Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Nov 2007 : Column 455W—continued

19 Nov 2007 : Column 456W

Prostitution: Northern Ireland

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many brothels have been raided in Northern Ireland in each of the last three years. [163673]

Paul Goggins: I am unable to provide this information as to do so would incur disproportionate costs.

Sexual Offences: Northern Ireland

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people have been (a) prosecuted for and (b) convicted of vice-related offences in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years; and how many of these have been (i) UK citizens, (ii) EU foreign nationals and (iii) non-EU foreign nationals. [163674]

Paul Goggins: Information in relation to nationality is not held centrally and so it is not possible to calculate the number of EU and non-EU foreign nationals who were prosecuted and convicted of vice-related offences. It is only possible to give the total number of people prosecuted and subsequently convicted for vice-related offences. These are documented in the following table and are broken down by offence.

Data cover the calendar years 2001 to 2005 (the latest available years) and are collated on the principal offence rule; therefore only the most serious offence with which an offender is charged is included.

Number prosecuted and convicted for vice-related offences by offence 2001-05
Brothel keeping Prostitute-soliciting Total
Prosecuted Convicted Prosecuted Convicted Prosecuted Convicted





































Departmental Flexible Working

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff (a) have applied to work flexible hours and (b) work flexible hours (i) in the Department and (ii) the executive agencies for which the Department is responsible. [164330]

David Cairns: Staff in the Scotland Office are seconded from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice and the Office follows the policies of the parent Departments regarding flexible hours. The Office presently has six staff who have applied successfully to work flexible hours.

Departmental Ministers

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he receives a ministerial salary in respect of his duties as Secretary of State for Scotland; and whether the same arrangements applied for each of his two immediate predecessors as Secretary of State. [165175]

David Cairns: Ministerial salaries are paid in accordance with the Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975. Details of ministerial salaries are available at:

and in the House Library.

Departmental Manpower

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many contracts were awarded by his Department to Opinion Leader Research in each year since 1997; and what was (a) the title and purpose, (b) the cost to the public purse and (c) the dates of (i) tender, (ii) award, (iii) operation and (iv) completion and report to the Department in each case. [165271]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999; since that date, no payments have been made to Opinion Leader Research.

19 Nov 2007 : Column 457W

Scottish Parliament: Elections

David Mundell: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he plans to publish the Government's response to the Ron Gould report on the Scottish elections. [165815]

David Cairns: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has already responded positively to five recommendations in the Gould report and I have confirmed we will shortly launch a consultation exercise on the others that fall within his responsibilities. Once we have considered views from the consultation, we expect to publish a formal response to the report in the spring next year.


Aviation: Daedalus Airfield

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to ensure access for (a) general aviation and (b) the local community to Daedalus airfield; and if she will make a statement. [165044]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Part of the site of the former HMS Daedalus at Lee-on-Solent, including the runways, was acquired from Defence Estates in March 2006 in order to protect the Maritime and Coastguard Agency's (MCA) Search and Rescue helicopter facility. This land is currently managed and operated on a tenancy basis by the Hampshire Police Authority.

The remainder of the site, including the land on which the local general aviation community is based, was purchased by the South East of England Development Agency (SEEDA). Access to the runways at Lee-on-Solent from the SEEDA land has, I understand, been on a grace and favour basis.

The recent decision to close the airfield to general aviation was taken, I am informed, by the Hampshire police as the operator of the aerodrome due to safety concerns and as such was not a matter for the Government. It would therefore be a matter for the Hampshire police to consider whether general aviation might safely be continued, and whether the local community can retain access to the runways. Safety is and, I assume, must remain the primary consideration for them.

British Transport Police: Training

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officers in the British Transport Police have received specialist training to assist them in tackling illegal immigration; and if she will make a statement. [163135]

Mr. Tom Harris: This information is not held by the Department for Transport but by the British Transport Police who can be contacted at: British Transport Police, 25 Camden Road, London NW1 9LN, E-mail:

19 Nov 2007 : Column 458W

Bus Services: Concessions

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if she will make it her policy to meet the actual costs of free off-peak bus travel within each local authority area; [164656]

(2) what representations she has received from local authorities on the costs of extending free off-peak bus travel next year. [164659]

Ms Rosie Winterton: From April 2006, older and eligible disabled people have been guaranteed free off-peak local bus travel within their local authority area. The Government provided an extra £350 million in 2006-07 and a further £367.5 million in 2007-08, via the Formula Grant system, to fund the extra costs to local authorities. The Government are confident that this should be sufficient to cover the total additional costs to local authorities of this improvement in the statutory minimum requirement. Any discretionary local enhancements, such as peak bus travel, are funded from an authority's own resources.

