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Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects hearings arising from responses to the draft recommendations for parliamentary election boundaries in Northern Ireland to take place. 
Mr. Hain: A public notice and press release were issued by the Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland on 14 June announcing that there would be three public Local Inquiries to be held in respect of all 14 parliamentary constituencies affected by the Boundary Commission's Provisional Recommendations published on 6 May 2004. They will begin on 5 September in Belfast, 14 September in Ballymena, and 19 September in Newcastle, Co Down.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how he defines the clearance of offences for the purposes of determining the success of the Police Service of Northern Ireland crime detection rates. 
Mr. Woodward: The PSNI state that a crime is deemed to be cleared when a notifiable offence has been committed and recorded; a suspect has been made aware that they will be recorded as being responsible for the crime; and there is sufficient evidence to charge the suspect with the crime.
Mr. Woodward: The important rail service between Belfast and Dublin has operated for 150 years. The service is currently provided jointly by Northern Ireland Railways and Iarnrod Eireann, the Republic of Ireland operator. There are eight journeys in each direction from Monday to Saturday inclusive and five journeys each way on Sundays. Recent engineering works that have caused disruption to services have now been completed. The focus can now be on delivering improved punctuality and reliability.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many NHS dentists there were in Northern Ireland in each of the past five years; and what steps he is taking to increase the numbers of dentists in Northern Ireland. 
|As at 1 April each year||Headcount|
In order to facilitate the supply of suitably qualified dentists, the Department funds a one year vocational training (VT) scheme and a two-year general professional training (GPT) scheme. Prior to August 2000 there were 20 VT places, this has been increased to the current level of 24 VT places and four dental trainees in each year of the GPT scheme. This represents an annual total of 28 health service training places for graduate dentists in Northern Ireland.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the merits of introducing a target in Northern Ireland for time from referral of patients to receipt of digital hearing aids. 
Digital hearing aids have been provided in Northern Ireland since October 2003. A target of 5,000 digital hearing aids to issue each year was determined at that time. However, that expectation has been exceeded with over 15,000 digital hearing aids issued to date. The latest statistical information has indicated that the majority of those seeking digital hearing aids are seen within three months and that 85 per cent. are seen within six months. The Department is considering how it might extend partnerships with the private sector to further increase the provision of digital hearing aids.
20 Jun 2005 : Column 852W
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many reported incidents of illegal drug use (a) in and (b) outside schools in the Province there were in each of the last 10 years; 
Angela E. Smith: The information requested is not available. The Department does not require schools to notify it, or the education and library boards, of incidents of illegal drug use, illegal drug possession or needle stick injuries. Schools have a duty in law to notify the police where they believe or suspect a pupil to be in possession of a controlled drug.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the change in funding for education and library board services in Northern Ireland is for 200506, taking employment, pension, superannuation and other costs outside their budgets into account. 
Angela E. Smith: The delegated budgets for schools funded through the education and library boards under Local Management of Schools arrangements increased by £59 million from £669 million in 200405 to £728 million in 200506, an increase of almost 9 per cent. Excluding increased superannuation costs for both teaching and non teaching staff and the costs of teachers progressing to point 2 of the upper pay scale, and taking account of falling pupil numbers, the percentage increase is 3.3 per cent. on a like for like basis.
Education and Library Board non-earmarked centre budgets rose by £19 million from £333 million in 200405 to £352 million in 200506, an increase of almost 6 per cent. Taking into account the increased costs referred to above, the percentage increase is almost 3 per cent. on a like for like basis.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many and what proportion of people used each of the four approved forms of identification at the general election in Northern Ireland on 5 May. 
The number and the proportion of people that used the four approved forms of identification at the general election in Northern Ireland on 5 May that were recorded by polling staff were as follows.
20 Jun 2005 : Column 853W
|Number||Percentage of total|
|Electoral ID Card||56916||8.6|
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