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Drug Addicts

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many registered drug addicts there are in each (a) local health authority and (b) ward in Northern Ireland, listed in descending order; what percentage of the total this represents in each case; and how much was spent on drug addiction services by each local health authority in 2004-05. [55547]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Addicts Index Database holds information on all those persons registered in concurrence with the Misuse of Drugs (Notification of and Supply to Addicts) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 1973. It is based on a specific list of drugs, not necessarily all those which are used by addicts, and is dependent on GPs and other doctors submitting the relevant information. It does not represent the full total of those currently in treatment for problem drug use in Northern Ireland. The latest figures from the Database shows that in 2004-05 there were 239 ‘registered drug addicts'. Their distribution by Health and Social Services Board (HSSB) is provided in the following table.

Registered addicts by Health and Social Services Board 2005
Number Percentage

Northern HSSB



Eastern HSSB



Western HSSB



Southern HSSB






(1 )This figure includes five individuals for whom Health and Social Services Board data could not be established.

The data collected for the database do not facilitate description of those on the register by council ward or parliamentary constituency.

In respect of expenditure on addiction services, the four Health and Social Services Boards do not differentiate between those receiving treatment for problem alcohol and drug misuse and co-dependency (both substances).

For 2004-05 the four Health and Social Services Boards report expenditure on combined drug and alcohol addiction services as follows.

Health and Social Services Board Expenditure (£)











Fuel Poverty

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many households in each (a) parliamentary constituency and (b) district council area in Northern Ireland are recognised as fuel poor. [75591]

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Mr. Hanson: The 2004 Interim House Condition Survey collected fuel poverty information on a Northern Ireland wide basis and due to the small sample size it is not possible to break down the information into parliamentary constituency or district council area. This indicates that the overall number of households in fuel poverty has reduced from 203,000 to 153,530 with the number of vulnerable households decreasing from 181,000 to 126,100 for the same period.

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made with the implementation of the Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Strategy since its launch; and when the action plan is expected to be published. [75590]

Mr. Hanson: ‘Ending Fuel Poverty: A Strategy for Northern Ireland’ was launched in November 2004 and since then approximately £150 million has been spent on programmes to directly tackle fuel poverty. I have also established the Northern Ireland Fuel Poverty Advisory Group and the Interdepartmental Group on Fuel Poverty to monitor and review the Fuel Poverty Strategy and ensure a partnership approach to tackling fuel poverty.

I will launch the Interdepartmental Group on Fuel Poverty Report in early July and this will detail the action plan for tackling fuel poverty in 2006-07.

Gaelic Athletic Association

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he has received a request from the Gaelic Athletic Association to meet to discuss the draft PPS 14. [75498]

David Cairns: Mr. Danny Murphy, Secretary to Ulster Council GAA, wrote to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland on 5 April 2006 to express the organisation’s concerns on the introduction of draft PPS 14 and to ask for a meeting. My hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Mr. Woodward) replied to this letter as the responsible Minister regretting that heavy diary commitments prevented him meeting members of the Ulster Council in person. He advised that views expressed in the letter would be recorded as a representation and considered and that officials would be pleased to provide clarification on the draft planning policy statement if requested. No subsequent request was received.

Geddis Farm

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will take action to stop the fire burning at the Geddis’ Farm in Helen's Bay, North Down; and what research has been undertaken by his Department into the environmental damage caused by this fire. [46538]

David Cairns: The legal responsibility for stopping the fire burning at Geddis' Farm rests with North Down borough council. This can be achieved by use of Article 28 of the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997.

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The Department of the Environment's Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) is able to take prosecution action for the treatment of waste on an unlicensed site. EHS initiated a prosecution case against Mr. Geddis for the unauthorised disposal of waste. The case was heard on 15 February 2006 and Mr. Geddis was found guilty, in his absence. However, he subsequently was able to convince the court to set aside his convictions because he claimed that he had contacted the Public Prosecution Service to request an adjournment. A date for a new hearing has yet to be arranged.

EHS has not undertaken any research into the environmental damage caused by the fire.


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what measures are being put in place to help businesses in Northern Ireland reduce the amount of waste they dispose of to landfill; [53054]

(2) what steps he is taking to assist businesses in Northern Ireland to meet the obligations imposed under Government and EU Environmental policies and strategies. [53055]

David Cairns: I would refer the hon. Member to the answer given during the Grand Committee debate on 7 February 2006, Official Report, column 12. My noble Friend, Lord Rooker will write to the hon. Gentleman in response to his supplementary question on landfill tax revenue.

