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Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the estimated change is in the numbers of vacant premises in Northern Ireland between the date when such premises became liable for rates payments and the most recent date for which such figures are available. 
Mr. Hanson: On 4 June 2004 statistics were extracted from the Rate Collection Agency database identifying 8,901 non-domestic vacant properties that were now eligible to pay rates from 1 April 2004. These figures were extracted to facilitate the first phase of billing which commenced on 1 July 2004.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to ensure that every home in Northern Ireland uses at least one energy efficient light bulb. 
Mr. Hanson: It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to contribute to a more sustainable environment, one that aims to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels as an energy source. I would like to see every house with energy efficient light bulbs and to that end a number of steps are being taken. Northern Ireland Electricity distributes energy efficiency light bulbs (CFLs) through the Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre, Energy Efficiency Levy projects and the Warm Homes Scheme. Eligible households receive four light bulbs. NIE aim to distribute over 97,000 energy efficient light bulbs this year.
The Northern Ireland Housing Executive as part of its Home Energy Conservation Authority role raises public awareness of energy efficiency by advertising widely on TV, radio etc., by providing face to face advice at exhibitions, shows, etc. in conjunction with the EST Advice Centre, and by funding a number of projects such as cash back for insulation and demonstration schemes. These actions promote and encourage the use of energy efficient light bulbs.
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of 18 year olds in
each constituency in Northern Ireland went on to higher education in each of the last five years. 
|Percentage of 18 year olds in each parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland entering higher education 2000-01-2004-05|
| Note: 1. The data in the table exclude 877 18 year olds with an unknown postcode. 2. The total 18 year old population in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years was as follows: 24,408 in 2000-01, 25,548 in 2001-02, 26,023 in 2002-03, 26,756 in 2003-04 and 27,288 in 2004-05. Source: HESA, FESR and NISRA mid-year population estimate|
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many of the Northern Ireland Housing Executives properties had been vacant for more than three months in each district council area at the end of 2005. 
Mr. Hanson: The information is not available in the format requested but the following table sets out the figures at 31 December 2005 by Housing Executive district office. The figures include long term voids, those pending demolition, those not available because of short term operational reasons and those available for letting.
|Housing Executive district office||Total|
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the terms of reference are of the Implementation Group on Positive Parenting established by the Ministerial Committee on Children and Young People; by what criteria membership of the group will be established; and what the timetable is for its work. 
Mr. Hanson: When the Ministerial Sub-Committee on Children and Young People last met on 4 July, it agreed, in principle, to the establishment of a group to co-ordinate the implementation of Article 2 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 and to assist in the ongoing work on positive parenting, Positive parenting is a cross-departmental issue. An announcement on arrangements will be made soon.
Mr. Hanson: The Government does not issue guidelines on sentencing for any offence in Northern Ireland. Sentencing is entirely a matter for the independent courts based on case law and precedent. The role the Government plays is to provide the legislative framework and options within which the courts operate. To that end, in 2004 we introduced two new offences and penalties to deal with what is often inappropriately referred to as joy-riding.
We created the offence of Aggravated vehicle taking which is a vehicle being taken without consent, and which is then driven dangerously or causes an accident which results in injury, damage to property or damage to the vehicle. The maximum penalty for this offence is up to five years imprisonment, a fine, or both.
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