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24 Apr 2006 : Column 880W—continued

VAT (Car Allowances)

Mrs. Dorries: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much VAT on the road fuel element of car allowances was reclaimed in each year since 1997 up to the last period for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [64263]

Dawn Primarolo: This information is not available. HM Revenue and Customs does not collect data on VAT relating to individual goods and services.

Departmental Policies

Rosie Cooper: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will set out with statistical evidence relating as closely as possible to West Lancashire constituency the effects in West Lancashire of changes to his Department's policies since 1997. [64232]

John Healey: The Government have put in place a broad programme of both macroeconomic and microeconomic reform since our election in 1997 designed to improve the economic performance of all parts of the UK. Since these policies were implemented, the economic performance of the West Lancashire constituency has improved considerably. For example, since May 1997, claimant unemployment in West
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Lancashire has fallen by 35 per cent., while both long-term youth and adult unemployment have fallen by over 75 per cent.

The Neighbourhood Statistics Service provides a wide range of statistical information at parliamentary constituency level, taken from the 2001 Census and other sources. This service is available on the National Statistics website at http://neighbourhood.statistics.


Altnagelvin Hospital Trust

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) additional resources have been allocated to and (b) measures have been put in place by Altnagelvin Hospital Trust to meet increased need arising from the closure of the accident and emergency department at Tyrone county hospital. [64299]

Mr. Woodward: Sperrin Lakeland Trust has worked closely with Altnagelvin to ensure that safe hospital services are available to all of population of the Western Board area.

In anticipation of increased attendances at Altnagelvin an additional £750,000 was allocated for the creation of a new acute medical unit and to fund the structural changes made to the A&E department at Altnagelvin.

Funding for three additional surgical beds, to accommodate an increase in surgical admissions, has also been approved.

Altnagelvin is monitoring the situation very closely to ensure that their systems are sufficiently robust to cope with increased attendances.

Carers Allowance

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people receive carers allowance in each (a) parliamentary constituency and(b) council district in Northern Ireland; and how many received the allowance in each of the last three years. [64298]

Mr. Hanson: The information requested is shown in the following tables.
Parliamentary constituencyNumbers receiving carers allowance
Belfast East1,270
Belfast North2,181
Belfast South1,018
Belfast West3,446
East Antrim1,092
East Londonderry1,507
Fermanagh And South Tyrone1,614
Lagan Valley1,308
Mid Ulster2,035
Newry And Armagh2,354
North Antrim1,492
North Down889
South Antrim1,221
South Down1,966
Upper Bann2,067
West Tyrone2,059
Frequency Missing(21)248

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Council districtNumbers receiving carers allowance
Newry and Mourne2,302
North Down755
Frequency Missing(21)248

(21)Parliamentary constituency and council area are assigned using the claimant's postcode, if a postcode is missing then a constituency or council area cannot be assigned.

Numbers receiving carers allowance

Data is taken from January of each year.

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland have applied for carers allowance in the last 12 months; how many of those applicants are awaiting a decision; what the target length of time is that applicants should wait for a decision; what the average length of time applicants waited for a decision in the latest period for which figures are available is; what the target length of time is that applicants should wait for notification ofdecisions once taken; and for what average length of time applicants waited for such notification in the latest period for which figures are available. [64334]

Mr. Hanson: From April 2005 to March 2006 11,642 carer's allowance applications have been received. Of these, 1447 are currently awaiting a decision.

The target length of time for applicants to wait for a decision in this period was 55 days. The average length of time applicants waited for a decision was 35 days.
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There is no separate target time for the issue of notifications. However, notifications are issued automatically by computer within 24 hours of the decision being made.


Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the consultation process on the installation of CCTV in West Belfast will be completed; what the reasons are for the time taken for the consultation process; and why East, South and North Belfast did not have an equivalent consultation processes. [52879]

Mr. Woodward: In some cases, where urgent response to disorder was necessary, consultation in respect of a number of CCTV cameras was limited. In other cases, community based consultation has taken place with both community and political representatives.

It has not been possible to identify the nature of the West Belfast CCTV consultation referred to in the question. The most recent CCTV scheme was announced in 2004, when the then Minister of State announced £2 million funding for the development of CCTV systems across Northern Ireland. In that case, interested parties have been invited to make an application to Government for funding to establish new CCTV systems in town centres across Northern Ireland. The closing date for applications has been extended to the 14 April 2006 and an order of merit" list will be drawn up and published thereafter.

Craigavon Bridge

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether there are plans to provide additional signage indicating vehicle height restrictions for Craigavon bridge in Derry. [64509]

Mr. Woodward: The chief executive of the 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 21 April 2006

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