The Government are providing local authorities in England with an extra £212 million next year for the English national bus concession. This extra funding is based on generous assumptions about the probable cost impact of the new concession and we are confident this will be sufficient in aggregate.

We have had a number of letters from local authorities about the costs of the national bus concession. The Department is currently consulting on the formula basis for distributing the £212 million by special grant; the consultation closes on 23 November. As of 13 November we have had 43 responses. Details of the responses will be published after the consultation closes.

In addition, we will be providing local authorities with approximately £30 million for the issuing of the national pass.

Buses: Safety

Mr. Boris Johnson: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research has been commissioned by her Department and its agencies into road safety and the use of articulated buses. [165492]

Jim Fitzpatrick: No research has been specifically commissioned by the Department for Transport or its agencies into the road safety and use of articulated buses.


Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration her Department has given to (a) increasing the number of cycle lanes and (b) designing safe walking routes to schools in the proposed eco-towns. [164763]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department for Transport has been consulting with various non-government organisations with expertise in walking and cycling, such as Sustrans, to bring together best practice advice and information on sustainable travel options in the proposed eco-towns.

19 Nov 2007 : Column 459W

We aim to issue guidance by the end of the year, which will highlight the importance of a user hierarchy that prioritises pedestrians and cyclists to make walking and cycling the modes of choice for all types of journeys.

Cycling: Accidents

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents there were involving cyclists who were cycling on pavements in (a) 2000, (b) 2003 and (c) 2005. [165093]

Jim Fitzpatrick: There were 961, 778 and 856 reported personal injury road accidents involving at least one pedal cyclist on a pavement in (a) 2000, (b) 2003 and (c) 2005 respectively.

Cycling: Penalties

Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what penalties cyclists face if caught cycling on pavements. [165094]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Cycling on the pavement is an offence under section 72 of the Highways Act 1835 as amended by section 85 (1) of the Local Government Act 1888.

The enforcement of cycling offences is an operational matter for the police. The maximum fine is £500 but the offence can, since 1999, also be dealt with by the issue of a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £30. This provides the police with a simple procedure for dealing with offenders. We encourage members of the public to give evidence of specific problem areas and of any dangerous behaviour by cyclists to the police. This can help ensure that the police target their resources most effectively.

We support any action taken by the police to deter and reduce cycling offences.

Departmental Flexible Working

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff (a) have applied to work flexible hours and (b) work flexible hours (i) in her Department and (ii) the executive agencies for which the Department is responsible. [164321]

Jim Fitzpatrick: While the Department does identify the working hours of its staff it does not keep central records that identify all working patterns. These are agreed and managed at a local level taking account of individual circumstances and the business need.

Departmental Interpreters

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many French speakers her Department employs. [166184]

Jim Fitzpatrick: The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

19 Nov 2007 : Column 460W

Driving Under Influence: Accidents

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the contribution made by driving under the influence of illegal substances to the numbers of deaths and injuries on the roads. [165188]

Jim Fitzpatrick: No formal assessment is made because it is not possible for routine accident reports to record such information. However information on contributory factors to road accidents is now collected by police forces and reported annually. The use of legal or illegal drugs by drivers was, in the view of the reporting officer, considered a contributory factor in some 2 per cent. of fatal accidents in 2006.

Research for the Department by TRL Ltd., published in 2000 “The incidence of drugs and alcohol in road accidents” showed that 18 per cent. of driver fatalities in the survey had traces of illegal drugs in their body, two-thirds of which was cannabis, the inactive element of which remains traceable long after impairment. The presence of drugs is not evidence of accident causation, though there may be an association.

A 2004 European Commission study “Impaired motorists: methods of roadside testing and assessment for licensing” co-funded by member states, examined the prevalence of illegal drugs in drivers. The main UK element of the study estimated the prevalence of drugs in drivers in the study area which were at, or above, the confirmatory test cut-off concentrations proposed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The result varied from 4.10 per cent. of drivers for ecstasy or similar drugs alone, to 0.02 per cent. for opiates alone (not including codeine). Ecstasy alone and cannabis alone (3.14 per cent.) were, by far, the drugs with the highest prevalence.

The summary of the results of the UK element of that study are at under report D-R4.2.

Finsbury Park Station

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has had on proposals to transfer Finsbury Park station to Transport for London. [164901]

Mr. Tom Harris: None. There are currently no plans to transfer the operation of Finsbury Park station from First Capital Connect to Transport for London.

Next Section Index Home Page