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17 May 2006 : Column 1020Wcontinued
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what form of (a) planning gain and (b) Section 106 Agreements operate in Northern Ireland. 
David Cairns: There are no specific planning gain provisions in place in Northern Ireland. However, Article 40 of the Planning (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 (as substituted by the Planning (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2003) provides similar powers to Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which applies to England and Wales. Article 40 enables the Department to enter into planning agreements with any person who has an estate in land for the purposes of:-
facilitating, or restricting the development or use of land in any specified way;
requiring specified operations or activities to be carried out in, on, under or over land;
requiring the land to be used in any specific way (either indefinitely or for a period as may be specified); or
requiring a sum or sums to be paid to the Department on a specified day, date or periodically.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 25 April 2006, Official Report, column 1043W, on special advisers, what the grade is of each of the two special advisers employed as temporary civil servants within his Department; and whether the posts they hold were advertised. 
Mr. Hain: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the Prime Minister's written ministerial statement on special advisers of Thursday 21 July 2005. This statement gave details of the pay bands for the special advisers. These appointments were carried out in accordance with the ministerial code.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in the East Londonderry constituency are using temporary classroom accommodation. 
Maria Eagle: As at 31 March 2006 there were 31 primary and seven secondary schools in the East Londonderry constituency using temporary accommodation.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the summer scheme at Tor Bank Special School in Dundonald will take place in 2006. 
Maria Eagle: The South-Eastern Education and Library Board, at a meeting in March 2006, agreed that the 2006 Summer Activity Scheme for pupils with severe learning difficulties would proceed. The Board, however, having agreed its budget for 2006-07, is now considering a series of proposals to live within that budget. One of the proposals is to stop the Summer Activity Scheme.
The Boards Education Committee will reconvene on 22 May 2006 to consider the proposals. Board officers are currently engaged in making provisional arrangements for the scheme to run this summer, subject to the decision of the Board.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much of the budget for (a) each department in Northern Ireland and (b) the Northern Ireland Office remained unspent in the 2005-06 financial year. 
Mr. Hanson: Details of expenditure for 2005-06 relating to (a) Northern Ireland departments and (b) the Northern Ireland Office are not yet available. Information on performance against budget will be available in June of this year once provisional outturn data has been received and analysed. This information will be placed in the Library when available.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will place in the Library a copy of the revised Health and Safety in the Field policy document produced by the Valuation and Lands Agency. 
Mr. Hanson: The Valuation and Lands Agency has recently revised its Health and Safety in the Field policy. This document was placed in the Library in early May 2006, in response to an earlier PQ.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Valuation and Lands Agency's domestic rates Automated Valuation Model uses (a) a location factor or factors in its multiple regression analysis and (b) geo-spatial statistical analysis in Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal. 
Mr. Hanson: The answer to both (a) and (b) is yes. The location factor is derived from analysis of sales using the multiple regression technique and is calibrated at neighbourhood level.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Valuation and Lands Agency's domestic rates Automated Valuation Model (a) uses and (b) holds data on (i) local authority ward boundaries and (ii) numbers of criminal offences committed in each area. 
Mr. Hanson: The Automated Valuation Model used by VLA is a CAMA (Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal) system comprising SPSS/Spatialest/GIS. The Agency's Automated Valuation Model uses and holds data on local authority ward boundaries. It does not use and hold data on numbers of criminal convictions committed in each area.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the conferences to be held overseas which Valuation and Lands Agency staff will attend in the next 12 months. 
Mr. Hanson: Valuation and Lands Agency (VLA) staff will attend the following conferences overseas during the next 12 months:
International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) Conference in USA.
The IAAO is the lead professional organisation for those involved in property tax assessment. The Chief Executive of VLA has agreed to speak at this conference.
Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to extend alcohol-free zones. 
Mr. Byrne: The Government are working with local authorities to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence by sharing good practice. Designated Public Place Orders (DPPOs) have been part of this good practice. The benefits of a DPPO have been highlighted in publications such as Lessons Learned from the summer 2004 Alcohol Misuse Enforcement Campaign. They continue to be highlighted both on the Together Tackling Antisocial behaviour website and on the DPPO website. To date around 170 authorities have adopted the power to introduce a DPPO, with around 360 orders published.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action he is taking (a) in co-operation with the Department for Trade and Industry and (b) otherwise to detain animal rights terrorists who use shareholder registers to threaten individual shareholders. 
Mr. Coaker: We have a clear cross-departmental strategy working with DTI and other Government Departments to put an end to the animal rights extremist threat and protect those targeted by it. We have introduced tough new legislation, supported the appointment of a dedicated senior police officer as national co-ordinator for domestic extremism and provided additional resources for the police to tackle the problem nationally. These steps have led to an increase in arrests, a reduction in incidents and a number of successful prosecutions which have seen leading activists receive lengthy custodial sentences.
