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BBC World Service

Mr. Ian Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement about the BBC World Service. [135905]

Mr. Hain: The BBC has today announced that the BBC World Service will move from Bush House to Broadcasting House at the end of 2006. We welcome and endorse this decision, about which we have been kept fully informed.

We are confident that the World Service will maintain in Broadcasting House the standards and traditions that have made it the world's best known and most respected voice in international broadcasting. The new location will be better suited than Bush House to enable the World Service to meet the challenges of the digital age--for which the Government made available an additional £64 million in the recent Spending Review--and to work to maximum effect with key BBC partners.

It also offers better value for money than remaining at Bush House.

HOUSE OF COMMONS

Office Furniture

Dr. Lynne Jones: To ask the Chairman of the Accommodation and Works Committee what the cost is of (a) four two-drawer pedestal units and (b) a four- drawer filing cabinet specified for use in Portcullis House; who took the decision that only the former could be made available in hon. Members' offices in Portcullis House; what surveys have been conducted on hon. Members' preferences for methods of storage of files. [134261]

Sir Sydney Chapman: One of the responsibilities of the Select Committee is to consider the requirements of hon. Members as construction projects are progressed. In developing the proposals for the fitting out of the offices in Portcullis House, the Committee was aware of the ever-growing demand for both work surfaces and storage space in the offices of hon. Members and their staff. It

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concluded, therefore, that after the basic provision of storage and filing space in the wall cupboards, the most effective use of the available floor space would be achieved by providing flexible two and three drawer pedestals that could be housed under the workbenches. The matter of cost was not, therefore, a factor in our deliberations.

Stakeholder Pensions

Mrs. Lait: To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, what plans he has to offer House staff a stakeholder pension. [134375]

Mr. Kirkwood: As required under the legislation, from October 2001, designated stakeholder pension arrangements will be made available to all House of Commons Staff who cannot be covered by the House of Commons Staff Pension Scheme (HOCSPS). Stakeholder pension arrangements will also be made available to House of Commons Staff who are covered by the HOCSPS but who earn less than £30,000 a year, and who wish to top up their HOCSPS benefits.

These arrangements will be for new House staff and existing House staff.

New Members

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee what arrangements she intends to make for the induction of new hon. Members in the next Parliament. [134463]

Mrs. Roe: Arrangements, similar to those introduced for hon. Members newly elected in 1997, are in hand. A Co-ordinating Group, with a membership drawn from across the departments of the House and reporting to the Board of Management, is responsible for planning and overseeing the induction of newly elected Members of Parliament. Assisting the Co-ordinating Group are three groups responsible for the listed tasks:




I know that departments of the House will also make arrangements to make newly elected hon. Members aware of the services that they provide.

Dissolution (Administrative Arrangements)

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Chairman of the Administration Committee what plans she has to advise hon. Members of the administrative arrangements for their staff and offices consequent upon Parliament's dissolution. [134462]

Mrs. Roe: A notice reminding all hon. Members of the regulations applied to them and their staff during a Dissolution of Parliament will be issued by the Serjeant at Arms. The Accountant will be writing also to every hon. Member with detailed information concerning their allowances and entitlements.

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Late-night Sittings

Mr. Bercow: To ask the President of the Council if she will make a statement on the proposals by the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons to reduce the number of late-night sittings of the House. [134580]

Mrs. Beckett: The objective of the Select Committee on Modernisation of the House of Commons is to improve the efficient working of the House of Commons.

Programming legislation and the deferral of late divisions should assist hon. Members, both by giving increasing certainty about the business and reducing the number of late sittings. I expect the House will have an opportunity to consider the proposals in the near future.

Recess Dates

Mr. MacShane: To ask the President of the Council if she will announce provisionally the recess dates for the next 15 months. [135077]

Mrs. Beckett: I am afraid I am unable to do so since the dates of adjournments depend on the progress of business.

Cost Allowance

Mr. Wigley: To ask the President of the Council what the total provision was for the additional cost allowance for hon. Members for the year 1999-2000; and what actual expenditure was during that year. [134573]

Mrs. Beckett: The total provision for the additional cost allowance for hon. Members for the year 1999-2000 was £8,272,000.

The actual expenditure during 1999-2000 was £7,740,000.

HEALTH

Porton Products Ltd.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what products of SAMR and Porton Products have had agreements to market and distribute since 1980; to whom they were marketed and distributed; and if he will make a statement. [134132]

Yvette Cooper: The Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research (CAMR) has been the executive arm of a special health authority, the Microbiological Research Authority, since April 1994. Prior to that date, it was part of the Public Health Laboratory Service (PHLS). CAMR had a distributorship and marketing agreement with a private sector company, Porton Products Ltd., from April 1985 to October 1998 (at which time the term of the agreement ended). The range of products covered by the agreement included frozen bacterial cell pastes, enzymes and proteins, vaccines and therapeutic toxins. A full list will be deposited in the Library.

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Porton Products distributed CAMR products to a range of healthcare customers worldwide. Porton Products was purchased by a French company, the Beaufour Ipsen Group, in 1994. Beaufour Ipsen may be able to provide the hon. Member with information relating to the customers for these products.

CAMR has only two current licence agreements with Beaufour Ipsen. These are for Dysport (a botulinum toxin-based therapeutic used in the treatment of cerebral palsy), and Erwinase (an enzyme used in the treatment of childhood leukaemia).

Waiting List Statistics

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were waiting for in-patient treatment for (a) cancer, (b) heart disease and (c) HIV and hepatitis in each of the last 10 years in (i) Taunton constituency and (ii) Somerset Health Authority. [134315]

Mr. Denham: The numbers of patients from Somerset Health Authority waiting for inpatient treatment at 31 March in the specialities Cardiothoracic surgery and Cardiology are shown in the table. This information was not collected prior to march 1994. It is not possible to provide the information at a constituency level.

Information on inpatient waiting times is collected by consultant speciality. Treatment for cancer, HIV and hepatitis is carried out in a number of specialities and the numbers waiting for treatment are therefore not identifiable separately.

Total inpatient waiting list for specialties cardiothoracic
surgery and cardiology(2)

YearCardiothoracic surgeryCardiology
March 19941040
March 19958427
March 199611886
March 1997148119
March 1998105105
March 1999179137
March 2000236228

(2) Somerset HA (1997-2000)

(3) Somerset DHA (1994-1996)


Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many out-patients were waiting for treatment for more than six months in each of the last 10 years in (a) the Taunton constituency and (b) Somerset Health Authority. [134316]

Mr. Denham: The numbers of patients from Somerset Health Authority waiting more than twenty six weeks for an outpatient appointment are shown in the table. This information was not collected prior to March 1998. It is not possible to provide the information at a constituency level.

Outpatients still waiting 26 plus weeks

YearSomerset HA
March 1998566
March 19991,068
March 20001,149

Source:

QM08, QM08R quarterly returns


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