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18 Jun 2007 : Column 1501Wcontinued
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many meetings he had with hon. Members to discuss the reconsideration of tribunal verdicts on the expulsion of failed asylum seekers in each month of 2006. 
Mr. Byrne: I meet with hon. Members, both formally and informally, on an almost daily basis to discuss issues relating to representations made by hon. Members.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with which countries' agencies the immigration and nationality directorate co-operated in order to return failed asylum seekers in the last 12 months. 
John Reid: The 1944 Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation, to which some 190 states are signatories, underpins the framework within which those, who no longer qualify to remain on the territory of a particular country, can be removed. Those arrangements generally operate successfully on a day- to-day basis, but there may be a need to enter into discussions or secure more formal arrangements with individual countries to enhance our ability to return. As part of strengthening this process we have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) on returns with Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somaliland, United Arab Emirates (Dubai) and Vietnam. The UK has also opted-in to decisions to mandate the EU Commission to negotiate 16 readmission agreements on behalf of member states. In addition, we have bilateral readmission agreements with Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and Switzerland. An agreement has been signed with Algeria and is currently in the process of ratification.
In effecting the removal of those who do not qualify to remain in the United Kingdom (UK), we do not distinguish between failed asylum seekers and other immigration offenders.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of individuals awaiting a decision on their asylum claim are refused the right to work. 
Mr. Byrne: The information requested cannot be provided except by examining individual case records at disproportionate cost.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the recruitment and retention of police community support officers. 
Mr. McNulty: The target of 16,000 new police community support officers employed by forces by the end of April 2007 has been achieved. This met the very challenging target set out in the 2006 Budget, requiring in total almost a doubling in the numbers of PCSOs over a seven-month period. This represents a considerable achievement for forces.
Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers were originally planned to be in post in Kent in March 2008; and how many are now expected to be in post on that date. 
Mr. McNulty: To achieve a national target of 24,000 police community support officers (PCSOs) Kent Constabulary would have employed 571 PCSOs by March 2008. A written ministerial statement on 27 November announced changes to this plan in the light of the progress that the police service has made towards delivering neighbourhood policing and requests from the service for greater flexibility. Kent Constabulary were accordingly due to have 382 PCSOs by 30 April 2007 as their share of the national targetwhich the police service achievedof 16,000 PCSOs.
It is open to Kent and other forces, depending on local circumstances and resources, to increase the number of PCSOs further if they consider it appropriate to meet the neighbourhood policing needs of their communities, but there is no expectation on them to do so. The aim now is to have a dedicated neighbourhood policing team embedded into every area in England and Wales by April 2008.
Mr. Gale: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what changes he plans to make to the numbers of police community support officers in (a) Essex, (b) Hampshire, (c) Kent, (d) Surrey, (e) East Sussex and (f) West Sussex; and if he will make a statement. 
It is for Chief Constables to determine the deployment of Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) within their force area. The following table
gives the number of PCSOs that these forces were due to have by 30 April 2007 as their share of the national targetwhich the police service achievedof 16,000 PCSOs. It is open to all forces, depending on local circumstances and resources, to increase the number of PCSOs further if they consider it appropriate to meet the neighbourhood policing needs of their communities, but there is no expectation on them to do so. The aim now is to have a dedicated neighbourhood policing team embedded into every area in England and Wales by April 2008.
|Police force target number of PCSOs at 30 April 2007|
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total costs incurred by his Department from the departmental split resulting in the formation of the Ministry of Justice have been. 
Mr. Byrne: There will be no additional costs to the Home Office arising from the establishment of the Ministry of Justice; certain agreed costs incurred by the Home Office as part of this process will be reimbursed by the Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Mudie: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time equivalent staff are working on priority legacy cases. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 7 June 2007]: In presenting a report on IND Reform to House on 25 July last year, the Home Secretary set out priorities for the asylum legacy programme. The director general of IND (now chief executive of BIA) then wrote to Home Affairs Committee on 19 February with update on legacy programme. This letter confirmed that a new directorate had been established to deal specifically with legacy cases and had been in operation since 1 November last year, with significant case working capability.
Further casework resources will progressively come on stream over coming months.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what methodology is used by his Department to account for its carbon emissions. 
To account for its carbon emissions the Home Office measures the consumption of electricity, gas and fuel oil across the estate and converts these figures into carbon equivalents with the assistance of the Building Research Establishment. Carbon emissions from road travel undertaken by Home Office staff are
accounted for in accordance with DEFRAs guidance to business on environmental reporting. We measure the amount of travel by hire cars, pool cars, private vehicles and taxis and take account of vehicle fuel type in calculating emissions. These figures are submitted for inclusion in the Sustainable Development in Government report published annually by the Sustainable Development Commission.
