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Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what changes there have been in the number of beds for elderly people in residential homes in Northern Ireland between May 1998 and the latest available date. 
Paul Goggins: Information on the number of beds for elderly people in residential homes is available as at 31 March each year, and figures are shown in the following table for the years 1998-2005. The table also shows the annual change in the numbers of beds and the change between 1998 and 2005.
|Change from previous year|
|Number of beds||Number||Percentage|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans there are for major road improvements on the coastal route of the Lower Ards Peninsula at Ballywalter and Portavogie in 2006-07. 
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a parliamentary question regarding what plans there are for major road improvements on the coastal route of the Lower Ards Peninsula at Ballywalter and Portavogie in 2006-07.
As this issue falls within my responsibility as Acting Chief Executive of Roads Service, I have been asked to reply.
The A2 coast road between Ballywalter and Portavogie is inspected regularly in accordance with Roads Service's inspection and repair procedures. The road is considered to be in a generally good condition, although the section between Ballywalter and Ballyhalbert, which is just under 5km in length, is subject to flooding at some locations during periods of heavy rainfall. Roads Service intends to commence drainage improvement works on this section during 2006-07, however, given the overall length of this section of road, it is likely that this work will continue over the next few years, with a longer-term aim to resurface the road. I would add that all proposed works will of course be subject to the availability of funding and other pressures.
The section of the route between Ballyhalbert and Portavogie was resurfaced and had new drainage installed approximately 6 years ago and there are no proposals to carry out major improvement works in 2006-07.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pedestrians have been killed using properly designated crossings in Northern Ireland in the last three years, broken down by Westminster constituency. 
Paul Goggins: The PSNI do not record statistics by Westminster constituency and to provide the information in that format could be supplied only at disproportionate cost. However, the number of pedestrians killed using properly designated crossings during the last three years, by each District Command Unit, is shown in the table.
|Number of pedestrian fatalities by pedestrian crossing and DCU, 2003-05|
|Crossing on pedestrian crossing||2003||2004||2005||2003-05|
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the frequency is of (a) recalibration and (b) other maintenance for static speed detection devices in Northern Ireland; and who undertakes this work. 
Paul Goggins: Static speed cameras are calibrated on an annual basis or more often as required following repair or upgrading work, which is carried out as and when required. All calibration, repair and maintenance works are carried out by Redspeed International, who are based in Kidderminster.
Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of speed cameras on main roads in Northern Ireland in reducing the incidence of speeding. 
While police activity is concentrated upon enforcement, they also engage with the public to educate and inform, and also liaise with the Department for Regional Development to ensure that the road infrastructure in Northern Ireland is as safe as possible.
In the last five years, there has been a downward trend in the numbers of injury collisions from 8,388 in 2000, to a total of 4,947 in 2005. As approximately 44 per cent. of the injuries received are directly attributable to collisions in which excess speed is the major causation factor, targeting excess speed remains a priority for the PSNI.
Initial findings into the evaluation of the effectiveness of the fixed site safety cameras shows that in the two years immediately preceding the launch of the Safety Camera Scheme, there were 11 killed and seriously injured (KSI) collisions at the locations of the four fixed site safety cameras. In the two years post-launch, this number had fallen to six KSI collisions at the same sites.
Further evaluation into the effectiveness of fixed and mobile safety camera operation at sites throughout Northern Ireland is being carried out by the PSNI and the findings will be included in a report that will be made available in due course on the PSNI website.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland further to the answer of 19 December 2005, Official Report, columns 2596-98W, on school buildings, what progress has been made in relation to the commencement of building work for the new (a) Foyle and Londonderry college and (b) Ebrington primary school. 
Maria Eagle: A comprehensive redevelopment master plan for the former military lands at Clooney will be published by the Department for Social Development. The master plan involved public consultation and liaison with key stakeholders, including Foyle and Londonderry college and Ebrington primary school. The procurement routes for the schools announced for capital funding in March are being announced today and this will enable planning of new schools for Foyle and Londonderry college and Ebrington primary school to go forward.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many school children in Northern Ireland have been suspended for (a) attacks on teachers and (b) bullying other school children in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: From the 2002-03 school year, statistics on the reasons for suspension have been gathered annually from each education and library board and relate to the number of individual suspensions not to the number of pupils suspended.
|Reason for suspension||2002-03||2003-04||2004-05|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what advice he has provided to education and library boards in Northern Ireland regarding the wearing of seatbelts on school buses. 
Maria Eagle: European Union legislation requires that all new non-urban buses (such as those in education and library board fleets) must be fitted with seatbelts as standard. Boards have, since 2000, been purchasing all new vehicles fully fitted with seatbelts. At present 65 per cent. of all board fleet vehicles have seat belts fitted. That figure should rise to 70 per cent. of the fleet once the latest order for new buses has been met. In addition, all new vehicles purchased by the boards have a recorded safety announcement fitted as standard, which reminds pupils of the need to wear their seatbelts.
When hiring private operator vehicles, boards also endeavour to ensure that they are fitted with seat belts. All taxi operator services, including black taxis, must have seatbelts fitted to be eligible to provide home to school transport services.
Finally, parents and pupils are advised of the requirement to wear seatbelts in the Safe School Travel booklet, produced jointly by boards and Translink. This booklet clearly indicates that seatbelts, when provided, must be worn at all times whether the pupil travels by bus or taxi.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what preparations his Department is making for the introduction of the restrictions on smoking in public places in Northern Ireland. 
Paul Goggins: Preliminary discussions with a range of agencies have taken place to assess the implications of smoke-free legislation, which is scheduled to be introduced in April 2007. Once the draft Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 has completed its legislative process, further discussions will take place and guidance will be issued to employers, enforcement officers and the general public.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2006, Official Report, column 1776W, on special advisers, how much of the spending on travelling expenses was for air travel. 
Mr. Hain: Pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2006, Official Report, column 1776W, of the £42,536.18 spent on travelling expenses for special advisers, £28,662.61 was spent on air travel in the financial year 2005-06.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent (a) on travel and subsistence and (b) on air travel for special advisers in the Northern Ireland Office in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Hain: The information requested by the hon. Member is not readily available for all of the five years. Prior to financial year 2005-06, payments in respect of special advisers in the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) were not separated out from civil servants. The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. In 2005-06, the NIO restructured the ministerial expenditure codes in order to separately identify Ministers, ministerial support staff and special advisor costs.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland where funding for the Sure Start initiative in Northern Ireland is being targeted; which groups have received funding; and how much each has received. 
|Childcare partnership/Sure Start project||2005-06 expenditure (£)|
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