Limavady Learning Partnership

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) when the Department of Education will make available (a) resources and (b) guidance to Limavady Learning Partnership to enable it to implement a strategic plan to deal with widening public choice and tackling social disadvantage; [73205]

(2) if he will ensure that the Limavady Learning Partnership receives the required resources and guidance from the Department of Education to enable it to implement its strategic plan on widening pupil choice and tackling social disadvantage. [75005]

Maria Eagle: The details of schools to be offered funding for Extended School activities through Theme 1 of the Children and Young People’s Funding Package was announced on 6 June 2006. I have no plans through Extended Schools to fund organisations other than schools, though schools may, if they wish, pool their resources to form clusters or partnerships. A toolkit containing guidance for Extended Schools is also being made available. Not all the schools in the Limavady Learning Partnership will benefit from the announcement, but I would encourage those schools not selected to consider using some of their allocation from the £10 million additional funding package for schools that I announced on 5 June 2006 to support collaborative working.

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Marine Pollution

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which areas of the Northern Ireland coast are judged to be most at risk from marine pollution. [40993]

David Cairns: The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS) has recently undertaken a risk assessment of international and short seas shipping, associated port operations and past incidents in the seas surrounding the Northern Ireland coastline in order to identify the areas of the coastline which are most at risk. This work indicated that the areas most at risk are Rathlin Island, the coastline from the Gobbins in Co Antrim to Ballymacormick Point in Co Down and from Donaghadee to Portavogie.

Mournes National Park

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made on the Mournes National Park project. [43717]

David Cairns: It is planned to consult at the end of 2007 on draft primary legislation that would provide a framework for the designation of national parks generally in Northern Ireland. In parallel with this, work specific to progressing the proposal for a Mournes National Park is in hand and the Mourne National Park working party plans to consult later this year on a proposed park boundary.

Moy Park Group

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what (a) financial and (b) other support has been provided to Ferne Foods Limited by (i) the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, (ii) the Department of Employment and Learning and (iii) Invest Northern Ireland since it was taken over by the Moy Park Group. [73512]

Maria Eagle: Ferne Foods Limited in Lisnaskea became a joint venture with Moy Park Limited in 1994. Ferne Foods Limited was offered selective financial assistance from IDB in 1996 of £487,820. This was fully drawn down by 1999 and the Financial Assistance Agreement is no longer active. On 15 occasions from 1998 to 2004 Ferne Foods Limited has taken part in market awareness visits and group stands at exhibitions with Invest NI. IDB offered assistance towards training and development in 1996 of £159,510 of which £139,410 was drawn down. The Department of Employment and Learning supports all employers who request support by providing a job brokering services and suitable training programmes where appropriate.

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment was informed of the Moy Park Group’s decision to close the Ferne Foods factory in Fermanagh. [73513]

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Maria Eagle: Invest NI was informed on 18 May 2006 that a 90 day consultation period was announced for the Moy Park Group Lisnaskea plant and that the future of the plant is in severe doubt. Invest NI has not been informed by Moy Park Group that a decision to close the plant has been made.

Northern Ireland Roads Service Magazine

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost was of (a) publication and (b) distribution of the Northern Ireland Roads Service magazine, The Link: Investing in the Road Network of 30 May; and how many copies were printed. [75509]

David Cairns: The Chief Executive of Roads Service, Dr. Malcolm McKibbin, has been asked to write to my hon. Friend in response to this question.

Letter from Malcolm McKibbin, dated 7 June 2006:

Petrol/Electric Cars

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many hybrid petrol/electric cars have been sold in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years; and what grants are available to those who wish to buy such vehicles. [37589]

David Cairns: The number of new hybrid electric/petrol cars registered in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years is:










2005 (to 16 November)


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UK-wide Government grants have previously been available under the PowerShift programme to those wishing to purchase certain hybrid vehicles. The programme is due to be replaced by the Low Carbon Car programme which is based on a technology neutral approach. Once cleared by the European Commission under state aid rules, the programme will provide grants towards the purchase of cars with particularly low carbon emissions. This is likely to include a number of hybrid vehicles and will be funded by the Department for Transport for England, Northern Ireland and Wales, and by the Scottish Executive for Scotland.

Plastic (Recycling)

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what tonnage of plastic was (a) recovered and (b) recycled in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [37595]

David Cairns: The Department does not hold nor collate figures for the total amount of plastic that is recycled or recovered in Northern Ireland on an annual basis. Figures for separately collated municipal plastic sent for recycling in 2002, 2003 and 2004 were 724 tonnes, 1,221 tonnes and 1,712 tonnes respectively. This represents an increase of 130 per cent. over three years. Data are not available for previous years.

Data on the amount of plastic actually reprocessed or recycled in Northern Ireland are limited to accredited reprocessors. One of these businesses has recently secured investment to increase the tonnage of waste plastic bottles it reprocesses to over 4,000 tonnes per annum.

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