Previous Section Index Home Page

27 Oct 2005 : Column 503W—continued

Road Safety

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the Government's policy is on (a) on-surface pedestrian crossings, (b) speed limits and (c) sub-surface pedestrian crossings for main trunk roads; and if he will make a statement. [22074]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government's policy for the provision of pedestrian crossings takes the form of advice, guidance and recommendations which are set out in Local Transport Note 1/95 "The Assessment of Pedestrian Crossings", while more specific advice for main trunk roads is to be found in TA 91/05 "Provision for Non Motorised Users", which is contained in Volume 5 of the Design Manual for Roads and Bridges. Both these documents are in the House of Commons Library.

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Government have spent on promoting (a) traffic and (b) pedestrian safety in the county of Bedfordshire in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [22076]

Dr. Ladyman: The Government fund local transport schemes, including those specifically related to road safety, through the Local Transport Plan integrated block allocation and the maintenance block allocation. It is for individual local highway authorities, in this case Bedfordshire county council, to decide how this block funding is allocated.
27 Oct 2005 : Column 504W



Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many new chemical entities are awaiting assessment by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE); whether the average number of new chemical entities awaiting assessment by NICE has changed since it was established; what the average time taken between submission of a new chemical entity and assessment is; and if she will make a statement. [19231]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 20 October 2005]: No new chemical entities were referred to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) until September 2003. Since September 2003, a total of seven chemical entities have been referred to NICE. All seven are on NICE'S current work programme.

New chemical entities are defined as new compounds not previously used to treat any condition.


Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Department is taking to clarify the (a) detail and (b) structure of the proposed units of dental activity to be required to be delivered as part of the new dental contract for NHS dentists; what action is being taken by her Department to facilitate the establishment of the proposed new NHS dental practice in Chard at the Chard Business Park; and if she will make a statement. [20781]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 25 October]: The system of units of dental activity is derived from the proposed banded dental charging system. The details and structure of the proposed units of dental activity were included in the draft general dental services contract and personal dental services agreement regulations published in August. Units of dental activity correspond to courses of treatment, weighted into three bands to reflect their relative average complexity.

Table one shows units of dental activity in respect of banded courses of treatment.
Table 1: Course of treatment

Band 1 (excluding urgent treatment)1.0
Band 1 (urgent treatment only)1.2
Band 23.0
Band 312.0

Table two shows units of dental activity in respect of charge exempt course of treatment.
Table 2: Course of treatment

Issue of a prescription0.75
Repair of a dental appliance (denture)1.0
Repair of a dental appliance (bridge)1.2
Removal of sutures1.0
Arrest of bleeding1.2

27 Oct 2005 : Column 505W

The Department agreed resources to establish a new practice operating under personal dental services in Chard in April. The application is now being taken forward by the South Gloucestershire primary care trust.


Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pre-payment certificates for prescriptions have been issued in Lancashire in each of the last 12 months. [21896]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 26 October 2005]: Information on the number of pre-payment certificates (PPCs) issued for Lancashire is not separately identifiable. However, the number of PPCs issued for England, by month for each of the last 12 months is shown in the table.
Month/yearNumber of PPCs issued for England
October 200492,845
November 200483,363
December 200473,876
January 200595,978
February 200581,638
March 2005125,477
April 200597,265
May 200582,803
June 200596,670
July 200591,852
August 200583,077
September 200586,549


Departmental Staff

Mr. Maples: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs who the Director of Finance of his Department is; what specialist finance qualifications he or she holds; and what the details are of his or her career to date. [20267]

Mr. Straw: The Finance Director of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is Mr. D R Todd. He has no specialist finance qualifications. Three of his direct staff are qualified accountants (head of Resource Accounting Department; head of Financial Planning and Performance Department; and head of Internal Audit Department) and one is a qualified procurement specialist.

Mr. Todd was appointed in 2004 after an inter-departmental competition by a panel which included the head of the Government Accountancy Service, Andrew Likierman. He has served in a number of positions in London and overseas. He worked in Her Majesty's (HM) Treasury from 1995 to 1997 and 1998 to 2001 and was HM ambassador to the Slovak Republic from 2001 to 2004.

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills of new recruits to his Department. [21005]

27 Oct 2005 : Column 506W

Mr. Straw: Minimum educational requirements relating to literacy and numeracy differ for each level of entry. New recruits to our support and junior management grades require GCSE grades A*-C in English Language and Mathematics. Policy entrants require a minimum 2:2 degree in any discipline and Diplomatic Service Economists require a 2:1 or above, or a postgraduate degree in economics, joint or mixed degrees are acceptable, provided that 50 per cent. of the course modules are in economics.

In addition, during the recruitment process candidates at all the above entry points are required to take ability tests, which test verbal, numerical and reasoning skills.

For specialist campaigns the Foreign and Commonwealth Office use the services of an occupational psychologist to design and administer assessment centres.

For senior recruitment campaigns we are guided by the Office of the Civil Service Commissioner.


Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the UK embassies which cover other countries, giving in each case the other countries covered. [20548]

Mr. Straw: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has 28 embassies and high commissions where the resident ambassador or high commissioner is accredited to one or more other countries in addition to their accreditation to the host state. The following table provides further details.

Non-resident ambassadors and high commissioners offer a cost effective way of providing diplomatic representation in countries where we have chosen not to establish an embassy or high commission. They are widely used by other foreign services. Overall, the UK has resident representation in more countries than almost any other nation.
Embassy/High CommissionCountries covered
BE Addis Ababa, EthiopiaDjibouti
BE Almaty, KazakhstanKyrgyzstan
BE Bangkok, ThailandLaos
BE Berne, SwitzerlandLiechtenstein
BE Buenos Aires, ArgentinaParaguay
BE Dakar, SenegalCape Verde
BE Guatemala City, GuatemalaEl Salvador
BE Kigali, RwandaBurundi
BE Kinshasa, Congo DRCongo (Rep)
BE Luanda, AngolaSao Tome and Principe
BE Madrid, SpainAndorra
BE Rabat, MoroccoMauritania
BE Rome, ItalySan Marino
BE San Jose, Costa RicaNicaragua
BE Santo Domingo, Dominican RepublicHaiti
BHC Abuja, NigeriaBenin
BHC Accra, GhanaBurkina Faso
BHC Bridgetown, BarbadosDominica
St. Kitts and Nevis
BHC Colombo, Sri LankaMaldives
BHC Freetown, Sierra LeoneLiberia
BHC Georgetown, GuyanaSurinam
BHC Kingston, JamaicaBahamas
BHC Nairobi, KenyaSomalia
BHC Port Louis, MauritiusComoros
BHC Pretoria, South AfricaLesotho
BHC Suva, FijiKiribati
Marshall Islands
BHC Wellington, New ZealandSamoa
BHC Yaounde, CameroonCentral African Republic
Equatorial Guinea

BE: British Embassy
BHC: British High Commission

27 Oct 2005 : Column 507W

Next Section Index Home Page