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4 Dec 2002 : Column 878W—continued

Women Prisoners

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the estimated number of women in prison who are drug users is. [82862]

Hilary Benn: The random mandatory drug testing (MDT) programme is the most up-to-date available measure of drug misuse in prisons in England and Wales. The annual average figures of positive tests in women's prisons for the last three years are reproduced in the table.

YearRandom MDT percentage positive

(29) Denotes April 2002 to October 2002 figures

Young Offenders Institutions

Dr. Vis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many incidents of self-harm have been recorded at each of the prisons in the juvenile estate since April 2000; [83829]

Hilary Benn: The information requested is shown in the tables. Table 1 covers the 675 recorded incidents of self-harm by juveniles between 1 April 2000 and

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30 September 2002. Table 2 covers the number of recorded F2052SHs forms opened in the juvenile estate between 1 January 2000 and 30 June 2002.

Table 1. Showing the number of reported self-harm incidents in the juvenile estate by financial year between 1 April 2000 and 30 September 2002

Financial year
Hollesley Bay4812
Lancaster Farms672
Stoke Heath11130

(30) 2002–03 figures are up to 30 September

Table 2. Showing the number of F2052SHs opened in the juvenile estate between 1 January 2000 and 30 June 2002

Calendar Year
Hollesley Bay3013650
Lancaster Farms683721
Stoke Heath21615068

The data is extracted on a six monthly basis, therefore:

(31) The figure for 2000 is for the complete calendar year.

(32) The 2002 figure is for the first six months of the calendar year.

The Prison Service, with the support of the Youth Justice Board, is developing a suicide and self-harm prevention strategy. This is being taken forward through a three-year programme which runs to April 2004. Work is being targeted where the risks are highest—in local prisons, on remand, in the early weeks and months of custody—within a broad preventative approach. An all-round pro-active approach will encourage a supportive culture in prisons based on good staff-prisoner relationships, a constructive regime and a physically safe environment. Six pilot prisons including Feltham young offender institution are testing the full range of new safer custody policies and standards, and the results of the programme will be subject to independent quantitative and qualitative evaluation.

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Youth Initiatives (West Midlands)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children aged between 10 and 16 years have benefited from (a) Positive Futures and (b) similar initiatives in the West Midlands. [84824]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Positive Futures is a partnership managed within the Home Office Drugs Strategy Directorate. There are currently 67 local projects operating in neighbourhoods across England and Wales, all falling within the top 20 per cent. as identified through the multiple deprivation indices. The intended outcomes of the programme are:

There are currently nine Positive Futures projects in the West Midlands, four began in June 2000 in Birmingham (Kings Norton), Sandwell, Walsall and Wolverhampton. A further five began in April 2002 in Birmingham (Handsworth), Coventry, Lichfield, Rugby and Solihull. The numbers of children and young people attending activities on a regular basis between June and October 2002 was approximately 880.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many under-17-year-olds participate in Youth Inclusion Programmes in the West Midlands. [84822]

Mr. Denham: The Youth Inclusion Programme is part of the Government's approach to reducing youth offending by working with young people to prevent them being drawn into crime in the first place. There are at present 70 Youth Inclusion Programme schemes across the country, with nine schemes running in the West Midlands. Each scheme targets the 50 young people, aged 13 to 16, living in the local area who are considered to be at the greatest risk of social exclusion, crime and antisocial behaviour. The schemes in the West Midlands are running in Coventry, Sandwell, Stoke, Walsall and Wolverhampton, with four schemes in Birmingham. Between July and September 2002, 542 young people under 17 participated in these nine schemes.


Onshore Wind Farms

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which types of designated areas within the United Kingdom are protected from future development of onshore wind farms; and what legislation enforces this protection. [84559]

Mr. Wilson: I have been asked to reply.

No areas within the United Kingdom are specifically designated as Xno-go" areas for wind farm development. Each case is assessed on its own individual merit.Planning Policy Guidance Note 7 states that in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, the

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broads and stes of special scientific interest, the conservation of the countryside, and its wildlife and cultural heritage, should be given great weight in planning policies and development control decisions. Planning Policy Guidance Note 2 states that very special circumstances are needed to justify development in the green belt.

Audit Commission

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total expenditure of the Audit Commission was in each year since 1997 and its forecast budget for the coming year. [84907]

Mr. Leslie: The information requested on total expenditure by the Audit Commission for each year since 1997 can be found in the following table.

Year ending£ million
31 March 1997(33)93.4
31 October 1998105.7
31 October 1999111.6
31 October 2000144.1
31 October 2001178.8
31 October 2002(34)212
31 October 2003(35)207


The Audit Commission's financial year, which in earlier years ran from 1 April to 31 March, was amended to run from 1 November to 31 October with effect from 1 November 1997. The year ending 31 March 1997 was therefore the last complete financial year before the change was made.

The period coincided with the Commission taking on a number of new responsibilities, including those derived from the Local Government Act 1999 on local authority performance. This included the auditing of best value performance plans and the setting up of the best value inspection service. More recently, the Commission has taken the lead role in developing a comprehensive performance assessment process, the results of which are expected shortly. In 2000, the Commission also took on new responsibilities with regard to the National Health Service, involving the review of NHS performance at national as well as local levels.

Building Inspectors

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he proposes to make an order which will allow approved inspectors to check all types of work on all types of dwellings. [85212]

Mr. Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister intends to consult relevant parties as soon as possible on procedures for designation of new home warranty schemes for the purposes of the rules governing building control by approved inspectors. Once designation procedures have been established and put into practice, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will be able to decide on re-approval of professional indemnity insurance schemes for approved inspectors, in terms that would allow them to deal with all types of domestic building work.

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