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Written Answers to Questions

Friday 8 May 1998


Development Awareness Working Group

Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will report on the outcome of the first meeting of the Development Awareness Working Group. [41487]

Mr. Foulkes: I chaired the first meeting of the Development Awareness Working Group on 31 March. We had a creative and constructive discussion about the opportunities for the Government to enhance their role in this area, and to add value to much of the excellent work which is already underway across the country. We agreed to establish three sub-groups to examine in more detail new themes and partnerships, key issues in relation to existing formal and non-formal structures, and lesson learning from others. The sub-groups will report back to the next full meeting of the Working Group, which is scheduled for 22 July. A fuller record of the meeting will be placed on the Department for International Development's Internet site.



Mr. Mitchell: To ask the Minister without Portfolio (1) what expenditure has been undertaken by the New Millennium Experience Company on the development of Surfball; and which organisations have been consulted; [38620]

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Mr. Mandelson: The "Serious Play" Zone within the Millennium Dome will include an interactive look at the world of sport and games in the 21st century, the details of which are still being worked up. "Surfball" was a working title used for illustrative purposes at the end of last year, when design proposals were at a very early stage. The New Millennium Experience Company does not intend to seek to register the name "Surfball" for any games or features which may form part of the content of the "Serious Play" Zone.


Health Authorities (Funding)

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what additional individual health authorities' allocations he has announced; and if he will make a statement. [40647]

Mr. Win Griffiths: I announced, in May 1997, £600,000 for breast cancer services which was disbursed to the health authorities and Trusts by the Cancer Services Co-ordinating Group and £2.5 million for primary care. In October 1997, I announced £9.5 million to assist with winter pressures. In December 1997, a cash increase of £113 million for NHS Wales in total for 1998-99 was announced by the Secretary of State, which included £60.2 million new money and an additional £1.3 million found from within the Welsh Office Block.

The 1998-99 NHS cash increase included £77 million in revenue funding, of which £65.8 million was allocated to health authorities, and also included an additional £2.4 million for cancer services and £0.5 million to tackle prescription fraud. Following the latest Budget, I announced on 18 March an additional £25.1 million for NHS Wales for 1998-99 to bring in-patient waiting lists down to the level when we took office. £18 million of the additional money has already been allocated and further guidance on its use will be issued shortly. The balance of the money will be used to address in year waiting list issues as they arise together with other initiatives such as preparing a Corporate Plan for NHS Wales and managing the Trust reconfiguration exercise.

Allocations directly to health authorities of the Winter Pressure money, the 1998-99 health authority cash increase and the Waiting List money are as follows:

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North WalesDyfed PowysMorgannwgBro TafGwentTotal
1997-98 Winter Care money2.1981.6081.6342.3181.7909.548
1998-99 cash increase(1)13.6279.67910.20018.70913.54765.763
Waiting List money4.1243.0373.0704.3813.38818.000

(1) Includes increases in discretionary allocations, GMS cash limited allocation and protected services allocations

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Health Inequalities

Mr. Barry Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what progress he has made in ending health inequalities in Wales. [40659]

Mr. Win Griffiths: Progress has already been made in laying the foundations for improving health in Wales; for example, the NHS is already working toward 15 health gain targets for the next 5 years published by the Welsh Office in June 1997. Taken together, these are

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comprehensive and ambitious targets by which we can gain an overall measure of progress towards better health in Wales.

Gwent Tertiary College

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library copies of the correspondence between his Department and the Chair of the Corporation of Gwent Tertiary College in the last six months. [41205]

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Mr. Hain: I have received two letters from the Chairman of Gwent Tertiary College Further Education Corporation. Copies of my replies have been placed in the Library of the House.

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he expects to reply to the questions from the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (38900, 38899) relating to ESF funding for Gwent Tertiary College. [41204]

Mr. Hain: I will write to my hon. Friend as soon as possible and place a copy of my reply in the Library of the House.


Young Offender Institutions

Mr. Allan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many inmates of young offender institutions have (a) committed suicide, (b) attempted suicide and (c) been victims of violence, in each of the last three years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [40024]

Ms Quin: The information requested is not available in the format requested. However, information is available on the number of self-inflicted deaths, the recorded incidents of self-harm and the recorded incidents of assault of a prisoner on a prisoner. It should be noted that not all self-inflicted deaths conclude with a verdict of suicide. The figures on self-harm and assault of a prisoner on a prisoner may include a number of incidents concerning the same prisoner. Definitions and methods of recording both these types of incident have also changed over time. The broader definition of incidents of self-harm is now used rather than attempted suicide. The figure for incidents of self-harm for 1997/98 is provisional.

Self-inflicted deaths2148
Reported self-harm1,8151,1581,264
Reported assault of prisoner on prisoner463678947

Judicial Hearings

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many cases were heard in England and Wales by a judge alone during 1997. [40909]

Mr. Michael: It is not clear to what type of case this question refers, but criminal cases tried on indictment in the Crown Court in England and Wales are heard by a judge sitting with a jury. The law and procedures governing civil trials are the responsibility of the Lord Chancellor.

Motorway Police

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce a national motorway police force. [40616]

Mr. Michael: We have no such plans. Road traffic offences and general criminal offences do not arise in clearly separate ways which can be independently

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enforced. It is an advantage that traffic officers deal with all crimes which occur on the roads and, conversely, that police officers on general duties can take action against breaches of road traffic law.

Separating the enforcement of road traffic law from other types of police work would generate operational difficulties and lead to the wasteful duplication of resources. Traffic policing, whether on motorways or other roads, is central to the overall police responsibility for maintaining law and order and preventing and detecting crime.

Stop and Search

Mr. Singh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many stop and search incidents took place in each division of the Metropolitan Police in 1996 and 1997; if he will provide the ethnic breakdown of those stopped and searched; how many arrests were made per 100 stops for each ethnic group; and if he will make a statement. [40824]

Mr. Michael: Stop and search policy remains an effective technique for dealing with individuals about whom the police have reasonable suspicion. The policy protects communities but needs to be operated fairly.

The results of the first full year of ethnic monitoring of police activity, which includes stop and search, arrests, cautions and homicides, was published on 8 December 1997 under section 95 of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. This requires the Home Secretary to publish annually information he considers appropriate to enable those engaged in the administration of criminal justice to avoid discriminating against any person on the ground of race, sex or any other improper ground. The data brought to light areas of concern, particularly the disproportionate impact of stop and search on black people, which need to be probed further. Ethnic monitoring of police activity is an important step forward as it allows police forces to identify areas in which they need to take action to ensure that all sections of the community receive equal treatment.

The Commissioner tells me that the Metropolitan Police will continue to review stop and search policy, systems and procedures to ensure that this valuable but potentially sensitive activity is properly used and understood. He tells me that a new approach is being examined in a number of divisions. I look forward to hearing the outcome of the study.

The Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has provided tables of information on the Metropolitan Police's stop and search record for 1996 and 1997, copies of which have been placed in the Library.

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