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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Sudan on the UN Special Rapporteur's report on human rights abuses in Sudan; and if he will make a statement. [15777]

Mr. Bradshaw: The promotion of human rights remains one of our priorities in Sudan and our Embassy in Khartoum is in constant touch with the Government of Sudan. Human rights are also a key focus of the renewed EU-Sudan dialogue. We make representations to the Sudanese Government and to other parties to the conflict on a range of human rights issues, many of which are referred to in the Special Rapporteur's report.


Campbeltown to Ballycastle Ferry Service

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when and where she will meet Scottish Executive and Northern Ireland Executive Ministers to discuss the operation of a ferry service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle. [15695]

Mr. Foulkes: I will be meeting Scottish and Northern Irish Ministers in Glasgow at the end of this month to discuss the Ballycastle to Campbeltown ferry link.

Mr. Alan Reid: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she expects to finalise the evaluation of the expressions of interest received to operate the ferry service between Campbeltown and Ballycastle. [15693]

Mr. Foulkes: I expect to take a decision within the next few weeks, in conjunction with Scottish and Northern Irish Ministers, on how to proceed.


Police Emblems and Flags

Jean Corston: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the draft Police Emblems and Flags Regulations provided for in section 54 of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 will be issued for consultation; and if he will make a statement. [16701]

Jane Kennedy: I have today launched the consultation process on these draft regulations, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House.

As the Government said in this House during the passage of the Police (Northern Ireland) Act, they will look to the representative Policing Board to see if it can reach a cross-community consensus on these sensitive issues. We very much hope that it can. But, if not, the Government will take the decision. We have consistently said that in that event we will not decide on an outcome which would deter recruitment or be objectionable to a substantial part of the community.

Comments have been sought by 14 December. Our aim is that the Regulations are approved in time to ensure that the new emblems and new uniforms are ready by the spring for the new recruits.

19 Nov 2001 : Column: 29W

Criminal Justice Review

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for what reasons he has not set an eight week period of consultation on the Government's response to the Criminal Justice Review. [15537]

Mr. Browne: This is not a new issue. There has already been extensive consultation on the review recommendations, both before and after the report was published in March last year. There was widespread support for the review's conclusions, and we made no secret of the fact that we intended to implement them more or less in full. This period of consultation will be focused and proactive, and we will continue to take on board the comments we receive on our proposals as we take forward the implementation process.


Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many injuries from fireworks there were in Northern Ireland in each year since 1997. [14323]

Jane Kennedy: Firework injuries statistics in Northern Ireland have been monitored since 1996 and relate to people who have attended an accident and emergency department. The yearly figures are set out in the table.


(6) The 1999 figure includes statistics for the Millennium celebration period

Statistics for 2001 are not yet available as the monitoring period for injuries has just ended but they are due to be published in December.

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many incidents of criminal damage were recorded in each year since 1997 in Northern Ireland relating to the use of fireworks. [14324]

Jane Kennedy: The Chief Constable has advised that criminal damage statistics relating to the misuse of fireworks are not held in a format that would enable the Police Service of Northern Ireland to answer the question.

Police Recruitment Quota

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what estimate he has made of how long the recruitment quota for the Police Service for Northern Ireland will be necessary; what criteria he will use when determining whether it should continue; and if he will make a statement; [13978]

Jane Kennedy: The temporary provisions in the Police (Northern Ireland) Act 2000 enabling the recruitment of 50 per cent. Roman Catholic and 50 per cent. non- Catholic (50:50 recruitment) from the pool of qualified candidates are subject to review and a renewal by order

19 Nov 2001 : Column: 30W

in Parliament every three years. The first review will be due in March 2004. In considering whether to renew the provisions, the Secretary of State will have regard to the progress which has been made towards securing a representative police service in Northern Ireland. He will consult as required under the Act.


Departmental Promotions

Dr. Cable: To ask the President of the Council how much his Department spent on information literature, advertising and campaign material in the financial years (a) 1995–96, (b) 1996–97, (c) 1997–98, (d) 1998–99 (e) 1999–2000 and (f) 2000–01; and if he will make a statement. [12261]

Mr. Robin Cook: The Privy Council Office spent £3,406 on information literature in the financial year 2000–01.

No moneys were spent on information literature, advertising or campaign material in the other financial years mentioned.




Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when work is due to commence on the next phase of widening the M25. [12751]

Mr. Jamieson: Work is anticipated to start on the next phase of the M25 Junctions 12 to 15 widening in Spring 2003.


Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what contingency plans he made to provide extra resources to Railtrack prior to 5 October. [13213]

Mr. Spellar: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave due consideration to the option of providing extra resources to Railtrack—through their Project Rainbow proposals—when making his decision on 5 October. Consideration was given to the legislation that would be required to enable Railtrack's request for a suspension of the existing Regulatory regime.

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what his estimate is of the revenue that could have been raised from brought-forward payment of track access charges if the Rail Regulator had held an interim financial review on 5 October. [14782]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 14 November 2001]: This would have been a matter for the independent Rail Regulator. The regulator did indicate to Railtrack his willingness to consider an interim review but Railtrack did not apply for one.

19 Nov 2001 : Column: 31W

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions he had with the European Commission prior to his decision on placing Railtrack in administration. [15045]

Mr. Jamieson: Neither my right hon. Friend nor my officials had any discussions with the European Commission dealing with the matters which formed the basis for my right hon. Friend's decision to petition for a court order placing Railtrack plc into administration prior to that decision. On Monday 8 October 2001, my officials informed the European Commission that Railtrack plc had been placed into administration.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, pursuant to his answer of 14 November 2001, reference 14783, on what basis his Department determined the value of assets of Railtrack plc for the purposes of assessing the company's solvency. [16092]

Mr. Byers: Under general accounting practice, the solvency of Railtrack plc was assessed on its ability to meet its debt liability payments. Railtrack plc was taken into Railway Administration on 7 October because it was, or was likely to become, unable to pay its debts. The evidence presented to the High Court showed that there would be a deficit of £700 million by 8 December this year, rising to £1.7 billion by the end of March next year. Railtrack plc attended the High Court but did not oppose the petition to place the Company in railway administration.

The administrator will be seeking to obtain the best value he can for the assets in Railtrack plc.

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