Previous Section Index Home Page

19 Feb 2008 : Column 544W—continued

Departmental Information Officers

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people were employed in his Department’s press office in each of the last five years; and how much it cost to run the office, including utilities and other expenses, in each year. [187053]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The Wales Office has had three press officers in its press office in each of the last five years.

Our costs are not readily available in the format requested, and obtaining these could be achieved only at disproportionate cost.

Honours

Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many members of the senior Civil Service in his Department have received an honour. [187117]

Mr. Paul Murphy: None.

Sunbeds

Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on numbers of (a) sunbed salons and (b) unsupervised sunbed salons in Wales; and if he will make a statement. [185446]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I have regular meetings with the Welsh Assembly Government on a range of issues.

I understand the Welsh Assembly Government supports the annual Sunsmart campaign, run by Cancer Research UK, advising people about the risks of using sunbeds.

House of Commons Commission

Departmental ICT

Sarah Teather: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons
19 Feb 2008 : Column 545W
Commission how many (a) mobile telephones, (b) personal digital assistants and (c) laptop computers issued to House of Commons staff were reported (i) lost, (ii) missing and (iii) stolen in each year since 2001. [184338]

Nick Harvey: Records held on lost, missing or stolen mobile telephones, personal digital assistants and laptop computers are not differentiated between owners, i.e. Members or Members’ staff or House of Commons staff, nor between those issued by the House of Commons Service and those owned personally by Members or others. Lost and missing items are not separately recorded.

The total number of reported (a) lost or missing and (b) stolen items in the years 2001-08 is given as follows:

(a) Lost or missing
Mobile telephones PDAs Laptops

2001

4

0

0

2002

4

0

0

2003

0

0

0

2004

0

1

0

2005

0

0

0

2006

5

0

0

2007

14

0

1

2008

2

0

0


(b) Stolen
Telephones PDAs Laptops

2001

3

0

8

2002

4

0

3

2003

5

0

3

2004

0

1

3

2005

3

0

(1)18

2006

1

0

4

2007

0

0

1

2008

2

0

0

(1)( )17 laptop computers purchased by PCD were stolen from the back door of 7 Millbank in 2005 but these items had not at that time been allocated to Parliamentary users.

Department of Finance and Administration: Operating Costs

Mr. Martyn Jones: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how much the Department of Finance and Administration cost to run in 2007. [186169]

Nick Harvey: The total resource cost of running the former Department of Finance and Administration for the year ended 31 March 2007 was £9,045,000. This figure includes a significant level of corporate expenditure which is not directly attributable to the direct costs of running the Department. Some of the larger corporate items during 2006-07 included contracts management (£1,084,000), specialist advice (£1,023,000) and child care vouchers (£229,000).

Political Activities

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons
19 Feb 2008 : Column 546W
Commission pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Horsham of 28 January 2007, Official Report, column 3W, on political activities, how many and what percentage of staff working in the House are politically restricted. [186088]

Nick Harvey: Staff in catering, craft, cleaning and Vote Office porter roles are politically unrestricted. These members of staff represent 20.1 per cent. (395) of the House of Commons service. The other 79.9 per cent. (1,573) of staff are not necessarily politically restricted, but must obtain permission from their Departmental Establishment Officer (DEO) to take part in any political activity. Of these, 0.1 per cent. have requested and been granted permission for specific political activities. Staff in the Senior Commons Structure (SCS), staff in regular direct contact with Members in support of the business of the House and its committees, and those who provide information, briefing or advice to Members will not normally be given permission to take part in political activity. There are 86 SCS staff (4.4 per cent.), but it is not readily possible to identify the numbers of staff in the other categories.

Trade Unions

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission which (a) rooms, (b) furniture and (c) telephone facilities are allocated to recognised trades unions on the parliamentary estate for their exclusive use. [186089]

Nick Harvey: The recognised trade unions in the House have exclusive use of three rooms on the parliamentary estate. Two rooms are located in 2 The Abbey Garden and one in Portcullis House. In 2 The Abbey Garden, one room is furnished with a standard desk, a small meeting table and chairs, a filing cupboard and a bookcase. The office has computer equipment, two telephones and a fax facility. The second room is furnished with a large table and chairs, and has a telephone and modem facilities. The room in Portcullis House is furnished with a desk and meeting chairs. It has computer equipment, a fax machine, a small photocopier, a shredder and one telephone line.

