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Mr. Chope: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many asylum and immigration appeals lodged prior to 4 April are still outstanding; how many have been determined in each month since that date; and when the outstanding cases are expected to be resolved. 
Bridget Prentice: The latest provisional information available from the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) indicates that, at the end of March 2005, (a) 16,300 outstanding asylum appeals, (b) 10,500 immigration appeals (comprising in-country and entry clearance appeals) and (c) 8,600 family visitor appeals were outstanding before the Immigration Appellate Authority (IAA), and the Immigration Appeal Tribunal (IAT).
The latest provisional figures available from the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) indicate that, at the end of June 2005, the numbers of outstanding asylum and immigration appeals determined in each month from April 2005 to June 2005, and which were lodged prior to 4 April 2005, are as follows:
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|2005||Asylum appeals||Immigration appeals|
The transitional arrangements for the treatment of outstanding asylum and immigration appeals, prior to the commencement of the AIT, are set out in the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 (Commencement No. 5 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2005 (SI 2005/565).
At present it is not possible to specify the number of outstanding appeals, lodged prior to 4 April 2005, which remain to be determined, nor the estimated time for those cases to pass fully through the system, without incurring disproportionate costs.
Bridget Prentice: The Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) considers outstanding cases to be those either listed and awaiting hearing before an immigration judge, or appeals that have been heard and that await determination by the immigration judge.
Bridget Prentice: Information available from the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal (AIT) shows that, in the period from 1 January 2005 to 30 September 2005, 526 substantive immigration hearings (comprising both entry clearance and in-country cases) were heard in its Glasgow hearing centre.
|Information Commissioner Casework Management System||3,742|
|Central Criminal Court||2,513|
|Southwark Crown Court||2,364|
|Inner London Crown Court||1,969|
|Manchester Crown and County Courts||1,935|
|Kingston-upon-Thames Crown Court||1,868|
|Snaresbrook Crown Court||1,638|
Mr. Jim Murphy: The figures for civil servants are published in Civil Service Statistics. Table C of Civil Service Statistics 2004 shows permanent staff numbers (Full-time equivalent basis) between 1998 and 2004. The data for 1997 can be obtained from Table C in Civil Service Statistics 2003. Civil Service Statistics 2004 are available in the Library and on the Cabinet Office Statistics website at http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management of the civil service/statistics/civil service statistics/index.asp
Data on numbers of casual staff is also published on the Cabinet Office Statistics website at http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/management of the civil service/statistics/civil service statistics/index.asp. Data on numbers of agency temporary workers is not currently collected.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the cost to public funds of supporting (a) equality and (b) diversity units within central Government was in the last period for which figures are available; if he will deposit a list of these groups in the Library; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy:
Information on expenditure of equality and diversity units in individual Government Departments is not held centrally. However, the NAO report 'Delivering Public Services to a Diverse Society'
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published in December 2004 estimated that the direct costs in 200203 associated with co-ordinating strategy across gender, race, disability and civil service work force representation were over 19 million.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to his answer of 3 November 2005, Official Report, columns 135354W, on the Strategy Unit, what the other phases of the work will be. 
(3) what discussions he has had with his NATO counterparts regarding the possibility of the international security assistance force resuming a role in counter narcotics missions; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: UK armed forces are helping the Afghans create a secure environment in their country on which the eventual elimination of the Afghan opium trade depends. The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime report states that there has been a 21 per cent. drop in poppy cultivation this year, down from 131,000 hectares to 103,000 hectares. Favourable weather conditions resulted, however, in an increase in the opium yield per acre from 32 kg in 2004 to 39 kg in 2005. It will take time for the impact of international assistance to counter narcotics activity in Afghanistan to be evident in Afghanistan and also in the supply of heroin to the UK.
The UK regularly discusses ongoing military assistance to counter narcotics with allies, including the United States. ISAF's role in support of counter narcotics is currently under discussion in NATO.
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Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what funds have been provided by his Department (a) to assist Afghanistan's counter narcotics effort and (b) to train Afghan police; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has not provided funds specifically for either counter narcotics or Afghan police training. In both cases, however, United Kingdom armed forces provide support, including information, training and logistic assistance, to Afghan forces.
Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what funds his Department has provided (a) to help create a new Afghan army and (b) to reconstitute Afghanistan's police force since 2002; 
Mr. Ingram: The development of the Afghan National Army (ANA) is led by the United States. The UK Ministry of Defence has not contributed funds but has provided resources and assisted ANA capacity building within means and capabilities in theatre.
The development of the Afghan national police (ANP) is led by Germany. The UK Ministry of Defence has not contributed funds to ANP training, although we do provide assistance through our provincial reconstruction team in Mazar-e-Sharif, and would look to do the same in any future deployment to southern Afghanistan.
Some financial support to both the ANA (paying for students attending Sandhurst) and the ANP (work in Mazar-e-Sharif) has been funded by the global conflict prevention pool, which is co-owned with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Department for International Development.
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