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User Consultation

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what new steps his Department took in 2001–02 to consult the users of its services about their wishes and expectations; and if he will publish the findings. [47303]

Mr. McCartney [holding reply 9 April 2002]: The Department has undertaken a number of surveys with users of its services in 2001–2002. Details are in the table.

Title Actual/planned publication dateReport Number (where appropriate)
Disability and Carer Service—Customer Satisfaction SurveyPublication will be in line with normal Departmental arrangements
Benefits Agency—Customer Satisfaction Survey Results are used internally to help improve service delivery
Evaluation of the Minimum Income Guarantee Claim LineAugust 2001 DWP Research Report 147
Survey of Entitled Non-recipients of the Minimum Income Guarantee and possible future Pension Credit RecipientsEnd of 2002
Survey of Attitudes to Electronic Government May 2002
The Short-term effects of Compulsory Participation in
ONE—Survey of Clients Cohort 2 Wave 1December 2001DWP Research Report 156
Medium term effects of Compulsory Participation in
ONE—Survey of Clients Cohort 2 Wave 1Winter 2002–3
Work Based Learning for Adults—Large Scale Survey July 2003
New Deal for Young People: Increasing Flexibilities in
ProvisionSpring 2003
Evaluation of the StepUp programme First Interim Report due July 2003
Evaluation of remote Jobpoints June 2002
Evaluation of enhanced JSA regime at 6 and 12 months Date to be determined
Evaluation of ES Plus Online Internal report completed February 2002
Joint Claims: Quantitative Survey Stage 2 June 2002
Evaluation of New Deal for Disabled People—National
extensionSeries of reports will be published from late 2002 to Spring 2004
Early Evaluation of Jobpoints in Pathfinder OfficesJune 2001ESR 76
Employment Service National Customer Satisfaction Survey
2000June 2001ESR 80
New Deal for the Long Term Unemployed Pilots:
quantitative evaluation Stage 2 surveyJune 2001ESR 81
Northern Region Call Centre Pilot Employers and
Jobseekers SurveysJuly 2001ESR 84
Evaluation of the New Deal 50 plus: Research with
Individuals (Wave 1)September 2001ESR 91
Joint Claims for JSA—Stage 1 SurveySeptember 2001ESR 94
Evaluation of New Deal for Lone Parents A survey of Lone
Parents on Income SupportNovember 2001ESR 101
Modernising ES—Baseline Employer SurveyJanuary 2002ESR 107
Baseline Jobseeker Traffic SurveyJanuary 2002ESR 108
Early Views on the Internet Job BankJanuary 2002ESR 109

26 Apr 2002 : Column 475W

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Ministerial Training

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been spent by her Department on training in leadership skills for Ministers and officials in each of the last five years. [52711]

Hilary Benn: Spending on training in Leadership skills for which records are maintained centrally was as follows:

£
2001–20026,150
2000–200116,804
1999–200010,075
1998–199980,781
1997–1998nil

As training budgets are delegated to individual DFID departments both in the UK and overseas, these figures may not represent the totality of spending in this area. An exhaustive calculation would involve disproportionate cost.


Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been spent by her Department on voice coaching for Ministers and officials in each of the last five years. [52698]

Hilary Benn: In the past five financial years DFID's spending on voice coaching has been as follows:

£
2001–2002Nil
2000–2001Nil
1999–2000Ministers Nil, Officials £250
1998–1999Nil
1997–1998Nil

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been spent by her Department on training by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts for Ministers and officials in each of the last five years. [52737]

Clare Short: There has been no spending by my Department in the last five financial years on training for Ministers and officials by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

26 Apr 2002 : Column 476W

Press Subscriptions

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the newspapers subscribed to (a) Monday to Saturday and (b) on Sunday by her Department, stating for each subscription (i) the number of copies taken, and (ii) the annual cost. [52813]

Hilary Benn: The Department no longer purchases newspapers from a central budget. Our last record for central subscriptions and expenditure is shown below, for November 2001.