Mr. Tyrie: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission which trades unions have recognition agreements with the House authorities. [186090]

Nick Harvey: The following trade unions have recognition agreements with the House administration: PDA, Prospect, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and the General Municipal and Boilermakers Union (GMB).

Northern Ireland

Crime: Victims

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what measures are in place to inform relatives of victims who have been murdered when a convicted
19 Feb 2008 : Column 547W
murderer is released from prison in Northern Ireland. [186816]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Prison Service’s Prisoner Release Victim Information Scheme provides for close family members, who have registered under the scheme, to receive details about the release of individuals convicted of murdering their relatives.

Firearms

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many illegal firearms he estimates are in circulation in Northern Ireland. [185678]

Paul Goggins: As any estimate about the number of illegally-held weapons in Northern Ireland would be based on intelligence, it is the long-standing policy of the Government not to comment upon such matters.

Firearms: Licensing

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what consideration is given to (a) imprisonable and (b) non-imprisonable driving offences when determining an application for a firearms licence in Northern Ireland; [186158]

(2) what consideration is given to criminal convictions, spent or otherwise, when determining an application for a firearms licence in Northern Ireland. [186164]

Paul Goggins: The Chief Constable of the Police Service for Northern Ireland has advised that applications for firearms certificates are assessed on a case by case basis and all relevant information, including criminal convictions, is taken into consideration in determining whether an applicant is a fit person to possess firearms within the meaning of Articles 5 and 63 (Prohibited Persons) of the Firearms (NI) Order 2004 and Appendix 2 of the Guidance on Northern Ireland Firearms Controls.

Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what criteria are applied to applications for firearms licences in Northern Ireland. [186165]

Paul Goggins: The Chief Constable of the Police Service for Northern Ireland has advised that all applications for firearms certificates are subject to the provisions of the Firearms (NI) Order 2004 and with reference to the Guidance on Northern Ireland Firearms Controls as published by the Northern Ireland Office.

The Order and Guidance can be viewed at:

Official Engagements

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many engagements his predecessor undertook between 1 January 2007 and 27 July 2007. [185658]


19 Feb 2008 : Column 548W

Mr. Woodward: During the time in question and up until I took office on 29 June 2007, my predecessor carried out the full range of his ministerial responsibilities.

Organised Crime

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of levels of organised crime in Northern Ireland; and what steps he plans to take to tackle this problem. [185674]

Paul Goggins: The Organised Crime Task Force Annual Report and Threat Assessment for 2006-07 highlights a range of threats from organised criminal gangs in Northern Ireland. Key threats include drugs, criminal finance, public sector fraud, intellectual property crime and paramilitary involvement in organised crime.

The Organised Crime Task Force has had significant successes in tackling organised crime and continues to work to improve our effectiveness in disrupting the criminals and raising public awareness of the impact of organised crime and the role everyone can play in tackling it.

Police

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many police officers there are in the Police Service of Northern Ireland, broken down by (a) sex and (b) religious belief. [185676]

Paul Goggins: The figures shown in the following table are as at 1 February 2008 and relate to regular officers only.

Regular officers as at 1 February 2008
Number Percentage

Total number of Regular Officers

7,402

Gender

Male

5,771

77.97

Female

1,631

22.03

Community background( 1)

Protestant

5,460

73.76

Catholic

1,753

23.68

Not Determined

189

2.56

(1) The PSNI currently meets statutory monitoring obligations in line with the Fair Employment and Treatment Order (NT) 1998, the Fair Employment (Monitoring) Regulations (NI) 1999 and the Police (NI) Act 2000, by monitoring community background. The PSNI holds data on members who are members of the Roman Catholic community, the Protestant community and on those who belong to neither community. The PSNI does not currently monitor beyond these categories.

Next Section Index Home Page