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9 Mar 2007 : Column 2271W—continued


Alison Seabeck: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what evidence his Department has collected on the condition of unadopted sewers in England. [125534]

Ian Pearson: The Government recently announced its decision to transfer responsibility for private sewers and drains to water and sewerage undertakers. This will apply to private sewers and drains in England which drain to public sewers. The accompanying Regulatory Impact Assessment explains that uncertainty surrounding the extent and condition of private sewers and lateral drains would only be resolved by undertaking a full internal survey and mapping exercise at prohibitively high cost. The unpublished UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR) report, ‘The Real Cost of Taking Over Private Sewers and Drains’, estimated that a mapping exercise for England and Wales would alone cost £118 million. This would not investigate the condition of private sewers.

Warm Front Scheme

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 2 February 2007, Official Report, column 618W, on the Warm Front scheme, (1) which organisations and authorities were represented at the meetings held with officials; [125833]

(2) what steps have been considered to encourage Cornwall-based installers onto the Warm Front scheme; and if he will make a statement. [125834]

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Ian Pearson: The organisations involved in the early discussions with Defra in January included the Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership, Kerrier district council, Penwith district council, West Cornwall Care and Repair, and the Warm Front scheme manager, Eaga plc.

The next stage of work will involve discussion with Eaga plc and local installers, with arrangements rescheduled from an initial planned date of late February, to ensure maximum attendance from local representatives.

Dr. Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many complaints his Department has received about contractors employed by Eaga Partnership to undertake work for the Warm Front scheme. [125079]

Ian Pearson: The scheme manager, the Eaga Partnership, report that 1,039 complaints have been upheld regarding contractors between June 2005 and December 2006. This represents 0.3 per cent. of all work carried out on Warm Front for this period.



Mr. Dismore: To ask the Solicitor-General what the reasons were for the Attorney-General’s intervention at court in relation to the current police investigation into honours; and if he will make a statement. [126614]

The Solicitor-General: At all stages the Attorney-General was acting in his public interest capacity entirely independently of Government, which is a long-standing and well-established part of his role. His purpose was to protect the administration of justice. In particular, he acted at the request of the Metropolitan Police given their concerns that disclosure of certain information would impede their ongoing inquiries.

There is of course a legitimate public interest in freedom of the press. But this must sometimes be balanced against the strong public interest in ensuring that crime is properly investigated and (where a trial takes place) that any trial is fair. That balance must be struck in accordance with the law and, ultimately, by the courts.

The strict liability rule under the Contempt of Court Act 1981 accordingly prevents publications which give rise to a substantial risk of serious prejudice to the course of justice. The rule applies once there has been an arrest. In previous cases the Attorney has acted under the 1981 Act to restrain publications where police investigations are under way and before charges have been brought. For example in 2004 he obtained an injunction to prevent the publication of photographs of suspects arrested in a counter-terrorism investigation, although no charges had been brought at that stage. Also in 2004 the Attorney-General took action against Express Newspapers for publishing the identities of footballers accused of rape. The action
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was successful and resulted in a fine of £60,000 plus costs. In the event the police investigation itself did not lead to a prosecution.

In the current honours case the sequence of events was as follows. On Friday 2 March, at the request of and in full co-operation with the police, the Attorney-General sought an injunction against the BBC to prevent the disclosure of certain information. After full argument, in court, Mr. Justice Wilkie granted the injunction. The judge ordered that the terms of the injunction were to be kept confidential. There was no argument (as reported in some places) by the Attorney-General that the BBC should be prevented from reporting the ‘fact’ that an injunction had been granted.

Over the weekend, The Sun and The Mail on Sunday approached the Attorney-General’s Office in relation to specific material which they proposed to publish about this case. In view of police concerns that publication would impede their investigation, those newspapers agreed voluntarily not to publish that material.

On Monday 5 March the terms of the injunction against the BBC were varied to allow the BBC to report certain matters that had appeared in the newspapers over the weekend.

Later on 5 March The Guardian approached the Attorney-General’s Office about a story it proposed to publish the following day. The Guardian were informed that, in the police’s view, publication of the proposed material would again potentially undermine their investigation. However The Guardian refused to undertake not to publish. Accordingly lawyers acting for the Attorney-General’s office, at the request of the police, sought an injunction to restrain publication of the material. Mrs. Justice Swift declined to grant such an injunction, on the grounds that during the hearing of the application itself the newspapers were printed and were being distributed.

