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Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which (a) individuals and (b) organisations he and his predecessors in the Department for Trade and Industry have specified may act as independent scrutineers for trade union political fund ballots. 
(a) individuals who have in force a practising certificate issued by the Law Society of England and Wales or the Law Society of Scotland, and
(b) individuals who are qualified to be an auditor of a trade union by virtue of section 34(1) of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992.
Electoral Reform (Ballot Services) Limited;
Popularis Limited; and
Involvement and Participation Association.
The Electoral Reform Society of Great Britain and Ireland Limited;
The Industrial Society; and
Unity Security Balloting Services Limited.
Mr. David Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the minimum distance from the nearest dwelling at which wind turbines should be located. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Department has not set out any guidelines on minimum distance. The distance between occupied dwellings and a wind farm will depend on the particulars of each case and issues such as expected noise levels, visual impact and safety requirements will all need to be factored into determining whether a particular proposal is acceptable.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the threat to bats imposed by onshore wind turbines; what assessment he has made of the merits of warning devices being fitted to turbine blades to protect bats from being killed or injured; and if he will make a statement. 
Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 14 November 2007]: Under the Town and Country Planning Act, and for consents under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 regime or the Transport and Works Act 1992, wind farm developers are required to consider all environmental aspects of wind energy projects and produce an Environmental Impact Assessment.
In addition, the subject of bat collision with wind turbines in onshore wind farms is one that my officials are monitoring. There is some preliminary UK and Scandinavian information which suggests that bats may avoid areas around radar installations. After reviewing these studies, the Government have commissioned research to assess the effectiveness of radar as a potential means of mitigation to prevent bat collisions with wind turbines. This work is being undertaken by the University of Aberdeen and is expected to be completed in early 2008.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average timescale was for a successful application for (a) exceptional leave to enter the UK and (b) resettlement in the UK through the UK's Gateway refugee entitlement programme in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Byrne: The Border and Immigration Agency has not recently operated any exceptional leave scheme, so it is not possible to provide figures for the average time scale for a successful application. The scheme to assist Iraqi locally engaged staff announced by the Foreign Secretary in his written ministerial statement of 30 October will not confer exceptional leave to enter the UK. They will be considered for entry clearance and, if successful, granted indefinite leave to remain.
The time scale between a case being referred to the UK for resettlement under the UKs Gateway Protection Programme and the time a refugee arrives varies significantly. The timescale is activated at the point which the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees submits a referral to the UK and is considered completed once the caseload of refugees arrive to the receiving local authority. The time frames for referrals under the Gateway programme for the last financial year were between three and eight months.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many individuals' cases have been resolved under the Asylum Case Resolution Programme; and how many of those cases resulted in (a) deportation, (b) grant of indefinite leave to remain, (c) grant of British citizenship and (d) another outcome; 
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of destitute asylum seekers; for what period those asylum seekers have been destitute; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: There is no need for asylum seekers to be destitute. Under section 95 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1999, asylum seekers who would otherwise be destitute can apply for support until the decision on their claim has been made and any subsequent appeal has been determined.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of applications for indefinite leave to remain made by applicants who were (a) eligible to be in the UK and (b) not eligible to be in the UK were (i) not granted and (ii) granted within (A) 13 weeks, (B) six months, (C) a year, (D) 18 months, (E) two years, (F) two and a half years, (G) three years and (H) longer in each year since 2001. 
However, data for grants of settlement and refusals between 2001 and 2006 are contained in the Home Office Command Papers Control of Immigration: Statistics United Kingdom for 2004, 2005 and 2006. A copy of the report is in the House of Commons Library.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of applications for asylum made by applicants who were (a) eligible to be in the UK and (b) not eligible to be in the UK were (i) not granted and (ii) granted within (A) 13 weeks, (B) six months, (C) a year, (D) 18 months, (E) two years, (F) two and a half years, (G) three years and (H) longer in each year since 2001. 
Mr. Byrne: The Border and Immigration Agency intends to review the scheme at the end of December 2007. The review will focus on the number of families that have departed from the UK voluntarily and the reasons why a voluntary departure has not occurred. It will also assess the effectiveness of the scheme in securing up to date information about the circumstances of the families, attendance at case conferences and compliance with reporting restrictions.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department in what language (a) the Clan Ebor questionnaires will be distributed and (b) the case conferences element of the Clan Ebor scheme will be conducted. 
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how participants were selected for the Clan Ebor scheme in West Yorkshire; what criteria were used in this selection process; and what geographical area the scheme will cover. 
Mr. Byrne: Families were selected for inclusion for the project which had had their asylum claim refused, had exhausted all of their appeal rights and did not have any applications for leave outstanding or barriers that would prevent their lawful removal from the United Kingdom. A sample of families from a wide cross-section of nationalities from within the local authority areas of Leeds, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and Wakefield have been included.
Greg Mulholland: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps will be taken against those within the Clan Ebor scheme who do not return the questionnaire in the allotted two-week period. 
Mr. Byrne: Participants are advised to research and pursue their voluntary departure from the United Kingdom with the help available from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The families are provided with literature and contact details of the International Organisation for Migration in their own language and it is explained to them that the IOM may be able to provide assistance with travel arrangements, funding and reintegration. As a direct result of this project, IOM has arranged a drop-in centre twice a month in Leeds city centre and families are briefed on how to access this facility. The risk to the family of enforced removal action being taken is also explained.
Ms Abbott: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what support her Department gives to voluntary organisations who provide refused asylum seekers with emergency legal advice and other services; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Byrne: The Border and Immigration Agency provides grant funding to five voluntary sector organisations for the provision of a network of 25 One Stop Services across the United Kingdom. These One Stop Services provide general support and advice to current and recently refused asylum claimants about the range of statutory and non-statutory support services available. The Border and Immigration Agency funding is not intended to be used to provide legal advice about the asylum process but the voluntary sector agencies will be in a position to signpost to the nearest qualified provider.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what proportion of applications for British citizenship were (a) not granted and (b) granted within (i) 13 weeks, (ii) six months, (iii) a year, (iv) 18 months, (v) two years, (vi) two and a half years, (vii) three years and (viii) longer in each year since 2001. 
However, statistics on applications and grants of British citizenship in the United Kingdom were published in the Home Office statistical bulletin 'Persons Granted British Citizenship United Kingdom, 2006'. This publication is available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office website
|Applications received and decided 2001 to 2006|
|Applications received||Grants||Refusals||Percentage refusals|
| Source: Home Office Statistical Bulletin "Persons Granted British Citizenship United Kingdom, 2006"|
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