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26 Nov 2007 : Column 149Wcontinued
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers are available to local authorities to compel landowners to take steps to secure their land in order to prevent it from being used for antisocial and criminal purposes. 
Mr. Iain Wright: We do not know of any specific powers that could be used by local authorities to compel landowners to take steps to secure their land in order to prevent it from being used for antisocial and criminal purposes. However, there may be practical advice that local authorities can give to landowners whose land is at risk of being used for such activities. In addition, local authorities have powers under section 222 of the Local Government Act 1972 to bring legal proceedings on behalf of local communities. Authorities may wish to seek advice from their lawyers as to whether there is any right of action in relation to unsecured land. It should be noted that proceedings under section 222 can be used to take out injunctions against antisocial behaviour and where an injunction is granted, the court may, under section 91 of the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, attach a power of arrest to such injunctions.
Mr. Kevan Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects the Parliamentary Under-Secretary, the hon. Member for Hartlepool, to reply to the letters of 29 August 2007 and 22 October 2007 from the hon. Member for North Durham. 
Mr. Iain Wright: I have now replied to my hon. Friend's correspondence.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when her Department expects to publish (a) the research on public toilet provision undertaken by the Government with the British Toilet Association and (b) a strategy for increasing public toilet provision; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: We expect to publish a Strategic Guide on Public Access to Toilets early in the new year.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government have taken to promote regeneration in the West Midlands since 1997. 
Mr. Dhanda: Considerable central Government regeneration funds have been made available to the West Midlands since 1997in total some £850 million. The main components are:
Since Advantage West Midlands was established in 1999 it has between 1999-2000 and 2006-07 spent over £1.6 billion in connection with economic regeneration activity in the region. Advantage West Midlands' budget allocation for 2007-09 is around £296 million.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what her Departments latest estimate is of the number of people sleeping rough who are from a black or minority ethnic community; 
(2) what her Departments latest estimate is of the number of people sleeping rough who have been in prison; 
(3) what her Departments latest estimate is of the number of people sleeping rough who have been in the armed forces; 
(4) what her Department's latest estimate is of the number of people sleeping rough who have a (a) mental illness and (b) addiction. 
Mr. Iain Wright:
There has been major progress in tackling the worst form of homelessness, that of people sleeping on the streets. Since 1998 we have reduced rough sleeping by 73 per cent. Partnership working between central and local government, the voluntary sector and other organisations working with homeless
people has been the key to the successful reduction in rough sleeping. The focus has been on providing support and accommodation for those on the street to help them rebuild their lives and move back to independent living as well as on homelessness prevention to stop people arriving on the streets in the first place.
We publish an annual estimate of rough sleepers based on street counts, which does not include information on ethnicity, previous spells in prison or the armed forces or mental illness or addiction.
There is specific information for London provided under the Combined Homelessness and Information Network (CHAIN) recording system. In 2006-07, for those rough sleepers in London contacted by services, CHAIN information is as follows:
18 per cent. of rough sleepers were from a black or minority ethnic community;
39 per cent. of rough sleepers had spent time in prison in the past;
5 per cent. of rough sleepers had spent some time in the armed forces in the past;
48 per cent. of rough sleepers have an alcohol need;
41 per cent. have a drug support need; and
35 per cent. have a mental health need.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effects of the Tees Valley Multi-Area Agreement; and if she will make a statement. 
John Healey: The Tees Valley is one of 13 sub-regions with whom Government will be working on the development of a Multi-Area Agreement with a view to signing a final agreement by June 2008. The overall objective of MAAs is to facilitate the delivery of improved economic prosperity. As the Tees Valley MAA has not yet been signed, we have made no assessment of effects.
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how much Thames Gateway has paid to the London Communications Agency in fees to date; and how much it expects to pay (i) in the current financial year and (ii) over the remainder of the contracted period; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) if she will place in the Library (a) a summary of Thames Gateway's contract with the London Communications Agency, with particular reference to (i) the range of functions it covers, (ii) the frequency with which work is to be provided and (iii) the staffing commitment and (b) examples of the Agency's work for Thames Gateway produced during the last 12 months. 
The Thames Gateway Executive does not have a contract with the London Communications Agency and currently has no plans to enter into one. No fee payments have therefore been made. It is open
to the individual local regeneration partnerships and other organisations in the Thames Gateway to employ communication agencies directly.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has been paid for investments made by Actis since it was part-privatised in 2002. 
Mr. Malik: DFID has not been paid for investments made by Actis. Net proceeds from assets that are realised by Actis are returned to CDC for reinvestment in private companies in poorer countries.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the value is of his Departments investment in Actis. 
