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Veterinary Medicines

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to monitor the impact of the recent changes in the prescription of veterinary medicines and accompanying services. [40649]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The regulatory impact assessment accompanying the Supply of Relevant Veterinary Medicinal Products Order 2005 sets out that the Office of Fair Trading is responsible for reviewing and monitoring compliance with competition legislation. To achieve this they may request information from a wide range of parties. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons is responsible for the changes implemented through the Guide to Professional Conduct.

The legislation covering the placing on the market and safe use of veterinary medicines in the UK is set out in the Veterinary Medicines Regulations 2005 (SI 2005/2745) and is the responsibility of the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, an agency of the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). These regulations will be revoked and replaced annually to ensure that they remain relevant. A regulatory impact assessment will be produced and published to accompany the Regulations and full public consultation will be carried out.

More generally, DEFRA continually assesses the impact of all factors affecting the veterinary sector, including the effect of new legislation.

Wind Power

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment his Department has made
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of the availability of equipment for wind power projects in relation to the Government's targets for renewable energy. [40777]

Malcolm Wicks: The availability of equipment for wind power projects is primarily a matter for wind power developers. However, the Department recognises that the current growth in the worldwide demand for wind turbines is having an impact on UK offshore wind farm developers in particular.

The Department's 2010 target team is working with developers and suppliers in order to minimise the impact on industry's ability to meet the Government's 2010 renewables target.

Working Time Directive

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement on current negotiations on the working time directive under the Austrian presidency of the EU. [40956]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Austria has not yet publicly announced formal plans for handling negotiations on the working time directive, however, we would expect the Austrians to aim for political agreement during the next Employment Council in March 2006.

Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which other EU member states support the UK's position on maintaining its opt-out from the 48-hour week in the working time directive. [40957]

Mr. Sutcliffe: A significant number of member states support the retention of the individual right to opt-out from the 48-hour week in the working time directive, including Germany and Poland.


Hospitality Costs

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent on hospitality by (a) the Secretary of State and Direct Rule Ministers, (b) Ministers in the Northern Ireland Assembly, (c) the Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, (d) the Chief Constable and (e) district commanders in each of the last 10 years; and how much of that was spent on alcohol in each case. [38595]

Mr. Woodward: The Northern Ireland Office, Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister and the Police Service of Northern Ireland cannot provide the information requested by the hon. Gentleman. To do so would incur disproportionate costs as we cannot easily identify expenditure on hospitality or alcohol for the individuals the hon. Gentleman refers to.

House Prices

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on house prices in Northern Ireland. [2190]

Mr. Hanson: The peace process and the improved economic benefits associated with this have had a major impact on house prices which were, in the past, reasonably stagnant in comparison to the buoyant GB
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housing market. Many home owners are therefore benefiting from this. Rising house prices can create difficulties for first-time buyers and while Northern Ireland does not have a general affordability problem there are hot spot areas where affordability problems may occur. Recent Government initiatives such as the increase in the threshold at which stamp duty is paid from £60,000 to £120,000 coupled with the recent increase in the level of funding available to the Co-ownership scheme and the changes to the eligibility rules, will play an increasing role in helping those on lower incomes to become home owners.

Limavady Bypass

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what changes have been made to the Limavady bypass since its opening. [38954]

Mr. Woodward: The chief executive of Roads Service (Dr. Malcolm McKibbin) has been asked to write to the hon. Gentleman in response to this question.

Letter from Dr. Malcolm McKibbin, dated 12 January 2006:


Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans there are to establish a strategic approach to the development and support of curriculum physical education. [40770]

Angela E. Smith: The Government recognise the importance of physical activity for the long-term health and well-being of the community. Physical education will continue to be a compulsory part of the revised Northern Ireland school curriculum, which the Government plan to introduce from September 2006. The wider aspects of physical activity will be addressed in light of the report of the fit futures taskforce and the review of the physical activity strategy.

Pre-School Provision Report

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Department of Education in Northern Ireland will publish its response to the pre-school review. [40771]

Angela E. Smith: It is anticipated that the response to the review of pre-school education will be published following the announcement of the children and young people fund, which is due shortly.
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Primary School (New Construction)

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average cost of constructing a new one-form-of-entry 4 to 11 primary school has been in the last three years. [19526]

Angela E. Smith: In the last three financial years there have been five new seven-classroom primary schools, including two with nursery units, completed in Northern Ireland. The average construction cost was £1.8 million.

Review of Public Administration

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the legislative framework is for the implementation of the Review of Public Administration. [40780]

Angela E. Smith: The Government will be introducing a number of pieces of legislation over the next few years to provide for the implementation of decisions on the Review of Public Administration. Subordinate legislation will be brought forward before Easter to dissolve 18 health and social services trusts and establish five new trusts. It is intended to lay a draft Order in Council before Parliament in the current term to set the context for the review of local government boundaries. Separate Orders in Council will also be brought forward in due course for the further reorganisation of health and personal social services, education and local government structures; to provide for certain of the new or enhanced responsibilities of the new district councils; and, where appropriate, to implement any further decisions on executive agencies and public bodies.

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