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Mr. Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what projects his Department is supporting connected with the First Check Point organisation to combat incompetent and dishonest builders. 
Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire will receive a reply to his letter of 1 September on behalf of his constituent Miss Merchant. 
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to offer increased remuneration to attract new recruits to those police forces which have been unable to meet their recruitment targets. 
The Metropolitan Police Service has been having particular recruitment difficulties. Following the recommendation of the Police Negotiating Board, my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary announced to the House on 23 June 2000, Official Report, column 562, an increase of £3,327 in the London Allowance of all officers
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in the Metropolitan Police Service and the City of London Police who joined on or after 1 September 1994 and receive no housing allowance.
I understand that the Police Negotiating Board is currently looking at the recruitment and retention situation in other forces and that it is also setting up a working party to examine the remuneration of the federated ranks with the objective of ensuring a cohesive national pay structure which meets the current and future needs of the police service. I will take into consideration any recommendation from the PNB.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans his Department has for bringing into use the vacant prison land opposite Wandsworth Prison in Heathfield Road, Wandsworth, London SW18; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Boateng: There is a plot of vacant land in front of Wandsworth prison known as Dobbin's field. The Prison Service is currently discussing with the local planning authority, Wandsworth Borough Council, the possibility of the area becoming a public open space to form an extension to Wandsworth Common, as part of a proposal to develop Prison Service owned land at the rear of the prison for residential development.
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Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many South Staffordshire Health District residents are currently serving sentences of imprisonment in the UK; in which prisons they are held; and how many are in each; 
(3) what proportion of prisoners of HM Prison Stafford are residents of Stafford constituency. 
Mr. Boateng: No information is available centrally regarding the principal address of those committed to custody in England and Wales. HMP Stafford however has indicated that at present less than five per cent. of their current population come from the Stafford constituency.
Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what conclusions he has made based on the trends in the incidence of suicide and self-harm in prisons in England in the last five years. 
Mr. Boateng: The number of self-inflicted deaths in prison in England and Wales has risen in the last five years from 64 in 1996 to 91 in 1999 (116 and 91 per 100,000 respectively). The current figure for this year is 72. Total incidents of self-harm have risen from 6,670 in 1995-96 to 7,397 in 1998-99.
The majority of these deaths occurred in local prisons among prisoners who are unsentenced and within the first two months in custody. Other particularly vulnerable groups of prisoners are those who have previously suffered from mental health problems or from drug/ alcohol abuse.
The number of self-inflicted deaths among women prisoners and young offenders are relatively low, but are rising this year. Rates of self-harm among women and young offenders are higher than adult male prisoners. Many of those who self-harm experienced similar problems to those who took their own lives.
These trends reinforce the need to give a high priority to measures to combat the incidence of suicide and self-harm. The Prison Service is reviewing its suicide/ self-harm prevention strategy and will report to Ministers shortly.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress he has made towards implementing the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 26 October 2000]: My Department, in close collaboration with the Department for Education and Employment, has made significant progress in implementing the commitments given in the Government's response to the National Advisory Committee on Creative and Cultural Education
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report which was published in January. We published an update of this progress in September, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House. It is also available on our website at www.culture.gov.uk. Since then the DfEE have also confirmed that Government funding for music will increase to £60 million a year from 2001-02, and that level of funding will be sustained until at least 2003-04, ensuring that every LEA in the country offers children the chance to learn to play musical instruments.
Mr. Salter: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will report progress on applications for free television licences for people aged 75 years and over and the timetable for issuing licences and refunds. 
Janet Anderson: On the progress of applications, the British Broadcasting Corporation has reported that, by 20 October 2000, TV Licensing had received 3 million applications for free licences. Of these, 220,000 are not yet eligible. All the complete, and accurate, applications made before the 1 October 2000 closing date will result in a licence being issued by early November. People aged 75 or over who are currently beneficiaries of the £5 Accommodation for Residential Care (ARC) licence will receive a free licence when their "scheme" television licence next falls to be renewed.
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end of November. Similarly, applications received between 1 and 30 November 2000 will result in a licence being issued at the end of December.
On the timetable for issuing licences and refunds, the BBC has said that the mailing of the free licences, and any refunds associated with unused portions of a previous licence, started on 23 October 2000. In order to manage the response to the licence mailing, which inevitably includes people telephoning TV Licensing with queries and changes of address, the licences are being mailed in the following volumes:
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