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Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland (St. Andrews Agreement) Bill, which was debated in this House last night, gives effect to that Agreement and builds on the Northern Ireland Act 2006, in particular by creating a Transitional Assembly and by setting out the arrangements to facilitate a return to devolved government on 26 March.
Mr. Hain: Despite recent Dissident Republican activity, it is clear that the security situation in Northern Ireland is vastly improved. I am confident in the ability of the PSNI to bring to justice those who would seek to undermine peace in Northern Ireland.
Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether (a) the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and (b) the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety plans to move the accident and emergency back-up control centre at Altnagelvin hospital to Belfast. 
Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety have no plans to remove the accident and emergency back-up control centre from Altnagelvin hospital.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will reply to the letter dated 25 September 2006 from the hon. Member for North Down on the recovery of holiday health care costs. 
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many full-time equivalent staff were employed by the Northern Ireland Department of Education in (a) press, (b) public relations and (c) communications work in (i) 2003-04, (ii) 2004-05 and (iii) 2005-06; and if he will make a statement. 
|(1) With an additional 0.5 vacant post.|
(2) With an additional 2 vacant posts.
(3) With an additional 2 vacant posts.
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which statistics have been put forward by his Department for consideration to become new national statistics in each of the last five years; and how many statistics sets his Department has produced in total in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Hanson: The titles of each of the statistical products put forward each year by Northern Ireland Departments for designation as National Statisticsall of which were accepted as suchare shown as follows.
International Student Assessment: Result for Northern Ireland 2000
Northern Ireland Household Projections
Migrant Workers Statistics for Northern Ireland
The number and the titles of statistical products published by staff in Northern Ireland Departments who work for the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency varies little year by year. The Framework for National Statistics published in June 2000 included a summary list of all the statistics in each Department that were to be handled in accordance with the new arrangements. In 2005-06 the Office for National Statistics published an up-to-date list on the National Statistics website. That list included the following number of titles from Northern Ireland Departments:
Northern Ireland Departments produce extensive numerical information, in a variety of forms. As information on the number of these is not held centrally and as there is no agreed definition for the term statistical sets referred to in this PQ, it is not possible to provide the information in the form requested.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what criteria he will use to decide how much to allocate to individual schools in Northern Ireland under the extended schools element of the children and young people funding package in the academic year 2006-07. 
A block allocation to every school of £3,000;
A sliding scale whereby:
the first 100 pupils are funded at £100 each
the next 100 at £75 each
the next 100 at £50 each
the next 150 at £25 each
the next 100 at £20 each
all remaining pupils at £10 each
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether the element of the children and young people funding package intended for counselling, speech and language therapy and educational psychology will be distributed through payments to school heads in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) how much of the children and young people funding package for (a) the academic year 2006-07 and (b) future academic years he has allocated to (i) counselling, (ii) speech and language therapy and (iii) educational psychology. 
Maria Eagle: Funding from the Children and Young People Funding Package (CYPFP) for these purposes is not distributed directly to schools, and is allocated on a financial year basis, rather than in academic years.
The CYPFP is providing for a counselling service to be delivered to schools. The allocations are £1.65 million in financial year 2006-07 and £1.8 million in 2007-08. The contract for delivering an independent counselling service was recently awarded to Contact Youth, a NI voluntary youth organisation. Payments for the delivery of the service will be to Contact Youth in respect of sessions delivered in post primary schools.
£4 million from the Children and Young Peoples Funding Package was allocated to each of the four Health and Social Services Boards in 2006-07 and they have established nine multi-disciplinary teams to work in schools and other early years settings. In meeting the needs of their populations the boards are employing 15
additional speech and language therapists to work in the teams throughout Northern Ireland and they will work in collaboration with existing services. A further £4 million is available in 2007-08.
Funding allocations beyond March 2008 have not yet been agreed and will be decided at the outcome of the comprehensive spending review 2007, which is currently underway. It is not possible to give a firm commitment to funding for any programme beyond 2007-08 until the CSR is completed and baselines are set.
Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps his Department is taking to prevent the erosion of the character of the Malone Conservation Area from inappropriate development. 
David Cairns: In line with the provisions of the 1991 Planning Order, my Department, in discharging its planning functions within the Malone Conservation Area, pays special attention to the desirability of preserving or enhancing its character or appearance.