Mr. Malik: The value of DFIDs investment in Actis in DFIDs resource accounts is £1.677 million.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he has issued guidance to Actis on ethical criteria for its investment funds. 
Mr. Malik: Responsible investment principles were set and agreed with DFID when Actis was established. These are monitored and controlled by a Business Principles Committee made up of non-executive directors. Full information on Actis Environmental, Social and Governance Framework is available on the companys website at http://act.is/profile/responsible_investment.asp
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his Department's profit share arrangement with Actis is; what dividend payments have been received under that arrangement; and what profit share arrangements are proposed after 2009. 
Mr. Malik: The minority 40 per cent. interest entitles the Department to an 80 per cent. share of Actis profits until 2013. Thereafter the Department will be entitled to 40 per cent. of profits in line with its percentage interest. To date, no dividend payments have been made under this arrangement.
Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will publish the salary, bonus and fee packages of each director and senior management team member of Actis. 
Mr. Malik: The Remuneration Committee of the Actis Supervisory Board is responsible for determining the firms policy on remuneration. Total remuneration (salaries and bonus payment) for the working members of Actis is detailed in the Report of the Members and Consolidated Financial Statements published with Companies House.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether any (a) UK and (b) UN reports have been completed on international aid wastage rates in Afghanistan and instances of corruption in the disbursement of aid. 
Mr. Malik: According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 75 per cent. of aid to Afghanistan is spent outside government systems. This leads to a large degree of aid wastage and inefficiency.
The Peace Dividend Trust, in a study recently funded by DFID, found that aid spent through government systems was four times more effective than funds spent through international companies or NGOs. This is one of the reasons why DFID currently puts over 80 per cent. of its bilateral aid programme through government systems. We are unaware of any specific UN reports on international aid wastage rates in Afghanistan.
There have been no reports undertaken by the UK or the UN into instances of corruption in the disbursement of aid.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what reports and studies have been conducted by his Department on UK-funded reconstruction initiatives in Afghanistan. 
Mr. Malik: DFID recently funded a study by the Peace Dividend Trust entitled 'Afghanistan Compact Procurement Monitoring Project', the purpose of which was to measure the impact of international assistance to Afghanistan. It found that aid spent through the Government of Afghanistan's systems was four times more effective than funds spent through international companies or NGOs. This is one of the reasons why DFID currently puts over 80 per cent. of its bilateral aid programme through government systems.
In 2005, DFID commissioned King's College London to undertake a review of its support to Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). The purpose of the review was to make recommendations on future engagement with PRTs. The review recommended the deployment of three Development Advisers to PRTs focussing on Helmand as a priority and the existing programme was reconfigured to better articulate DFID's approach to stabilisation.
DFID also provides funding to the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), an independent research institution that conducts and facilitates research to improve practice and increase the impact of humanitarian and development programmes in Afghanistan. DFID uses research findings to inform policy.
Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what percentage of (a) beef, (b) lamb, (c) pork and (d) dairy products used in his departmental headquarters were imported products in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Malik: I refer the hon. Member to the data published in the report deposited in the House of Commons Library on 8 November 2007 that give the proportion of UK produce supplied to Government Departments, the NHS and HM Prison Service. A copy of the report is also available online at:
David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been spent by his Department on renovation and refurbishment of its properties in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Thomas: The Department for International Development has spent the following amounts on renovation and refurbishments of its UK offices. Much of the expenditure is attributable to a major refurbishment of our East Kilbride office during the earlier years.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on staff working on (a) marketing and (b) branding in the last 12-month period for which figures are available. 
Mr. Malik: The last 12-month period for which figures are available is October 2006 to October 2007. Between October 2006 and April 2007 the Publicity and Marketing Unit was part of the Building Support for Development team. Figures for this period cannot be disaggregated.
Between April 2007 and October 2007 staff costs for the campaigns and marketing team were £218,756, which includes costs for overtime, travelling time and pension and national insurance contributions.
Natascha Engel: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on the provision of safe abortions in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. 
DFID recognises that unsafe abortion is a major cause of maternal death and ill-health and believes that no woman should die or suffer as a result of unsafe abortion. A woman should have access to services and care that are safe, humane, accessible and respectful of her decision. She should also be able to access services for safely and effectively managing the complications arising from induced or spontaneous
abortion. Lowering abortion-related maternal deaths is a key way to reduce maternal mortality (Millennium Development Goal 5) given that nearly all deaths from unsafe abortion are preventable.
DFID agrees that abortion should never be promoted as a means of family planning in line with the consensus agreed at the International Conference for Population and Development (ICPD) in 1994. Women and men should be able to access and choose good quality contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.
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