Mr. Woodward: The Government stand by the terms of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the St. Andrews Agreement. We will be ready to deliver the completion of devolution in May 2008, if the Assembly so requests.
Mr. Woodward: I am sure that hon. Members will agree that the relationship between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland has never been stronger and that co-operation across a wide range of issues has never been more effective.
12. Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of the activities of dissident republican groups in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
The chief constable announced on 21 September that following a review he has concluded that the security situation requires him to retain a complement of 381 full-time reserve officers in order to secure the police estate and to provide protection and security in the external police environment.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he expects the public inquiry led by Lord Saville into the events in Londonderry in January 1972 to announce its findings. 
Mr. Woodward: The preparation of the inquiry report is a matter for the tribunal. Due to the vast amount of evidence that must be considered it is difficult at this stage to be precise about when the report will be presented to me, although I am advised that further time beyond the end of this calendar year will be required.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on which dates the Child Support Agency (CSA) office in Falkirk requested from the Child Support Agency in Bolton the case files on cases NST/06/NP717772D and NST/321015478395 on Mr. M. N. of Aylesbury; and when he expects the CSA in Bolton to respond to those requests. 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on which dates the Child Support Agency (CSA) office in Falkirk requested from the Child Support Agency in Bolton the case files on cases NST/06/NP717772D and NST/32105478395 on Mr M. N. of Aylesbury; and when he expects the CSA in Bolton to respond to those requests. 
As details about individual cases are confidential, I have written to you separately about this case.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he will take to bring forward measures to provide legal protection for older people against discrimination in the provision of goods, services and facilities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: As part of its recent consultation on proposals for an Equality Bill, the Government sought views on whether there is a case for introducing legislation to prohibit harmful age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services.
We have received a significant number of responses and our analysis of these is informing the development and finalisation of our policy proposals. The Government will publish a response to the consultation in due course.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the number of people in Forest of Dean constituency claiming incapacity benefit in respect of (a) mental and (b) physical impairments. 
|Number of Incapacity benefit/severe disablement allowance claimants in Forest of Dean|
|Quarter ending||Mental i mpairments||Physical i mpairments|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Totals may not sum due to rounding.
3. It is assumed that everything that is not a mental impairment is physical.
DWP Information Directorate 100 per cent. WPLS
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost of the Pathways to Work programme has been; what the cost for each participant securing (a) employment and (b) sustained employment has been; and what the projected cost of the national roll out of the Pathways to Work programme is. 
Caroline Flint: To April 2007, we have spent £271 million on our Pathways to Work programme, covering 40. per cent of the country. We estimate that the cost per job in Jobcentre Plus-led Pathways areas is around £2,500. Comparable information on cost per sustained job in Jobcentre Plus-led Pathways areas is not available. We are rolling out Pathways to Work nationally to the remaining 60 per cent. of the country, through the private and voluntary sector, with £531 million available for provider contracts over three years. In total we expect a nationally rolled out Pathways to Work programme to cost around £400 million per year.
Mr. Mike O'Brien: Specific information regarding low income is available in Households Below Average Income 1994-95 to 2005-06 (Revised), a copy of which has been placed in the Library. The threshold of below 60 per cent. contemporary median income is the most commonly used in reporting trends in low income.
As around two-thirds of pensioners own their own home outright, and so derive value from their housing without paying rent or mortgage interest, we consider that measuring pensioner incomes after housing costs better reflects pensioners' living standards relative to other groups. On an after housing costs basis the number of pensioners below 60 per cent. of contemporary median income fell by 1.1 million, from 2.9 million in 1996-97 to 1.8 million in 2005-06.
Mr. Walker: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the full-time equivalent headcount in his Department is; what the forecast full-time equivalent headcount for his Department is for (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The latest full-time equivalent headcount for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport can be found in the quarterly work force statistics published by ONS (www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/pse0907.pdf) The forecast full-time equivalent headcount for 2008-09 and 2009-10 is not yet available as the work force forward projections are still being finalised.
Mr. Sutcliffe: My Department currently has two members of staff supporting my right hon. Friend the Member for Sheffield, Central (Mr. Caborn) in his role as the Prime Minister's World Cup ambassador.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the effect on problem gambling of (a) slot machines and (b) fixed odds betting terminals following the conclusion of the Gambling Commissions problem gambling prevalence study; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007 showed that 14 per cent. of the adult population used a slot machine in the past year and of these 2.6 per cent. were problem gamblers. 3 per cent. of the adult population used a Fixed Odd Betting Terminal in the past year and of these 11.2 per cent. were problem gamblers. The overall prevalence of problem gambling in the past year remained unchanged since 1999 at 0.6 per cent. of the adult population.
The Gambling Commission is planning a programme of secondary analysis of the prevalence survey data which will look specifically at some of the risk factors associated with problem gambling. The research will be commissioned shortly.
Miss Kirkbride: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what representations he has received from bingo clubs and adult gaming centre operators on levels of trade since (a) September 2007 and (b) the commencement of relevant provisions of the Gambling Act 2005. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: Ministers and officials hold regular meetings with key stakeholders from the gambling industry, including the Bingo Association, Business in Sport and Leisure (BISL) and the British Amusement Caterer Trade Association (BACTA), the main trade body representing gaming machine manufacturers, suppliers and arcades, including adult gaming centres.
These meetings have continued since the Gambling Act came into force on 1 September 2007, and have included representations relating to trading conditions. Ministers and officials have also received correspondence on this subject from the Bingo Association and a number of hon. Members.
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the evidential basis was for the decision to ban section (a) 16 and (b) 21 machines from adult gaming centres and bingo halls; how many section (i) 16 and (ii) 21 machines were in
use in the UK in August 2007; and how many (A) bingo clubs and (B) betting offices were licensed in September (1) 2005, (2) 2006 and (3) 2007. 
Mr. Sutcliffe: The Government never accepted that the legal provisions concerning amusements with prizes and low stake and prize gaming (in section 16 of the Lotteries and Amusements Act 1976 and section 21 of the Gaming Act 1968 respectively), were intended by Parliament to authorise gaming by machine.
Prior to 1 September 2007, where section 16 or 21 equipment operated, it was offered outside the 1968 Act regime which regulated gaming machines, and with greater stake and prize limits than was otherwise permitted for gaming machines in arcades and bingo halls in Great Britain.
The Department has consistently made its position clear to the industry, both during the passage of the Gambling Bill and during the subsequent implementation of the Gambling Act. Under the Gambling Act, all machines purportedly offered under either section 16 or section 21 are classified as gaming machines. They are subject to the same limits on stakes and prizes, numbers, and locations as other gaming machines, there are no special categories created for such equipment, and they do not attract grandfather rights. This position has existed since the Gambling Act came into force on 1 September 2007.
The Gambling Commissions annual report for 2006-07 states that the British Amusement Catering Trade Association (BACTA) estimated that there were 17,500 section 16/21 machines in 2006, the latest figures available.
Information about the number of bingo halls operating in March of each of the last three years is available in the Gambling Commissions annual reports which can be accessed at www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk. In March 2005 there were 678 such bingo halls, in March 2006, 657 and in March 2007, 634.
Under the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963, betting offices had to apply for a bookmakers permit from a magistrates court. Under the Gambling Act, a betting office needs to apply for a general betting operating licence from the Gambling Commission.
The latest available figures, published by DCMS in 2003, indicated that there were 8,800 betting office licences in Great Britain. Now that the Gambling Act is in force, responsibility for collating figures on betting office licences has transferred to the Gambling Commission.
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