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Road Accidents: Outside Schools

Mr. Andrew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of trends in occurrences of injuries to (a) children and (b) adults caused by traffic outside school gates. [218462]

Jim Fitzpatrick: Although the location of accidents is collected no work has been done centrally to match these against school addresses and no assessment of trends has been made. Data on injuries sustained by children and young people under 17 on the journey to and from school, some of which may have been outside the school gates, show a downward trend which mirrors the decrease in all children’s casualties.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Responsibilities

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many reviews of regulation (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have conducted or commenced since July 2007; and in which areas. [215627]

Mr. Woodward: Since July 2007 the Northern Ireland Office and its agencies have not conducted any reviews on regulation.

We are considering the appropriate timing for post legislative scrutiny of Northern Ireland Acts and Orders in Council on excepted and reserved matters that have received Royal Assent since 2005.

We will be agreeing the handling of these reviews with the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee.


Departmental Official Hospitality

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many receptions he has hosted and funded in his capacity as Secretary of State in the last 12 months; which individuals and organisations (a) were invited to and (b) attended each reception; and what the cost was of each reception. [203855]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Since my re-appointment as Secretary of State in January I have hosted one reception on 27 February to celebrate St. David’s Day. Approximately 150 guests attended, including parliamentarians from all parties in both Houses, journalists and others with an interest in Wales. The cost of the reception was £3,059.23.


Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what estimate he has made of the number of people in Wales who smoked in the latest year for which figures are available. [218737]

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Mr. Paul Murphy: The latest available statistics were published in “Smoking in Wales: Current Facts” published jointly by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Wales Centre for Health in November 2007.

Statistics show that in 2005-06, 25 per cent. of adults in Wales reported that they currently smoked, while regular smoking was reported by 19 per cent. of 15-year-old boys and 28 per cent. of 15-year-old girls in 2004.

However, in 2006-07, more than 12,000 people contacted smoking cessation services and the percentage of adults in Wales who smoke has fallen 15 per cent. over the last 30 years.


Olympic Games 2012

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what recent assessment she has made of the potential economic effects of the 2012 Olympic Games on each region. [215284]

Tessa Jowell: Businesses around the UK will win contracts in the London 2012 supply chains, but there are many other ways in which each region will gain economic benefits from the 2012 games. These include the boost to the tourism industry, the opportunity to inspire people to develop their skills, and using volunteering to improve skills. The pre-games training camps will enable regions to attract inward investment and showcase themselves on an international stage, and UKTI are developing programmes to use the games as a springboard for export.

There is no detailed breakdown of how much each region will benefit in each of these areas. However, the Government and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) are working hard to ensure the benefits of 2012 are realised across the UK and have established a Nations and Regions Group (NRG).

All regions, working through the NRG, have now published their own plans to maximise the benefits and opportunities of the 2012 games. Full details of the plans are available via the Nations and Regions pages on the London 2012 website at:

Olympic Games 2012: Contaminated Land

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister for the Olympics to which location contaminated soil or other contaminated material found at the Olympic Park site has been transported for disposal; what volumes of material are involved; and what contaminants have been discovered. [214313]

Tessa Jowell: The ODA had calculated that earthworks totalling 1.6 million tonnes of soil is necessary in preparing the Olympic Park site for construction of work. Of this, around 1 million tonnes will require treatment.

To date, less than 2 per cent. has been transported off-site for landfill disposal at Environment Agency approved sites across the UK. The locations of those sites are:

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Also, a small percentage of asbestos-contaminated material has been removed off-site during the demolition phase to approved specialist sites for safe disposal. Those sites are:

Other contaminants discovered on-site include hydrocarbons, industrial chemicals, heavy materials and a very small amount of low level radioactive material. A report on the radium find from the ODA’s specialist contractor stated that

which registered low or very low levels of radioactivity. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) was consulted immediately following the find, with the Environment Agency, Newham Environmental Health and the planning authority informed and consulted on safe transit and disposal.

Much of the other contaminants are treated at source and the cleansed material, where appropriate, reused in the landscaping and foundations work of the Olympic Park.

The ODA is currently exceeding its 90 per cent. target of reclaiming material for recycling or reuse from its demolition and remediation works.

