David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of the population in each Northern Ireland (a) constituency and (b) council area has been assessed as living in the most deprived areas of Northern Ireland in each of the past five years. 
Mr. Hanson: The Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure 2005 reports detailed levels of deprivation in small areas throughout Northern Ireland. The following tables give the percentage of the population in each (a) parliamentary constituency and each (b) local government district who live in the most deprived small areas in Northern Ireland.
|Table 1: Percentage of population in each parliamentary constituency living in the most deprived areas in Northern Ireland
|Table 2: Percentage of population in each local government district living in the most deprived areas in Northern Ireland
|Local government district
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many farmers in Northern Ireland are registered as (a) dairy farmers, (b) beef farmers and (c) mixed farmers; and how many were registered in (i) 2003-04 and (ii) 2004-05. 
David Cairns: Farmers are not registered in Northern Ireland by the type of farming they practise. Rather, farms are classified for statistical purposes as belonging to one of several standard types. Information on the number of farms in relevant categories, and for the most recent three-year period available, is presented in the following table:
Mr. Hain: The Government announced in September 2004 that steps would be taken to facilitate the establishment of an inquiry into the death of Patrick Finucane with all the powers and resources necessary to fulfil its task. The Government are clear that an inquiry established under the Inquiries Act 2005 meets the requirements set out by Judge Cory in his report into Patrick Finucanes death.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will estimate how many (a) health Department and (b) NHS personnel in the Province are employed on processing requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. 
Paul Goggins: Four staff in the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and 30 staff in health and personal social services bodies are involved in processing requests under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. In addition, in order to respond to particular requests for information, these staff are assisted, as appropriate, by staff from across the Department or the health and personal social services bodies. Information is not available on the amount of time spent on processing freedom of information requests but it represents only a small proportion of the total working time of the staff involved.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total budget has been for maintenance of the grounds and buildings of Hillsborough Castle in each year since 1998. 
Mr. Hain: In addition to providing overnight accommodation for myself, the facilities at Hillsborough Castle are also used to provide official hospitality and overnight accommodation for members of the Royal Family, visiting dignitaries and diplomats. Other activities at the Castle include departmental meetings, the annual Garden Party and citizenship ceremonies. In addition to its use by the Northern Ireland Office and other Government Departments, charities and local community groups can request to use the facilities, generally for fundraising purposes, and the Castle and grounds are open at certain times of the year for guided tours. We are able to provide only figures for the last five financial years; these figures include the cost of gardening staff, and major and minor works projects, in addition to routine maintenance.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Department for Employment and Learning has spent on training in information and communication technology (ICT) skills in each of the past five years; what measures the Government are taking to encourage graduates to work in the ICT sector; and if he will establish a dedicated fund to encourage growth in the ICT sector. 
|Total ICT funding
The vast majority of the funds spent (£70,337,817 from the academic year 2000/01 to 2004/05) is in respect of further education. The remainder comprises Management Development (£6,669,954) and Sectoral Development (£273,150). These figures exclude funding to universities for ICT courses. The Department provides a recurrent grant but it is the institutions themselves which allocate funding to subject areas.
In implementing its Skills Strategy for Northern Ireland, the Department places importance on determining the skills needs of each sector. E-Skills, the Sector Skills Council for the IT industry, has carried out research into employer needs, supply and demand and emerging gaps and this analysis of skills gaps has been published. The Department has also commissioned E-Skills to carry out an additional specialist project which specifically focuses on the demand for graduates in the industry. Also Invest Northern Ireland has been jointly involved with the Department in providing projections of the number of graduates likely to be needed for forthcoming emerging employment opportunities.
Alongside this research, the Department in co-operation with the Association of Northern Ireland Colleges and local employers, is developing a short-term course for graduates from a variety of disciplines to enable them to avail themselves of increasing employment opportunities in the ICT sector. This will
provide an immediate response to the ICT sector employers concerns, while longer term need is determined.
There are no plans to establish a dedicated fund to encourage growth in the ICT sector. Invest Northern Ireland already encourages the growth of the sector through a programme of support for indigenous companies and through foreign direct investment. In addition to this individual company support, Invest Northern Ireland also undertakes a number of sector specific initiatives to ensure the continued development of the ICT sector in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Hanson: I recently announced that the local community fund was to be relaunched. The fund will spend £4 million over the next two years in the 11 per cent.-20 per cent. most disadvantaged communities as measured by the Noble Index 2005. The Department for Social Development is currently finalising the targeted areas and allocations for 2006-08 and hopes to be able to make a further announcement in July.
|General grant payments: 2005-06
|(1) In addition to the above figure shown for Newtownabbey borough council, an amount of £29,108 was paid by way of a finalisation payment for the 1999-2000 financial year.