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7 Nov 2002 : Column 682W—continued


Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what action he is taking to increase screening for children and adults in cases where a family member has already been diagnosed as being diabetic. [80357]

Desmond Browne: No screening for diabetes in any children or adults takes place at present. The National Screening Committee, which is responsible for providing advice to Health Ministers on all aspects of screening policy, is presently developing proposals for research into the area of screening for type 2 diabetes among high-risk groups. The Committee has made a commitment to provide definitive advice on this topic to Health Department in 2005

European City of Culture

Mr. Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what measures he proposes to advance the application of Belfast to be named European City of Culture. [78355]

Angela Smith: On 30 October 2002, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport announced the shortlist of six cities which were successful in being nominated as Centres of Culture and will now be under consideration for the final nomination of European Capital of Culture 2008 in Spring 2003.

I regret that Belfast was not among the six cities shortlisted by the independent judging panel and therefore Belfast is no longer in competition for designation as European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Personal Care

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the report of the Inter-Departmental Group on Personal Care will be completed; when he expects to publish the report; and what public consultation he plans on its findings. [79439]

Desmond Browne: The Inter-Departmental Group's Report on Free Personal Care was forwarded to the First Minister and Deputy First Minister on Thursday 8 August 2002. Following discussion at the Executive on 12 August, Ministers asked for further work to be undertaken. That work has not yet been completed. In any event, it is not possible at this stage to give any indication about the timing or subsequent handling of the report, since this is a matter which should be determined by the Executive.

Castlereagh Break-in

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, how many police officers have had to move home in response to the security threat arising from the break-in at Castlereagh Police Station; and what has been the cost to the taxpayer. [76152]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The PSNI has, to date, processed 92 SPED applications in relation to the break-in at Castlereagh. Information on cost for specific applications is not available. Under the SPED Scheme, a Chief Constable's certificate is sufficient for the Northern Ireland Housing Executive to invoke the

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scheme, without the need for further background as to the individual or the actual incident concerned. However I can confirm that the total number of SPED applications accepted since April this year is 169 and the cost to date is #17.7m.

Business Manifesto

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what assessment he has made of the Business Manifesto issued by the Confederation of British Industry for Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [77600]

Mr. Pearson: I welcome this Business Manifesto, which sets out how the CBI sees the important interaction between the public and private sectors to achieve a better economic future. The Manifesto addresses many of the issues which are of critical importance to the development of the Northern Ireland economy and which relate closely to the strategic priorities developed by the Economic Development Forum. I look forward, with my ministerial colleagues, to exploring the proposals contained in the Manifesto.

Law and Order Task Force

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the terms of reference are of the Law and Order Task Force; what its membership is; how frequently and where it will meet; what resources have been made available to it over the next two years; what body will provide its secretariat and staff; and what decisions the Task Force has made. [74795]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The terms of reference for the Law and Order Action Group are

The Group will help support the independent operational agencies in their co-ordinated approach to tackling all aspects of crime. I chair the Group. The other members are Jane Kennedy, Des Browne, Lord Goldsmith, Rosie Winterton and their advisers. The Chief Constable and the Director of Public Prosecutions attended the first meeting on 24 September and will be invited to attend future meetings. The Group will meet on a regular basis, the location to be decided as appropriate for each meeting. No specific resources have been allocated to the Group. The Northern Ireland Office provides the Secretariat. The Group is taking a broad look at the crime spectrum; public order issues were discussed at the first meeting.

European Court Cases

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, if he will place in the Library a copy of the paper delivered on 8 October to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in relation to the cases of Jordan, McKerr, Kelly and Others v. UK and Shanaghan v. UK; and it he will list the members of the group of officials established to consider the Government response to these cases. [78146]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Today, I have placed in the libraries of both Houses a copy of the package of measures sent to the Secretariat to the Council of

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Europe. On receipt of the judgements, an article 2 group was established to provide advice to Ministers on the judgements and the Government's response. The group consisted of Northern Ireland Office Officials and legal advisers, and representatives from FCO, MOD, Northern Ireland Court Service and the Attorney General's Office. Representatives of the Police Service of Northern Ireland and the Department of the Director of Public Prosecutions attended meetings to provide advice as to any practical implications that arose.

Police Service

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what the cost was of organising and publicising the PSNI New Directions conference; what monies were expended on external consultancies and promoters; how many persons attended, broken down by sex and perceived community background; and if he will place the major speeches and papers from the conference in the Library. [78795]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The costs of the PSNI's conference (''New Directions: a human rights and racial equality focus on policing with ethnic minority communities'') have not yet been finalised but it is anticipated that the final costs will be approximately #60,000.

About 230 delegates attended the conference which took place on 21 and 22 October, including my hon. friend the Member and Northern Ireland Office colleague, the member for Kilmarnock and Loudoun. Community background information was not sought from delegates but a list of the organisations invited to attend is below. From the register of attendance, the gender breakdown was approximately 50:50.

Key speakers at the conference included: Hugh Orde, Chief Constable, PSNI; Lord Herman Ouseley, former Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality; Imran Khan, solicitor; Cressida Dick, Commander, Diversity Directorate in the Metropolitan police; Joe Stewart, head of human resources for the PSNI; Ravi Chand, President of the National Black Police Association; Maqsood Ahmed, Director of Diversity for the National Probation Service; Zelda Holtzman, Deputy Provincial Commissioner of the Western Cape, South Africa; and Sam Kinkaid, Assistant Chief Constable in the PSNI with responsibility for human rights issues.

Representatives from all district command units in the PSNI were invited to attend the conference as well as representatives of the following groups:

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A conference report is being compiled which will contain any materials submitted by speakers and participants. This will be made available on the PSNI website in due course and a copy will be placed in the Library.

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, what consultancy fees (a) the Policing Board, (b) The RUC/PSNI and (c) the Northern Ireland Office have paid in (i) 2000 and (ii) 2001 and to which companies; what the purpose was of the consultancy contracts; and what estimates he has made of consultancy fees for the next two financial years. [78145]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I will write to my hon. Friend. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Library.

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