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Home Energy Efficiency Scheme

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which areas have been determined as having sufficiently high burglary rates to be eligible to participate in the extended home energy efficiency scheme for the provision of safety equipment; and what the threshold is for inclusion. [135818]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The eligible areas are all those police Basic Command Units in England that, according to the recorded crime figures published in January 2000, had a domestic burglary rate above the English average--i.e. at least 11 burglaries per 1,000 households in the six months between April and September 1999. Between them, these Basic Command Units account for almost 40 per cent. of all the households in England.

For Wales, separate arrangements are being made by the National Assembly.

The eligible Basic Command Units are as listed:

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Police forceBasic command unit
Avon and SomersetCentral Bristol, North Bristol, South Bristol
DerbyshireDerby (D Division)
Devon and CornwallTorbay
GloucestershireCheltenham and Tewkesbury, Forest and Gloucester
Greater ManchesterAll
HumbersideKingston upon Hull, North Lincolnshire, North-East Lincolnshire
LancashireCentral, Pennine
LeicestershireCentral, West
London, City ofBishopsgate
MerseysideCity and Kirkdale, South Liverpool, St. Helens, Walton and Croxteth, Wavertree and Riverside, West Derby and Tuebrook
Metropolitan PoliceBarnet, Brent, Camden, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Newham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster
North YorkshireCentral
NorthamptonshireEastern, Northampton
NorthumbriaGateshead East, Newcastle Central, Newcastle East, Newcastle West, South Tyneside, Sunderland City, Washington
NottinghamshireCarlton and West Bridgeford, City and Beeston, Mansfield and Ashfield, Radford Road, Hucknall and Arnold
South YorkshireBarnsley, Doncaster Central, Doncaster West, Rotherham East, Sheffield Attercliffe, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield North, Sheffield South, Wombwell
StaffordshireStoke on Trent
SussexBrighton, Senlac
Thames ValleyMilton Keynes, Oxford, Reading and Wokingham, Slough and District
West MidlandsErdington, Aston, Nechells, Saltley, Ward End, Sutton Coldfield, Castle Vale, Kingstanding, Stechford, Shard End, Bordesley Green, Bromford, Sheldon, Bournville, Bartley Green, Longbridge, Selly Oak, Frankley, Northfield, Kings Heath, Billesley, Kings Norton, Acocks Green, Sparkhill, Sparkbrook, Edgbaston, Balsall Heath, Selly Park, Moseley, F1--Birmingham City Centre, Digbeth, Soho, Winson Green, Harbourne, Ladywood, Quinton, Handsworth, Sandwell, Perry Barr, Aston (part), Wolverhampton Town Centre, Wolverhampton West, Whitmoreanes, Tettenhall, Penn, Wednesfield, Bilston, Walsall North and South, Walsall Town Centre, Aldridge, Willenhall, Bloxwich, Brownhills, Darlaston, Brierley Hill, Dudley, Sedgeley, Gornal, Halesowen, Stourbridge, Lye, Cradley, Kingswinford, West Bromwich, Wednesbury, Tipton, Great Barr, Smethwick, Oldbury, Old Hill, Langley, Warley, Coundon, Hillfields, Tile Hill, Coventry City Centre, Fletchamstead, Stivichall, Willenhall-Coventry, Stoke, Radford, Foleshill, Bell Green, Wyken
West YorkshireBradford Central, Chapeltown, Dewsbury, Eccleshill, Halifax, Holbeck, Huddersfield, Killingbeck, Millgarth, Odsal, Pontefract, Pudsey, Toller Lane, Wakefield, Weetwood

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Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which organisations were consulted about proposals to extend the home energy efficiency scheme to include safety equipment; and how many organisations were invited to tender for the new elements of the scheme (a) in the Coventry area and (b) nationally. [135817]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The following organisations were consulted:

Responsibility for appointing installers to fit the locks and other home security hardware lay with the Scheme Managers. They published an advertisement in the European Journal, in response to which 250 organisations expressed an interest in tendering. Of these, we understand that 206 were formally Invited to Tender, 184 responded and 54 were appointed. For the Coventry area, 19 companies expressed an interest and two were appointed.

In addition, The Buying Agency published, on our behalf, an advertisement in the European Journal concerning the supply of the security hardware, in response to which seven organisations expressed an interest in tendering. All seven were formally invited to tender. None was based in Coventry.

Schengen Agreement

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the role of the Standing Committee on the Evaluation and Implementation of Schengen as concerns UK participation. [134811]

Mrs. Roche: The Standing Committee on the Evaluation and Implementation of Schengen is a working group of the Council which was established to ensure that countries such as the United Kingdom meet the pre-conditions for bringing the Schengen acquis into force. The Standing Committee produces evaluation reports based on the preparations for implementation in those countries, identifies problems and proposes

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solutions. The Committee also ensures the proper application of the Schengen acquis in existing Schengen countries. The evaluation of the United Kingdom's implementation of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in which we are participating is likely to begin in spring 2001.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the Schengen (a) handbooks and (b) manuals, stating which (i) remain classified, with grading, and (ii) his Department has not yet reviewed. [134807]

Mrs. Roche: On 23 June 1998 the Schengen Executive Committee decided that the following documents relating to the Convention implementing the Schengen agreement should remain confidential:

The Home Office has received copies of all of these documents.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what is the UK share of the Schengen operational budget. [134805]

Mrs. Roche: As those parts of the Schengen acquis in which the United Kingdom applied to participate have not yet been implemented in the United Kingdom, our only commitment to the Schengen operational budget is towards SIS operating costs. This amounts to £400,000 for the current financial year.

Schengen Joint Supervisory Authority

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has assigned (a) members and (b) observers to the Schengen Joint Supervisory Authority. [134684]

Mrs. Roche: In accordance with Article 115 of the Schengen Implementing Convention, the Schengen Joint Supervisory Authority oversees the technical support function of the Schengen Information System. The Data Protection Commissioner has been assigned as the United Kingdom's national supervisory authority representative to the Joint Supervisory Authority. The Commissioner is currently represented at the Joint Supervisory Authority in an observer status and when Schengen is fully operational in the United Kingdom will assign full members to the Authority. Article 115 provides for each member state to have two representatives on the Joint Supervisory Authority.

Parish Polls

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if he will make a statement on his Department's policy on the holding of parish polls; [135145]

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Mr. Mike O'Brien: Parish polls are held under the provisions of schedule 12 of the Local Government Act 1972 and the Community Meetings (Polls) Rules 1987. Returning Officers are responsible for observing and interpreting those rules and my department has not issued any guidance on their application.

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