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Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reasons underlay the decision by the Charities Commission that the RSPCA cannot display the words "Ban Animal Experimentation" on a RSPCA van. [149290]

Mr. Boateng: This is a matter for the Charity Commission, which will write to my hon. Friend. A copy of the Commission's reply will be placed in the Library.

Staffordshire Constabulary

Mr. Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many civilian staff were employed by Staffordshire constabulary (a) in May 1997 and (b) at the latest date for which figures are available. [148390]

Mr. Charles Clarke [holding answer 7 February 2001]: Information on police service personnel numbers is collected twice a year in March and September. On 31 March 1997, Staffordshire police had 763 civilian support staff. On 30 September 2000, the latest date available, the force had 897 civilian support staff, 134 more civilian staff than the force had in March 1997.

Fire Services

Mr. Cash: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the levels of spending on fire services were per head of population in (a) Staffordshire and (b) each other county of England (i) in the current year and (ii) in each of the last three years, distinguishing in each case the element represented by standard spending assessment. [148291]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Information on net current expenditure per head of population in England, based on returns to the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, is shown in the table.

9 Feb 2001 : Column: 731W

Fire service: net current expenditure per head 1997-98 to 2000-01
£ per head of population

Fire authority1997-98 Outturn1998-99 Outturn1999-2000 Outturn2000-01 Budget-based
Bedfordshire and Luton25.5525.9228.6528.91
Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes19.7520.6020.8022.53
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough20.7920.6222.5824.09
Durham and Darlington26.9627.4428.7630.58
East Sussex26.7726.8429.8130.46
Greater Manchester29.9230.8731.5633.01
Hereford and Worcester22.2023.6024.7526.07
Humberside 30.1131.4032.5434.28
Isle of Wight34.0038.6938.6940.68
Isles of Scilly91.8874.6174.3084.37
Kent and Medway Towns25.4526.9228.4629.27
Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland18.6820.6621.2222.37
North Yorkshire23.1723.5025.5925.13
Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham23.5425.0126.4326.62
Shropshire and Wrekin25.2326.4228.9229.25
South Yorkshire25.2827.4129.3230.99
Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire21.4922.5223.3924.37
Tyne and Wear 33.5937.2937.1239.58
West Midlands27.9229.5330.7732.16
West Sussex25.3726.3528.2729.45
West Yorkshire27.1628.3929.8930.29
Wiltshire and Swindon19.8520.6222.0924.28

9 Feb 2001 : Column: 733W

9 Feb 2001 : Column: 733W

The figures are not directly comparable with standard spending assessments (SSA). Details of SSAs per head of population are available in the House of Commons Library in the "SSA Handbook" and, since 1998-99, in "Standard Spending Assessments Authority by Authority". This information is also available on the internet at: handbook/0001/hand0001.htm. Information on the 2001-02 settlement will be available in due course.

Coroners Courts

Mr. Singh: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what plans he has to introduce proposals for the reform of coroner's courts. [149298]

Mr. Boateng: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health announced on 30 January 2000, Official Report, column 177, the Home Secretary has set in train a review of the coroners system. The aim will be to consider what arrangements are needed for the investigation of suspicious and unnatural deaths. Account will be taken of the Chief Medical Officer's recommendations for changes to death certification procedures, and the reports of the Bristol Infirmary and Alder Hey Inquiries. The review will also keep in touch

9 Feb 2001 : Column: 734W

with the Shipman inquiry. Further details, including the terms of reference and the review team, will be announced in due course.

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the amount (a) spent, (b) claimed and (c) allocated to the London borough of Waltham Forest and the London borough of Redbridge in respect of expenditure on asylum seekers in (i) 1998-99 and (ii) 1999-2000. [149828]

Mrs. Roche: Prior to 1 April 1999, the Department of Health administered all grants for supporting asylum seekers. On 1 April 1999, the Home Office took over responsibility for administering the support grant for asylum-seeking adults and families. The Department of Health retained responsibility for the payment of the grant for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) until 1 April 2000, when responsibility transferred to the Home Office.

The amounts spent, claimed and paid to date for the London borough of Waltham Forest and the London borough of Redbridge in (i) 1998-99 and (ii) 1999-2000 are shown in the table.

9 Feb 2001 : Column: 735W


Waltham Forest Redbridge
(a) Spent3,297,4588,594,8644,591,0538,091,301
(b) Claimed3,297,4588,594,8644,591,0538,091,301
(c) Paid to date3,297,4588,594,8644,591,0538,091,301

(11) Figures provided by the Department of Health relate to three grants administered by that Department. These grants are (a) Families with children asylum seekers grant, (b) Adult asylum seekers grant and (c) unaccompanied asylum-seeking children grant (UASC). All of these figures remain subject to adjustment following the receipt of audited claims.

(12) Figures include amounts for the Adult and Families grant administered by the Home Office and the UASC grant administered by the Department of Health. All figures are net of Housing Benefit. These figures relate to the initial claims made by these authorities. Some audit certificates have yet to be received for this period and adjustments may be required once all of these certificates are submitted.

Mr. Duncan Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers were residing in the (a) London borough of Waltham Forest and (b) London borough of Redbridge (i) in May 1997 and (ii) on the most recent date for which figures are available. [149827]

Mrs. Roche: Central Government do not collect information in the form requested.

The Association of London Government has provided figures, which show the number of asylum seekers being supported by the London boroughs of Waltham Forest and Redbridge.

Waltham Forest(13)Redbridge(14)
May 1997
January 2001

(13) January 2001 figures as at 19 January 2001

(14) January 2001 figures as at 26 January 2001

(15) Families include cases with only adult dependants

(16) Some single adults may live in other areas of the country but the accommodation is provided by the London borough

(17) UASC--Unaccompanied Asylum-Seeking Children under 18


These figures have been rounded to the nearest five

Information is not available on the number of asylum seekers not being supported by the London boroughs but residing in Waltham Forest and Redbridge.

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