All development proposals are assessed against published regional planning policy, in particular Planning Policy Statement (PPS) 6 Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage and PPS 7 Quality Residential Environments. These regional policies are supplemented by guidance set out in the Malone Conservation Area Draft Character Appraisal, the contents of which have recently been afforded substantial weight in the decision-making process by an Interim Statement published in August 2006.
Additional policy for development affecting the Malone area is proposed in the draft Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan which is currently the subject of a public inquiry by the Planning Appeals Commission on behalf of my Department.
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question about how regularly inspections are made of the Stranmillis Road sewers to ensure prevention of blockages (10811). I have been asked to reply as this issue falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Water Service.
The combined foul and storm sewerage system serving Stranmillis Road is inspected by Water Service on a monthly basis. In addition to these routine planned inspections, Water Service responds to any reported incidents of blockages and aims to remedy them in accordance with the timescales set out in its Customer Charter.
Mr. Hanson: The Department for Social Development supports volunteering policy and practice in a number of ways. It provides core funding to the Volunteer Development Agency as a regional infrastructure organisation to promote and support volunteering practice. It also invests over £1.1 million per year under the Volunteer Bureau Initiative to improve the local organisation and infrastructure of volunteering by providing core funding to a network of 15 volunteer centres across Northern Ireland.
The key activities of the volunteer centres are to promote volunteering and good practice, to recruit volunteers, to identify volunteering opportunities with local organisations and place volunteers with these organisations.
The Department also encourages volunteering through the Community Volunteering Scheme (CVS). CVS provides £3 million over three years (2006-2009) through a grants programme with the following objectives:
to encourage and support volunteering;
create and enhance opportunities for volunteers that will encourage learning and good practice; and
promote diversity and a positive image of volunteering and community participation.
The CVS programme is administered by the Volunteer Development Agency on behalf of the Department. Earlier this year CVS main grants totalling £2.2 million over three years were awarded to 27 organisations. The projects funded cover a range of issues including young people, the elderly, health and the environment, across Northern Ireland. A further £0.7 million is also available from the CVS small grants. Grants of up to £1,000 are available to locally based organisations to help promote volunteering and voluntary involvement.
In partnership with a number of volunteer involving organisations and agencies, the Department for Social Development has commenced work on the development of a new volunteering strategy for Northern Ireland. The aims of the strategy are to create an inclusive volunteering environment, to improve the volunteering experience and nurture positive attitudes to volunteering, to promote the value and benefits of volunteering to society and to strengthen volunteer involving organisations and the volunteering infrastructure.
The Department for Social Development has also taken a positive approach to encouraging volunteering across Government Departments, through employer supported volunteering, and by its own staff. It promotes the voluntary and charitable work of staff in its staff communications and it has an employer supported volunteering scheme which facilitates the involvement of its staff in voluntary work.
Mr. Hanson: Exact figures for the numbers of volunteers are difficult to establish because the figures available are based on extrapolations from surveys of the public or voluntary and community sector organisations.
In 2001 DSD commissioned the Volunteer Development Agency to produce an omnibus survey about the nature and extent of volunteering in Northern Ireland. In 2001 the survey estimated that there were 448,116 formal volunteers (aged 16+ ) in Northern Ireland. The survey also estimated that there were 759,000 people involved in informal volunteering.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) on what basis payments to the carbon off-setting fund in respect of official air travel are calculated; and whether the payments are met by Government Departments; 
(3) what the value of the Governments carbon off-setting fund is; what estimate he has made of the income for the fund in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08; and to what purpose the funds are to be put. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 22 November 2006]: An initial assessment of departmental aviation emissions was carried out using air travel data from 2005-06 and the conversion factors published in DEFRAs Guidelines for Company Reporting on Greenhouse Gas Emissions. These factors are currently 0.11 kg CO2 per passenger kilometre for long-haul travel, and 0.15 kg CO2 per passenger kilometre for short-haul. For the purposes of the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund, a multiplier of x2 has been applied to the estimated totals to take into account the additional climate impact of non-CO2 emissions at altitude. The calculations do not differentiate between economy and business class travel due to the minimal difference in emissions involved and the difficulty of accurately accounting for total passenger numbers on individual flights.
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