Olympic Games 2012: Security

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Minister for the Olympics whether she has approved a draft costed security plan for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. [218386]

Tessa Jowell: The Home Secretary is responsible for the security in the London 2012 Olympic games. The security plan is in the course of preparation by a process which, in relation to the overall objective of a safe and secure games, is proportionate and affordable. The plan is being developed in close discussion with all relevant stakeholders and will be delivered with costs at the end of the year.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan and Australia: Morphine

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to the Answer of 8th February 2007 by Lord Triesman, PQ HL1749, what his most recent estimate is of the costs of producing morphine in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Australia; and on what bases the costs are estimated. [215441]

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Meg Munn [holding answer 1 July 2008]: In 2008, we estimate that it costs US$385 to produce one kilogram of morphine equivalent(1) in Afghanistan. However, this is the ‘farm gate’ cost of illegal opium production, not the manufacturing cost of the final morphine product. This does not therefore include the following: regulation and security (policing of product, security of product transport from farm to factory); processing; equipment; chemicals; labour costs; and other business costs. These costs are unknown for Afghanistan. We estimate that the breakdown of costs for opium production in Afghanistan (per hectare) is as follows: production costs include fertiliser (estimated at 250 kilograms of urea and 250 kilograms of diammonium phosphate per hectare at a cost of US$210); oxen (at a rate of 10 days per hectare at a cost of US$8 per day); 350 labour days, including 200 days for harvesting (at an estimated wage rate of US$4 per day); and 150 days for land preparation; sowing; weeding; field clearance and seed collection (at an estimated rate of US$2.80 per day).

The Australian Crime Commission advise that it costs a licit manufacturer in Australia approximately US$300 (as at 30 June 2008) to produce one kilogram of morphine. This is the cost of the final product, not the ‘farm gate’ cost. Due to the commercially sensitive nature of these data, a breakdown of the Australian Crime Commission figures is not available. In 1999 the International Narcotics Control Board stated that the price paid to growers was US$56 for each kilogram of morphine equivalent. The breakdown of these costs is also confidential.

Bosco Ntaganda

Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking together with its international partners to ensure that the Government of Democratic Republic of Congo complies with the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court for Bosco Ntaganda. [216746]

Meg Munn: The UK is ready to provide whatever assistance may be required to ensure that those accused of the most serious crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) are brought into custody. Co-operation between the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the ICC has already led to the arrest of three DRC nationals, as part of the ICC's investigations into the situation in the DRC. We expect the Government of the DRC to provide the same level of co-operation over the arrest of Bosco Ntaganda.

China: Taiwan

Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of relations between China and Taiwan. [217423]

Meg Munn: As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said publicly on 22 March, the change of administration in Taiwan is a real opportunity to renew efforts to improve cross-Strait relations. We hope that
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the Chinese Government and Taiwan President Ma Ying-Jeou’s administration will continue to engage in direct dialogue to resolve differences and strengthen cross-Strait stability, with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the Taiwan issue, acceptable to the people of both sides of the Strait. We support the EU declaration of 26 May and the EU presidency statement of 13 June which similarly sought to encourage this dialogue and welcome the practical results seen so far. These include the institution of regular direct weekend charter flights between mainland China and Taiwan, which started on 4 July.

Departmental Consultants

Mr. Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much his Department spent on consultancy fees in each of the last five years. [215283]

Meg Munn [holding answer 30 June 2008]: Annual expenditure on consultants is published in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s annual departmental reports, copies of which have been placed in the Library of the House. The two most recent departmental reports also contain details of expenditure on the top five consultancy contractors.

Departmental Early Retirement

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many staff in his (a) Department and (b) Department's agencies have taken early retirement in the last two years. [217387]

Meg Munn: A total of 305 staff in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have taken early retirement in the two years up to 1 July 2008, of whom 19 were FCO services staff. The reasons for granting early retirement range from redundancy to ill health. During this period, there were two restructuring exercises which led to a higher than expected number of early retirements: one reduced the size of the FCO's senior management structure by almost 20 per cent.; and the other involved the closure of a number of business units in preparation for the launch of FCO Services as a Trading Fund from April 2008.

All payments to those who took early retirement with compensation were made in strict accordance with the terms of the Civil Service Compensation scheme.

Departmental Surveys

Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will place a copy of his Department’s most recent annual staff survey in the Library. [218645]

David Miliband: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) most recent annual staff survey was concluded in December 2007. The results are already available in the public domain. They have been published on two sites: the civil service website at:

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and the FCO’s website at:

I will also arrange for a copy to be forwarded to the Library of the House.

Members: Correspondence

Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he plans to reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Thurrock of 20th May 2008 on the visit to the US of HRH the Prince of Wales in 2006; and what the reasons are for the time taken to reply to the letter. [218927]

Meg Munn: I replied on 9 July to my hon. Friend’s letter of 20 May on the visit to the US of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales in 2006. The delay in replying was caused by the length of time needed to research the response thoroughly.

Personal Injury

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the highest 10 payments made by his Department in settlement of personal injury claims brought against it were over the last 12 months for which figures are available; which of those cases were (a) contested and (b) uncontested by the Department; and what the nature of the incident was in each case. [216687]

Meg Munn: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have settled two personal injury claims in the last twelve months. Neither claim was contested by the Department. The payments were:

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