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22 May 2008 : Column 452W—continued

Retail Trade: Planning Permission

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions she has had with the Competition Commission on planning policy for retail developments. [206384]

Mr. Iain Wright: Neither the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government or I have had discussions with the Competition Commission. However, Communities and Local Government officials attended two hearings with the Commission to discuss the Government’s planning policy, the operation of the planning system in England and its programme of reforms to inform the preparation of the Commission’s final report on its UK groceries market investigation.

Schools: Planning Permission

Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many planning applications to build (a) maintained and (b) independent schools were made in each of the last five years; how many of those have been approved; and if she will make a statement. [206580]

Mr. Iain Wright: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave today, (PQ 206233).

Stakeholder Advisory Panel on Home Buying and Selling

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library copies of the minutes from the meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel on Home Buying and Selling which met on 25 July. [173379]

Caroline Flint: A copy of these minutes has been deposited in the Library of the House.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library copies of the minutes from the meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel on Home Buying and Selling on 25 July 2007. [176755]

Caroline Flint: A copy of these minutes has been deposited in the Library of the House.


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Stakeholder Advisory Panel on Home Buying and Selling: Public Appointments

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 10 October 2007, Official Report, column 667W, on Stakeholder Advisory Panel on Home Buying and Selling: public appointments, if she will place in the Library copies of the minutes of each of the meetings of the Panel since its establishment. [176255]

Caroline Flint: A copy of the minutes to the meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel on Home Buying and Selling held on 25 July 2007 has been deposited in the Library of the House. All subsequent meetings were held under the Chatham House Rule and no final minutes were produced for these.

Home Department

101 Calls: Finance

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which local authorities are providing funding for the non-emergency 101 telephone number following the end of her Department’s funding. [202884]

Mr. McNulty: The Home Office is continuing to provide funding for the national telephony infrastructure to enable partnerships to continue to use the 101 number.

101 continues to operate in Cardiff, Sheffield and Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. A pilot is also running in two London boroughs, Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham.

Sheffield city council, Cardiff council, Hampshire county council, the Greater London authority, and the London boroughs of Waltham Forest and Barking and Dagenham are contributing funding to these services.

101 Calls: Wales

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment has been made of the effect of the use of non emergency 101 numbers in the South Wales Police area; and if she will make a statement. [203231]

Mr. McNulty [h olding answer 1 May 2008]: The South Wales 101 operation was assessed as part of the overall 101 pilot evaluation completed in 2007.

The evaluation of the five pilot areas found that the 101 service had successfully improved public access to and satisfaction in the community safety services. Through greater partnership working and better information from the public about what problems are happening where, the 101 service had helped local police and councils to target their resources more effectively and efficiently and improve the delivery of those services to the public.


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Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure: Finance

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the budget for the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure is in each of the next three years; and if she will make a statement. [201675]

Mr. McNulty: The Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure is funded from the Single Intelligence Account (SIA) which carries the budget provision for all three security and intelligence agencies (the Security Service, SIS and GCHQ). Detailed breakdowns showing the division of funding between the three agencies are not published for security reasons.

Community Policing: Halifax

Mrs. Riordan: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many community police officers there are in Halifax. [204488]

Mr. McNulty: Police strength data are collected at the Basic Command Unit (BCU) and the force level only. Halifax falls within the boundary of the Calderdale BCU.

There were 44 full-time equivalent police community support officers in the Calderdale BCU of West Yorkshire police as at 31 March 2007.

Counter-Terrorism Bill

Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will publish the advice she has received on the compatibility of the provisions of the Counter-Terrorism Bill with (a) race relations legislation and (b) the Human Rights Act 1998; and if she will make a statement. [204133]

Mr. McNulty: We are confident that our proposals in the Counter-Terrorism Bill are compatible with the ECHR and will not operate in any way that is unlawfully discriminatory. The powers within terrorism legislation are not aimed at those of a particular race, religion, or at any other group. They are aimed at terrorists, whatever background or section of society they may come from. The new provisions on pre-charge detention will apply to anyone arrested while the powers are available—regardless of their nationality, race or religion etc. The Secretary of State has published a Race and Equality Impact Assessment to go alongside the Bill and has set out in the explanatory notes to the Bill the basis on which she considers the Bill's provisions to be compatible with the ECHR.

Crime: Young People

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much has been spent, and on what projects, in (a) West Chelmsford constituency and (b) Chelmsford Local Authority area to deter youths from committing crimes in each of the last five years. [206062]


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Mr. Coaker [holding answer 20 May 2008]: Information on the specific projects and spending for projects to deter youth offending in West Chelmsford constituency and Chelmsford local authority area are not held centrally in the Home Office.

