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Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received during the last 12 months on the impact of the price of goods manufactured by prisoners on similar products made by commercial businesses outside; and if he will make a statement. 
Beverley Hughes: The Prison Service policy on pricing is that goods and services should be offered at a fair market price, which covers direct manufacturing cost plus a contribution to the recovery of overheads. Prison overheads are higher than outside because of high fixed costs, such as high ratios of costly supervision, a short working week and low productivity rates. Once a prison has recovered all variable costs and a contribution to the direct costs, its rates are in most cases no lower than those of comparable commercial ventures.
The Prison Service has dealt with three cases during the last 12 months in which concerns were expressed about under-cutting by prisons. All three cases were fully investigated and it was found in each case that Prison Service policy had been adhered to.
Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out the budget for Nottinghamshire police in (a) cash and (b) real terms for each financial year since April 1996. 
|Cash (£ million)||Real (£ million)||Real terms increase (percentage)|
Real terms figures are given at 200102 prices (GDP deflator)
Mr. Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what discussions he has held with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Education and Skills and the Department of Trade and Industry, to co-ordinate initiatives to reduce crime through sport and recreation; 
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(3) what discussions he has held with professional sports clubs about using sports initiatives to reduce crime. 
Mr. Denham: A number of professional sports bodies were involved in the discussions of the Football Working Group, which was chaired by former Home Office Minister, Lord Bassam of Brighton and which reported in March 2001. The working group report includes recommendations aimed at encouraging Premiership and Football League clubs to maximise and expand their community investment programmes, notably through developing partnerships with local communities, local authorities and businesses. The report highlights the social and public order benefits of encouraging, facilitating and funding young people to participate in grassroots football and other sports projects.
In January 2001 senior Home Office officials met officials from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Department for Education and Skills (formerly Department for Education and Science) and the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (formerly Department for the Environment, Transport and the Regions) to discuss the contribution youth sport can make to crime reduction. Officials subsequently attended a seminar organised by the DCMS and featuring an American expert in this field. Further discussions took place in June and officials remain in touch with a view to identifying examples of effective schemes which can be recommended to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships.
The Home Office is currently funding a number of schemes which aim to use sport and recreation to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour. There are several small schemes with total funding of £400,000 under the Reducing Burglary Initiative. The principal schemes are those involving the Youth Justice Boardie Positive Futures (£6 million over three years to March 2003); Youth Inclusion (£15.6 million over four years to March 2003); and Easter and Summer 'Splash' schemes (£3.6 million over two years to March 2002).
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Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will reply to the letter to him dated 21 September from the hon. Member for Solihull concerning the company known as A & N Trimmings Ltd. 
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what was, for each year since 1995, the average response time for providing a substantive answer to (a) hon. Members' correspondence, (b) correspondence from members of the public and (c) written parliamentary questions in the (i) House of Commons and (ii) House of Lords; 
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Mr. Blunkett: My Department receives large amounts of correspondence from hon. Members and members of the public. We aim to send a substantive reply to all letters as soon as possible. I am determined to achieve a high level of performance in dealing quickly with correspondence.
We are working with our information technology partners to develop next summer a customer contact centre which will radically change the way we handle letters, e-mails and telephone inquiries. In the short term we are implementing a number of organisational and process changes to bring about improvements in the quality and timeliness of replies and to prepare for the contact centre.
General information on the volumes of correspondence received across Whitehall and on overall performance is published by the Cabinet Office. Figures for 2000 were published on 6 April 2001, Official Report, column 324W, and on 19 July 2001, Official Report, column 454W.
The Home Office also receives a high number of parliamentary questions each Session and takes its responsibilities for answering them seriously. This is reflected in the performance levels indicated in the tables, which are, in the main, within the recommended response times required by both Houses. The Home Office has, since 2000, had a performance indicator of answering 95 per cent. of parliamentary questions within target. In the most recent financial year for which figures are available2000/01the figure achieved was 94 per cent.
The tables show the number of written parliamentary questions answered by the Home Office in the House of Commons and the House of Lords respectively since 1995; the percentage of those questions which took more than a month to provide a substantive answer; the percentage of questions which took more than three months to provide a substantive answer; and the average response time in days from the point at which the question is due for answer (ie the date on which it appears in the order book). The figures for questions in the House of Commons have been broken down in terms of questions which were for ordinary written and named day answer respectively.
|Number of ordinary written questions||Percentage more than one month||Percentage more than three months||Average response time in days||Number of named day written questions||Percentage more than one month||Percentage more than three months||Average response time in days|
(14) As at 20 July 2001
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|Number||Percentage more than one month||Percentage more than three months||Average response times in days|
(15) As at 20 July 2001
31 Oct 2001 : Column: 724W
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