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Written Answers to Questions

Monday 13 October 2008

Northern Ireland

Abortion

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether abortion policy would be devolved in the event of the devolution of policing and criminal justice to the Northern Ireland Assembly; and if he will make a statement. [226577]

Mr. Woodward: In Northern Ireland, legislation on abortion remains part of the criminal law, which will be transferred when responsibility for policing and justice is devolved.

Eames/Bradley Consultative Group

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment has been made of any potential overlap of work between the Eames/Bradley Consultative Group and the Victims Commissioners. [224743]

Mr. Woodward: The Consultative Group on the Past terms of reference explicitly require the group to consider “the landscape of initiatives that have already been taken by Government and non-governmental groups” and the “work already done—and ongoing—in this area”.

It is for the group to interpret its terms of reference, but I would expect that in looking at the legacy of the past in its broadest sense the group will be considering issues relating to victims and survivors along with many other areas; I would also expect that the group will take into account the work being done by the Commission for Victims and Survivors. I look forward to receiving the group's report in the coming months.

When considering the group's report and recommendations, the Government will take into account any impact on, and overlap with, ongoing programmes of work, such as that of the Commission for Victims and Survivors.

EDF Energy

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what contracts (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have with EDF; and how much (i) his Department and (ii) its agencies paid to EDF in each of the last 10 years, broken down by the purpose of the payment. [221834]

Mr. Woodward: The Northern Ireland Office has no contract with EDF.

EDF supplies power to a number of residential properties in London leased by the Northern Ireland Office for staff on detached duty. These contracts would have
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been set up directly between the staff residing in the accommodation and EDF. Ascertaining payments for the properties over the 10 years would be at disproportionate cost.

Parades

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions have taken place with the Irish Government on the Strategic Review of Parades. [224742]

Paul Goggins: The Strategic Review of Parading Body met the Irish Government in December 2007 and in March and April 2008. Officials provided the Irish Government with updates on the progress of the Strategic Review of Parading in March and August 2008.

Police Patrolling

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the average time spent by a police officer on street patrol was in Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. [224691]

Paul Goggins: That is an operational matter for the Chief Constable. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Official Report and the Library of the House.

Police: Complaints

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many complaints were made against the Police Service of Northern Ireland in each of the last 10 years. [224692]

Paul Goggins: Dealing with such complaints is the operational responsibility of the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland. I have asked the chief executive to reply to the hon. Member directly, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Official Report and the Library of the House.

Police: Finance

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what revisions have been made to arrangements for the Police Service of Northern Ireland's budget; and if he will make a statement. [224599]

Paul Goggins: In the comprehensive spending review 2007 settlement, the PSNI were allocated a fixed allocation of some £3.5 billion over a three-year period (2008 to 2011).

Budget decisions within the funding allocation are a matter for the PSNI and the Policing Board, based on aligning operational priorities with resources.

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent representations he has received calling for revisions to the Police Service of Northern Ireland budget arrangements. [224741]


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Paul Goggins: In the comprehensive spending review 2007 settlement, the PSNI were allocated a fixed allocation of some £3.5 billion over a three-year period (2008-11).

The PSNI through the Northern Ireland Policing Board has the opportunity to notify the NIO of any proposed revisions to the budget allocation at in-year monitoring rounds. Any funding requests will be considered by the NIO taking into consideration financial commitments throughout the Department.

Prisoners

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) male and (b) female prisoners in Northern Ireland remain in custody having completed their sentence; and what the reason for such post-sentence detention is in each case. [224694]

Paul Goggins: At 8 October, 90 male prisoners and one female prisoner who had completed a custodial sentence remained in custody due to outstanding remand charges. In addition, three immigration detainees who had completed custodial sentences were being held under immigration detention orders.

Prisoners: Crimes of Violence

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many violent offences were committed by prisoners against other prisoners in Northern Ireland whilst in custody in each of the last five years. [224690]

Paul Goggins: The information requested is contained in the following table.

Financial year Assault of prisoner on prisoner

2004-05

11

2005-06

5

2006-07

7

2007-08

14

2008-end September 2008

5

Total

42


These figures are compiled using the Northern Ireland Prison Service key performance indicators definition of assault.

Culture, Media and Sport

British Library

Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what income his Department received from the British Library in each of the last 10 years. [225286]

Barbara Follett: In each of the last 10 years my Department has received the following rental income from the British Library.


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£

Retained by DCMS Surrendered to the Consolidated Fund

1998-99

0

590,000

1999-2000

0

645,000

2000-01

0

42,000

2001-02

0

0

2002-03

0

0

2003-04

0

0

2004-05

0

0

2005-06

0

0

2006-07

0

0

2007-08

0

0


Departmental Furniture

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) chairs, (b) desks and (c) other office furnishings have been purchased by his Department and its agencies in each of the last five years; and at what cost in each case. [211770]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department holds the following information relating to the purchase of chairs, desk and other office furnishings in the last five years. The Department does not hold information for 2003-04.

£

2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Chairs

Number

20

60

346

156

Cost

9,035

27,105

92,742

34,260

Desks

Number

521

34

Cost

367,026

30,373

Tables

Number

97

42

Cost

22,488

16,021

Filing Cabinets

Number

263

6

Cost

84,232

2,256

Other office furnishings

Number

18

3

Cost

3,786

795


The Royal Parks (TRP) accounting system does not record the numbers of chairs, desks etc that have been purchased, so obtaining that information would involve retrieving and analysing paper copies of orders and invoices over five years, at disproportionate cost.

The following table sets out how much TRP has spent on these items over the past five financial years:

£

2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08

Chairs

7,071

1,094

2,321

2,849

15,996

Tables

2,261

873

1,730

376

2,537

Other office furnishings

19,184

6,520

2,577

3,736

21,898


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