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15 Nov 2007 : Column 385Wcontinued
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people between the ages of 16 and 18 years have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease in the South Hertfordshire Primary Care Trust area in the last three years. 
Dawn Primarolo: Information on the diagnoses of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in genitourinary clinics (GUM) is only available by strategic health authority (SHA). The total number of STIs between the ages of 16 and 19 years of age diagnosed in the East of England SHA since 2004 to 2006, the latest date for which figures are available, which includes West Hertfordshire and North East Hertfordshire Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) area, is given in the table.
| Notes: 1. The data available from the KC60 statutory returns are for diagnoses made in GUM clinics only. Diagnoses made in other clinical settings, such as general practice, are not recorded in the KC60 dataset. 2. The data available from the KC60 statutory returns are the number of diagnoses made, not the number of patients diagnosed. For example, individuals may be diagnosed with several co-infections and each diagnosis will be counted separately. 3. The information provided has been adjusted for missing clinic data. 4. Data are not collected for the age range 16-18. Source: Health Protection Agency, KC60 returns|
In addition to diagnoses made in GUM clinics, the National Chlamydia Screening Programme has been running since 2003. The number of people diagnosed with chlamydia within the programme in the East of England SHA broken down by individual PCTs is shown in the following table.
|Primary Care Trust||2004-2007|
|(1) Cell size of 1 to 4 have been masked to protect deductive disclosure in accordance with ONS guidelines. Notes: 1. The data from the NCSP are for diagnoses made outside of GUM clinics only and include diagnoses made by the Boots pathfinder project. 2. The data available from the NCSP are the number of diagnoses made and not the number of patients diagnosed. 3. The data only include those aged 16-18, who have provided a postcode of residence. 4. The data are specific to the following years 2004/05, 2005/06, 2006/07, since the NCSP follows the financial year. Source: The National Chlamydia Screening Programme.|
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many locally engaged staff are employed by his Department in Afghanistan. 
Dr. Howells: The total number of locally engaged staff directly employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Afghanistan is 72 (comprising 58 in Kabul and 14 in Lashkar Gah).
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many of his Departments personnel are in each province of Afghanistan; what role they are playing in each province; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The UK employs a broad range of staff in support of the Government of Afghanistan to help develop a stable and secure Afghanistan. Over one hundred civilian staff in Kabul and over thirty staff in the southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar are employed from across the Government, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development and the Afghanistan drugs inter-departmental unit. Their roles include work in governance, reconstruction and development, and counter-narcotics.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what funds the UK has provided to the Afghan reconciliation programme, Programme Takhim-e-Solh; and if he will make a statement on the operation of the programme. 
Dr. Howells: The UK supports President Karzais efforts to bring disaffected Afghans into societys mainstream, providing they renounce violence and accept Afghanistans constitution. In this context, the UK spent just under the allocated £500,000 in support of the Program Takhim-e-Solh programme in Afghanistan in the last financial year (2006-07). The UK has allocated a further £330,000 in the current financial year.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on whether a co-ordinator to head international reconstruction and development work in Afghanistan at the UN Security Council should be appointed; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: Tom Koenigs is the current special representative to the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan. His remit covers co-ordination of international reconstruction and development work. His contract extends to February 2008 and we, with other UN member states, are discussing a suitable successor.
The UN's role in co-ordinating the international effort in Afghanistan is very important. The UK is committed to supporting the UN effort, led by a senior UN representative for the long term.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on the replacement of the UN representative in Afghanistan; what discussions he has had with his Security Council counterparts on this issue; when he expects the replacement to be announced; and if he will make a statement. 
David Miliband: Tom Koenigs is the current special representative to the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan. His contract extends to February 2008.
The UN's role in co-ordinating the international effort in Afghanistan is very important. The UK is committed to supporting the UN effort to improve the current levels of international co-ordination, led by a senior UN representative for the long term. We discuss this with our Security Council counterparts on a regular basis. However, the decision on a replacement is ultimately the decision of the Secretary-General.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will intervene in the case of Asma Jahangir, who is in prison in Pakistan. 
Dr. Howells: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to him today (UIN 163937).
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the UN/EU High Representatives decision to improve the functioning of state institutions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and of the effect this decision has had on political stability in the country. 
