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Departmental Properties

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will estimate the total annual running costs for buildings used, owned or rented by her Department for each nation and region of the UK, and estimate the average cost per square metre for properties used by her Department as a whole, and by region and nation of the UK. [6861]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The estimated total running costs and average cost per square metre for buildings used, owned and rented by the Department are listed in the table.


RegionEstimated total running costsEstimated cost per sq. metre
Yorks and Humber6,926,182233.00
North West2,963,460140.00
North East1,354,964192.00


Education Policy

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of recent education policy changes in Wales relating to the publication of levels of attainment in schools. [12089]

Mr. Paul Murphy: None. This is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.

Jane Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning, announced in July that the National Assembly intended to remove the requirement for publication of Secondary School Performance Information in Wales.

This decision does not mean that information on school results will not be available to parents or to the public. Schools will continue to publish their own results in the prospectuses and Governors' Annual Reports.

The 2000–01 results for Wales and for each local education authority in Wales will be released on 12 November.


Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the total value of (a) subsidies and (b) other

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payments made out of public funds was in each of the past five years to (i) farming and (ii) the steel industry in Wales. [12282]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The provision of state aid to the steel industry is governed by the Steel Aid Code of the European Coal and Steel Community Treaty. This Code only permits aid, in limited circumstances, for Research and Development, environmental protection and the permanent closure (not rescue) of a steel company.

Over the past five years no aid has been applied for and none granted under the terms of the Steel Aid Code.

Subsidies from the Common Agricultural Programme, funded by the European Union, total around £200 million per annum. There has been no significant change in the last five years.

Information about other payments is not held centrally in the format requested.

Welsh Assembly

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the Prime Minister on devolving further powers to the Welsh Assembly. [12280]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The progress of devolution in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland was discussed at the Cardiff meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee, which was chaired by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 30 October.

While the Welsh devolution settlement is kept under review, the Government have no plans to change the broad mix of Assembly responsibilities.

St. David's Day

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to assist the declaration of St. David's Day as a public holiday in Wales. [12281]

Mr. Paul Murphy: As I told the House on 9 July 2001, Official Report, column 358W, the Assembly's request to declare a bank holiday on St. David's Day raises significant issues for business, industry and the public sector. I am continuing to discuss these matters with the First Minister.

Departmental Promotions

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how much his Department spent on information literature, advertising and campaign material in the financial years (a) 1995–96, (b) 1996–97, (c) 1997–98, (d) 1998–99, (e) 1999–2000 and (f) 2000–01; and if he will make a statement. [12258]

Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department runs no publicity campaigns and hence has spent nothing on advertising since its creation in July 1999. Its predecessor Department—the Welsh Office—spent £1,929,000 in 1995–96, £1,795,000 in 1996–97, £2,661,000 in 1997–98, and £2,685,000 in 1998–99. All the individual campaigns are evaluated separately taking into account effectiveness and value for money.

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Judicial Staff

Mr. Vaz: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many and what percentage of (a) High Court judges, (b) district judges, (c) magistrates, (d) recorders and (e) adjudicators are (i) black and (ii) Asian. [11392]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The following tables give the recorded breakdown for judicial officers in post at each level of the judiciary requested on the dates indicated.

Table 1: Judiciary as at 1 October 2001

1 October 2001TotalBlackAsian
High Court Judges10500
Percentage of total1000.00.0
Percentage of total1001.31.1
District Judges (including Family Division)40706
Percentage of total1000.01.5
Deputy District Judges (including Family Division)80246
Percentage of total1000.50.8
District Judges (Magistrates' Court)(22)9502
Percentage of total1000.02.1
Deputy District Judges (Magistrates' Courts)(22)16434
Percentage of total1001.82.4
Immigration Adjudicators (Full time)7245
Percentage of total1005.66.9
Immigration Adjudicators (Part time)3981319
Percentage of total1003.34.8

(22) On 31 August 2000 Stipendiary Magistrates and Acting Stipendiary Magistrates were renamed District Judges (Magistrates' Courts) and Deputy District Judges (Magistrates' Courts) respectively.

Tables 2 and 3: Lay Magistrates as at 1 April 2001

1 April 2001TotalBlackAsian
Lay Magistrates, England and Wales (excluding Duchy of Lancaster)24,771490598
Percentage of total1002.02.4

Table 3

1 April 2001TotalBlackAsian
Lay Magistrates (Duchy of Lancaster)3,96452128
Percentage of total1001.33.2


Hackney Council

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what discussions his Department has had with Hackney borough council concerning the administrative failings of the council in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [9127]

Mr. Byers: My Department has been in close contact with members and officials at the London borough of Hackney over the last 12 months and prior to that on occasions.

The council has well chronicled financial and governance problems that have contributed to failures in the delivery of key services. Following an inspection of

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the whole authority, the Audit Commission advised me in July of this year that the council was not complying with its statutory Best Value responsibilities. It recommended the use of intervention powers under Part 1 of the Local Government Act 1999.

We consulted the council about the form of the Directions, as required by the statute. Their response was constructive and they have accepted the urgent need to improve their performance.

On 12 October, I gave Hackney five Directions under these provisions. The Directions require the council to produce a strategy for bringing its budget back into balance; and to improve services such as financial management, education, social services, benefit administration and waste management.

The purpose of the Directions is to restore financial accountability and control within the authority, and to protect and improve front-line services. The Directions set a clear timetable for improvements to be made and we expect the council to achieve these with tailored financial and other support. I have placed copies of the Directions in the Library of the House.


Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if the proposed cap on the Government loan facility to the company limited by guarantee proposed as a successor to Railtrack will be sufficient to cover Railtrack's published investment programme; [10444]

Mr. Spellar: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State to the right hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Redwood) on 31 October 2001, Official Report, column 671W.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will publish the minutes of the meeting between executives of Railtrack and his officials on 3 October. [11225]

Mr. Spellar: No.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions when Ernst and Young LLP was given a letter of instruction from his Department about the prospective Railway Administration Order concerning Railtrack plc. [11227]

Mr. Spellar: No such letter has been sent.

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions if he will publish the supporting evidence in relation to Railtrack's railway administration order required by rule 2.6 of the Railway Administration Order Rules 2001. [11222]

Mr. Spellar: I have placed a copy in the Library of the House.

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