|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Maria Eagle: In 2007-08 the Prison Service issued new guidance for its establishments for recording purposeful activity. This guidance included a refined set of activities and definitions. Additionally, a more effective method of capturing purposeful activity data has been introduced through the use of electronic forms. The data reported also continue to be validated by management controls and by both a self-audit process and independent audit.
Mr. Garnier: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average number of hours of purposeful activity per week for each (a) male and (b) female prisoner over the age of retirement was in each of the last five years. 
The following table shows the average number of hours of purposeful activity per week in prisons which predominately hold male prisoners and prisons which predominately hold female prisoners in each of the last five full financial years.
|Average number of hours of purposeful activity per week|
|Financial year||Male prisons||Female prisons|
Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the merits of using the video-link equipment available in prisons to record interviews between police and imprisoned witnesses. 
Maria Eagle: No assessment has been made within the Ministry of Justice on the benefits of using video-link equipment to record interviews between the police and imprisoned witnesses. Police forces consider the use of video links for this purpose on an individual case basis.
Ian Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 3 April 2008, Official Report, columns 1188-9W, on prisons: Wales, on how many occasions representatives of NOMS custodial estates have met representatives of Wrexham county borough council to discuss the siting of a prison in Wrexham in the last 12 months. 
Maria Eagle: There have been no meetings between representatives of NOMS estates and Wrexham county borough council to discuss the siting of a prison in Wrexham in the last 12 months. Representatives from NOMS estates attended meetings in August and November 2007 with the North Wales Criminal Justice Board to discuss potential sites for a prison in North Wales. These meetings included representatives from Wrexham county borough council and other councils in North Wales. In November 2007 a visit to a site put forward by the Board was also made at which a representative of the council was present. This site was not in Wrexham.
Mr. Hanson: Following the publication of the Lord Carter Report a search is under way for a prison floating facility involving the need to make inquiries of port authorities to identify suitable berths which includes consideration of mooring fees. In these circumstances for reasons of commercial confidentiality, I do not at this particular time intend to publish the previous fees paid to the Portland port authority.
Maria Eagle: Weare prison opened in 1997 and closed in 2005. During this period the mooring fees formed part of the running costs of the ship which came from the programme element of the resource funding voted to the Prison Service. From 2005 until the facilitys eventual sale in July 2006 the mooring fees were paid for by the National Offender Management Service.
|Financial years||UK||Overseas||Year end total|
|Financial years||UK||Locally engaged||Year end total|
Meg Munn: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has not held recent discussions on aid to Cameroon with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development. Government officials, however, are in regular contact on such issues.
The majority of the UKs bilateral aid to Cameroon is focused on the forestry sector, as many of the poorest Cameroonians depend on the forests for food and shelter, as well as employment. The Department for International Development is contributing roughly £11,000,000 to Cameroons Forest and Environment Sector Programme. An additional £50,000,000 will be available under the Congo Basin Forest Fund, with Cameroon one of the countries eligible for project bids.
Meg Munn: The Government supported an EU public statement on 27 March 2008, which noted that any changes to the constitution must be decided by the people and institutions of Cameroon. The statement emphasised the importance of a broad, free and open debate, involving all elements of Cameroonian society, on the proposals for constitutional revision. The statement also said
...the European Union remains convinced that the possibility of a changeover of power, the freedom of the press and the guaranteeing of public freedoms are fundamental to the consolidation of democracy, and draws attention to the urgent need to improve the electoral system and the standard of voter turnout, these being guarantors of the stability that the country needs.
The amendment to the Cameroonian constitution to remove presidential term limits was passed in the Cameroonian National Assembly on 10 April. We will continue to work with EU partners to encourage greater political dialogue in Cameroon.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs which organisations were consulted by his Department prior to decisions to (a) terminate support for the Commonwealth Scholarship Scheme and (b) reduce funding for the Chevening Scholarship Scheme. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had broad consultations with a range of stakeholders during the 2006 review of FCO Scholarships, including the Association of Commonwealth Universities, the British Council, overseas posts and alumni. This fed into decisions to end our support for the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan and to reduce our funding for the Chevening Scholarship Scheme. Officials maintain regular contact with those stakeholders.
Mr. Pope: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what arrangements he has made to continue opportunities for collaboration between Commonwealth countries in hosting students following the termination of funding for Commonwealth Scholarships in the UK. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK, together with agencies in each participating Commonwealth state, will continue their work to facilitate hosting of Commonwealth scholarship students in different Commonwealth countries. The Government are withdrawing funding for Commonwealth scholarships only for developed Commonwealth countries, most of which are eligible for Chevening scholarships. Overall Government funding for Commonwealth scholarships will be higher in each of the next three years than it has been in 2007-08.
Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to his counterparts in the Government of Ethiopia on security and observance of human rights in the Somali region of Ethiopia. 
Meg Munn: The Government are concerned at reports of human rights abuses in the Somali region of Ethiopia and raise the issue with the Government of Ethiopia at every suitable opportunity. Recently, my noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown raised the issue of human rights in the Somali region when he met Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in late January. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the Somali region with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin, when they met in November 2007. Our ambassador in Addis Ababa continues to raise these issues with the Government of Ethiopia at regular intervals.
Tony Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the extent of observance of human rights in the Somali region of Ethiopia. 
Meg Munn: We are concerned at reports of human rights abuses in the Somali region of Ethiopia. If breaches of human rights law are proved, then we will condemn them unreservedly and expect those responsible to be held to account. The UK supports the UNs lead in working with the Government of Ethiopia to improve the situation in the Somali region, including to help ensure human rights are respected fully. We recognise Ethiopias legitimate security concerns in the region and call on Ethiopia to ensure its security response is proportionate and implemented carefully to ensure there is no suffering in the civilian population.
The Government raise their concerns with the Ethiopian Government at regular opportunities. Most recently, our ambassador in Addis Ababa discussed ways to improve the situation in the Somali region with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister, Seyoum Mesfin, in March. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the Somali region with the Ethiopian Foreign Minister when they met in November 2007. My noble Friend Lord Malloch-Brown raised the issue of human rights when he met Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in late January.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the treatment by the Government of Indonesia of (a) West Papuan protesters and (b) those raising flags of independence in Timika and Manokwari. 
Meg Munn: Following events in Kwamki Baru, near Timika, on 1 December 2007, we understand that six people have been charged with subversion under the Indonesian criminal code. In March 2008 nine individuals were arrested in Manokwari and four in Jayapura following student protests where the Morning Star flag was displayed. Flying the Papuan national Morning Star flag is currently illegal under Indonesian law. Special autonomy legislation allows for the use of Papuan symbols and anthems, but the local legislation that is required to confirm the chosen symbols and anthems has yet to be passed.
Dr. Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, visited Indonesia in November 2007, at the invitation of the Indonesian Government. Dr. Nowak presented his report to the UN Human Rights Council on 10 March. As part of his wider report on Indonesia, Dr. Nowak made references to prison conditions in Papua. We are continuing to study Dr. Nowaks report and are consulting with EU partners on how we might engage with the Indonesian Government on its findings.
Dr. Howells: The draft hydrocarbons law is under discussion by the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi Parliament, in accordance with Iraqs legislative processes. It is for the Iraqi Government and Parliament to decide how best to manage Iraqs oil and gas sectors.
The draft hydrocarbons law is a result of negotiations between representatives of all of Iraqs main political parties. One of the drafting committees members, Dr. Ashti Hawrami, Minister for Natural Resources in the Kurdistan Regional Government, was explicit on this point:
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|