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Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether a Minister in his Department is planned to be nominated to take responsibility for liaison with the Office for Disability Issues; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain: My hon. Friend, the Minister for Disabled People (Mrs McGuire), has overall responsibility for the Office for Disability Issues (ODI). She chairs a cross-government steering group which includes ministerial representatives from the Department of Health, Department for Education and Skills, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, Department for Transport, and Department of Trade and Industry. My Hon Friend, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Nick Ainger) will take responsibility for Wales Office liaison with the ODI.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the initial activity undertaken by his Department in response to those recommendations in the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit Report, Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People, where lead responsibility was assigned to all Government Departments. 
Mr. Hain: The Strategy Unit's report Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People" focuses on four key aspects of disabled people's life chances and includes a number of recommendations for all Government Departments. Many of the recommendations relate to services which are the responsibility of the National Assembly in Wales. In exercising its functions, the Assembly is under a statutory duty to have due regard to the principle of equality of opportunity for all people.
While my Department is not directly responsible for the delivery of services, we have recently undertaken a number of measures to improve accessibility for disabled employees and visitors.
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Mr. Hain: Arriva Trains Wales manage 235 stations and I understand that the majority are accessible for customers with disabilities, including wheelchairs. All Arriva trains are fitted with a ramp, and train crew receive training in how to respond to the needs of customers with disabilities. The company also operates a helpline which provides support and assistance to customers with disabilities.
At Port Talbot Parkway station, I understand that the eastbound platform is fully accessible to disabled travellers. Wheelchair users arriving at or departing from the westbound platform require staff assistance in opening a level crossing gate. Arriva advise customers to contact the helpline at least one day before travelling so that they can ensure every assistance can be given. However, the train company will aim to assist customers even where no notice is given.
Arriva are aware that the arrangements at Port Talbot Parkway are not wholly convenient for some passengers. They are currently undertaking an audit of disability access to all stations and, following this, they intend to consult disability groups on priorities for action.
Mr. Hanson: Under the Recreation and Youth Services Order (Northern Ireland) 1986 the Sports Council for Northern Ireland (SCNI) is statutorily responsible for the development of Sport in Northern Ireland including the distribution of public funding to sport. At present two individuals in Northern Ireland are in receipt of funding from the SCNI directly in respect of preparation for the next Olympic games.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 23 November 2005, Official Report, column 1974W, on
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the anti-poverty strategy, on what date the Anti-Poverty Strategy for Northern Ireland will be published. 
Angela E. Smith: In Priorities and Budget 200608, published in December 2005, Government identify the resources they are allocating with the aim of reducing poverty and tackling social need in Northern Ireland. This includes increased spending in health and education budgets along with a significant allocation to two new ring-fenced funds" which focus respectively on giving children and young people the best possible start in life and investing in skills and reducing economic inactivity.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average sickness absence rate was among civil servants for each Government Department in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years; and what percentage of the sick leave was for periods of five working days or less. 
Angela E. Smith: Sick absence statistics for the Northern Ireland Departments are analysed by financial year as opposed to calendar year. The information sought is readily available for the 11 Departments of the NI Administration and their agencies for the period 19992000 to 200405. Published statistics for Northern Ireland Departments for the financial years 200001 to 200405 are accessible on the Department's website at www.dfpni.gov.uk/publications.
Angela E. Smith: Information on the number of farmers in Northern Ireland is collected as part of the June Agricultural and Horticultural Census. For the purposes of the census, farmers are considered to be those individuals who are legally and financially responsible for the farm or who are responsible for the day-to-day management of the farm business. Business partners of the above are also considered farmers.
|Farmers||Change from previous year|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many farmers in Northern Ireland have been convicted of offences under cattle identification legislation in each of the last five years, broken down by constituency. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many farmers in Northern Ireland have received cattle bonus payments introduced under the Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances scheme, broken down by constituency. 
Angela E. Smith: The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development does not hold subsidy details on a constituency basis. The number of farmers in Northern Ireland who have received a cattle bonus payment under the Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances (LFACA) scheme is as follows:
|Number of farmers|
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