The Essex Youth Offending Service (YOS) is the main vehicle for providing these prevention services to Chelmsford. The Essex YOS uses early intervention programmes to prevent young people from entering the youth justice system. These interventions are specifically funded by the Youth Justice Board until March 2011 to work with children and young people aged between eight and 13 years who have been identified by at least two agencies as presenting an increased risk of offending.

Essex YOS have estimated the total spend on these activities from 2005 forecast through to 2009.

Total spend (£)

2005-06

14,340

2006-07

39,032

2007-08

39,419

2008-09

39,419


The total costs provide a project worker and manager, a senior practitioner, a parenting coordinator and parenting assistant.

In addition to this prevention work by Essex YOS there are also various other agencies who within their remit contribute towards prevention work for young people in the Chelmsford area, such as: Chelmsford Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP), Chelmsford council, Essex police, Essex county council and some voluntary sector agencies. The Home Office and Essex YOS do not hold the information on their spending.

Departmental Orders and Regulations

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many statutory instruments have been (a) made and (b) revoked by Ministers in her Department since 1997. [204773]

Mr. McNulty: 1,366 statutory instruments have been made by the Home Office in the period from the beginning of January 1998 until the end of April 2008.

No central record is kept of the number of statutory instruments which have been revoked; the information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Fingerprints

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recognised methods of taking fingerprints there are; and what assessment she has made of the use of each of those methods for the purposes of matching marks from scenes of crime. [202449]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 29 April 2008]: There are two methods employed to take arrestee fingerprints in the United Kingdom. The traditional method is a ‘wet set’. This is an ink and paper method whereby a brass plated block is inked and the subject's fingers placed in that ink and then rolled and pressed into the designated areas of a paper form known as a ‘tenprint’
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form. Palm prints can also be recorded in a similar fashion by police personnel at a police station. The resultant tenprint set (finger and palm) is forwarded to the local fingerprint bureau for scanning and processing the IDENT1 system.

The more widely used method (around 80 per cent.) uses digital imaging technology, known as ‘Livescan’. This allows an operator to capture all 10 fingers as both rolled and plain impressions, and palm prints, directly from an individual's hands, electronically, without the use of ink.

The operator places the subject's hand or individual fingers directly onto a camera platen that scans the fingerprints, producing digital images. The images are then processed and immediate feedback is presented to the operator. Livescan allows the operator to capture images again to meet the required standard.

The digital images are streamed into the local fingerprint bureau and the images printed using a laser printer as a representation of the traditional paper tenprint form.

There are one or more Livescan units at all major custody centres. Livescan is integrated with IDENT1.

Crime scene marks are developed by a variety of methods as outlined in the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) Fingerprint Development Handbook and the resultant developed marks can also be scanned into IDENT1 or captured via a digital camera and entered into the IDENT1 system.

Fraud: Elections

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will issue advice to chief constables on the priority they should attach to investigating allegations of electoral fraud and malpractice. [201034]

Mr. McNulty: This is an operational matter for chief constables.

The Association of Chief Police Officers and the Electoral Commission have published guidance on preventing and detecting electoral malpractice throughout England and Wales.

Health Services

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department provides health or social care services out of public funds, with reference to the Statement by the Minister of State, Department of Health, in the Health and Social Care Bill Committee, of 17 January 2008, Official Report, column 327. [200224]

Mr. McNulty: The code of practice for the detention, treatment and questioning of persons by police officers (Code C) issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984 places a requirement on the custody officer to determine whether a detainee is in need of medical treatment. The cost of meeting medical treatment or attention at the police station is met from public funds.

The UK Border Agency currently pays out of public funds for the provision of health and social care services to individuals detained under Immigration Act
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powers in contracted-out immigration removal centres established under section 149 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

Independent Police Complaints Commission: Internet

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on the website www.ipcc.gov.uk in each month since its inception; what the budget for the website is for 2008-09; how many staff are employed to maintain the website; and how many unique visitors there were to the website in each month since its inception. [200377]

Mr. McNulty: The Home Office does not hold the information requested. This is a matter for the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Kidnapping: Children

Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the availability of International Child Abduction and Contact Unit information leaflets in police stations; and if she will make a statement. [205227]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 15 May 2008]: The issue of International Child Abduction and Contact Unit information leaflets in police stations is a matter for individual police forces.

Migration: Statistics

Damian Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make it her policy to use data held by local authorities to improve migration statistics. [206840]

Phil Hope: I have been asked to reply.

The information falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 22 May 2008:


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