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Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Solicitor-General if he will set out, including statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effect on the Manchester, Gorton constituency, of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. 
The Solicitor-General: In October 1999, in line with national policy, the City of Manchester Branch of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), in liaison with the police and Manchester City Magistrates Court, introduced the Narey proposals. All defendants charged with a criminal offence now make their first appearance before Manchester City Magistrates Court within 72 hours. Present figures would suggest that between 40 per cent. and 45 per cent. of all defendants now have their cases finalised far more quickly than previously was the case. On 13 November 2000, the City of Manchester Branch will be altering its structures in line with the proposals in the Glidewell review. This will enable the CPS to place greater emphasis on more serious crime in Manchester Crown Court. The CPS, together with other agencies, has also helped to draw up procedures and protocols to speed up youth justice, particularly persistent young offenders.
Since May 1997, the Crown Prosecution Service has successfully prosecuted a number of major cases arising in the Gorton area. In November 1997, James Patterson Smith was sentenced to life imprisonment for the brutal murder of Kelly Ann Bates in Furnival Road, Gorton the previous year. This year the CPS has successfully completed prosecutions arising out of Operation Sydney, involving the supply of hard drugs in the Bennett Street area of West Gorton, and Operation Peking, where four men received substantial custodial sentences for violence and intimidation in Gorton.
Clare Short: DFID currently has 100 contracts with the British Council, 65 of which are consultancy type contracts. The remaining 44 are for the provision of training services and have been called down under a general Enabling Agreement for management of DFID's Technical Co-operation Training Programme.
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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the recent EC communication on "Accelerated action targeted at major communicable diseases within the context of poverty reduction"; and what plans she has to support it. 
Clare Short: The UK Government were closely involved in the drafting of the EC policy framework for tackling poverty and major communicable diseases which strongly reflects our own developmental priorities. The communique represents an international consensus and is part of the wider process of building on the commitment to achieving the international health targets. A crucial next step is the forthcoming December G8 meeting in Japan, which provides an opportunity to ensure that the international architecture required to take forward the effective global partnership to tackle infectious diseases is in place.
Mr. Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what progress has been made in implementing the commitment increase by 50 per cent. spending on basic education, health care and clean water in sub-Saharan Africa. 
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Clare Short: At the G7/8 Denver Summit in June 1997 my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister committed the Government to increase by 50 per cent. spending on basic education, health care and clean water in sub-Saharan Africa over the next three years.
Mr. Stuart Bell: The hon. Gentleman may have in mind a report in 'The Sunday Telegraph' on 15 October, speculating on the possible recommendations of the Archbishops' Review of Bishops' Needs and Resources, chaired by Professor Anthony Mellows. That Review's report is expected early next year. We do not yet know what its recommendations will be. But we will of course pay careful heed to what it says.
36. Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will report on the contribution made by the Church Commissioners to clergy stipends and pensions. 
Mr. Stuart Bell: In 1999 the Commissioners contributed £156.1 million in support of the Church's ministry, representing some 20 per cent. of the Church's overall running costs of approximately £760 million.
That sum includes the Commissioners' expenditure of £87 million on clergy pensions and transitional relief of £17 million to help dioceses with the cost of the new funded pension scheme. It also includes £20 million paid towards the stipends of parish clergy, much of which is targeted specifically towards those dioceses most in need of financial help, and stipends paid to other clergy of nearly £7 million.
37. Mr. Flynn: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, what changes have taken place in the past 10 years in the Church's spending on Bibles in ethnic minority languages. 
Mr. Stuart Bell: The Church Commissioners' expenditure is committed to the support of clergy stipends, pensions and other legal commitments. Those commitments do not stretch to the publication of bibles.
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Mr. Paterson: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners, if he will make a statement on the rights of congregations to purchase churches made redundant by Church authorities. 
Mr. Stuart Bell: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 10 July 2000, Official Report, column 369W, in which I explained that the procedure for settling the future of redundant Church of England churches gives priority to dioceses seeking and achieving suitable alternative uses. Dioceses are also encouraged to keep informed the local parochial church council who are also given the opportunity to make representations for or against the proposed use.
Mr. Stuart Bell: Conditions of service will vary slightly from diocese to diocese but should include a stipend (based on a National Stipend Benchmark of £16,420), free accommodation (or a housing allowance), membership of a non-contributory pension scheme, and the full reimbursement of all working expenses.
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