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Miners' Pension Schemes

Mr. Alasdair Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) what the average pension paid to people in (a) Scotland and (b) the UK from (i) the Mineworkers' Pension Scheme and (ii) the British Coal Staff Superannuation Scheme is; [148133]

Mr. Hain: These are matters for the trustees of the coal pension schemes. I have asked them to write to the hon. Gentleman direct.

Ministerial Visits

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the trips he has undertaken on official business to foreign countries, with the total cost of travel and accommodation for him and his party. [146369]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 22 January 2001]: In relation to my overseas travel in 1999-2000, I refer the right hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East (Sir T. Taylor) on 8 January 2001, Official Report, column 364W.

Details of my overseas visits for 2000-01 will be published in the annual list in the usual way in due course.


Sex Offenders

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) men and (b) women were on the sex offenders register on 1 January. [148049]

Mr. Charles Clarke: In September 2000, 13,809 offenders were liable for registration, of which over 97 per cent. had registered as required. Figures are collated on a quarterly basis. It is not currently possible to produce a breakdown of aggregated data on a national basis about those who are registered--for example, the percentage who are female, although sentencing statistics indicate these are likely to form a very small percentage of the total. Such information can only be extracted locally by the police using manual means.

Work is in hand to develop the computerised recording systems as part of a wider programme of work to enhance the Police National Computer.

Animals (Scientific Procedures Inspector)

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average annual cost is of an Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspector; and if he will make a statement. [148361]

2 Feb 2001 : Column: 338W

Mr. Mike O'Brien: On the basis of the funding available for the current financial year and the allocation for central overheads, the average annual cost of each inspector is £113,500.

Pets (Free Medical Aid)

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements have been made on a voluntary basis by agencies to provide free emergency medical aid for pet animals. [148378]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: There are agencies that currently provide free help to ill or injured pet animals. Central Government have no direct involvement with the aid that these agencies provide.

Asylum Seekers (Tibet)

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications have been received from Tibetan asylum seekers since 1 May 1997; how many of these have been successful; and if he will make a statement on the Government's policy in relation to asylum seekers from Tibet. [147869]

Mrs. Roche: The information requested is not available.

Asylum applicants from Tibet are classed as nationals of the People's Republic of China. Different regions or provinces are not differentiated in the asylum statistics for Chinese nationals.

Decisions on asylum applications are based on a full and careful consideration of the merits of individual cases, irrespective of the nationality of the applicant.

Drugs (Weston-super-Mare)

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations and from whom he has received in the past 12 months on solutions to the drugs problems in Weston-super-Mare. [148372]

Mr. Charles Clarke: So far as can be ascertained, my Department has within this period answered two letters from residents of Weston-super-Mare offering opposing views on the legalisation of cannabis.

Drug Action Teams (DATs) have been set up across the country to deliver the Government's Anti Drugs Strategy, "Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain" at the local level. It is the responsibility of these local teams to assess the extent of drug misuse in their area and to plan and implement action to tackle it. The Home Office Drugs Prevention Advisory Service has a copy of the North Somerset action plan. I understand that the DAT has proposed a research study by the University of Bath in response to local concerns about offenders and homelessness, which it is suggested are linked to the number of residential rehabilitation units based in Weston-super-Mare.

DAT 'clinics', advertised through local press, are an opportunity for local residents to make an appointment

2 Feb 2001 : Column: 339W

with DAT members to discuss particular issues or to find out more about the work of the DAT. The first for the North Somerset DAT was held in November and these will continue on a bi-monthly basis. North Somerset DAT has also produced a media strategy, 'To proactively engage the media on substance use/misuse issues and DAT work', and so achieves wide local coverage of drugs issues.

Naturalisation Applications

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications for naturalisation on grounds of residence were granted within (a) six months, (b) nine months and (c) 12 months of the date of application in (i) 1997, (ii) 1998, (iii) 1999 and (iv) 2000; and if he will make a statement. [147599]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 29 January 2001]: The information is given in the table. The data are not available for part of the years 1997 and 2000, due to intermittent problems with Information Technology and operator error, but nevertheless comparisons can be made. The table includes only applications made under Section 6(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981, based on five years' residence in the United Kingdom.

Applications decided within:1997199819992000Total
Six months3314861,1121,3713,300
Nine months7587221,3451,8194,644
12 months1,9461,9351,8194,73310,433

The Right hon. Member for Hartlepool

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the right hon. Member for Hartlepool (Mr. Mandelson) will change his chauffeur driven Jaguar for a different official car. [148382]

Mr. Straw: It is not our policy to comment on the protection arrangements for individuals, as to do so would compromise their security. Protective arrangements for public figures are regularly reviewed in the light of the threat from terrorism and other continuing risks.

Police Funding

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to review the funding formula for allocating resources to police forces in England and Wales; and what weighting is given to social deprivation factors in the existing funding formula. [146918]

2 Feb 2001 : Column: 340W

Mr. Charles Clarke: I will be considering the funding formula in the context of the review of local government finance, in relation to the police service.

Various indicators are used in the calculation of the police funding formula. These indicators include population, unemployment levels and other socio-economic factors, and show the type of data that influence funding distribution through the formula.

All the indicators used in the police funding formula are as listed:

Details of the indicators and their relative value in determining the allocation for individual forces are set out in the Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2001-02. A copy has been placed in the Library.

The predicted workload for each force, over a range of different service elements or components, is estimated each year on the basis of these indicators and forms the basis for distribution of funding.

Prison Service

Mr. Pond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish the Prison Service's Corporate Plan for 2001-02 to 2003-04 and Business Plan and key performance indicators for 2001-02. [148884]

Mr. Boateng: The Prison Service Corporate Plan for 2001-02 to 2003-04 and Business Plan for 2001-02, which includes the key performance indicators, has been published today and copies have been placed in the Library.

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