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Latin America: Civil Society Challenge Fund

Mark Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Civil Society Challenge Fund in Latin America; and if he will make a statement. [133571]

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Mr. Thomas: No aggregate assessment has been made of the effectiveness of Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF) projects in Latin America. However, for each project funded under the CSCF, including those in Latin America, implementing agencies are required to submit annual progress reports, as well as a project completion report and independent evaluation at project end.

Philippines: Food Aid

Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department is making available to the World Food Programme initiative to provide emergency relief in Jolo, Southern Philippines. [133887]

Mr. Thomas: DFID is monitoring the situation in Jolo. As the Government of the Philippines are coping, we are not planning to respond. However, we will consider any requests for international assistance from the Government of the Philippines, and stand ready to respond should the humanitarian situation deteriorate.

World Bank

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with his international counterparts concerning the World Bank president; and if he will make a statement. [133813]

Hilary Benn: At the Spring Meetings of the World Bank I discussed the issue with my fellow Governors of the Bank and we agreed the following section of the Development Committee Communiqué, dealing with the allegations against President Wolfowitz:

I have had follow-up discussions with some Governors since the Spring Meetings.

We expect the World Bank executive directors to meet again this week to discuss the next steps.

Northern Ireland

Fly Tipping

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what work has been undertaken by the two cross-border working groups set up by him and the Government of the Republic of Ireland dealing with unauthorised waste activities and the transfrontier shipment of wastes; how many meetings each has held; what conclusions each has reached; what outcomes have resulted; and if he will make a statement. [133924]

David Cairns: The Unauthorised Waste Activities (UWA) group was established to co-ordinate regional enforcement action against unauthorised waste activities. In addition to its co-ordinated enforcement actions, the group has also held seminars in
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conjunction with the Garda Siochana. The group first met in September 2004 and met six times in the first year The group was then reformed into a smaller regional co-ordinator working group which has gone on to meet seven times.

The focus of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste (TfS) Group has been on better and consistent enforcement by local authorities of the legislation covering cross-border movements of waste. This has involved action to check legitimate waste movements to Northern Ireland, development of guidance and training and liaison with European regulators. The TfS group first met in September 2004 and has met 13 times to date.

The work is ongoing but has been acknowledged as bringing about better enforcement of environmental legislation on the island of Ireland. The research undertaken has enabled the scale of illegal waste activity on the island to be quantified and future plans to tackle it determined.

Participation in the groups has led to improved communication and liaison between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland enforcement authorities involved in illegal waste enforcement cases. Increased co-ordination of enforcement activity on both sides of the border has led to a major reduction in the trafficking of illegal waste from the Republic of Ireland into Northern Ireland. At the same time, there has been a reduction in the movement of illegal waste to Europe and beyond.

Sewage: Waste Disposal

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many households in each (a) council district and (b) parliamentary constituency had septic tank emptying agreements with Northern Ireland Water before 31 March 2007. [134924]

David Cairns: The Water and Sewerage Services (NI) Order 2006 transferred responsibility for the delivery of water and sewerage services from the Department’s Water Service Agency to a statutory water and sewerage undertaker. A government-owned company, Northern Ireland Water (NIW) has been appointed as the undertaker and the issues raised are operational matters for it. I have asked the chief executive of NIW (Mrs. Katharine Bryan) to write to the hon. Gentleman in response to these questions.


Second Homes: Voting Rights

Mr. Atkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what the residential requirements are for second home owners to have their names entered on the electoral roll in Scotland; [134471]

(2) what basis decisions are made to permit the names of second home owners in Scotland to be entered on the electoral roll and vote in Scottish parliamentary and local government elections. [134472]

David Cairns: A person’s name may appear on the electoral register only if they reside at an address within the electoral area. Residence is not defined in law, but it is held to entail a considerable degree of
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permanence. It is for the Electoral Registration Officer to decide, in light of the relevant circumstances, whether a person may be said to be resident at a particular address. This includes second home owners, in Scotland or elsewhere in the UK.

