|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many flights to overseas destinations were taken by (a) civil servants and (b) Ministers in her Department in each of the last three calendar years; and what the total cost of such flights was. 
This information can be provided only at disproportionate cost. Since 1999, the Government have published on an annual basis, a list
of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500, as well as the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Library of the House. Information for 2006-07 is currently being compiled and will be published before the summer recess. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code, the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers.
In December, 2006, the Government published Partnership in Public Services: An action plan for third sector involvement. The plan notes that third sector organisations are particularly effective in delivering services where the high levels of public trust, confidence and affection they enjoy are most important. From enabling patient self-care to engaging parents in their childrens education, third
sector organisations strengths often lie in developing services that empower people and which are tailored to their needs. In addition, third sector organisations play a highly effective role as a catalyst for service improvement. However, the plan also notes that there is variation in the performance of different organisations across all sectors and that opportunities should be open to all without bias to one sector.
Ann Keen: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of (a) volunteer week in raising awareness of the role volunteers play in local communities and (b) measures taken by local authorities to harness third sector public service provision. 
Edward Miliband: Volunteers week (1-7 June) is the UKs annual celebration of the work volunteers do and is co-ordinated by Volunteering England (VE). VE assess the effectiveness of the week by analysing media coverage and data collected via a questionnaire given to those who participated in the week. The closing date for this years survey is 20 July therefore the analysis is not currently available.
The Government are committed to working with local government to enable the third sector to make an effective contribution to better public services. One mechanism for this is through the Compact. 99 per cent. of local authorities have local compacts in place or under development with the third sector. These provide the basis for partnership working within the sector and support local area agreements by setting out priorities for improving public services in local areas.
Third sector organisations still face barriers to delivery of public services. However, the Office of the Third Sector (OTS) and Communities and Local Government are taking steps to address these barriers through OTS action plan: Partnership in Public Services. This includes a programme to train 2000 of the most significant public sector commissioners, many of whom will be drawn from local authorities.
Mr. Carswell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many memorandums of understanding are in force as a result of agreements with foreign Governments entered into by Ministers in his Department; and what executive actions each entails. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: I refer the right hon. Lady to the answer given to her by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 14 June 2007, Official Report , column 1263W, and to the hon. Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) by the Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster, North (Edward Miliband) on 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1637W.
Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the merits of providing British Sign Language (BSL) videos on his departmental website for the benefit of those whose first language is BSL. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: Following the recognition of British Sign language (BSL) as a language in its own right in March 2003, the Government committed £1.5 million funding for 10 projects designed to improve the infrastructure supporting BSL tutors and to raise awareness of the communication needs of Deaf BSL users among employers, service providers and in the wider community. The aim is for the outputs from the projects to have a lasting and sustainable impact. There are no videos on my departmental website.
The Deputy Prime Minister: I am Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Public Health (DA(PH)). Its terms of reference are to co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of the Governments policies to improve public health and reduce health inequalities.
Co-ordination across Government has been necessary to address a range of public health issues, including reducing smoking rates, tackling obesity, reducing teenage pregnancy rates, promoting sport and physical activity, developing Healthy Schools, and tackling drug and alcohol abuse and misuse. Owing to these developments, our reform programme and the fact that 10 years of economic prosperity, we have been able to treble the health budget in cash terms between 1996-97 and 2007-08. This has allowed us to employ over 79,000 more nurses and over 36,000 more doctors, significantly to reduce waiting lists (the average wait for inpatient treatment is now 6.4 weeks) and to regenerate the NHS estate (with 150 new hospitals open, under construction or in procurement).
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in his Department have been allowed to work from home for part of the week in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement on his Departments policy on home working. 
Paul Goggins: Some members of staff in the Northern Ireland Office work from home from time to time on an ad hoc basis, with agreement from their local management. We do not record these details centrally.
The Department is currently examining whether it would be possible to expand these arrangements to allow people to work from home on a more regular basis, bearing in mind cost, security, and health and safety issues.
Paul Goggins: As at 1 June 2007 the Northern Ireland Office employed 2,172 officials; this figure includes non-uniformed staff in the Northern Ireland prison service, staff within Youth Justice Agency, Compensation Agency and Forensic Science Northern Ireland.
|Percentage of staff|
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in his Department received bonus payments in 2006-07; what proportion of the total workforce they represented; what the total amount of bonuses paid was; what the largest single payment was; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Goggins: The information set out as follows comprises bonuses paid under the special bonus scheme, and the performance arrangements for all NIO staff at senior civil service level and below. Performance bonuses are paid subsequent to the reporting year. Bonuses relating to the 2005-06 reporting year were paid in 2006 and were as follows:
Number of staff receiving a bonus: 1,024
Proportion of total work force: 49.2 per cent.
Total amount of bonuses £686,425
Largest single payment: £11,000
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what average number of days per year was taken by staff in his Department as sick leave in each of the last five years for which records are available. 
|Days lost per staff year|
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people were convicted of driving offences in (a) each constituency and (b) each council area in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. 
Maria Eagle: Conviction data are not available by Northern Ireland constituency. The statistics included within the response are based on the 12 police divisions for the years 1996 to 1999 and the 29 police district command units (DCUs) for the years 2000 to 2005. It is not possible to disaggregate data by DCU for years prior to 2000.
With the exception of overall totals, figures in Table 1 should not be compared with those in Table 2, as Table 1 figures relate to the police division to which an offence was reported, while those in Table 2 relate to the police district command unit in which an offenders address falls.
|Table 1: Convictions for motoring off ences by police division 1996- 99( 1,2)|
|(1 )Missing data relate to those offenders for whom police division information is not available.|
(2 )Police stations included within brackets are the Divisional Headquarters.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|