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Ministerial Transport

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when she last used the railway service in connection with her official duties; what station she left from and what was the destination; and whether it is her intention to make greater use of the railways in future. [28101]

Clare Short: I last used the railway service on official duty when I took the Eurostar leaving Waterloo International for a meeting of the Development Ministers of Europe in Brussels on 8 December.

The majority of my work outside London is overseas. However I make use of the railway service if it is the quickest way to a destination.

International Aid

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make education a higher priority within the international aid budget. [27864]

Clare Short: Education is a precondition of development and poverty reduction and is given high priority within our development assistance programme. The Government are strongly committed to achieving the millennium development goals of universal primary education (UPE) in all countries by the year 2015 and gender equity in primary and secondary schooling by 2005. DFID's education strategy paper, "The Challenge of Universal Primary Education", sets out our overall approach and three-fold strategy for achieving these goals. Our recent paper "Children out of School" identifies the different circumstances of children who are not in school and proposes an eight-point plan of international action for accelerating progress towards the 2015 target.

European Commission Payments

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions she has had with the European Commission on delays in payments of money owed by the commission to charities and NGOs. [28879]

Clare Short: Delays in payments by the European Commission to NGOs have been discussed on many occasions by member states, including the UK, and the

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commission. We and others have urged the commission to take the steps needed to improve the handling of such payments since the delays are often excessive and cause real hardship to the organisations and individuals concerned. The commission has improved the management systems used to process those payments and we understand that the delays have been reduced but remain of concern. This is also the case with many payments for implementation of EC programmes in developing countries, where we are also promoting reform. We stay in close touch with UK NGOs about this issue and will continue to monitor the position with them.

Education Charges

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action she will take to secure the abolition of education charges in developing countries. [27865]

Clare Short: The Government are committed to the principle that primary education should be made free. No child should be denied access to a basic education because the costs, direct or indirect, cannot be met by the household. School fees are an example of a direct cost, but there may be indirect charges for books, uniforms and exams which can make education unaffordable to many.

The equitable financing of education is a key issue for achieving universal primary education by 2015. Governments of developing countries need to demonstrate the political commitment to abolish education charges. The abolition of primary tuition fees in Malawi and Uganda, brought about by strong political leadership, resulted in enrolment increases of up to 3 million in Uganda and 1.9 million in Malawi. The impact was greatest on the enrolment of girls. Education budgets for proving effective primary education for all should be developed within national poverty reduction strategies and factor in the costs of introducing free primary education.

In our dialogue with partner Governments, civil society and the international community on poverty reduction and education sector programmes, we will continue to argue for the reduction of the financial barriers that exclude large numbers of the poorest children.


Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) when she expects CDC, formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation, to meet its target of 50 per cent. of its investment in Africa and poorer countries in Asia; [27701]

Clare Short: I am the Minister responsible for CDC. CDC have an investment policy set by Government, which provides the framework within which the board formulates its business plans. The Government do not require these plans to be submitted for approval by Ministers. CDC met the investment policy target for

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sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in 2001, when 52 per cent. of the aggregate cost of its investments were for the benefit of these countries.

Market Research

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what expenditure has been incurred by her (a) Department, (b) agencies and (c) non- departmental public bodies in each of the last four years on (i) opinion polling, (ii) focus groups and (iii) other forms of market research; and if she will list the surveys commissioned and the purpose of each. [27946]

Clare Short: Expenditure in relation to surveys of public attitudes is as follows:


Surveys commissioned
Public Attitudes on Development, conducted by the Office for National Statistics, surveys conducted in July 1999, 2000 and 2001 and results published in November 1999, 2000, November 2001 respectively.
Attitudes of School Children to International Development, conducted by MORI Schools Omnibus Research, published in July 2000 and 2001.

In addition we conducted a readership survey in 2000 of "Developments Magazine" in order to test the impact and reach of the magazine.

We are committed to regular monitoring of public and young people's attitudes to development in order to inform and monitor the impact of the public education work of the Department. All the aforementioned reports are accessible through the Department's internet site and copies have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

None of our current non-department public bodies have incurred expenditure in relation to opinion bodies and/or focus groups.


Crime Statistics (Wales)

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many recorded crimes for (a) violence against the person, (b) sexual offences, (c) robbery, (d) burglary in a dwelling, (e) theft of a motor vehicle and (f) theft from a vehicle per 1,000 population there were in (i) Wales and (ii) the Cynon Valley in the last 12 months. [26870]

Mr. Denham: The latest available information covers the 12 months to March 2001 and is given in the table. Separate figures are not available centrally for the Cynon Valley area, which comes within the Rhonnda Cynon Taff

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police Basic Command Unit (BCU). The BCU figures are taken from the Home Office Statistical Bulletin no. 12/01 "Recorded Crime England and Wales, 12 Months to March 2001", which gives details of all BCU and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership areas in England and Wales.

Recorded crimes per 1,000 population for Wales and the Rhonnda Cynon Taff basic command unit, April 2000 to March 2001:

WalesRhonnda Cynon Taff BCU
Violence against the person13.08.3
Sexual offences0.60.3
Burglary in a dwelling4.15.2
Theft of a motor vehicle6.17.4
Theft from a vehicle8.86.5


Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate his Department has made of the cost to its budget since 1 May 1997 of fraud; and if he will make a statement. [27302]

Mr. Blunkett: The estimated costs of losses to the Home Office from reported fraud is summarised in the table.


Accounting periodsEstimated fraud

Anti-terrorism Legislation

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the part police forces will play in the implementation of the new anti-terrorism legislation. [16882]

Mr. Blunkett [holding answer 22 November 2001]: The police will be at the forefront of the legislation's implementation and additional police powers included in the new legislation will enhance their capability to enforce the law effectively. I am in close contact with the police over on-going action to counter terrorism, using both the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 and existing legislation.

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