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Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of people (a) diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration and (b) who develop blindness each year as the result of age-related macular degeneration in the Province. 
Paul Goggins: An estimate of the number of people diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration is not available. However, the number of admissions to hospital where the patient had a diagnosis of macular degeneration is available and is detailed in the following table.
|(1) Discharges and deaths are used as an approximation to admissions.|
Hospital Inpatient System.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of vehicles registered in the Republic of Ireland which used roads in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years. 
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a parliamentary question regarding, what estimate he has made of the number of vehicles registered in the Republic of Ireland
which used roads in Northern Ireland in each of the last six years. As Chief Executive of Roads Service, I have been asked to reply.
I should explain that Roads Service collects data on the volume of traffic on Northern Ireland's roads to help contribute to the effective management of the road network and to help with the development of future road improvements. This data is collected via some 270 automatic traffic counting sites located on roads across Northern Ireland. This information is published in our annual Traffic and Travel Information Report, copies of which will be placed in the House of Commons Library shortly. The automatic traffic counting sites use loops cut into the road surface to detect vehicles as they pass. They provide details of the number of vehicles broken down into five classes (cars, light vans, articulated lorries etc).
The majority of the main ('A' Class) border roads have an automatic counting site, but it is not possible from the information provided by these to determine the country of registration of a vehicle. Therefore it is not possible to make an estimate of the number of vehicles registered in the Republic of Ireland which used roads in Northern Ireland, from this source of information.
In order to ascertain the number of vehicles registered in the Republic of Ireland using roads in Northern Ireland each year, it would be necessary to carry out a survey that noted the registration numbers of vehicles passing various points. Roads Service currently does not carry out this type of survey and has no plans to do so.
My officials also consulted with other relevant Departments, but it would appear that they do not collect the information you requested either.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland who is responsible for decisions on (a) applicability and (b) implementation of National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guidance in Northern Ireland. 
Paul Goggins: Decisions on the application of NICE guidance in Northern Ireland are a matter for the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. The Department also sets timescales for health and social care organisations to put plans in place to facilitate implementation of NICE technology appraisal guidance. Responsibility for implementation of NICE guidance rests with the Health and Social Care.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what total amount of business start-up assistance was provided to (a) male applicants, (b) female applicants and (c) ethnic minority applicants in Northern Ireland in each year since 2000. 
Maria Eagle: Information on applicants for business start-up assistance by gender and ethnic group is only available since April 2002 for those supported through the Northern Ireland Start a Business programme.
|Other ethnic groups include Bangladeshi, Black African, Black Caribbean, Chinese, Indian, mixed ethnic groups, other ethnic groups and Pakistani.|
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the Government signed off the financial memorandum relating to each cross-border body established in consequence of the Belfast Agreement. 
|Cross-border Body||Date FM signed off|
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the Government are satisfied with the financial and equality provisions in place in respect of cross-border bodies established in consequence of the Belfast Agreement; and whether these correspond with the requirements placed on non-cross-border public bodies within Northern Ireland. 
Mr. Hanson: I am satisfied with the arrangements relating to financial and equality provisions in place in respect of those cross-border bodies established in consequence of the Belfast Agreement and that they are comparable to those placed on other non-cross-border public bodies in Northern Ireland.
Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether employees from Northern Ireland working within the cross-border bodies, established in consequence of the Belfast Agreement are subject to the Government's public sector pay policy. 
Mr. Hanson: The cross-border bodies are accountable to the North/South Ministerial Council and are jointly funded by the Northern Ireland public expenditure system and the Irish Government. Northern Ireland staff employed in the cross-border bodies generally follow the NICS pay award and their pay growth is considered, with due regard to public sector pay policy, as part of the business planning process. For these reasons cross-border bodies are currently outside the formal HM Treasury pay remits process.
|Name of Body||Sub-groups operating under the body||Sub-groups operating within the body|
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