It is possible for a person to appear on more than one electoral register. It is for the Electoral Registration Officer to decide on the basis of the information provided to them. Due regard must be given to the purpose and other circumstances of the person’s presence at or absence from an address. For example, where a person is staying at a non-permanent location for a particular time, they may be considered to be either (i) resident at that address because they have no home elsewhere or (ii) not resident there if they do have a home elsewhere. Absence due to the performance of any duty associated with office, service or employment, or absence due to attendance at an educational course, does not constitute an interruption to a person’s residence. For example, a student who has a permanent home address and a term-time address, and spends about the same amount of time in each, can be registered lawfully at both addresses.


Sentencing: Crimes of Violence

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Solicitor-General whether he plans to review decisions by local Crown Prosecution Service offices not to appeal sentences for being too lenient in the case of offences involving violence; and if he will make a statement. [134527]

The Solicitor-General: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) does not have a power to appeal sentences on the ground of leniency. The Law Officers do however have a power, under the Criminal Justice Act 1988, to refer sentences passed in certain Crown court cases to the Court of Appeal for review, if of the opinion that a sentence passed in such a case was unduly lenient. Any reference to the Court of Appeal must be made within 28 days of the sentence being passed.

The Law Officers regularly receive requests from the CPS to consider referring sentences of concern to the Court of Appeal, including in cases of violence. There are no plans to review local CPS decisions not to do so. The Law Officers also receive requests to review sentences from victims (or families of victims), Members of Parliament and members of the public.

I am aware that the hon. Member has expressed concern about sentences passed in a case at Peterborough Crown court last month. The sentences are being considered by the Law Officers and the hon. Member will be written to directly in due course.

Trade and Industry

Balance of Trade

Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the trade balance was with the EU in each year since 1977. [132811]

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Mr. McCartney [holding answer 20 April 2007]: Estimates of the UK balance of trade in goods and services with the EU25 are only available from 1999. The latest estimates including initial figures for 2006 are shown (at current prices) in the following table:

£ billion

















Estimates of the balance of trade in goods and services with the EU15 from 1977 to 2004 are shown (at current prices) in the following table:

£ billion

























































Data for 1991 and earlier years are not fully consistent with those for later years as they do not incorporate revisions or methodology changes made after 1997, in particular to statistics on trade in services.
ONS Balance of Payments statistics

Clothing: Fire Prevention

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the regulations are regarding flammability and safety of children’s nightwear. [132116]

Mr. McCartney: The fire safety of children’s nightwear in the UK is governed by The Nightwear (Safety)
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Regulations 1985. These Regulations place a requirement on suppliers of nightwear—manufacturers, importers, wholesalers, retailers—to ensure that children’s nightwear, such as nightdresses, dressing gowns, bath robes and similar garments, meet the specified safety flammability requirements.

Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988

Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions there have been with industry representatives on updating the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988; and if he will make a statement. [134174]

Mr. McCartney: The provisions of the Control of Misleading Advertisements Regulations 1988 (CMARs) dealing with misleading advertisements directed at consumers will be replaced from 6 April 2008 by regulations implementing the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (UCPD). The UCPD introduces a general prohibition on unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices. For the sake of clarity the UCPD sets out how practices may be unfair by misleading consumers through action or omission.

As a consequence, the scope of the original Misleading and Comparative Advertising Directive (MCAD), which the CMARs implement, has been narrowed to cover only business-to-business relationships.

The Government have held extensive consultation with interested parties on how the UCPD should be implemented. They will also be consulting on draft regulations implementing the UCPD, and re-implementing the MCAD as amended by the UCPD, at the end of May.

Departments: Official Hospitality

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much was spent on hospitality by his Department in the financial year 2006-07. [133266]

Jim Fitzpatrick: For 2006-07 the total expenditure on hospitality and entertainment of the Department was £1,420,000. All departmental expenditure is incurred in accordance with the principles of Government Accounting and the Treasury handbook on Regularity and Propriety.

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