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Opinion Polling

Mr. St. Aubyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what (a) quantitative and (b) qualitative analytical work his Department has commissioned from GGC/NOP since 1 May 1997; and what was (i) the cost of the contract and (ii) the specific nature of the work commissioned. [155659]

Angela Eagle: Details of all social research commissioned by the Department, including costs, contractor and nature of the work commissioned are listed in the DSS Social Security Research Yearbook published annually. Copies are available in the Library.

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DSS Corporate Communications have commissioned the following research from NOP since 1 May 1997 at a total cost of around £100,000:

NOP were also commissioned to conduct the DSS Internal Communications Qualitative Research during 1999-2000 at a cost of £62,240.

GGC is not an organisation with which the Department has had contact.

Larynx Cancer

Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to classify cancer of the larynx as an industrial disease; and if he will make a statement. [155443]

Mr. Bayley: We have no plans to prescribe cancer of the larynx as an industrial disease.

Diseases are prescribed in relation to the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit scheme in respect of particular occupations where a causal link is established

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between the occupation and an increased risk of contracting the disease. The Secretary of State is advised on such matters by the independent Industrial Injuries Advisory Council. If my hon. Friend has evidence which would suggest that the Council should consider this matter he may care to write with that evidence or details of his concerns to the Chairman of the Council, Professor Anthony Newman Taylor, Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, Room 605, The Adelphi, 1-11 John Adam Street, London WC2N 6HT.

Lone Parents

Mr. Goggins: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what measures he is taking to help and encourage lone parents on Income Support into work. [156368]

Angela Eagle: From 30 April 2001 we are introducing Personal Adviser meetings for lone parents making claims to, or already receiving, Income Support. Personal Adviser meetings are an opportunity for lone parents to talk about their own circumstances, and find out about the help available to start or prepare for work through the New Deal for Lone Parents.

Full information is contained in "Personal Adviser Meetings and the New Deal for Lone Parents: A Guide to Policy and Practice". Copies have been placed in the Library and are available on the internet at

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Border Controls

Mr. Paul Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will respond to the Home Affairs Select Committee's report on border controls. [156063]

Mrs. Roche: The Government have submitted their response to the report to the Chairman of the Home Affairs Committee and a copy has been placed in the Library. I understand that the Home Affairs Committee has decided to publish this today as its fourth special report HC 375 and this will be available on the Home Affairs Committee website at commons/selcom/hmafhome.htm.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what reasons personal possessions are removed from young asylum seekers when they arrive in the United Kingdom. [155929]

Mrs. Roche [holding answer 27 March 2001]: An immigration officer may remove and detain a passport or other document establishing a person's nationality and identity until leave to enter is granted or leave is refused and the person removed. An immigration officer may also examine any documents relevant to a person's request for leave to enter.

The possessions of young asylum seekers are not regarded differently to any other passenger. Where a young asylum seeker is subject to further examination it is possible that if, following a baggage examination, articles which could be used to harm them or others are found, these may be detained by immigration service contractors while the person remains at the port of entry.

Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will publish his Department's review into the voucher system for asylum seekers; and if he will make a statement. [155595]

Mrs. Roche: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Walthamstow (Mr. Gerrard) on 8 January 2001, Official Report, column 413W.

Press Officers

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vacancies exist for press officers in his Department on (a) the newsdesk and (b) the proactive press team; what the budgeted size of his Department's press office is; and if he will make a statement. [155818]

Mr. Straw [holding answer 27 March 2001]: The current number of vacancies is:

(a) One--newsdesk
(b) Two--proactive press teams

The budget for the Home Office press office for the financial year 2000-01 is approximately £1.6 million based on staffing levels of: five Senior Information Officers, 20 Information Officers, three Assistant Information

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Officer trainees, one Chief Immigration Officer, one Higher Executive Officer, seven administrative grades and three senior managers.

Asylum Seekers (Scotland)

Dr. Godman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will open a dedicated facility for asylum seekers in Scotland; and if he will make a statement. [155877]

Mrs. Roche: A new immigration detention centre at Dungavel, South Lanarkshire, will open in two phases. The first 90 places will be available in August 2001 and up to a further 60 places will be available from November 2001.

Departmental Policies (Romsey)

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the Romsey constituency, the effects on Romsey of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [155856]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Home Office is working to build a safe, just and tolerant society in which the rights and responsibilities of individuals, families and communities are properly balanced, and the protection and security of the public are maintained. Detailed information on the impact of Home Office policies across the full range of responsibilities is set out in Home Office Annual Reports. A copy of the most recent report is available in the Library. Information on recorded crime and policing is also published: "Recorded Crime England and Wales, 12 months to September 2000" and "Police Service Strength England and Wales, 30 September 2000" can be found in the Library. The recorded crime statistics include information on recorded crime by Basic Command Unit and Crime and Disorder partnerships.

The impact of Home Office policies and actions is not normally examined by constituency and the statistics which the Department collects, such as recorded crime, cannot be matched in the way requested although set out are examples relating to the Romsey constituency or the immediate locality:

Youth Offending

Romsey is part of the area covered by the South West Hampshire Youth Offending Team (YOT), which is one of seven teams that make up the Wessex YOT. Due to the rural nature of Romsey and the distance from the YOT office, work with young people who live in Romsey usually occurs in the home. Romsey is not a high crime area in terms of youth offending. Over the past year five young people have been worked with for offences of arson/criminal damage, theft/handling and a road traffic offence.

The South West Hampshire YOT is a multi-agency team comprising staff from the probation service, social services, health authority, an education officer and a parent support co-ordinator. All young people who come to the attention of the YOT are assessed using the ASSET assessment tool and work is allocated on the basis of criminogenic need. This enables the team to identify specific needs for young people and concentrate on the particular area of concern for the individual, for example education. There are two specialist drug workers within

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the South West Hampshire YOT, which has been made possible due to close partnership working with the Drugs Advisory Service. An accredited Cognitive Behavioural Programme is run at the YOT office, and transport can be arranged for the young person to attend if required.

In addition, a Motor Offending Programme is being run, which is specific to the South West Hampshire YOT. This has been achieved through links with the Crime and Disorder Partnership and identifying car crime as an area that needs targeting. One of the YOT officers has developed a 16 session programme which young offenders involved in car crime are required to attend.

The YOT aims to give victims a consistently good service and places victim issues at the top of their working agenda. The team aims to make all young offenders responsible for the consequences of their actions and reparation takes place wherever possible. The YOT has formed a cohesive multi-agency approach which is making progress on tackling youth offending.

More generally, all of the policies of the Home Office will impact on the residents of Romsey to a greater or lesser extent. For example:

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Information on the Home Office and its policies is also published on its website

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