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16 Jan 2003 : Column 780Wcontinued
Jane Kennedy: The Department of Agriculture's Agri-Food Development Service offers a comprehensive lifelong learning provision relevant to the agri-food industry and rural communities. Those working within the local agri-food industry and rural communities, including those aged 65 and over, may participate on a free of charge basis. A free collection service is provided to all farmers irrespective of age for fallen bovines aged over 24 months and fallen sheep to enable Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSE) surveillance testing to be carried out.
Department of Culture Arts and Leisure (DCAL) does not directly deliver services on the ground. However, through its Agencies and NDPBs it does provide services to the public, etc. The following are offered free of charge24 Museums offer free admission to all, including over 65s. And additionally, four charging museums have occasional days of free entry for senior citizens. The public library service which DCAL funds through the five Education and Library Boards offers Book loans, reference services and access to the internet free of charge for all users of the Public Library Service regardless of age. The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) offer free access to the archives held by PRONI regardless of age.
The Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) provided the following services free of charge to those aged 65 and over in Northern Ireland; Employment Services delivered through JobCentres and Jobs and Benefits offices Access to Work (NI) Employment Support Job Introduction Scheme New Deal |for Disabled People New Deal 50+ Training for Work Worktrack Essential Skills for Living courses on offer at 34 learndirect Centres throughout Northern Ireland.
In addition to the services provided by the national health service that are free to everybody irrespective of age, Department of Health Social Services and Public Safety people aged 60 years and over are entitled to free prescriptions and eye-tests. The Home Help service is free to people aged 75 and over.
The Department for Social Development (DSD) administers The Warm Homes and Warm Homes Plus schemes administered by the Northern Ireland Housing Executive, and available to homeowners and those in private rented sector housing, are provided free of charge to everyone, regardless of age, in receipt of certain income and disability related benefits.
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Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether logbooks on all motor cars owned by the Fire Authority for Northern Ireland are completed in accordance with the undertakings in the Northern Ireland Assembly's Public Accounts Committee report on The Fire Authority for Northern Ireland: Fleet Management and reports on the 199899 and 19992000 accounts. 
Mr. Browne: The Fire Authority introduced new vehicle logbooks for completion in respect of all Fire Authority cars from May 2002. However, on the advice of the Fire Brigades Union, officers are not fully completing the logbooks for all journeys undertaken. The Acting Chief Fire Officer is attempting to resolve this refusal to implement Fire Authority policy with the Fire Brigades Union.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many lifejackets were purchased by the Fire Authority for Northern Ireland in the six months to 1 January 2002; and how much of this consignment is available for use. 
Mr. Browne: The Fire Authority for Northern Ireland purchased 160 lifejackets in the six months to 1 January 2002. Each of the 67 fire stations has been issued with two lifejackets with the remainder held in reserve until all training in the use of the lifejackets has been completed.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many former prisoners with terrorist convictions are receiving payments from Government agencies in remuneration for work carried out by them through legitimate community groups or community programmes. 
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many former RUC officers, who retired under the Patten severance package, have re-entered the Police Service of Northern Ireland. 
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Jane Kennedy: The Police Service of Northern Ireland has employed, through open competition, seven people as support staff members who previously retired as police officers under the voluntary severance scheme.
Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what arrangements have been made by the Chief Constable for the distribution to his officers of the Golden Jubilee Medal awarded by Her Majesty the Queen. 
The main distribution of these medals will commence early this year; first on a district command basis and then to officers based regionally and within HQ departments. Arrangements will also be made for the issue of medals to those who were eligible before leaving the Police Service and to the next of kin of eligible officers who have since deceased.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much expenditure has been incurred by Her Majesty's Government in respect of travel by each member of the Independent International Commission on Decommissioning in each year since its formation. 
|Britain's share of costs|
(15) Up to 31 October 2002
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the Secretary of State for Health regarding the extension of the proposed NHS University to Northern Ireland. 
NHSU has initially been developed with the Department of Health for the NHS in England although it is recognised that discussions will have to be held with other administrations on the scope of NHSU outside England. As a first step the NHSU Development Plan is being circulated to HPSS bodies and other interested parties here for comment. This process will inform decisions on how NHSU might be used to support lifelong learning for everyone involved in health and social care in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Browne: Ambulance Service response times to emergency calls has improved significantly since sub-stations were introduced. For example, in the 12 months since the ambulance sub-station at Carrickfergus was opened in January 2002, the 8-minute response target was met in 45.3 per cent. of casesagainst a target of 50 per cent. while the 21-minute response target was met in 94.7 per cent. of casesagainst a target of 95 per cent.
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