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Animal Research

Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents have been reported in each of the last five years of (a) assaults and (b) harassment against scientists and institutions involved in animal research. [7738]

Mr. Denham: The crime statistics do not distinguish between the occupations of victims, but there is no doubt that animal rights extremists have been increasingly ready to resort to criminal methods in recent years, and as a Government we are determined to take all possible steps to protect those engaged in legitimate scientific research.

Passport Office

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many passports were lost by the Passport Office in each of the last five years. [7314]

Angela Eagle: The United Kingdom Passport Service issues more than 5 million passports each year, the majority of which are issued via first class post.

The only records the UK Passport Service holds relating to lost passports are those for passports reported to be lost, stolen or unavailable and for those which have been recorded as missing in the post. These figures are given:

22 Oct 2001 : Column: 91W

Year Lost, stolen or unavailable(19)Lost in post(19)
199731,550(20)
199831,497(20)
199962,7752,359
2000114,6243,851
2001(21)(22)36,328(23)1,474

(19) All figures are for calendar year except where otherwise stated

(20) Not available

(21) Figures are from April to September 2001

(22) To May 2001

(23) To September 2001


Ouseley Report

Mr. Allen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the findings of Sir Herman Ouseley's report on the impact of segregated schools on the riots in Bradford. [7120]

Mr. Denham: Lord Ouseley's report was commissioned and prepared for Bradford Vision, a partnership involving local government, police and other agencies. The Public Order Community Cohesion Ministerial Group, which my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary set up following the disturbances earlier this summer in the north-west, is looking at the wider issues of segregation, including education. My colleagues in the Department for Education and Skills are contributing to the group's work. The group will be taking full account of Lord Ouseley's observations on this issue in Bradford. I would not wish to anticipate the outcome of their findings at this stage.

TRANSPORT, LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND

THE REGIONS

Departmental Staff

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) who communicated to Mr. Alun Evans the decision to move him from his duties; and when this was done; [8105]

22 Oct 2001 : Column: 92W

Mr. Byers [holding answer 17 October 2001]: The Permanent Secretary is responsible to me for ensuring that the Department is effectively and efficiently organised and staffed. He does so within the framework of the rules governing civil service recruitment and promotion. The Permanent Secretary is responsible for discussing with senior staff their career development and timing of moves from one appointment to another. No representations have been made by any trade union in connection with Mr. Evans's move.

When Mr. Evans took up appointment as Director of Communication it was envisaged that he would move back into policy work in the civil service in due course. This he has now done. He has taken up post, working with Dr. Iain Anderson as head of the secretariat on his inquiry into the foot and mouth outbreak.

Ms Moore had asked an information officer to make the media aware that there was a document which showed that one of Mr. Kiley's assistants had proposed changes to a draft report by consultants, Parsons Brinckerhoff, about controlling standards of workmanship and safety-related activities of infrastructure companies under the anticipated London Underground Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts. The proposed changes were intended to make the report more critical of the PPP. The Department did not in the event release the document.

My noble and learned Friend the Minister for housing, planning and regeneration drew attention to this document in answer to a question on 24 July 2001, Official Report, House of Lords, columns 1845–48.

Salaries of Board members were published in the 1999–2000 Resource Accounts of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Cm 5054), a copy of which is in the Library.

I informed the Permanent Secretary of my personal reprimand on 9 October. Under the Department's disciplinary procedures the Permanent Secretary has given Ms Moore an official warning as to her conduct. She has made a statement in which she has accepted responsibility for her actions and offered a sincere apology.

22 Oct 2001 : Column: 93W

Ms Moore works 26 hours a week as a special adviser. This is currently her only contract of employment. It is the Government's policy that details of individual salaries for special advisers should remain confidential.

Ms Moore's e-mail of 11 September was originally addressed to Alun Evans and Robin Mortimer and copied to Dan Corry.

Railtrack

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on the role of Jo Moore in the decision to apply for an administration order under section 59 of the Railways Act 1993. [8187]

Mr. Byers [holding answer 18 October 2001]: Ms Moore played the normal role of a special adviser.

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he has appointed headhunters to advise on future appointments to the successor body to Railtrack. [8919]

Mr. Jamieson: No.

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what contacts he has authorised between his special advisers and the media since 7 June in relation to Railtrack. [9189]

Mr. Byers: Special advisers contact the media as necessary on issues across the range of the Department's responsibilities.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what new proposals he intends to make for the operation of the (a) Strategic Rail Authority and (b) Rail Regulator following the decision to place the subsidiary of Railtrack into administration. [8490]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 18 October 2001]: I refer my hon. Friend to the statement made to the House by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 15 October 2001, Official Report, column 954.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what meetings he held with Ernst and Young to discuss whether Railtrack plc should be put into administration; and when these meetings were held. [8186]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 18 October 2001]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions held no such meetings.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much financial support will be made available to the successor company to Railtrack; and how much the Government expected to pay to Railtrack in 2000–01 and 2001–02 for similar purposes. [8195]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government have proposed a private sector company limited by guarantee to succeed Railtrack and intend to agree a transfer scheme with the railway administrators.

22 Oct 2001 : Column: 94W

In 2000–01 some 85 per cent. of Railtrack's £2,476 million income was paid to it in access charges by train operating companies, which were paid £1,130 million in revenue support grants from the Strategic Rail Authority and Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs). In 2001–02 Railtrack continued to receive indirect support via track access charges. In addition, on 1 October it received £337 million in direct grant payment from the SRA, and will receive a further £162 million in direct grant when requested by the administrators.

The direct network grant payments over the next five years, as determined by the Rail Regulator's October 2000 Periodic Review and the 2 April agreement between Government and Railtrack, will be transferred to Railtrack's successor body on emergence from administration.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will make a statement on how the successor company to Railtrack will be accountable to (a) him and (b) other Government agencies. [8184]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government's proposal is for the successor company to be a private sector company limited by guarantee. Such a company would not be accountable to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how much capital will be made available to the successor company to Railtrack to enable it to acquire Railtrack's assets from the administrators. [8194]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 18 October 2001]: The Government have proposed a private sector company limited by guarantee to succeed Railtrack and intend to agree a transfer scheme with the railway administrators. We plan to structure this new company so that it would achieve at least a BBB investment grade credit rating.


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