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Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assistance has been provided by his Department to each district and borough council in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years to fund the removal of chewing gum from public areas. 
Angela E. Smith: The removal of chewing gum from public areas is a matter for district and borough councils themselves and the Department of the Environment does not provide funding for this service. From 1 November 2005 councils are permitted to retain receipts from fixed penalty notices issued for littering and dog fouling and may use the sums received for the purposes of its functions under Articles 5 and 6 of the Litter (NI) Order 1994.
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many Department of Agriculture and Rural Development staff are engaged in a monitoring role for each leader company in Northern Ireland; and at what cost in the last period for which figures are available. 
Angela E. Smith: The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Rural Development Division (RDD) has 2 Monitoring Officers, which equates to 1.8full time equivalent posts. In 2005 the 12 Local Action Groups (LAGs), which deliver LEADER+ funding, received one monitoring visit each. This visit was comprised of the following:
Angela E. Smith: Under the Welfare of Animals (Northern Ireland) Act 1972, it is an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal by causing, procuring or assisting at the fighting or baiting of an animal or to take part in such an episode. It is also an offence to keep, use, manage, permit or assist in the keeping use or management of any premises for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal contrary to the above.
The PSNI enforce the Welfare of Animal Act (NI) 1972, where breaches are reported or detected. The PSNI will deal with any report of such activity and act accordingly. Recent media reports have highlighted the problem, but the level of such activity remains relatively low. This does not excuse or condone such cruel behaviour, and the service treats all such reports with the utmost seriousness.
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Other agencies such as local councils and the USPCA also play a role in dog welfare issues. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland in recent weeks has assisted these agencies in raids on premises where it is suspected that dogs were being trained for fighting and baiting. On the basis of evidence gathered consideration is being given to prosecutions for breaches of the legislation.
As part of the current review of Northern Ireland Welfare of Animals legislation the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is considering what
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measures may be necessary to strengthen powers to deal with abuses of animal welfare, including, in respect of organised dog-fighting.
Mr. Hanson: The following table provides prosecutions for drug-related offences, broken down by category, in Northern Ireland for the calendar years 1997 to 2003. Figures for 2004 are not yet available.
|Possession with intent to supply unlawfully||216||183||156||181||153||110||113|
|Permitting premises to be used for unlawful purposes||14||6||2||1||1||4||0|
|Unlawful import or export||8||5||3||3||0||0||0|
|Other misuse of Drugs Act offences||1||4||13||9||9||4||11|
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many and what percentage of 16 to 25-year-olds in each ward in Northern Ireland are in further education, listed in descending order and indicating in which constituency each ward lies; 
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of pupils in Northern Ireland's schools in receipt of free school meals achieved five or more GCSE grades A*-C in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005. 
Angela E. Smith: Information is not available in the format requested. However, of pupils leaving school in 200304, 33 per cent. of those entitled to free school meals achieved five or more GCSE grades A*-C. Figures for 200405 will be available by July 2006.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many adult workers in each constituency in Northern Ireland are employed in the Republic of Ireland, listed in descending order. 
Angela E. Smith: Estimates of the number of Northern Ireland residents working in the Republic of Ireland are not available. However for information, the Autumn (September-November) 2005 Labour Force Survey estimated that 11,000 Northern Ireland residents were currently employed outside of the UK.
Angela E. Smith: Good progress toward the provision of new visitor facilities continues to be made. The design of the new facilities has recently been selected following a successful international architectural competition; and a firm of designers have also now been appointed to design the interpretation and fit out of the new facilities. Work is currently under way to appoint the remainder of the project team to work with the winning architects to develop the detailed design and submit a planning application.
Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many responses were received from each district council area to the consultation paper on nuisance high hedges released on 10 August 2005; and when the Environment Minister is expected to report on the result of the consultation. 
Angela E. Smith: A report on the outcome of the Department of the Environment's recent public consultation to collect information about the number of nuisance high hedges in Northern Ireland will be published by April 2006.
|Council area||Consultation responses|
|Dungannon and South Tyrone||12|
|Newry and Mourne||33|
|Total responses by district council area|
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