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Drug-related Deaths (Peterborough)

Mrs. Brinton: To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) where Peterborough stands nationally in relation to drug-related deaths per 100,000 of the population; [155115]

Miss Melanie Johnson [holding answer 23 March 2001]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mrs. Helen Brinton, dated 26 March 2001:

Civil Servant Costs

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will separately identify the average cost of the (a) salary, (b) superannuation, (c) accommodation and (d) personal secretaries support, assuming one secretary per official, of employing a team leader, former grade 5 equivalent, in the Treasury in the financial year 2000-01. [148435]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 6 February 2001]: Treasury staff in range F fall within Senior Salaries Review Body pay bands 1 and 2. The SSRB's recent report (Cm 4995) gives more details. The average salary for a Treasury range F is £55,400. Superannuation averages £9,170.

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The average accommodation or personal secretary cost for a range F cannot be separately identified.

Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Randall: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many ministerial meetings with hon. Members have been cancelled by Ministers since 1 January. [155234]

Dawn Primarolo: This information is not held centrally.


Ministerial Meetings

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many ministerial meetings with hon. Members have been cancelled by Ministers since 1 January. [155241]

Clare Short: Since 1 January no ministerial meetings between Ministers from my Department and hon. Members have been cancelled.


Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment she has made of the contribution to peace and development in Sudan being made by foreign oil companies operating in Sudan. [155147]

Clare Short: We are aware of some efforts by oil companies to provide services to the local populations in the areas of their oil concessions. The exploitation of Sudan's natural resources has the potential to be a major driver of development for the people of Sudan. But for this to happen there needs to be a peaceful solution to the civil war.


Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports she has received on East Timorese who are in camps in West Timor. [155027]

Clare Short: Accurate information on conditions in the West Timor refugee camps is difficult to obtain, following the withdrawal of UN staff and international NGOs in the aftermath of the killing of three UN workers in Atambua last September. But the Indonesian Government have managed the situation in the camps relatively well, and there have been no reports of widespread hunger. Some international NGOs, including Medecins sans Frontieres and Save the Children Fund, are considering re-establishing programmes. A UN mission is due in West Timor soon to review the security situation and decide whether conditions are safe enough for UN staff to return. The UN are particularly keen to ensure that all of those in the camps who want to return to East Timor are able to do so by 20 June, to enable them to register to vote in the Constituent Assembly elections planned for 30 August.

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Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what contributions she is making to alleviate the conditions of internally displaced persons in Aceh, Indonesia. [155026]

Clare Short: We contributed £500,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appeal for Indonesia last year; and we support the work of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva (also known as the Henri Dunant Centre) which brokered the recent "humanitarian pause" in Aceh. We are also working with the UN system in Indonesia to help strengthen its conflict management activities and its response to humanitarian emergencies, whether natural or conflict related.

Administration of Justice

Mr. Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what help she is giving to poorer countries to improve the administration of justice. [155128]

Clare Short: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Slough (Fiona Mactaggart) on 7 February 2001, Official Report, column 597W.

St. Helena

Mr. Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what response she has made to the recommendations set out in the access report proposed on St. Helena prepared by High Point Rendell. [155774]

Clare Short: My Department will comment on the draft final report of the Comparative Study of Air and Sea Access within the next week. High Point Rendell will then proceed with preparation of the final report. Its recommendations will then need to be discussed with the St. Helena Government.


Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much the Government are contributing to the EU assistance package of aid to Colombia; and if she will make a statement on how this money will be spent. [153934]

Clare Short: The UK's attributed share of EC expenditure varies from year to year. In 1999, the last year for which we have finalised figures, the UK's share was 17.75 per cent. Details of the proposed aid package are still being determined and will be discussed at a meeting of the European Union of member states and the Colombian Government on 30 April 2001.

Child Soldiers

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the countries that her Department is in discussion with about combating the use by those countries of child soldiers in military conflicts. [154456]

Clare Short: My Department has been working with UNICEF to strengthen its capacity to protect and assist children in crisis situations. UNICEF is engaged on these

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issues with governments, NGOs and other UN agencies in a wide range of countries including Uganda, ECOWAS states, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Cambodia, the Philippines, East Timor, Indonesia, Paraguay, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. My Department has also been supporting work on child soldiers in Sri Lanka with UNICEF's Children and Women in Armed Conflict programme, the Quaker UN office, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Save the Children Fund.


