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25 Oct 2007 : Column 456Wcontinued
Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will bring forward proposals to amend the law so as to allow protests against war in the vicinity of the Cenotaph. 
Mr. McNulty: Protests in the vicinity of the Cenotaph are already allowed. As the Cenotaph falls within the designated area around Parliament, organisers of static demonstrations are required to notify their intention to demonstrate to the Commissioner in advance. The Commissioner must authorise any demonstration which is notified to him in advance. Marches are subject to prior notification under section 11 of the Public Order Act 1986.
We announced in the Green Paper The Governance of Britain in July that we would review the provisions that govern the right to protest in the vicinity of Parliament. We shall be consulting widely with a view to ensuring that peoples right to protest is not subject to unnecessary restrictions. The consultation will begin very shortly.
Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many scouts from overseas due to attend the World Scouting Jamboree in August 2007 in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, (a) disappeared during the course of the Jamboree and (b) failed to turn up to the Jamboree after having entered the UK; 
(2) how many scouts from overseas who were due to attend the World Scouting Jamboree in August in Hylands Park, Chelmsford, applied for political asylum since 28 July. 
(3) what action has been taken by (a) the Border and Immigration Agency and (b) the police to track down those overseas scouts who entered the UK to attend the World Scouting Jamboree in August in
Hylands Park, Chelmsford, and failed to turn up to the Jamboree or disappeared during the course of the Jamboree. 
Mr. Byrne [holding answer 8 October 2007]: A number of overseas scouts attending the World Scouting Jamboree would have made an application for entry clearance to enter the United Kingdom. They would have been issued with visitor visas for the standard six month period.
The information requested regarding how many scouts from overseas disappeared or did not arrive at the World Scouting Jamboree event is not collected by the Border and Immigration Agency because no Immigration offences were committed.
The Border and Immigration Agency cannot confirm how many overseas scouts claimed asylum as we do not comment on individual cases.
Essex police have confirmed that a total of 11 scouts are missing and they are actively trying to locate them. All referrals from the police to The Border and Immigration Agency relating to the overseas missing scouts have been investigated and all individuals continue to have valid entry clearance and are in the United Kingdom legally. As such, this is an ongoing police matter.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what his Departments projected spending is on advertising and promotional campaigns for (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09, broken down by cost relating to (i) television, (ii) radio and (iii) print media. 
Mr. Lammy: The Department is planning an advertising and promotional campaign for student support in 2007-08. The advertising and publicity budget allocated to this programme is £4.5 million of which £1,777,776 will be spent on advertising and promotion. The costs following have been broken down as requested.
|Projected spend (£)|
It is not possible to provide figures for 2008-09. Budgets will not be agreed until communications priorities and objectives for 2008-09 have been finalised and planning (informed by evaluation of 2007-08 activity) has been completed.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) if he will commission an assessment of the benefits to (a) individual students, (b) businesses and (c) the economy of graduates completing second degrees; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what advice is provided to graduates on the (a) merits and (b) mechanics of pursuing a second degree; and whether guidance is available on the choice of subject. 
Bill Rammell: We have asked HEFCE to phase out the support it gives to institutions for students doing a second degree at an equivalent or lower level in order to redistribute around £100 million a year by 2010/11 towards our priorities. While there may be some benefit to individuals, and their employers, in them retraining for a second qualification at the same level, it is generally fairer to both students and the taxpayer to give priority to those either entering higher education for the first time, or progressing to higher qualifications. All of the £100 million will be redistributed to support our priorities, including the challenges posed by Sandy Leitch around the proportion of the work force with graduate level skills from under 30 per cent. to over 40 per cent. by 2020. At the same time, we also published details of these changes and the rationale for them so that prospective students both with and without existing Higher Education qualifications can plan ahead in the knowledge of our priorities.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which pathogens acting on (a) human and (b) animals are considered to be viable terrorist bioweapons; and what (i) guidance and (ii) security conditions are given to sites storing or studying such cultures. 
Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.
There is a wide range of pathogens which could be considered as potential bioweapons. Guidance on hazardous pathogens and toxins, including security considerations is included within the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001). Pathogens (or derivatives) are covered under schedule 5, Order 2007 while security considerations are covered in part 7 of the Act.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many loanees are making repayments to the Student Loans Company. 
Bill Rammell: In March 2007 there were 253,200 English domiciled income-contingent borrowers repaying their loans. There were 154,300 mortgage-style borrowers ahead or up to date with repayments. In addition a number of mortgage-style borrowers classed as in arrears may have made repayments that did not bring their accounts up to date.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many cases of delays in repayment of loans by graduates who have reached the earning threshold for repayment there have been in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: The information requested is not held centrally.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when Government research facilities handling animal pathogens for which his Department is responsible have had their drainage systems (a) inspected and (b) risk assessed since 2001; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: I have been asked to reply.
