28 Jul 2000 : Column: 903W

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 28 July 2000



Mr. Lansley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the regulations (a) introduced, (b) amended and (c) repealed since May 1997. [132770]

Marjorie Mowlam: The information requested is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Government's Annual Report

Mr. Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when she expects the information, provided by postcode, on the Government's Annual report website to be available for information that pertains to (a) developed and (b) reserved matters to be available for (i) Scotland, (ii) Wales and (iii) Northern Ireland. [133062]

Marjorie Mowlam: The database of regional information available by postcode is being developed at present, in the first instance, for information on reserved matters. This work is well advanced. Discussions on the presentation of information on devolved matters are proceeding with the devolved administrations.

Departmental Initiatives

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, pursuant to her answer of 18 July 2000, Official Report, column 155W, if she will list all departmental initiatives between May 1997 and 18 July 2000 requiring bids from voluntary organisations and local authorities for funding, together with the total resources allocated to these initiatives, the number of successful bids and the proportion this represents of total bids received; and what data she collects on the average cost of preparing the bids for funding through each initiative. [132669]

Marjorie Mowlam: The detailed distribution of the resources the Cabinet Office was allocated in the Spending Review 2000 is still being decided.

Anti-drugs Strategy

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of Government spending on combating illicit drug misuse has been spent on (a) law enforcement, (b) treatment, (c) harm reduction measures, (d) prevention and (e) research during each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. [132916]

Marjorie Mowlam: The first UK drugs strategy "Tackling Drugs Together" was launched in May 1995 and allocated £8.8 million over three years to Drug Action Teams, £5.9 million on schools drug education for 1995-96, and £1 million in the same year for services for young people at an early stage of drug misuse.

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The Government's Comprehensive Spending Review 1998 estimated drug related spending across the UK to be in the region of £1.4 billion per annum, over £1 billion of which was spent on law enforcement measures.

Under the present strategy, "Tackling Drugs To Build A Better Britain", the 1998 Comprehensive Spending Review settlement provided an additional £217 million of resources over three years, as follows:

Helen Jackson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what is the effect of the outcome of Spending Review 2000 on funding for the United Kingdom Anti- drugs Strategy; and if she will make a statement. [133800]

Marjorie Mowlam: The Chancellor last week announced, as a result of Spending Review 2000, increased funding over the next three years to support the delivery of the Government's challenging targets for tackling drug misuse. This means that expenditure targeted at the causes of drug misuse will increase from some £700 million in 2000-01 to £870 million in 2001-02, £931 million in 2002-03 and £996 million in 2003-04. This funding will enable the Government to secure implementation of the plans and targets developed from the recommendations of the cross-departmental review of action against illegal drugs, led by myself and the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator.

This increased investment will be centred around treatment and prevention and will allow us to underpin the initiatives outlined in the Anti-Drugs Co-ordinator's second Annual Plan, which is published today. These include measures such as funding increased provision of drug treatment to underpin the work of the new National Treatment Agency and increasing provision of treatment for drug misusing offenders. We will also continue to support work with our international partners to reduce the availability of drugs, as outlined by the Prime Minister at the recent G8 conference. The UK law enforcement and intelligence agencies will work closely with their counterparts in the key drug producing and transit countries, seeking to tackle drugs trafficking as close to source as possible and disrupt the international flows of money which support the drugs trade.

These plans will make a major contribution to addressing the Government's wider agenda of tackling crime, social exclusion and ill health and will help drive down the huge costs to society caused by drugs.

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The National Plan preserves the balance of objectives across all the four aims of our Strategy; helping young people to avoid drug misuse through education, protecting communities from drug-related anti-social and criminal behaviour, enabling people to receive treatment for drugs problems as well as reducing the availability of illegal drugs.


Mr. Stunell: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the reports submitted to her Department, by bodies that were created after May 1997 and that include significant and plural membership from outside the Civil Service, stating in each case the body writing the report, the date the report was submitted, how many recommendations were made, the number of those recommendations that have been implemented to date and the number of recommendations that have been rejected; and if she will make a statement. [133570]

Mr. Stringer: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Eastwood (Mr. Murphy) on 27 July 2000, Official Report, column 799W.

Legislative Programme

Mr. Baldry: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many meetings she has attended in the last three months to consider the Government's future legislative programme. [133693]

Marjorie Mowlam: Information concerning internal discussions is not normally made public.

Electronic Communications Act 2000

Mr. Cotter: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what orders she (a) has made and (b) intends to make using section 8 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000; and if she will make a statement. [133376]

Mr. Ian McCartney: No orders have yet been made by any Department using section 8 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000, which came into force on 25 May. For the Government's intentions I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster, Central (Ms Winterton) on 24 May 2000, Official Report, columns 531-34W.

Government Agency Contracts

Mr. Cotter: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many Government agency contracts were awarded to small and medium-sized enterprises in each of the last three years. [133386]

Mr. Stringer: This information is not held centrally and is available only at disproportionate cost. With regard to contracts awarded by the Cabinet Office, I will write to the hon. Member with as much information as possible in the summer recess.

Press Releases

Mr. Lansley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many press releases were issued by her Department in (a) 1997, (b) 1998, (c) 1999 and (d) this year to date; and what the total cost of the production and issuing of these press releases was in each year. [132745]

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Mr. Stringer: The total number of press releases issued each calendar year by my Department is as follows: (a) 189 in 1997; (b) 277 in 1998; (c) 343 in 1999; and (d) 204 in the year to date (until the end of May).

The figures for 1999 and 2000 include press releases issued by the Year 2000 Media Co-ordination Unit which also operated from the Cabinet Office.

The total net cost of issuing these press notices is as follows: (a) £11,758.25 in 1997; (b) £25,136.97 in 1998; (c) £44,854.37 in 1999; and (d) £29,037.09 in the year to date (until the end of May).

From 1 April 1998 the Department started to use the Central Office of Information's News Distribution Service to issue press releases directly and quickly to fax machines. While the system is considerably faster and more efficient it is also more expensive. Prior to this system press releases were issued by post and the costs were met centrally within the Department.

The costs of producing a press notice are not recorded separately and are part of the routine duties of departmental press officers.

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