|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of ordinary written Questions for his Department were answered within a week of tabling in each month since June 2001; and what proportion of questions for named day received a substantive answer on that day in each month since June 2001. 
|Type||Month||Total||Within 7 Days||Percentage|
|Type||Month||Total||Within 7 Days||Percentage|
The Department recognises that our performance in answering PQs is not as good as it needs to be and we have implemented an action plan to improve the time- liness of our responses to PQs.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) percentage of imams in the United Kingdom who received their religious education and training outside the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. 
19 Jul 2002 : Column 687W
Our recent White Paper "Secure Borders, Safe HavenIntegration with Diversity in Modern Britain" contains a proposal to allow those present in the United Kingdom (UK) in some other capacity to fill local vacancies as ministers of religion. It is envisaged that it is more likely that those who have already spent some time in the UK will have absorbed something of our culture and be better able therefore to relate their particular faith to the context of the UK. In addition, someone who has been in the UK is more likely to be able to speak English, which will enable him or her to play their part effectively as a religious leader and aid community relations. It will also be easier to verify the religious training or studies that have been undertaken by individuals whilst in the UK.
[holding answer 26 March 2002]: There are a number of legislative measures that apply to nuisance neighbours. These include:
The Housing Act 1996, which makes provision for eviction and injunctions.
The Environmental Protection Act 1990, under which local authorities can deal with nuisance problems such as noise, smoke, fumes or gases emitted from premises.
The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 which introduced Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) which can be used to prohibit individuals from acting in a manner liable to cause harassment, alarm or distress to one or more people in another household.
The Protection from Harassment Act 1997, which makes it a criminal offence to cause another to fear that violence will be used against him or her.
Mark Tami: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many convictions relating to the use of mobile speed cameras there were for each police force in the last five years;  (2) how many convictions relating to the use of fixed-site speed cameras there were for each police force in the last five years. 
Mr. John Denham: Data on convictions for speeding as the result of the use of cameras in England and Wales are not available centrally. Court records reported do not separately identify proceedings where cameras have been used.
Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to publish the Government's response to the consultation on road traffic penalties; what plans he has to introduce an offence of negligent driving; what will constitute negligent driving for the purposes of the offence; and if he will make a statement. 
19 Jul 2002 : Column 688W
There are no plans to introduce a negligent driving charge. However, one of the recommendations in the research report "Dangerous Driving and the Law" (Road Safety Research Report No. 26) commissioned by the Department for Transport, is that the Government should consult on the creation of an intermediate offence to deal with driving behaviour not amounting to Dangerous Driving but significantly more serious than Careless Driving, with more severe penalties than the lesser offence, including imprisonment.
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Road traffic legislation applies to all roads, defined as any highway or other road to which the public has access. It would be for the courts to decide whether any particular unadopted road was one to which the public had access. Where the public does have access to such a road, the police are able to use their full range of powers to enforce road traffic legislation.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Security Industry Authority will begin to operate a national register of those licensed to work within the security industry. 
Mr. Denham: The Security Industry Authority (SIA) will begin to compile registers of licence holders as soon as personal licensing begins. The SIA will come into existence on 1 April 2003 and we anticipate personal licensing will begin later that year.
Mr. Leigh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the extent to which the system of medical confidentiality allows for full access to a child's medical records, with specific reference to those held by general practitioners. 
Access to the confidential medical records of children, held by general practitioners or other parts of the health service, must be in accordance with the law. This would normally require the consent of a competent child or of someone with parental responsibility for the child. Where there is no one able to provide this consent, the best interests of the child might justify access. Where consent is withheld or it is not appropriate to seek consent, access would be possible where there is a statutory basis for permitting it or where the holder of the record feels that matters of public concern outweigh obligations of confidentiality.
19 Jul 2002 : Column 689W
Beverley Hughes: On 14 January 2002, the United Kingdom Passport Service (UKPS) introduced two new guaranteed services at its counters: a premium same day service for renewals and a fast-track one week service for all applications. The standard service, available by post or through the UKPS High Street partners (i.e. selected branches of the Post Office and Worldchoice travel
19 Jul 2002 : Column 690W
agents) is two weeks. This is not guaranteed but is currently being met in 99.5 per cent of applications. A pilot exercise to test the possibility of extending the fast track service to the High Street partners is currently taking place. Applications for passports can also be completed by telephone or on the Internet; the completed form is posted to the applicant for signature. Improvements to the electronic application channel are being developed on which the UKPS has sought the views of the Consultative Panel of Passport users. It would be technically possible for the improved electronic application channel to be available through private sector partnerships but there are no specific proposals at present.