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The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Members for South Holland and The Deepings (Mr. Hayes) and for Southend, West (Mr. Amess) on 11 October 2006, Official Report, column 788W.
Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many children from an (a) Protestant and (b) Roman Catholic community background left school with fewer than five GCSE qualifications at grades A to C in the last year for which figures are available. 
(a) 4,232 (39.3 per cent. of Protestant school leavers)
(b) 4,566 (35.9 per cent. of Roman Catholic school leavers)
Mr. Hain: I keep in regular contact with party leaders to discuss the devolution of justice and policing and have met the Assemblys Preparation for Government Committeemost recently on 9 January 2007. There remain a number of issues for the parties to resolve, and the Government will offer such assistance as it can to that end.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many written parliamentary questions to his Department in the 2005-06 session were not answered wholly or in part on grounds of disproportionate cost. 
This month, however, a number of improvements have been made to my Departments procedures for handling parliamentary questions. This includes improvements to the existing electronic system for tracking parliamentary questions which should allow for the provision of statistical data in due course.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many written parliamentary questions to his Department in the 2005-06 session were answered with a reply that it had not been possible to reply before Prorogation. 
Mr. Hain: In the last session, over 6,000 parliamentary questions were tabled for answer by my Department. Of these, 26 were answered with a reply that it had not been possible to reply before Prorogation. Members remain free to re-table any unanswered questions.
Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many of all those convicted of a sexual offence went on to reoffend (a) during and (b) after their period of remission in each of the last five years, broken down into risk management categories A, B and C. 
Mr. Hanson: While information is available on the number of reconvictions of sex offenders within a two-year period, the recorded information does not show whether the reoffending took place during or after a period of remission. Later this year, I shall be bringing forward legislation to remove automatic remission for sex offenders and to strengthen the processes for the management of the risk posed by sex offenders released from custody.
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question regarding, what plans he has for the provision of a by-pass for Saintfield, County Down. As this issue falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Roads Service, I have been asked to reply.
The A7 Trunk Road, which links the Belfast Metropolitan Area to Downpatrick, is the main traffic route passing through Saintfield and is designated as a Link Corridor in the Regional Strategic Transport Network. Roads Services plans for improvements to the Strategic Road Network are contained in the Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan 2015 (RSTN TP), which was published in March 2005 following a period of extensive consultation. The Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland envisages a further £400 million of major works schemes within the RSTN Plan period and Roads Service recently consulted on Expanding the Strategic Road improvement Programme 2015.
While consideration of the responses received in relation to the latter consultation is ongoing, I can advise that a by-pass for Saintfield was not included in the proposals. As you will be aware there are many competing demands for the resources within this funding envelope and the provision of a by-pass for Saintfield would not attract a high priority when compared with the proposals for improvements elsewhere on the Strategic Road Network.
However, I can advise that improvements to the A7 by way of the provision of a number of Widened Single Carriageway (2 + 1) schemes are proposed within the RSTN TP. These schemes, when completed, will provide guaranteed overtaking opportunities and improve safety on the route.
To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many posts in the House of
Commons attracted a salary in excess of the basic salary of an hon. Member; what the job titles are of those posts; and what the salary is in each case. 
Nick Harvey: The basic salary payable to Members is £60,277 per annum. At 31 December 2006, 79 staff were paid an annual salary in excess of this figure. A list of posts in the Senior Commons Structure and at pay band Al, which have pay maxima higher than Members current salary, will be placed in the Library. Details of staff pay bands and staff pay arrangements are available on the parliamentary intranet. The salaries of Members of the Board of Management are disclosed in the House of Commons: Administration annual accounts.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with (a) British Airways and (b) other airlines on disability discrimination legislation and seat allocations. 
Gillian Merron: Ministers meet British Airways and other airlines on a regular basis to discuss a range of policy matters, though there have been no specific discussions on seat allocations. British Airways and other airlines also attend meetings of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee, the Governments statutory adviser on the transport needs of disabled people.
Dr. Ladyman: M42 hard shoulder running was introduced on 12 September 2006 as part of the Active Traffic Management project. Operations are being closely monitored to ensure that the systems are working efficiently and that any potential issues that might compromise road safety are quickly resolved.