SubscriptionNumber of copies (Mon–Sat)Number of copies (Sunday)Annual cost
Daily Mail1£100.80
Daily Mirror1£80.64
Daily Telegraph3£378.00
East Kilbride News1£24.00
Evening Standard3£252.00
Express1£88.48
Financial Times5£1,260.00
Guardian5£1,102.50
Herald2£260.00
Independent4£504.00
Scotsman2£208.00
Sun1£79.20
Times5£815.60
Independent on Sunday1£72.00
Observer1£72.00
Sunday Telegraph1£60.00
Sunday Times1£72.00
Total cost£5,429.22

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will list the magazines and periodicals subscribed to by her Department, stating for each subscription the (a) number of copies taken and (b) annual cost. [52814]

Hilary Benn: The Department's core, central subscriptions to magazines and periodicals are listed in tables, copies of which have been placed in the library. A number of DFID departments and country offices have direct journal subscriptions, but full details of decentralised expenditure could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Sudan

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will make a statement on what help she provides to assist the development of primary education in the Sudan. [52322]

26 Apr 2002 : Column 477W

Hilary Benn: As my right hon. Friend said to the House recently, Official Report, 17 April, column 561, development in the Sudan cannot take place around an ongoing war. It is not realistic to expect sustained improvements to education while the conflict continues. We are trying to improve the humanitarian effort and will do what we can to support education for children affected by the conflict within that context.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions she has had with the Government of the Sudan on the subject of its use of oil revenues for development purposes. [52323]

Hilary Benn: During my right hon. Friend's visit to the Sudan in January she made clear to the government the importance of their commitment to poverty reduction and the use of government revenues (not only from oil) for sustainable development.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions she has had with the British Council with regard to the teaching of English in the Sudan. [52418]

Hilary Benn: Neither myself nor my right hon. Friend have had recent discussions with the British Council with regard to the teaching of English in the Sudan.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Mental Health

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines are set for the (a) circumstances and (b) length of custody of persons with a history of mental illness; and if he will make a statement. [41884]

Mr. Denham: If a police officer has any suspicion that a person held in police custody may be mentally disordered or mentally handicapped, he must apply special protections for that person as set out in the relevant code of practice (Code C) issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). These include summoning an "appropriate adult" to assist and advise the detained person and (where the person appears to be suffering from a mental disorder) calling for the police surgeon.

Persons with a history of mental illness are subject to the same rules covering length of detention as other detainees. Under PACE where a person has been arrested for an offence they may be detained in police custody for up to 24 hours without being charged. This period can be extended to 36 hours by a police officer of the rank of Superintendent or above where a person is arrested for a serious arrestable offence. Further periods of detention up to a maximum of 96 hours can be approved by a magistrates' court.

Where a person arrested is charged with an offence they must be released from police detention unless certain conditions apply, such as where the custody officer has reasonable grounds for believing that the person charged will fail to appear in court to answer to bail. Where such a person is kept in police detention they must be brought

26 Apr 2002 : Column 478W

before the relevant magistrates' court as soon as is practicable and normally not later than the first sitting after they are charged with the offence.

Where a person charged with an offence is arrested on warrant for failing to attend a magistrates' court, they must be taken back to that magistrates' court as soon as practicable. If a person is arrested in a different part of the country they must appear not later than the first sitting of the magistrates' court after their transfer back to the relevant area.

All persons detained in police custody have their detention reviewed on a regular basis. The first review is no later than six hours after the detention was first authorised. The second review is no later than nine hours after the first review. Subsequent reviews are at intervals of not more than nine hours.

A mentally disordered or mentally handicapped person who has been detained under section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 can be taken to a police station as a place of safety to be assessed. The person can be detained only until such time as they have been interviewed and examined by an approved social worker and a registered medical practitioner, and suitable arrangements have been made for their treatment and care.

There are currently several strands of work focused on improving police practice in relation to mentally ill individuals. The Home Office, the Department of Health and the Association of Chief Police Officers are considering the development of national protocols covering the interaction between the police and health services in dealing with the mentally ill. The current review of the PACE Codes of Practice is seeking to strengthen further the protections for mentally ill detainees, particularly in terms of assessing their vulnerabilities and fitness for interview. In addition, the review of the Mental Health Act which is underway recognises that police cells are not generally appropriate places for assessing whether a person needs medical treatment.


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