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19 Jan 2005 : Column 962W—continued


John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many major road developments have not been the subject of a public inquiry in the last five years. [208941]

Mr. Jamieson: In the last five years one major road development has not been the subject of a public inquiry—M11 Stansted Slips. As there were no unresolved objections to the scheme, a public inquiry was not required.

Virginia Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what criteria were applied when his Department first separated trunk roads into national and regional schemes; [209521]

(2) which trunk roads have been downgraded from national to regional significance in the last 10 years; and what consultation took place on this issue. [209522]

Mr. Jamieson: The Government's consultation paper—"Devolving Decision Making: A Consultation on Regional Funding Allocations"—set out our proposals to establish regional transport funding allocations.

The consultation paper explained that the proposed regional transport funding allocations would initially bring together capital funding projected for major schemes (generally costing over £5 million each) under the Local Transport Plan (LTP) system and for major Highways Agency schemes, other than those on routes
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of national and international significance. To be regarded as being of national and international significance, a route has to satisfy all the following criteria:

In some cases these criteria were applied with a degree of flexibility.

A map illustrating the application of these criteria to the trunk road network was provided as part of the current consultation exercise.

These proposals will not lead to a downgrading in the importance of certain routes. The proposed regional funding allocations will give regions a far stronger base on which to plan, and will enable them to contribute to decisions that better reflect regional priorities.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the working of the regional decision-making process in relation to the roads programme, with particular reference to the south-west. [209274]

Mr. Jamieson [holding answer 18 January 2005]: The detailed arrangements for the submission of advice to the Department from the region on the prioritisation of road schemes in their area will be announced in due course and will be subject to the outcome of the current consultation about long term funding guidelines. Copies of the consultation document "Devolving decision making: a consultation on regional funding allocations" are available in the House Libraries. We look forward to receiving the views of regional and local bodies in the south-west and other regions on the consultation document.

Under the proposals in the document, the Regional Assembly and the Regional Development Agency in each region would advise on the relative priority of road schemes alongside other transport proposals in the region and on the basis of long term regional funding guidelines. These bodies would be expected to consult widely within the region, including with local transport authorities, in framing their advice on priorities.

State Opening

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his estimate is of the cost to the economy of the disruption to traffic caused by the State Opening of Parliament. [208235]

Mr. McNulty: The Department for Transport has not undertaken any analysis of the cost to the economy of the disruption to traffic caused by the State Opening of Parliament. It is thought to be minimal.
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Departmental Staff

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of his Department's staff is based in London. [208033]

Fiona Mactaggart: The following table gives a breakdown by administrative division within the Home Office as at April 2004.
DepartmentLondonAll areasPercentage London
Home Office main (excluding agencies)11,50018,78061
Criminal Records Bureau03400
Forensic Science Service7302,45029.8
United Kingdom Passport Agency5702,45023.3
Assets Recovery Agency609066.7
Charity Commission15054027.8
HM Prison Service6,20045,29013.7
Grand total Home Office19,21069,94027.5

Figures are permanent and full-time equivalent, rounded.


Mr. Lilley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fingerprint reading machines linked to the National Fingerprint Register are operated by police forces in the UK; and how many checks were carried out in each year since these machines became available. [207466]

Caroline Flint [holding answer 10 January 2005]: At present there are 198 Livescan Units in use in police forces in England and Wales, linked to the National Automated Fingerprint Identification System (NAFIS) to take fingerprints from arrestees.

The number of identity checks 1 and submissions 2 carried out since the introduction of Livescan in England and Wales is as follows.


The steady increase in the number of fingerprints taken reflects the increasing use by forces of the technology.

I understand from the Scottish Executive that police forces in Scotland started using Livescan Units in August 1997. There are now 33 Livescan Units in use by Scottish forces.
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The number of identity checks and submissions carried out is:
2004–05 (to 31 December 2004)54,638

The Police Service of Northern Ireland is currently piloting the use of Livescan technology. One machine has been installed at a police station in Belfast, and has been operational since 4 October 2004. Between 4 October 2004 and 10 January 2005 this machine handled 200 identity checks and submissions. The results of the pilot scheme will be analysed and decisions on expanding the use of the technology will be taken in light of that analysis.


Tom Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prison officers quarters' are owned by the prison department at prisons in England and Wales. [209405]

Paul Goggins: Her Majesty's Prison Service, for England and Wales, currently owns about 550 prison officer quarters.

Race Relations (Sikhs)

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which Sikh organisations he met in each of the last three years. [205947]

Fiona Mactaggart [holding answer 20 December 2004]: The information requested is as follows:

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I have twice met a senior representative of the British Sikh Consultative Forum. On a number of occasions I have met Dr. Indarjit Singh, a prominent figure within the Sikh community and a member of the Steering Group for the Review of the Government's engagement with faith communities, which I chaired.

My predecessor, Lord Filkin, visited a Sikh temple in Birmingham in February 2003. He had a meeting with representatives of various Sikh groupings in July 2002 and dinner with the Sikh Human Rights Group in March 2002

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