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16 Apr 2007 : Column 204W—continued


Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on (a) the North/South Language Body and (b) the Ulster-Scots Agency in each year since its formation. [130492]

Maria Eagle: The amount of funding from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure for the North/South Language Body and the Ulster-Scots Agency each year since its formation is shown in the following table.

£ million
North South language body Ulster-Scots Agency

2000

2.303

0.5

2001

3.5

0.97

2002

3.71

1.07

2003

4.005

1.155

2004

4.561

1.337

2005

4.599

1.357

2006

5.095

1.61


Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people are employed by the (a) North/South Language Body and (b) Ulster- Scots Agency; and what the source of the funding for these posts is. [130493]

Maria Eagle: The number of people employed by the North/South Language Body and the Ulster-Scots Agency and their source of funding is shown in the following table.


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16 Apr 2007 : Column 206W
Number of staff Funding source

North/South Language Body (Foras na Gaeilge and Ulster- Scots Agency)

54 (permanent)

Sponsoring Departments (Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure in NI, and Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs in the Republic of Ireland)

2 (secondees)

4 (temporary)

3 (project)

Special European Union Programme Body

Total

63

Ulster-Scots Agency

11

Sponsoring Departments Fixed Term appointments

3

SEUPB project

Total

14


Mr. Dodds: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the budget of the (a) North/South Language Body and (b) Ulster-Scots Agency was in (i) 2004-05, (ii) 2005-06 and (iii) 2006-07. [130494]

Maria Eagle: The financial year for all the North-South implementation bodies is the calendar year. The budgets for the 2004, 2005 and 2006 years are shown in the following table.

£ million
2004 2005 2006

North/South Language Body

14.683

14.777

15. 837

Ulster-Scots Agency

1.784

1.809

2. 132


Northern Ireland Executive: Departmental Co-ordination

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the extent of data sharing across Northern Ireland's Government Departments and agencies. [127132]

Mr. Hanson: While there has been no formal assessment of the extent of data sharing across Northern Ireland's Departments and agencies to date, it is recognised that there is a need for Northern Ireland Departments and agencies to share data where it is necessary to carry out the normal business of the Department.

Indeed, there are already some pockets of data-sharing excellence in areas as diverse as the Causeway programme, a joint enterprise within the criminal justice system where electronically shared information is improving business process and performance, and the Northern Ireland Mapping Agreement which supplies the Ordnance Survey Northern Ireland product range, including the Pointer database, to all NICS Departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies, including local councils.

Orchestras: Finance

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much funding he plans to provide for the Ulster Orchestra in 2007-08; and how much funding was provided in each of the last five years. [130701]

Maria Eagle: Funding provided by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to the Ulster Orchestra in each of the last five years including the planned allocation for 2007-08 is shown in the following table.

£

2002-03

1,344,000

2003-04

1,690,000

2004-05

1,740,000

2005-06

1,892,921

2006-07

1,925,113

2007-08

1,925,113


Outdoor Advertising

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will take steps to introduce measures in Northern Ireland of equivalent effect to the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007. [131150]

David Cairns: I am presently considering whether equivalent regulations to the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 should be introduced in Northern Ireland. However, given the imminent return to a devolved Administration in May, the decision on whether to introduce such measures would be a matter for the Northern Ireland Executive.

Planning

Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many enforcement officers (a) are employed by the planning division in Northern Ireland and (b) were employed in each of the last five years. [130780]

David Cairns: The Department of the Environment’s Planning Service currently employs 45 enforcement officers. The number of enforcement officers employed in the previous three years is shown in the following table. Prior to 2004, a separate staff complement for enforcement officers was not maintained as enforcement staff were counted as part of the overall divisional development control staff complement.


16 Apr 2007 : Column 207W
As at March each year Number of enforcement officers

2006

51

2005

46

2004

56


The total staff complement for enforcement is 57. The Planning Service intends to appoint additional staff in the near future to increase the current total to the full complement following a recent recruitment and promotion exercise.

Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the budget (a) is for the planning division for enforcement officers for the 2006-07 financial year and (b) was in the 2005-06 financial year. [130781]

David Cairns: While the Planning Service does not hold budgets for costs at this level, actual expenditure for enforcement officers for the (a) 2006-07 financial year is estimated to be £1.53 million and (b) 2005-06 financial year was £1.38 million.

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action is being taken to deal with the backlog of cases at the Planning Appeals Commission. [130835]

Mr. Hanson: The Commission secured an increase in complement to 21 full-time commissioners, from 17, in August 2006, and continues to utilise panel commissioners who are paid on a fee by case basis and has put forward a business case for a further increase in resources.

In an attempt to ensure that further increases in delays to the determination of appeals are minimised, the Commission has advised the Department of the Environment that it will likely have to constrain its involvement in progressing examinations or inquiries and has limited the Department to referring no more than two of these to run concurrently.

Police Service of Northern Ireland: Redundancy Pay

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what details were passed to his Department by the Northern Ireland Police Fund regarding the dismissal of Mr. Desmond Clayton; [119341]

(2) whether details of severance packages paid to members of staff at the Northern Ireland Police Fund are among the issues his Department discusses with the
16 Apr 2007 : Column 208W
Fund as part of standard corporate governance arrangements. [119348]

Paul Goggins: As part of the standard corporate governance arrangements regular meetings are held and correspondence exchanged on a range of issues relating to the business of the Northern Ireland Police Fund.

Prescriptions: Fees and Charges

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions were held with the Northern Ireland Pharmaceutical Contractors Committee before reducing the negotiated fee for multiple dispensed prescription items. [130689]

Paul Goggins: The rate of multiple dispensing fees has formed part of various discussions and negotiations with the Pharmaceutical Contractors’ Committee (PCC) over several years.

The Department recently withdrew its letter of 26 January 2007 and reinstated the rate of all fees to their former levels for 2006-07, pending the outcome of ongoing negotiations with the PCC. The February clawback will be reversed and repaid in pharmacies in the March monthly payment.

Recent discussions with PCC have led to meaningful progress towards resolution of multiple dispensing and medicines management issues which are part of ongoing negotiations on the new pharmacy contract.

Prisons: Northern Ireland

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people from (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales, (d) the Republic of Ireland and (e) overseas were held in each Northern Ireland prison in each of the last six years. [120439]

Paul Goggins: The following table has been compiled from the address given by the prisoner at the time of committal. To break down those classified as GB into individual countries would involve a disproportionate cost. The figures listed are from the last six years for which statistics are available. It is not currently possible to differentiate between overseas prisoners and those from Northern Ireland of no fixed address. However, since July 2006 foreign nationals have been recorded separately.


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Prison receptions by address and establishment
Establishment
Address Magilligan Hydebank Wood (YOC) Maghaberry (male) Hydebank Wood (female) Total

2005

Northern Ireland

450

1,284

3,420

279

5,433

GB

11

5

55

7

78

ROI

5

10

49

6

70

Other/No fixed address

12

30

251

38

331

Total

478

1,329

3,775

330

5,912

2004

Northern Ireland

460

1,263

3,081

298

5,102

GB

8

2

52

6

68

ROI

2

6

28

6

42

Other/No fixed address

9

36

177

21

243

Total

479

1,307

3,338

331

5,455

2003

Northern Ireland

467

1,202

3,013

221

4,903

GB

8

1

49

15

73

ROI

5

10

44

10

69

Other/No fixed address

15

47

176

26

264

Total

495

1,260

3,282

272

5,309

2002

Northern Ireland

405

1,168

2,758

212

4,543

GB

5

7

40

3

55

ROI

4

9

30

4

47

Other/No fixed address

24

43

147

6

220

Total

438

1,227

2,975

225

4,865

2001

Northern Ireland

374

1,104

2,459

185

4,122

GB

6

2

27

3

38

ROI

3

7

20

2

32

Other/No fixed address

30

48

140

6

224

Total

413

1,161

2,646

196

4,416

2000

Northern Ireland

484

1,223

2,878

224

4,809

GB

11

6

40

3

60

ROI

8

5

23

8

44

Other/No fixed address

59

49

147

17

272

Total

562

1,283

3,088

252

5,185


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