Margaret Moran: To ask the honourable Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how many empty properties are owned by the Church of England; and for how long on average they have been empty. 
Sir Stuart Bell: The Commissioners are one among thousands of separate legal entities making up the Church of England. Many of these bodies own property and it is not possible to give a single figure covering the whole Church. The Commissioners' property investment portfolio is very well let with few vacancies.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland have been convicted of assault in which the victim was (a) a female partner, (b) a male partner and (c) one of their children in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Hanson: Northern Ireland court proceedings and sentencing data do not currently record the relationship between those who have been convicted of assault and their victims. I anticipate that this information will become available with the development of the Causeway information system.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made in securing cost-effective, environmentally-friendly sources of power in Northern Ireland since the publication of proposals on 25 July 2005. 
Maria Eagle: The July 2005 proposals relate primarily to the North South cooperation on a longer-term vision for renewable energy within the All-Island electricity marketknown as the 2020 Vision.
In that specific context, extensive cooperation with the Republic of Ireland is continuing in the development of actions for implementation. A key element of this work is the all-island grid study involving research into the potential for renewable energyand wind energy in particularto be accommodated in the electricity grid systems in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. The study, which is due to be completed in mid-2007 will provide a firm evidence base on which to develop strategic investment decisions in relation to securing renewable sources of power.
The detailed responses to the 2020 Vision paper itself are being analysed by the Department of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources (DCMNR) and the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) with a view to presenting the outcome to an industry forum in the new year.
In addition to the 2020 Vision work, the hon. Member will be aware that the Secretary of States Environment and Renewable Energy Fund was launched in February 2006 with the aim of making Northern Ireland an exemplar region in renewables development. The £59 million ring-fenced package is already being implemented through a number of programmes to enhance renewables actions and secure cleaner sources of power for Northern Ireland across both the public and private sectors.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the community background is of the new chairmen of the new further education colleges; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: The chairs designate of the six new Further Education Colleges were formally appointed in September 2006. Two have a Protestant community background, and four have a Roman Catholic community background The chairs designate will be appointed as chairs of the six new colleges on the date on which the mergers take place and will serve for a four year period. The selection process was monitored by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments for Northern Ireland to ensure that it was run in an open, unbiased and transparent manner.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applicants there were for the recent appointments to the proposed new further education colleges in Northern Ireland, broken down by community background; and how many of these were interviewed, broken down in the same way. 
Maria Eagle: 32 people applied to become chairs of the six new further education colleges and 23 were interviewed. The community background of the applicants at each stage of the process is shown in the following table.
The selection process was monitored by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) for Northern Ireland under their good practice kite mark scheme. The selection panel, which was balanced in terms of gender and community background, consisted of an OCPA-nominated independent assessor and two departmental officials. In line with recommended practice, the selection panel did not, at any stage, see the monitoring information relating to the community background of any applicant, which is requested purely for statistical purposes.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations he has received in response to the Minister of State's call of 10 August 2005 for members of the public in Northern Ireland to report nuisance hedges to the planning service. 
David Cairns: The Planning Service carried out a consultation exercise between August and October 2005 seeking information on the scale and geographical spread of problems with nuisance high hedges in Northern Ireland.
The consultation generated a high level of public interest with a total of 641 responses received610 of those from members of the public. A summary of the main results of the consultation exercise is available on the Planning Service website (www.planningni.gov.uk).
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many jobcentre staff in Northern Ireland have been the victims of assault in each of the last three years. 
Maria Eagle: The Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) has 10 jobcentres which form part of a network of 35 regional offices. The remaining 25 offices are Jobs and Benefits Offices (JBO) which are administered jointly with the Social Security Agency, Department for Social Development (DSD).There have been no reported incidents of physical assault on staff in any of the 10 jobcentres in the last three years. There have been five reported incidents of physical assault in Jobs and Benefits Offices in each of the last three years involving one DEL member of staff, one Social Security Agency member of staff and three contract staff as follows:
|Number of incidents|
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland have been convicted for (a) motoring offences that resulted in a fatality and (b) careless driving in each year since 2003. 
Mr. Hanson: Table 1 provides the number of convictions for those motoring offences causing death, while table 2 includes convictions for careless driving and other similar offences.
Data cover the calendar years 2003 and 2004, the latter being the most up-to-date available at present.
It should be noted that data are collated on the principal offence rule, thus only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.
|Table 1: Number of convictions for motoring offences causing death by offence 2003 and 2004( 1)|
|Number of convictions|
|(1) Data for 2004 are provisional.|
|Table 2: Number of convictions for careless driving and other similar offences by offence 2003 and 2004( 1,2,3)|
|Number of convictions|
Grievous bodily injury by driving carelessly with excess alcohol
|(1) Data for 2004 are provisional. (2) Figures do not included careless driving offences which resulted in a fatality. (3) Figures do not included reckless driving, furious driving or dangerous driving.|
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people over the age of 60 years enrolled in full-time or part-time (a) vocational and (b) non-vocational courses in each college of further and higher education in Northern Ireland in academic year (i) 2004-05 and (ii) 2005-06. 
Maria Eagle: The following table details the number of people over the age of 60 years enrolled in full-time or part-time (a) vocational and (b) non-vocational courses in each college of further and higher education in Northern Ireland in academic year 2004-05. Data pertaining to 2005-06 will be available in December 2006.
|College||Vocational students||Non-vocational students||Total|
| Note: Age is at 1 July 2004. Source: Further Education Statistical Record|
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