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Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to ensure that public transport is accessible to people with disabilities in (a) Tamworth constituency and (b) Staffordshire. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport allocates integrated transport block and highways maintenance funding to local transport authorities for general capital investment in transport. This funding is not ring-fenced and local authorities have discretion to spend their allocations in line with their priorities. The total allocation provided to Staffordshire (which covers Tamworth) in 2008-09 is £21.522 million.
The Access for All programme is part of the Railways for All strategy, and was launched by the Department in 2006 to address the issues faced by disabled passengers using railway stations in Great Britain.
The Department has awarded just under £300,000 of Access for All Small Schemes funding towards accessibility improvements worth almost £615,000 at seven stations
in Staffordshire. These are Blythe Bridge, Cannock, Hednesford, Kidsgrove, Landywood, Rugeley Town, and Tutbury and Hatton.
To ensure that disabled people are able to use public transport, by law all new trains, buses and coaches used on scheduled services now have to be physically accessible, including to wheelchair users. We have set deadlines for all trains to be accessible by 2020 and all buses used on local or scheduled services will be required to meet accessibility standards by 2017.
Mrs. Moon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of guidelines and regulations for the protection of rail staff from assault; and if he will make a statement. 
Paul Clark: Any form of physical assault is a serious criminal offence. The British Transport police therefore treat assaults on rail staff as a priority and successive governments have ensured that the penalties available to the courts are severe.
Paul Clark: This information is not held by the Department for Transport, but by the British Transport police who can be contacted at: British Transport police, 25 Camden Road, London NW1 9LN, e-mail:
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer to Lord Fearn of 12 March 2009, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA279, on roads: repair, what the published criteria referred to are. 
Paul Clark: The Department for Transport has provided emergency funding to local authorities to repair their highways on three occasions since 2001. Following the summer 2007 floods we published criteria on this funding. The criteria are available on the Department for Transport website at:
This information is not held by the Department. Since 1 April 2007 the deployment of safety cameras has been the responsibility of individual
local partnerships. The operation of the average speed cameras on the A130 will therefore be a matter for the Essex Road Safety Partnership.
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) printers and (b) multi-function devices with printing functions were in use in each division of his Department in each of the last five years; how many such devices had a function enabling two-sided printing; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 17 December 2008, Official Report, column 777W, on the USA, what discussions he has had with the new US administration on the United States Special Envoy to Northern Ireland. 
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the level of access to legal redress through the courts in Afghanistan. 
Bill Rammell: The formal justice system in Afghanistan is weak, often corrupt and typically inaccessible to women, children and rural communities. Furthermore, there is a shortage of trained judges and legal representation. For the majority of Afghans, justice and dispute resolution is dispensed through informal, traditional systems. We estimate that over 80 per cent. of justice/dispute resolution is dispensed through informal systems and in Helmand we believe this to be even higher. Aspects of these systems have been used for hundreds of years and tend to have a high level of acceptance and legitimacy among the public. This includes Taliban courts in Taliban controlled areas.
The UK is supporting the strengthening of the justice sector in Afghanistan: at the national level we are building the capacity of the Criminal Justice Task Force and the Central Narcotics Tribunal to tackle narcotics related crimes. Through the Department for International Development, we have supported the World Bank's Justice Sector Reform Project focused on improving the formal justice system. In Helmand, we have prioritised support for informal justice systems by promoting and strengthening traditional dispute resolution mechanisms as a viable alternative to those provided by the Taliban. This includes legal education, promoting access to justice for women and children and improving linkages with the formal justice system.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what estimate he has made of the quantity of heroin that will be produced in Afghanistan in 2009; and how much has been so produced in each year since 2000. 
|Estimate of heroin/morphine derivatives available for export|
The UNODC figures are derived from their estimates that 60 per cent. of opium is converted into heroin in Afghanistan and 40 per cent. is exported. From 2000 to 2004, UNODC used a 10:1 ratio for the conversion of opium into heroin. This was revised to 7:1 in 2005 to reflect the higher morphine content of Afghan opium. The figures for opium production are adjusted to take into account the impact of seizures and local consumption.
Estimates of the potential opium and heroin production in Afghanistan for 2009 will be made after the harvesting of opium is complete in July. The UNODC will publish estimates of opium production in its annual Afghan Opium Survey which is likely to be available in Executive summary form in August.
Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs with reference to paragraph 9 (ix) of the High Court judgement in the case of R (Binyam Mohamed) v. Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of 21 August 2008, on what other occasions officers of the UK security services have made observations on the treatment of persons detained by or on behalf of the United States in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. 
However, the Intelligence and Security Committees 2005 report into the Handling of Detainees by UK Intelligence Personnel in Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and Iraq takes note of instances of UK intelligence and security service officers raising the treatment of persons detained by or on behalf of the US in Afghanistan, between 10 January 2002 and the cessation of UK interviews in July 2002.
My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister also announced a series of measures in his written ministerial statement of 18 March 2009, Official Report, column 55WS, including asking the Intelligence and Security Committee to consider any new developments and relevant information since this 2005 report and the subsequent 2007 report on rendition.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 25 March 2009, Official Report, column 390W, on Hezbollah, if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department's assessment of Hezbollah's involvement in terrorism. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the human rights situation of the Jewish community in Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: While we have general concerns about freedom of religion and belief in Iran, we understand that the Jewish community has relatively good relations with the wider Muslim community in Iran. The Iranian Jewish community does face some institutional discrimination, but we do not believe that its members face systematic persecution. We continue to monitor the situation closely and officials regularly meet representatives of the Jewish community in Tehran and London to review the situation.
Ms Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the extent of freedom of religion and belief in Iran; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: Together with our EU partners we continue to have serious concerns about the situation of all religious minorities in Iran. These groups suffer state-sponsored and systematic forms of intimidation and persecution. They face gross human rights violations such as arbitrary detention without charge and without access to lawyers, confiscation of property and denial of education. Such detentions are becoming increasingly common in Iran, and are cause for serious concern.
Mr. Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions his Department has had with the Iraqi government on reported human rights abuses in Kurdish controlled areas of northern Iraq. 
Bill Rammell: My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister's Special Envoy on Human Rights in Iraq, Ann Clwyd MP, regularly raises human rights issues with the Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG).
During her most recent visits to Baghdad (1-2 March 2009) and the Kurdistan Region (20-25 March) she discussed with Iraqi and KRG Ministers and officials a range of issues including detention without charge; violence and discrimination against women; prison conditions and freedom of expression.
Our Office in Erbil also has regular contacts with KRG Ministries and human rights defenders on these issues. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London has hosted two forums on human rights in Iraq since December 2008, involving Iraqi and KRG Ministers and non-governmental activists from the UK and Iraq.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to encourage the Government of Japan to adopt a stronger position in regard to the political and human rights situation in Burma. 
Bill Rammell: We regularly discuss the political and human rights situation with Japan at senior official level in Tokyo, London and in New York, where Japan attends meetings of the UN Secretary General's Group of Friends of Burma. I also raised Burma during my visit to Japan in March 2009. We hope there will be a further opportunity to discuss Burma at the G8 summit in July 2009.
Mr. Andrew Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with the Government of Japan on the political and human rights situation in Burma. 
Bill Rammell: We regularly discuss the political and human rights situation with Japan at ministerial and at senior official level in Tokyo, London and in New York, where Japan attends meetings of the UN Secretary General's Group of Friends of Burma. I also raised Burma during my visit to Japan in March 2009. We hope there will be a further opportunity to discuss Burma at the G8 summit in July.
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