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NORTHERN IRELAND

Civic Forum

Mr. Colvin: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will make a statement on the estimated timetable for setting up the consultative Civic Forum to work with members of the Northern Ireland Assembly. [50403]

Mr. Paul Murphy: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has referred the establishment of the Civic Forum to the shadow Northern Ireland Assembly. In the period before devolution the Government intend to consult with the First Minister, the Deputy First Minister and the Assembly so that arrangements can be put in hand to help secure its earliest appropriate establishment.

Northern Ireland Assembly

Mr. Colvin: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if she will ensure that papers produced by the New Northern Ireland Assembly are made available to hon. Members through the Vote Office; and if she will make a statement. [50419]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Copies of the Official Record will be laid in the Library at Westminster, but the circulation of other papers produced by the Assembly should be a matter, initially, for the Assembly itself to determine.

Cancer Treatment

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate she has made of the capital expenditure needed to develop the cancer treatment facilities at the Belfast City Hospital; and when the developments are planned to be completed. [50133]

Mr. Worthington: The preliminary estimate of the capital cost of the proposed Cancer Centre is £28 million, including equipment. The current aim is to have the Centre constructed within 5 years.

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans she has for the closure of cancer treatment services at Belvoir Park Hospital; and when the final transfer of such services to the Belfast City Hospital is expected to take place. [50135]

Mr. Worthington: The cancer treatment services at Belvoir Park Hospital will continue until a new Cancer Centre at the Belfast City Hospital site has been completed. The transfer is expected to take place within five years. In the meantime management responsibility for cancer services at Belvoir Park Hospital will transfer to Belfast City Hospital HSS Trust later this year.

Ambulance Service

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what were the (a) number, (b) type and (c) age of ambulances in service with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service in each of the last five years. [50326]

17 Jul 1998 : Column: 328

Mr. Worthington: The information is given in the tables.

Accident and emergency vehicles

Age (years)19981997199619951994
0-118013436
1-20134367
2-31343674
3-44367422
4-536742214
5-674221425
6-7422142514
7-8221425149
8-91425151
9-10151510
10-1105101
11-1201010
12-1300100
13-1401000

Patient car service vehicles

Age (years)19981997199619951994
0-195005
1-250058
2-300581
3-4058112
4-55811217
5-681121716
6-7112171610
7-8121716105
8-917161057
9-101610570
10-1185700
11-1202000

Minimum Wage

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessments she has made of the effect of the introduction of the national minimum wage in terms of (a) the total number of people employed and (b) the numbers employed in each sector of the economy. [50151]

Mr. Ingram: Current estimates indicate that a total of approximately 66,000 employees in employment in Northern Ireland will be directly affected when the national minimum wage is introduced in April 1999. The majority of these work in service sector industries. Current data sources are not robust enough to provide reliable detailed sectoral estimates.

Railways (Antrim-Bleach Green Line)

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) new stations will be constructed and (b) old stations re-opened and at what estimated cost, on the railway line between Antrim and Bleach Green. [50137]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The upgrading of 2 former railway halts, at Templepatrick and Mossely West, is planned as part of the reinstatement of the Antrim to Bleach Green line at an estimated cost of £1.4 million.

Downe Hospital

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which services will be provided in the proposed new Downe Hospital. [50325]

17 Jul 1998 : Column: 329

Mr. Worthington: I announced my decision on 28 May to support the development of a new modern hospital for Downpatrick. To that end I have asked the Down Lisburn Health and Social Services Trust, in conjunction with the Eastern Health and Social Services Board and local GPs, to develop a proposal for a new hospital which will build on developments in treatments and technology and treat patients in the most appropriate setting locally while continuing to have access to a considerable range of acute services supported by the necessary specialist services and back-up facilities available from larger acute centres in Belfast.

Road Accident Injury Claims

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland made road accident injury claims, and how much was paid by the Government for such claims, in each of the last five years. [50146]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The following personal injury claims were made against the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland Roads Services and the total expenditure on all personal injury claims concluded in the last 5 years has been:

£
YearNew claimsTotal expenditure
1997-981,9853,805,957.45
1996-971,7122,823,289.50
1995-961,7892,967,018.60
1994-951,7014,302,311.40
1993-941,6223,908,445.69

The figures include claims arising from footpath incidents. It is not possible, without disproportionate cost, to distinguish those claims related specifically to road accidents.

Lord-Lieutenants

Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the cost to public funds of expenses for Lord-Lieutenants in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. [50265]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Expenditure incurred by the Northern Ireland Office on Lord-Lieutenants' expenses in each of the last 10 years is as follows:

YearAmount (£)(3)
1988-894,000
1989-906,000
1990-914,000
1991-928,000
1992-935,000
1993-946,000
1994-9510,000
1995-966,000
1996-9714,000
1997-989,000

(3) Figures rounded to the nearest £1,000


Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Lord-Lieutenants currently serve Northern Ireland. [50266]

17 Jul 1998 : Column: 330

Mr. Paul Murphy: The number of Lord-Lieutenants currently serving in Northern Ireland is 8.

DEFENCE

Territorial Army

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what cash savings his Department will achieve through restructuring the TA; what proportion of those savings will (a) be re-allocated to the regular army and (b) form part of his Department's efficiency savings. [51036]

Dr. Reid: I will write to the hon. Member and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Surplus Property and Land

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those properties and lands identified for disposal by his Department. [51037]

Mr. Spellar: My Department has a large number of properties which have been identified as surplus and are now in the process of disposal. These range from major establishments and airfields, to smaller plots and single houses. A list of sites currently in disposal was placed in the Library earlier this year, on 23 February 1998, Official Report, column 41. That list is now being updated. As part of the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) we have identified further sites for disposal some of which are listed in Supporting Essay 11 to the SDR White Paper, and on some of which final discussions have not yet been reached.

To provide our assessment of the open market value of individual sites might prejudice the eventual sale and I am therefore withholding the information under Exemptions 7 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, pursuant to the Strategic Defence Review, if he will make a statement on the basis of his Department's assumptions that receipts from sales of properties and land from the Defence Estate will double over the next four years. [50963]

Mr. Spellar: The figure for estimated disposal receipts included in the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) White Paper is based upon our assessment of the open market value of the properties currently identified for disposal. In some cases this is based on in-house valuations carried out by professional surveyors, and in others on valuations carried out by consultants. The figure also allows for receipts from sites which are likely to come forward as a result of studies and further rationalisation of the estate following SDR.


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