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10 Mar 2003 : Column 74W—continued

Port Security

Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what security measures are in place for (a) Sovereign harbour in Eastbourne and (b) Newhaven port. [100775]

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Mr. Jamieson: I have been asked to reply.

Newhaven Port services ships engaged on international passenger and ro-ro freight routes. Therefore, mandatory counter terrorist security measures in accordance with the requirements of the Aviation and Maritime Security Act (AMSA) 1990, are in place at Newhaven Port.

The level of security at locations such as Sovereign harbour, Eastbourne is decided by the Harbour Authorities or Harbour Operators as appropriate and will be commensurate with their commercial imperatives.

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In addition to AMSA the three border agencies, police Special Branch, HM Customs and Excise and the Immigration Service control the movement of passengers and goods through small ports. Their presence at the ports is determined by a risk assessment.

Probation Service

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persons by grade and function were employed at the National Probation Directorate on 31 December 2002; and how many of these were consultants. [99931]

Hilary Benn: The information requested is as follows:

National probation directorate staff breakdown—Current staffing levels

GradeNational directors officeCommunicationsCorporate supportFinanceEstatesProcurementPolicy
GRADE 61(C)132
GRADE 7118(1C)13(9T)3
Total number consultants0015010
Directorate total333
Consultant total32

GradePerformance and planningWhat worksHuman resourcesDiversityPublic protection unitITGTotal
GRADE 6104211328(1C)
GRADE 71220(20S)719(2T)75(1C, 20S, 11T)
SEO3(1S)37(2S)29 (3S, 7T)
HEO123(2T)2(1T)37(2T)33 (7T)
EO4432(1T)315(9T)53 (16T)
PS16(4T, 1S)2(2T)1(T)1(T)3(1T)17(1S, 11T)
ACO35(1T)13(4S, 1T)
Total29492772181333(32C, 32S, 65T)
Total number consultants003012132
Directorate total
Consultant total


C = Consultant

S = Secondee

T = Temporary staff

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Unaccompanied Children

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) unaccompanied children and (b) children unaccompanied by adults with parental responsibility arrived in the UK in each of the last five years. [100477]

Beverley Hughes: I regret that the information requested is not available. Information is not recorded (or collated centrally) on whether children who arrive in the United Kingdom are accompanied or unaccompanied.

The available information on applications from unaccompanied asylum seeking children is given in the table. Reliable information on the entry routes of unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC), including when UASCs first enter the United Kingdom, is not available.

Unaccompanied children(13),(14),(15) aged 17 or under, applying for asylum in the United Kingdom, 1998 to 2002

TotalApplied at portApplied in country

(13) Figures are rounded to the nearest five.

(14) Unaccompanied at point of arrival and not known to be joining a close relative in the United Kingdom.

(15) Figures exclude age dispute cases reported by Asylum Cases Information Database (A-CID).

(16) Figures exclude cases lodged at Local Enforcement Offices (LEO) and postal applications.

(17) Provisional figures.

(18) Figures not comparable to manual count data previous to 2002, which excluded LEO and postal applications, which are now reported by A-CID.

Information on asylum applications from unaccompanied asylum seeking children is published annually in the statistical bulletin, "Asylum Statistics United Kingdom", a copy of which is available in the Library, and from the RDS website:

Work Permits

Mr. John Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many work permits he has authorised since 1 September 2002. [101428]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 7 February 2003]: 64,681 applications for work permits have been approved in the period 1 September 2002 to 1 March 2003.


"The Future of Higher Education"

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether admission on merit to a higher education institution will discharge that institution's access obligations under the White Paper, "The Future of Higher Education". [100155]

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Margaret Hodge: Universities are responsible for their own admissions policies. We believe students should be chosen on merit whatever their class and background and that those with the potential to succeed at university should be given the opportunity to do so.

Convention on the Future of Europe

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact on education of proposals coming forward from the Convention on the Future of Europe. [101797]

Margaret Hodge: The European Union's role in education, vocational training and youth, as set out in Articles 149 and 150 of the current Treaty establishing the European Union, is limited to supporting and supplementing member state action. The draft text of Articles of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, currently being discussed within the Convention, states that education, vocational training and youth are areas for supporting action only.

Early Education

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of three year olds in Somerset have access to a free early education place; and if he will make a statement. [99816]

Maria Eagle: The information is not available in the form requested. In January 2002, 2,390 free early years education places were taken up by three year olds in Somerset Local Education Authority area.

We have made the commitment that by April 2004, six months ahead of our original target, all three year olds whose parents want one, will have access to a free, part-time early education place.

Latest figures on three year olds in early years education providers were published by the Department in the Statistical Bulletin "Provision for Children Under Five Years of Age in England—January 2002 (08/02)" in December 2002, a copy of which is available from the Library. An electronic copy of this publication is also available on the Department's web-site ( statistics).

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