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Children's Hospices

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what level of funding was given to each children's hospice in the last year by the New Opportunities Fund. [27250]

Mr. Caborn: I refer the hon. Member to my answer to him of 6 November 2001, Official Report, columns 170–71W. We expect the first New Opportunities Fund awards for palliative care for children to be made in spring of this year.

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Gambling

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects to implement the recommendations of the committee headed by Sir Alan Budd on gambling. [27591]

Mr. Caborn: We published the report of the independent Gambling Review Body in July last year. We are now considering all the comments which we have received on it since then, and we will announce our conclusions within the next few months. I cannot at this stage forecast an implementation timetable.

Lottery Grants

Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what her Department is doing to ensure a more equitable regional distribution of Lottery grants; [27282]

Mr. Caborn: The Government were keen to see all areas receive a fair share of funding. Reforms introduced under the National Lottery Act 1998, the revised policy directions issued to Lottery distributors in the same year, and targeted programmes introduced by distributors are designed to reduce disparities between the regions and there has been some improvement.

We recognise, however, that there is still more to be done and that is why my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 27 June 2001 a new £150 million initiative to target funds at some 50 areas which are both deprived and have received less Lottery funding than other parts of the country. The scheme, which is UK wide, will begin later this year.

Correspondence

Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will reply to the letter of 19 October 2001 from the hon. Member for Totnes enclosing one from Mrs. Christine Ashworth of Rattery, South Devon, which was acknowledged by her Parliamentary Correspondence Unit on 1 November 2001. [27040]

Dr. Howells: I replied to the hon. Gentleman on 16 January 2002.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Prison Escapes

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on progress towards the Public Service Agreement target for low level escapes from prison and Prison Service escorts. [17072]

Beverley Hughes: The Public Service Agreement target on escapes was published in "Public Services for the Future: Modernisation, Reform, Accountability". The

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target was to maintain existing performance of no escapes by high risk (category A) prisoners; and the overall rate of escapes from prison to be no higher than 0.17 per cent. of average prison population; and to establish a baseline for the rate of escapes from prison escorts and set a target for contracted-out escorts by April 1999.

Performance on escapes from prison and Prison Service escorts for the period 1999–02 is listed in the table.

1999–20002000–01(16)2001–02
Escapes from prisons and Prison Service escorts expressed as a proportion of the average population (percentage)0.060.030.02
Number of escapes from prisons and Prison Service escorts381914

(16) Performance for the year 2001–02 is for the period April 2001 to October 2001. These data are provisional and subject to change.


Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been issued to date. [27642]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 15 January 2002]: A recent review of the total number of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued up until the end of September 2001 (latest available) was 466. Further work is being undertaken to rectify the under-reporting that has occurred based on the results from magistrates courts committees.

Child Curfew Orders

Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many child curfew orders have been issued to date; and if he will make a statement. [27641]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 15 January 2002]: No applications have been received to impose child curfew schemes under section 14 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. Sections 48 and 49 of the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, which took effect on 1 August 2001, extended the upper age limit to 15 and allowed the police, as well as local authorities, to initiate schemes. Local areas are assessing the implications of these changes.

Unenforced Deportation Orders

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the number of persons resident in the United Kingdom who are the subject of an unenforced deportation order; and if he will make a statement. [27032]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 15 January 2002]: I regret that there is no estimate of the number of persons resident in the United Kingdom who are the subject of an unenforced deportation order. This is because it is not possible to determine the number of persons who leave voluntarily without informing the Home Office of their departure.

Prison Education

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of funding for prison education is provided from (a) Department for Education and Skills budgets and (b) Home Office budgets; what

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proportion of funding (i) goes directly to prisons from Government Departments and (ii) goes to prisons from the Prison Service; what proportion of funding is ring-fenced; what plans he has to change arrangements for prison education funding further; and if he will make a statement. [27638]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 15 January 2002]: Prison education funding is now entirely ring-fenced and administered jointly by the Home Office and Department for Education and Skills (DfES). Resources are transferred from DfES to the Prison Service via the Home Office, or in the case of juvenile establishments via the Youth Justice Board. Once transferred, the budget cannot be spent on other services. However, governors may direct resources for other activities towards education at their own discretion.

The Prisoners' Learning and Skills Unit based in DfES will be conducting a review of the funding, delivery and procurement arrangements for prison education with a view to ensuring more equitable funding arrangements across the estate.

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in the last year for which figures are available were studying Open university courses; and how many and what proportion of those prisoners were studying level 1 Open university courses. [27639]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 15 January 2002]: The main thrust of education in prisons is to provide opportunities for offenders to attain a range of nationally recognised qualifications up to level 2, which will enhance their employability on release. The Prison Service supports provision which is also made for those with higher levels of ability, for example through distance learning and Open university.

However, information on take-up of Open university courses by prisoners is not held centrally.

Correspondence

David Winnick: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter of 27 November 2001 from the hon. Member for Walsall, North regarding a constituent, Ref: 2123411. [27312]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 15 January 2002]: A reply was sent to my hon. Friend on 16 January 2002. I am sorry I was not able to reply sooner.

Asylum Seekers

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of asylum seekers from Zimbabwe since 1 January 2000 (a) have been granted asylum, (b) have been deported and (c) are awaiting determination of their case. [27527]

Angela Eagle: The number of Zimbabwean nationals who have applied for asylum since January 2000 and have subsequently been granted asylum or removed is not readily available, and could be obtained only by examination of individual case records at disproportionate cost.

There were 2,235 applications for asylum from Zimbabwe nationals from 1 January 2000 to 30 September 2001, inclusive. The number of asylum and Exceptional

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Leave to Remain (ELR) grants made in the same period is shown in the table. However these initial decisions do not all relate to applications made in the same period. A proportion of applications which received an initial refusal result in an appeal being lodged.

Initial decisions(17),(18),(19) January 2000-September 2001, nationals of Zimbabwe

NumberPercentage of decisions(20)
Total initial decisions2,035
Of which considered under normal procedures:
Granted asylum854
Granted ELR402
Refused1,86594
Of which considered under Backlog Clearance Exercise(21):
Granted asylum or ELR under backlog criteria3589
Refused under backlog criteria511

(17) Levels rounded to the nearest five, and are provisional. Excludes dependants.

(18) Information is of initial decisions, excluding the outcome of appeals or other subsequent decisions.

(19) Decisions figures do not necessarily relate to applications received in this period.

(20) Percentages for cases considered under normal procedures and those within the backlog clearance exercise are calculated separately.

(21) Cases decided under measures aimed at reducing the pre-1996 asylum application backlog.


Comparable information on the numbers of Zimbabwean asylum seekers removed over the same period is not available.

The number of Zimbabweans who have applied for asylum since 1 January 2000 and are currently awaiting an initial decision on their asylum application, and the number awaiting the outcome of appeal determinations, is not available, and would be available only at disproportionate cost by examination of individual case files.

Information on asylum applications, initial decisions and removals are published quarterly. The next publication will be available from 28 February 2002 on the Home Office Research Development and Statistics Directorate website at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what contingency plans are in place for accommodating future refugees from Zimbabwe. [27426]

Angela Eagle: Although an influx of individuals seeking asylum from Zimbabwe is not expected, contingency arrangements exist for responding to such a situation should it occur. These arrangements are being updated as necessary by the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate in liaison with relevant organisations.


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