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7 Feb 2005 : Column 1295W—continued

Special Advisers

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what role is fulfilled by the third special adviser in his Department. [210485]

Yvette Cooper: Special advisers in this Department are appointed under the terms and conditions set out in the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers.

Standard Spending Assessments

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the standard spending assessment per capita is for each of the English regions in 2004–05. [213149]

Mr. Raynsford: Formula Spending Share per head for each English region is in the following table:
Local authority2004–05 Formula Spending Shares (£ million)Mid-2002 population estimates2004–05 Formula Spending Shares per head
(£ per head)
South West5,363.1124,961,2771,080.99
South East8,814.0468,038,3861,096.49
East Midlands4,741.6974,215,4921,124.83
West Midlands6,530.5255,304,1241,231.22
Yorkshire and
North East3,213.5022,513,2741,278.61
North West8,592.0466,770,9811,268.95

Thames Gateway

Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much of the additional floor space required to accommodate the new jobs that the Government plan to realise in the Thames Gateway between 2003 and 2016 has received planning permission. [214524]

Keith Hill: Data are not held centrally about the amount of floor space expected to be provided by new developments for which planning permission has been granted by local authorities.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does hold data on the total amount of existing commercial and industrial floor space. Across local authority districts in the Thames Gateway, this figure was 24.8 million m 2 in 2004.

Sir Sydney Chapman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many of the planned new dwellings in the Thames Gateway for construction between 2003 and 2016 have received planning permission. [214525]

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Keith Hill: Data on the number of dwellings within planning permissions granted by local authorities are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Housing delivery is, however, monitored by returns on housing completions from local authorities to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and to the Regional Planning Bodies.

Traveller Sites

Mrs. Spelman: what helpline services the Government provide to travellers; and how much was spent on such services in the last period for which figures are available. [211924]

Yvette Cooper [pursuant to the reply, 31 January 2005, Official Report, c. 655W]: I regret that incorrect information was provided. The correct information is set out as follows:


A-level Courses

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the Government of the Republic of Ireland regarding the implications of the recent Trinity College Dublin decision to place a cap on the maximum number of students taking certain courses who come through the Northern Ireland and UK A-Level entry system. [214807]

Mr. Gardiner: There have been no discussions with the Government of the Republic of Ireland on this issue. My officials have had discussions with Trinity College Dublin about the changes to their entry requirements and the effects these might have on Northern Ireland domiciled students.

Ceasefire (Police Numbers)

David Burnside: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of police officers that would be required in the Province if there were to be (a) a full-scale return to terrorism by republican and so-called loyalist terrorist organisations, (b) general observance of a ceasefire by republican and so-called loyalist terrorists but widespread criminality and (c) a total cessation of terrorist and criminal activities by all terrorist organisations. [214226]

Mr. Pearson: The report of the Independent Commission on Policing, released in September 1999, recommended that the security situation prevailing at that time required the police service to employ 7,500 regular officers.
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This was accepted by the Government and the police service. The current established strength of the PSNI is 7,500 regular officers. They continue to be supported by full-time reserve officers. The chief constable recently decided to reduce the number of such officers to 680 by 2007–08. He believes that this level of resource, combined with 7,500 regular officers, will be sufficient for him to deliver an effective policing service to the people of Northern Ireland in the current environment.

A decision on how large the Police Service of Northern Ireland would need to be to cater for an improved or worsened security and policing environment would be based on operational assessment, and subject to consideration by the chief constable, Government and the Policing Board.

Civil Servants

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his estimate is of the cost of the enhanced early retirement scheme for civil servants in his Department and its agencies, for each year from 1997–98 to 2003–04 and what the estimated cost will be in each year from 2004–05 to 2007–08; and if he will make a statement. [211594]

Mr. Pearson: The total cost for early retirement costs are published within the Northern Ireland Office Resource Accounts 2003–04, a copy of which is in the Library of the House.

To separate out the enhanced part of early retirement costs could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total expenditure by his Department on external consultants was in (a) 1996–97 and (b) 2003–04; and what the estimated cost of employing external consultants will be in (i) 2004–05, (ii) 2005–06, (iii) 2006–07 and (iv) 2007–08. [211667]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The following table provides figures for the Northern Ireland Office (excluding its agencies and NDPBs):
Cost (£)

(25)2004–05 actuals are only available to December 2004. The estimated figure, for the financial year 2004–05, is based on the actual spend to December 2004.
1.PFI costs relating to a major computer system (Causeway Programme) within the department are not included in 2003–04 and 2004–05.
2.The increases from 1996–97 to 2003–04 and 2004–05 can be mainly explained by expenditure on consultants in the following areas which were not applicable in 1996–97:
the introduction of the findings of the Criminal Justice Review resulting in expenditure on consultancy by the Public Prosecution Service;
review of the Electoral System in NI; and
Bloody Sunday Inquiry IT consultancy costs.
3.For the financial years 2005–06 to 2007–08, budgets have not yet been allocated to a level of detail to allow us to provide consultancy cost estimates for these years.

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DEL Guidelines (Whistle-blowing)

Mr. Beggs: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what guidelines the Department of Employment and Learning has issued to universities on dealing with cases of whistle-blowing. [214726]

Mr. Gardiner: The Department for Employment and Learning has not directly issued any guidelines to the universities on whistle-blowing. A Guide for Members of Higher Education Governing Bodies in the UK" issued in November 2004 by the Higher Education Funding Council for England on behalf of the Committee of University Chairmen (CUC) includes guidance specifically on whistle-blowing. The three Higher Education Funding Councils in Great Britain and the Department all contributed to the preparation of the CUC Guide.

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