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6 Dec 2005 : Column 1263W—continued

Motoring Offences

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) males and (b) females were convicted of motoring offences in each district command unit in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years for which figures are available, broken down by offence. [31979]

Mr. Hanson: The information requested has been placed in the Library.

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what provision exists in Northern Ireland for the prosecution of drivers from the Irish Republic who have been identified as (a) driving (i) illegally and (ii) without tax and insurance and (b) parking illegally. [32253]

Mr. Woodward: Drivers of vehicles in Northern Ireland, where the driver is not resident in Northern Ireland, or where the vehicle is not registered in the United Kingdom, are subject to the provisions of the Road Traffic (Northern Ireland) Order 1981.

A community licence holder (i.e. a person who holds a licence issued by any of the member states of the European economic area—EEA) may drive a vehicle which that licence authorises him to drive, provided he is not disqualified from holding or obtaining a licence in Northern Ireland (e.g. he may be subject to a disqualification imposed by a NI court). However, that person is not so authorised where the licence is not valid in the state which issued it (e.g. the RoI authorities may have imposed a disqualification—this would prevent that person from applying for an NI licence or from driving on the basis of the disqualified RoI licence). Article 15A of the Order refers.

A person from outside the United Kingdom driving in Northern Ireland must be insured or secured against third party risks as prescribed by article 90 of the Order, and to the standard prescribed by article 92 of the 1981 Order. Under article 181 of the Order, police have the power to arrest without warrant and detain a person resident outside the UK for committing an offence under article 90 until he enters into a recognisance under the Magistrates Courts (Northern Ireland) Order 1981 to appear before a magistrates court to answer a complaint charging that offence.

Failure to comply with any of the requirements specified aforementioned is an offence. These offences, and the punishments associated with them, are specified in schedule 1 to the Road Traffic Offenders (Northern Ireland) Order 1996.

Vehicles that are parked illegally are issued with a non-endorsable fixed penalty notice (FPN) irrespective of the country of origin. However, it is not possible to summons to court the owners of vehicles resident in the Republic of Ireland for the non-payment of FPNs.


Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many neurologists were employed by the NHS in Northern Ireland on the last date for which figures are available. [34777]

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Mr. Woodward: The information requested is provided in the following table.
Number of neurologists employed within the NI HPSS by trust as at November 2005

Altnagelvin Group HSS Trust11.00
Craigavon Area Hospital Group HSS Trust11.00
Royal Group of Hospitals Group HSS Trust1312.91

(34) WTE = Whole-time Equivalent.
NI HPSS Trusts.

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his most recent assessment is of how many neurologists are required by the NHS in Northern Ireland. [34778]

Mr. Woodward: Current numbers of consultant neurologists are in line with the recommendations of the Review of Adult Neurological Services published in 2002. This recommended that there should be 10 consultant neurologists in post by 2003 and 16 by 2008. However, the position is reviewed annually and it is recognised that further increases may be required to take account of ongoing service developments.

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to increase the number of neurologists employed by the NHS in Northern Ireland. [34779]

Mr. Woodward: The recruitment of staff is a matter for individual health and social services trusts taking into account factors such as service needs and available resources. The Department has a role in ensuring that sufficient suitably qualified staff are available to meet the needs of the service. There are currently five specialist registrars in training who are expected to be available to fill consultant posts over the next six years.


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to tackle obesity in (a) adults and (b) children in Northern Ireland. [34554]

Mr. Woodward: Obesity is being tackled principally through policies and programmes to increase levels of physical activity, particularly among those who are least active, and by encouraging healthy eating. An advertising campaign, Get a Life Get Active, to encourage people to undertake regular physical activity, and a community grants programme have been introduced as part of Northern Ireland's cross-departmental physical activity strategy, Be Active-Be Healthy. In addition, the Health Promotion Agency, Food Standards Agency and local health and social services boards, with the support of partner organizations, have developed a range of programmes to encourage active living, promote healthy eating and to support people to make healthy choices.

The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety also supported the development of guidelines by the clinical resource efficiency support team (CREST) on the management of obesity in secondary care. The
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CREST guidelines, which were published in June 2005, include advice on the assessment and management of obesity in both children and adults.

The Northern Ireland Priorities and Budget 2005–08 report established a cross- departmental public service agreement target to stop the increase in levels of obesity in children by 2010. In August 2004, a taskforce initiative was established under the aegis of the ministerial group on public health to examine options for tackling childhood obesity and to make recommendations on how the stop the rise in levels of obesity in children. The recommendations of the fit futures taskforce will be published early in 2006 and will inform revised strategies and action plans on food and nutrition and physical activity.

Paramilitary-related Exiles

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people are estimated by the security forces to have been exiled from Northern Ireland by paramilitary organisations in each of the last 10 years. [32138]

Mr. Woodward: I have been advised by the PSNI that no reliable record has been made on the number of people exiled from Northern Ireland as a result of paramilitary intimidation, as not all incidents have been reported.

However, in evidence to the NI Affairs Committee, a Christian organisation, 'The Maranatha Community' claims to have dealt with c. 4,500 persons between 1980 and 2005. Since July 2003 they have dealt with 77 cased which as been in the region of over 144 to 145 persons. Website address:

You may also find the following contacts a useful source of information:



Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many of those eligible for parole (a) were granted parole and (b) broke the conditions of parole in Northern Ireland in each year since 1998. [31996]

Mr. Woodward: The term 'parole' in Northern Ireland is taken to refer to home and resettlement leave.
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2,931 periods of home and resettlement leave were granted from prison establishments throughout the 2004–05 financial year. Of that number, four failed to return and all currently remain at large.

It is not possible to provide information on the number of prisoners who broke the conditions of home and resettlement leave, other than those unlawfully at large, as this data are kept on individual prisoner files and is not centrally collated. This is also applicable for preceding years. Numbers granted parole in previous years were similarly not centrally collated.

Securing the information requested for the preceding years could be achieved only at a disproportionate cost.

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