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30 Nov 2004 : Column 60W—continued

Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will reply to the letter to her dated 6 October from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to John Paton. [200315]


 
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Estelle Morris: I replied to my right hon. Friend on 26 October 2004.

Sustainable Timber

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the refurbishment projects within her Department that (a) are in progress and (b) will start in the next six months; what action is being taken to ensure that these will procure timber from legal and sustainable sources; and whether guidance will be issued to contractors on each of these projects to ensure that the timber used on site during refurbishment comes from legal and sustainable sources. [200438]

Mr. Caborn: DCMS has no refurbishment works in progress or planned for the next 12 months. When any such work is undertaken contracts will state the need for certification of timber being used.

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans her Department has to fund the establishment and maintenance of the Central Point of Expertise on Timber. [200439]

Mr. Caborn: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 29 April 2004, Official Report, column 1179W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms Walley).

NORTHERN IRELAND

Fisheries Conservancy Board

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions a Fisheries Conservancy Board vessel under the control of the (a) Chief and (b) Deputy Chief Executive has been returned damaged in each of the last three years; and what the total cost of repair was on each occasion. [199887]

Angela Smith: A Fisheries Conservancy Board vessel under the control of the Chief Executive and Deputy Chief Executive was returned damaged on one occasion. The total cost of repair was £17,981.96 plus VAT.

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on how many occasions, after carrying out patrols in a Fisheries Conservancy Board vessel unassisted by other FCB staff, the (a) Chief and (b) Deputy Chief Executive required overnight accommodation charged to the FCB in each of the last three years. [199890]

Angela Smith: None.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to how many written questions tabled in the last parliamentary session his Department had been unable to provide a substantive answer before the end of the session. [199650]


 
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Mr. Paul Murphy: At all times, the Northern Ireland Office will make every effort to answer questions substantively before Prorogation. However, this is not always possible. Where right hon. and hon. Members did not receive a substantive response, it is open to them to re-table their question this session.

The hon. Member will be aware of the statement made by my right hon. Friend the Leader of the House of Commons on 21 July concerning "will write" responses. In accordance with that statement, my ministerial colleagues and I answered that 'it had not proved possible to provide a substantive reply' to 15 parliamentary questions.

Waste (Illegal Dumping)

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what tonnage of waste is estimated to have been dumped illegally in Northern Ireland since November 2003. [200079]

Angela Smith: Although no figures are available for the total volume of illegal waste dumped in Northern Ireland during this period, Environment and Heritage Service estimates that approximately 250,000 tonnes of waste, originating in the Republic of Ireland, have been deposited in illegal sites in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is being done with the waste illegally dumped in Northern Ireland over the past 12 months. [200080]

Angela Smith: Where large-scale illegal deposits of waste have been discovered, cases are being pursued through the Courts against landowners and operators of illegal sites. We are seeking Court decisions that will result in the remediation of sites. Discussions are also continuing with the relevant enforcement authorities in the Republic of Ireland (ROI) with regard to the repatriation of ROI waste illegally deposited in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress is being made in apprehending those responsible for illegal dumping of waste originating in the Irish Republic in Northern Ireland. [200085]

Angela Smith: EHS has investigated a number of instances where waste originating from the Republic of Ireland has been illegally deposited in Northern Ireland. A number of such cases have been referred to the Public Prosecution Service. To date, no case that has a direct link to waste originating in ROI has been heard. EHS continues to work with the relevant enforcement authorities in ROI to improve the control of waste movements and detect illegal activity.

Worktrack

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much has been spent in each year since 2000 on the Worktrack programme in (a) North Belfast and (b) Northern Ireland. [200902]

Mr. Gardiner: The information is as follows.
 
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£ million

(a) Expenditure in North Belfast(b) Total Expenditure in Northern Ireland
1999–20000.152.486
2000–010.786.751
2001–020.628.227
2002–030.959.156
2003–041.149.685

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been placed on the Worktrack programme in (a) North Belfast and (b) Northern Ireland in each year since 2000. [200903]

Mr. Gardiner: The information is as follows.
Number of starts in:
North BelfastNorthern Ireland
1999–200043691
2000–012031,768
2001–021411,880
2002–032332,257
2003–042551,205

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Accounting (EU)

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding the quality of accounting practices in the EU institutions. [199806]

Mr. MacShane: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not discussed this matter with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

British Overseas Territories

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether citizens of British Overseas Territories will be able to vote in the referendum on the EU constitution. [199799]

Mr. MacShane: The Gracious Speech on 23 November announced that a Bill will be introduced to give effect to the Constitutional Treaty for the European Union, subject to a referendum. The Bill will provide for the holding of the referendum including the franchise. It would not be appropriate to comment on the exact nature of those provisions until a Bill is published. I can confirm however that it is our intention to include the people of Gibraltar in the franchise for the referendum.

Cricket Tour (Zimbabwe)

Hugh Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what advice he has given to the England and Wales Cricket Board on the Zimbabwe Government's decision to ban journalists covering the England cricket tour from entering the country. [200362]


 
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Mr. Mullin [holding answer 29 November 2004]: Officials in London and our embassy in Harare have been in close touch with the England and Wales Cricket Board throughout this period.

On news of the banning of several UK journalists accompanying the England team, my hon. Friend the Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Mr. MacShane) summoned the Zimbabwean Chargé d' Affairs on 24 November, to convey our strong concern about this attack on press freedom.

The Zimbabwean authorities have now decided to accredit the UK journalists. We remain greatly concerned at the broader restrictions on a free media in Zimbabwe.


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