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Dr. Kumar: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on pay negotiations with the Fire Brigades Union. 
Mr. Raynsford: The Government have no statutory role in determining firefighters' pay. Representatives from local government, representing the employers, and from the Fire Brigades Union, representing employees, are responsible for negotiating firefighters' pay and conditions of service. These groups meet in the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Fire Brigades. We understand that the two sides are currently in discussion on the Fire Brigades Union pay claim, which was formally tabled on the 28 May. It would not be appropriate for the Government to comment on the progress of these negotiations.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the Supporting People grant. 
Mr. McNulty: The Government have allocated £40 million to local authorities to fund the implementation of the Supporting People Programme in 200203. This is in addition to the £15.2 million allocated to local authorities in 200102. The Programme goes live in April 2003, and baseline allocations for 200304 will be based on current spend in 200203, plus an allowance for inflation. ODPM is providing guidance to assist local authorities in identifying current spend. Allocations for 200405 should be derived from the final report of the Supporting People Allocation Formula project, which is due by March 2003. The report will summarise the main features of the funding model, how it has been derived, target allocations and pace of change issues.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations concerning the situation in Tibet he made to Li Ruihuan, Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, during Chairman Li's recent visit to the UK; and what response he received. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: My right hon. Friend the Lord Chancellor discussed the situation in Tibet with Li Ruihuan during his recent visit to the UK. I made no representations to him on the matter.
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what representations he made to Vice Premier Wen Jiabao and other Chinese leaders concerning the situation in Tibet during his recent visit to China; and what response he received. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: China is well aware of the UK Government's position on Tibet. I made no representations to Wen Jiabao or other Chinese leaders concerning the situation in Tibet during my recent trip to China.
26 Jun 2002 : Column 930W
Mrs. Helen Clark: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what guidelines he plans to issue to councils on their responsibilities concerning mobile home parks. 
Mr. McNulty: The Government have, in the last two years, issued good practice guidance to local authorities on how to deal with incidences of harassment and illegal eviction of mobile home residents, and on the licensing of mobile home parks.
Research is planned to review the Model Standards on which these site licences are based. After its completion revised standards will be issued to local authorities in conjunction with further guidance.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many lone parents aged 16 and 17 years reside in local authority accommodation with (a) on-site support, (b) floating support and (c) no specialist support. 
Mr. McNulty: Available information reported by local authorities in England on last year's Housing Investment Programme returns indicated a total of some 260 units with on-site support, and 390 with floating support occupied by lone parents under the age of 18 as at 1 April 2001. The corresponding number in non-supported accommodation on that date was not collected, but authorities reported making just over 1,800 lettings to lone parents under 18 years of age during 200001.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make it compulsory for stunt co-ordinators and performers in film and television work to obtain certificates of qualification in health and safety. 
Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.
There are no plans to put in place such requirements.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what funds he is providing to enable local councils to make pavements accessible by wheelchairs in (a) England and (b) Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.
Apart from major local transport schemes (those with a gross cost exceeding £5 million) local transport capital allocations are provided to English local authorities outside London in the form of a single block allocation the use of which is at their discretion. Such allocations can be used to make pavements accessible to wheelchair users. It is for local authorities to determine their local priorities.
For 200203, Gloucestershire county council has been provided with a single block allocation of £16.489 million from within a total allocation for England of £1.2 billion.
Our Ten Year Transport Plan reiterated our commitment to transport that is accessible to disabled people. It made clear that building in accessibility for disabled people in all new investment is a condition of public money being provided.
26 Jun 2002 : Column 931W
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans there are to create a Human Rights Commission for the UK; and how such a Commission will cater for the rights of children and young people. 
Yvette Cooper: I have been asked to reply.
The case for a Human Rights Commission for the UK is currently being considered by the Joint Committee on Human Rights. The Government will consider carefully any recommendation the Committee may make. I understand that the Committee is looking into how any Commission may cater for the rights of children and young people.
Mr. Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many candidate countries for EU membership he has visited since 7 June 2001. 
Peter Hain: Since 7 June 2001, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has visited Poland in October 2001 and Turkey in October 2001 and February 2002. He will be visiting some of the other candidate countries in the near future.
I visited the Czech Republic in September 2001 and January 2002 (for the Visegrad 4 meeting), Poland in March 2002, Hungary in September 2001, Slovenia in January 2002 and Cyprus in April 2002.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the cost was of the Department's 2001 staff Christmas party; and how many people attended. 
Mr. MacShane: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office held a Christmas carol concert on 17 December 2001. Staff and members of their family and friends wishing to attend purchased a ticket at a cost of £5 per adult and £1 per child under 11 years. A total of £1,923 was received from the sale of tickets.
The costs attributed to staging this event amounted to £2,832.64.
Mr. Collins: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions in the last 12 months the requirement to engage in a competitive tendering process has been waived by his Department due to national security obligations under paragraph 6(h) of the supply regulations. 
Mr. MacShane: We have claimed the security exemption and subsequently not held a tender competition on four occasions over the last year. Once for the purchase of aircraft equipment, and on the other occasions, for the purchase of armoured vehicles for use at our overseas posts.
26 Jun 2002 : Column 932W
Mr. Lepper: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations the UK Government have made to the Government of Israel about the conditions in which Marwan Barghouti is being held by the Israeli authorities. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: I referred to Marwan Barghouti's detention with the Israeli Ambassador on 18 June 2002. The UK and EU partners will continue to monitor developments closely and will continue to raise our concerns about Palestinian detainees, including Barghouti, with the Israeli authorities.
Mr. Blunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent of Chechen involvement in al-Qaeda; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: There are numerous reports of links between al-Qaeda and some groups fighting in Chechnya. Emir Khattab, the recently assassinated leader of the Arab mujaheddin in Chechnya, fought in Afghanistan and was reputedly a close friend of UBL. Shamil Basayev, an ethnic Chechen who shares UBL's extreme brand of Islam, underwent advanced combat training in a camp in Afghanistan. However, the nature of the al-Qaeda organisation makes it impossible accurately to assess the full extent of Chechen involvement.
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