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The definition of a pensioner household and the expenditure categories detailed in the table are consistent with those published for the UK, by the Office for National Statistics, in Family Spending: A report on the 2004-05 Expenditure and Food Survey.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many and what percentage of pensioner households in each parliamentary constituency in Northern Ireland are classified as fuel poor. 
Mr. Hanson: The 2004 Interim House Condition Survey collected fuel poverty information on a Northern Ireland wide basis. Due to the small sample size it is not possible to break down the information into parliamentary constituency or district council area. The Survey did, however, indicate that 54 per cent. (82,310) of fuel poor households are headed by someone aged 60 or over.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of pensioners in Northern Ireland did not take up their eligibility to (a) pension credit and (b) housing benefit in each of the last five years; and what steps he is taking to ensure pensioners are informed of their benefit entitlements. 
The Social Security Agency (SSA) promotes the range of benefits for pensioners through pension tele-centres in Belfast and Londonderry, the internet, promotional leaflets and regional benefit uptake events. A network of pension advisers is also located in its 35 jobs and benefit offices/social security offices.
The 2005-06 Benefit Uptake Strategy piloted a number of exercises targeting 3,750 pensioners offering them a comprehensive benefit assessment. Of those targeted by the 2005-06 strategy 10 per cent. made successful claims; resulting in £400,000 paid in arrears and an average weekly increase of £30 for each successful customer amounting to additional yearly benefit spend of £575,000.
The SSA has been working in partnership with the NI Housing Executive (NIHE) to promote uptake of housing benefit (HB) among the elderly. An exercise last year identified those in receipt of pension credit (PC), living in rented accommodation but not receiving HB. 23,765 people were contacted by the Agency and invited to apply for HB with the latest figures indicating 6,071 applications issued, with 3,923 (65 per cent.) having been returned and passed to either the NIHE or Rate Collection Agency for assessment.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of 17 July 2006, Official Report, column 18W, on police, whether the cheque written by the Northern Ireland Police Fund to LEstrange and Brett Solicitors was queried by his Department (a) as part of a financial return to his Department and (b) at the end of the financial year in question. 
Paul Goggins: The Department has not queried any details contained in either financial returns or end of year financial reports received from the Northern Ireland Police Fund for the financial year in question.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many resignations of senior police officers in each district command unit have occurred in the last two years; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: The total number of senior PSNI officers (inspector rank and above) that have resigned from the service within the period 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2006 is three. This figure includes one chief inspector from Newtownabbey DCU and two inspectorsone from Lisburn DCU and one from Magherafelt.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of 17 July 2006, Official Report, column 20W, on police, when it was decided to replace staff recruited externally with Northern Ireland Office (NIO) staff in the Northern Ireland Police Fund; who made the decision to replace staff recruited externally with NIO staff in the Northern Ireland Police Fund; and for what reason it was decided to replace staff recruited externally with NIO staff in the Northern Ireland Police Fund. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many fatalities have occurred on railway lines in Northern Ireland in the last three years; what action has been taken (a) to secure access to train lines and (b) to improve safety at level crossings; and if he will make a statement. 
Northern Ireland Railways (NIR) continually reviews safety with regard to access to railway lines and engages in a wide range of activities to prevent accidents. In this respect NIR recognises that a partnership is required between the public and Translink. By their nature it is not possible to totally separate rail lines from public access as access to and across tracks is required at various defined points.
NIR has spent over £8 million upgrading either half or full barriers at public level crossings in the last five years. CCTV also protects full barrier crossings and the crossings are inspected on a quarterly basis for maintenance purposes. These crossings are also subject to Level Crossing Orders made under the Transport Act (Northern Ireland) 1967. Furthermore, they are also subject to a tripartite annual safety inspection involving NIR, PSNI and Roads Service.
NIR has developed a comprehensive risk model covering all private user accommodation crossings and has a programme of improvements and closures in progress to reduce overall risk. User worked crossings are inspected twice a year with access points, where defined, protected by a number of means including user worked gates and arras boards (planking laid on the ground) to discourage people and animals from going onto the track.
The Environment and Heritage Service (EHS)'s Wake Up to Waste awareness programme is providing targeted resources (including lesson plans, games and activities) for teachers that enable resource and waste management to be tied into the everyday teaching of all key stage groups. In addition, this approach is supplemented by the qualified teachers employed at each of the EHS's Environmental Education Centres across Northern Ireland, who have integrated waste education into their teaching programme.
District councils have waste management education officers, who visit primary schools on a regular basis, raising awareness of how to prevent and recycle waste. In March 2006, EHS launched its Waste Education Resource Pack to provide support, guidance and practical tools for these officers.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of 17 July 2006, Official Report, column 22W, on redundancy, if the redundancy terms granted to employees of the Northern Ireland Police Fund who were laid off were (a) forwarded to the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) and (b) approved by the NIO in advance of their being agreed with staff. 
At present, charities in Northern Ireland are not registered. On 17 July 2006 I launched a
public consultation about proposed new Northern Ireland charities legislation which will, inter alia, create a Northern Ireland Register of Charities and require all charities operating in Northern Ireland to register.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will introduce a medal to mark the bravery and service of Royal National Lifeboat Institution volunteers on the seas around Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Hain: Her Majesty The Queen is advised by the Committee on the grant of honours, decorations and medals on all matters to do with honours and medals. My department has no plans to recommend the introduction of such a medal to the Committee.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many deaths occurred on Northern Irelands roads involving (a) cyclists and (b) motorbike riders and pillion passengers over the last three years, broken down by Westminster constituency. 
Paul Goggins: The information requested is provided as follows. The Police Service of Northern Ireland collates information according to district command unit and cannot supply information broken down by Westminster constituency.
|Number of motorcycle, pedal cycle and pillion passenger fatalities, 2003 to 2005|
|DCU||Pillion||Motor cyclist||Pedal cyclist||Pillion||Motor cyclist||Pedal cyclist||Pillion||Motor cyclist||Pedal cyclist|
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