Early evaluation of the impact of hard shoulder running on traffic conditions is showing that average journey times during peak periods have been reduced. The day-to-day variability of journey times has reduced on weekdays, meaning users can plan their journeys better. There is reduced congestion on the section and average traffic speeds have been smoothed so that more drivers are travelling at around 50 mph. This has helped reduce the severity of traffic flow breakdown and improved road safety. Speed differentials between lanes have reduced, suggesting that drivers are less likely to change lanes unnecessarily, thereby improving road safety.
Early indications are therefore, that the scheme is working well, but it is too early to draw final conclusions of the impact of hard shoulder running on the safety of the section. This is because motorways are generally very safe and incidents occur infrequently.
Early information will be provided following collection of six months of personal injury accident data. This is expected by autumn 2007.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the experimental use of the hard shoulder on the M42 motorway as an additional lane for moving traffic. 
The Highways Agency is monitoring the impact of hard shoulder running and early indications have determined that average journey times during peak periods have been reduced. The day-to-day variability of journey times has also been reduced on weekdays meaning that users can plan their journeys better. Congestion has been reduced on the section and average traffic speeds have been smoothed so that more drivers are travelling at around 50 mph. This have helped reduce flow breakdown and has therefore improved road safety. Speed differential between lanes has been reduced, suggesting that drivers will be less likely to change lanes unnecessarily, therefore improving road safety.
These results are indicative of the potential impact of hard shoulder running, but robust conclusions cannot be drawn until at least six months of reliable data have been collected. The assessment of traffic conditions will be produced by autumn 2007.
Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on the trunk road networks in the area covered by the Government Office of the North East in the last year for which figures are available. 
Dr. Ladyman: The trunk road networks of the North East are part of the strategic road network managed by the Highways Agency whose reporting systems do not provide information on a county or regional basis.
The Government are exploring the scope for road pricing to help tackle road congestion. In the Midlands, the Government have awarded the metropolitan authorities in the West Midlands, and local authorities in the cities of Nottingham, Leicester and Derby and their surrounding counties, funding to study the nature of their congestion problem and the potential road pricing-based packages to address it. No proposals have been put forward and no decisions have been made.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 99-100W, on the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, whether VAT costs for the Olympics were mentioned in (a) the 2002 ARUP London Olympics 2012 Costs and Benefits report, (b) the 2003 PricewaterhouseCoopers London 2012 Costs and Benefits report, (c) the 2004 PricewaterhouseCoopers Olympic Cost Review and (d) the advice provided in the Olympic report by KPMG. 
Tessa Jowell [holding answer 13 December 2006]: The cost of VAT was not assessed in the ARUP report or either of the two PricewaterhouseCoopers reports because no decision at that stage could be made about VAT in relation to the proposed establishment of an Olympic Delivery Authority which we had not yet legislated for and the tax status of which had yet to be determined. KPMG included an assessment of VAT costs as part of the ongoing advice that I commissioned.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what co-operation there was between the US authorities and her Department before and after the conviction of Mr. E. Forbes Smiley III for theft of historic maps; and what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of such co-operation in minimising future such thefts. 
Mr. Lammy: My Department was not involved with the prosecution in the US of Mr. E. Forbes Smiley III. The British Library Board is responsible for its collections and therefore was involved with the case through the Metropolitan police, who co-operated with the FBI investigation, and through their US Counsel. The British Librarys director of scholarship and collections made a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing in New Haven. The British Librarys willingness to participate in a prosecution outside of the UK may act as a deterrent to future thefts.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment her Department has made of the possible implications for the security of national archives of the facts revealed in the conviction in the US of Mr. E. Forbes Smiley III. 
Mr. Lammy: None. As the institution involved in this case, the British Library has reviewed its security procedures in the Rare Books Reading Room and shared issues with peer institutions in the UK through the British and Irish Committee on Map Information and Cataloguing Systems (BRICMICS).
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will undertake research to establish and record books containing rare
and valuable maps available in generalist British archives. 
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