Royal Parks Constabulary

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he will publish the report on the inspection of the Royal Parks Constabulary by Mr. Anthony Speed; and if he will make a statement. [155988]

Mr. Alan Howarth: The report was published today and I have placed copies in the Libraries of both Houses. The report is also published on the DCMS website I am grateful to Mr. Anthony Speed and his assistant for conducting a thorough inspection of the Royal Parks Constabulary (RPC).

The review was commissioned by the Royal Parks Advisory Board which has considered the report carefully. In reaching my conclusions on the report's recommendations, I have had the benefit of the Board's advice for which I am grateful.

I accept the report's analysis and its recommendations for improved efficiency and effectiveness. Immediate action has been taken to remedy deficiencies and further changes and improvements are being taken forward. Mr. Speed makes 23 recommendations. In the following list I give the action taken on each of them to date.

It is essential for the morale of the RPC and for recruitment and retention that the Force is properly remunerated. The Government have agreed, therefore, to make more money available to maintain the link between the salaries of RPC officers and of the Metropolitan police service at 85 per cent. The award is being backdated to 1 September 2000. The question of an additional London Allowance is under consideration.

My Department is discussing with the Home Office the future relationship between the RPC and the Metropolitan police service. The current position is that the RPC remains part of the Royal Parks Agency. There are options for change, as Mr. Speed's report recognises. These options require further detailed examination and discussion. I recognise that uncertainty can be unsettling and we shall reach a conclusion as soon as possible.

Mr. Speed's report acknowledges the level of public satisfaction with the way in which the Royal Parks are policed. They are relatively crime-free areas. This is due to the dedication and professionalism of the officers of the RPC which I recognise and to which I pay tribute.

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Report of the formal inspection of the Royal Parks Constabulary by Mr. Anthony Speed

