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Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of (a) average life expectancy in Sierra Leone and (b) changes in life expectancy over the past five years. 
The Jaffna peninsula has been cut off by the closure of the main road connecting Jaffna to the rest of Sri Lanka. There are now serious food shortages and escalating prices. The Government are trying to re-supply the area by sea, but few ships are prepared to make the journey: the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan (LTTE) have threatened crews and the monsoon rains hamper deliveries. The 28-29 October peace talks in Geneva failed to make progress on reopening the main road to Jaffna.
The situation remains fragile and the UK will continue to monitor developments closely. While there is clear hardship, limited access makes it impossible to obtain a comprehensive picture of the humanitarian situation for the over half a million population on Jaffna peninsula. The UK Government have expressed serious concern over the humanitarian situation and over the need for all parties to the conflict to ensure regular and sustained access for humanitarian deliveries.
In September DFID contributed $1 million to the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to help provide humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 people displaced by the recent upsurge of violence. The UK, EU and the wider international community have pressed the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE to guarantee free access for relief agencies to deliver humanitarian aid to all Sri Lankans affected by the fighting.
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Leader of the House if he will bring forward proposals to make provision for questions unanswered at Prorogation to be carried over to and answered in the next session of Parliament. 
Mr. Straw: Prorogation marks the formal end of a parliamentary session. Following concerns from Members and the Public Administration Select Committee regarding the number of I will write replies, new arrangements were introduced in September 2004(1) to reduce the number of these replies and to increase accessibility of answers. This included the introduction of a Prorogation answer.
(1) Set out in written ministerial statement of 21 July 2004, Official Report, columns 424-35WS.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many arrests have been made (a) in Republican areas and (b) in Loyalist areas for (i) racketeering, (ii) protection scams and (iii) other criminal activity over the last two years; and if he will make a statement. 
The activities stated in the hon. Ladys question are not specific offences. Persons involved in such activities, when arrested are charged under the specific PACE (NI) Offence that they are suspected to have committed. It is not possible to distinguish the arrest details of those involved in organised crime from those arrested for other offences.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his most recent estimate is of how many hours per week, on average, a carer in Northern Ireland spends providing care for their patient. 
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of carers in Northern Ireland have been providing care for (a) less than one year, (b) one to three years, (c) three to five years and (d) more than five years. 
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of carers in Northern Ireland have (a) given up their jobs and (b) reduced their working hours to provide care for their patients. 
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of carers in Northern Ireland are (a) male, (b) female and (c) aged (i) 18 to 30, (ii) 30 to 50, (iii) 50 to 65 and (iv) over 65 years. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what representations the Minister for Children in Northern Ireland is making to the Comprehensive Spending Review process. 
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he has taken to encourage electricity customers in Northern Ireland to use EcoEnergy; and if he will make a statement. 
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many charges of illegal sale of fireworks to children in Northern Ireland have been successful, broken down by district command unit in the last three years. 
Mr. Hanson: There are no convictions for the illegal sale of fireworks to children in Northern Ireland for the calendar years 2002 to 2004, the latest available years for which data are available. The Government will be undertaking a review of fireworks legislation in the months following Halloween and will engage with a number of agencies and stakeholders with the aim of adopting a holistic approach to addressing problems associated with fireworks whether purchased illegally or obtained by legal means.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the change is from the previous years budget of the budget allocated to each further education college in Northern Ireland; what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the budgets on students from the Republic of Ireland studying at such colleges; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Eagle: The FE Recurrent Block Grant allocation for the 2006-07 academic year saw an 8.24 per cent. reduction on that allocated in 2005-06, with only two of the 16 colleges receiving a budget increase. The biggest factor in this settlement has been the actual size of the recurrent block grant.
|College||Allocation 2005-06||Allocation 2006-07||Change from 2005-06 to 2006-07|
The issue of residency for FE students coming from the Republic of Ireland is legally complex, and officials from both jurisdictions are considering how best it might be resolved. Pending clarification of the legal position, the Department for Employment and Learning announced on 25 August 2006 that that it had agreed with the Irish Departments of Education and Science, and Enterprise, Trade and Employment, an interim arrangement outside of the Recurrent Block
Grant, to facilitate the continued enrolment of Republic of Ireland students in Northern Ireland FE Colleges. The interim fund put in place for 2006-07 ensures that there should be no impact for individual students from the Republic of Ireland studying in FE Colleges in Northern Ireland as a result of the budget adjustments.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2006, Official Report, column 655W, on hospital chaplains, which religious umbrella groups other than the Northern Ireland Interfaith Forum were consulted; and if he will consult the Caleb Foundation. 
Paul Goggins: My Department also consulted with The Clerk of the General Assembly and General Secretary of The Presbyterian Church in Ireland, The Secretary of the Conference of the Methodist Church in Ireland, The Primate of the Church of Ireland, The Roman Catholic Church and the Northern Ireland Hospital Chaplains Association. As the Framework was issued in December 2004 I have no plans to enter into a further consultation process at this stage.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2006, Official Report, column 655W, on hospital chaplains, how (a) the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, (b) the Elim Pentecostal Church in Ireland, (c) the Congregational Union of Ireland, (d) the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, (e) the Reformed Presbyterian Church, (f) the Fellowship of Independent Methodist Churches and (g) the Church of the Nazarene were consulted; and what response each gave concerning the effect on them. 
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 2 November 2006, Official Report, column 655W, on hospital chaplains, what measures have been taken to ensure that the best practice framework issued by the Government complies with equality legislation. 
Paul Goggins: The best practice framework is a product of a Multi-Faith Group for Healthcare Chaplaincy who worked with the NHS and The Department of Health in compiling this guidance. No theological or doctrinal definitions are made in this document. Its purpose is to enable the HPSS to provide flexible and innovative responses in chaplaincy for all patients, their carers and staff according to the faith or spiritual tradition to which they belong, or those who profess no particular faith. This is in keeping with the provisions of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will recommend to the Leader of the House that he impose the same financial penalties on any hon. Members from Northern Ireland constituencies who do not take their seats as will be imposed upon members of the Northern Ireland Assembly with effect from 25 November. 
Mr. Hain: If the Northern Ireland parties do not endorse the St Andrews Agreement, the provisions of the Northern Ireland Act 2006, which provide for dissolution of the Assembly and the indefinite postponement of Assembly elections, will apply. In these circumstances it would not be appropriate to continue to pay Assembly members salaries and allowances.
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