some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page


ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

Wye Navigation Order

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when discussions on the Wye Navigation Order began. [34148]

Mr. Meacher: The National Rivers Authority applied for an order under the Transport Works Act 1992 on 21 March 1996. Its application was subsequently taken over by the Environment Agency.

Noise Pollution

John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to reduce noise pollution in the UK. [33736]

Mr. Meacher: Much has been done to address noise from transport and industry including: reducing the level of noise generated by individual vehicles and aircraft;

7 Feb 2002 : Column 1123W

traffic management schemes; resurfacing roads with low noise surfaces; and addressing noise at the planning stage of new noise generation or noise sensitive developments. Such action has considerably reduced the output of noise from individual sources but has often failed to reduce the overall ambient noise because of other factors, such as the growth in the number of vehicles on our roads. We are developing a strategic approach to build on the progress already made. A consultation seeking views on the first steps towards an Ambient Noise Strategy in England was launched on 20 December last year. A significant part of this strategic approach will be an exercise to build on the noise mapping already carried out of the major transport and industrial noise sources across England. The first stage of this exercise, for which £13 million has been set aside, will start later this year. The strategy will also act as a foundation to the implementation of the forthcoming European directive on the assessment and management of environmental noise which will address ambient noise across the whole of the UK.

Dibden Bay Public Inquiry

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what role the Department has in the Dibden Bay Public Inquiry; and if she will make a statement [31631]

Mr. Meacher: It will be for the inquiry inspector to consider all issues pertaining to the proposed development and then to make a recommendation to the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions. Applications for licences for the dredging, and disposal of dredged waste, associated with the proposed development have been made to the Department under the Food and Environment Protection Act 1985. The issues raised at the inquiry will, in part, inform the decision-making process in respect of those consents.

Foot and Mouth

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will publish the risk assessments that support the relaxing of controls over livestock markets, animal movements and countryside activities. [35049]

Alun Michael: I am today placing in the Library of the House copies of a document setting out the veterinary basis for the interim livestock movements regime, along with Veterinary Risk Assessments on Markets, Sheep Shearing, Sheep Dipping and Scanning, Footpaths and Hunting; and a preliminary risk analysis of the 20-day standstill rule carried out by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Departmental Secondments

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many staff in his Department have been seconded to jobs in the (a) private and (b) public sector in each of the last four years. [31774]

7 Feb 2002 : Column 1124W

Mr. Leslie: Information on secondments of civil servants to other sectors (interchange) is recorded separately by the individual Departments to which they belong and is collated by the Cabinet Office as detailed in the table which has been placed in the Library.

Civil Service Entrants

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what percentage of administrative fast stream entrants to the Civil Service in each of the last four years has been (a) female, (b) members of ethnic minority groups, (c) from independent schools and went to Oxford and Cambridge and (d) have (i) arts and (ii) science degrees. [34045]

Mr. Leslie: Our aim is to increase awareness and attract applications from a diverse range of candidates to the Fast Stream Development Programme. We do not collate data on the schools that entrants have attended. The information on gender, ethnicity, Oxford and Cambridge and arts and science degrees is as follows:

2000–011999–20001998–991997–98
Female
Percentage47.75038.739
Number20315391108
Ethnic minority
Percentage6.85.93.42.5
Number291887
Oxbridge
Percentage32.230.134.534.3
Number137928195

Percentage

ArtsScience relatedOther
2000–0170228
1999–200074206
1998–9976195
1997–9872217

HOME DEPARTMENT

Remand Centres

Mr. Hawkins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to reintroduce purposeful activity for the inmates of remand centres. [33715]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 5 February 2002]: It is not necessary to reintroduce purposeful activity for young offenders in remand centres, as such activity has not ceased. Prisoners in young offender establishments, including remand centres, spent an average of 23.1 hours a week in purposeful activity in 2000–01. The Government are committed to building on their youth justice reforms to improve the standard of custodial accommodation and programmes for 18 to 20-year-olds. This is expected to increase the purposeful activity available to remand and sentenced prisoners in that age group.

7 Feb 2002 : Column 1125W

Criminal Cases Review Commission

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission in each of the last two years concerned convictions from a magistrates' court; and what proportion this is of the total conviction applications from all courts. [32471]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The Criminal Cases Review Commission does not collect routinely the statistics requested, and they could be obtained only by disproportionate cost. However following the introduction of an electronic case database from 1 April 2001 recent data are available.

In the period 1 April 2001–31 December 2001, 616 applications were received of which 31 (5 per cent.) were applications concerning convictions from magistrates courts.

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of applicants to the Criminal Cases Review Commission have the assistance of (a) legal aid and (b) legal advice and assistance. [32481]

Mr. Keith Bradley: It is not known what proportion of applicants have the assistance of legal aid. 51 per cent. of applicants, whose cases were under review, had some form of legal representation.

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average times were (a) in 2001 and (b) in 2002 between the lodging of an application in respect of a crown court conviction to the CCRC and the issuing of a referral or of a minded-to-refuse letter. [32487]

Mr. Keith Bradley: The Criminal Cases Review Commission does not collect routinely the statistics requested, and they could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Immigration

Mr. Heath: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) staff numbers and (b) funding have been of (i) the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (ii) the Joint Entry Clearance Unit for each of the last five years; and what levels are planned for the next two years. [30989]

Angela Eagle: The staff numbers in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (actual and estimated) are shown in the table:

Staff numbers
April 19975,697
April 19985,160
April 19995,750
April 20006,582
April 20019,757
April 200210,878
April 200312,500
April 200412,900

On the funding of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 18 January 2002, to my hon. Friend, the Member for Edmonton (Mr. Love), Official Report, column 546W.

7 Feb 2002 : Column 1126W

The Joint Entry Clearance Unit (JECU) was established in June 2000 with an establishment of 59 staff. This was increased to 76 in the following year but there are no plans for further staff increases.

Details of JECU's costs and funding (past and future plans) are given in the Foreign and Commonwealth Department Report, copies of which are available in the Library.


Next Section Index Home Page