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15 Jan 2007 : Column 934W—continued

Draft Street Works Order

Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) whether the Draft Street Works (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order takes account of Targeting Social Need Policy; [114381]

(2) whether the Water Service will be subject to the requirements of the Draft Street Works (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order. [114545]

David Cairns: The Street Works (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 itself will not have any direct cost implications and so it has no impact on either the New Targeting Social Need policy or the Lifetime Opportunities Strategy launched by the Secretary of State on 13 November 2006.

When the Department is developing future subordinate legislation under the Order, the requirements of the Lifetime Opportunities Strategy will be fully integrated into its considerations.

With regard to the second question, I can confirm that the provisions of the Order will apply to Northern Ireland Water Ltd. and that, by virtue of Article 269 (2) of the Water and Sewerage Services (NI) Order 2006, it will not be regarded as the servant or agent of the Crown and will not have any status, immunity or privilege of the Crown.

Education Boards

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had on identifying a severance package for chief executives of education boards in Northern Ireland following the Review of Public Administration; and what figures are under consideration. [112743]

Maria Eagle: Guiding Principles on Voluntary Severance Arrangements for all RPA affected staff are currently being considered by Government, the Public Services Commission, trade union side and the RPA affected organisations. No discussions have taken place to specifically identify severance packages for chief executives of Education and Library Boards. The senior management structure of the Education and Skills Authority has yet to be determined.

Educational Psychology

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many children in the Foyle constituency were assessed by an educational psychologist in each of the last five years. [114430]

Maria Eagle: Educational psychologists assessed the following numbers of children in the Foyle constituency in the last five years:

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The numbers quoted are in respect of the relevant financial years.

Elderly People: Falls

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many elderly people in residential nursing homes in the (a) private and (b) public sector in each health board area in Northern Ireland have been recorded as having fallen from beds and chairs and required further medical treatment for their injuries in the last three years. [113427]

Paul Goggins: The information requested is not available.

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how often checks were made on residential nursing homes and hospital units in each health board area in Northern Ireland caring for the elderly to ensure best practice in health and safety in each of the last three years. [113428]

Paul Goggins: Under current legislation, which commenced in April 2005, all nursing homes are required to be inspected a minimum of twice in every 12 month period. Prior to this, only voluntary and independent homes were statutorily required to be inspected on the same basis, whilst homes run by Health and Social Services trusts were similarly inspected as a matter of good practice.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority has reported a total of 621 inspections of 172 nursing homes in 2005-06.

Information on the previous two years is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

There is no legislative provision requiring inspections of hospital units.

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether follow-up checks are made by officials to elderly people who live in the community in Northern Ireland and who are recorded as having had a fall; and if he will make a statement. [113429]

Paul Goggins: Older people who are already within the care of the Health and Personal Social Services have their care needs regularly re-assessed in the light of changing circumstances. Older people not known to the HPSS may be referred, following a fall, to have a multi-disciplinary assessment of their continuing care needs. In addition, there are many schemes across Northern Ireland aimed at preventing falls by older people, through risk assessment and the use of adaptations and equipment.

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Environmental Building Standards

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps the Government are taking to promote higher environmental building standards in publicly funded buildings in Northern Ireland. [110291]

Mr. Hanson: The Government’s vision is to see improved standards of building in Northern Ireland which will lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases by encouraging energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy technologies. An amendment to the relevant part of the Northern Ireland Building Regulations came into operation on 30 November requiring all building, whether public or private, to demonstrate improved energy performance and reduced carbon dioxide emissions. These requirements, which are continually under review, will be enhanced by implementing provisions of the EU Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings, which, under new regulations to be introduced next year to promote greater awareness of energy performance, will require the production of an energy performance certificate whenever a building is constructed, sold or rented out.

