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10 Oct 2005 : Column 241W—continued

Ward Temperatures

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidelines her Department has issued to hospitals regarding the maximum temperature allowed on wards for the welfare of staff and the comfort of patients. [16353]

Jane Kennedy: General guidance on the design and control of environmental temperatures in ward areas are contained in the Department's health building note 04, Inpatient Accommodation Options for Choice", and health technical memorandum 2025, Ventilation in Healthcare Premises Design Considerations". No maximum temperature is identified except where related to summertime temperatures when measures should be considered to maintain internal temperature to a value not exceeding three degrees Celsius above external shade temperature.


Affordable Housing

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was allocated for the provision of affordable housing in each of the Northern Ireland constituencies in each of the last five years. [15314]

Mr. Hanson: I have taken affordable housing to mean social housing for rent and low cost private sector housing the purchasers of which receive assistance through the Northern Ireland Co-ownership scheme. The following table shows the total cost of social dwellings for rent started in each year:
Social housing costs by constituency

East Antrim07242,0842,6032,699
North Antrim3,0703689981,9481,224
South Antrim1,4235695741,1071,442
Upper Bann34501,0222,5161,637
East Belfast5,7414,7804,2558,0443,945
North Belfast8,07816,04519,15231,56727,487
South Belfast3,44012,3753,4215,9873,890
West Belfast8,64611,63210,74235,28137,686
North Down03,3051,9866,3182,932
South Down7434,7795682,9152,067
Fermanagh and
South Tyrone
Lagan Valley6,0916399,50710,52414,341
East Londonderry2,8524813,4516,160117
Mid Ulster179623919216244
Newry and Armagh9601,5702,4032,8286,972
West Tyrone7476,9225973,8362,475

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Funding for the Northern Ireland Co-ownership scheme, under which participants part purchase, part rent homes is allocated on a demand led, first come first served basis, and not by constituency. Information is not held in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Expenditure by the Co-ownership Housing Association is made up of housing association grant provided by the Department supplemented by surpluses generated by the association itself. The allocation of funding for the co-ownership scheme for each of the past five years were as follows:
Funding for co-ownership scheme
£ million


Existing Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Housing Association properties are available for sale with discount to sitting tenants. These sales are demand led and add to the availability of affordable homes for purchase.

Ambulance Service

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many emergency calls have been received by the ambulance services in each of the last five years. [15306]

Mr. Woodward: The numbers of emergency calls received by the ambulance service in each of the last five calendar years are as follows:
Ambulance service—emergency calls

Number of calls

Areas of Special Scientific Interest

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to ensure that all qualifying areas of special scientific interest in Northern Ireland are declared by 2010 in relation to the UK's commitment to halt biodiversity loss. [15176]

10 Oct 2005 : Column 243W

Angela E. Smith: The target for Northern Ireland is to maintain or improve the conservation condition of 95 per cent. of the features underlying the designation of internationally important wildlife sites and ASSIs by 2013. In a report published on 8 July it is shown that almost two thirds of the features of Northern Ireland's ASSIs are in favourable condition. Steps are being taken both to complete the declaration of ASSIs and to protect and manage existing sites.

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the amount of funding required by the Environment and Heritage Service to meet its target (a) of completing the full area of special scientific interest designation programme by 2015 and (b) of ensuring that 95 per cent. of features of areas of special scientific interest are in or approaching favourable condition by 2013. [15177]

Angela E. Smith: Substantial additional resources have been allocated to the ASSI programme and a comprehensive review will be undertaken in 2006 to assess progress towards achievement of the targets.

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much funding was requested by Environment and Heritage Service for work on the areas of special scientific interest programme in the budget rounds of (a) 2003–04 and (b) 2005–06; and how much funding was allocated. [15178]

Angela E. Smith: In the Spending Review of 2002, the Department of the Environment sought an additional £100,000 for each of the financial years 2003–04, 2004–05 and 2005–06 for this work. An additional allocation of £100,000 was duly made for each of these three years.

No additional allocations were sought in the 2004 Spending Review.

Arson Attacks (Schools)

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many arson attacks there were on schools in Northern Ireland in each of the last four years. [15316]

Angela E. Smith: The Education and Library Boards have advised that the number of arson attacks on controlled and maintained schools in the last four years are as follows:
North Eastern2221
South Eastern(72)586

(72)Information not readily available.

The Boards do not hold information on arson attacks on voluntary grammar and grant maintained integrated schools.

Bomb Squad

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) Police Service
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Northern Ireland and (b) Army personnel were working within the bomb squad in Northern Ireland on the last day for which figures are available. [14494]

Mr. Woodward: The Police Service for Northern Ireland does not deploy personnel as part of any bomb squad operating in Northern Ireland. All bomb squad personnel working within Northern Ireland are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much money was spent on the eradication of bovine tuberculosis in Northern Ireland in the financial year 2003–04; and how much was spent on (a) administration, (b) field activity and (c) compensation to farmers. [16141]

Angela E. Smith: During the financial year 2003–04, total expenditure on the tuberculosis eradication scheme was £28.1 million. Compensation to farmers amounted to £15.4 million. Staff administration costs were £4.3 million while field activity, which includes payments to private veterinary practitioners for testing, purchase of tuberculin, haulier payments and research and development costs, accounted for a further £8.4 million. Some £3.6 million was recouped in salvage payments.

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