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18 Jun 2008 : Column 967W—continued

Immigration Controls: Airports

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what targets are set for maximum waiting times at (a) EU and (b) non-EU immigration desks at (i) Heathrow, (ii) Stansted and (iii) Gatwick airports; what performance was achieved against these targets in the most recent period for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. [164223]

Mr. Byrne: I wrote to the hon. Member on 12 June 2008.

Intelligence Services

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what active operations members of security forces of foreign states are permitted to undertake in the UK; and what restrictions apply to them. [202113]

Mr. McNulty [holding answer 28 April 2008]: Any activity is permitted as long as it is in accordance with law.

Members: Correspondence

Clare Short: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she expects the UK Border Agency to respond to the letter dated 18th April 2008 from the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood sent on behalf of Sumithra Wickramage (acknowledgement reference B14770/8, Home Office reference W227390). [211330]

Mr. Byrne: The UK Border Agency wrote to my right hon. Friend on 13 June 2008.

Rape

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress has been made on (a) increasing the proportion of rapes reported to the police and (b) increasing women's access to rape crisis centres since January 2008; and if she will make a statement. [207117]

Mr. Coaker: The Cross Government Action Plan on Sexual Violence and Abuse, published in April 2007 set out the Government's actions to tackle sexual violence for 2007-08 by maximising prevention, increasing access to support services for victims and improving the response of the criminal justice system. An update on progress for 2007-08 and an action plan for 2008-09 will be available by the summer.


18 Jun 2008 : Column 968W

In order to increase reporting to the police, it is necessary to ensure that victims are supported adequately and can have confidence in the criminal justice system. Key actions to increase reporting to the police and improve access to rape crisis centres since January 2008 have included:

Security Industry Authority

David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions she has had with the Security Industry Authority on the composition of the regulator's executive board. [210388]

Mr. Coaker [holding answer 12 June 2008]: The Secretary of State has the power, under the Private Security Industry Act 2001, to appoint the Board of the Security Industry Authority (SIA). In 2007, Home Office Ministers decided, following discussions with the chair of the SIA, to appoint two additional members with expertise relevant to the Private Security Industry and Scotland. Following an open competition, two additional members, Linda Sharpe and Bill Matthews, were subsequently appointed with effect from 1 April 2008.

Written Questions: Government Responses

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she plans to answer Question 178371, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 9th January, on entry clearances. [206265]

Mr. Byrne: I replied to the hon. Member on 11 June 2008, Official Report, columns 343-44W.

Mike Gapes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she will provide a substantive response to question 207620, tabled by the hon. Member for Ilford South on 20 May 2008 on the MPs' UK Visas Hotline. [211391]

Mr. Byrne: I replied to the hon. Member on 11 June 2008, Official Report, column 353W.


18 Jun 2008 : Column 969W

Work and Pensions

Child Poverty Unit

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times the joint Child Poverty Unit has met. [211135]

Mr. Timms: Members of the unit work closely together day to day, whether physically side by side or through frequent e-mail and phone contact. As well as attending ministerial meetings, they have held numerous meetings with external stakeholders, and seminars on tackling child poverty (some jointly hosted with lobby organisations or think tanks) for local authorities and others. They have also hosted cross-Whitehall Stakeholder Group meetings, and attended Four Countries meetings.

Child Poverty Unit: Manpower

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people work full-time for the joint Child Poverty Unit. [211136]

Mr. Timms: The Child Poverty Unit currently comprises 19 staff, 18 of whom are full-time.

Child Support Agency: Pay

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average salary paid to Child Support Agency staff was in each of the last 10 years. [185124]

Mr. Plaskitt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mark Grimshaw, dated 18 June 2008:


18 Jun 2008 : Column 970W
Financial year Average number of staff employed Average staff cost (£)

1997-98

8,400

17,200

1998-99

8,200

17,300

1999-2000

8,500

18,000

2000-01

9,200

17,200

2001-02

9,500

19,200

2002-03

10,300

20,400

2003-04

10,200

21,100

2004-05

10,200

21,500

2005-06

10,400

23,000

2006-07

11,400

23,800


Children: Maintenance

Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made by the Child Support Agency in meeting its Operational Improvement Plan debt recovery targets (a) to collect at least £113 million of additional debt via the use of external private debt collection agencies by March 2009 and (b) to collect at least £110.8 million of additional debt using internal resources by March 2009. [181248]

Mr. Plaskitt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Mark Grimshaw, dated 18 June 2008:

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was owed in child maintenance arrears by non-resident parents in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency in each year since 1997. [208646]

Mr. Plaskitt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.


18 Jun 2008 : Column 971W

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 18 June 2008:

Departmental Pilot Schemes

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which pilot projects initiated by his Department in the last two years have not proceeded to further roll-out. [211842]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is not available and can be obtained only at disproportionate costs.

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much his Department spent on its international work in each of the last five years. [211148]

Mrs. McGuire: My Department, over the last five years, has been involved in a wide range of activities in support of the UK's international obligations. The costs associated with this work are paid by different parts of the Department and details of spend on international work is not held centrally. A full answer, with a breakdown of figures as requested, could be provided only by incurring disproportionate costs.


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