Previous Section Index Home Page

29 Jun 2006 : Column 591W—continued

Planning

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much the Government have allocated to the (a) Ashford and (b) Milton Keynes growth areas for infrastructure development for each of the next 10 years. [78237]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 16 June 2006]: The Ashford growth area has been allocated a total of £5.72 million in 2006-07 and £15.29 million in 2007-08 from the Growth Areas Fund. The Milton Keynes/South Midlands growth area has been allocated a total of £66.07 million in 2006-07 and £62.83 million in 2007-08 from the Growth Areas Fund. In addition, the Milton Keynes/South Midlands growth area has also been allocated a total of £96.8 million across these two years from the Community Infrastructure Fund. The split between 2006-07 and 2007-08 has yet to be decided. This funding is in addition to infrastructure funding from other Government Departments, for example for schools, healthcare facilities and transport.

No allocations have been made beyond 2007-08, as budgets cannot be set beyond the Government’s Spending Review horizon.

Second Homes

Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of second homes in each region. [80530]

Yvette Cooper [holding answer 28 June 2006]: The number of second homes and the number of second homes as a proportion of the housing stock in each region in England are shown in the following table. The data are from a snapshot taken in October 2005, as recorded on CTB1 forms submitted by each local authority for council tax purposes.

Number of second homes Second homes as a percentage of total number of dwellings

North East

7,188

0.6

North West

18,295

0.6

Yorkshire and the Humber

16,267

0.7

East Midlands

9,968

0.5

West Midlands

14,774

0.6

East of England

28,181

1.2

London

49,820

1.6

South East

41,588

1.2

South West

50,250

2.2

Total

236,331

1.1


29 Jun 2006 : Column 592W

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many properties are (a) designated as second homes and eligible for a council tax discount and (b) claiming such a discount in (i) the Lewes district council and (ii) Wealdon district council area. [81033]

Mr. Woolas: There are 446 properties in the Lewes district council area and 956 properties in the Wealden district council area designated as second homes and claiming a discount in council tax as at 19 September 2005, the latest date for which figures are available.

Northern Ireland

Academic Selection

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the estimated cost is of abolishing academic selection in Northern Ireland. [79998]

Maria Eagle: The abolition of academic selection is one element of a whole package of reforms of post-primary education. The focus of the new arrangements is on the educational needs of the child. The new arrangements will be implemented locally by schools and school managing authorities working together, taking account of local needs and circumstances. Until local arrangements are developed, the financial implications cannot be assessed. £24.7 million has been made available over the period 2005-06 to 2007-08 to support the preparation for and phased introduction of, key elements of the new post-primary arrangements.

Breast Cancer

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to reduce waiting times for women undergoing predictive genetic testing for breast cancer; and if he will make a statement. [80097]

Paul Goggins: Predictive genetic testing for breast cancer is available to women at the regional Genetics Centre at Belfast City hospital. I have been advised that predictive genetic tests for breast cancer are treated as a high priority and are generally reported within four to six weeks. There is no significant waiting list for this service.

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many families in Northern Ireland have been tested for the CDH 1gene; and how many patients have opted for pre-emptive surgery in each board area as a result of the test in each of the last three years. [80103]

Paul Goggins: The CDH1 (E-Cadherin) mutation is associated with familial diffuse gastric cancer. Approximately 10 to 15 families in Northern Ireland have been tested for the CDH1 mutation. None has tested positive consequently. There has been no pre-emptive surgery performed in Northern Ireland for this disease.


29 Jun 2006 : Column 593W

Call Centres

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many call centre jobs there are in Northern Ireland; how many there were three years ago; and if he will make a statement. [80101]

Paul Goggins: Invest NI figures from a survey of customer contact centres in Northern Ireland conducted in May 2006 show that there are currently over 10,500 employed in the sector. Three years ago the number employed was around 8,000.

The customer contact sector in Northern Ireland has been developed largely by inward investment but also contains a number of locally owned companies trading in international markets. It remains a key target sector for Invest NI.

Cocaine

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in each health and social services board area (HSSB) are known to be cocaine users; and what working estimate of the total number of cocaine users each HSSB has. [79976]

Paul Goggins: The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) records information on problem drug users presenting to treatment services for the first time, or for the first time in six months or more. The number of people presenting to treatment services in 2004-05 (the latest year for which figures are available) where they reported cocaine (including crack cocaine) use, by health and social services board, is recorded as:

Health and social services board Number

Eastern

138

Northern

56

Southern

53

Western

75

Northern Ireland(1)

369

(1 )Includes 47 people from Northern Ireland prisons who have reported using cocaine at some stage. Source: NI Drug Misuse Database.

The DHSSPS report entitled ‘2002-03 Drug Prevalence Survey: Cocaine Results’ reported lifetime prevalence figures for cocaine (those who reported that they had ever used cocaine, including crack cocaine) use in Northern Ireland. Lifetime Prevalence figures, for adults aged 15 to 64 years, for each of the four health and social services boards in Northern Ireland were reported as:

Health and social services board Percentage of lifetime prevalence

Eastern

2.4

Northern

1.0

Southern

0.8

Western

1.6


29 Jun 2006 : Column 594W

Consultant Referrals

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average waiting time to be seen by a consultant was for people in Northern Ireland in 2005-06, broken down by clinical conditions. [80057]

Paul Goggins: Official waiting list information is collected by time band. It is therefore not possible to calculate the average (arithmetic mean) and longest waiting time. It is however possible to identify the median or mid point waiting time band.

The latest available waiting list statistics show the position at 31 March 2006. It is not possible to provide waiting lists by clinical conditions as waiting list information is aggregated by specialty. The median waiting time band for patients waiting for their first outpatient consultant appointment at 31 March 2006 for each individual specialty is provided in the following table.


29 Jun 2006 : Column 595W
Specialty Median waiting time for first outpatient consultant appointment at 31 March 2006 (months)

General Surgery

0-2

Urology

3-5

T and O Surgery

9-11

ENT

3-5

Ophthalmology

3-5

Oral Surgery

6-8

Restorative Dentistry

9-11

Paediatric Dentistry

12-14

Orthodontics

3-5

Neurosurgery

6-8

Plastic Surgery

21-23

Cardiac Surgery

0-2

Paediatric Surgery

3-5

Thoracic Surgery

0-2

Accident and Emergency

0-2

Anaesthetics

0-2

Pain Management

6-8

General Medicine

3-5

Gastroenterology

3-5

Endocrinology

0-2

Haematology ( Clinical)

0-2

Audiological Medicine

0-2

Clinical Genetics

0-2

Rehabilitation

0-2

Palliative Medicine

0-2

Cardiology

3-5

Dermatology

3-5

Thoracic Medicine

0-2

Genito-Urinary Medicine

0-2

Nephrology

3-5

Medical Oncology

0-2

Neurology

3-5

Rheumatology

3-5

Paediatrics

0-2

Paediatric Neurology

0-2

Geriatric Medicine

0-2

Dental Medicine Specialties

9-11

Obstetrics

0-2

Gynaecology

0-2

GP Other

0-2

Mental Handicap

3-5

Mental Illness

0-2

Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

0-2

Psychotherapy

3-5

Old Age Psychiatry

0-2

Clinical Oncology

0-2

Chemical Pathology

0-2

Haematology

0-2

Joint Consultant Clinics

0-2

All Specialties

3-5

Source: Departmental Information Return CH3 Parts 1 and 2

Next Section Index Home Page