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21 Mar 2006 : Column 326W—continued

Whitley Structure

Mr. Gerrard: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which parts of his Department are not covered by a Whitley structure for collective bargaining purposes. [59266]

Mr. McNulty: Within the main Home Office including the immigration and nationality directorate collective bargaining with three out of four recognised unions is covered by a Whitley structure. The FDA, Prospect and the Public and Commercial Services Union are represented on the Departmental Whitley Council. The Immigration Service Union, the fourth recognised union is not represented on the Departmental Whitley Council. Separate collective bargaining and consultative procedures exist.

In the Prison Service separate collective bargaining and consultative arrangements are in place in respect of the Prison Governors Association. As far as collective bargaining on pay is concerned, for the majority of members of the Prison Officers Association and the Prison Governors Association pay is not determined through collective bargaining, but through recommendations of the Pay Review Body to which all parties are able to provide both written and oral evidence.

A number of Home Office sponsored non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) such as Centrex, the body responsible for police training, the Police and Information Technology Organisation and the Youth Justice Board have retained Whitley structures. Other NDPBs have put in place separate collective bargaining and consultative arrangements. For example the collective bargaining framework of the Commission for Racial Equality is set out in their Joint Negotiating Committee Constitution. Bodies such as the Criminal Cases Review Commission and the Independent Police Complaints Commission formally recognise the Public and Commercial Services Union for collective bargaining purposes.

The Community Development Foundation (CDF) has a procedural agreement with Amicus who have sole collective bargaining rights for CDF staff. The Security Industry Authority does not recognise any union for the purpose of collective bargaining. The SIA has established a staff forum where staff are consulted about a range of staff related issues.

World Heritage Sites

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which minister in his Department has responsibility for issues relating to world heritage sites. [59101]

Andy Burnham: Lead responsibility for policy on World Heritage Sites rests with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport works closely with relevant Government Departments on all issues affecting World Heritage Sites.

Within the Home Office I have responsibility for issues concerning World Heritage sites which fall within this Departments policy remit.
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Youth Justice

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the merits of different approaches to youth justice applied by different local authorities; what mechanisms (a) are used and (b) are being developed (i) to spread best practice in youth justice and (ii) secure (A) optimal outcomes and (B) economic efficiency; what account is taken of economics in determining the impact on recidivism; and if he will make a statement. [58651]

Fiona Mactaggart: The Youth Justice Board developed National Standards for Youth Justice (2004) for both community and secure settings. It has also developed a full set of Key Elements of Effective Practice (KEEPs) which articulate, on the basis of research, key features of effective practice against which YOTs and Local Authority Secure Children's Homes (LASCHs) are required to assess performance, which is then subject to validation by the YJB. The YJB has recently developed a directory of emerging practice which encourages YOTs and secure establishments to submit examples of promising practice with a view to being placed on the YJB website for wider dissemination.

The YJB plans to revise National Standards for Youth Justice, KEEPs and practice guidance in line with recent research and an approach to the supervision of young people which provides the most intensive interventions to those most at risk of offending. The YJB is planning research on the relative value for money of the different elements of the secure estate made up of Young Offender Institutions (YOls), LASCHs and Secure Training Centres (STCs). The first step of this will be an initial feasibility study with the full study commencing during the latter part of 2006. The YJB, in negotiating contracts with secure providers, regularly requests that efficiency savings be made on bed prices and also seeks to control price increases.

The Government's approach to reducing re-offending is set out in the 'Five Year Strategy for Protecting the Public and Reduce Re-offending' which was published in February 2006 (CM6717). Copies are available in the House Library.



Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate his Department has made of the number of small arms in circulation in Angola; and what assessment he has made of their impact on (a) socio-political recovery in the country, (b) planning for elections, (c) economic recovery and (d) security of the population; and if he will make a statement. [59594]

Ian Pearson: The civil war in Angola ended in 2002. Despite the presence of many small arms among the population, there has not been a renewal of hostilities. Nevertheless, we judge that these small arms remain a risk to Angola's political and economic recovery and could jeopardise Angola's election timetable. We are therefore working with the Angolan national police and
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have funded the Halo Trust to carry out a pilot project on how civil disarmament should be approached in Angola.

Argentine-Falkland Islands Relations

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Argentine-Falkland Islands relations. [59885]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 9 February 2006, Official Report, column 1450W.

Ascension Island

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the contingent liabilities are in respect of Ascension Island; and who bears these risks. [58743]

Mr. Douglas Alexander [holding answer 15 March 2006]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my noble Friend the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, in another place on 6 March 2006, Official Report, House of Lords, columns 527–29.

My noble Friend Lord Triesman wrote to Ascension Island Councillors on 19 January explaining that there would be no further development of right of abode and the right to purchase property on Ascension Island. His letter set out the need to balance the aspirations of those living and working on Ascension Island against the risks to the UK in terms of contingent liabilities and security and developmental costs.

Contingent liabilities in respect of Ascension Island cover the potential costs to the Government in the absence of employer organisation, including with regard to housing, utilities, infrastructure, social, education and medical services.


John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he had with the President of Brazil during his recent visit regarding (a) gun control, (b) gun-related violence in Brazil, (c) the arms trade and (d) the potential for the UN Arms Trade Treaty. [58828]

Mr. Douglas Alexander: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary did not discuss these issues with the President of Brazil during his recent visit to the UK. However, during the visit my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister and President Lula did agree a Joint Statement in which they reasserted their belief in the shared values of democracy and the rule of law" and their recognition of the link between development and peace, security, human rights and social justice".

With these shared values in mind, we have ongoing discussions with Brazil on gun control, gun-related violence and the arms trade. We have discussed the International Arms Trade Treaty with Brazil on several occasions and expressed our support for the start of a formal UN process leading to a treaty on the trade in all
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conventional arms. Brazil participated in the meeting of experts on such a treaty hosted by the Government in May 2005.

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