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17 Jan 2001 : Column: 282W
Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many staff there are at the (a) Independent Tribunal Service office in Glasgow, (b) Information Technology Services Agency offices in Livingstone, (c) Child Support Agency offices in Falkirk and (d) Benefits Agency in the (i) South East of Scotland, (ii) South West of Scotland, (iii) West of Scotland, (iv) Central Scotland, (v) North East Scotland and (vi) the Highlands and Islands of Scotland; and what the (A) wage and (B) running costs of each are in the current financial year. 
Angela Eagle: The Independent Tribunal Service is now known as the Appeals Service Agency. At present there are 99 full or part-time staff employed by the Appeals Service Agency in Glasgow. Salary costs in the current financial year to 31 December 2000 were £1.75 million. Running costs for the same period were £2.36 million.
The Child Support Agency currently employs 1,180 full or part-time staff at Falkirk. Information on wages and running costs is not available as the Scotland and North East Business Unit, which has its main base in Falkirk, also has staff located in North East England. Budgets are allocated to the business unit as a whole and it is therefore not possible to break down the wage and running costs associated with the Falkirk site.
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|District||Staff in post(45)||Staff costs(46) (£ million)||Non-staff costs(46) (£ million)|
|Argyll and West||381||4.78||2.04|
|Clyde Coast and Renfrew||448||6.05||2.09|
|Highlands and Islands||329||4.06||1.67|
|South West Scotland||518||6.44||2.38|
|East Edinburgh and Borders||444||5.43||0.42|
|Lothian West and North Edinburgh||371||4.51||0.43|
|Grampian and Shetland||289||3.60||0.35|
|Area Directorate Support||119||2.18||17.20|
|Central Support Unit Scotland||82||1.06||0.71|
|Operational Support Satellite Unit||19||0.25||0.20|
|Benefit Fraud Investigation Service||492||7.58||0.65|
|Office Support Services||345||3.64||1.08|
(45) Rounded to nearest whole number
(46) Rounded to nearest £10,000
1. Information excludes Northgate, Glasgow, which provides support only to London offices
2. Area Directorates Support expenditure includes Out of Hours Service, Internal Security, PRIME, IMPACT and Accommodation and Office Services
3. Expenditure costs are year to date as at 31 December 2000
17 Jan 2001 : Column: 283W
Mr. Swinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many personal computers, printers, faxes and vehicles are based at the (a) Independent Tribunal Service office in Glasgow, (b) Information Technology Services Agency in Livingstone and (c) Benefits Agency in the (i) South East of Scotland, (ii) South West of Scotland, (iii) West of Scotland, (iv) Central Scotland, (v) North East Scotland and (vi) Highlands and Islands of Scotland and (d) the Child Support Agency in Falkirk. 
|Appeals Service Agency||139||47||8||0|
|Child Support Agency||490||52||40||0|
The figures for Benefits Agency are for Scotland as a whole, but exclude Northgate, Glasgow, which provides support to London offices only.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many applications for Disability Living Allowance (a) care component, (b) mobility component and (c) care and mobility components were received in each quarter of the last three years; how many of these were (i) successful, (ii) unsuccessful, (iii) subject to review, (iv) successful at review, (v) unsuccessful at review, (vi) subject to reconsideration, (vii) successful at reconsideration, (viii) unsuccessful at reconsideration, (ix) subject to appeal and (x) successful at appeal; what was the average number of days taken to process applications; and how many decisions had not been reached at the end of each quarter for (A) first claim, (B) review, (C) reconsideration and (D) appeal stages. 
Marjorie Mowlam: One of our key targets is to reduce the proportion of young people under the age of 25 reporting the use of illegal drugs by 50 per cent. by 2008. To support this objective we have announced plans to increase the amount of spending on education and prevention from £63 million this year to £120 million in 2003-04.
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There are already encouraging signs of progress. The most recent Ofsted survey shows that in 1999, 93 per cent. of secondary schools and 75 per cent. of primary schools had policies compared to 86 per cent. and 61 per cent. in 1997.
My hon. Friend will be pleased to know that all Basildon schools now have a drugs policy in place--indeed, Basildon was the first area of Essex to pilot a programme of focusing school based standards funds and the efforts of the local education authority drugs adviser into one district base, in collaboration with the district drug reference group.
Marjorie Mowlam: In order to achieve our target of halving the availability of Class A drugs by 2008, the Government focus their overseas efforts on those countries which pose the greatest threat to the UK. As Bolivia is not only a producer of coca leaf but of cocaine itself, it is an important part of our drugs strategy.
We welcome the considerable efforts that the Bolivian Government have made in eradicating illicit coca and we continue to provide support to their counter-drugs efforts. Since April 1997, the UK Government have provided almost £1.2 million worth of counter-drugs assistance to Bolivia. This has included training, equipment and support to alternative development projects.
Mr. Ian McCartney: Drug action teams (DATs) have a crucial role in the delivery of the national drugs strategy. They are the main mechanism for delivery on the ground and work as a local partnership of the agencies involved in tackling drugs including probation, health, education, police and local authorities. All drug action teams are required to plan and deliver an effective programme of activities in line with the national drugs strategy.
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St. Helens DAT have recently separated from St. Helens and Knowsley DAT. They have developed their links with crime and disorder strategies, have established a needs assessment of young people and reviewed the services to respond to the area of need. There is partnership working between the DAT, the youth offending team and local drugs services. The arrest referral scheme has been established and the DAT are looking to strengthen communication links with community safety and social exclusion units.
Marjorie Mowlam: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply given earlier to my hon. Friend the Member for St. Helens, North (Mr. Watts). As alcohol is not covered by the Government's anti-drug strategy, drug action teams are not required to co-ordinate anti-alcohol activities, although some have chosen to do so. The Department of Health is working on a national strategy to tackle alcohol misuse and a consultation document will be issued shortly. The Department will be implementing the strategy by 2004.
Mr. Baker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment she has made, as part of the Government's anti-drugs strategy, of the impact on the use of Class 1 drugs that would follow from the decriminalisation of cannabis. 
Mr. Ian McCartney: The Government's policy towards all illicit drugs is based on the scientific evidence of the harm they cause. It is on the basis of this evidence that cannabis remains a controlled drug.
While the Government have therefore not made a detailed assessment of the impact of decriminalisation of cannabis on the use of Class A drugs, a number of studies have made it clear that most users of Class A drugs have previously used cannabis as well as tobacco and alcohol, and that early use of cannabis is strongly linked to drugs dependence.
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