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2 Nov 2006 : Column 652W—continued

Northern Ireland

Appointments

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) Protestant, (b) Roman Catholic and (c) non-determined applicants there have been to the police in Northern Ireland in each of the last two recruitment competitions. [98152]

Paul Goggins: I am advised that as of 26 October 2006, the number of people in each category of applicants for the last two PSNI Trainee Constable competitions were as follows:

Competition 11 12

Number of Protestant Applications

4,794

4,339

Number of Catholic Applications

2,829

3,177

Number non-determined

236

233


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Arts Production

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps have been taken to develop Northern Ireland as a production base for the arts (a) nationally and (b) internationally since 28 July 2005; how much additional revenue has been raised as a result; and how many new jobs have been created. [97132]

Maria Eagle: The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has a range of programmes to support artists and arts organisations. The Arts Council's budget in 2006-07 is £10.5 million.

In addition, Government have allocated £20 million for the development of arts infrastructure in the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland (2005 to 2015) and £3 million from the Integrated Development Fund. This funding will increase the opportunities for production and presentation of the arts in Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission (NIFTC) supports the growth of indigenous film and TV companies and also attracts inward investment. It administers film and television production funds totalling £21.9 million over a seven year period. It raises the profile of Northern Ireland as a film location through promotional and marketing activities including presence at the annual Cannes International Film Festival. A major conference, Shifting Brilliances, was held in September 2006 to highlight the need to increase the level of network television drama produced in Northern Ireland and identify the issues which need to be addressed to achieve this.

The Department of Culture Arts and Leisure has an international arts strategy delivered through the Arts Council and the British Council which aims to promote quality arts from Northern Ireland in international markets. Northern Ireland exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2005 for the first time and will again in 2007. The Department is also in Washington DC from March to July 2007 organising a programme to showcase Northern Ireland culture.

There is no aggregated data available to quantify the impact of these actions in terms of additional revenue raised and jobs created.

Autistic Children

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much funding central Government are providing towards the provision of services for autistic children in Northern Ireland in 2006-07. [97729]

Paul Goggins: The proportion of the overall block grant which is allocated by the Education and Library Boards and the proportion of the overall baseline which is allocated by the Health and Social Services Boards for the provision of services for children with autism is not separately identified.


2 Nov 2006 : Column 654W

In addition to this mainstream funding however, the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety allocated an additional £0.5 million recurrent funding in 2004-05 to improve the life outcome for 200 children and young people with Autism. In September 2006, a further £0.5 million recurrent funding was made available to provide early intervention services for 300 children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

In 2006-07 the Department of Education also allocated additional earmarked and block grant funding of just over £1.5 million to the Education and Library Boards specifically to support provision for children with Autism.

An element of the funding which is provided within HPSS baselines for Adolescent Psychiatry (£2.4 million in 2004-05) is also spent on services to support children with Autism. The multi-disciplinary support teams established through the Children and Young People’s Funding Package, March 2006, will also work alongside existing services in schools helping to provide diagnosis and interventions for children with Autism.

Departmental Staff

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if his Department will (a) carry out an age audit of its staff to establish an age profile of its workforce, (b) negotiate an age management policy with trade unions and employees to eliminate age discrimination and retain older workers, (c) identify and support training needs and offer older staff flexible working to downshift towards retirement and (d) extend to over-fifties the right to request to work flexibly and the right to training with paid time off; and if he will make a statement. [96499]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Office has an Equal Opportunities Policy that is fully supported by Management and Trade Unions. The Policy has a specific reference to Age Discrimination and this has stimulated the development of policies and monitoring practices that:

Giving Children a Voice

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the policy outcomes were of the Giving Children a Voice project. [96972]

Paul Goggins: The study “Giving children a voice” accessed the views and interests of three/four-year-old children in playgroups. One of the key findings of the research showed that children preferred play that allowed them to use their own initiative, imagination and be physically active. This research will assist the future development of Early Years policy and practice.


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Hospital Chaplains

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 23 October 2006, Official Report, column 1547W, on hospital chaplains, what definition is used of reasonable need; and what steps the Department has taken to ensure that this definition complies with equality legislation. [97711]

Paul Goggins: The reference to reasonable need in answer of 23 October 2006, Official Report, column 1547W, relates to where the number of clients and staff using a particular hospital facility reaches a level to justify 3.5 hours of chaplaincy cover. My Department has issued a best practice framework to HPSS employers for the calculation of chaplaincy cover. Church representatives and the Northern Ireland Interfaith Forum were consulted on the development of this guidance. The outcome of this consultation process reported no negative impact on any particular faith group.

Irish Language

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the costs to the Department of Health and Public Safety have been of the Department’s bilingual policy for the Irish language in each of the last five years. [98223]


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Paul Goggins: Estimated costs of bilingual policy for the Irish language provided by DHSSPS from 2001-02 to 2005-06

Irish translations( 1) Publications Total

2001-02

13,845

16,346.84

30,191.84

2002-03

72,500

16,652.86

89,152.86

2003-04

26,185

3,120.80

29,305.80

2004-05

8,389

1,203.76

9,592.76

2005-06

(2)8,974

0

8,974.00

(1) Irish translation figures include costs for press releases, speeches, advert translations. (2) The total figure for 2005-06 for Irish translations is made up of £7,590 for translating press release into Irish and £1,384 for translating press adverts into Irish.

NHS (Legal Services)

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which NHS organisations have contracted for legal services from (a) MSC Daly and (b) the Central Services Agency; and which of these organisations had formerly received such services from Brangam, Bagnall and Co. [98302]

Paul Goggins: The following table sets out which HSS organisations are using MSC Daly and Central Services Agency for the provision of legal services and which of these organisations had formerly received such services from Brangam Bagnall & Co.

Legal services currently provided by MSC Daly Legal services currently provided by Central Services Agency Legal services previously provided by Brangam Bagnall & Co( 1)

Northern Health and Social Services Board

Yes

Yes

Southern Health and Social Services Board

Yes

Yes

Eastern Health and Social Services Board

Yes

Yes

Western Health and Social Services Board

Yes

Yes

Royal Group of Hospitals HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

Yes

Belfast City Hospital HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

Green Park HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

Yes

Mater HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

United HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

Altnagelvin HSS Trust

Yes

Ulster Community and Hospital HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

Down Lisburn HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

North and West Belfast HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

Yes

South and East Belfast HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sperrin Lakeland HSS Trust

Yes

Foyle HSS Trust

Yes

Homefirst HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

Causeway HSS Trust

Yes

Yes

Craigavon and Banbridge HSS Trust

Yes

Newry and Mourne HSS Trust

Yes

Armagh and Dungannon HSS Trust

Yes

N.I. Ambulance HSS Trust

Yes

Central Services Agency

Yes

N.I. Blood Transfusion Service

Yes

N.I. Medical Physics Agency

Yes

N.I. Medical and Dental Training Agency

Yes

Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority

Yes

N.I. Social Care Council

Yes

N.I. Practice and Education Council for Nursing and Midwifery

Yes

(1) 1 April 1996 to date.

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