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31 Oct 2006 : Column 306Wcontinued
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have been (a) killed and (b) injured by drivers who were using hand-held mobile phones. 
Dr. Ladyman: In 2005 there were 12 people killed and 452 people injured in road accidents where a police officer attended the scene and driver using mobile phone was reported as a contributory factor. This contributory factor includes hand-held and hands-free phones, where their use (or attempted use) contributed to the accident.
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in respect of how many (a) trunk road and (b) local authority road schemes he has withdrawn (i) funding and (ii) approval since 1997; and what the reasons were for the withdrawal of the approval and funding in each case. 
Dr. Ladyman: We undertook a detailed review of the trunk roads programme in 1998, the results of which are published in A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England.
More recently, we sought advice from the regions in 2005 on their priorities for new schemes on the regional trunk road network and major transport schemes promoted by local authorities. We broadly accepted the regions advice which recommended that six schemes in the Highways Agencys Targeted Programme of Improvements and eight local authority road schemes with an earlier Government funding approval should not be funded in the period to 2015-16. All other schemes previously approved are currently expected to progress, subject to satisfying statutory and departmental approval processes.
Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many speed cameras there are in Halifax; and how many motorists they have recorded exceeding the speed limit in the last 12 months. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Department only holds this information for offences detected by the West Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership within the National Safety Camera Programme. There are currently 10 fixed speed cameras and 13 mobile camera sites operating in Halifax. In the year ending December 2005, the latest 12-month period for which figures are available, 78,780 motorists were recorded exceeding the speed limit in West Yorkshire. Separate figures for Halifax are not available. This information has been provided to the Department by the West Yorkshire Safety Camera Partnership.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding his Department gave to Sea and Water in each of the last three years; and what discussions the Department has had with that organisation on the strategic direction for coastal shipping and inland waterways delivery of freight transport. 
Dr. Ladyman: Since its formation in 2003-04, Sea and Water has received £120,000 funding per annum from the Department for Transport for start up and running costs. This funding will cease in 2008-09 at the latest, after which Sea and Water will become entirely self-funding. Departmental officials have met with Sea and Water on a regular basis since its inception to discuss how best to realise the potential of water freight.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on how many occasions Royal Navy divers have inspected the hulk of the SS Montgomery (a) in each of the last three years and (b) to date in 2006; and what evidence there is that the ship has moved during the past five years. 
Dr. Ladyman: The wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery was surveyed by divers in 2003, and by high-resolution multi-beam sonar survey in 2005 and September 2006. The 2003 diver survey comprised an ultra-sonic hull-thickness survey, as well as a visual inspection. The report of this survey is available on the Maritime and Coastguard Agency website.
From these surveys it does not appear that the wreck of the SS Richard Montgomery has moved.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a copy of the research report commissioned by his Department entitled Sustainability of Land Use and Transport in Outer Neighbourhoods. 
Gillian Merron: A report will be produced at the end of the project and this will be made available in the Library of the House. The project is expected to be completed in summer 2007.
John Mann: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs if she will conduct an investigation into referral payments by claims handlers to solicitors for mining claims prior to March 2004, including payments by Walker and Co and Indiclaim to various solicitors. 
Bridget Prentice: The Department has no plans to investigate referral payments by claims handlers to solicitors for mining claims prior to March 2004. However, the statutory regulation of claims management services, currently being introduced under Part 2 of the Compensation Act 2006, will ensure that the conduct of claims handlers is tightly regulated including their referral practices. Walker and Co and Indiclaim are firms set up and/or run by officials of the UDM/Vendside and are being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). It would not be appropriate to comment until the SFO have concluded their investigations.
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs by what process a chartered insurance practitioner may apply for an exemption from the requirement for authorisation for very small entities providing regulated claims management services in the context of the Compensation Act 2006; and if she will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: A chartered insurance practitioner or any other person should contact the Department's Claims Management Regulation Team (Claims Management Regulation Team, Department for Constitutional Affairs, 3.10 Selborne House 54-60 Victoria Street, London or email: firstname.lastname@example.org) about exemptions or any other aspect of the regulation of claims management services under Compensation Act 2006. DCA published the draft Exemptions Order for consultation between 8 September and 13 October and we are considering the responses made. We plan to lay the first Order in November but if additional exemptions are necessary further Orders can be made.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the effect of the Compensation Act on the practice of vehicle repair firms being paid by solicitors to refer customers who have been in road traffic accidents to them. 
The Compensation Act provides the statutory framework for the regulation of claims management services. The Law Society rules already impose strict requirements on solicitors related to referrals from introducers such as vehicle repair firms. We are considering the appropriate regulatory arrangements to be applied through the new powers provided by the Act. This includes considering if those firms where referrals are purely incidental to their main businessfor example vehicle repairersshould be subject to direct regulation or full responsibility for
their compliance with the appropriate rules should be taken by the solicitors or other authorised businesses to whom they introduce to.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what guidance her Department has provided for returning officers on the implementation of the Electoral Administration Act 2006. 
Bridget Prentice: My Department provides regular updates to election administrators on the provisions of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 and subsequent secondary legislation.
