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21 Feb 2007 : Column 800Wcontinued
Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many prison places there are in the North-West of England; 
(2) what the level of overcrowding in prisons in the North-West of England was at the last date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what plans he has to increase the number of prison places in the North-West of England. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The total operational capacity in all prisons in the North-West of England on Friday 9 February was 11,808 places. Total operational capacity is the total number of prisoners that the establishments can hold taking into account control, security and the proper operation of the planned regime.
The level of overcrowding for all prisons in the North-West of England at the end of December 2006, the latest date for which information is available, was 31.3 per cent.
The National Offender Management Service (NOMS) is currently undertaking searches to identify sites for new prisons in areas of highest demand for prison places. The North-West region is included on this list.
As part of the overall programme to increase prison capacity by around 10,000 places by 2012, a lease has been signed with the Mersey Care NHS Trust which will enable NOMS to open HM Prison Kennet in June 2007. Around 700 places are planned in new units at existing prisons in the North West and a new 600 place prison is planned for a site already owned by NOMS in Merseyside.
Lorely Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department has taken to implement the Race Equality Duty since 2000. 
Mr. Byrne: Following the introduction of the race duties we produced a race equality scheme in 2002. We revised and updated our race equality scheme in 2005.
Our revised race equality scheme lays out in detail how we have implemented the race equality duty. This includes information on how we:
assess, and consult on, the likely impact proposed policies will have on promoting race equality;
monitor policies for any adverse impact on promoting race equality;
publish the results of assessments, consultation, and monitoring;
make sure the public have access to information and services; and
train staff to carry out the general duty and the specific duties.
A copy of our race equality scheme is available at
An equality impact assessment template for the Home Office Group has been developed to guide colleagues through statutory obligations on equality. The Home Office has also developed a two-day training programme on equality impact assessments which provides staff with requisite knowledge to promote race equality in policy formulation.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Scottish Executive have given an undertaking to seek comparable statutory powers in respect of forfeiture of detained property, as set out in clause 21 of the UK Borders Bill, within Scotland; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 19 February 2007]: In Scotland there is no need to legislate for this provision as current Scottish legislation provides that property is already to be forfeited to the Crown (rather than the police).
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what constitutional advice determined that provisions of clauses 1 to 4 of the UK Borders Bill were matters that, with regard to their application to Scotland, were competences of the Scottish Parliament and Executive; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 19 February 2007]: Immigration is a reserved matter. The powers provided to immigration officers in clauses 1 to 4 of the UK Borders Bill allow for the detention of people pending the arrival of a constable. Were these powers to extend to Scotland, they would not be limited to reserved matters, and so far as they would relate to devolved matters, would be a matter for the Scottish Executive and Scottish Parliament.
I wrote to the my hon. Friend on 8 February and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the House Library.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many items of furniture were (a) lost and (b) stolen from her Department in each year since 1997; and what the value was of those items in each year. 
Ms Harman: My Department does not hold a central record of (a) lost and (b) stolen items of furniture from the department since 1997. Such information could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the cost of legal aid was in each of the last three years for which figures are available. 
Vera Baird: Expenditure on legal aid during each of the last three financial years was £2,076 million in 2003-04, £2,038 million in 2004-05 and £2,028 million in 2005-06.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister without Portfolio whether her civil servants have been given permission to attend the Labour party conference to carry out departmental business since 1997. 
Hazel Blears: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on 19 February 2007, Official Report, column 306W.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what cost savings will be brought about by the closure of Government websites under the Transformational Government strategy; and what costs will be associated with migrating services to other websites. 
Mr. McFadden: It is anticipated that net savings to government on web hosting costs will be realised as a result of this exercise. However specific costs and savings for each site, including migration costs, are a matter for the relevant Department and will be developed as part of the detailed implementation planning now under way.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2007, Official Report, column 837W, on ministerial residences, how much each Government Department was re-billed for the cost of the provision of ministerial residences in 2005-06. 
Hilary Armstrong: The responsibility for the costs of individual ministerial residences is the responsibility of the relevant Department.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Minister without Portfolio what meetings she has had with the Secretary of State for Health on the reconfiguration of the NHS in the last 12 months. 
Hazel Blears: I have had no such meetings in my capacity as Minister without Portfolio.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what discussions her Department has had with the Smith Institute in the last 12 months; whether Ministers were present at these meetings; and what the purpose was of each such meeting. 
Hilary Armstrong: Civil servants and Ministers meet many people as part of policy development and analysis. The Department does not maintain a central list of such contacts.
Mr. Jeremy Browne:
To ask the Solicitor-General how many and what percentage of cases referred to the
Serious Fraud Office were taken up by that Office in the last year for which figures are available. 
The Solicitor-General: For 2005-06 the Serious Fraud Office saw 47 referrals and accepted 20 of the cases for investigation.
The SFO publish its annual report setting out the progress it has made each year. The latest report can be viewed on the SFO website: www.sfo.gov.uk.
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many admissions to hospital with an alcohol-related diagnosis via accident and emergency departments there were in (a) the former Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic Health Authority area, (b) the East of England Strategic Health Authority area, (c) the West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust area and (d) the Suffolk Primary Care Trust area in each year since 1997. 
Caroline Flint: The tables show the information requested. Table one shows an all diagnosis count of finished in-year admission episodes admitted via accident and emergency department for alcohol-related illness by strategic health authority (SHA) of residence for 1997-98 to 2005-06.
Table two shows an all diagnosis count of finished in- year admission episodes admitted via accident and emergency departments for alcohol-related illness by primary care trust (PCT) of residence for 1997-98 to 2005-06.
Table three shows an all diagnosis count of finished in-year admission episodes admitted via accident and emergency departments for alcohol-related illness for West Suffolk hospitals NHS trust for 1997-98 to 2005-06.
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Strategic HA||Essex Strategic HA||Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire Strategic HA||Total|
Diagnosis codes F10 mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol; K70 alcoholic liver disease; T51 toxic effect of alcohol. These figures represent a count of all finished in-year admission episodes where the method of admission was coded as emergency: via accident and emergency services, including the casualty department of the provider; or emergency: other means, including patients who arrive via the accident and emergency department of another provider.
|Central Suffolk PCT||Ipswich PCT||Suffolk Coastal PCT||Suffolk West PCT||Total|
Diagnosis codes F10 mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol; K70 alcoholic liver disease; T51 toxic effect of alcohol. These figures represent a count of all finished in-year admission episodes where the method of admission was coded as emergency: via accident and emergency services, including the casualty department of the provider; or Emergency: other means, including patients who arrive via the accident and emergency department of another provider.
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