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11 Nov 2008 : Column 1056W—continued

Primary care trusts in the Spearhead Group

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Slaughterhouses: Inspections

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what inspection costs were incurred by abattoirs in each region in each of the last 10 years. [234207]

Dawn Primarolo [holding answer 10 November 2008]: The gross operating cost of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) by region—including inspection activities in abattoirs, tasks for Government Departments such as Food Standards Agency and Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, and administrative and managerial support costs—is shown in the following table for 2003-04 to 2007-08.

Regional information for 1998-99 to 2002-03 is not readily available in the required format.

Gross costs for Meat Hygiene Service
£ million

2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08( 1)













South and West






























(1) Costs in 2007-08 exclude transformation programme costs of £10.6 million.
(2) The Wales and Scotland regions both include parts of England.
(3) Headquarters costs include some costs that relate to the regions but which are not allocated. These include: pension costs, depreciation, relocation costs and redundancy payments.
The MHS regional management structure was disbanded between April and July 2008 as part of a transformation programme.

Third Sector Investment Programme

Frank Cook: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) which organisations are still under consideration for funding under the Third Sector Investment Programme for 2009; [232234]

(2) which organisations were unsuccessful in their applications for the second stage of the Third Sector Investment Programme for 2009. [232235]

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Phil Hope: The application process for the 2009-10 Third Sector Investment Programme is under way. As at noon on 31 October, 988 applications had been received. Of these, 254 had been put forward to the second stage of the application process and 696 had been declined. The relevant applicants have been notified in each case. 38 remain under consideration. A list of the organisations in each category has been placed in the Library.

Final decisions on funding are expected to be made in the new year.


Mr. Lansley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 1034W, on tomography, if he will break down the figures for the provision of (a) computerised tomography scanners, (b) magnetic resonance imaging scanners and (c) linear accelerators by NHS trusts in each year since 2000. [231074]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department does not routinely collect this data centrally. However, information supplied by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) relating to the English national health service as at September 2008 has been placed in the Library. The document shows the number of computed tomography scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and linear accelerators (linacs.) provided to each NHS trust in the years 2000 to 2008.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Violence Against Women

9. John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps the Government has taken in international forums to support measures to eliminate violence against women. [234536]

Gillian Merron: The Government condemns all forms of violence against women. We actively seek to eradicate it through changing attitudes internationally and on the ground. Notably, we worked to achieve consensus on a UN resolution which commits all member states to act to tackle violence against women. We have also agreed new European guidelines which mean that the EU will now lobby globally to combat violence against women.


10. Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with his Chinese counterpart on the latest rounds of talks between the Chinese Government and Tibetan representatives; and whether the UK has offered to play any role in the talks. [234537]

Bill Rammell: The Government are not a party to the dialogue between the Chinese Government and the Dalai Lama’s representatives, but we have made clear our close interest in their progress, including to the visiting Assistant Foreign Minister last week. We are concerned at reports suggesting lack of progress at the latest round. We urge both parties to work together to achieve a negotiated solution, within the framework of the Chinese constitution.

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Middle East

11. Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of prospects for peace in the middle east; and if he will make a statement. [234538]

Bill Rammell: The Annapolis process has been a first step to restoring trust between the parties. We should seek to build on it to create a process which can deliver a broader peace, in which all exercise their rights and fulfil their responsibilities. This would be a true settlement between Israel and all Arab states. I hope it will be given new momentum from the beginning of the new Administration in the USA.

NATO-Russia Council

12. Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he next expects the NATO-Russia Council to convene; and what the agenda will be. [234539]

Bill Rammell: The NATO-Russia Council was suspended following the conflict in Georgia in August. When it restarts will depend on Russia’s implementation of the Sarkozy/Medvedev peace agreements and progress in the Geneva process.

NATO-Russia dialogue and practical co-operation continues to cover a range of issues of common interest, including Afghanistan, counter-terrorism and counter-proliferation.

Anglo-American Relations

13. Hugh Bayley: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what priorities he has identified for discussion with the incoming Administration in the US. [234540]

Gillian Merron: We will continue to work closely with the current Administration in the period up to inauguration. Thereafter, we look forward to engaging with President-Elect Obama and his Administration, maintaining our strong partnership with the US, in our continuing effort to address the problems threatening global prosperity today—of course, these include the world economy and reform of international financial institutions, key foreign policy issues (Iran, Middle East Peace Process, Afghanistan, Pakistan) and energy.

15. Ms Angela C. Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he first plans to meet the President-Elect of the United States to discuss US-British relations; and if he will make a statement. [234542]

Caroline Flint: It is too early to get to make those sorts of plans. But my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister, other Cabinet colleagues and I look forward to close working relationships next year, This will of course involve face-to-face meetings in the US, UK and elsewhere. For now, our priority remains continuing our close working relationship with the current Administration.

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Colombian Armed Forces

16. Anne Moffat: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent reports he has received on (a) accusations against and (b) suspensions of officers of the Colombian armed forces who have received UK training; and if he will make a statement. [234543]

Gillian Merron: We have received no information or evidence that officers who have received UK training have been involved in abuses.

My public statement of 30 October stressed the importance of the Colombian Government's decision to dismiss a number of officers for abuses recently attributed to Colombian Army officers, and for failures in exercising effective command. The resignation of the head of its armed forces is a further notable step.

It is vital that the Colombian Government remain determined to deal with abuses committed by their armed forces, which have no place in any society.

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