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Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received on the proposal to increase the sentencing power of magistrates courts; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Keith Bradley [holding answers 30 April 2002]: In the course of consultation on the Auld report on the criminal courts, many organisations and individuals who commented on the proposed intermediate tier and abolition of the right to elect suggested that an increase in magistrates sentencing powers might serve as an alternative means of reducing the burden on the Crown court. Similar views were expressed during consultation following the Halliday report on sentencing, particularly in response to the proposed sentence of custody plus, as when imposed in full this sentence would be outside magistrates current powers.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 23 January 2002, Official Report, column 938W, what was the total value of payments from the National Asylum Support Service to the reception assistant agencies in respect of the provision of one-stop shop advice services in (a) 200001 and (b) 200102; and what is the planned value of such payments in 200203. 
Angela Eagle: The total value of payments made by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) to voluntary sector organisations in respect of reception assistants and one stop services is as follows for the following years (a) 200001 was £18.3 million and (b) 200102 £19.2 million. The planned value of payments for 200203 is £18 million. All figures are rounded to the nearest £0.1 million.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 23 January 2002, Official Report, column 938W, what was the total value of payments from the National Asylum Support Service to the reception assistant agencies in respect of the provision of emergency accommodation in (a) 200001 and (b) 200102; and what is the planned value of such payments in 200203. 
Angela Eagle: The total value of payments made by the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) to reception assistants for (a) 200001 was £27.5 million and (b) 200102 £70 million. The planned value of payments for 200203 is £50 million. All figures are rounded to the nearest £0.1 million.
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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make it the practice of the National Asylum Support Service to issue an acknowledgement of correspondence received from (a) supported asylum seekers and (b) representatives of supported asylum seekers. 
Angela Eagle: The time within which the National Asylum Support Service responds to requests from (a) supported asylum seekers and (b) representatives of supported persons is considered to be sufficiently fast not to warrant introducing a system of routine acknowledgements of correspondence received.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when his Department will send written details to (a) Wychavon district council and (b) Worcestershire county council on the proposed asylum accommodation centre at Throckmorton. 
Angela Eagle [holding answer 12 March 2002]: I apologise for the delay in answering this question, caused by an administrative oversight in my Department. We will make an announcement in the proposed use of the site shortly.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the merits of locating asylum accommodation centres in (a) rural, (b) suburban and (c) urban sites; what discussions he has had with EU counterparts on the location of asylum accommodation centres; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: Our policy is to site accommodation centres in non-urban areas in order to reduce the overall burden placed upon local services in urban areas. Each potential accommodation centre site will be assessed on its merits. We have not discussed the location of United Kingdom asylum accommodation centres with our European Union counterparts, but we are drawing on the European experience as we develop our plans.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how asylum seekers who have resided at asylum accommodation centres and are accepted for permanent settlement will be allocated permanent addresses in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: Any asylum seeker who is granted refugee status has the freedom to live wherever he or she wishes in the United Kingdom, in the same way as somebody already resident here. The Government will explore with local authorities and others options for those leaving accommodation centres with positive decisions and subsequent integration into United Kingdom society.
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Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his most recent assessment is of the implications for local emergency services of the establishment of asylum accommodation centres in their service areas; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Eagle: On 15 January 2002, we announced a temporary suspension of returns of unsuccessful asylum applicants to Zimbabwe. We will resume returns only when we are satisfied that it is safe to do so, and not before. We are monitoring events in the aftermath of the Zimbabwe presidential election in close liaison with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). There is no set time scale, but it would be unrealistic to be able to make any decision on a resumption of removals until the immediate post-election situation has calmed down and we have had time to assess properly the risks to returnees and gather and consider the views of FCO and others.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he will reply to the letter dated 12 March from the hon. Member for Banff and Buchan, regarding his constituent Mr. J Morrison of Rosehearty. 
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of child asylum seekers, broken down by (a) those seeking asylum with an adult and (b) those unaccompanied were from each country in each year since 1995. 
I regret that reliable information on the number of children who have applied for asylum in the United Kingdom, accompanied by an adult, is not readily available and could be obtained only by examination of individual case records and is, therefore, available only at disproportionate cost.
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from the research development and statistics website: http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.
|Other former USSR||8||2||10||36||26||24||22|
|Other former Yugoslavia||14||50||107||24||32||36||100|
|Dem Republic Congo||21||15||27||19||33||47||43|
|Other, and nationality not known||4||11||22||12||41||19||23|
(20) Unaccompanied at the point of their arrival, and not known to be joining a close relative in the United Kingdom.
(21) May exclude some cases lodged at Local Enforcement Offices between January 1999 and March 2000.
(22) Figures exclude disputed age cases.
(23) Provisional figures.
(24) 2001 figures include January to August only. August is the latest month for which data are available.
9 May 2002 : Column 333W
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