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Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prison officers in each of the Welsh prison establishments (a) retired on ill health grounds, (b) took early retirement and (c) were dismissed from the Prison Service in each year since 1997. 
|Prison officers, senior officers and principal officers leaving from Welsh prisons1998 to 2007|
|(1) Age at retirement was not recorded prior to 2002.|
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost of the proposed pilot on youth juries is; what the objectives of the policy are; whether there are any plans to extend this beyond Lancashire; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hanson: Peer panels in Lancashire were awarded just under £487,500 under a the Treasurys Invest to Save award. In addition they were given a further £150,000 by local partners, the community safety partnership Safer Preston. For the Treasury funds to be awarded over the three years, the project must meet the objectives agreed with the Treasury at the time of the bid.
The aim of peer panels is to reduce the number of young people reaching court unnecessarily, for petty low-level offences for which it is not always in the public interest to prosecute. This exciting and innovative scheme seeks to reduce the burden on Courts and youth offender teams time and resources which will allow them to deal with more serious cases more effectively.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many vehicles on the roads of Northern Ireland are estimated not to have road tax paid on them; and what assessment he has made of how this figure compares on a pro-rata basis with the other nations and regions of the United Kingdom. 
Mr. Gregory Campbell:
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will, with the Policing Board, review the underlying basis for consideration of
the location of the police training college in the light of the forthcoming availability as a potential police college of the Ballykelly army base. 
Paul Goggins: The Government's overriding priority is to make sure that we have a new, high-quality and integrated public services training college. Desertcreat has been chosen as the preferred site after very careful consideration and there is no intention to reopen consideration of the site.
Mr. Dhanda: Fire and rescue authorities are responsible for their own improvement. The Government set out performance expectations in the Fire and Rescue National Framework. The Audit Commission regularly assesses the performance of all fire and rescue authorities, and identifies areas of strengths and areas for improvement which fire and rescue authorities are expected to address. The Government fund the Audit Commission for conducting this work. In 2005, the Audit Commission assessed West Midlands fire and rescue authority as good in the comprehensive performance assessment for the fire and rescue service. Since then, the West Midlands has been judged as improving well by the Audit Commission in their 2006-07 performance assessment work and as performing well in their use of resources and delivery of value for money and in their front-line service delivery.
In addition to their performance assessment work, the Audit Commission has a local relationship manager for each fire and rescue authority who can provide ongoing advice to authorities on improvement issues. Fire and rescue authorities also have access to the joint Department for Communities and Local Government and Local Government Association capacity building programme through their Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership.
John Healey: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by the Minister for the Environment, my hon. Friend the Member for Oldham, East and Saddlworth (Mr. Woolas), on 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 719W.
The Government will also shortly be publishing draft statutory guidance. Creating Strong, Safe and Prosperous Communities, to accompany sections of the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, including Local Area Agreement clauses (clauses 103-118 of the Act). This guidance will set out what the different stages of the new statutory LAA process will look like, together with what will be expected from the upper-tier local authorities responsible for preparing an LAA and their partners. This guidance will be finalised in the new year following consultation.
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