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8 July 2008 : Column 1519W—continued

Strokes: Health Services

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department is taking to reduce early death rates for stroke victims. [216832]


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Ann Keen: Stroke mortality is falling. For people under 65, the three-year average death rate from stroke has fallen by 23 per cent. over the period from 1993-95 to 2002-04. For people aged 65 to 75 the death rate has dropped by 30 per cent. over the same period.

The ‘National Stroke Strategy’, published on 5 December, sets out a framework for care of people who have had a stroke (copies of the strategy have already been placed in the Library). By following the recommendations in the strategy, up to 1,600 strokes could be prevented each year, with outcomes improved for another 6,800 people. Based around four key areas, the strategy looks to raise awareness of stroke, improve acute care, improve after hospital care and support, and develop a stroke skilled work force.

This is a 10-year strategy but we expect to see a significant improvement in stroke services in the next three years.

Women and Equality

Equal Opportunities: Public Bodies

Lorely Burt: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what assessment she has made of whether Government-funded organisations have implemented the gender equality duty; and what steps she is taking to ensure that the duty is implemented. [207154]

Barbara Follett: The gender duty came into effect in April 2007 and I am pleased with the progress made and good practice put in place since then. However, although the duty's overall impact is positive, public bodies could use it more to improve the services they offer to both men and women.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is monitoring the progress made by public bodies in meeting their obligations under the gender duty and continues to offer advice to how best to do this. The Commission's main aim is to help public bodies meet their statutory obligations but, where they consistently fail to do so, it will institute legal obligation.

Members: Correspondence

Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality when she plans to answer the letter of 22 April from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton, on Miss Rena Wood, transferred from the Home Department. [210191]

Barbara Follett: A reply was sent to the right hon. Member on 9 June.

Prime Minister

Chequers

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for North Norfolk of 29 January 2008, Official Report, column 286W, on Chequers, whether the information on hospitality provided at Chequers in 2007-08 is ready for publication. [216781]

The Prime Minister: Information on official hospitality held at Chequers will be published in due course.


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Dalai Lama

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Prime Minister in what venues either he or his predecessors met the Dalai Lama in the last 30 years. [215835]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Members for Vauxhall (Kate Hoey) and Worthing, West (Peter Bottomley) on 21 May 2008, Official Report, column 300W.

Departmental Written Questions

David Simpson: To ask the Prime Minister how long on average his office took to answer (a) ordinary written and (b) named day questions in each of the last three years. [215460]

The Prime Minister: My office aims to answer all ordinary written parliamentary questions (PQs) within five working days, and named day written PQs on the day named. Since the start of the current parliamentary Session 97 per cent. of named day PQs and 81 per cent. of ordinary written PQs were answered on time. Information for previous parliamentary Sessions is a matter of public record and can be found in the Official Report.

Northern Ireland

Apprentices

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) apprenticeships and (b) advanced apprenticeships there were in (i) his Department and (ii) the agencies for which he is responsible in the most recent year for which figures are available. [216607]

Mr. Woodward: Within the Northern Ireland Office there are no members of staff undertaking, or who have undertaken, (a) apprenticeships or (b) advanced apprenticeships in the most recent year.

Departmental Conferences

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) scheduled date and (b) title was of each conference proposed to be hosted by his Department and its agencies which was cancelled before taking place in each of the last 10 years; and what costs were incurred in respect of each. [215166]

Mr. Woodward: From the records available over the last 10 years the Northern Ireland Office and its agencies did not cancel any conferences proposed to be hosted by this Department.

Departmental Home Working

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in his Department are authorised to work from home. [212518]

Mr. Woodward: Some members of staff in the Northern Ireland Office work from home as and when circumstances allow and with prior agreement from their local management, but we do not hold the numbers centrally.

The Department is currently examining whether it would be possible to expand these arrangements bearing in mind the additional cost, security and health and safety issues.


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Departmental Security

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many departmental identity cards or departmental passes have been reported lost or stolen by staff in (a) his Department and (b) each of its executive agencies in the last 24 months. [215611]

Mr. Woodward: During the period 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2008, 17 departmental passes were reported lost. Of these two were lost by staff working in executive agencies. None were reported stolen.

