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12 July 2006 : Column 1914W—continued


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to President Museveni of Uganda about the international implications of offering amnesty to the leadership of the Lords Resistance Army. [84506]

Mr. Hoon: We are following the Government of southern Sudan’s current mediation process closely and we welcome all efforts to bring the long-running conflict in northern Uganda to an end. Such efforts should focus on securing a permanent end to the conflict and encouraging Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) foot-soldiers out of the bush to seek amnesty and reintegration into their communities.

President Museveni has recently said that he will offer an amnesty to the five LRA commanders facing International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrants if the talks process is successful The ICC has indicated that the arrest warrants still stand and reminded Uganda of its obligation as a state party to the Rome statute to effect the arrest warrants.

We endorse this—the UK is a strong supporter, in principle and in practice, of the work of the ICC. We are committed to seeing an end to impunity for the worst human rights abuses and criminal acts. My noble Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, made this point most recently to the Uganda Foreign Minister when they met in the margins of the African Union summit in Banjul earlier this month.

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Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of (a) the security situation and (b) political stability in Yemen; and if she will make a statement. [84200]

Dr. Howells: We have concerns about the security situation in Yemen and judge there is a continuing high threat from terrorism. During my visit to Yemen in January, I emphasised to Government Ministers that determined action against terrorist threats was vital. The UK provides practical counter terrorism support to Yemen.

This is a key year for Yemen's political and democratic systems with presidential elections in September. We will closely monitor the election process.

House of Commons Commission


Mr. Dismore: To ask the honourable Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1082W, on delegations, how many overseas visits the eight members of staff referred to undertook in total between 1 June 2005 and 31 May 2006; and at what cost. [84452]

Nick Harvey: In the year 1 June 2005 to 31 May 2006, the total number of overseas visits undertaken by the eight members of staff referred to in the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1082W, was 38, to 19 separate sessions or meetings of international parliamentary assemblies. The total cost of subsistence and travel payments for those overseas visits was £53,946.

Northern Ireland

Cervical Cancer

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the most recent survival rate is for patients in the Province diagnosed with cervical cancer. [83725]

Paul Goggins: The survival time for a cancer patient is defined as the time elapsed between diagnosis and death The following table details information on the incidence of cervical cancer (ICD-10 C53) in Northern Ireland for the last period for which data was available.

Relative survival for cervical cancer in Northern Ireland
Diagnosis Period 1996-99

1-Year (95 % CI)

85.9 % (81.4, 89.4)

5-Year (95% CI)

71.9 % (65.9, 77.0)

Source: NI Cancer Registry.

Survival from cervical cancer is highly dependent upon the stage at which the disease is diagnosed. The five-year survival rate for stage I cervical cancer was 82 per cent. for patients diagnosed between 1996 and 1999, compared to 2 per cent. for Stage IV disease.

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This information has been provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry and is the most up to date currently available.

Child Services

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans are in place to manage the process of change between existing health boards and trusts in the Province and the new Health and Social Services Authority in relation to services for children, young people and families. [83686]

Paul Goggins: By April 2007 the 18 existing trusts will be formally dissolved and the five new Health and Social Care trusts will become fully operational. The new Health and Social Services Authority will subsequently be established by April 2008. The new authority will have a role in commissioning the full range of services, including those for children, young people and families, either centrally or through the Local Commissioning Groups. The services will be delivered by the five new trusts and, where appropriate, the community and voluntary sector.

Specific plans are being developed to ensure that continuity and appropriate governance and accountability arrangements are maintained for services to children and families and, where necessary, strengthened in the move to the new commissioning and service provision arrangements. This work is being taken forward collaboratively by the Department, boards, trusts and the Northern Ireland Social Care Council with input from representatives of service users and carers.

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what expenditure is planned on each of the measures contained in Theme 3 of the Children and Young People Funding Package on improving education provision and support for looked-after children and vulnerable young adults in 2006-07; and on what timetable. [83687]

Paul Goggins: The information is as follows;

1. Supporting and equipping foster carers to discharge their role effectively as "First Educators" of the children in their care:

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2. Supporting staff in residential care settings to promote improved educational outcomes for the children in their care:

3. Enabling young people who are not yet ready for independence to remain living with their foster carers, and to encourage more young people leaving care to continue in education or training up to age 21:

4. Empowering children and young people in care to engage actively in the process of ensuring the system works in their best interests:

Child Worker Vetting

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what measures are in place for co-ordination between authorities in Northern Ireland and (a) the UK and (b) the Republic of Ireland to ensure that people deemed unsuitable for work with children in one jurisdiction are unable to secure such employment in the other. [83023]

Paul Goggins: With effect from 1 April 2005, the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (NI) Order 2003 (POCVA) introduced a statutory requirement for childcare organisations to carry out a vetting check on prospective employees wishing to work with children in a paid or unpaid capacity in Northern Ireland. As part of the services introduced under POCVA, employers in Northern Ireland can check to confirm that a prospective employee or volunteer is not disqualified from working with children.

Where previous addresses indicate that an individual may have resided in:

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Where an individual resides in England/Wales or Scotland and wishes to work or volunteer to work with children, the onus will be on the prospective employer to carry out a vetting check through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) or Disclosure Scotland respectively. If the individual has a previous address in Northern Ireland CRB or Disclosure Scotland will request a criminal records check from the PSNI. PSNI will also check if individuals have been listed on the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the Department of Education (DE) Disqualification Lists.

Employers in Republic of Ireland (ROI) can also register with the DHSSPS to ascertain whether prospective employees resident in ROI but with previous addresses in Northern Ireland are included on the DHSSPS Disqualification list.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average cost to his Department was of replying to a letter written (a) by an hon. Member and (b) by a member of the public in the latest period for which figures are available; and how much of that sum is accounted for by (i) officials’ time, (ii) cost of stationery and (iii) postage costs. [80489]

Mr. Hain: The information requested is not recorded centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

However, on an annual basis the Cabinet Office publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of departments in replying to Members/Peers correspondence. The report for 2005 was published on 30 March 2006, Official Report, columns 76-78WS.


David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of (a) children, (b) adults and (c) the population in Northern Ireland were registered with a dentist in each of the last five years (i) in total and (ii) by board. [83945]

Paul Goggins: The information requested is detailed in the following table. Registration figures by Health and Social Services Board for 2000 are not available.

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Percentage of population registered with general dental practitioners
HSS board Eastern Northern Southern Western NI

2001 (as at May)



















2002 (as at August)



















2003 (as at July)



















2004 (as at July)



















Note: Figures are derived from dental registration data and the corresponding mid-year estimate of population from General Register Office, Northern Ireland. Source: Central Service Agency and General Register Office

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