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19 Jul 2005 : Column 1569W—continued

Departmental Staff

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many full-time equivalents have worked for the Department for each of the last five financial years for which figures are available. [11487]

Angela E. Smith: The number of full-time equivalent permanent staff, excluding casuals, working in the 11 Departments of the NI Administration, their agencies and the Northern Ireland Office at 1 April for each of the past five years was as follows:
Number of full-time equivalents
200124,861
200225,841
200326,816
200427,764
200528,126

Entrepreneurship

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on which other departments' funding policies Invest Northern Ireland's policy on promoting entrepreneurship and business start-ups is based; and if he will make a statement. [11353]

Angela E. Smith: Invest Northern Ireland's funding policy for the promotion of Entrepreneurship and Business Start Up is fully consistent with the government's economic vision for Northern Ireland. The promotion and encouragement of enterprise through being entrepreneurial is one of the key drivers identified in the Operating plans of Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) and Invest NI to improve the global competitiveness of the Northern Ireland economy. DETI takes the lead responsibility for the oversight of the economic vision and a number of other departments fund actions which complement and contribute to enterprise development including Department of Employment and Learning through New Deal, and courses in Further and Higher Education; the Department of Education by promoting entrepreneurship through the school's curriculum; the
 
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Department of Agriculture and Rural Development promoting rural diversification and the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure the creative arts sector.

Firearms

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many illegal firearms have been found by the Police Service of Northern Ireland during searches, criminal investigations or at crime scenes in each of the last five years. [11781]

Mr. Woodward: The information requested is detailed in the following table.
Number of illegal firearms found
2000–01134
2001–0296
2002–03129
2003–04148
2004–0581




Notes:
The figures include all illegal firearms which have been seized/recovered:
as a result of searches carried out by PSNI/Army;
during/after a shooting incident, armed robbery, etc;
by members of the public.




Human Rights Commission

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) salary, (b) allowances and (c) other expenses payable to the chairperson of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is; how many days per week the chairperson is expected to spend on Commission business; what secretarial and research facilities are made available to (i) the chairperson and (ii) the members of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission; and what allocation has been made for these costs. [7091]

Mr. Hanson: The chief commissioner post is a full-time post. The salary is £60,000 per annum.

The other details of the question are for the Commission to respond to. I have written to the chief executive asking that she respond to your query. A copy of her letter will be placed in the Library.

Motoring Offences

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many fixed penalty fines for (a) speeding, (b) parking infringements and (c) other offences were issued in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years, broken down by (i) urban and (ii) rural region; and how much revenue was generated in each year. [12054]

Mr. Woodward: The information requested is provided in the following tables.
Calendar yearEndorsable
FPN—speeding
Endorsable
FPN—other
Non endorsable
FPN—other
Non endorsable—parking infringementsPotential revenue generated (£)
Urban
20028,350422261235,8321,679,640
200313,805836760736,8192,211,240
200415,28983611,77242,0152,581,110









 
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Calendar yearEndorsable
FPN—speeding
Endorsable
FPN—other
Non endorsable
FPN—other
Non endorsable—parking infringementsPotential revenue generated (£)
Rural
200218,51660610,02016,7111,949,250
200314,14984215,91118,3451,927,140
200411,7631,10621,39419,4901,998,660

Olympics 2012

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he plans to take to ensure that (a) Northern Ireland is and (b) Northern Ireland citizens are involved in the Olympic Games in London in 2012. [12760]

Mr. Hanson: The Government are delighted that London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics. Northern Ireland has supported the bid from the outset, recognising the potential benefits in terms of sports infrastructure, improving health, inspiring our young people, providing opportunities for local businesses, boosting tourism and hosting preparation camps for participating nations.

The promise is already given by London 2012 that all those children born on 20 December 2004 in the United Kingdom will be offered the chance to take part in official ceremonies and cultural events scheduled to take place in 2012.

A regional steering group has been in place for 11 months to galvanise support for the bid and identify the opportunities for the region. It is developing a strategy to ensure the potential benefits are fully realised and that Northern Ireland and its citizens play a full part in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Pensioners

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which Government agency will be responsible for making payment of the one-off tax freelump sum of £200 to pensioner households in Northern Ireland; what action pensioners will be required to take to receive such payments; and when they will receive it. [13282]

Mr. Hanson: Most pensioners who are entitled to the £200 payment will receive it automatically with their winter fuel payment from the Social Security Agency, an Executive agency within the Department for Social Development. However some may need to claim their payment. Anyone who has not received a payment by the end of December 2005, and who thinks that they may be eligible, may need to make a claim. All claims must be received by 30 March 2006. Details of how to make a claim and who to contact for more information will be issued at a later date.

Personal Protection Weapons

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applications for personal protection weapons have been made in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. [11671]

Mr. Woodward: The chief constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland has informed me that records of the number of applications made for personal protection weapons are only available from 2001.
 
19 Jul 2005 : Column 1572W
 

The number of applications made in each full year since then is as follows:
Number of applications
2001274
2002405
2003324
2004281

Public Prosecution Service

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) procedure and (b) timescale is for establishing regional offices for the Public Prosecution Service; where they are expected to be located; and if he will make a statement. [12013]

Mr. Hanson: The information is as follows:

(a) The procedure for the opening of the PPS Regional Offices is a phased 'rollout' over a period beginning with the creation of the first PPS pilot in December 2003 and completion by December 2006. A programme was established to acquire suitable premises in the preferred locations. A public procurement exercise was undertaken to secure the required premises, which to date has now identified suitable sites in Lisburn, Omagh and Ballymena. Suitable sites in Londonderry and Newry were not identified and the PPS is currently working closely with the Valuation and Lands Agency to identify either existing or potential premises in each of these locations.

(b) The PPS Project Board still intends to meet the December 2006 deadline for the completion of the PPS rollout. If premises in all the preferred locations are not available by that date, contingency plans are in place to accommodate the operations on those offices not yet ready for occupation in existing short term accommodation in Belfast. Currently the target dates for each site are as follows:


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