|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many planning personnel are employed in the Downpatrick Regional Planning Office; how many planning personnel are responsible for planning matters in (a) the Ards borough council area and (b) the Castlereagh borough council area; and whether he plans to increase the resources available to the Northern Ireland Planning Service. 
Significant additional resources have been allocated to the Planning Service over the last few years in order to employ additional staff. During 200405 the Planning Service has sought to recruit 125 additional staff. The Agency now has a complement of 803 staff with 756 staff in post. Workloads in the Planning Service are reviewed regularly as is the need for additional resources.
Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many planning submissions the Downpatrick Regional Planning Office received from the Ards borough council area in the last (a) 12 months, (b) 24 months, (c) 36 months and (d) 48 months. 
|Applications received in Ards borough|
|Last 12 months||1,537|
|Last 24 months||2,656|
|Last 36 months||3,864|
|Last 48 months||4,863|
Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans Invest NI have to market Newtownards as a preferred location for future inward investment; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Gardiner: The focus of Invest NI's international sales and marketing effort is to promote aggressively all areas of Northern Ireland, including Newtownards, as an attractive and viable location for new inward investment opportunities, in what is a very competitive global marketplace. In recent years the shift in foreign direct investment flows towards service industries has increasingly witnessed new investment, mainly from the financial services and software sectors, wishing to locate within the larger labour pools available in Northern Ireland.
Invest NI's local offices continue to work closely with key stakeholders to understand and ensure that detailed information on sub-regional sales propositions, including Newtownards, is available to potential investors.
While Invest NI continues to encourage new foreign direct investment to Northern Ireland, it also remains committed to strengthening the international competitiveness of local companies. From 200204, Invest NI made 72 offers of assistance totalling £3.88 million to existing companies in the Ards borough council area against investments of £15.5 million. This support was offered through a wide range of programmes.
Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions have taken place between the local enterprise agency, Invest NI and Ards borough council regarding inward investment in the Newtownards area. 
Mr. Gardiner: Invest NI and its enterprise partners are working with Ards borough council to develop the local economy within the Newtownards region. Invest NI is committed to working closely with others engaged in economic development, and this includes regular attendance at Ards borough council's economic sub-committee meetings, at which inward investment issues are discussed.
With the continuing movement in global foreign development investment trends from manufacturing to predominantly tradable service-based sectors, potential investors place an increasing emphasis on locations within larger labour pools providing good infrastructure or close proximity to University Centres of Excellence.
18 Mar 2005 : Column 508W
Invest NI cannot dictate where companies locate but the interaction and co-operation of local stakeholders are important in promoting opportunities for investors to consider areas such as Ards as a potential location. Invest NI has, in the past few years, taken 10 visitors to view locations in Newtownards as part of their visiting itineraries.
Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost of operations carried out privately on behalf of the NHS in Northern Ireland was in each of the past four years, broken down by health board. 
Mr. Spellar: The cost of health care purchased by Health and Social Service Boards from independent sector hospitals in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland across all programmes of care for 200304 was:
|HSS board area||Year ended March 2004 (£000)|
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what arrangements are in place to compensate those who have incurred nugatory expenditure as a result of the cancellation of operations. 
NHS bodies must consider each case on its merits. However, they are able to make ex-gratia payments, generally in cases where there has been financial loss incurred by the complainant, as a result of the actions or omissions of the relevant NHS body.
Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to publish the report on research by the Childhood Cancer Research Group at Oxford University into possible links between powerlines and childhood leukaemia; and if he will make a statement on the report. 
Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how much NHS funding has been allocated to children's hospices in Lancashire in each year since 1997; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of the total children's hospice funding that represented in each year; 
Children's hospice services are funded from a number of sources, including services commissioned by primary care trusts on the basis of their assessment of children's needs and their priorities. There is no upper limit to the amount of funding which the national health service can provide.
The Department continues to encourage representatives of children's hospices to engage actively with local NHS bodies over the contribution that
18 Mar 2005 : Column 510W
hospices can make to the overall pattern of palliative care they commission for children and young people in their localities.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|