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Football (Disorder) Act

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will report on the operation to date of the Football (Disorder) Act 2000; and if he will make a statement. [1496]

Mr. Denham: A report on the working of the Act in the period 28 August 2000 to 11 June 2001 was laid before Parliament on Wednesday 20 June.

Sentencing

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to publish the review of sentencing; and if he will make a statement. [1495]

Mr. Keith Bradley: I will publish the report of a review of the sentencing framework for England and Wales shortly.

Community Policing

Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent representations he has received on community policing in England and Wales; and if he will make a statement. [624]

Mr. Denham: My hon. Friend the Member for North Warwickshire (Mr. O'Brien) answered a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, Central (Mr. Benn) on 8 January 2001, Official Report, column 697. Effective policing depends on the community working together in

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partnership with the police to fight crime. Community beat officers can provide a vital link between the police and the local community.

Visitor Visas

Mr. Rooney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what publicity was given to the implementation of section 1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, with particular reference to the changes in the administration of visitor visas. [1648]

Angela Eagle: At the time of the implementation of section 1 of the 1999 Immigration and Asylum Act, our diplomatic posts abroad were instructed to seek local publicity to advertise changes to the way entry clearance, which includes visit visas, was to be issued. Detailed guidance was also provided to all our diplomatic posts in the form of leaflets and posters which were to be displayed prominently in all visa sections. Leaflets were also produced for insertion into the passports of those applying for entry clearance.

Police Response Times

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) guidance and (b) targets he gives to police authorities for the time taken to respond to (i) 999 calls and (ii) other calls. [1651]

Mr. Denham: Police authorities are not issued with national guidance or targets for responding to calls for assistance. Under best value, they should set local targets for answering 999 calls and for attending incidents requiring an immediate response. Police authorities report their performance against these targets at the end of each financial year in their annual policing/best value performance plans.

Special Advisers

Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the special advisers in his Department together with their date of appointment and their responsibilities; which of them are authorised to speak to the media; and if he will make a statement. [247]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 25 June 2001]: The number of special advisers working for me has been increased by 0.5 of a full-time post compared with the number working for me in the pre-election period. This, as with the arrangements between 1997 and 2001, reflects the particular circumstances of my position and also the extent of written work associated with my present post. Nick Pearce, Katharine Raymond and Sophie Linden (part-time) took up their appointments as special advisers on 8 June. I am also appointing Huw Evans, who will join the Department shortly. As part of their duties they will brief the media as appropriate.

With the transfer of the United Kingdom Anti-Drugs Co-ordination Unit from the Cabinet Office, Keith Hellawell will be joining the Home Office on special adviser terms.

Drugs (Stafford)

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he has made for the evaluation of the drug treatment and testing pilot project at Stafford. [14]

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Mr. Denham: The Home Office is at an advanced stage of negotiation with a research consultancy company to undertake the evaluation of the new drug-testing provisions in the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000. The evaluation will cover Stafford and the other two pilot sites of Nottingham and Hackney.

Investigatory Powers Tribunal

Mr. Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he has made for the appointment of members of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal under section 65 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000; and if he will make a statement. [1965]

Mr. Blunkett: On 4 June 2001 Her Majesty appointed Sir John Pringle to serve as a Member of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal for a period of five years.

TREASURY

NIRS2

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the problems with the NIRS2 computer system to be resolved. [363]

Dawn Primarolo: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him and the hon. Member for Havant (Mr. Willetts) on 31 October 2000, Official Report, column 409W.

Mr. Webb: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will estimate the total cost of the work that will be needed fully to rectify the problems with the NIRS2 computer system; [362]

Dawn Primarolo: The delay in the implementation of NIRS2 caused arrears of work in both the Inland Revenue and the then Department of Social Security. These arrears are being managed through a recovery plan that has been developed by both Departments and continue to be cleared as quickly as possible.

Estimated additional operational costs up to March 2001 are £40.4 million. It is not possible accurately to estimate the future costs until the backlog of cases has been cleared.

Child Care

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what estimate his Department has made of the number of families with children up to (a) three years old and (b) five years old who are eligible to receive the childcare tax credit; [937]

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Dawn Primarolo: At November 2000, 50,000 families with a child up to three years old were receiving the childcare tax credit within Working Families Tax Credit and Disabled Person's Tax Credit. The total extra payment to these families due to the childcare tax credit was £2.2 million per week. 85,000 families with a child up to five years old were receiving the childcare tax credit. The total extra payment to these families was £3.5 million per week.

I understand from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Northern Ireland Department for Social Development that, at November 2000, 2.0 million families with a child up to three years old were receiving child benefit totalling £30.8 million per week, and 2.7 million families with a child up to five years old were receiving £45.6 million per week.

Credit Unions

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what further action he is taking to establish a central support organisation for credit unions; and if he will make a statement. [930]

Ruth Kelly: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to him on 14 March 2001, Official Report, column 654W.

Pensioners

Mr. Hurst: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people of pensionable age lived in (a) England and Wales, (b) the county of Essex and (c) the boroughs of Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea in each year from 1995 to 2000 inclusive. [1067]

Ruth Kelly: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician. I have asked him to reply.

Letter from Len Cook to Mr. Alan Hurst, dated 2 July 2001:



Mid-year estimate of people of pensionable age in selected areas, mid-1995 to mid-1999

Thousand
19951996199719981999
England and Wales9,490.79,504.89,521.89,553.79,574.5
County of Essex(12)238.6240.9243.4246.5248.6
Southend-on-Sea37.136.636.536.236.2
Thurrock19.919.819.819.820.0

(12) Data for County of Essex are on a consistent basis for all years and do not include Southend and Thurrock. This reflects the local government reorganisation which took effect from 1 April 1998

Note:

Pensionable age is 60 years and over for women, 65 years and over for men

Source:

Office for National Statistics, Crown Copyright 2000


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