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8 Nov 2005 : Column 352W—continued


Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the take-up of visas under the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme. [25312]

Andy Burnham [holding answer 7 November 2005]: The Scottish Executive is monitoring and evaluating the Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland scheme and we are discussing with them how and when information on the scheme will be published.

As set out in the published policy, the Home Office are passing details of all those who have been granted leave under the scheme to the Scottish Executive. This is to enable them to contact participants at regular intervals.

The table shows the number of participants in the scheme so far, broken down by those who applied from overseas and those who applied from within the UK. This data is based on internal Management Information and is provisional and subject to change.
Entry clearance(9)In country

(9) UKvisas makes every effort to ensure that statistics produced from our Central Reference System" are accurate. However, the complexity of our global business, including technical failures or occasional inconsistencies in data entry across any of over 150 offices, means we cannot 100 per cent. guarantee accuracy. UKvisas continues to work on IT and working practices to improve the quality of the statistics we provide.
Figures are rounded to the nearest 5.

Young Offenders

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to his answer of 12 October 2005, Official Report, column 496W, how many of the young people supervised by youth offending teams in 2004–05 that had a substance misuse need have received an intervention or treatment, broken down by type of intervention made. [20663]

Fiona Mactaggart: The following table for 2004–05 gives a breakdown of the level of need, intervention and treatment received within 10 working days of the assessment. (Joint Youth Justice Board/National Treatment Agency performance indicator.) Of the 11,551 who were assessed as needing a Tier two, three or four intervention, 10,645 (92 per cent.) accessed an intervention or treatment service within 10 days of the assessment.

Data monitoring for 2005–06 has been improved to include the numbers of young people who accessed a service more than 10 days after assessment.
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Intervention or treatment
Service provided—Tier descriptionNumbers of young people assessed with needThose who received an intervention or treatment within 10 days of being assessedPercentage
Tier 2Practitioners with some drug and alcohol experience and youth specialist knowledge8,2247,67293.3
Tier 3Young people's specialist drug services and other specialised services that work with complex cases requiring multi-disciplinary, team-based work3,1552,82689.6
Tier 4Services providing very specialist medical forms of intervention for young drug misusers with complex care needs17214785.5

(10) Taken from the Youth Justice Board's Key elements of effective practice manual on Substance Misuse.


Peter Bottomley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements he has in place for Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe and neighbouring countries to apply for asylum. [15869]

Andy Burnham: The immigration rules require a person to be in the United Kingdom or at a port of entry in order to claim asylum here. Under our published asylum policy instruction on Applications from Abroad, IND may consider exceptionally outside the rules a claim for asylum made abroad if certain strict criteria are met.

A person cannot be a refugee for the purposes of the 1951 Refugee Convention while in their country of origin, so it would only be in truly exceptional circumstances that the UK would consider an asylum claim from a person within their own country.

The policy applies to Zimbabwean nationals on the same basis as it applies to others.

Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the deportation to Zimbabwe of asylum seekers. [16718]

Mr. McNulty: On 5–7 October 2005 the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal considered the appeal of a Zimbabwean asylum seeker. The basis of the appeal was that failed asylum seekers are at real risk of mistreatment on return from the UK to Zimbabwe. The AIT's country guidance determination was promulgated on 18 October 2005.

The Tribunal found that the particular way we were enforcing returns of failed Zimbabwean asylum seekers from the UK to Harare airport put them at risk. We will not be enforcing returns to Zimbabwe while we work to resolve the concerns identified by the Tribunal about the way we do so.

The Tribunal did not find that Zimbabwe was unsafe generally for failed asylum seekers or that those who return there voluntarily are at risk. Failed asylum seekers have no right to remain in the UK and we continue to expect them to return.

We will continue to provide protection through the asylum system to Zimbabweans who genuinely have a well founded fear of persecution but we do not accept that failed asylum seekers whose claims have been found on appeal to be unfounded are in this position.

We do not believe that this determination requires us, as a matter of law, to grant refugee status or any other form of leave to remain to failed Zimbabwean asylum
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seekers. We have already argued successfully before the Tribunal in one individual case since the country guidance case was promulgated that, in the light of the Government's commitment not to enforce returns while we work to identify a route and method which does not expose returnees to a risk contrary to our international obligations, Zimbabwean asylum claims must be decided on their individual facts.

We are considering appealing the AIT country guidance determination.


Carbon Management Programme

Norman Lamb: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether his Department will sign up to the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management programme. [23726]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has been working on carbon reduction programmes and are presently co-operating with the Carbon Trust on energy efficiency projects, designed to reduce the level of carbon created by its estate operations. Officials have been in contact with the Carbon Trust in respect of their offer to undertake an initial feasibility study on how the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister would adopt a Carbon Management programme and its potential for managing its Carbon Footprint. A decision on whether to sign up to the Carbon Trust's Carbon Management programme will be taken once this feasibility study is complete.

Councils (Norfolk)

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the merits of unitary status for councils in Norfolk. [22093]

Mr. Woolas: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given to the hon. Member for Hemel Hempstead (Mike Penning) on 7 November 2005 (UIN 24019).

Demotion Orders

Margaret Moran: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many demotion orders have been granted by (a) local authorities and (b) registered social landlords since their introduction. [24029]

Yvette Cooper: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has until this financial year, not requested local authorities to supply data on the number of secure
8 Nov 2005 : Column 355W
tenancies they demoted. We are now asking them to provide this information and the first tranche of this data will be available for 2005–06.

The Housing Corporation has commenced the collection of this data. According to its Regulatory and Statistical Returns for 2004–05, 76 tenancies have been demoted since June 2004 when this tool first became available.

Fire Service Personnel (Assaults)

John Cummings: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many assaults on fire service personnel in the course of their duties there have been in the County of Durham in the last five years. [25697]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) has been maintaining records of attacks on firefighters since April 2004. Prior to that date their was no requirement for the fire and rescue service to report attacks on firefighters.

Since April 2004 there has been in place a procedure for attacks on firefighters to be notified to the ODPM using the Fires and Incidents of Special Interest (FOSI) reporting procedures, as detailed in a Dear Chief Fire Officer (DCOL) letter 3/2004 issued on 1 April 2005. Since 1 April 2004 there have been reports of eight attacks on firefighters of the Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.

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