The Sustainable Development Strategy for Northern Ireland, which the Secretary of State launched in May 2006, requires the Government estate to be carbon neutral by 2015. Progress towards this objective will be supported by the Achieving Excellence in Construction Initiative, which requires procurement and investment decisions to be based on whole lifecycle costing underpinned by sustainability assessments. Further, from 31 March 2007 all Departments and district councils will be under a statutory duty to act in the way best calculated to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development in Northern Ireland.

From 2007-08, part of the Government office estate will be managed by a private sector partner under the Workplace 2010 programme. The contract governing this arrangement will stipulate that the buildings involved must meet appropriate standards of energy and environmental management. This will produce a
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better use of space and increased energy efficiency, resulting in a significant reduction in our carbon footprint.

Equality Commission

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps are being taken to ensure that the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland has a staff composition approximately in ratio to the community. [114923]

Mr. Hanson: The Equality Commission, since its establishment, has been committed to the importance of having a workforce which reflects the community which it serves. The Commission recognises that there is currently an imbalance and therefore has in place an affirmative action plan with a range of initiatives to improve the representation of Protestants within its staff. These include the use of a statement in all job advertisements welcoming members of the Protestant community; contact with schools and third-level educational establishments; contact with and forwarding job vacancy information to community organisations servicing the Protestant community; engagement with representatives and people with influence in the Protestant community. The Commission keeps these measures under review, and will continue to work to reduce all imbalances.

EU Funding

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of EU funding allocated in Northern Ireland in the period 2000 to 2006 has been (a) spent and (b) returned. [114976]

Mr. Hanson: The following table provides details of the EU allocations and the value of claims submitted in euro—with the percentage of the allocation claimed for each Structural Fund Programme and Community Initiative in Northern Ireland up to the end of December 2006. No amounts have been returned to or decommitted by the European Commission to date. All 2000-06 programmes can continue to spend until December 2008.

Programme/Community Initiative Total EU allocation (€) Total EU element declared (€) Percentage declared Total EU element returned (€) Percentage returned

Building Sustainable Prosperity






Peace II (N.I only)






Urban II












Leader +






Interreg IIIA






Overall total






Fertility Counselling

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much of the additional funding for the enhancement of fertility counselling services announced by the Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety on 17 September has been allocated to the Western Health Board area; and how much the Department for Health, Social Services and Public Safety allocated to each health board area for fertility counselling services in each of the last three years. [107031]

Paul Goggins: The additional £50,000 per annum was allocated specifically towards improving access to fertility counselling services in Northern Ireland and will be distributed to each of the four Health and
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Social Services Boards under the agreed capitation formula. Under that formula £8,575 will be allocated to the Western Board.

The Department has not previously identified specific funding for counselling. Counselling for people attending the regional fertility centre is provided as part of the total funding for fertility services in Northern Ireland.

Fire and Rescue Service

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many training days were delivered at divisional level by the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service during 2005-06. [114221]

Paul Goggins: The number of student training days delivered at NIFRS divisional level in 2005-06 was 9,273.

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many training days were
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delivered by the Fire and Rescue Service Training Centre at (a) Boucher Road, Belfast and (b) Westland Road, Belfast in 2005-06. [114222]

Paul Goggins: The number of training days delivered at Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service Training Centres in 2005-06 is as follows:


Boucher Crescent


Westland Road




Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) work-related and (b) fire-related injuries were sustained by Northern Ireland firefighters in each year since 2000-01. [114234]

Paul Goggins: The following table and associated explanatory notes provides the information requested by the hon. Gentleman.

On-duty injuries to operational personnel Incident-related injuries Burn injuries at incidents Total































Notes: 1. On-duty injuries to operational personnel include the total number of injuries sustained by whole-time or retained personnel. The majority of these fall within the categories of manual handling or slips/trips/falls. 2. Incident-related injuries include injuries that have occurred during the time that an appliance is en-route to an emergency incident, while the appliance is at the incident or while it is returning from the incident. 3. Burn injuries at incidents include burns or scalds that have occurred at emergency incidents.

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