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25 Oct 2005 : Column 340W—continued

Regional Assemblies

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) pursuant to the answer of 11 October 2005, Official Report, column 444W, on regional assemblies, whether his Department holds copies of the corporate plans of the regional assemblies; [19858]

(2) whether his Department holds copies of documents containing the projected 2005–06 budgets of the regional chambers. [19924]

Yvette Cooper: Regional assemblies prepare three year business/corporate plans and submit them to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to inform decisions on annual funding allocations. Each assembly publishes copies of these reports on their website.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether financing of possible elected regional assemblies remains part of the remit of the Lyons' Inquiry. [21284]

Mr. Woolas: Yes. However, Sir Michael Lyons is aware of the statement to the House by my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister on 8 November 2004 that the Government would not be introducing the Regional Assemblies Bill and would not be calling further referendums on elected assemblies, Official Report, 8 November 2004, columns 587–89.

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the Audit Commission audits regional chambers in England. [19919]

Mr. Woolas: The Audit Commission makes arrangements for the external audit to be undertaken for one regional assembly in England: the Yorkshire and Humber assembly.

Sex Offenders

Joan Walley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will introduce regulations to prohibit individuals on the sexual offenders register from serving on local authorities. [19470]

Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has no plans to introduce such regulations.
 
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Solar Power (Buildings)

Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will change new build regulations to require the inclusion of solar power. [19594]

Yvette Cooper: The Building Regulations set levels of required energy performance rather than prescribing solutions. This approach offers designers the flexibility to choose technologies that best meet their needs, that are cost-effective and practical, and that enable innovation. Without prescribing solutions the current requirements do enable builders to take the benefits of solar panels and other 'low and zero carbon' technologies such as wind generators, heat pumps and wood pellet stoves.

Supporting People Initiative

David Taylor: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the Audit Commission's report on the Supporting People initiative. [21679]

Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister welcomes the Audit Commission's report on supporting people. We believe that the Audit Commission has done an excellent job in producing a well balanced and carefully considered report which clearly highlights both the areas of concern and the benefits of the programme. The report provides a helpful base for authorities and providers to build on in improving services and in the commissioning and management of the programme.

David Taylor: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many Government (a) Departments and (b) agencies are involved in the administration of the Supporting People initiative. [21680]

Mr. Woolas: Due to the cross-cutting nature of supporting people there are five Government Departments directly involved in the administration of the programme. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is the lead Department responsible for managing and administering the programme. The four other Government Departments involved are the Department for Work and Pensions, Department of Health, Home Office and Department for Education and Skills. No Government agencies are directly involved in the administration of supporting people, but the Audit Commission is responsible for undertaking inspections of local authorities to monitor implementation.

David Taylor: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions his Department has had with the Local Government Association on the Supporting People initiative. [21681]


 
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Mr. Woolas: Ministers and officials have ongoing discussions with a wide range of stakeholders, including the Local Government Association, on issues related to the Supporting People programme.

Telecommunications Masts

Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what regulations apply to Network Rail telecommunications masts being used to provide mobile phone telecommunication services for the general public. [20456]

Yvette Cooper: The normal regulations in place throughout England apply, unless exempted by the regulations set out in part 24 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (GPDO) as amended by SI 2115/2003.

Traveller Sites

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if his Department will introduce measures allowing local communities to have greater involvement in decisions on where official Traveller sites are placed. [20089]

Yvette Cooper: Councils should involve local communities in the creation of Development Plan Documents. The way in which this will happen will be set out in the Local Planning Authority's Statement of Community Involvement. Interested parties can also comment on individual planning applications and at appeals.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Alcohol Sales

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there have been in each of the last five years for selling alcohol to minors. [18845]

Hazel Blears: The available information, relating to sales of alcohol to under-18s in England and Wales from 1999 to 2003, is shown in the table. Data for 2004 will be available in late November. In addition, the Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) scheme was brought into effect in England and Wales during 2003–04 to provide the police with a quick and effective means of dealing with minor offences.

Under the scheme an offender is issued with a fixed penalty notice and has 21 days in which to pay the penalty or request a court hearing. The offence of selling alcohol to persons aged under eighteen years was added to the PND scheme on one November 2004. In England and Wales, 113 PNDs were issued for sale of alcohol to under-18s in 2004, with 280 issued from January to June in 2005.
Defendants proceeded against at magistrates' courts for offences relating to the sale of alcohol to underage persons(38), Englandand Wales, 1999 to 2003

Offence descriptionStatuteYearEngland and Wales
Selling etc., intoxicating liquor to persons under 18 for consumption on the premisesLicensing Act, 1964, Section 169(1); Licensing (Occasional Permissions) Act1983, Schedule (Sec. 3) para. 4(1).1999204
2000130
2001155
2002168
2003604
Wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18Licensing Act 1964, Sec.181A(1) as added by Licensing Act 1988, Sec17.19991
20002
20013
20022
200312


(38) These data are on the principal offence basis.
(39) Petty sessional area.
(40) Police force area.
Source:
RQS—Office for Criminal Justice Reform





 
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Antisocial Behaviour Orders

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of antisocial behaviour orders have been breached. [19044]

Hazel Blears: Data on convictions for breach of an antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) are currently available from 1 June 2000 to 31 December 2003. Of the 1,892 ASBOs issued during this period, as reported to the Home Office, 42 per cent. of persons (793) breached their ASBO on one or more occasions. Breach data for 2004 will be available towards the end of the year.

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to allow the media to publish the (a) names and (b) photographs of all those upon whom antisocial behaviour orders have been served, whatever their age; and if he will make a statement. [19412]

Hazel Blears [holding answer 19 October 2005]: Antisocial behaviour orders are not subject to reporting restrictions as they are civil orders. ASBOs are designed to protect local communities and their effectiveness will depend on local people knowing about them—publicity should be expected in most cases.

However, courts retain the right to impose reporting restrictions if they believe it appropriate to do so. Specific guidance on publicising antisocial behaviour orders is available on our website: www.together.gov.uk.

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding is expected to be allocated for antisocial behaviour orders in Gravesham in 2005. [20038]

Hazel Blears: We do not allocate any funding for antisocial behaviour orders. Antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) are obtained from courts on application from local agencies and it is the responsibility of these agencies, in accordance with partnership working arrangements, to meet any associated costs.


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