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Written Answers

Tuesday, 28 March 2006.

Anti-social Behaviour

Lord Clement-Jones asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOs), introduced under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, were made available to the courts in England, Wales and Scotland from 1 April 1999. The available information is given in Tables A and B. Individual support orders (ISOs) are available in magistrates' courts in England and Wales only. ISOs commenced from 1 May 2004 and may be given to juveniles (aged 10 to 17 years) in addition to an ASBO. The number of ISOs issued, as reported to the Home Office, in 2004 is seven. In 2005, up to 30 June (latest available), 19 have been issued. The Anti-Social Behaviour (Northern Ireland) Order 2004 introduced ASBOs to Northern Ireland in August 2004. The Northern Ireland Office advises that in 2004 no ASBOs were reported as being issued. Three ASBOs were issued in 2005.
Table A: The number of anti-social behaviour orders issued, as notified to the Home Office, by period, from 1 April 1999 to 30 June 2005 (latest available). England and Wales


PeriodNumber issued
1 Apr 1999 to 31 May 20001104
1 Jun to 31 Dec 2000135
2001323
2002404
20031,043
20042,660
1 Jan to 30 Jun 20051,828
Total6,497




1 During this period data were collected on aggregate numbers only by police force area.







Table B: The number of anti-social behaviour orders issued, as notified to the Scottish Executive, by period, from 1 December 1999 to 31 March 2005. Scotland.


PeriodNumber issued
1 Dec 1999 to 30 Nov 200026
1 Dec 2000 to 30 Nov 200157
1 Dec 2001 to 30 Nov 200268
1 Apr 2002 to 31 Mar 2003175
1 Apr 2003 to 31 Mar 20042128
1 Apr 2004 to 31 Mar 2005205
Total559




1 Figures 1999–2000 to 2002–03 are derived from the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland (CIHS) surveys which collected data across calendar years. Data from 2003–04 onwards were collected via a research project on ASBOs which collected data for financial years. In order to construct a historical series, the CIHS data were reallocated into the financial years on the assumption that ASBO activity was constant within the calendar years concerned.


2 The power to apply for ASBOs was extended to registered social landlords (RSLs) on 27 June 2003, so data for 2003–04 are the first set to include RSL returns.


Note: Data presented in this table are currently being quality assured by those local authorities on whose figures the annual totals are based.






BBC: Licence Fee

Lord Barnett asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government accept that the grant they pay to the BBC out of revenue from the television licence fee is a state aid within the meaning of Article 87(1) of the Treaty of Rome. As is the case with all their obligations to the European Union, the Government are committed to ensuring compliance with the state aid rules. The White Paper makes it clear that the Government expect the BBC to continue to be rigorous in ensuring its use of the licence fee complies with state aid rules.

Blasphemy

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Any change relating to the law of blasphemy would have to begin with a review in which various options could be considered. All UK faiths and interested parties, particularly the established Church, would need to be consulted and the issues examined in some depth. We have no plans to initiate such work, but would be content to listen to representations on the subject. We doubt that there is any competence under the European treaties for EU action in this area. Even if there were, we would require some persuasion that there was a legitimate need for EU action in this field.

Civil Service: Religious Societies

Lord Stoddart of Swindon asked Her Majesty's Government:

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Lord Bassam of Brighton: The Civil Service Islamic Society did not invite Sheikh Riyadh Ul-Haq to the reception.

It was agreed, in consultation with the Cabinet Secretary's office, that it would not be appropriate to invite any external speakers to what was an internal Civil Service event.

Crossrail

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Davies of Oldham: I refer the noble Lord to the parliamentary estimate of expense submitted with the Crossrail hybrid Bill.

NHS: Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin

Lord Harris of Haringey asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department of Health (Lord Warner): A decision will be made shortly on whether to renew the contract for central procurement of the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin for 2006–07.

Official Visits: Prime Minister

Lord Hanningfield asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. Copies of these lists are available in the Library. Information on the number of officials accompanying Ministers on overseas visits is included in the list. All Ministers' travel arrangements are in accordance with the arrangements for official travel set out in chapter 10 of the Ministerial Code, and the accompanying guidance
 
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document, Travel by Ministers. Information for the year 2005–06 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the financial year.

Older People

Baroness Greengross asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees is generally not discussed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion. The Cabinet Sub-Committee on Older People (DA(OP)) and the Ministerial Committee on Aging Policy (MISC29) were superseded by the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Aging Policy (DA(AP)), following the general election in May 2005. A full list of all Cabinet Committees, including their membership and terms of reference, can be found in the Library.

Prisoners: Deportation

Lord Marlesford asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): Over the past five years the following numbers of prisoners have been removed from the United Kingdom:

2001: 450 (published information)

2002: 415 (published information)

2003: Figures not available

2004: 1,608 (internal management information)

2005: 1,442 (internal management information)

The Immigration and Nationality Directorate does not currently differentiate between those recommended by the courts and those to be deported on the grounds that their presence is not conducive to the public good. Published statistics on immigration and asylum issues are available on the Home Office's Research Development and Statistics website www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.


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