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Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Immigration and Nationality Directorate will reply to the letter of 29 November 2001 from the hon. Member for Aylesbury about case reference ISB/100049. [29371]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 22 January 2002]: The hon. Member's letter was transferred to the Joint Entry Clearance Unit (JECU) on 30 January 2002, and I understand that their officials will reply to him shortly. I apologise for the delay in transferring the hon. Member's correspondence.

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Mr. Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to reply to the letter of 23 October 2001 from the hon. Member for Torbay, regarding Mr. Elias Masif Bousaley of Torquay and his visa renewal application. [36755]

Angela Eagle: I wrote to the hon. Member on 27 February 2002. I am sorry for the delay in replying.


Jim Knight: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the financial resources and initiatives sponsored by his Department in the last 12 months for Dorset, which are additional to the Government SSA grants. [29892]

Angela Eagle: Following is a list of financial resources and initiatives sponsored by the Home Department in Dorset.

Details relate to the period 1 February 2001 to 31 January 2002 unless otherwise stated.

InitiativeResources (£)
Communities Against Drugs470,800
Active Community Grant Bournemouth Council for voluntary service31,500
Mentoring Fund Grant12,250
Unaccompanied asylum seeking children71,101
Adult and family asylum seekers grant1,605,364
Drug Action Teams113,964
Arrest Referral Scheme56,476
Youth Offending Schemes483,431
Partnership Development Fund89,556
Reducing Burglary Initiative(20)85,149
Closed Circuit Television(21)2,512,936
Capital Modernisation Fund—security for small retailers6,477

(21) The figures shown represent the amount that has been allocated to projects in Dorset for the full term of the Crime Reduction Programme (financial years 1999–2000 to 2002–03). Project management arrangements mean that it is not possible to confirm actual payments made in the specific time frame.

Empty Properties

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the (a) annual cost and (b) total value of the empty properties owned by (i) his Department, (ii) his agencies and (iii) other public bodies for which he has had responsibility in each of the last four years. [30069]

Angela Eagle: The Home Office's estimate of the annual cost and total value of empty properties on its estate and the estates of its agencies and non-departmental public bodies for each of the financial years requested is as follows:


Total costTotal value

These figures include costs of properties vacated for the purposes of refurbishment. Cost information on empty

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homes is not kept and a meaningful estimate of the figures could be made only at disproportionate cost. Progress in reducing the number of empty homes is reported annually in the Greening Government annual reports.

The largest single currently vacant property is No 2 Marsham street, London SW1 which is due to be redeveloped by means of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI). Annual costs include rent, rates, utilities and security. The figures relating to the years 1999–2000 and 2000–01 take account of the fact that Lunar House, Croydon was also vacant pending refurbishment.The increase in the total estimated value of empty properties for years 1999–2000 and 2000–01 is largely accounted for by the acquisition of property for the purposes of secure training centres by the Youth Justice Board and detention centres by the Immigration Nationality Directorate.

Immigration Appeals

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date he (a) received a notice of appeal in respect of case IMM/G6193 and (b) referred the appeal to the Independent Appellate Authority. [32308]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 1 February 2002]: The appeal was received in the Home Office on 7 February 2002 and received by the Immigration Appellate Authority on 8 February 2002.

Fair Trade

Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to encourage participation by his Department in Fair Trade Fortnight from 4 to 17 March. [33542]

Angela Eagle: The Home Office to coincide with Fair Trade Fortnight will be publishing an article on fair trade in the next edition of "Purchasing Matters", an internal periodical for all procurement staff. In the near future the Home Office will be holding a purchasing symposium on the issue of fair trade.

The Department for International Development will be supporting the Fairtrade Foundation over the next three years by providing £120,000 in its effort to target new groups through the Fair Trade Fortnight campaigns. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for International Development will be attending the campaign launch on 4 March 2002.

Accountancy Services

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total cost to his Department was for accountancy services in each of the last four years. [34158]

Angela Eagle: The information requested is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The available information relates to the cost of accountancy services from external providers in support of the following particular projects.

Introduction of Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) in the core Home Office0075,177269,701
Prison Service RAB Training and Development0067,9201,165
Accounting advice on treatment of Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts32,20510,71100
Assistance with the Prison Service Quantum project053,00000
Forensic Science Service Audit Fees55,00055,00055,00058,000

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Asylum Accommodation Centres

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what advice he has sought from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the possible locations of the proposed asylum accommodation centres and their proximity to foot and mouth disease burial sites. [34480]

Angela Eagle: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Member for Scunthorpe (Mr. Morley), on 5 February 2002, Official Report, column 897W.

Local Language Groups (Lincolnshire)

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the proportion of the population of (a) North Lincolnshire and (b) North-east Lincolnshire who speak (i) Arabic, (ii) Hindi, (iii) Urdu, (iv) Farsi/Dari and (v) Pashtu. [34578]

Angela Eagle: I assume my hon. Friend's question relates to the potential site for an asylum seeker accommodation centre that has been identified in her constituency. Given the broad range of facilities which will be provided within the accommodation centres and the self-contained nature of the centres, there is not the same need to inquire into local language groups that existed with dispersal to cluster regions as the risk of asylum seekers becoming isolated is greatly reduced.

Information exists on the ethnic make-up of North Lincolnshire and North-east Lincolnshire from the last available census. It has been used previously to obtain information on ethnic communities within cluster areas and potential cluster areas within the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) regions.

Police Precept

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of the cost of each police force was met by precept on local authorities in (a) 1997 and (b) 2001. [34774]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 8 February 2002]: The figures are set out in the table.

Proportion of net funding requirement met from council tax

Avon and Somerset16.219.6
Devon and Cornwall16.917.9
North Wales15.722.4
North Yorkshire18.420.1
South Wales12.518.4
South Yorkshire12.112.2
Thames Valley19.520.5
West Mercia18.723.7
West Midlands11.210.6
West Yorkshire12.112.2

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