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Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what consultations took place between his Department and the Equality Commission before the introduction of ASBOs in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Hanson: In January 2004 the Northern Ireland Office launched a public consultation, lasting 13 weeks, to establish measures that would best address the issue of antisocial behaviour in Northern Ireland. On 10 May 2004, a further public consultation lasting five weeks was launched on the draft Order in Council, proposing new legislation to introduce antisocial behaviour orders as a statutory measure. The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland responded to both consultations.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the recent assessment by the Northern Ireland Equality Commission of the legality of the use of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBO) in Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Hanson: On 9 May 2005 the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland issued the report of its investigation of a formal complaint made by the Children's Law Centre under paragraph 10 of Schedule 9 to the Northern Ireland Act 1998. The Government is presently considering the Commission's findings and recommendations.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will explain what steps he will take to ensure that the Asthma Charter is put into practice so that the health and wellbeing of people with asthma in Northern Ireland is improved. 
The Asthma Charter, which has been produced by Asthma UK, outlines the standards of care that people with asthma should expect and aims to ensure that they get the right treatment and support to control their asthma. Asthma UK has subsequently produced an information pack, which aims to help professionals improve care for patients and helps patients monitor and control their condition. The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety has agreed to provide the funding to produce and distribute the information packs to all patients with asthma in Northern Ireland through their GP practice.
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Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many places in secure accommodation are available for children at risk in Northern Ireland; what estimate he has made of the requirement for such places; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Woodward: There are currently 15 secure accommodation places at the regional secure care facility at Lakewood centre in Bangor, an increase of seven beds since 2001. Work is currently under way on building a replacement facility which is due to open in 2006 increasing the number of regional places to 16. In addition, under the terms of the legislation governing the use of secure care Health and Social Services Trusts can secure children at other locations, including statutory children's homes. The potential total number of secure places is therefore not limited by the number of places available at the regional unit.
The strategic aim of the Department is to provide a diverse range of provision suited to meet the needs of children in care. In addition to building a replacement regional secure unit, existing intensive support provision will be replaced and extended throughout Northern Ireland. This will provide 11 additional places and 55 replacement beds, alongside an additional eight beds in a regional Social, Emotional and Psychological unit. It is intended that these expanded services will divert children from secure accommodation into accommodation better suited to meet their needs.
The number of places at this regional secure facility, as well as the planned expansion of intensive support and other specialist places is based on the level of need identified by the four Health and Social Services Boards to the Children Matter Task Force which is led by the Department. Under the auspices of the Task Force an additional 86 beds and 47 replacement beds have already been provided. At the end of Phase II, a further 43 additional and 159 replacement beds will have been provided.
Everyone has a right to equality of opportunity and to a good and harmonious working environment and atmosphere in which all workers are encouraged to apply their diverse talents and in which no worker feels under threat or intimidated."
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether it is the policy of the Northern Ireland Civil Service to promote equality of opportunity in the awarding of public contracts. 
Angela E. Smith:
The Northern Ireland Public Procurement Policy, which was agreed by the Assembly in May 2002, requires all public sector organisations to include an Equality Clause in all contracts and a standard clause was agreed for inclusion in all public sector contract documentation from July 2004.
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In particular, the clause places a mandatory requirement on contractors in relation to fair employment and anti-discrimination legislation. The clause also requires the contractor to use his best endeavours to ensure that in his employment policies and practices and in the delivery of the contract there shall be no unjustifiable inequality of treatment of the categories listed in section 75.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the clear-up rate was for (a) domestic burglaries, (b) vehicle crimes and (c) assaults in (i)North Belfast and (ii) Northern Ireland in each year since 2001. 
|North Belfast District Command Unit|
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the impact of the extension of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 introduced in October 2004 on addressing the needs of children with diabetes in Northern Ireland schools; and what guidance the Department of Education for Northern Ireland has issued to schools, teachers and parents regarding children with diabetes attending school trips. 
Angela E. Smith: My Department issued comprehensive guidance to schools in 2002 on the health and safety of pupils on educational visits. The document contains detailed advice regarding pupils with medical needs, including children with diabetes.
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 does not apply to the provision of education in Northern Ireland. However, from 1 September 2005, the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 will be in operation in Northern Ireland. This law will prohibit discrimination on grounds of disability in education and will require schools and General Qualifications Bodies to make reasonable adjustments to
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ensure that children and young people with disabilities are not put at a substantial disadvantage compared to those without disabilities. These duties cover all aspects of school life, including school clubs and trips. Type 1 diabetes would be considered a disability under this legislation.
The Departments have tasked the Equality Commission (Northern Ireland) with producing Codes of Practice and other guidance materials to support the disability discrimination aspects of the Order for schools and Further and Higher education institutions.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the Department of Education for Northern Ireland's plans to support children with type 1 diabetes in schools; and what resources have been allocated to meeting the needs of such children. 
Once a school has been made aware of a pupil with this condition, the school's medical support team is contacted and medical staff give training for individual teachers, where it is deemed appropriate. Specific advice and guidance on the support required for pupils with type 1 diabetes in schools is dependent on medical advice from a Health and Social Services Trust's community paediatrician which enables provision of support and interventions, as appropriate.
From 1 September 2005, the Special Educational Needs and Disability (Northern Ireland) Order 2005 will be in operation in Northern Ireland. This law will prohibit discrimination on grounds of disability in education and will require schools and general qualifications bodies to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that children and young people with disabilities are not put at a substantial disadvantage compared to those without disabilities. Type 1 diabetes would be considered a disability under this legislation.
Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on each Health and Social Services Board area's plans for a structural patient education programme for people with diabetes; and what funding has been allocated for each programme. 
Education for people with diabetes, to support them in managing their condition and help them to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle, was identified as a priority area for development by the CREST Taskforce. In 200405 the Department allocated an additional £l million for the development of
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services for people with diabetes and as a result a number of additional specialist staff have been appointed and these staff have an educational role as part of their overall professional responsibilities.
There are a number of educational programme initiatives under way in Health and Social Services Board areas in hospitals and in the community. The Regional Diabetes Steering Group, set up to oversee theimplementation of the recommendations made by the taskforce, will be considering what further action needs to be taken to further develop structural education programmes for people with diabetes throughout Northern Ireland.
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