Previous Section Index Home Page

16 Jan 2006 : Column 990W—continued

Pathways to Work

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what Pathways to Work pilots are being carried out in Northern Ireland. [39224]

16 Jan 2006 : Column 991W

Angela E. Smith: Three Pathways to Work pilot programmes are currently under way in Northern Ireland in Ballymoney, Lurgan and Magherafelt. An announcement on future expansion of Pathways to Work will be made alongside publication of details of the Skills and Science fund shortly.

Police Training Centre

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when work is expected to commence on-site for the new police training centre for Northern Ireland; and when building work is likely to be completed. [28407]

Mr. Woodward: Subject to final decisions on the most appropriate funding arrangement the police hope to commence construction of the new Police College in the summer of 2007. We anticipate building will take some 2–3 years.

Premature Deaths

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent estimate he has made of the number of premature deaths in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Upper Bann caused by smoking. [36379]

Angela E. Smith: The number of premature deaths caused by smoking is not available in (a) Northern Ireland and (b) Upper Bann. as smoking history is rarely recorded on death certificates.

However, Northern Ireland level estimates can be made of the total number of deaths attributed to smoking by using information on the contribution that smoking makes to specific conditions recorded at death. The Health Development Agency 1 published the most recent estimates for Northern Ireland in 2004. This report estimated that in Northern Ireland each year over the period 1998 to 2002, 2,300 deaths can be attributed to smoking.
16 Jan 2006 : Column 992W

Pre-School Provision Report

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the review of effective pre-school provision in Northern Ireland commissioned by the Department of Education concluded with respect to different pre-school settings and their respective impacts on children's development. [40764]

Angela E. Smith: The effective pre-school provision in Northern Ireland (EPPNI) project found that attending a pre-school setting, compared to none, enhances all-round development for all children, and that children benefit more from nursery school, nursery class or playgroup provision than from other types of pre-school provision.

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Department of Education will publish the findings of the effective pre-school provision in Northern Ireland study. [40765]

Angela E. Smith: The report of the effective pre-school provision in Northern Ireland (EPPNI) project is expected to be published by the end of February 2006.

School Transport Costs

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pupils receive home-to-school transport in each of the board areas to (a) controlled schools, (b) maintained schools, (c) grant-maintained schools, (d) Irish-medium schools, (e) special schools, (f) voluntary grammar schools and (g) further education colleges; and what the cost per pupil is in each category. [40853]

Angela E. Smith: The education and library boards provided home to school and college transport to pupils broken down as follows:
Schools 2004–05PupilsUnit cost (£)PupilsUnit cost (£)PupilsUnit cost (£)PupilsUnit cost (£)PupilsUnit cost (£)
Controlled and Maintained1,13567919,41263316,23650024,75954022,775491
FE Colleges 2003–04(12)3952683,9992231,3674852,3314431,515456

(12)While details on schools are in respect of the 2004–05 financial year the latest available data with regard to FE colleges relates to the 2003–04 financial year.
Current statistics do not differentiate between pupils attending controlled, maintained and voluntary grammar schools. Also it is assumed the request in respect of grant-maintained schools is a reference with regard to integrated schools.

Sports Stadium

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the merits of locating the new sports stadium for Northern Ireland at Ormeau Park in Belfast. [42725]

Mr. Hanson: Between May and September 2004, the Strategic Investment Board, on behalf of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure undertook a technical site evaluation exercise to help identify a suitable location for a multi-sports stadium for Northern Ireland. Ormeau Park in Belfast was assessed as part of this evaluation but was rejected due to planning and access problems with the site.

Temporary Housing

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action has been taken by the Department of Social Development where the Northern Ireland Housing Executive has been found to be
16 Jan 2006 : Column 993W
providing unsuitable or unsafe temporary dwelling for tenants whose permanent dwellings are undergoing improvement works. [42277]

Mr. Hanson: This is an operational matter falling within the day to day responsibility of the Northern Ireland Housing Executive. However, if such an occurrence were to be drawn to the Department's attention, the Housing Executive would be asked to take remedial action as quickly as possible. I understand that a problem has been identified in the Coleraine area where residents have complained about the condition of mobile homes which are being used for decanting purposes. I am advised that with the exception of one of these mobile homes where dampness was discovered they are fit for habitation. They are, however, hard to heat in the winter and I have asked the Housing Executive, therefore, to address this issue.

Water Charges/Service

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost will be of financing the implementation of the charging and billing system for new separate water charges; and who will be responsible for those costs. [40782]

Mr. Woodward: The total cost of financing the implementation of the charging and billing system is estimated at £15.9 million, with the cost being borne by the Department for Regional Development. The new systems, which form part of the reform programme to
16 Jan 2006 : Column 994W
improve the efficiency and quality of water and sewerage services, will provide a customer contact centre and collect water and sewerage charges from domestic and non-domestic customers. When the new charges are fully phased in this will allow up to £300 million per year to be allocated to other public services in Northern Ireland.

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was paid in (a) wages and (b) overtime in each of the Water Service telemetry centres in each of the last three years. [40641]

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, dated 13 January 2006:


Telemetry centreWagesOvertimeOther pay costs(13)WagesOvertimeOther pay costs(13)Total
pay cost
Marlborough House (Craigavon)
Altnagelvin (Londonderry)72,30028,70051,40055,30036,40047,500139,700
Academy House (Ballymena)71,40039,70053,60073,50043,40057,300132,200
Westland House (Belfast)54,60056,30051,500(14)56,000(14)57,700(14)52,800179,100

(13)Other pay costs include—Allowances, Employers National Insurance and Superannuation costs.
(14)The Westland House costs for 2003–04 are estimated—actual costs are not readily available.

16 Jan 2006 : Column 995W

Next Section Index Home Page