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20 Mar 2007 : Column 884W—continued


20 Mar 2007 : Column 885W

(a) In each of the last five calendar years Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland has purchased the following numbers of aerial photographs.

Number

2002

2003

4,539

2004

1,789

2005

2,263

2006

1,948

Total

10,539


(b) In each of the last five calendar years Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland has taken, in-house, the following numbers of aerial photographs.

Number

2007

1,950

2008

2,720

2009

2,368

2010

2,825

2011

5,303

Total

15,166


Parliament Buildings

Mr. Peter Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the cost was of external lighting of Parliament Buildings for the most recent period for which figures are available in each of the last five years. [100682]

Mr. Hain: The cost of electricity for Parliament Buildings over the past five years is as follows:

£000

April 2002 to March 2003

117

April 2003 to March 2004

130

April 2004 to March 2005

125

April 2005 to March 2006

82

April 2006 to November 2006

75


The slightly lower figures for 2005 and 2006 are primarily down to there being less people in the building.

These costs are for total electricity usage as it is not possible to separate the cost of external lighting.

Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 6 March 2007, Official Report, column 1883W, on the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland, if he will meet the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland to discuss her definition of collusion as used in her recent report. [127170]

Paul Goggins: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has no plans to meet the Police Ombudsman to discuss specifically her definition of collusion as used in her recent report. However, broad issues arising from the Police Ombudsman’s report have been discussed in meetings including the Ombudsman and Ministers.


20 Mar 2007 : Column 886W

Ports

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the authorities at (a) the Port of Belfast and (b) the Port of Larne on their future plans for development; and what meetings he has had with representatives from these ports in each of the past five years. [120436]

David Cairns: During the period of direct rule from October 2002, Ministers with responsibility for ports and harbours in Northern Ireland have met with the respective ports on the following occasions:

Port of Belfast

Port of Larne

Ministers were briefed on future port development plans at a number of these meetings. Decisions on port development are matters for the trust port of Belfast and the privately owned port of Larne.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment has been made of the likely impact on trade at the Ports of Belfast, Larne and Warrenpoint of the proposed ports development on the east coast of the Irish Republic; and what discussions he has had with the Government of the Republic of Ireland on these developments. [120437]

David Cairns: I have not discussed the proposed ports development on the east coast with Republic of Ireland Ministers.

The assessment of the likely impact on trade at the trust ports of Belfast and Warrenpoint and the privately owned port of Larne are commercial matters for each of the ports.

Prisons: Drugs

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent estimate he has made of levels of drug use in Northern Ireland’s prisons; and what steps he is taking to prevent drug use in prisons. [126889]

Paul Goggins: The Prison Service collates monthly statistics from each of the establishments broken down by drug types and quantities found. A quarterly report is presented to the management board analysing the trend over the previous three months. Figures outlining the number of voluntary drug tests and the pass and failure rate are also provided.

Prevention methods used by the Prison Service include the searching of visitors and inmates, the use of passive drag dogs, deployment of specialist equipment
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and trained staff, the use of CCTV in all areas and the collation of intelligence in liaison with other Criminal Justice Agencies.

An addictions manager has been appointed to implement the service’s revised Alcohol and Substance Misuse Policy and she will take up her post soon.

Public Sector: Pay

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the pay award to nurses and other public sector workers for 2007-08; and what assessment he has made of the effect of this announcement on the (a) morale and (b) productivity of public sector workers in Northern Ireland. [127129]

Mr. Hanson: I am discussing the application of the recent Pay Review Body settlements with ministerial colleagues in HM Treasury. Where comparable, the settlements, including those for nurses and other health professionals, will apply in Northern Ireland. The Pay Review Body pay awards should ensure that the public sector can recruit, retain and motivate suitable staff. The Government have achieved a great deal in recent years with significantly increased investment in public services, with the NHS being the main beneficiary. This in turn has led to greatly increased pay for front line staff, fully recognising the hard work they undertake and service they offer on a daily basis. On balance, the latest pay award ensures that key front line workers continue to be fairly rewarded while maintaining the wider need for overall awards that help maintain our current UK economic success.