In addition, the Electoral Commission, in accordance with their power under section 10(3) of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, are ensuring that returning officers receive sufficient guidance on the implementation of the Electoral Administration Act 2006. This is taking the form of formal written guidance, briefing events, support materials and ministerial meetings.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs for what reason people over the age of 70 years are prohibited from carrying out jury service; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: I have been asked to reply.
The Government agree with Lord Justice Auld's finding in his review of the criminal courts that there is no compelling case for changing the present age limit of 70 for jury service. It would be unreasonable to require people above that age to serve, and having abolished in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 the category of persons who are excusable as of right, we do not propose to reintroduce it for those over 70 in order to allow them to choose to serve as jurors.
Dr. Starkey: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Vale of Clwyd (Chris Ruane) on 19 October 2006, Official Report, column 1387W, on postal voting, (1) what methods of collecting additional personal identifiers from existing postal voters her Department will advise returning officers to use; 
(2) whether targets will be set for returning officers for the collection of additional personal identifiers from existing postal voters; 
(3) what monitoring of the process of collecting additional personal identifiers from existing postal voters her Department will introduce. 
The Government plan shortly to make transitional regulations that will require Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) to obtain a signature and date of birth from existing postal voters to ensure that they will be subject to the new personal identifiers
arrangements for absent voters. The regulations will require EROs to send a notice in writing to existing postal voters requesting the personal identifiers, which may be sent by the Royal Mail, a commercial delivery firm or any other way that the ERO thinks appropriate. EROs will be required to send a reminder to postal voters who have not responded after 21 days. Further, EROs will be required to provide information to existing postal voters about how the personal identifiers will be used, and to explain that failure to provide the personal identifiers will result in the person losing their entitlement to vote by post, though loss of entitlement will not prevent the person from making a fresh postal vote application.
We do not consider it would be practical to set targets for the collection of the personal identifiers or to put in place formal monitoring arrangements. I understand that the independent Electoral Commission plans to issue guidance to electoral administrators about the collection of personal identifiers from existing postal voters, and to collect data about the number of notices issued by EROs and the percentage that are returned.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the present maximum claim is that can be pursued in the small claims court; and what consideration she is giving to (a) increasing and (b) decreasing the threshold. 
Bridget Prentice: The Civil Procedure Rules provide that the small claims track is the normal track for:
any claim for personal injuries which has a financial value of not more than £5,000 where the claim for damages for personal injuries is not more than £1,000;
any claim which includes a claim by a tenant of residential premises against his landlord for repairs or other work to the premises where the estimated cost of the repairs or other work is not more than £1,000 and the financial value of any other claim for damages is not more than £1,000;
any other claim which has a financial value of not more than £5,000.
We intend to publish a consultation paper, which will include consideration of the case track limits, by the end of the year.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff have been in post in the Benefits and Credits Directorate of HM Revenue and Customs in each month since April 2005. 
Benefits and Credits was formed by bringing together staff working on tax credits and child
benefit from various parts of the Department, with some additional staff, over the second half of 2005. Records of numbers have not been kept on a monthly basis.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what proposals his Department has made on simplification of regulations since he launched the Better Regulation action plan on 24 May 2005; and what progress has been made on implementation of those proposals. 
John Healey: The Treasury continues to make good progress on simplifying existing regulations and promotes a risk based approach to regulation in areas where the Treasury is directly responsible.
The Treasury has measured and set a 25 per cent. target for reducing the administrative burdens its regulations place on business and charities. The Treasury will also publish, by the end of the year, a rolling programme of simplification measures to reform and remove existing regulation.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many (a) men and (b) women (i) died of and (ii) were diagnosed with breast cancer in (1) the UK, (2) the North of England, (3) South Tyneside and (4) Jarrow constituency in each year since 1996. 
John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.
Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 31 October 2006:
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many (a) men and (b) women (i) died of and (ii) were diagnosed with breast cancer in (1) the UK, (2) the North, (3) South Tyneside and (4) Jarrow constituency in each year since 1996. 
The latest available figures for deaths from breast cancer are for the year 2005. Numbers of deaths from breast cancer by sex for the years 1996 to 2005 for the UK, North East Government Office Region (GOR), South Tyneside County District (CD) and Jarrow Parliamentary Constituency (PC) are given in Table 1 below.
The latest available figures for newly diagnosed cases of cancer (incidence) are for the year 2004 (England and Wales) and 2003 (Scotland and Northern Ireland). Numbers of cases of breast cancer by sex for the years 1996 to 2003 for the UK and 1996 to 2004 for North East Government Office Region (GOR), South Tyneside County District (CD) and Jarrow Parliamentary Constituency (PC) are given in Table 2 below.
|Table 1: Number of deaths where breast cancer was the underlying cause of death,( 1) UK, North East GOR, South Tyneside CD and Jarrow PC, 1996 to 2005( 2)|
|(1 )Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) codes 174-175 for the years 1996 to 2000 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 1996 to 1999 in Scotland, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code C50 for subsequent years. The introduction of ICD-10 means that the numbers of deaths from this cause before 2000 for the UK and 2001 for sub-national areas are not completely comparable with later years.|
(2 )Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.
(3 )UK figures include deaths of non-residents in Scotland and Northern Ireland, but not in England and Wales.
(4 )UK figures for 2005 include figures for Northern Ireland which are provisional.
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