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21 Jun 2005 : Column 894W—continued

Veterinary Medicines

Mr. Letwin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received about the new dispensing regulation proposed by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. [3112]

Margaret Beckett: The Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD) is developing new Regulations setting out controls on all aspects of veterinary medicines. These will take forward relevant recommendations made in the Marsh and Competition Commission reports on the dispensing of veterinary prescription only medicines (POMs) in the UK, implement an amending EU Directive and replace the existing voluminous and outdated UK legislation on veterinary medicines with a single set of Regulations.

The new Regulations contain a number of provisions that relate to the supply and dispensing of veterinary medicines, including proposed new distribution categories. We have received correspondence about issues relating to some of these and other provisions from a number of individuals including veterinary surgeons and animal owners/keepers.

During the initial stages of developing the proposals, officials at the VMD consulted informally with a wide range of interest groups. Following further development, a formal consultation package was published on the VMD website on 4 January 2005 and a letter sent to some 350 interested organisations and individuals. Consultees were allowed four months, until 5 May, to comment. Over 300 responses have been received and the comments are currently being considered and will be taken into account in finalising the draft Regulations. The VMD has kept interested parties informed of developments on key issues by publishing a series of reaction notes and has arranged public meetings on 21 and 22 June to discuss the outcome of the formal consultation. The consultation package remains available on the VMD website under Consultations" Previous".
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Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of cases set down for committal by magistrates in the Greater London area has not been ready for committal on the due date. [2701]

Ms Harman: I have been asked to reply.

Information on the effectiveness of committal hearings in the magistrates courts is not held centrally and could be produced only at disproportion cost. However, figures provided by the Crown Prosecution Service suggest that 1,133 committals were discharged during the period but comprehensive reasons for these are not recorded.

Public Order Act

John Hemming: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have occurred under sections (a) 18, (b) 19, (c) 20, (d) 21 and (e) 23 of the Public Order Act 1986 in each year since 2000; and how many convictions resulted, broken down by subsection under which each occurred. [4987]

The Solicitor-General: I have been asked to reply.

The following table show the number of defendants prosecuted for an offence or offences contrary to sections 18–21 and 23 of the Public Order Act 1986 for the period 2000–04. The relevant statistics are recorded by reference to the year in which cases were referred to the Crown Prosecution Service by the police. There is no table provided for 2005 as no prosecutions have resulted, to date, from cases referred to the CPS by the police in 2005. It is not possible to specify the subsections concerned in each case as this information is not held centrally.
SectionDefendants convictedDefendants
Both 19 and 2321 to date
(other case ongoing)
Both 19 and 2311
(only convicted of s 23)
19, 21 and 2311
195All 5 ongoing
Both 18 and 231Ongoing
Both 19 and 231Ongoing
19, 21 and 231Ongoing
183All 3 ongoing
192Both ongoing

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Student Visas

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the new charge for renewal of visas on the number of overseas students attending university in the UK. [4814]

Mr. McNulty: In September 2004 my right hon. Friend the former Minister of State for Immigration and Nationality (Des Browne) commissioned a joint project team to undertake an assessment of the likely impact of increased leave to remain fees to attract more international students to the UK. The team comprised representatives from the Department for Education and Skills, the Home Office and the British Council. The outcomes of this work are available, alongside a Regulatory Impact Assessment for the education sector on the Home Office website. Des Browne's statement of 7 February commissioned a new Joint Education Task Force, including representatives from the education sector and other key stakeholders, to further develop this work.



Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many local authority-run libraries there have been in each London borough since 1997. [6416]

Mr. Lammy: The table shows the aggregated number of public libraries, including mobile libraries, across inner and outer London for the period 1997–98 to 2003–04. This information is drawn from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Public Library Statistics Actuals. The CIPFA statistics show figures for individual library authorities. Copies are held in the House Library.
Number of London libraries

The table includes the libraries in the London borough of Hounslow which are run for the authority by a not for profit trust.

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Licensing Act

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make a statement on the outcomes of the first High Level Ministers/Senior Official Group on the implementation of the Licensing Act 2003. [5925]

James Purnell: The High Level Ministers/Senior Officials Group is one of the mechanisms put in place to monitor and evaluate implementation of the Licensing Act 2003. The minutes of the first meeting of 22 March are included on my Department's website at, under alcohol and entertainment. The key outcomes of that meeting were agreements on:

Two other meetings have since been held—on 4 and 23 May. The minutes to the second meeting are now available on our web site as will be the minutes to subsequent meetings.

Memorial to Women

Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had regarding the siting of the memorial to the women of the second world war in Whitehall. [6038]

Mr. Lammy: Discussions were held with the patrons and trustees of the Memorial to the Women of World War II Fund and their technical advisers, the Royal Household, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Defence, the Office of Government Commerce, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the City of Westminster, and the National Heritage Memorial Fund.

National Lottery

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether it is her policy that the heritage sector will continue to benefit from the National Lottery after 2009. [5924]

Mr. Lammy: The heritage good cause will continue. A decision on the shares for arts, heritage and sport good causes after 2009 will be made in June 2006, following public consultation on what is worth funding within these good causes.

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