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7 Nov 2006 : Column 1208W—continued


Waiting list information is collected by time band. It is therefore not possible to calculate the arithmetic mean (average) and longest time waiting for cataract surgery. It is however possible to identify the median or mid-point and longest waiting time band in each applicable health trust area in the Province.

Patients waiting for cataract surgery at 30 June 2006
Waiting time band
HSS trust Median (Months) Longest (Months)

Altnagelvin Hospitals

0-2

3-5

Craigavon Area

0-2

3-5

Down Lisburn

0-2

3-5

Mater

0-2

6-8

Royal Group

0-2

6-8

Total

0-2

6-8

Source: Departmental Information Return PFA 211.

Children and Young People Strategy

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how the interests of the (a) statutory, (b) voluntary and (c) community sectors
7 Nov 2006 : Column 1209W
will be represented on the implementation structures for the Children and Young People’s Strategy; [99766]

(2) what the timetable is for the development of the Action Plan for the Children’s and Young People’s Strategy; [99793]

(3) when the implementation structures for the Children’s and Young People’s Strategy are expected to be established. [99794]

Maria Eagle: Officials are engaged in ongoing discussions with key stakeholders, including the statutory, voluntary, and community sectors to hear their views on how best to shape the implementation arrangements and to ensure appropriate representation on the implementation structures for the Children and Young People’s Strategy. Account is also being taken of emerging roles and structures under the new public reform arrangements.

We are currently in the process of finalising the first children and young people’s action plan, which will set out how we intend to deliver on our strategic aims by identifying concrete and time-bound actions. I intend to publish the action plan before the end of the year.

Work is under way to establish a number of implementation groups, which will advise on progress of the 10-year Strategy for children and young people and Action Plan. These include a Strategy Planning and Review Group, a Research and Information Group, a Parents’ Advisory Group and a Practitioners’ Group. It is intended to have all groups set up by January 2007.

Civil Service

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether civil servants will be able to choose to remain as employees of the Northern Ireland Civil Service under proposals in (a) the Review of Public Administration and (b) Workplace 2010. [99322]

Mr. Hanson: The RPA will be implemented, by legislation, following the principles of Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations (TUPE), on the basis that transfers of functions will be conducted so that staff will transfer with their work. On the date of transfer, the new organisation will be the legal employer. Under TUPE arrangements, the Northern Ireland Civil Service would be obliged to treat the refusal to transfer as a resignation.

Under the Workplace 2010 contract it is planned that the private sector partner will, in the future, provide the majority of services currently provided by support staff in those properties which transfer as part of the contract. A key consideration for Government in reaching conclusions on the services to be provided by the private sector partner will be the safeguarding of terms and conditions of employment in the event of any staff transfers.

Civil Service Protocols

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what protocols are in place on civil
7 Nov 2006 : Column 1210W
servants in his Department contacting members of the public to seek information at home on Saturdays and Sundays. [99468]

Mr. Hanson: There are no central protocols regarding civil servants contacting members of the public to seek information at home on Saturdays and Sundays.

However, where the business needs requires it, it is sometimes necessary for civil servants to contact members of the public at the weekend. In these circumstances, individual arrangements relating to the particular business needs are in place.

Complaints against GPs

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many complaints were made against general practitioners in each health board area in the Province in each of the last five years. [99755]

Paul Goggins: The information requested is presented in the following table:

EHSSB NHSSB SHSSB WHSSB Total

2001-02

279

134

80

123

616

2002-03

219

135

97

160

611

2003-04

236

134

114

103

587

2004-05

219

160

132

154

665

2005-06

294

153

120

140

707


Cycling

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how the Northern Ireland Cycling Strategy has progressed across the Province; and if he will make a statement. [100288]

David Cairns: The Chief Executive of Roads Service (Dr. Malcolm McKibbin) has written to the hon. Lady in response to this question.

Letter from Dr. Malcolm McKibbin, dated7 November 2006:


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1211W
Percentage

For all sites surveyed(1)

+25.8

For all sites surveyed on the National Cycle Network(2)

+31.4

For 10 sites in the Greater Belfast area

+56.6

(1 )31 locations throughout Northern Ireland. (2 )13 of the above 31 locations which are located throughout Northern Ireland

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many cyclists have been (a) injured and (b) killed in road traffic accidents in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. [100289]

Paul Goggins: It has not been possible to answer the hon. Member's question in this parliamentary session.

Departmental Expenditure

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of Statefor Northern Ireland pursuant to his answer of14 December 2005, Official Report, column 2095W, how much was spent on (a) new furnishings, (b) art and (c) new vehicles for each year since the suspension of the Northern Ireland Assembly in each department other than DHSPPS. [90994]

Mr. Hain: It has not been possible to answer this question before the end of the current parliamentary session.

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spenton organising and hosting conferences in the last12 months. [93096]

Mr. Hain: In the last 12 months the Northern Ireland Office has spent £65,912(1) on organising and hosting conferences.

Departmental Redundancies

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many redundancies there were in his Department in each year since 1997; what the cost of such redundancies was in each year; how many temporary staff were employed in each year; and how many staff were seconded by outside organisations to posts within the Department in each year. [95270]

Paul Goggins: The number of redundancies within the Northern Ireland Office Core Department for the period 1997 to date is nil.


7 Nov 2006 : Column 1212W

The total number of redundancies from the Northern Ireland Prison Service for the period 1997 to date are identified in the table. All redundancies relate to prison grade staff only.

Number of Prison Service redundancies

1997

83

1998

3

1999

210

2000

847

2001

31

2002

0

2003

0

2004

0

2005

0

2006

0


The total cost of redundancies from the Northern Ireland Prison Service for the period 1997 to date are identified in the table. All costs relate to prison grade staff only. Although from 2001 there have been no redundancies, there have been ongoing costs for annual compensation payments made to staff until they reach minimum retirement age.

Financial Year Redundancy costs (£ million)

1997-98

(1)

1998-99

3.6

1999-2000

6.3

2000-01

109.9

2001-02

4.0

2002-03

3.3

2004-05

2.4

2005-06

1.4

2006-07

0.1

(1) No available records.

The number of staff employed on a temporary basis for the same period including casual staff and staff employed under the new deal scheme, and the number of staff seconded by outside organisations to within the Department is shown in the table.

Temporary staff employed Number of secondments into NIO

1997

22

1998

35

8

1999

22

8

2000

17

6

2001

28

5

2002

37

15

2003

18

4

2004

30

4

2005

54

4

2006

40

2


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