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Commonwealth Games

15. Mr. Connarty: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on the progress on the non-sport programme for the Commonwealth games in 2002. [148783]

Mr. Ian McCartney: There are two key non-sporting initiatives associated with the Manchester 2002 Games--the Volunteer Programme and the nationwide Spirit of Friendship Festival. Good progress is being made on both.

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The Spirit of Friendship Festival has appointed a national director, Jo Hartley, to work with all relevant agencies to deliver a successful nationwide festival of education, sport and culture.

The Festival will embrace the modern Commonwealth's values of fairness and inclusivity and engage the nation from its start on Commonwealth Day, 11 March 2002, until 10 August 2002.

The volunteer programme is also well under way with plans for the recruitment of 15,000 volunteers in place and recruitment generally beginning in May.

Drug Rehabilitation Programmes

25. Mr. Paul Clark: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much has been allocated for anti-drug treatment services in each of the next three years. [148794]

Mr. Ian McCartney: The Government recognise that treatment services can have a vital role in reducing the damaging effects of drug abuse on a person's health as well as reducing crime and anti-social behaviour.

Through the spending review we have allocated an additional £167 million for drug treatment services over three years from 2001-02. The table gives the breakdown of spending in each of the next three years.

Drug treatment (£ million)

Mr. Borrow: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment she has made of the impact on South Ribble of her Department's policy to improve access to drug rehabilitation programmes. [148773]

Mr. Ian McCartney: The Arrest Referral Programme for South Ribble has been implemented since August 2000. Between August 2000 and January 2001 a total of 230 individuals have been referred to local services under the Programme.

Chorley and South Ribble District Drug Service offer access to rehabilitation, and the South Ribble Drug Action Group is now in the process of implementing a treatment programme. The money made available from the last spending review will increase service capacity, GP shared care and child-specific services within the area.

People's Panel

18. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what policy initiatives of her Department have been tested on the people's panel; and with what result. [148786]

Mr. Stringer: The People's Panel is directed towards service delivery more than policy questions. But research has been used to inform various policy initiatives. Within the Cabinet Office it has contributed to the following:

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19. Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what her policy is regarding the provision of Government internet services in languages other than English. [148787]

Mr. Stringer: My policy is that Departments must fulfil their obligations under the Welsh Language Act 1993, and our "Guidelines for Government Websites" make that very clear.

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I have always made it clear to Departments that I expect them to publish, where effective, in other languages spoken in the UK.

I am pleased to confirm that the newly revised "Guidelines to Government Websites" is clarifying this policy.

Special Advisers

20. Mr. Evans: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what guidance she has issued to Government Departments relating to the duties of special advisers and press officers. [148789]

Marjorie Mowlam: The duties of special advisers are set out in the "Model Contract for Special Advisers". The duties of Government press officers are set out in "Guidance on the work of the Government Information Service" and "The GICS Handbook".

Copies of these documents are in the Library of the House.

22. Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what criteria determine the number of special advisers Government Departments may appoint. [148791]

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Marjorie Mowlam: The Government's response to the Sixth Report of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, published in July 2000 (Cm 4807), sets out the Government's policy on the appointment of special advisers.

Policy Presentation

21. Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what recent initiatives her Department has introduced to co-ordinate the presentation of Government policy. [148790]

Marjorie Mowlam: My Department has several initiatives in place to co-ordinate the presentation of Government policy.

The first is the appointment of communications advisers who work alongside policy officials on the development of cross-government initiatives. They ensure that the communication of Government policy is considered from the outset and that clear information and explanations are provided for the public.

My Department is also responsible for the News Co-ordination Centre. The NCC has two functions. The first is to co-ordinate the Government's media handling during major crises such as last year's floods.

It also has a role in ensuring that for major announcements proper attention is given to the regional media. This is done by means of regional announcements and ministerial visits.