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Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he received from (a) the chief constables attending the Crime Summit on 3 July and (b) other chief constables regarding the Government's proposals on spot-fines for anti-social behaviour. 
The Prime Minister [holding answer 6 July 2000]: I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given today by my right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary to the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes).
Mr. Baker: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for South Cambridgeshire (Mr. Lansley) of 27 June 2000, Official Report, column 455W, regarding the Strategic Communications Unit, for what reasons the number of permanent civil servants has increased from four to nine since January 1998. 
The Prime Minister [holding answer 7 July 2000]: At the time of its creation in January 1998 the Strategic Communications Unit had six civil servant posts and two special adviser posts, though not all the posts were filled immediately. Since then, three new civil service posts have been created to run the Number 10 website.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the positions to which he is entitled to appoint individuals. 
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The Prime Minister [holding answer 7 July 2000]: I have listed the appointments that I make as Prime Minister. For some of the bodies listed the appointments are made by the Prime Minister in accordance with statute or by convention. For others, principally the museums and galleries, the appointments are made by the Prime Minister in accordance with the relevant charter or articles of association. In general these are made after consulting the relevant departmental Ministers.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 5 July, if he will review the Mid-Essex waiting list figures; and if he will make a statement on trends in Mid-Essex waiting lists since 2 May 1997. 
The Prime Minister: I have written to the hon. Member today. A copy of my letter has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he had with chief constables in advance of his speech detailing proposals for on-the-spot fines for anti-social behaviour made on 30 June. 
The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to the hon. Member for Southwark, North and Bermondsey (Mr. Hughes).
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Mr. Loughton: To ask the President of the Council if she will make a statement on her plans for the Regional Affairs Committee. 
Mrs. Beckett: I hope that the Committee will be established in the near future and will meet before the end of the Session.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many times the Ministerial Group on Rural Affairs has met since it was created; who was in the chair for each meeting; who attended each meeting; and if she will make a statement. 
Marjorie Mowlam: It is established practice under exemption two of Part II of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information not to disclose information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet Committees. A statement on the Government's policy on rural areas will be made when our Rural White Paper is published.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to her answer of 11 January 2000, Official Report, column 134W, on secondments, if she will give the names, grades and job titles of the staff seconded into her Department from each organisation mentioned, stating in each case the name of the section they were seconded to and a summary of the work that they were involved with. 
Mr. Stringer: Secondments and attachments are part of the Interchange Initiative, which promotes the exchange of people and good practice between the Civil Service and other organisations. Before an Interchange can occur, all parties must be satisfied that no conflict of interest arises.
The secondees to the Cabinet Office between May 1997 and December 1999 as listed in the answer of 11 January 2000, Official Report, column 134W, worked in a variety of jobs from Cabinet Office Band B2 (broadly equivalent to Higher Executive Officer) to the Senior Civil Service. They worked in a wide range of areas, many of them concerned with the Modernising Government initiative, where we are keen to benefit from best practice from all sections of the economy.
I am not prepared to identify individual secondees by name or job title. Secondees are employed on the basis that they can contribute valuable expertise and good practice to the Civil Service, and on the basis that no conflict of interest arises. Where appropriate, their names are published in directories such as the Civil Service Year Book, as are those of permanent staff. But they are not separately identified as being on secondment.
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Mr. Lansley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost of the Government Information and Communication Service Media Monitoring Unit was for (a) 1997-98 and (b) 1998-99. 
Mr. Stringer: The Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) operated as a pilot between December 1997 and March 1998. The MMU's set-up and running costs for this period were absorbed by a wide range of Departments. This information is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost. In the 1998-99 financial year, the total cost of the unit was £478,878. These costs were recovered from a large number of Departments out of their existing funds.
Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the PFI contracts entered into by her Department, indicating (a) their dates of commencement, (b) their value, (c) if they have been subject to refinancing and (d) if her Department has a claw-back entitlement to share in savings arising from refinancing. 
Mr. Stringer: There are no such contracts.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what was the total amount spent on the Government anti-drug strategy in (a) 1999-2000 and (b) 2000-01; and what is the planned expenditure for 2001-02. 
Mr. Ian McCartney: Each year the Government spend in the region of £1.4 billion on anti-drugs activities. For the present strategy, "Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain", the 1998 Comprehensive Spending Review settlement provided an additional £217 million of resources for three years, 1998-99 to 2000-01. Spending for the financial years 2001-02 to 2003-04 is being considered as part of the current Spending Review which will be announced shortly.
Mr. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will publish the (a) agenda and (b) minutes of the crime summit held at 10 Downing street on Monday 3 July; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw [holding answer 6 July 2000]: The crime seminar on 3 July brought together senior officers of police and others with expertise in tackling violent crime and disorder. The senior officers of the five Metropolitan forces outlined their plans for using their share of the additional £20 million to tackle robbery, which I announced in the reply I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Calder Valley (Ms McCafferty) on 15 June 2000, Official Report, column 714W.
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In the general discussion which followed, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and I underlined our real determination to tackle violence and the culture of disorder. Those present agreed on the need to ensure that the police had sufficient powers to deal effectively with drunken, loutish, anti-social behaviour. The chief officers present were broadly supportive of the idea of fixed penalty fines. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister concluded that the Home Office should work closely with the Association of Chief Police Officers and others to work up this and other options for tackling disorder in the coming weeks. The Home Office has continuous discussions with Chief Constables about measures to deal with anti-social behaviour.
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