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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Electoral Commission Committee

Departmental Publications

Robert Neill: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, how many consultation or issues papers the Electoral Commission published in (a) March, (b) April and (c) May 2008. [219064]

Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that it published three consultation papers in March:

The Commission published no consultation or issue papers in April or May.

Elections: Local Government

Robert Neill: To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, which local authority election counts the Chairman of the Electoral Commission visited in May 2008. [219145]

Sir Peter Viggers: The Electoral Commission informs me that the Chairman of the Commission attended two counts of the May 2008 elections: at West Oxfordshire district council and at London Olympia. In total, representatives of the Commission attended 46 counts.

House of Commons Commission

Electronic Publications

Dan Rogerson: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what consideration has been given to publishing electronic versions of Bill amendment papers in PDF format. [219192]

Nick Harvey: Material is placed on the parliamentary website primarily in HTML format, which is the preferred format for the web. PDF versions of documents are made available on the parliamentary website when it has not been possible or cost-effective to produce HTML versions; or in addition to HTML versions in response to particular and substantial demand and after consideration of any cost implications of doing so.

Bill amendment papers are currently available in HTML format and to date there has been no substantial demand for PDF versions.

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Departmental Computers

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of (a) the number of computer devices left on overnight in his Department when not in use and (b) the cost of leaving computer devices on overnight when not in use in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [217875]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office shares an information technology system (SCOTS) with the Scottish Executive, which is responsible for the development, administration and maintenance of the system. The Office does not maintain records of devices left on overnight. However, the recent introduction of new software on SCOTS will ensure that desktop personal computers are automatically shut down each night and staff have been reminded of the need to switch off printers etc.

Departmental ICT

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff have access to his Department's IT infrastructure at their home. [216386]

David Cairns: The Scotland Office has five security devices for use with laptops that are available to staff and which provide access to the corporate IT network.


Roads: Accidents

Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many recorded deaths from road traffic accidents there have been in Wales in each of the last five years. [218735]

Mr. Paul Murphy: While any road deaths are regrettable the number of fatalities in 2007, at 161, is 25 per cent. lower than the 1994-98 average of 213.

A table showing the last five years data is as follows:

Number of recorded road deaths in Wales 2003-07













Olympic Games 2012: West Midlands

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what steps the Government plan to take to encourage children and young people in the West Midlands to participate in events that are part of the London 2012 Olympics. [218598]

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Tessa Jowell: The Government and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic games and Paralympic games (LOCOG) are working to ensure that the benefits of 2012 reach across the UK and have established a Nations and Regions Group (NRG) to oversee this work. Further details about the NRG can be found at

The West Midlands Leadership Group for the 2012 games is represented on the Nations and Regions Group and leads the work of the region in delivering legacy benefits across sport, culture, volunteering, business and tourism. The Group is committed to encouraging young people to participate and since pre-bid has included among its members a representative from their Youth Parliament. (The NRG co-ordinator for the West Midlands is Tim Bryan, who can be contacted at Culture West Midlands, The Regional Partnership Centre, Albert House, Quay Place, Edward St., Birmingham B1 2RA).

In the West Midlands, schools have already started using material from LOCOG's London 2012 education programme, which all schools, colleges and local authorities will have the opportunity to participate in. 20 primary schools from Stoke on Trent prepared flags, mascots and banners for an opening ceremony festival, and children from the region competed in a series of sporting and cultural events at Stafford Sports college.

35 cultural events will be taking place in the West Midlands over the Handover and Cultural Olympiad launch weekends in September. In addition, the West Midlands Legacy Trust has developed a programme of dance and community events aimed at young people who will develop new skills by staging and taking part in their own community-based games. Young people from the West Midlands will also have the opportunity to be among the 70,000 volunteers needed to help run the games in London.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Pay

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many and what proportion of staff in his Department received bonus payments in each of the last five years; what the total amount of bonuses paid has been; what the largest single payment was in each year; and if he will make a statement. [213299]

Mr. Woodward: The Department operates two types of bonus scheme—special bonus (to reward staff for additional contribution, e.g. innovation and improvement, project work), and end of year bonus (to reward staff for performance and delivery throughout the year).

Figures for the last five years are set out in the following table.

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2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07

Special bonuses

Number of staff












Total amount (£)






Largest payment (£)






End of year bonuses

Number of staff












Total amount (£)






Largest payment (£)






The Northern Ireland Office pays end-year bonuses for SCS staff in accordance with the Cabinet Office framework. In respect of 2002-03, only SCS staff received non- consolidated bonuses. Grade A and below received fully consolidated rises in this year. The Department established an end-year non-consolidated bonus scheme for Grade A and below in the 2003-04 reporting year, rewarding three levels of performance. From the 2005-06 reporting year this scheme was amended and is now targeted at exceptional performance. The figures relate to the reporting year but bonuses are paid in the following financial year.

In a previous answer given to the hon. Gentleman on 21 June 2007, Official Report, column 2050W, in respect of the number of bonuses paid and the value of the bonus pot in 2005-06, the number of individuals who received a bonus is lower (staff may receive more than one bonus in a year). The bonus pot in 2005-06 was not fully utilised so the figures have been amended accordingly.

For clarity, the special bonus figures and end year bonuses have been separated.

Young Offenders: Prisons

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many children under the age of 18 years are detained in adult prisons in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. [218597]

Paul Goggins: All males under 18 years are held in the separate Young Offenders Centre.

Females under 18 years have been held with females over 18 years, initially in Mourne House at Maghaberry and then since 20 June 2004 at Ash House in Hydebank Wood prison. Precise figures prior to June 2004 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The number of females committed to Hydebank Wood prison is as follows:


2008 (to 11 July)










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Following an amendment to the Criminal Justice (Children) NI Order 1998, since 7 June 2008 all females aged 17 or under are detained at Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre.

Young Offenders: Reoffenders

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the (a) re-offending rate and (b) breach of condition rate of young offenders participating in youth justice conferences was in each of the last three years. [218588]

Paul Goggins: The information is as follows:

(a) The only re-offending information currently available relates to 2005 one-year re-offending rates. Youth conferencing had an overall re-offending rate of 38.4 per cent. For court ordered and diversionary youth conferences, the rates were 44.3 per cent. and 30.7 per cent. respectively.

(b) The proportion of young offenders who have had their youth conference orders revoked for non-compliance or their diversionary youth conference plans terminated due to non-compliance is as follows:








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