We are looking at what more can be done. The Company Law Reform Bill already proposes protection for members by providing that companies do not have to release details of their registers of shareholders if a court is satisfied that the information requested is not being sought for a proper purpose. Following recent attempts to defraud or intimidate members of a number of leading companies, we are looking at what measures can be taken to strengthen shareholder protection further in the Bill. We also intend to consult on how to stop malicious applicants from getting members details through Companies House rather than from the company.
Ms Diana R. Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he plans to take to publicise action taken to tackle antisocial behaviour to members of the public in Kingston-upon-Hull, North. 
Mr. Byrne: Kingston-upon-Hull is one of the Governments Action Areas, committed to tackling antisocial behaviour. The council, Humberside police and their partners have worked together to promote initiatives to tackle alcohol-related disorder, nuisance vehicles and to promote Its Your Call, a dedicated phone line for the community to report and receive feedback on action taken to prevent and tackle antisocial behaviour.
The Respect Action Plan sets out our intention to do more to empower local communities to challenge and tackle antisocial behaviour by making services more responsive and accountable to local priorities. We will ensure effective dialogue between local people and services by introducing regular and systematic face the people briefing sessions, involving senior representation from the police and local authorities. The Community Call for Action will make it easier for the public to hold services to account where they fail to deliver.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many breaches of antisocial behaviour orders came to court in 2005-06; and what the average time was between the offence being committed and a court hearing taking place. 
Mr. Byrne: Antisocial behaviour order (ASBO) breach data only cover breach proceedings where there has been a conviction and are currently available from 1 June 2000 to 31 December 2003 for ASBOs issued since 1 June 2000. Information is not available on the amount of time taken from an offence being committed to a conviction for breach of ASBO.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received on the use of antisocial behaviour orders to tackle the abuse of shopworkers; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: We have not received any such representations. However antisocial behaviour orders have been used in a number of local areas to combat antisocial behaviour in retail environments.
Workers serving the public have the right to work without fear of being attacked or harassed. The Respect Action Plan sets out programmes to promote a two-way respect between workers serving the public and the individuals and communities to whom they provide a service.
Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of arson there have been in Suffolk in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Byrne: The requested information is given in the table.
|Recorded offences of arson in Suffolk police force area|
|Number of arson offences|
|(1 )Numbers affected by changes in the counting rules and expanded coverage of recorded crime. (2) Numbers affected by the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standards which came into effect in 2002-03. Note: Data not comparable with earlier years.|
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers have been refused National Asylum Support Service support because their illness was not deemed to prevent travel in the last 12 months; and how many of these (a) were at risk from a recurrence of tuberculosis, (b) were pregnant, (c) had children under a year old and (d) had a mental health condition. 
John Reid: If an asylum seeker is offered accommodation from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) and fails to travel to the allocated accommodation claiming medical grounds as a reason for failing to travel, NASS caseworkers take advice from the NASS medical adviser, a practising GP, about whether the ailment would have prevented the applicant from travelling.
They will take account of this advice alongside any other circumstance that may have prevented the applicant from travelling on that occasion, before deciding whether the explanation was reasonable.
When NASS considers that the applicant's explanation for not travelling is unsatisfactory, caseworkers issue a warning letter and rearrange travel. When the applicant fails to travel on a subsequent occasion, without a valid reason, their support is suspended until they agree to travel to their allotted accommodation. At no stage is support permanently withdrawn.
NASS does not keep records of the numbers of supported asylum seekers who fail to travel citing medical grounds. It does not refuse to support asylum seekers who fail to travel to allocated accommodation, but keeps it available to them at the allocated accommodation. This approach is set out in NASSs published Policy Bulletin 17 which can be downloaded from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) Home Office website.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of asylum seekers have (a) failed to return voluntarily and (b) not been removed within six months of the final refusal of their applications in the last 12 months. 
John Reid: No accurate management information exists on the numbers of applicants who have failed to return voluntarily. Information on asylum seekers is published every quarter.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of failed asylum seekers refused to make a declaration agreeing to co-operate in their voluntary return in the last 12 months. 
John Reid: We do not centrally record this information.
John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers have been returned to (a) Eritrea, (b) Ethiopia, (c) Sudan, (d) Democratic Republic of Congo, (e) Cote d'Ivoire, (f) Chad, (g) Somalia, (h) Liberia, (i) Central African Republic, (j) Burundi, (k) Sierra Leone, (l) Uganda, (m) Nigeria and (n) Angola in the last 12 months; how many of these returns were (A) voluntary and (B) enforced; and what mechanisms are in place to monitor the welfare of returned asylum seekers. 
Mr. McNulty: The accompanying tables show the number of returns to the specified countries during 2005, broken down by voluntary and enforced removals, and by principal and dependant applicants.
We do not routinely monitor the return of individual failed asylum seekers and others who are removed from the UK. The asylum decision-making and independent appeals processes exist to ensure that those who are at risk of persecution or serious mistreatment in their country of origin will not be removed there. However, if specific allegations are made that any returnee has experienced ill treatment on return from the UK, these will be followed up through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office as a matter of urgency.
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