year life discounted as for time savings. [11932]

Mr. Moss: The cost benefit analysis check sensitive test for induced traffic effects on the Malone road/Balmoral avenue traffic scheme shows that no induced traffic is expected as a result of this scheme.

The time savings, in sterling, for each of the 30 years' assumed life of the scheme based on low traffic growth and high traffic growth are as follows:

Savings £'000

YearLow Traffic GrowthHigh Traffic Growth
1.326366
2.315348
3.304330
4.286316
5.269302
6.254283
7.238273
8.224272
9.211268
10.200265
11.188264
12.176255
13.163245
14.156252
15.151272
16.146313
17.141375
18.135535
19.130707
20.126684
21.122661
22.117637
23.110612
24.102587
25.99562
26.98537
27.98512
28.100487
29.104460
30.111429
Total5,20212,408

The total vehicle kilometres and number of predicted accidents based on low and high traffic growth are as follows:

Low Traffic Growth High Traffic Growth
YearDo nothingDo somethingDo nothingDo something
Vehicle kilometres in millions
115151515
1519192222
Number of accidents
17.44.48.14.5
158.24.89.35.2

The value accident savings, in sterling, for each of the 30 year life of the scheme, based on the low and high traffic growth, are as in the table.

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Value of savings £000

YearLow traffic growthHigh traffic growth
1.4049
2.3848
3.3646
4.3444
5.3243
6.3041
7.2939
8.2738
9.2637
10.2435
11.2334
12.2233
13.2132
14.2030
15.1929
16.1828
17.1727
18.1626
19.1525
20.1424
21.1423
22.1322
23.1221
24.1221
25.1120
26.1019
27.1018
28.918
29.917
30.816
Total608902


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