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In January this year, the Government's national quality requirements came into force, ensuring that all patients have fast and convenient access to care, delivered by the most appropriate professional in the most appropriate place. This is supported by funding of £316 million, in this financial year, towards out-of-hours services. All patients can now access out-of-hours services with a single call to NHS Direct. Patients are guaranteed a home visit from a GP, if that is what they need.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Prime Minister on how many occasions since 20 December 2004 (a) officials and (b) special advisers in his office have met representatives of (i) Provisional Sinn Fein and (ii) the Provisional IRA; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has had with (a) Sir Ian Blair and (b) the UK security services regarding Sir Ian Blair's comments that terrorists may use the UK election day as a target date to attack the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: It has been the practice of successive governments not to comment on specific security matters. Terrorist threats are kept under constant review and advice would be issued immediately if members of the public needed to take specific action.
David Davis: To ask the Prime Minister which Government Department is responsible for patrolling UK waters for the detection of (a) narcotics, (b) illegal immigrants and (c) illegal importation of weapons. 
The Prime Minister:
The Government are committed to tackling drug trafficking, illegal immigration and illegal imports of weaponry. HM Customs and Excise are responsible for patrolling UK waters for the detection of narcotics and other assigned matters,
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including the illegal importation of weapons. They also assist the Immigration Service by patrolling against illegal immigration, assisted by the police, Royal Navy and HM Coastguard.
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill provides for the creation of a new Serious Organised Crime Agency which will lead the national fight against drug trafficking, people smuggling and the importation of illegal firearms.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment her Department has made of the operations of companies charging for services to assist compliance with data protection legislation. 
My Department does not have a statutory duty to provide protection to consumers who purchase services directed at helping them to comply with data protection legislation, and so no such assessment has been made. However, the Information Commissioner promotes the following of good practice by data controllers. For example, advice is offered as to what is necessary in order to notify with the Commissioner correctly, which can include taking professional advice. Information has been published on the activities of bogus notification agencies. More generally, the Information Commissioner also supports standards and guidance offered to the data protection user community, for example, by the British Computer Society, The National Computing Centre and the British Standards Institution.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will set out, with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to Coventry, South constituency, the effects on the constituency of changes to her Department's policy since 1997. 
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 7 March 2004]: This information would only be available at disproportionate cost; therefore, I am unable to provide an answer to my hon. Friend's question: however, I can offer the following information about the Department's activities in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Coventry has benefited from capital investment in its industry from the Selective Finance for Industry in England (SFIE) programme (formerly Regional Selective AssistanceRSA). In the last five years, 22 companies have received a total of £12.4 million in SFIE offers which will enable these companies to make capital investments totalling £119.6 million. This investment will allow these companies to create 2,407 new jobs and safeguard a further 832 existing jobs.
Since January 2003 the Small Business Service in the West Midlands made 17 offers of grant to SME's in Coventry. The total value of the grants offered was
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£945,051 to support Grant for Research and Development (GRD) its predecessor SMART and for Enterprise Grant projects. In the last year, the Small Business Service has assisted a total of 1,695 companies and potential start-ups in the Coventry, South constituency.
122 companies in Coventry have benefited so far from the subsidised advice available from the West Midlands Manufacturing Advisory Service. Companies also benefit from investment by Advantage West Midlands (AWM) through the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire Triangle High Technology Corridor; AWM's Cluster programme and funding through the Coventry and Nuneaton Regeneration Zone. This year alone, AWM has spent £34 million on projects across Coventry and Warwickshire which has achieved the following:
|Jobs created or safeguarded (Number)||2,652|
|New Businesses Created (Number)||89|
|Businesses Assisted (Number)||2,347|
|Learning Opportunities Created (Number)||3,889|
|Brownfield Land Reclaimed (hectares)||11|
|Private Sector Leverage (£ million)||16|
|Community Enterprise Initiatives (Number)||382|
Mr. Tynan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many tribunal cases have been brought under the (a) Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and (b) the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 since they came into force. 
Mr. Sutcliffe [holding answer 4 February 2005]: The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003 came into force on 1 and 2 December 2003 respectively.
In the period December 2003 to 31 March 2004 in total 61 Employment Tribunal claims were registered by the Employment Tribunals Service relating to sexual orientation and 70 claims relating to religion or belief.
For the period 1 April 2004 to 28 February 2005 according to the data held in the Employment Tribunals Service's statistical database, 315 claims have been registered relating to sexual orientation and 265 claims relating to religion or belief. These figures will be included with others in the Employment Tribunals Service's Annual Report, which is due to be published and laid before the House in mid-July 2005.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many times during the (a) Italian, (b) Irish and (c) Dutch presidency of the EU the Consumer Committee met; when and where these meetings took place; what UK Government expert was present; and if she will make a statement. 
The EU Consumer Committee was in 2003 renamed the European Consumer Consultative Group (ECCG). Its meetings are attended by non-governmental consumer organisations. The UK is currently represented by Nick Stace of Which, and
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Susan Knox of Food Aware is the alternate member.
|Presidency||Date||ECCG Meeting||UK Representative||Location|
|Italian||July to December 2003||9 July 2003||Susan Knox (Food Aware)||Brussels|
|July to December 2003||2 October 2003||Susan Knox (Food Aware)||Brussels|
|July to December 2003||10 December 2003||Susan Knox (Food Aware)||Brussels|
|Irish||January to June 2004||18 March 2004||Susan Knox (Food Aware)||Brussels|
|January to June 2004||15 June 2004||Susan Knox (Food Aware)||Brussels|
|Dutch||July to December 2004||22 September 2004||Nick Stace (Consumer Association)||Brussels|
|July to December 2004||10 December 2004||Susan Knox (Food Aware)||Brussels|
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many times during the (a) Italian, (b) Irish and (c) Dutch presidency of the EU the Committee of experts on the transit of electricity through grids met; when and where these meetings took place; what UK Government expert was present; and if she will make a statement. 
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many times during the (a) Italian, (b) Irish and (c) Dutch presidency of the EU the Contact Committee European Economic Interest Grouping met; when and where these meetings took place; what UK Government expert was present; and if he will make a statement. 
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