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27 Apr 2009 : Column 1005W—continued

Sports: Young People

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent estimate he has made of the number and proportion of young people who cease participating in sport upon leaving school. [270344]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The available information is set out in the reply I gave to the hon. Member on this subject on 27 January 2009, Official Report, column 363W.

During the ages of 16 to 19, the period when young people leave school, sport participation(1) drops by seven percentage points, (or the equivalent of 42,000 participants) from a participation rate of 37.4 per cent. at age 16, to a participation rate of 30.4 per cent. at age 19.


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Age Percentage Number of participants

16

37.41

251,370

17

34.60

230,829

18

31.14

208,625

19

30.40

209,368

Source: Sport England's Active People Survey 2 (October 2007 to October 2008).

Tourism

Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with boards of regional development agencies on tourism in England in the last 12 months. [271320]

Mr. Sutcliffe: Ministers and officials in my Department have not had meetings with boards of regional development agencies in the last 12 months. They have, however, met chairs together with other Government Departments and met individual board members from time to time to discuss key policy areas such as tourism development, culture and regeneration, and the creative industries.

Northern Ireland

Courts

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many live summonses have not been served in Northern Ireland because the individual to be summonsed could not be traced in each year from 2004-05 to 2008-09. [270103]

The Solicitor-General: I have been asked to reply.

The PPS does not collect data in a way that allows the question to be answered directly. The PPS commenced operation in June 2005 and was fully rolled out throughout all of Northern Ireland by October 2007. Since 2005 to the end of the financial year 2008-09 the PPS issued over 100,000 summonses. Of that number approximately 3,000 remain unserved because police have been unable to locate the individual. These remain as “live” summonses and attempts to serve continue. Over 80 per cent. of summons, whether served by post or by way of personal service, are successfully served at the first attempt

Decisions in respect of prosecution remain under review and where a summons cannot be served in spite of repeated attempts by police (generally a minimum of four) and police are unable to locate the individual, the case can be referred back to a PPS prosecutor for a formal review.

In circumstances where a significant period of time has elapsed since the issue of the initial summons and/or the offences are minor in nature, the Prosecutor may consider that the Test for Prosecution is no longer met. Over the period 1 January 2006 to 30 September 2008, a total of 61 no prosecution decisions have been recorded by the PPS as a result of such reviews.

Departmental Assets

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when his Department last reviewed its assets and land and property holdings with a view to identifying and disposing of surpluses. [269851]


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Paul Goggins: As part of the 2007 comprehensive spending review, the Department prepared an Asset Management Strategy, available at:

covering the financial years 2008-09 to 2010-11. This includes plans to dispose of assets and land and property holdings worth £27 million. These plans are regularly reviewed to identify surplus assets.

Departmental Billing

John Mason: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of invoices his Department has paid within 10 days of receipt in each of the last five months. [270538]

Paul Goggins: The Northern Ireland Office, excluding its agencies and executive NDPBs, paid the following percentages of invoices within 10 days of receipt in each of the last five months:

Departmental ICT

Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate has been made of the proportion of personal computers in each of his Department's offices that are turned off (a) overnight, (b) at weekends and (c) during holiday periods; and if he will make a statement. [269678]

Paul Goggins: All Northern Ireland Office staff have been issued with guidance on shutdown procedures for personal computers when they are not in use. From figures that are held it has been estimated that over 70 per cent. are turned off overnight, at weekends and during holiday periods.

Electoral Register

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the timetable was for the introduction of individual electoral registration in Northern Ireland. [269917]

Paul Goggins: In March 2001, the Government published a White Paper on Combating Electoral Fraud in Northern Ireland which discussed the introduction of individual registration. The Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Act 2002 Received Royal assent on 1 May 2002 and contained provisions that would introduce individual registration to Northern Ireland. These provisions were commenced on 1 September 2002. See Article 3 of the Electoral Fraud (Northern Ireland) Order 2002

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many electoral identity cards have been (a) issued and (b) reported as lost or stolen in each year since they were introduced in Northern Ireland. [269918]


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Paul Goggins: This is an operational matter for the Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland. The right hon. Member may wish to write to him directly.

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of (a) postal vote applications, (b) proxy vote applications and (c) postal vote ballot papers in Northern Ireland are checked with the personal identifiers held on the elector; and which of the three personal identifiers are used to verify (i) postal vote applications, (ii) proxy vote applications and (iii) postal vote ballot papers. [270140]

Paul Goggins: Sections 6 and 7 of the Representation of the People Act 1985 provide that all postal and proxy vote applications in Northern Ireland must include details of the three personal identifiers (national insurance number (or a statement that the applicant does not have one), date of birth and signature) and the registration officer must be satisfied that these details are consistent with information already provided to him by the applicant. In order to be deemed to be returned, postal vote ballot papers must be accompanied by a declaration of identity which includes the date of birth and signature of the elector which are consistent with information already provided by the applicant.

The Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland acts as both returning officer and registration officer for Northern Ireland and queries relating to the checks that he undertakes to ensure that the legislative requirements outlined above are met should be made to him directly.

Police Service of Northern Ireland

Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he is taking to maintain public confidence in the efficiency of the Police Service of Northern Ireland. [270060]

Paul Goggins: The Government have established the Northern Ireland Policing Board (NIPB) with a statutory duty to ensure that the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is effective and efficient. The NIPB holds at least eight meetings in public each year. The purpose of these meetings is to receive a report on policing from the Chief Constable and to hold him to account publicly for the performance of the police service. The efficiency of the Service's performance is naturally an element in that process of accountability.

Each year, the NIPB in consultation with the Chief Constable publishes a Continuous Improvement Plan with the intention of fulfilling the respective responsibilities of the Board and the Chief Constable to ensure that the resources entrusted to them are effectively, efficiently and economically used.

Prisoners Release

Mr. Walter: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many prisoners serving sentences for each category of offence have been released on licence under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998; and how many such prisoners were classified as belonging to a ( a) loyalist and (b) republican organisation. [269300]


27 Apr 2009 : Column 1009W

Paul Goggins: 452 persons have been released on licence under the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998. Of these 242 were affiliated to republican organisations, 197 to loyalist organisations and 13 had
27 Apr 2009 : Column 1010W
no recorded affiliation. The numbers of those released by the main category of offence for which they were convicted are shown in the following table.

Affiliation
Offence Number Republican Loyalist None

Life Sentence Prisoners

Murder

154

69

82

3

Explosives offences

5

5

0

0

Total

159

74

82

3

Fixed Sentence Prisoners

Attempted murder

67

41

24

2

Conspiracy to murder

68

42

24

2

Manslaughter

7

1

5

1

Threats to kill

5

0

5

0

Directing terrorism

1

0

1

0

Explosives offences

50

45

5

0

Firearms and ammunition offences

48

25

23

0

Robbery/burglary offences

24

3

16

5

Kidnapping offences

5

3

2

0

Blackmail

2

0

2

0

Hijacking

2

0

2

0

Grievous bodily harm

6

2

4

0

Conspiracy to commit arson

1

1

0

0

Assisting offenders

2

1

1

0

Belonging to a proscribed organisation

1

1

0

0

Conspiring with others to further criminal means

1

0

1

0

Possession of materials for the purpose of terrorism

3

3

0

0

Total

293

168

115

10


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