While Northern Ireland health care workers are not formally covered by the Pay Review Bodies this will change in 2008-09 when these staff groups are incorporated formally into the pay review body process. A productivity working group has been established in Northern Ireland following the independent Appleby Review. This group will continue to monitor and assess productivity levels in the local health sector.

Pupils: Intimidation

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assistance and guidance is provided by his Department to help (a) teachers and (b) pupils deal with bullying. [128119]

Maria Eagle: The Department has taken pro-active steps to tackle bullying through development and publication of guidance. Furthermore, the Education and Libraries (NI) Order 2003, which came into operation on 1 April 2003, places a duty on all grant-aided schools to have an anti-bullying policy and to draw up measures to prevent all forms of bullying among pupils. Inspections of pastoral care arrangements in schools include an assessment of anti-bullying measures and if improvements can be made schools are advised at the time.

In 2004 the Department in partnership with voluntary organisations, including Save the Children, established an Anti-bullying Forum to enable a collaborative and co-ordinated approach to tackling bullying in schools. The Forum enables members to
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share models of best practice and disseminate information, to develop and co-ordinate joint initiatives and to ensure that schools and organisations working with children and young people are able to develop appropriate strategies to prevent and deal with bullying behaviours.

From early 2006 the Department has been funding a coordinator post attached to the NI Anti-Bullying Forum. She is currently involved in developing a regional anti-bullying strategy based on good practice here and elsewhere and in developing a support network for schools. In addition she will be researching best practice solutions to emerging problems such as cyber-bullying.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many incidents of bullying were recorded in schools in each education and library board area in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years. [128120]

Maria Eagle: The Department of Education does not collect this information.

A research report on the scale and nature of bullying in schools, commissioned by the Department, will be published later this year. That will allow for a comparison with a similar study published in 2002 and the identification of any change.

Railways: Belfast

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what funding is planned for the Belfast to Larne railway line in the next three years. [120432]

David Cairns: Translink’s capital programme for the next three years on the Larne line is as follows:

Plans have also been approved to improve facilities and disabled access across the whole railway network at a cost of £17 million. All of the stations and halts on the Larne line will benefit from this project.

Road Traffic Offences

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many motorists in Northern Ireland should have completed the Statutory Off Road Notice during 2006, but did not; and how many of these were subsequently prosecuted. [121610]

David Cairns: Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN) was introduced in Northern Ireland in December 2002. However, the offence of failing to make a SORN declaration was superseded in December 2003 by the introduction of continuous registration which created the new offence of being the keeper of an unlicensed vehicle; a vehicle being unlicensed if neither a current licence nor a Statutory
20 Mar 2007 : Column 889W
Off Road Notification is in force. Accordingly, there are no longer any prosecutions specifically for failing to make a Statutory Off Road Notification. During 2006, action was taken against 12,837 motorists for being the keeper of an unlicensed vehicle, resulting in the payment of over £538,000 in penalties.

Roads: Belfast

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made with the upgrading of (a) the A8 Belfast to Larne Road and (b) the A72 Belfast to Carrickfergus Road; and if he will make a statement. [120434]

David Cairns: The chief executive of roads service (Dr. Malcolm McKibbin) has been asked to write to the hon. Lady in response to this question.

Letter from Dr. Malcolm McKibbin, dated 13 February 2007:


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Roads: Northern Ireland

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total cost to the public purse was of the road gritting programme in Northern Ireland between 1 November and 31 January in each of the last four years. [120875]

David Cairns: The chief executive of roads service (Dr. Malcolm McKibbin) has been asked to write to the hon. Gentleman in response to this question.

Letter from Dr. Malcolm McKibbin, dated 19 February 2007:


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