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7 Sept 2004 : Column 1139W—continued

Hazardous Waste

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many sites in Northern Ireland are licensed to accept hazardous waste; how many such sites there were in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. [186598]

Angela Smith: At present in Northern Ireland, the legislation that defines hazardous waste are the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (which came into operation on 31 March 2003) and the Landfill Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 (which came into force on 6 January 2004). Hazardous waste was not defined in Northern Ireland waste legislation before this.

There are currently no landfill sites nor 'permitted' disposal facilities authorised to accept hazardous waste. However, there are various treatment facilities and transfer stations authorised to accept special waste as defined by the Special Waste Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1998.
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Hospital-acquired Infections

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cases of hospital-acquired infection were recorded (a) at each hospital and (b) within each health and social services board area in Northern Ireland in each of the last four years. [186601]

Angela Smith: There were 228 reports of patient episodes of Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) bloodstream infections in Northern Ireland in 2001–02 and 218 in 2002–03. The figures for 2003–04 will be available shortly. Records of such reports are maintained on an acute hospital trust basis and are set out in the following tables along with a breakdown by health and social services board. Earlier data and data for other infections are not available.
Table 1: Number of MRSA patient episodes by acute hospital trust

Acute hospital trust2001–022002–03
Altnagelvin Group2213
Belfast City Hospital5546
Craigavon Area Hospital Group1316
Down Lisburn108
Green Park Healthcare24
Mater Infirmorum Hospital1619
Newry and Mourne64
Royal Group of Hospitals4026
Sperrin Lakeland59
Ulster Community and Hospitals1729
United Hospitals Group3435

Table 2: Number of MRSA patient episodes by health board

Health and social services board2001–022002–03

Individual Learning Accounts

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action has been taken by the Department of Employment and Learning to recover the estimated loss identified by the Auditor General's Report NIA 41/03, HC 673, as having accumulated through irregular expenditure on the Individual Learning Accounts Scheme. [183063]

Mr. Gardiner: The NIAO report on Individual Learning Accounts (ILAs) indicated potential irregular payments to providers in Northern Ireland (NI). The Department for Employment and Learning has obtained legal advice on the scale and nature of the potential recoveries as part of a wider validation exercise; has liaised with the Department for Education and Skills and the police, in England, on the progress of their investigations; has undertaken extensive checks with Companies Registry NI and Companies House Great Britain (GB) to establish the present status of ILA providers; and obtained credit rating reports on the providers highlighted by the validation work. The Department is undertaking audits of providers to determine the actual potential for recovery and a
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number of providers which operate also in GB is being pursued on DEL's behalf by the relevant police authorities.

Infantry Battalions (Northern Ireland)

Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many men and women as at
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21 July were serving with each infantry battalion of the British Army who were battle fit or able to serve on operational tours in Northern Ireland or overseas; and what the establishment strength is of each of those battalions. [187255]

Mr. Ingram: I have been asked to reply.

The unit establishment of each infantry battalion is given as follows:
Infantry battalionEstablishment
1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards620
1st Battalion The Coldstream Guards620
1st Battalion The Scots Guards670
1st Battalion The Irish Guards620
1st Battalion The Welsh Guards620
1st Battalion The Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment)620
1st Battalion The Royal Highland Fusiliers (Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment)620
1st Battalion The Kings Own Scottish Borderers620
1st Battalion The Black Watch (The Highland Regiment)651
1st Battalion The Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons)670
1st Battalion The Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess Louise's)687
1st Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires)670
2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (Queen's and Royal Hampshires)620
1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers670
2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers620
1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment667
2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment620
1st Battalion The Kings Own Royal Border Regiment620
1st Battalion The Kings Regiment670
1st Battalion The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire667
1st Battalion The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment)620
1st Battalion The Queens Lancashire Regiment620
1st Battalion The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding)670
1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment (27th (Inniskilling), 83rd, 87th and The Ulster Defence Regiment)620
1st Battalion The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment620
1st Battalion The Cheshire Regiment667
1st Battalion The Royal Welsh Fusiliers620
1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Wales (24th/41st Foot)670
1st Battalion The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment620
1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th and 70th Foot)620
1st Battalion The Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's)670
1st Battalion The Light Infantry670
2nd Battalion The Light Infantry620
1st Battalion The Royal Green Jackets620
2nd Battalion The Royal Green Jackets620
1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles712
2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles712
1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment687
2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment687
3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment687

Information relating to the number of personnel classed as 'fit' in individual infantry battalions is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, as at 3 July 2004, the number of personnel classed as 'fit' in the infantry as a whole was 23,335. Personnel are defined as 'fit' when they are considered to be fit for service on operations anywhere in the world. It should be noted that although an individual soldier may be medically downgraded, they may still be liable for deployment, depending on the reason for the downgrading, the nature and location of the deployment, and medical advice.

Invest Northern Ireland

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average time taken to process an application for assistance by (a) Invest Northern Ireland and (b) Invest Northern Ireland's legacy organisations was in the most recent relevant period. [186854]

Mr. Spellar: The Invest NI target processing time for larger business development projects is 60 days, with a target of 30 days for less complex development cases. These times relate to 'controllable' time, ie periods when an application is being dealt with by Invest NI, and do not include periods when further information is required to be provided by the client. While target timeframes are currently being met in the majority of cases, there can be exceptions where, for example, the case is particularly complex or the negotiations prolonged.
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The average processing target time operated by the legacy organisations IDE and LEDU, was 83 days. Invest NI has set target times which are shorter than those operated by these legacy bodies. It would require a disproportionate administrative effort to attempt to provide precise information on the legacy agencies' performance. However, it is clear that in the majority of cases the target timeframes were met and where this was not the case it again tended to reflect the complexity of the case concerned.

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