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18 Dec 2003 : Column 1075Wcontinued
The Prime Minister: Officials have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals. As with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings under Exemptions 2, 7 and 12 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister whether the work of the Iraq Survey group will be suspended pending the receipt of information from Saddam Hussein on the location of weapons of mass destruction; and if he will make a statement. 
Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister if he will place in the Library copies of his letters to President Putin, referred to in his answer of 10 November 2003, Official Report, column 3W; and if he will make a statement on when he expects the Kyoto Protocol to come into force. 
The Prime Minister: The Kyoto Protocol must be ratified by a minimum of 55 countries, including developed countries representing 55 per cent. of developed countries' carbon dioxide emissions in 1990 before it enters into force. We understand that the Russian Federation is currently completing its assessment of the Protocol. We look forward to an early decision so that the Protocol can enter into force as soon as possible.
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The Government believe that the Kyoto Protocol is the only existing international framework for tackling climate change and takes every opportunity to urge all countries that have not yet ratified it to do so as soon as possible.
Mr. Spellar: Derry City Council have made a funding application to both the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland authorities in relation to its proposal to further develop the City of Derry Airport. Details of the proposed phasing and cost estimates for the project are expected shortly. A decision on the council's application will depend on the outcome of technical and economic appraisals and on policy and budgetary considerations. I will be happy to receive and consider any representations from persons interested in these matters.
It will be necessary for the council to apply separately to the Planning Service of the Department of the Environment for planning permission for the proposed runway extension. As part of that process, the application will be advertised and a period of four weeks will be allowed for receipt of comments on the planning issues.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will assess the feasibility of constructing (a) a rail link to Belfast International Airport and (b) a new railway station at Belfast City Airport. 
Mr. Spellar: Previous studies have shown that to construct a rail link to Belfast International Airport and a new railway station at Belfast City Airport would both involve considerable costs which could not be justified by the anticipated level of passenger demand.
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Mr. Spellar: Translink has advised that it has a dedicated internal working group to improve security on buses and trains. Translink operates a widely promoted scheme under which it offers rewards of up to £1,000 for information on attacks which lead to prosecutions. Translink staff liase closely with community representatives and the PSNI in an attempt to reduce attacks and general anti-social behaviour on public transport.
Translink has also advised that security features within the Translink bus fleet include CCTV, driver protection screens, specially strengthened windows in the driver's cab area and double glazing over the rest of the vehicle. Communication systems also enable bus and train drivers to liase with Central Control staff regarding potential and actual incidents. Driver and passenger security have also been taken into account in the design of the new trains currently being built for NIR.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland are diagnosed with arrhythmia; what steps he is taking to raise awareness of this condition in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Smith: Figures are collected only on the number of patients admitted to hospital for the treatment of arrhythmia, not the total number diagnosed with the condition. There were 190 people admitted with cardiac arrhythmia conditions from April 2002 to March 2003.
Following a Review of Cardiology Services undertaken by the Department, an action plan containing a number of recommendations to improve these services was issued in April 2003. I have asked my Department to monitor progress closely.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the cannabis reclassification awareness raising campaign will begin; how long it will last; what format it will take; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Spellar: The reclassification of cannabis will take effect in Northern Ireland from 29 January 2004 in line with other parts of the UK. The Government are conscious of the need to ensure the public have appropriate and accurate information so that everyone is aware about what this change means and not least to remind the public that the possession and consumption of cannabis will remain illegal and that the drug itself is harmful. To that end, my officials have been in contact with the Home Office to ensure that the campaign in Northern Ireland is in line with and will be as effective as, that planned elsewhere, while having a distinct local emphasis.
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Angela Smith: We have strategies for food and nutrition and physical activity in place together with initiatives such as "Fresh Fruit in Schools" and the "Health Promoting Schools" project which promote healthy eating and physical activity. In addition the Health Promotion Agency has developed a community based nutrition programme entitled "Cook it", a new nutrition information booklet for parents called "Getting a good starthealthy eating from one to five", and launched a pilot scheme to encourage short physical activity sessions in primary schools.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to improve facilities for cyclists; and what measures he is taking to encourage greater usage of Northern Ireland's cycling network. 
Mr. Pearson: Following publication of the report of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit on the medium to long-term prospects for the UK fishing industry, I intend to recommence the Strategic Review of the Northern Ireland fishing industry.
Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the (a) financial and (b) operating (i) deficits and (ii) surpluses for each Northern Ireland further education college in each of the last five years. 
Jane Kennedy: Northern Ireland Further Education Colleges became incorporated bodies on the 1 April 1998. The 200203 figures are the fifth set of accounts for colleges as incorporated bodies and cover a 12 month period from 1 August 200231 July 2003
The annual accounts are prepared in accordance with the statement of recommended practice (SORP): Accounting for Further and Higher Education. The form and content of the annual college accounts are set out in the Accounts Direction for the Governing Bodies of Further Education Colleges in August 1998 and updated subsequently in August 2002.
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East Antrim Institute of Further and Higher Education
Limavady College of Further and Higher Education
Lisburn Institute of Further and Higher Education
North West Institute of Further and Higher Education
Omagh College of Further and Higher Education.
|Colleges||Total income||Total expenditure||Operating Surplus (deficit)||Historic cost surplus (deficit)||General reserve|
In April 2003 the Department for Employment and Learning issued a document entitled "Guidance on Colleges in Recovery" to the FE sector. This document, which is based on best practice, sets out comprehensive guidance about the operation of the financial recovery process.
Jane Kennedy: The review by the Department for Employment and Learning of its strategy for statutory further education in Northern Ireland is nearing completion. It is intended that the review will be published for consultation early in 2004.
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