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Enterprise and Investment

Ms Kelly: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the

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Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in the Northern Ireland Assembly about the number of (a) business start ups and (b) amount of inward investment in each parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland since the signing of the Belfast Agreement; and if he will make a statement. [151047]

Mr. Caborn: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry has had no official discussions with the Minister for Enterprise in the Northern Ireland Assembly. Minister and officials are, however, in regular contact with colleagues in each of the devolved Administrations.

The main source of business start up information is VAT registration data. Not all businesses are VAT registered, however, in particular, if they do not have a turnover above £52,000 per annum. Taking this into account, for 1998 and 1999 the number of such start-ups with a turnover of more than £52,000 per annum in Northern Ireland is 3,685 and 3,565 respectively. Such information is not readily available by parliamentary constituency.

Ministerial Visits (Peterborough)

Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the Ministers in his Department who visited any of the constituencies which are in the Peterborough Unitary Authority area between 1 January 2000 and 14 February 2001, indicating in each case (a) the date of the visit, (b) the constituencies included in the visit and (c) if the local hon. Member met the Minister. [151034]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 26 February 2001]: My right hon. Friend the Minster for Trade, visited the Peterborough constituency on 24 February 2000 when he met the local hon. Member. On 25 January 2001 he visited the North-East Cambridge constituency but did not meet the local hon. Member.

Company Relocations

Mr. Pike: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps the Government are taking to encourage major companies to locate their sites in the North West Region. [150630]

Mr. Caborn: The Government established the Northwest Development Agency in April 1999. It has a clear objective to attract investment and encourage major companies to locate in the region.


Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what conditions were attached to the grant of £250 million to Rolls-Royce. [151149]

Mr. Alan Johnson: The Government's investment of £250 million in Rolls-Royce is not a grant, but is a repayable investment which is expected to secure a substantial real rate of return for the taxpayer as well as securing wider economic benefits for the UK.

The conditions of the investment are commercially confidential under exemption 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

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Drug Testing (Immigration Detainees)

Mr. Pond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what changes he plans to make to the random mandatory drug-testing programme for immigration detainees. [151893]

Mr. Boateng: Immigration detainees rarely test positive for drugs. As a result from 1 April 2001 detainees held at Her Majesty's Prison Haslar and within discrete units at Her Majesty's Prisons Lindholme and Rochester will no longer be subject to the random mandatory drug-testing programme. Other security measures to prevent the smuggling and misuse of drugs will remain unchanged. These new arrangements will not apply to detainees dispersed more widely across the prison estate and who therefore have regular contact with prisoners. The policy will be reviewed at three and six-month intervals to ensure that the low level of drug abuse in these establishments continues.

Toxicology and Safety Evaluation Studies

Mr. Pond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress he has made on the preparation of guidance on the conduct of regulatory toxicology and safety evaluation studies; and if he will make a statement. [151892]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: I have today published guidance on the conduct of regulatory toxicology and safety evaluation studies and a copy has been placed in the Library.

The guidance has been prepared by the Home Office working with the British Toxicology Society, the British Society of Toxicological Pathologists and the Department of Health and takes account of consultation with the scientific community and animal welfare and animal protection groups.

Copies of the guidance will be issued shortly to all establishments licensed under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, and it will also be available on the Home Office website.

The guidance will not impact significantly on the numbers of animals used, but will ensure that all possible refinement strategies are considered in the design of these studies.

Terrorist Organisations

Mr. Pond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what additional terrorist organisations he intends to proscribe, following the coming into force of the Terrorism Act 2000. [151894]

Mr. Straw: I have today laid a draft Order, under section 123(4)(a) of the Terrorism Act, recommending to Parliament that the following organisations be added to the list of proscribed organisations in Schedule 2 to the Act:

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Under section 3(3)(a) of the Act, I may by order add an organisation to schedule 2, where I believe that it is concerned in terrorism, as defined in section 1 of the Act. I am entirely satisfied that the organisations named above are "concerned in terrorism" as set out in section 3(5) of the Act, and have, after careful consideration, decided to exercise my discretion to proscribe them. The draft Order is subject to the affirmative resolution procedure. There will therefore be a debate in both Houses on my recommendations. If approved by Parliament, the proscriptions will take effect on the day after I sign the Order. To assist consideration by both Houses, I have placed in the Libraries, the Vote Office, and the Printed Paper Office copies of a Note setting out a brief summary in respect of each organisation named in the draft Order.

The Act provides for an appeal process. After the Order comes into force, it will be open for any of the organisations so proscribed, or any person affected by their proscription, to make application to me for deproscription. If that application is refused, the Act provides for an appeal to a new independent tribunal, the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission, established by the Terrorism Act.

Reconviction Rates

Ms Kelly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent research his Department has undertaken into the relationship between the prison where a sentence is served and the incidence of the individual concerned being convicted of a crime once he or she has served the original sentence. [151537]

Mr. Boateng: The latest research into reconviction rates following discharge from prison was published in chapter 9 of Prison Statistics England and Wales 1999, Cm 4805, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Since a prisoner can move between a number of prisons during his or her sentence, from the data centrally held it is not possible to establish a relationship between the prison establishments where an inmate served any part of their sentence and convictions once the original sentence has been served.

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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to increase the numbers of paid staff needed to train and support volunteers as part of the Government's plan to increase volunteering. [151181]

Mr. Boateng: The Government place a great deal of importance on the training and support provided to volunteers, whether this is provided by paid staff or by unpaid volunteer managers.

A major package to encourage more people to get involved in their communities was announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer on 11 January. The £300 million package almost doubles the Government's commitment to the voluntary sector and will help, among other things, to develop the infrastructure of the voluntary sector, to assist community groups in deprived areas, and to fund a new National Experience Corps making use of the talents of the over-50s.

Some of this money will be used in support of paid staff who will be funded by Government through grant aid to volunteering and community organisations in support of volunteering objectives. However, there is no ready source of information on the number of paid staff who are currently, or who will in the future be, supported in this way.

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