The drainage systems of laboratories licensed by DEFRA to handle specified animal pathogens under the Specified Animal Pathogens Order (SAPO) 1998 are not routinely inspected, nor is this a condition of a SAPO licence.
However, following the recent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD), DEFRA and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) have issued a safety alert to all SAPO Category 3 and 4 laboratories. The alert relates to issues arising from the independent reviews carried out by Professor Spratt and the HSE into potential breaches of biosecurity at the Pirbright site. It requires all such laboratories to satisfy themselves that their facilities and procedures address all the issues identified by Professor Spratt and the HSE. DEFRA and the HSE will also undertake a programme of inspection at all SAPO Category 3 and 4 laboratories. SAPO licences for those laboratories have also been amended to make clear their responsibilities towards biosecurity.
In addition, we have commissioned a review of the regulatory framework for animal pathogens under Sir Bill Callaghan. This review will include a consideration of the appropriate enforcement standards for animal pathogens, including issues such as drainage.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what his definition is of a working day in connection with a coroners responsibility to contact next of kin with reference to his Departments latest draft charter for the bereaved. 
Bridget Prentice: The definition of a working day in the draft Charter is any day between Monday and Friday inclusive, with the exception of Christmas Day, Good Friday or a bank holiday in England and Wales under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971. I intend to publish the draft Charter at the same time as the Coroners Bill is introduced. This will enable Members to see a summary of how the measures in the Bill will benefit bereaved families. There will be further opportunities for consultation on the draft Charter in the future, following Royal Assent of the Bill, and before reform is fully implemented.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the savings to his Department consequent upon the introduction of regional pay for court staff. 
Maria Eagle: There are no direct cash savings to the Department arising from the introduction of the new pay system. Rather this system enables the Department to make best use of the available budget.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what percentage of employees in (a) his Department and (b) each (i) executive agency and (ii) non-departmental public body funded by his Department are above state retirement age. 
Bridget Prentice: The figures for the Ministry of Justice (former DCA and its agencies) have been compiled and are detailed as follows.
(a) (i) The total number of permanent and casual staff, and the percentage of staff above state retirement age, employed by the Ministry of Justice (former DCA) as at 30 September 2006, taken from the Ministry of Justice new oracle single human resource system are as follows:
|Ministry of Justice|
|Formerly Department for Constitutional Affairs (excl. agencies)||Number/percentage|
(b) (i) The total number of permanent and casual staff, and the percentage of staff above state retirement age, employed by the Ministry of Justice agencies (former DCA and its agencies) as at 30 September 2006, taken from the Ministry of Justice new oracle single human resource system are as follows:
|Ministry of Justice s agencies||Total all staff (permanent and casual)||Number of staff above 65 (state retirement age)||Percentage of staff above 65|
(b) (ii) The ONS does not collate the information for NDPBs centrally. Therefore, my Department would need to approach each of the individual NDPBs and amalgamate responses at a disproportionate cost.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice with which companies contracts have been agreed on citizens juries; and what value of payments has been agreed with each company. 
Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice has not contracted any companies to undertake citizens juries. I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to the right hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) on 23 October 2007, Official Report, column 283W.
Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 10 September 2007, Official Report, column 1994W, on Legal Aid, if his Department will assess whether Arani and Co. solicitors should be allowed to remain on the list of legal aid firms. 
Maria Eagle: The Legal Services Commission is responsible for awarding General Criminal Contracts, and for enforcing compliance with the standards required of contract holders. Any provider with a criminal legal aid contract, including Arani and Co., is subject to a series of reviews. The reviews test whether claims for legal aid have been made in accordance with the rules; whether the providers performance meets the requirements of the General Criminal Contract and specialist quality mark; and whether an independent peer review assesses the provider of sufficient quality to deliver an acceptable standard of legal advice and assistance.
Any decision to terminate a criminal legal aid contract is a matter for the Legal Services Commission, should any of the reviews demonstrate that such action is necessary.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much has been spent on reserving unused police cells under Operation Safeguard since October 2006. 
Mr. Hanson: The Department has not separated the costs of used and unused police cells under Operation Safeguard. Places identified for use on the basis of potential operational need are paid for whether they are used or not.
The number of places used and the location of those places can vary on a day to day basis due to police and prison operational requirements.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what action is taken against prisoners who remain unlawfully at large until their scheduled release date after release on the End of Custody Licence Scheme; 
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