1. The duality of function of the Chief Officer should cease (Paras 2.3-2.10)The Chief Officer no longer has responsibilities as head of personnel. He remains a member of the Management Board
2. The Chief Officer should be a superintendent on secondment from a Home Office Police Force (Paras 2.20-2.23)This is being discussed with the Home Office
3. The Deputy Chief Officer should be a Chief Inspector (Para 2.24)A Promotion Board for Chief Inspector/Deputy Chief Officer post was held on 26 March 2001
4. The Chief Officer should be allowed to run the Royal Parks Constabulary alone, on properly constituted lines (Paras 2.26-2.27)The Chief Officer now has full operational control of the Force
5. The Royal Parks Constabulary should produce an annual, costed, policing plan, which gives a clear account of performance in the previous financial year (Paras 3.12-3.15)Properly costed policing plan for 2001-02 prepared, following full consultation. Currently being professionally reproduced for distribution
Further work necessary in respect of comparisons with performance in previous financial year
6. Planning guidelines should be produced by the Force showing the link between the community and the Constabulary and include a clear timetable for the contribution from all parties to the plan (Paras 3.16-3.17)Interim guidelines produced to enable preparation of the policing plan for 2001-02 These guidelines are being reviewed now and a more detailed document will be produced for distribution in April 2001
7. A properly constituted Police Authority should be formed, with clear links to Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary to hold the Chief Officer to account for Force performance (Paras 3.19-3.22)This is being discussed with the Home Office
8. A budget should be set for the Force allowing the Chief Officer to set staffing levels (Para 3.24)Budget currently being set for financial year 2001-02
9. A full participative management programme should be published which clearly shows how policy is developed and how each rank contributes to that process (Paras 3.26-3.34)Manual of Guidance now produced and distributed Minutes of Senior Management Team meetings being prepared in greater detail, with policy decisions highlighted. Hard copies being circulated to supplement distribution by e-mail. Target set to circulate minutes within seven working days of meetings A newsletter has been distributed to every officer to explain the process of change taking place and further editions will be sent out at regular interval. The consultation guidelines for the Policing Plan 2001-02 include the opportunity to take the views of staff (both police and civil) into account in the setting of Force aims and objectives Further actions to follow
10. The Force should produce a detailed Human Resources strategy document (Para 4.1)This document is being prepared
11. The Constabulary should not seek any further Investors in People (IIP) assessments until recommendations from previous assessments have been implemented (Para 4.4)Meeting with IIP assessors held and areas identified for further action. Work continuing
12. Staff development should be improved including the use of acting ranks to cover absences (Paras 4.10-4.11)Temporary promotions made in the ranks of chief inspector, inspector and sergeant
Substantive promotion made in the rank of sergeant and about to be made in the rank of chief inspector
Training plan for 2001-02 prioritises staff development
13. Pay parity should be immediately linked to 85 per cent., and allowances increased, in line with the total remuneration of the MPS package (Paras 4.20-4.22)Pay award has just been made for payment at the end of March. Award backdated to 1 September 2000 Award links pay to 85 per cent. of national police pay rates and includes payment of MPS allowances in respect of London Weighting and London Allowance(2)(4). Discussions will be held with the Treasury over payment of the Metropolitan police service allowance known as London Allowance(1), currently £1,011 pa (4) London Allowance(2), currently £3,327 pa, is paid to officers who joined after 1994 and who are not in receipt of recent allowance
14. The Constabulary should immediately start monitoring gender and racial mattersAdditional monitoring of gender and racial matters is now taking place
15. The Constabulary should immediately commence diversity training using the help and expertise in the Home Office (Para 4.42)Additional diversity training for all officers is already scheduled to take place between January and April 2001
Further diversity training to be carried out between September and December 2001. This second stage training will encompass best practice from the Home Office and will be designed so as to reflect both Force policy and the specific needs of the community and RPC officers
16. The Constabulary should establish clear guidelines on grievance procedures (Para 4.42)Grievance procedures have been redrafted taking account of comments received as a result of consultation. Final draft will be produced for publication by May 2001
17. Meetings of all parties involved in event management should be held to further the understanding of each other's roles and improve co-ordination (Para 5.31)Meetings already held to prepare an Events Seminar for RPA/RPC managers in April 2001 Further seminar to be developed for RPA/RPC and all outside agencies involved in events, for delivery before summer 2001
18. An IT policy and procedures manual should be produced (Para 6.2)Interim IT User Security Operating Procedures instruction issued in November 2000
19. The RPC should commence negotiations with the British Transport Police for enhanced call handling facilities and install the necessary infrastructure as soon as possible (Para 6.11)Contract for the provision of control room services by the BTP became operative on 1 December 2000. System went live on 7 January 2001
New control room facility is dealing with an average of around 200 calls for police action/attention per week. It is projected that it will handle over 10,000 calls per year. A significant improvement in call handling and response has already been achieved
20. The Constabulary install locks on the open drive of each computer terminal (Para 6.14)New software system introduced to prevent the use of unauthorised floppy discs
21. A submission should be made to the Home Secretary to change the law so that RPC officers retain full police powers throughout the judicial process (Para 6.22)This is being discussed with the Home Office
22. The RPC should seek full Computerised Crime Reporting System enablement with the MPS as soon as possible (Para 7.12)Cost implication of this measure currently being examined
23. Start up moneys should be provided for the RPC to come under Home Office control as a ring-fenced division of the MPS or, alternatively, funds should be provided to allow proper management, accountability and policing by the Royal Parks ConstabularyExercise currently being undertaken as to the cost effectiveness of the two options. This will be discussed with the Home Office
Outside the 23 main recommendations, the following specific areas were singled out for action:
In the opinion of the Review Team there was no need for further use of the consultants in the spheres of dogs and the mounted section and, when their contracts are complete, they should not be renewed (Paras 4.12-4.13)It may be necessary to retain the consultants for a longer period because of the departure of key personnel in the dog and mounted sections
Search Team
The RPC have a dedicated, trained search team, who know and understand their particular search area. This should continue (Para 5.22)Relicensing of search trained officers commenced November 2000. Force now has a properly relicensed search team
Brompton Cemetery Warden Scheme
The Review Team urges that negotiations commence immediately with all parties, the RPC, the Friends of Brompton Cemetery, the local community and the local authority to prepare a properly structured community safety plan for the cemetery (Para 6.21)Initial meeting with Friends of Brompton Cemetery took place in January 2001. Follow up action continuing
Richmond Park. Isabella Plantation Warden Scheme
The Review Team urges all parties to draw up detailed plans for dealing with issues of training, equipment, accountability, powers and personal safety, with regular monitoring and feedback (Para 6.22)Once properly arranged, the Brompton Cemetery Warden Scheme will be used as a model for Richmond

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