David Miliband: We fully support High Representative Lajcak and his efforts to improve the functioning of state institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). The measures he took on 19 October are designed to improve the Council of Ministers ability to take decisions and will make it harder for representatives to obstruct the working of Parliament through absenteeism. The measures are fully in line with the constitution and do not target any constituent people. We are urging political representatives from all sides in BiH to accept Lajcaks measures.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the conclusions of the Peace Implementation Council on 31 October on the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 
David Miliband: The Peace Implementation Council (PIC) steering board meeting of 30-31 October expressed concern over the continued deterioration of the political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It judged that responsibility lay with political leaders from both entities who have blocked progress and undermined the political situation with their aggressive rhetoric. The statement expressed full support for completing implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement, including efforts to tackle the evident dysfunctionality of state institutions. We were disappointed that Russia chose to dissent over one paragraph, but overall we judge the PIC conclusions to be a strong signal of support for High Representative Lajcak.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his counterparts in (a) the EU and (b) the US on the political situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina. 
David Miliband: We have been in close contact with our EU and US counterparts over the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), including through the Contact Group, the EU and the Peace Implementation Council (PIC). Members of all of these groups share our concern over the deteriorating political situation in BiH and the failure of the countrys leaders to make progress on key reforms. This concern was underlined in the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council conclusions of 15 October and the PIC statement of 30-31 October. We continue to stay in regular contact with relevant international actors including our EU and US partners.
Mrs. Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the British Councils policy is on conducting Criminal Records Bureau checks on (a) its employees and (b) people working on its behalf. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The British Councils policy on conducting Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks complies fully with UK law. The British Council has in place a comprehensive child protection policy which all British Council staff and outside consultants or contractors whose responsibilities involve access to children and young people must adhere to.
Since the early 1990s, the British Council has asked all newly recruited teachers to sign a child declaration form indicating that they have had no history or background relating to child protection issues that would preclude them from the British Councils employment.
From January 2005, the British Council has implemented CRB checks on all staff working in the UK whose jobs involve contact with children.
From January 2007, the British Council has run CRB checks on all teachers recruited in the UK, through its headquarters to work overseas. Where teachers are recruited directly by overseas teaching centres, similar checks are run when available in the relevant country. This is available in six of the 48 countries in which the British Council have teaching centres. Where no CRB equivalent exists, the British Council will seek information on individuals in their references.
In addition, the British Council is conducting retrospective CRB checks on all teachers where these have not already been carried out. The British Council expects to complete checks on all teachers:
that have lived or worked in the UK by the end of 2007;
that have lived or worked in countries with CRB equivalents by mid-2008; and
in the remaining 42 countries where no CRB equivalent exists, where at all possible, by the end of 2008.
Employment agencies providing the British Council with temporary staff, and companies providing support services, must confirm that their own recruitment practices are consistent with the British Councils child protection policy. For consultants and other temporary staff working in posts designated as having direct contact with children and young people, the British Council must receive confirmation that the individuals concerned have undergone due checks.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the changes to the constitution proposed in the forthcoming referendum in Chechnya, Russia; and if he will make a statement. 
We continue to watch developments closely as Chechnya, and the rest of the north
Caucasus, remain fragile and vulnerable to human rights violations. We believe that the best guarantee of political stability is for the federal and local authorities to work together in the republic to improve the democratic accountability of government structures, and to address the social and economic needs of the population.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he expects to publish his Department's autumn performance report. 
Meg Munn: HM Treasury asked Departments to publish their autumn performance reports (APRs) between 1 November and 15 December 2007. We expect to publish the Foreign and Commonwealth Office APR during this window. The Treasury Public Expenditure Survey guidance note of 16 August 2007 commissioning the APRs is available at:
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the answer of 30 October 2007, Official Report, column 1316W, what reasonable adjustments the Department has made in accordance with the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, broken down by building; what each such adjustment cost; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has carried out all the reasonable adjustments to our UK premises identified as required to meet the needs of the disabled under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. However, given that the many individual adjustments formed part of general programmes of building upkeep, and that 19 years has elapsed since the Act was passed, the level of detail requested by the hon. Member could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
The whole of the FCOs UK estate has been assessed for ease of accessibility in relation to disabled users. The assessments recommended a number of reasonable adjustments, which have been carried out over the last 12 years. These include voice announcements and Braille/raised buttons in lifts, converting goods elevators to passenger use, installing wheelchair lifts, providing portable ramps, stairwalkers and evacuation chairs. We have moved kitchen equipment and lowered counter tops in tea points where necessary and provided vibrating pagers linked to fire alarm systems or security guards. Other examples of changes made include specialist furniture, new signage, replacement floor surfaces for easier access and contrasting strips on step edges, and adjusting working hours of disabled staff.
Overseas, posts are aware of the principles of the DDA and have been instructed to review disabled access, make information about accessibility available, and where possible make improvements. Where access is limited, posts seek alternative ways of providing accessible services.
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