Previous Section Index Home Page

16 Feb 2006 : Column 2378W—continued

LEADER OF THE HOUSE

Parliamentary Questions

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Leader of the House (1)how many ordinary written parliamentary questions tabled for answer by him in the last 12 months were answered (a) within 14 days, (b) after 14 to 28 days, (c) after 28 days to two months and (d) in excess of two months after the date of tabling; and if he will make a statement; [52136]

(2) how many parliamentary questions tabled in the last 12 months for answer by him on a named day (a) were transferred and (b) received a substantive answer (i) on the day named and (ii) after the day named. [52137]

Mr. Hoon: The information is as follows:

Procedure

Departments should ensure that Members receive a substantive response to their named day question on the date specified, and should endeavour to answer ordinary written questions within a working week of being tabled.

Transferring Questions

I expect Departments to act promptly in transferring questions. It is a discourtesy to the House and to hon. Members if they are not notified of the transfer within two sitting days of it appearing in the Notice Paper. However, an oral question should be transferred within 24 hours of it appearing in the Notice Paper and not on the day for answer.
 
16 Feb 2006 : Column 2379W
 

Performance

From 1 January 2005 to 31 January 2006, the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons has answered 88 ordinary written parliamentary questions (100 per cent.) within 14 days of being tabled.

Over the past 12 months, no named day parliamentary questions have been transferred, and 37 (100 per cent.) received a substantive answer on the day named 1 .

MINISTER FOR WOMEN

Equal Pay

22. John Robertson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with employers and trade unions on promoting equal pay for work of equal value. [52018]

Meg Munn: Recently I met Baroness Prosser, Chair, Women and Work Commission and have met Commissioners including employers and trades unionists. Their report, due shortly, will provide a blueprint to close the gender pay gap. I look forward to discussing this with all the key stakeholders.

Women Entrepreneurs

23. Ian Lucas: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government are taking to assist women entrepreneurs. [52019]

Meg Munn: The Government have been working with providers of business support to ensure that women can access the women-friendly advice they need. Our key partners are the regional development agencies who are fully committed to incorporating women-friendly business support into mainstream provision. The Task Force on Women's Enterprise will be operational by spring 2006 and will work to increase the number of women entrepreneurs.

26. Ben Chapman: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent assessment she has made of support services for women in enterprise in Merseyside. [52022]

Meg Munn: The Government have been working with partners within the business support arena to improve understanding of the support requirements of women entrepreneurs. In Merseyside our key partner the North West Development Agency has developed a clear plan to address the needs of women entrepreneurs.

Employment Equality (Age) Regulations

24. Dr. Kumar: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government have taken to publicise the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006. [52020]

Meg Munn: The Government's Age Partnership Group's 'Be Ready' campaign, publicises the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations. It targets employers, providing information on the draft regulations and age diversity.
 
16 Feb 2006 : Column 2380W
 

Government also fund a capacity building programme whose aims include raising individuals' and employees' awareness of the forthcoming regulations.

Domestic Violence

25. Lynda Waltho: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government are taking to give young people the relationship skills needed to prevent domestic violence. [52021]

Meg Munn: Qualifications and Curriculum Authority has recently developed guidance for teachers which includes units of work covering relationships and healthy friendships. This provides the scope for schools to explore domestic violence and is supported by the Department's publication Does Sex Make A Difference" which includes domestic violence lesson plans.

NORTHERN IRELAND

A6 (Derry to Dungiven)

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to upgrade the A6 Derry to Dungiven road. [52146]

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 16 February 2006:

Civil Service Pay

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the average percentage increase in salary for Northern Ireland civil servants in 2006. [52516]

Angela E. Smith: No estimate has been made of the average percentage increase in salary for Northern Ireland civil servants in 2006. The 2006 settlement date is 1 August and consideration of the 2006 pay award is at a very early stage.
 
16 Feb 2006 : Column 2381W
 

Decommissioning

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions have taken place with (a) Loyalist paramilitaries and (b) Unionist political parties on the decommissioning of weapons; and if he will make a statement. [50498]

Mr. Woodward: Ministers and officials meet representatives of the Progressive Unionist Party and the Ulster Political Research Group on a regular basis. Among the matters discussed is how they can help the organisations they are associated with to make the transition from conflict to peace. This includes the need for full and verifiable decommissioning.

The IICD reports that the UDA and the LVF are in contact with it. The UVF has, however, yet to re-engage.

Departmental Assets

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the items of departmental property worth over £100 that have been reported as (a) lost and (b) broken in the last 12 months. [47678]

Mr. Hain: There have been no items of departmental property worth over £100 reported as (a) lost or (b) broken in the Northern Ireland Office during the last 12 months.

Departmental Staff

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in his Department are paid on a performance-related basis. [50489]

Mr. Woodward: All staff in the Northern Ireland Office are paid on a performance-related basis.

Pay and performance management for the senior civil service is based on a framework set by the Cabinet Office. This includes a mixture of consolidated base pay awards and non-consolidated bonuses both of which are linked to individual performance and delivery.

The NIO has delegation for pay and performance management for staff below the senior civil service. All staff with satisfactory performance receive a consolidated increase and exceptional performance is rewarded through the use of non-consolidated bonuses.


Next Section Index Home Page