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John McDonnell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions his Department has had with (a) the Association of British Insurers (ABI), (b) the business community, (c) fire and rescue authorities and (d) other stakeholders regarding the rise in actual fire losses announced by the ABI. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister regularly engages its key stakeholders at various levels on matters pertaining to fire safety through the Business and Community Safety Forum. The forum brings together representatives from the Association of British Insurers, the business community, the fire and rescue authorities and other key stakeholders to provide advice on a range of fire-related issues, and in particular the reduction of fire risk. These organisations are also represented on the Arson Control Forum which meets regularly to look specifically at issues surrounding deliberate fires.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of the members of the Firefighters' Pension Scheme joined the scheme (a) before the age of (i) 20, (ii) 25, (iii) 30, (iv) 35, (v) 40 and (vi) 45 and (b) when they were over 45 years. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Of active members of the Firefighters' Pension Scheme in England who were serving on 31 December 2004, it is estimated that:
The age at which current pensioner members and deferred pensioner members of the Firefighters' Pension Scheme joined the scheme is not held centrally.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what proportion of members of the local government pension scheme joined the scheme (a) before the age of (i) 20, (ii) 25, (iii) 30, (iv) 35, (v) 40 and (vi) 45 and (b) when they were over 45 years. 
Mr. Woolas: This information requested is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether he plans to abolish multi-member wards in local government. 
Mr. Woolas: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has launched a public debate about the governance arrangements for local areas. We are listening to all views on governance arrangements, some of which may have implications for electoral arrangements in local authorities. We plan to publish a White Paper on the future of local government in the summer.
Mr. Ian Austin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what powers local authorities have to prohibit the use of unregistered mini-motorcycles in designated areas. 
Dr. Ladyman: I have been asked to reply.
It is illegal to use unregistered mini-motorcycles on the public highway. They can be used off the public highway, provided permission is given by the relevant landowner, and subject to any statutory controls (e.g. a noise abatement notice issued by a local authority).
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has recently issued a circular giving guidance on the use of mechanically propelled vehicles on rights of way and off-road in the countryside.
The guidance refers to powers currently available to police and local authorities for tackling illegal and inappropriate motor vehicle use, but points out that there are additional ways in which local communities, with police and local authorities, and relevant organisations, can work together to provide solutions.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, (1) if she will list those stakeholders who were consulted about the changes made to the new abortion notification form; if she will place in the Library the responses received; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) if she will make a statement on the changes to the new abortion notification form. 
Caroline Flint: The Department's consultation on changes to the abortion notification form (April 2000) and the outcome of that consultation (April 2002) set out the stakeholders consulted and why the form was reviewed and the changes made to the form (which took effect from 18 April 2002). These documents, which include references to the key points consultees made, have been placed in the Library.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will make a statement on the Government's progress in reducing the number of abortions. 
Caroline Flint: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to him on 21 March 2006, Official Report, column 250W.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will amend the abortion notification form to provide for the inclusion of the method of abortion known as partial-birth abortion; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: We have no current plans to amend the abortion notification form. The form, which is sent to the Chief Medical Officer after each abortion is performed, already collects the method of abortion used and each form is checked.
We are not aware of the procedure referred to as partial-birth abortion being used in Great Britain.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average cost of performing an abortion was in NHS hospitals in (a) 1979, (b) 1983, (c) 1987, (d) 1992 and (e) each year since 1993. 
Caroline Flint: The available information is shown in the table. Costs before 1998 are not held centrally.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if she will make a statement on her Department's medical abortion pilot; 
(2) how much her Department has spent on the medical abortion pilot; where each is (a) taking place and (b) planned to take place; and if she will make a statement; 
(3) what research her Department has (a) undertaken and (b) plans to undertake into the longer-term benefits and risks of the medical abortion pilot; and if she will make a statement. 
Caroline Flint: Under the Abortion Act 1967, an abortion can only be performed in a hospital vested in a national health service trust, primary care trust or foundation trust or in an approved independent sector place.
Section l(3a) of the Abortion Act 1967 gives the Secretary of State for Health the power to approve a class of place to perform medical abortion which could enable this method to be available in a wider range of healthcare settings. Two hospitals are being funded by the Department to run early medical abortion services in non-traditional settings, to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of provision in these settings. One site is within a community hospital; the other is in a stand-alone unit within an acute hospital. Both sites have been running since 2004.
29 Mar 2006 : Column 1057W
The Department has spent £263,000. The money has been used to set up the service and to support the funding of the service.
The Department is in the process of tendering a formal evaluation to assess the safety, effectiveness and patient acceptability of providing early medical abortion services in non-traditional settings.
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