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16 Nov 2005 : Column 1332W—continued

Maze Prison

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects to appoint a panel to monitor the progress of the development of the former Maze Prison site. [28984]

Angela E. Smith: Nominations have been invited from each of the four main political parties to serve on a group to monitor the potential for development at the Maze/Long Kesh regeneration site. A number of nominations are awaited.

Neighbourhood Watch

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Neighbourhood Watch schemes are in operation in Northern Ireland. [21168]

Mr. Hanson: There are currently 84 accredited Neighbourhood Watch Schemes in Northern Ireland. A number of schemes are also progressing through the accreditation process.
 
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Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding is available for Neighbourhood Watch in Northern Ireland. [21169]

Mr. Hanson: During the current financial year, the Community Safety Unit, the PSNI and the Northern Ireland Policing Board has collectively made available up to £100,000 to support Neighbourhood Watch in Northern Ireland.

Omagh Bomb (Compensation Claims)

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many compensation claims have been settled following the Omagh bomb; and what is the total amount of compensation paid. [19548]

Mr. Hain: The Compensation Agency has fully resolved 826 of the 852 criminal injury claims it received following the Omagh bomb. To date approximately £20.4 million has been paid in relation to these claims.

In relation to criminal damage claims, 214 of the 220 claims received have been resolved, with approximately £7.5 million having been paid in compensation.

Police Service

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what survey methods are used to establish the level of community confidence in the Police Service of Northern Ireland in Northern Ireland; and how often these surveys are undertaken. [19939]

Mr. Hain: A range of quantitative surveys are commissioned by both the Northern Ireland Office and the Northern Ireland Policing Board with a view to measuring community confidence in various aspects of the service provided by the police in Northern Ireland,

Three main quantitative surveys are used, each of which is conducted by the Central Survey Unit of the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency:

The most recent in-year figures covering the period January to June 2005, from the NI Crime Survey, show that 60 per cent. of those interviewed think that the police do a good job in Northern Ireland. This represents an increase of 3 per cent. on the previous year.

Religious Profiles

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the religious breakdown of staff employed in the Province within (a) the BBC,
 
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including Radio Ulster, (b) Citizens Advice Bureaux and (c) Ulster Television; and if he will make a statement. [28158]

Angela E. Smith: I understand that the chief executive of the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, Ms Evelyn Collins, has written to the hon. Lady in the following terms:


British Broadcasting Corporation
Ulster Television plc
P409127
RC33579
ND12216
Total866222
Percentage P5561.7
Percentage RC4538.3

Road Accidents

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the percentage of road traffic accidents in Northern Ireland which were attributed to mechanical failure since the introduction of electronic MOT vehicle test procedures. [24848]

Mr. Woodward: The electronic MOT system was introduced in September 2003, The Police Service of Northern Ireland only records injury road traffic collisions. The total number of injury road traffic collisions recorded between 1 September 2003 and 31 March 2005 was 8,946. Of these 26 (0.29 per cent.) were attributed to vehicle defects 1 .

Sentencing Framework

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the public consultation on minimum terms and life sentence cases. [27761]

Mr. Hanson: I am currently considering how to take forward the issue of the life sentence system in Northern Ireland in the context of the wider review of sentencing. I will issue a report on the outcome of the consultation shortly.

Sports Council

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much funding was given to the Sports Council for Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. [28857]

Mr. Hanson: The Sports Council for Northern Ireland has received exchequer and lottery funding in the last 10 years for the amounts shown in the following table:
 
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£ million

ExchequerLottery
1995–963.3668.569
1996–972.66910.021
1997–982,9188.204
1998–992.5067.218
1999–20002.4067.585
2000–014 4237.585
2001–023,5368.254
2002–035 2767.300
2003–047 0965.858
2004–055.9377.514

Sustainable Development

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the action on sustainable development (a) required and (b) undertaken by his Department's (i) executive agencies, (ii) advisory non-departmental bodies, (iii) executive non-departmental bodies, (iv) tribunals, (v) public corporations and (vi) other bodies. [17726]

Mr. Hain: The Government's framework and associated targets for sustainable development applies to Departments and their Executive Agencies. The framework does not cover the non-departmental public bodies and associated bodies. It is however anticipated that Departments will promote the framework to these groups and encourage the development of strategies for target setting, performance improvement and reporting. Compliant with these arrangements:

NIPS is committed to a strategy which encompasses the national strategy with specific targets to reduce energy consumption, the application of the environmentally sound principals and practices and promoting the message of reduce, re-use and recycle and to secure reductions in vehicle exhaust emissions. Other detailed successes are as follows:

Compensation Agency and the Youth Justice Agency are taking their lead from the NIO's central strategy and members of their staff attend the Green Champions meetings.

The Public Prosecution Service is taking their lead from the NIO central strategy and is represented at the Green Champions meetings. PPS intend establishing a Sustainable Development Committee which will develop:


 
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Forensic Science Northern Ireland currently occupies temporary accommodation within the PSNI site at Seapark and has a well established working group that advises the chief executive on green housekeeping and energy saving initiatives. The working group have promoted policies on a number of issues covered under recycling and waste management, energy saving awareness and green procurement of consumables.

The agency is currently engaged in a major project sponsored by the Department to provide new purpose-built laboratory accommodation. The project will apply the principles of the OGC 'Achieving Excellence in Construction' initiative and the complementary initiative 'Achieving Sustainability in Construction Procurement'.

The Department is developing a roadshow and website which will be used to promote sustainable development to NDPD's and associated bodies.

This answer only applies to the Northern Ireland Office and not to the 11 Departments of the devolved Administration.

Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made on his Department's Sustainable Development Strategy. [18443]

Mr. Hain: The NIO Departmental Board is committed to the Governments strategy on sustainable development and aims continually to improve the management and use of resources. It supports and actively contributes to the UK Strategy for Sustainable Development, which has four main aims:

The Department will seek to promote these objectives by:

Specific Objectives

To:


 
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Delivery

The Department has appointed Central Services Division as the lead division to drive forward the various strands and objectives. Green Champions have been appointed in every division to promote the message of reduce, reuse, recycle. A green transport survey is under way to measure single occupancy car commuting and to
 
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identity opportunities for reductions. Key buildings in the NIO's office estate have all been converted from either oil fire or electric heating to natural gas and now acquire some 25 per cent. of all electricity from renewable sources. A waste stream audit for key sites is currently under way. Steps have taken to ensure that the maximum volume of waste paper is recycled. Arrangements have also been introduced at significant sites to recycle plastic, tin, cardboard and glass. All paper for printing and photocopying is from a recycled source.

This answer applies only to the Northern Ireland Office and not to the 11 Departments of the devolved Administration.


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