Separately the Department participates in the Governments carbon offsetting scheme, which calculates the carbon dioxide emissions created by official air travel. Central data are provided to DEFRA who then adjust these to take into account the total impact that aviation imposes on climate change and purchase credits from projects which prevent or remove an equivalent amount of emissions from the atmosphere.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what payments his Department made to MVA Limited in each of the last three years; and what the purpose was of each payment. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department has records of one payment made to MVA Limited, of £68, in May 2004. The purpose of the payment could be determined only by incurring disproportionate costs.
Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what official (a) lunches, (b) dinners and (c) receptions he has hosted in each of the last six months; and what the (i) location, (ii) total cost and (iii) purpose was of each event. 
John Reid: I have hosted numerous lunches, dinners and receptions regarding Home Office business during the last six months. Details of the exact location, total cost and purpose of each event could be obtained only by reviewing the records of each meeting. This could be done only at disproportionate costs.
In each case, any hospitality was provided in accordance with the departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how much was raised from the sale of departmental property in each of the last five years; 
(2) what properties his Department (a) owned and (b) rented in each of the last five years; 
(3) how much was received by his Department from the letting of its properties in each of the last five years; 
(4) what the cost of leasing buildings and office space for (a) his Department and (b) its agencies was in each of the last five years. 
Information on the ownership, rents, and disposals is not collected centrally and would require a review of individual historical records. This could be
done only at disproportionate cost. Following the Machinery of Government changes of 9 May, the Home Office has reduced its estate so that it does not include properties relating to the National Offender Management Service including Prisons and Probation. In future years, a new central unit within the re-focused Home Office will collate and hold data on its property portfolio.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost was to his Department of the unpublished research paper Sizing the Illegally Resident Working Population. 
John Reid: The report into the Sizing of the Illegally Resident Working Population, released as part of Freedom of Information Act release FOI 3517, was technical in nature and the relevant aspects of this research are already contained in the published RDS online report 58/04Sizing the illegal population in the UK. The research cost £20,020.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to his Department was of the unpublished research paper Development of a study into the impact of Government policy on asylum flows. 
John Reid: The report Development of a study into the impact of Government policy on asylum flows was released as part of Freedom of Information Act release FOI 3517. It was not previously published because it had not been developed into a report of publishable standard and there was not a sufficiently strong case for putting further resource into improving the report, given the rapid pace of change in asylum pressures and processes. The cost of the research is not available centrally.
David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost to his Department was of the unfinished report Enforcement of warrants. 
John Reid: The report into the Enforcement of Warrants was released as part of Freedom of Information Act release FOI 3517 and was previously released with limited distribution. The research was produced internally and separately identifiable costs are not available.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 April 2007, Official Report, columns 599-600W, how many Home Office reviews have been instigated or agreed to by Ministers since 5 May 2006; what the subject matter was of each review; and what the outcome was of each review. 
As soon as I became Home Secretary, I undertook three major reviews of (a) the Home Office as a whole; (b) the immigration and asylum system; and (c) the criminal justice system. The outcomes of
each of these reviews was published in July 2006. In addition, the Prime Minister asked me to instigate a review of counter terrorism, but there is a limit to what I can report on the results of this review due to national security considerations. Finally, I have recently instigated a review of policing, led by Her Majestys Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Ronnie Flanagan. My drive to improve delivery in the Home Offices objectives means that a wide range of other reviews of policy and operational issues have been undertaken and continue to be undertaken (such as a review of deportation of foreign national prisoners and Sir Ian Magees review of the criminal records of offences committed abroad by UK nationals). To identify every one could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much his Department and its agencies paid in travel agencies' fees in each year since 1997. 
Mr. Byrne: The Department does not hold the information, at the requested level of detail, in a readily accessible form. An answer could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps his Department is taking to ensure the right to religious observance is upheld in immigration removal centres. 
John Reid: The Detention Centre Rules 2001 require arrangements to be in place for ministers of religion to conduct religious services for detainees.
Each centre is monitored by an on-site Border and Immigration Agency team and is subject to scrutiny by the Independent Monitoring Board. Both are able to pursue any issues where it is felt that the right to religious observance is not being upheld.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines his Department has issued on collective worship in immigration removal centres. 
John Reid: All centres have in place arrangements where detainees can attend collective prayers. The Detention Centre Rules 2001 require arrangements to be in place for ministers of religion to conduct religious services for detainees.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been spent on moving asylum claimants between immigration removal centres in each of the last five years. 
John Reid: The contract price for in country escorts is inclusive and covers all required escort movements for immigration detainees including inter-detention estate transfers.
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