In the light of The Guardian story on 6 March, the police considered that it was not tenable or appropriate for them to seek to maintain the injunction against the BBC or the undertakings obtained from the other newspapers. Accordingly, at a hearing on 6 March the police and the Attorney-General agreed to the lifting of the original injunction against the BBC.

The police remain concerned that the reporting of certain aspects of this information could undermine the investigation.

In acting to restrain the disclosure of particular material, and in agreeing to the lifting of the injunction, the Attorney-General should not be taken to have indicated or confirmed the accuracy of any aspect of that material.


Accidental Deaths

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been spent to reduce death rates from accidents since 1997; and what the rate was in (a) 1997 and (b) 2006. [115654]

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Caroline Flint: The Department does not hold information on specific expenditure to reduce death rates from accidents. Accident prevention is a cross-Government matter and an integral part of many Government policies, and therefore benefits from expenditure on the implementation of those policies.

The most recent available deaths data are for 2005. In England, the death rate (per 100,000 population standardised to the European standard population) from accidents was 16.5 per 100,000 European standard population in 1997 and 15.9 per 100,000 European standard population in 2005.

Alcohol Consumption

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the health impact on young people of the increase in under 18 consumption of alcohol. [103821]

Caroline Flint: The number of young people receiving treatment as a result of alcohol misuse is a matter for concern. The Government are determined to reduce the harm caused by alcohol to those under 18 and to young people generally and is committed to educating young people, for example through the Know Your Limits campaign, the Healthy Schools Programme and the Teen Life Check, on the very real harm it causes. It is vital that we make children and young people aware of sensible drinking messages. This will be an important issue for consideration when the alcohol harm reduction strategy is reviewed during 2007.

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All diagnoses count of finished admission episodes for under-18s with an alcohol-related diagnosis 1997-98 to 2005-06 (national health service hospitals, England).



















1. Diagnosis codes: F10 mental and behavioural disorders due to use of alcohol; K70 alcoholic liver disease; T51 Toxic effect of alcohol.
2. Data are provided from 1997-98 to 2005-06 for under-18s with an alcohol-related diagnosis in either the primary diagnosis field or one of the secondary diagnosis fields.
3. Finished admission episodes: A finished admission episode is the first period of in-patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that admissions do not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year.
4. All diagnoses count of episodes: These figures represent a count of all FCEs where the diagnosis was mentioned in any of the 14 (seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in a HES record.
5. Data quality: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. The Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.
6. Ungrossed data: Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).
Hospital Episode Statistics, The Information Centre of health and social care

Community Nurses: Shropshire

Mr. Dunne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients have been referred to district and community nurses in Shropshire in each year since 1997. [123051]

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Andy Burnham: The information is not collected centrally.

Dental Services: Leeds

Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many units of dental activity were contracted for in each of the last three years in Leeds. [126468]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available in the format requested.

Primary care trusts (PCTs) have had commissioning responsibilities since 1 April 2006. However, Leeds PCT had commissioned 1.177 million units of dental activity on 30 November 2006.

Cervical Cancer: Screening

Derek Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cervical smears have been undertaken in the East Kent and Coastal Primary Care Trust (PCT) and its previous incarnations in each year since 2004; and how many reminders of the need for a cervical smear were sent to women by the PCT in each such year. [119808]

Caroline Flint: The following tables show the number of women tested, the total number of tests and the total number of women invited for screening tests under the cervical screening programme in Eastern and Coastal Kent Primary Care Trust (PCT) area in the years requested. The number of reminders is not collected centrally.

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Cervical screening programme: Number of women tested, number of tests, and number of women invited in Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT
Number of women tested( 1) in the review period
2003-04 2004-05 2005-06

Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT


Total all ages




Of which:





Ashford PCT


Total all ages




Of which:





Canterbury and Coastal PCT


Total all ages




Of which:





East Kent Coastal PCT


Total all ages




Of which:





Shepway PCT


Total all ages




Of which:





Swale PCT


Total all ages




Of which:





(1) First test in the review period
KC53 part C1 The Information Centre

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