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18 Jul 2005 : Column 1382W—continued

Children's Services

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding has been ring fenced for children's services in Northern Ireland. [11791]

Mr. Woodward: Children and families remain a priority for Government. As a result of the 2005–08 Budget settlement DHSSPS has ring fenced additional monies for children's residential care, foster care, children leaving care and child protection. Additional monies have also been made available for a number of children's fund executive programme fund schemes including regional adoption and leaving and aftercare.

In addition all projects funded under the current three-year children's fund cycle will receive their full allocation from existing children's fund monies. No resources have been specifically provided for 2005–08 to mainstream the services currently provided by existing children's fund projects when this funding cycle is complete.

DHSSPS also provides mainstream monies for Sure Start and the early years development fund. This is a programme of support for parents to be, parents and children aged under Sure Start projects are sited in areas with high levels of disadvantage. These projects are not aimed specifically at deprived families, but are available to all families within these targeted areas.

Civil Servants (Transfers)

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many civil servants have been transferred from the Northern Ireland Civil Service to civil service posts elsewhere outside the Northern Ireland Civil Service in each year since 2001. [9000]

Angela E. Smith: Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) staff are transferred to posts in the Home Civil Service (HCS) for a variety of reasons, such as inter-service transfers on compassionate terms, a transfer of functions from the NICS to the HCS or temporary secondments. The numbers are as follows:
Number
20017
20028
2003153
20042
20054








 
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Common Agricultural Policy

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people within the Department for Agricultural and Rural Development are employed to administer common agricultural policy payments; and how many of these people are employed in (a) Dundonald House, (b) Orchard House and (c) each of the local county agricultural offices. [11120]

Angela E. Smith: The number of staff employed to administer common agricultural policy payments within the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are outlined as follows:
LocationNumber of staff
(a) Dundonald House47
(Magnet House)(14)16
(b) Orchard House(15)167
(c) County agricultural offices
Antrim31
Armagh15
Down26
Fermanagh17
Londonderry25
Tyrone29
Total373


(14)Information technology.
(15) Including four IT staff.


Crime Scene Arrests

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many incidents there have been where a suspect has been apprehended at the scene of a crime, excluding car crime, in each of the last three years. [11777]

Mr. Woodward: The information requested is not readily available and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Dementia

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the merits of providing free care for dementia sufferers in the Province; and what estimate he has made of the likely cost. [12083]

Mr. Woodward: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave on 20 June 2005, Official Report, column 859W.

Early Support Programme

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will introduce the early support programme to Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [11350]

Mr. Woodward: Currently there are no plans to introduce the early support programme to Northern Ireland.
 
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Electoral Register

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been removed from the electoral register in error in each year since 2001; and what investigation took place in each case. [7823]

Mr. Hanson: This issue is an operational matter and is the responsibility of the Chief Electoral Officer who has written to the hon. Gentleman in the following terms:


Number
20010
20020
20031
20040
2005(16)3


(16)To date


Grants

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much money has been allocated out of the (a) Children's Fund, (b) Innovation/Modernisation Executive Programme Fund, (c) Infrastructure Executive Programme Fund, (d) New Directions Executive Programme Fund, (e) Service Modernisation ExecutiveProgramme Fund and (f) Social Inclusion/Community Regeneration Executive Programme Fund to projects and programmes in North Belfast in each year since 2001. [11601]

Angela E. Smith: In excess of 300 projects and programmes, covering a wide range of geographical areas and activities, have been funded through Executive Programme Funds. Information regarding what element of funding allocated to these programmes or projects since 2001 relates to North Belfast could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

Hearing-impaired Children

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans are in place for the provision of early years support services for children newly identified with a hearing loss through the Northern Ireland newborn hearing screening programme. [11238]

Mr. Woodward: A multi-agency representative Regional Newborn Hearing Screening Implementation Steering Group has been established and three sub-groups have been convened: the Regional NHS Implementation Project Team, the Support Services Sub-Group and the Equipment Sub-Group. Area Implementation Groups have been established within each Health and Social Services Board.
 
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Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding is available for the provision of early years support services for children newly identified with a hearing loss through the Northern Ireland newborn hearing screening programme. [11239]

Mr. Woodward: Funding for service provision for children identified with a hearing loss through the Northern Ireland newborn hearing screening programme is determined by each Health and Social Services Board in terms of the needs identified in this population and the priorities established for the use of their allocated funding.

Illegal Dumping

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Government staff are working directly to combat illegal dumping in Northern Ireland. [11655]

Angela E. Smith: At present, a total of 32 staff (of scientific and administrative grades) form a dedicated enforcement team within the Waste Management and Contaminated Land Unit of the Department of the Environment's Environment and Heritage Service.

The staff are involved in the range of duties directly associated with enforcement of legislation dealing with illegal waste management. These duties include carrying out investigations, preparing case files for submission to the Public Prosecution Service, and performing administrative work associated with managing case files, evidence and interview records.

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been (a) questioned about, (b) charged with and (c) fined for illegal dumping in Northern Ireland of waste originating in the Republic of Ireland in each of the last five years. [11656]

Angela E. Smith: The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) of the Department of the Environment gained responsibility for investigation of alleged offences of illegal disposal of waste on 27 November 2003. Since that date, some 44 individuals have been interviewed under caution in accordance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Order.

During this period, 15 individuals/companies have been summonsed in relation to alleged offences.

Also during this period, six people have been fined in connection with illegal deposit of waste believed to have originated in the Republic of Ireland.
 
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Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many incidents of illegal dumping there were in Northern Ireland for each of the last five years; and what action can be taken against the owners of land where illegal dumping takes place. [11708]

Angela E. Smith: The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) of the Department of the Environment assumed responsibility on 27 November 2003 for legislation that creates offences for deposit of waste without a waste management licence.

Prior to that date, regulation of illegal waste disposal was the responsibility of district councils in Northern Ireland. Figures for such incidents prior to that date are not available.

Since that date, a total of 1,972 incidents of alleged illegal activity involving waste (covering a range of activities as well as disposal on unlicensed sites) were reported to EHS. Nine incidents were reported in the last month of 2003, 1,245 during 2004 and 718 during 2005 (to 30 June).

Of this total, 576 reports were substantiated to the extent that EHS instigated investigation with a view to prosecution.

Owners of land where illegal disposal has taken place are generally charged with offences under Article 4 of the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997. These relate to the deposit of controlled waste on land without a waste management licence being in force and also keeping waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

The number and combination of offences varies with each case and each carries a maximum penalty in magistrates court of £20,000 and/or a maximum of six months imprisonment. On indictment there is potential for an unlimited fine and/or a maximum prison sentence of two years.


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