Previous Section Index Home Page

12 Jan 2004 : Column 541W—continued

Departmental Advertising

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total expenditure on information campaigns and advertising for his Department was for 2002–03. [145725]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The total expenditure on information campaigns and advertising across the 11 Departments of the Northern Ireland administration during 2002–03 was £2,064,598.35 and the corresponding figure for Northern Ireland Office was £114,082.26.

Fishing Industry

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on what dates in the last five years the Minister with responsibility for Agriculture and Rural Affairs visited (a) Kilkeel, (b) Ardglass and (c) Portavogie to meet the fishing industry and its representatives. [144617]

Mr. Pearson: I visited Kilkeel, Ardglass and Portavogie Harbours on Sunday 2 February 2003. I also visited Kilkeel on 15 February 2003 and met with representatives from various parts of the fishing industry. I have also had subsequent meetings with the fishing unions leading up to the Fisheries Council in December 2003.

Hospital Bed Shortages

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on bed shortages in Northern Ireland hospitals. [147195]

Angela Smith: Many of Northern Ireland's hospitals have come under considerable pressure in recent days, with large numbers of patients having to wait on trolleys for admission. In preparation for the pressure of winter, a significant range of additional services were put in place, including extra medical beds and enhanced facilities in primary care and community care services, which help to minimise the number of potential hospital admissions. An additional £7 million was allocated to support this extra service provision. Work is also well under way to increase overall hospital capacity and, over the past year, the number of available hospital beds has increased by over 70. A further 30 beds will be coming on stream later this year. To complement this expansion, an additional £6 million is being spent in the current year on providing extra community care services.

IT Contracts

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list information technology contracts in his Department with a value of above £20 million in each of the last 10 years; what the

12 Jan 2004 : Column 542W

inception date for each system was; when it became fully functional; when it became fully debugged; and what the cost of over-runs has been. [146197]

Mr. Pearson: Only one contract of this size has been awarded within the Northern Ireland administration during the past 10 years.

In May 1998 the then Training and Employment Agency—an Agency within the then Department of Economic Development signed a 10 year PFI contract with ICL (now Fujitsu Services) for the provision of all IT hardware, data communication networks, office productivity software and Internet access for the former Agency. Additionally, the contract required the provision of two systems namely the Client Management System (CMS) and Trainee Management System (TMS).

Following the formation of the Northern Ireland Assembly and its constituent Departments the contract was extended to cover the increased number of staff in the newly formed Department of Higher and Further Education Training and Employment now the Department for Employment and Learning.

The hardware and office productivity software became fully functional in November 1998 on schedule, CMS went live on schedule in March 1999 and TMS became functional on 25 March 2002 some three months behind schedule.

There were no over-run costs and no major bugs needing remedial action.

Learning Disabilities

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pupils aged 16 and over with moderate learning disabilities are enrolled in Northern Ireland schools, broken down by (a) age, (b) school and (c) education and library board area. [144220]

Jane Kennedy: Information for the 2003–04 school year is not yet available. From the 2002–03 school census, the numbers of pupils with statements of special educational need who had moderate learning difficulties were as follows:

Number of pupils with MLD
(a) Age at 1 July 2002
(b) School name
Ashfield boys' high school1
Ashfield girls' high school1
Ballymoney high school1
Banbridge high school1
Beechlawn special school3
Belmont house special school1
City of Armagh high school6
Clounagh junior high school1
Craigavon senior high school1
Donaghadee high school1
Fleming Fulton special school6
Forthill college1
Lakewood special school1
Limegrove special school4
Longstone special school1
Maghera high school1
Mitchell house special school1
Monkstown community school1
Orangefield high school2
St. Columbanus's college1
St. Eugene's high school1
St. Genevieve's high school1
St. Louise's comprehensive1
St. Patrick's high school, keady3
(c) Education and library board

12 Jan 2004 : Column 543W

Promoting Social Inclusion Working Group

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Promoting Social Inclusion Review Group was established; what its remit is; and what the (a) names and (b) positions of the members are. [144344]

Mr. Spellar: The Promoting Social Inclusion Working Group on homelessness was established on 7 May 2003. Its remit is to consider how Government Departments, Agencies and Non-Departmental Public Bodies can best work together to firstly, ensure that the risk of homelessness is reduced and secondly, that the full range of appropriate services is available to those who do find themselves homeless.

The names and positions of its members are available, together with minutes of the group's meetings and other supporting papers, on the Department for Social Development's internet site, at the following address:

Saville Inquiry

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what the cost of the Saville Inquiry has been so far; and what payments have been made to each of the legal firms involved in the Inquiry; [144181]

Mr. Spellar: I apologise to the hon. Gentleman for the delay in replying to his question. Some of the detailed information requested about payments to legal firms was not immediately available in the form requested. I shall write with the information shortly.

On the figures available at the end of December 2003 the cost of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry has been £127 million. The Northern Ireland Office has spent £103.5 million. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence advises me that his Department has spent £23.5 million.

Senior Civil Service

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many and what types of senior

12 Jan 2004 : Column 544W

civil service posts were filled over the past 12 months; and how many of such posts were filled by public advertisement. [145102]

Mr. Pearson: Information on appointments to the Northern Ireland senior civil service is as follows:

Total postsFilled by public advertisements
Grade 2A (Permanent Secretary)32
Grade 3 (Under Secretary)71
Grade 5 (Assistant Secretary)2623


Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cases have been submitted to the Labour Relations Agency for consideration by an industrial tribunal from workers at Shorts/Bombardier. [146309]

Jane Kennedy: Employment-related complaints are submitted direct to the Office of the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal. All such applications are recorded in a public register and a copy of each is sent to the Labour Relations Agency, which seeks to promote a settlement of the complaint without need for a tribunal hearing.

In the calendar year 2003, 361 applications were made to industrial tribunals by Shorts/Bombardier staff. A breakdown of these by ground of complaint is provided below (some included more than one ground).

Unfair dismissal(8)353
Redundancy payments3
Breach of contract4
Wages order3
Sex discrimination9
Trade union activities1

(8) Includes "unfairly selected for redundancy" cases.

There were also 20 applications to the Fair Employment Tribunal by Shorts/Bombardier staff over the period.

Next Section Index Home Page