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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many excess winter deaths there were in each year since 1997 in (a) the UK, (b) each region and (c) each constituency; and if he will make a statement. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many excess winter deaths there were in each year since 1997 in (a) the UK, (b) each region and (c) each constituency. (200552)
Excess winter death figures (the excess number of deaths each winter compared to the average during other months of the year) are not routinely calculated for the United Kingdom. Results for England and Wales from 1997/1998 to 2003/2004 are presented in the attached table. These figures have been published with results for Government Office Regions in England for winters from 1991/1992 to 2003/2004. This report, "Excess Winter MortalityBy Age Group and Region" can be found on the National Statistics website at:
Published figures for 2003/2004 are currently provisional and not available for areas smaller than Government Office Regions. I am placing in the House of Commons Library, information on numbers of excess winter deaths by each parliamentary constituency for winters from 1997/1998 to 2002/2003.
|Excess winter deaths(10)(4)|
Mr. Whittingdale: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many claims for conditional exemption for works of art were made in each year since 1976; and how many were accepted in each year. 
I refer the hon. Member to the answers I gave to the hon. Member for Henley (Mr. Johnson) on 16 September 2004, Official Report, columns 165657W. Comparable figures for years before 1994 are not available.
30 Nov 2004 : Column 104W
Ross Cranston: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make a statement on his policy on the introduction of (a) compulsory and (b) voluntary labelling of units of alcohol on alcohol products; 
(3) if he will make a statement on his policy on the introduction of (a) compulsory and (b) voluntary labelling of alcohol products with recommendations regarding alcohol consumption by pregnant women. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The voluntary social responsibility scheme for drinks producers will strongly encourage drinks companies to participate in promoting well being, including putting the sensible drinking message clearly on bottles alongside information about unit content.
There are no plans to include compulsory or voluntary labelling of alcohol products regarding alcohol consumption by pregnant women. However, the Department is preparing a revised leaflet"Drinking for two"on drinking and pregnancy.
Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether people with Aspergers Syndrome who have an IQ of over 70 qualify for social services assessment under the fair access to care services practice guidelines; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Ladyman [holding answer 29 November 2004]: A local authority social services department has a duty to carry out an assessment where it appears to them that someone may be in need of community care services. Decisions to carry out assessments are not made on the basis of a person's intelligence quotient.
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will take steps to ensure children who are doubly incontinent are provided with more than five incontinence pads for every 24 hours; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 29 November 2004]: The Department published "Good Practice in Continence Services" in April 2000. This provided health authorities and primary care trusts (PCTs) with good advice on various continence matters. This includes advice that PCTs should have specialist continence services in place, which provide patients with an individual assessment of their needs. Pads should be provided in quantities appropriate to the individual's continence needs. The setting of arbitrary ceilings is not appropriate.
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Dr. Ladyman: We have made it mandatory for all local authorities to make direct payments to all eligible individuals who would like them. We do not monitor the number of local authorities who have set up support systems. However, we are spending £9 million over three years in grants to 108 different councils working in partnership with voluntary sector organisations to promote the use of direct payments. Other councils may have set up support systems using their general funding. In addition, grant funding went to two voluntary organisations working at a national level.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment (a) his Department and (b) the Food Standards Agency has made of the effects of artificial (i) colourings, (ii) flavourings and (iii) additives on children. 
Miss Melanie Johnson:
Responsibility for food safety lies with the Food Standards Agency (FSA). Food additives, including colourings, are authorised for use only after a rigorous safety assessment by independent scientific committees. This assessment includes a consideration of all age groups within the population. There is some concern on the effects of some food additives on the behaviour of children but the assessment of the results of studies have shown that there is still significant scientific uncertainty. The FSA has commissioned a study into the effects of some colourings and preservatives on children's behaviour, and results are expected in spring 2007.
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The approval process of flavourings is different. All flavourings and indeed, each constituent of a flavouring blend, must be safe under the terms of the Food Safety Act 1990. The European Commission is working towards a positive list of permitted chemically defined flavouring substances (either natural, nature-identical or artificial). A European Union-wide register of flavouring substances, approximately 2,800 substances, provides the basis for this work on safety evaluations, currently being undertaken by the European Food Safety Authority.
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