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Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate the cost of the duplication of public services in Northern Ireland provided separately for Catholics and Protestants. 
The Government acknowledges that Northern Ireland remains deeply divided, despite earnest progress, particularly at local level, to build trust and confidence within and between communities. It recognises that division, and the tensions and conflict that it causes, almost certainly may have reduced the cost effectiveness of public service provision.
The causes of division are complex and the understanding of these causes and their associated costs will be an important dimension of the work that will flow from the new strategic framework and policy on good relations that we propose to bring forward later this year.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much money has been paid to the company PWS Ireland in each year since January 2001 in return for work completed in fulfilling government tender work in relation to the provision of road traffic signs and associated equipment, including the hire of equipment; how much money has been paid in total in each year since January 2001 in return for the completion of government tenders in relation to the provision of road traffic signs and associated equipment; and if he will make a statement. 
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question about how much money has been paid to the company PWS Ireland in each year since January 2001, and how much money has been paid in total each year since January 2001 for the completion of government tenders for the provision of road traffic signs and associated equipment. I have been asked to reply as the issue raised falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Roads Service.
Under normal circumstances, in accordance with part 2, para. 13 of the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information (Third Party's Commercial Confidences), it would be inappropriate to provide the information, which you have requested. I have however confirmed with PWS Ireland that they are content that the information, which you have requested, can be provided in this instance and I am therefore able to make this available to you.
The sums paid to PWS Ireland in each year since January 2001, and sums paid in total each year since January 2001 for the completion of government tenders for the provision of road traffic signs and associated equipment, are shown in the following table.
|Paid to PWS Ireland||Total sums paid|
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress is being made in reaching the renewable energy targets set for Northern Ireland over the next five years. 
Mr. Gardiner: Northern Ireland's single renewable energy target is that, by 2012, 12 per cent. of electricity supplied to Northern Ireland consumers will come from indigenous renewable generation. Annual targets have not been set.
An estimate of the electricity supplied in Northern Ireland, originating from renewable energy sources during 200405, together with actual levels supplied for the past three years, is shown in the following table:
|Total renewables (excluding imports)|
|Percentage renewables (excluding imports)|
Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many teenagers who require some form of specialist residential care and treatment are in unsuitable accommodation; and what steps the health and social service boards are taking to provide suitable residential provision for such children. 
Angela Smith: The four Heath and Social Services Boards indicate that there are 28 young people requiring some form of specialist residential care and treatment who are currently in residential accommodation not designed to meet their needs. Despite this, the Boards report that all of the young people involved are receiving a high standard of care.
The four Health and Social Services Boards are represented on the Children Matter Task Force, and there is continuing progress in the development of a range of residential care options for looked after children. This includes the development of a regional facility for children with social, emotional and psychological needs, and the expansion of the range of facilities capable of catering for children and young people with learning disabilities. There are also plans to redevelop existing Intensive Support Units, some of which will focus on addiction/substance misuse and behavioural problems.
12 Oct 2004 : Column 237W
Angela Smith: A target level of 1,100 procedures per annum was set in 1992, and this was exceeded in 199495 when 1,128 procedures were carried out at the Royal Group of Hospitals. Since then, new therapies and interventions have been introduced that have reduced the overall demand for cardiac surgery and the case mix of patients requiring these has intensified. As a result, the Royal assesses current demand for cardiac surgery at around 900 cases per annum.
The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, in conjunction with Boards and Trusts, is presently examining the cardiology and cardiac surgery service with a view to further development. This will include the reconsideration of demand and capacity issues. The waiting list for cardiac surgery at the Royal was reduced by 50 per cent. in 200304.
(2) how many salt boxes have been provided for the use of residents in (a) North Belfast and (b) Northern Ireland in each year since 2001; 
(3) what the cost of the provision of salt boxes on streets and roads in Northern Ireland has been in each year since 2001; 
(4) if he will provide a salt box for the use of residents in the Northwood Drive area of North Belfast. 
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland four Parliamentary Questions in relation salt box provision and costs in Northern Ireland. I have been asked to reply as the issues raised fall within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Roads Service.
You asked what criteria is used to determine whether a salt box should be provided. Roads Service receives many requests for the provision of salt boxes, and the demand outstrips our capacity to provide them all and replenish them, particularly in times of snow when boxes need frequent refilling.
Accordingly, salt boxes may be provided on public roads which are not included in the salting schedule, in accordance with the following procedure:
Sites qualify for detailed consideration if the gradient exceeds 5 per cent. and there is no reasonable alternative salted route;
Sites meeting that criterion are considered in more detail using a points system which takes account of factors such as, road gradient, road geometry, residential and commercial usage and community facilities (schools, hospitals, etc);
A salt box is provided if a site exceeds a certain points threshold.
You also asked how many salt boxes had been provided for the use of residents in North Belfast and Northern Ireland since 2001. While Roads Service does not maintain details of the number of salt boxes provided on a parliamentary constituency basis, the table below details the approximate number and estimated costs of providing and maintaining salt boxes across Northern Ireland's streets and roads in financial years 200102 to 200304. Generally salt boxes are collected at the end of the winter season, checked for serviceability, returned to site, and refilled before the next winter season.
|Number of boxes||Cost|
With regard to provision of a salt box for the use of residents in the Northwood Drive area, there is little I can add to the recent responses you have received from Mr. Joe Drew, Eastern Divisional Roads Manager and myself on this matter.
In my letter of 21 July 2004, I explained again the above criteria used to determine whether salt boxes can be provided and, that following an assessment it has been concluded that Northwood Drive does not meet the minimum threshold for the provision of a salt box.
I have reviewed all previous correspondence on this issue, and have concluded that officials have conducted the assessment of the need for a salt box thoroughly, correctly, and in accordance with established policy, and I regret that we cannot provide a salt box at Northwood Drive.
I trust you will appreciate that there are many roads in Northern Ireland where local residents have similar concerns and, given the many other demands on our finite resources, many of them safety related, it is simply not possible for us to accede to all requests.
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