Speed Limits: Cameras

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many fixed speed cameras are in operation in each council area in Northern Ireland. [215737]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Safety Camera Scheme has currently four fixed site speed cameras and two SPECS (average speed) Systems in operation. This is shown in the following table.

Council area Type Number of cameras Location

Castlereagh

Fixed

2

Upper Newtownards Road, Saintfield Road

Belfast

Fixed

2

Antrim Road, Springfield Road

Newry and Mourne

SPECS

1

Al Duel Carriageway (North and South of Newry City)

North Down

SPECS

1

A2 Belfast to Bangor Road


In addition there are eight mobile camera vans operating at 65 signed routes and sites across Northern Ireland.

Justice

Approved Premises

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) if he will make it his policy that local residents be consulted before a bail hostel is established in their area; [216373]

(2) how many bail hostels (a) are planned and (b) were set up in the last year for which records are available in (i) Castle Point constituency and (ii) Essex. [216417]

Mr. Hanson: The accommodation provided by ClearSprings for defendants on bail and for offenders released on Home Detention Curfew is not hostel accommodation, but normal residential housing with up to five people sharing. The houses are the private rented homes of those occupying them. It is not appropriate to consult the public about where those released from prison, or bailed by the Courts to live in their own homes, may live. ClearSprings is required to consult the police, probation and local authority about the location of the housing they provide. It is our policy to seek planning permission for approved premises, which are hostels.

No ClearSprings housing for the Bail Accommodation and Support Service has been established in Castle
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Point or elsewhere in Essex. However, the Regional Offender Manager for East of England has asked ClearSprings to source properties as soon as possible in or near Chelmsford (three beds), Colchester (three beds), Harlow (four beds) and Southend (two x three beds). It is expected that there will also be a need to find a property in the Basildon area in future.

Coroners

Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice on how many occasions a coroner acting under Rule 5 of the Coroners (Practice and Procedure) Rules (NI) 1963 exercised his power to exclude the public from an inquest in each of the last five years. [216585]

Mr. Hanson: The power to exclude the public from an inquest has not been exercised by coroners since April 2006, when the new Coroners Service for Northern Ireland was established.

Before the Coroners Service for Northern Ireland was established in April 2006, coroners did not have computerised systems to assist them and therefore the information is not held centrally and could be provided by manually checking paper records only at a disproportionate cost.

Departmental ICT

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many of his Department’s staff have access to the Department’s IT infrastructure at home. [216419]

Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice has just over 4,000 members of staff with encrypted computers and related equipment which enables them to work securely from home.

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many reviews of regulation (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have (i) conducted and (ii) commenced since July 2007; and in which areas. [211103]

Mr. Wills: The Ministry of Justice has not conducted any review of regulation since July 2007 but has commenced three reviews of regulation since that date. These are:

We are also currently considering the appropriate timing for post legislative scrutiny of three Acts that received Royal Assent in 2005:

We will be agreeing the handling of these reviews with the Justice Select Committee.

No separate reviews of regulation have been conducted nor commenced by the agencies of the Ministry of Justice since July 2007.


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The Ministry of Justice’s progress against the Better Regulation agenda is contained in the Ministry’s Simplification Plan for 2007, published on our website at:

Drugs: Crime

Nick Herbert: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were convicted for the third time of (a) trafficking class A drugs and (b) domestic burglary in each of the last five years; and what proportion of each received the mandatory minimum sentence applicable. [215968]

Mr. Straw: The following table shows the number of people sentenced to the mandatory minimum for a third class A drug trafficking offence and third domestic burglary, under section 110 and 111 of the Power of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act (2000).

Table 2.6 Persons sentenced under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000, 2000 to 2006. England and Wales
Number of persons

Section 110: Minimum 7 years for third class A drug trafficking offence Section 111: Minimum 3 years for third domestic burglary

2000

2

2001

1

6

2002

2

2003

3

13

2004

4

46

2005

3

89

2006

7

229

Note:
Section 109 was replaced on 4 April 2005 by sentences of imprisonment for public protection. Figures therefore relate to offences committed prior to that date.

These are numbers recorded by courts as receiving the mandatory sentence. As the Courts Proceedings Database does not include criminal histories we are not able to identify those convicted for a third time that were not given the mandatory minimum from this data source.


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