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Mr. Sutcliffe: Details of the performance of the 42 probation areas in England and Wales against targets set for the National Probation Service for the years between 2001-02 and 2006-07 may be found in the National Probation Service performance report issues one to 24, all of which are posted on the NFS web site at:
Performance report 24, detailing performance for the 2006-07 reporting year, showed Nottinghamshire to be the fifth highest performing area in the weighted scorecard. The scorecard ranks probation areas according to their performance across the range of key indicators.
Bridget Prentice: The Government have not provided any specific funding for adult restorative programmes in 2006-07. It is for Local Criminal Justice Boards and other criminal justice agencies to consider how best to use their funding to meet their targets and local needs and a number of areas have established schemes to deliver adult restorative justice. The Governments strategy is to encourage, but not require, the use of adult restorative justice while building the evidence base to establish the impact of its use, particularly in relation to re-offending. It has commissioned independent research to evaluate the Crime Reduction Programme Restorative Justice Pilots, which is expected to be completed and published this year and this will inform its future strategy.
Youth Offending Teams (YOTs) use restorative justice as part of their work to prevent offending and increase victim satisfaction. The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has currently set a key performance indicator that
victims participate in restorative processes in 25 per cent. of relevant disposals referred to the YOT, and 85 per cent. of victims participating are satisfied.
Under the Treasury Invest to Save (Round 6) programme, £1.5 million was allocated to pilots of Family Group Conferences to enhance the overall effectiveness of Youth Inclusion Support Panels. The
FGC pilot ceased on 31 March 2007 when the three year funding came to an end.
From April 2007-10, Treasury ISB funding has been allocated to a Restorative Teen Panels project in Preston, Lancashire and a Restorative Justice in Residential Childrens Homes project in Leicestershire.
Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Minister of State, Ministry of Justice how many of those convicted of sexual offences have absconded while (a) on parole, (b) on early release and (c) serving a suspended sentence in Essex in each of the last 12 months; and if she will make a statement. 
In the period between April 2005 and February 2007 all offenders who were (i) serving a determinate sentence for a sexual offence; (ii) released on licence either automatically at the halfway point of sentence or on parole licence; (iii) on licence and subject to supervision by the Essex Probation Service; and (iv) recalled to prison for breaching the conditions of their licence were apprehended by the police and returned to custody.
Out of 32 cases recorded on the sex offender register and on a suspended sentence supervision order within the past 12 months in Essex, 1 has absconded. Essex Probation Service raised a warrant without bail immediately, and the offender was arrested. Records indicate that no further offence was committed during the abscond period.
Meg Munn: Latest data show that the pay gap between men and women has been falling steadily but not fast enough. On 2 April we launched a report setting out the comprehensive programme of action across government to reduce the gender pay gap, one year on from the Women and Work Commissions recommendations. Last month my Department hosted a conference with Opportunity Now for employers to discuss best practice on increasing gender equality in the workplace.
Meg Munn: The existing allocation legislation is designed to ensure that priority for social housing is based fairly and squarely on housing need. Priority for social housing is not determined by a persons race, nationality or immigration status. Local authorities must ensure that their allocation policies and procedures do not discriminate, directly or indirectly, on grounds of race or ethnicity.
Paul Goggins: Most NIO recruitment is currently carried out free of charge by NI Recruitment Service, an agency of the Department of Finance and Personnel. Recruitment consultants are used only where Recruitment Service competitions fail to produce suitable candidates or where executive searches are required to identify suitably skilled and experienced applicants. The following are the total amounts paid by the Northern Ireland Office core Department to recruitment consultants during the calendar years 2000-07. Information prior to 2000 is unavailable.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Prime Minister how many times his Office was found to have been in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: For these purposes my Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, South-East (Mr McFadden) on 6 June 2007, Official Report, column 591W.
The Prime Minister: For these purposes my Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Cabinet Office on 6 June 2007, Official Report, column 591W.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland which (a) advertising agencies and (b) other organisations supplied consultancy services for advertising campaigns for (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies in each of the last five years; and what the cost of these services was. 
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland for which Government websites he is responsible; how many visitors each received in the latest period for which figures are available; and what the cost (a) was of establishing and (b) has been of maintaining each site. 
David Cairns: The Scotland Office is responsible for its own websitewww.scotlandoffice.gov.uk;which was established in 2004. The annual costs of designing, building and hosting the website are set out in the following table. Management and updating of the site are the responsibility of the Offices Press Office and separate figures are not available. Visitor figures are only available for 2006-07.
|Financial year||Cost (£)||Unique visitors|
13. Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received from bodies representing British businesses on the structure and functions of his Department. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Departments programme for reducing regulation is set out in our Better Regulation Simplification plan, which was published on 11 December last year. This sets out ambitious plans for reducing the administrative burden DTI regulations impose on business towards our target of 25 per cent. by 2010. We will publish an updated report on the progress we have made, and the further plans we have, later this year.
Ensuring that new legislation comes into effect on just two common commencement dates, which is especially helpful for smaller businesses;
Helping business implement regulations with clearer information through the cross Government website www.businesslink.gov.uk:
Bringing in comprehensive guidance on maternity leave and pay;
Enabling other departments, business people, consumer representatives and the unions to scrutinise policy proposals through a ministerial challenge panel.
Malcolm Wicks: Manufacturing remains a critical part of the West Midlands economy. The Government are working closely with Advantage West Midlands to develop the new regional economic strategy which will encourage manufacturers to move to high value added production through the application of science and innovation, world-class practice and skills development.
16. Mr. Todd:
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what progress has been made in response to the joint statement of intent to create and implement
an intellectual property rights programme between the UK and India since 2004; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks: The joint statement of intent was signed in June 2006. Under the JETCO agreement between India and the UK, we are currently developing a bilateral action plan with the Indian IPR authorities in order to put in place a technical assistance programme for Indian Government officials dealing with IP.
The sub-postmasters and mistresses who own and operate 97 per cent. of the UK's post office network are private business people. They are free to develop their associated retail business and to enter into contracts with anyone they choose as long as the products provided are not excluded under the terms of their contract with Post Office Ltd. because they would be in direct competition with key Post Office products.
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