Previous Section Index Home Page


Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 29 November 2001, Official Report, column 1049W, on the aluminium industry, what assessment he has made of the extent to which the UK will be affected by the downturn in world aluminium markets. [22992]

Mr. Wilson: Alcan and Alcoa, the two largest employers in the UK aluminium industry, recently announced detailed proposals for restructuring their global operations as a result of recent falls in world demand for aluminium. This would result in a reduction of around 7 per cent. in the combined UK work forces of these two companies. Under these proposals two sites, Alcoa's Dolgarrog rolling mill and Alcan's Glasgow foil plant, would close completely with employee reductions at Alcan's Rogerstone mill. However Alcan's Bridgnorth plant would gain an extra 60 jobs and £13 million in investment. Industry assessments suggest that overall UK aluminium companies currently face low prices and profit margins, and that the market is likely to remain weak in the short to medium term.

19 Dec 2001 : Column: 478W

Packaging Waste

Mr. Keetch: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to run an advertising campaign to reduce packaging waste; and if she will make a statement. [23817]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 18 December 2001]: The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 1997 (as amended) and The Packaging (Essential Requirements) 1998 Regulations provide the regulatory framework aimed at encouraging a reduction in packaging and packaging waste in England and Wales. These, and similar regulations in Northern Ireland and Scotland, are designed to allow the United Kingdom to fulfil the European Union obligations of Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste.

These regulations encourage a reduction in packaging and packaging waste by setting demanding recovery and recycling targets along with requirements to discourage over-packaging. They also place financial burdens on business in relation to the weight of packaging they place on the market. Awareness of these regulations is already promoted by the Government and the enforcement agencies. This month the Commission has published a proposal to revise Directive 94/62/EC. The need for any future advertising campaign will be considered as part of the future implementation of the revised Directive.


Departmental Spending

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total expenditure was on (a) advertising, (b) polling, (c) focus groups, (d) design consultants, (e) caterers, (f) production of departmental publications and (g) photographs/photographers by his Department for each year since 1995 in (i) cash and (ii) real terms; what was (A) the annual percentage increase in spending on each category and (B) spending on each category as a percentage of the total departmental running costs; and if he will make a statement. [6926]

Mr. Blunkett: The Government are committed to using only whatever channel is judged to be the most cost- effective way to deliver the publicity necessary to support the implementation of policy.

The following table sets out the Department's expenditure on advertising, caterers and production of departmental publications from 1996–97 to 2000–01. Expenditure for 1995–96 is not available.

Expenditure on polling, focus groups, design consultants and photographs/photographers is not readily identifiable and could be produced only at disproportionate cost.

Advertising (£)6,471.805,127.707,572.6011,275.6027,321.90
Percentage of departmental running costs0.
Expressed in real terms at 2000–01 level (£)7,133.005,495.707,890.8011,487.7027,321.90
Publication Production (£)1,998.802,314.002,159.405,768.406,556.70
Percentage of departmental running costs0.
Expressed in real terms at 2000–01 levels (£)2,203.002,480.102,250.105,876.906,556.70
Caterers (£)2,909.102,738.502,888.003,146.602,823.70
Percentage of departmental running costs0.
Expressed in real terms at 2000–01 levels (£)3,206.302,935.003,009.303,205.802,823.70

19 Dec 2001 : Column: 479W

Asylum Seekers

Ms Oona King: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will set out the principles determining which local authority an asylum seeker will be referred to for housing assistance if they are recognised as a refugee or granted exceptional leave to remain. [22452]

Angela Eagle: Former asylum seekers who have received a positive decision on their application for asylum or who have been granted exceptional leave to remain are free to live where they choose within the United Kingdom. They can apply for housing assistance to any local authority.

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers living in the UK first entered the country in (a) 1990, (b) 1992, (c) 1994, (d) 1996, (e) 1998 and (f) 2000 and made application for asylum, and have yet to have their cases resolved. [22479]

Angela Eagle: I regret that the information requested is not readily available, and could be obtained only by examination of individual case records and is, therefore, available only at disproportionate cost.

The number of applications for asylum in the United Kingdom lodged in the years above are shown in the table. However, it is not possible to determine in what year these applicants first entered the United Kingdom, or whether they are currently living in the United Kingdom.

Applications for asylum in the UK, principal applicants

YearAsylum Applications(51)

(51) Figures rounded to the nearest 5

(52) Figures do not include overseas applications

(53) May exclude some cases lodged at Local Enforcement Offices between January and March 2000

(54) Provisional figures

The number of asylum cases awaiting initial decision as at 30 September was 43,000 (provisional, to the nearest 100). However, it is not possible to determine in what year these applicants were made. Information on asylum applications, initial decisions and applications awaiting initial decision is published regularly in the annual statistical bulletin Asylum Statistics United Kingdom, a copy of which is available in the Library, and from the RDS website immigration1.html.

Police Medical Retirements

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, by police authority area, the number of officers who have retired on medical grounds in (a) 1990, (b) 1995, (c) 1996, (d) 1997,

19 Dec 2001 : Column: 480W

(e) 1998, (f) 1999 and (g) 2000; indicating in each case, and in each police authority area, the percentage this represents of total retirement. [11807]

Mr. Denham: The requested data are given in the tables which have been placed in the Library.

Many forces have made considerable reductions in the level of medical retirements in the last five years. However, as the tables show, the position varies considerably between forces.

The Home Office has asked the Police Negotiating Board to explore and agree ways to deliver a fair and more consistent approach towards early retirement due to ill health, so that forces, can match the performance of the best quartile by 2005. We will be introducing a national occupational health strategy for the police service, which should assist forces to manage cases of ill-health more effectively at the outset.

Neighbourhood Warden Scheme (Buckingham)

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much funding has been awarded for neighbourhood warden schemes in the Buckingham constituency in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what targets have been set to reduce crime under the schemes. [22626]

Mr. Denham: The neighbourhood and street wardens programme have funded a pilot programme of 85 neighbourhood warden schemes across England and Wales. These schemes can help to reduce crime and the fear of crime and deter anti-social behaviour. No applications were submitted from Buckingham and there are no schemes funded in the area. There is one neighbourhood warden scheme funded in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire.

Next Section Index Home Page