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13 Feb 2003 : Column 899W—continued

Paper Suppliers

Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who the suppliers are of her Department's (a) paper and (b) paper products. [91912]

Mrs. Liddell: My Department obtains its paper and paper products from the following suppliers: Glenmore Business Paper, Banner Business Supplies and Astron Document Services.

Child Poverty

Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans she has to reduce child poverty in Scotland; and if she will make a statement. [94066]

Mrs. McGuire: The Government are taking a number of measures to tackle poverty in Scotland, including the National Minimum Wage; the New Deal and the new Tax Credits. We are committed to abolishing child poverty in a generation and to halving it by 2010. The action taken by the Government to tackle poverty and social exclusion is outlined in our fourth "Opportunity for All" report. Progress is monitored against a wide range of indicators. The Scottish Executive also produce a Social Justice Annual Report.

Hedgehogs (Outer Hebrides)

Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with representatives of Scottish National Heritage regarding hedgehog numbers in the Outer Hebrides; and if she will make a statement. [96194]

Mrs. Liddell: Nature conservation matters are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and Scottish Natural Heritage gives advice to Scottish Executive Ministers.

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Mr. David Marshall: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what her latest estimate is of how many (a) pensioners, (b) children and (c) other people are living in poverty in each constituency in Scotland. [94067]

Mrs. McGuire: Poverty is a complex multi-dimensional problem. "Opportunity for All" sets out the Government's strategy for tackling poverty and social exclusion and presents the latest information on the indicators used to monitor progress. The Scottish Executive's strategy is contained in their Social Justice Annual Report. The data sources which the Government and the Executive use for income analysis are the Family Resources Survey and Households Below Average Income. The sample sizes are not large enough to allow analysis below the all-Scotland level.

Sewel Convention

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on how many occasions the Sewel convention has been invoked since the inception of the Scottish Parliament; and on how many occasions the convention was invoked at the initiative of (a) the Scottish Executive and (b) the UK Government. [97830]

Mrs. Liddell: The Memorandum of Understanding indicates there will be consultation with the Scottish Executive on policy proposals affecting devolved matters whether or not they involve legislative change. In practice, this means that there is ongoing dialogue between the Scottish Executive and Government Departments, including the Scotland Office. For this reason it is impossible to determine at whose initiative discussions about the use of the Sewell convention begin, as they usually take place in the context of wider and on-going discussions.

As a matter of principle, either the Government or the Scottish Executive can take the initiative in establishing whether Sewel consent is needed. It is for the Scottish Executive to indicate the view of the Scottish Parliament and to take whatever steps are appropriate to ascertain that view. The Scottish Parliament has agreed to 39 Sewell motions since its inception.

Telephone Helplines

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many telephone helplines are sponsored by her Department; and which of these helplines are charged at (a) national rate, (b) premium rate and (c) local rate. [95709]

Mrs. Liddell: No telephone helplines are sponsored by my Department.

Union Anniversary

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans she has to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the union of England and Scotland in 2007. [94271]

Mrs. Liddell: The Scottish Executive has established an advisory group on which my Department is represented, initially to review the plans to

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commemorate the Union of the Crowns, but in due course, to consider other important historical dates such as the Union of Parliaments.

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans she has to host celebrations on the anniversary of the Union of the Crowns. [95505]

Mrs. Liddell: My Department is represented on the advisory group established by the First Minister to review plans to commemorate the Union of the Crowns. We will await their recommendations before deciding the role Ministers might play.

Vehicle Fleet

Mr. Donohoe To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what progress has been made, by (a) volume and (b) percentage for each (i) category of vehicle, (ii) type of power unit and (iii) type of fuel, in each of the past three years, in renewal of her Department's vehicle fleet on a lower emission basis; [96432]

Mrs. Liddell: My Department does not have a vehicle fleet.

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Mileage Allowance

Norman Baker: To ask the President of the Council what total number of miles was claimed by hon. Members under the mileage allowance scheme in each year since 1997, broken down by journeys to and from (a) their constituency and London, (b) their homes and London and (c) other places; and what the total cost was in each year since 1997. [96470]

Mr. Robin Cook: I regret that information is not available in the form requested, and could be prepared only at disproportionate cost.

However, the Department of Finance and Administration records the total payments made each year for Members' car mileage. Figures are available for payments made in respect of car travel undertaken in each of the last three financial years. The totals are as follows:

£ million



These figures exclude car journeys undertaken as part of European travel.

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Animal Experiments

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the banning of the use of wild caught primates in experiments. [97130]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: In addition to the stringent requirements in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 regarding the use of non-human primates, the use of wild-caught non-human primates in scientific experiments is subject to supplementary additional considerations.

We announced in 1997 that we cannot foresee any circumstances under which we would be prepared to issue licences under the 1986 Act for programmes of work involving the use of Great Apes (chimpanzees, pygmy chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans), and that exceptional justification would be required for the licensed use of other types of non-human primates taken from the wild.

The 1986 Act provides that non-human primates, whether captive bred or wild-caught, can only be used when no other species are suitable for the purposes of the programme to be specified in the licence, or that it is not practicable to obtain animals of any other species that are suitable for those purposes. For the use of wild-caught primates to be exceptionally authorised, there must be no appropriate alternative, no suitable captive-bred animals available and the likely benefits of the programme of work would have to fully justify their use.

In respect of applications to use wild-caught non-human primates, the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate and the Animal Procedures Committee provide advice on a case by case basis on whether and on what terms such use should be licensed. Application of these stringent criteria has meant that first time use of wild-caught non-human primates in scientific procedures has not been licensed in the UK for some years.

Ashfield Young Offenders Institution

Julie Morgan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of the (a) young offenders and (b) remand inmates housed at Ashfield are from Wales; to which young offenders institutions they will go; and how far those institutions are from Wales. [96911]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 10 February 2003]: On 6 February 2003, the total population of Ashfield was 219. Of this 219, four (or two per cent.) were

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unsentenced juveniles who came from Wales. 87 (or 40 per cent.) were sentenced juvenile prisoners whose area of origin was Wales.

The allocation of juvenile prisoners to Ashfield is under review. Whatever the outcome of the review, every effort will be made to ensure that the allocated location is appropriate to the individual prisoner's needs. This will include keeping the distance from the allocated establishment to their home area to a minimum, and that all necessary child protection issues are taken into consideration at the time of allocation.

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