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28 Nov 2005 : Column 240W—continued

Water Supplies

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average levels of reservoir water supplies in Northern Ireland during October were in each of the last five years. [32219]

Mr. Woodward: The Chief Executive of Water Service (Mrs. Katharine Bryan) has been asked to write to the hon. Gentleman in response to this question.

Letter from Mrs. Katharine Bryan to Mr. Gregory Campbell, dated 28 November 2005:


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Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on unauthorised Traveller encampments in Northern Ireland. [31984]

Mr. Hanson: I am aware of the impact of unauthorised encampments on settled communities, and I appreciate the desire for measures to deal with the affects of such unauthorised encampments. It was for
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this reason the Unauthorised Encampments (Northern Ireland) Order 2005, was introduced and it includes provisions aimed at combating unauthorised encampments. However, the operation of the order cannot be fully effective if sufficient sites for Travellers are not available. Accordingly, I have decided to defer bringing the substantive provisions of the order into effect until I am satisfied that an adequate number of transit sites is operational in Northern Ireland.

I am pressing the Housing Executive to ensure the necessary sites are available as soon as possible. Ianticipate that five sites will be operational by next summer by which time I will review the situation with a view to enabling the necessary provisions. I believe this represents a fair and balanced approach.
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0870 Numbers

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will list the occasions in the last five years on which 0870 telephone numbers have been used by her Department as contact numbers for members of the public; and how much revenue was received from the use of 0870 contact numbers in each of the last five years for which records are available. [24465]

Jane Kennedy: The Department is aware that a publications order line intended for national health service and social care professionals is sometimes used by members of the public.

Otherwise, the Department has not used any 0870 telephone numbers as contact numbers for members of the public during this period.

999 Calls (Response)

Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Healthhow many 999 calls were first responded to by (a) St. John's ambulances and (b) other non-NHS organisation ambulances in (i) England and (ii) each ambulance trust in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. [27048]

Mr. Byrne: Information on St. John's ambulances and other non-national health service ambulance organisations is not collected centrally.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the submissions to the Lane Committee on Abortion are in the public domain; and if she will make a statement. [30409]

Caroline Flint: The report of the committee on the working of the Abortion Act, chaired by the hon. Mrs.Justice Lane DBE, was published in 1974. A list of those who submitted evidence was published at the time but the report states that

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the files held by her Department relating to the (a) Abortion (Amendment) Bill of the 1974–75 Session and (b) Abortion (Amendment) Bill of the 1976–77 Session are in the public domain; and if she will make a statement. [30410]

Caroline Flint: The files relating to these Bills are not in the public domain.
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Adolescent Mental Health

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many adolescent mental health beds there are in (a) Kent and (b) each county in England; and if she will make a statement. [29287]

Mr. Byrne: Information is not available in the form requested.

The 2004 child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) mapping exercise collected information on the number of beds commissioned for tier 4 in-patient care. It found that 665 beds had been commissioned in England and of these seven had been commissioned by the CAMHS partnerships in the Kent and Medway strategic health authority area. Further details of the mapping data can be found at

Because the data were collated with reference to the commissioning body, the beds will not necessarily be in the same area.

Alzheimer's Disease

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health(1) if she will take steps to ensure that people with Alzheimer's disease have access to (a) clinically effective and (b) cost effective drug treatment on the NHS; [26396]

(2) what discussions she has had with professional bodies about the impact of withdrawing drug treatments for people with Alzheimer's disease from NHS prescription. [26394]

Jane Kennedy [holding answer 8 November 2005]: This is a matter for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

NICE has not issued final revised guidance on drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Until it does so, the guidance it issued in 2001 remains in force and those benefiting from the drugs in question will continue to do so. NICE is currently reviewing its guidance.

Avian Influenza

Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate she has made of the number of potential fatalities from avian influenza before the population has been fully vaccinated. [21597]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Avian influenza is a disease which mainly affects birds, with infrequent cases in those people who are closely exposed to infected poultry. As of 9 November 2005 only 125 people have been infected by avian flu, all of them in Asia where people live very closely with poultry. Of those, 64 have died. There have been no confirmed cases of human to human transmission.

Our present strategy is risk based and there is no evidence that there is at present an elevation of risk to United Kingdom (UK) poultry workers. Because there is a very low risk to humans in the UK. We are not planning to vaccinate the population against the current circulating strain of avian influenza.
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Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research the Department is funding to assess the pathogenicity of the H5NI virus; and if she will make a statement. [19232]

Mr. Bradshaw: I have been asked to reply.

Defra currently fund a wide ranging programme of research that is aimed toward improving our understanding of Avian influenza (AI) and effective methods of its prevention and control.

An important aspect of this is to understand the pathogenesis of the disease.

Within the research programme, projects are currently underway to examine the pathogenesis and transmission characteristics of the virus within poultry. Other projects are addressing the issue at a more fundamental level, to examine the genetic characteristics of the virus that associate with pathogenicity and cross species transmission.

The Department currently spend £463,000 per annum on Avian influenza research.

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