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26 Apr 2006 : Column 1189W—continued


Dr. Blackman-Woods: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the availability of Herceptin to treat early stage breast cancer in Northern Ireland. [64531]

Mr. Woodward: I announced in November 2005, that the cancer drug, Herceptin, may be made available to women with early stage breast cancer where this is clinically appropriate.

The decision to prescribe Herceptin should always be a clinical decision and clinicians must give full consideration to the risks and benefits associated with this treatment.

Home Tuition

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average waiting time is for an individual assessment for home tuition for children absent from school due to prolonged illness or disability in each Education and Library Board area. [65893]

Angela E. Smith: The Education and Library Boards do not assess whether pupils absent from school due to prolonged illness or short term disability should receive home tuition. Education and Library Boards arrange home tuition for such pupils on the basis of a recommendation from the medical profession.

The average waiting time between the receipt of a referral and the commencement of home tuition is 10 working days.

It should be noted that in more complex medical cases it may be necessary to seek additional information from other medical/educational sources. In such cases the waiting time may be longer.


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 21 March 2006, Official Report, column 208W, on housing, how much unpaid Housing Executive rent arrears was recouped in each year; how much new arrears accrued in
26 Apr 2006 : Column 1190W
each year; and how much rent arrears was carried forward into the next financial year in each district in Northern Ireland in each year since 1996. [65154]

Mr. Hanson: The rent account for Housing Executive tenants is a rolling account that contains both the current liability, along with any arrears, and provides an up to date balance. It is, therefore, not possible to provide the information in the form requested.

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland were registered as being in urgent need of accommodation on the Housing Executive's waiting list at 1 January (a) 2001 and (b) 2006. [65869]

Mr. Hanson: Complete figures are not available for 1 January 2001, due to the implementation of the common selection scheme at that time. However, figures for the financial year ending 31 March 2001 show that there were 10,639 applicants in housing stress 1 . For the financial year ending 31 March 2006 the comparative figure was 17,433.

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many domestic dwellings in Northern Ireland owned by housing associations and the Housing Executive were vacant or not allocated to prospective tenants on 1 January 2006. [65870]

Mr. Hanson: There were a total of 4,288 vacant Northern Ireland Housing Executive properties as at 1 January 2006. Figures for Registered Housing Associations are only collected on an annual basis for the preceding financial year. At 31 March 2005 the Associations reported 1,443 housing units were vacant.

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many new dwellings in the social housing sector are expected to be built in Northern Ireland between 1 January and 31 December 2006. [65871]

Mr. Hanson: Forward planning information is held by financial year, rather than calendar year.

Around 1,300 new homes are currently programmed for 'contract completion' in 2006–07.

Individual completions are not counted until the whole contract completes. For example in a contract not due for completion until 2007–08, the individual houses completed in 2006–07 will not score until the entire contract completes in 2007–08.

Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many dwellings have been granted planning approval as (a) separate units and (b) part of housing developments in the BT17 postal code district of Dunmurry in each of the past 10 years. [65918]

Angela E. Smith: Unfortunately, it is not possible to answer the questions asked because the planning service in Northern Ireland does not routinely collect and hold information that would enable numbers of planning decisions relating to particular types of development to be classified by way of postcode.
26 Apr 2006 : Column 1191W


Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the religious composition is of (a) the staff and (b) the board of InterTradeIreland. [64616]

Angela E. Smith: At 1 April 2006 InterTradeIreland employed 38 permanent staff. The religious composition of these staff has been identified as (i) 31 Roman Catholic (ii) six Protestant and (iii) one non-determined. Information on the religious composition of the InterTradeIreland Board is not held.

Invest Northern Ireland

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans Invest Northern Ireland has to promote inward investment into Northern Ireland following the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington DC during July 2007. [65486]

Angela E. Smith: This festival provides a useful platform to position Northern Ireland positively as a strategic investment and trade partner for US corporations seeking to establish a presence in Europe. Invest NI is inputting to a Smithsonian Ancillary Programme with a series of market visits which will run from March to July 2007, heavily focused on investment, trade, and research and development activities.
26 Apr 2006 : Column 1192W

Key Stage 3 (Pupil Profile)

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what changes have been made to the proposed pupil profile at key stage 3 to take account of responses of teachers involved in trialling the profile. [64615]

Angela E. Smith: The key stage 3 pupil profile is scheduled for introduction in the 2008–09 academic year. Initial trialing with a small sample of teachers has identified issues which need to be addressed to ensure that the profile is as relevant as possible for parents and pupils, whilst being manageable for teachers.

CCEA is consulting with teachers on these issues, and piloting will continue during the 2006–07 and 2007–08 academic years.

Planning Applications

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the change was in each Northern Ireland district council area in the number of planning applications submitted in the three months before 16 March (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. [65317]

Angela E. Smith: The following table details the change in the total number of planning applications received in each Northern Ireland district council area between the three month period from December 2004 to February 2005 and the period from December 2005 to February 2006.
District council areaDecember 2004 to February 2005December 2005 to February 2006ChangePercentage change
Newry and Mourne628753+125+20
North Down20320300
Planning Service Total8,6007,978-622-7

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