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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the Thameslink franchise is due for reletting; if he will take steps to ringfence any net payment by the new franchise holder for reinvestment in services to Thameslink passengers; and if he will make a statement. 
Expressions of interest for the new Thameslink/Great Northern franchise were invited on 17 December. The new franchise is planned to commence in 2006. There are no plans to ringfence any net payments.
21 Dec 2004 : Column 1660W
Mr. Battle: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received from (a) Leeds city council and (b) West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority on (i) the A65 quality bus scheme, (ii) Kirkstall rail station, (iii) Armley rail station and (iv) additional rolling stock for the (A) Leeds to Harrogate and (B) Leeds to Bradford railway lines. 
Charlotte Atkins: I have received a number of representations about rolling stock for use in the north of England, but none relating specifically to the Leeds to Harrogate or Leeds to Bradford lines and none about Kirkstall or Armley rail stations. As regards the A65 quality bus scheme, the only representation I have received has been from my hon. Friend.
Mr. McNulty: The Safer Travel on Buses and Coaches Panel has been established to look at ways to combat vandalism, assaults and antisocial behaviour on buses and at bus stops and bus stations. The panel brings together bus operators, local authorities, police, unions, and other stakeholders to exchange and disseminate good practice in tackling problems caused by crime and antisocial behaviour around bus and coach travel.
The Department also supports the work of the National Route Crime Group which is the cross-industry group set up to steer the rail industry's efforts to reduce the risks posed by trespass and vandalism on the railways. The Group includes representatives from the train operators, Network Rail, the Rail Safety and Standards Board, the British Transport Police, the Health and Safety Executive, the Office of Rail Regulation, Strategic Rail Authority, the Rail Passengers Council and the railway trades unions.
As part of our work to reduce crime and the fear of crime wherever it occurs in the transport system, last year the Department published a briefing paper on tackling graffiti and vandalism on and around public transport.
Mr. Viggers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the Aimspro treatment for multiple sclerosis; what trials of it have taken place; what the results were; what its current availability is; and what requirements need to be fulfilled before it is available to NHS patients. 
Ms Rosie Winterton:
Aimspro is a product being developed by Daval International, a United Kingdom company, for a number of indications including multiple sclerosis. Aimspro is still at an early stage of development and the company are conducting or planning to conduct a number of trials in these
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indications. Further information on the safety, quality and efficacy of Aimspro will be required for this product to progress to licence application. Only very limited clinical data are currently available on Aimspro.
The standards and requirements necessary for the licensing of medicines are laid out in relevant European and national legislation and guidelines. These require that appropriate standards of quality, safety and efficacy are met. This will include information from Clinical Trials in the population with the disease for which the applicant is applying for a licence. Aimspro, like any other medicinal product, will need to meet these standards in order to be licensed.
Until such time as a drug is licensed, patients could receive an unlicensed medicine via one of two ways. Firstly, the Medicines Act makes provisions for doctors to prescribe an unlicensed medicine to meet the needs of an individual patient, on their own responsibility where they judge the benefit to the patient is justified and
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outweighs the risk of the unlicensed product. Secondly, some patients may be eligible to enter clinical trials for drugs in development. In both cases patients should discuss their treatment options with their doctor, who could then advise them on the most appropriate course of action.
Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many prescriptions for anti-depressants have been issued in the last 10 years; and what the change in numbers of such prescriptions has been over this period. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Information on the number of prescription items of anti-depressants that have been dispensed in the community in England in each of the last 10 years is shown in the table. The table also includes the average annual percentage change in the number of prescriptions dispensed over the same period for anti-depressants and for all items prescribed.
|Tricyclic and related antidepressant drugs||Monoamine-oxidase inhibitors||Selective serotonin|
|Total of all|
|Total of all Prescriptions|
|Average annual increase (%) number of items, 1993 to 200322.0||9.9||3.8|
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will estimate the risk-adjusted backlog maintenance cost for the NHS in (a) England and (b) each strategic health authority in each year since 1997. 
The estimates are based on the average age of national health service trust buildings. From 200405, the method of calculating backlog costs by trusts will be based on specific data concerning the remaining lives of individual NHS buildings, initially provided by the Valuation Office, and will deliver greater accuracy as a result.
|Strategic health authority name||19992000||200001||200102||200203||200304|
|Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire||24,597||35,245||32,836||24,767||19,584|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||15,902||23,101||20,009||22,835||18,970|
|Birmingham and the Black Country||51,354||47,284||34,931||41,926||42,271|
|Cheshire and Merseyside||22,286||26,928||22,575||24,454||14,455|
|County Durham and Tees Valley||11,878||13,444||8,772||6,233||4,741|
|Cumbria and Lancashire||27,892||28,308||23,466||21,002||17,427|
|Dorset and Somerset||5,730||9,976||7,631||5,899||1,885|
|Hampshire and Isle of Wight||24,066||20,767||12,802||11,701||10,985|
|Kent and Medway||26,019||15,556||7,601||27,659||25,131|
|Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland||32,885||22,250||41,966||27,431||26,522|
|Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire||25,492||19,525||10,816||19,540||9,622|
|North and East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire||14,760||14,364||13,792||13,502.||9,656|
|North Central London||39,407||44,131||41,341||64,447||61,168|
|North East London||59,623||52,595||54,289||44,384||42,359|
|North West London||49,089||32,347||43,185||31,638||46,350|
|Northumberland, Tyne and Wear||31,232||33,133||18,551||12,046||10,360|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||18,1,26||26,678||34,869||34,628||32,221|
|South East London||68,161||66,427||55,006||36,417||31,759|
|South West London||25,971||24,892||17,283||35,193||35,350|
|South West Peninsula||13,830||13,101||9,271||6,852||4,424|
|Surrey and Sussex||35,810||28,807||45,434||23,583||25,907|
|West Midlands South||20,321||14,591||12,239||10,800||9,954|
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