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Written Ministerial Statements

Tuesday 2 May 2006


Public Expenditure

The Chief Secretary to the Treasury (Mr. Des Browne): I announced on 17 March, Official Report, column 114WS that the Treasury planned to publish PESA 2006 on 2 May. Publication has been delayed by production difficulties and will now take place on Monday 15 May.


NHS Foundation Trusts

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Liam Byrne): The chairman of Monitor (the statutory name of which is the independent regulator of NHS foundation trusts) announced on 28 April that, in accordance with section 6 of the Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Act 2003, Monitor had decided to authorise the following NHS mental health trusts to operate as NHS foundation trusts from 1 May 2006:

Monitor's announcement marks the first group of mental health trusts becoming authorised as NHS foundation trusts and will enable these trusts to take advantage of the new freedoms available to them to improve services for their communities and innovate new approaches to patient care.

A fourth applicant, North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust, has deferred its application at this time. Monitor will remain in contact with the trust although ultimately it is for the trust to decide when it wishes to return to Monitor's assessment process.
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Monitor's announcement brings the total number of NHS foundation trusts to 35. A copy of Monitor's press notice has been placed in the Library.

The Government remain committed to offering all NHS acute and mental health trusts the opportunity to apply for foundation status as soon as practicable.

A further six trusts are being considered by Monitor for authorisation by 1 June 2006 and a further 14 trusts are being considered for authorisation by 1 August. This will complete the second wave of foundation trust applications.



The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Andy Burnham): Further to the statement of 21 December 2004 by the right hon. Des Browne, then Minister of State for the Home Office, announcing the proposed introduction from late 2006 of interviews for adult first-time passport applicants, I have placed a document in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament setting out the plans to establish 69 new offices in which interviews will take place.

The document sets out the planned 69 locations for the interview offices, however exactly where the offices will be located within the 69 towns and cities will not be known until the acquisition process is completed. The document also outlines the new procedures for the applications concerned, and the consultation and design process undertaken by the Identity and Passport Service in deciding on the locations. It also describes the work in progress to establish arrangements for those living in remote areas.

A further statement on arrangements for bringing the requirement for interviews into effect will be made in due course.

Prevention of Terrorism Act

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. Charles Clarke): In accordance with section 14(3) and 14(5) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005, Lord Carlile of Berriew QC prepared a report on the operation of the Act in 2005, which I laid before the House on 2 February 2006.

I am grateful to Lord Carlile for his detailed report and I have given close consideration to his recommendations. Following consultation within my Department and with other relevant agencies, I am pleased to place my response to Lord Carlile's recommendations in the House Library today.