Previous Section Index Home Page

Asset Management Plans

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer of 29 January 2001, Official Report, column 33W, on asset management plans, what the timetable is for publication of local authority asset management plans condition data. [148386]

Jacqui Smith: We have given local education authorities the opportunity of submitting any missing Asset Management Plans condition data. Time will be needed for validation of such submissions and we anticipate that publication of data analysis will not be before this summer.

Emergency Contraception (Staff Liability)

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what guidance he has given to schools regarding the potential liability of (a) governors and (b) staff when emergency contraception is given to girls under the age of 16 by school staff or on school premises without the consent of parents; [148677]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 5 February 2001]: The Learning and Skills Act makes it clear that governing bodies must have regard to our Sex and Relationship Education guidance when developing sex and relationship education policies. The guidance, published last July, clearly states that governing bodies and head teachers should consult parents in developing their sex and

6 Feb 2001 : Column: 485W

relationship education policy to ensure that they develop policies which reflect parents' wishes and the culture of the community they serve.

Trained staff in secondary schools should be able to give young people full information about different types of contraception, including emergency contraception and their effectiveness. Outside the teaching situation, health professionals such as school nurses can give one-to-one advice or information to a pupil on a health-related matter including contraception. We would not normally expect school nurses to issue contraception or emergency contraception. In the few cases where school nurses are dispensing contraception, this should be made clear in school's sex and relationship education policy, which has to be agreed with parents. These arrangements should not proceed until parents have been consulted.


Sir Brian Mawhinney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when he will reply to the letter from the right hon. Member for North-West Cambridgeshire of 14 November 2000 to the Secretary of State for Health, which was transferred to him, on behalf of his constituent Mrs. Smith. [149204]

Mr. Wills: A letter responding to the right hon. Member was despatched on 2 February 2001.



Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the (a) effectiveness and (b) value for money of the UN effort in Kosovo. [148925]

Mr. Vaz: The United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has made significant progress in Kosovo since 1999. To date over 1.3 million refugees and displaced persons have been able to return. Hospitals and schools have re-opened, with over 300,000 children back in education. A functioning judiciary has been established. Joint administrative structures have been set up. Municipal elections were held in October 2000. However, much remains to be done, as UNMIK itself recognises. To the end of June last year, UNMIK's projected cost to date is £567.5 million. This would have been far less than the cost of further conflict. We will continue to support UNMIK's efforts to build a lasting peace.

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the case for a cantonisation policy in Kosovo. [148922]

Mr. Vaz: HMG do not support cantonisation. We are committed to bringing about ethnic reconciliation throughout Kosovo. Cantonisation would only lead to a continued ethnic divide. Reconciliation will take some time but in the long run we believe it is the only viable option.

6 Feb 2001 : Column: 486W

St. Helena

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will restore the right of abode to residents of St. Helena; and if he will make a statement. [149199]

Mr. Battle: The restoration of British citizenship to the Overseas Territories will give their citizens the right of abode in the UK.

The Government remain fully committed to introducing legislation to give British citizenship to the people of the Overseas Territories including those of St. Helena. Officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Home Office have been working on the principles to be set out in the Bill and draft instructions have been agreed. We recently initiated a consultation process with the Overseas Territories on issues related to the Bill and its implementation.

We will make parliamentary time available for this measure as soon as practicable.

Hinduja Brothers

Mr. Soames: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs for what purpose the Minister of State, the hon. Member for Leicester, East (Mr. Vaz), caused inquiries to be made about the passport application of Mr. Hinduja; and whom he employed for this purpose. [147285]

Mr. Vaz [holding answer 26 January 2001]: I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that was given by the Minister of State, Home Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green (Mrs. Roche) on 18 January 2001, Official Report, columns 351-52W.

The hon. Gentleman will also be aware that Sir Anthony Hammond QC will conduct a review, reporting to the Prime Minister


Mr. Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's position is with regard to troops from (a) Uganda, (b) Rwanda, (c) Zimbabwe, (d) Angola (e) the Interahamwe and (f) Namibia occupying part of the territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo; and if he will make a statement. [148314]

Mr. Wilson: The UK fully supports United Nations Security Council resolution 1291 (2000) reaffirming the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of the DRC and calling for the orderly withdrawal of all foreign forces from the DRC in accordance with the Lusaka Ceasefire Agreement.


Mr. McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) if he will make a statement on violence against Christians in Indonesia and the potential for a United Nations peace initiative; [148576]

6 Feb 2001 : Column: 487W

Mr. Battle: The latest violence in Ambon illustrates the fragility of the security situation at a time when there had been some recent improvements; the Muslim and Christian holidays in December passed without serious incident in Ambon.

Our Ambassador to Indonesia has just returned from a visit to the province and the Indonesian Minister for Settlement is arranging a further visit to Maluku with a group of diplomats this month. We will continue to work with the Indonesian authorities and UNDP to promote reconciliation, begin wider construction work and to offer practical assistance where appropriate.

We continue to urge the Indonesian Government to exercise tolerance and restraint and remind them of their responsibility to maintain law and order and take immediate steps to bring the perpetrators of the violence to justice. I did so most recently with Foreign Minister Shihab on 12 December.

Export Licences

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will name (a) the department within his Department with responsibility for handling export licences and (b) the civil servant who heads it. [148596]

Mr. Wilson: Within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office the processing of export licence applications is co-ordinated by the non-proliferation department. The actual scrutiny of licence applications is carried out by the relevant geographical departments, with advice from the non-proliferation department and other specialist FCO departments as needed, and consulting Ministers on sensitive cases. Since 8 January 2001, the head of the non-proliferation department has been Tim Dowse.

Minority Ethnic Liaison Officer

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of the temporary appointment of a minority ethnic liaison officer; under what length of contract the current officer is employed; and what was the budget allocation for the officer's work in (a) 1998-99, (b) 1999-2000 and (c) 2000-01. [148886]

Mr. Wilson: Linbert Spencer was employed as the Department's minority ethnic liaison adviser from December 1999 to November 2001. He continues to provide the Department with advice on a consultancy basis. He has made a major contribution to widening the Department's recruitment base to minority ethnic communities and to ensuring it benefits from the diversity of its current staff. No specific budget is allocated to this work.

Next Section Index Home Page