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FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Pakistan

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's involvement has been regarding the arrest in Pakistan of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh; and if he will make a statement. [38992]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office had no involvement in the arrest of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. However, we are continuing to monitor the situation.

Sudan

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the prospects for peace in Sudan. [38647]

Mr. MacShane: We believe that 2002 offers a real window of opportunity for peace in Sudan and that the UK has a major role to play in ensuring that this opportunity is seized. On 12 February the Foreign Secretary announced the appointment of Alan Goulty as the new UK Special Representative for Sudan. Mr. Goulty will be supported by a dedicated Sudan Unit, which will be staffed by officers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development. In co-ordination with partners interested in bringing peace to Sudan, Mr. Goulty will be engaging with all parties to the conflict in an effort to promote the case for peace.

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Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the US Administration regarding their decision to suspend peace negotiations with the Government of Sudan. [38696]

Mr. MacShane: We are working closely with the US Administration over Sudan, and have encouraged them to continue to engage with the Sudanese Government. What matters most is an end to suffering caused by the civil war. The only way to achieve this is through strong pressure from the international community on all parties to the conflict.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Government of Sudan regarding attacks on a food aid distribution site in the Western Upper Nile region of Southern Sudan. [38697]

Mr. MacShane: We have expressed concern at a high level of the Sudanese Government, both in Khartoum and London, about reports that a Sudanese Government helicopter gunship fired on civilians. We condemn all such attacks.

This attack is particularly distressing at a time when hopes for peace in Sudan have been growing. We shall intensify our efforts to press all parties to the conflict on the need for swift negotiated settlement in order to end the suffering caused by so many years of civil war.

Arab Summit (Lebanon)

Mr. Alan Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli Government to allow Yasser Arafat to leave Ramallah to attend the Arab summit in Lebanon between 25 and 26 March.[38506]

Mr. Bradshaw: I expressed my serious concern about President Arafat's continued detention in Ramallah to Israeli leaders during my visit to Israel between 14 and 17 January. We have repeatedly called on the Israeli Government to end its policy of restricting Palestinians' freedom of movement. The closures contribute to a feeling of hopelessness among Palestinians, and make a comprehensive settlement more difficult to achieve.

In this context, we hope that there can be early progress so that efforts to achieve a positive outcome from the Arab League Summit in Beirut on 27 March are not distracted by doubt over President Arafat's attendance. Restoration of a positive momentum to the peace process is in the interests of both parties.

NRZ Pensions

Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if it is his policy to meet the assurances given by the British Government at the Lancaster House agreement in 1979 to NRZ employees to safeguard their pensions; and if he will compensate the NRZ employees for the failure of the Zimbabwe Government to fulfil promises made in the Lancaster House agreement. [39257]

Mr. MacShane: The 1979 Lancaster House Agreement stipulated that the Zimbabwe Constitution should contain provisions entitling public servants to

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state pensions, and that pension benefits should continue to be paid to former public employees no longer resident in Zimbabwe. The Agreement contained no such guarantee for employees of parastatal organisations, such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ). Nor did the Agreement contain any undertaking by the British Government to assume responsibility for the payment of pensions to those eligible, should the Zimbabwean authorities fail to maintain payments. Despite this, the British High Commission in Harare regularly reminds the Zimbabwean authorities of their obligations to pensioners under the terms of the Lancaster House Agreement.

Middle East

Mr. Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to Chairman Arafat to encourage a halt in violence by the Fatah faction and Hezbollah. [37456]

Mr. Bradshaw: We continue to urge President Arafat to exert every effort to constrain the violence and bring those responsible for violent acts to justice. The Foreign Secretary most recently raised this with President Arafat when he called on him on 13 February.

Empty Property

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the total area in square feet of all empty properties owned by (a) his Department, (b) his agencies and (c) other public bodies for which he has had responsibility was in each year since May 1997. [37815]

Mr. MacShane: It is not possible to answer this question without incurring disproportionate cost.

Refurbishment

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, pursuant to his answer of 17 January 2002, Official Report, column 415W, what the cost of refurbishing each Ministerial private office was in each year since May 1997. [37889]

Mr. MacShane: The total cost of refurbishment works carried out to Ministerial offices within the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is 47,795.32 since May 1997.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Police Funding

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list the funding available per 1,000 population for each police authority area in order of spending. [28668]

Mr. Denham: The amount of grant funding available per 1,000 of population for each police authority area in 2001/02 and provisional grant funding for 2002/03 are given in the table in order of spending. Grant allocation includes Home Office police grant, revenue support grant (from the Department for Transport, Local

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Government and the Regions (DTLR)), national non-domestic rates, Crime Fighting Fund allocations and, where applicable, rural policing fund grants.

Resident population is one of a number of indicators used in the calculation of the police funding formula. Details of the indicators and their relative value in determining the allocation for individual forces are set out in the Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2001/02 and the provisional Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2002/03, a copy of each has been placed in the Library.

Police AuthorityFunding per 1,000 population 2001–02 (k)
Merseyside162.9
Northumbria143.1
Cleveland141.3
West Midlands139.6
Greater Manchester139.4
West Yorkshire128.8
Durham127.1
South Yorkshire125.1
South Wales122.5
Humberside120.7
Lancashire117.0
Gwent116.7
Cumbria115.0
Nottinghamshire114.2
Kent107.9
North Wales106.9
Dyfed-Powys102.5
Bedfordshire101.3
Avon and Somerset100.6
Leicestershire100.5
Devon and Cornwall100.2
Cheshire99.7
Gloucestershire98.9
Hampshire98.5
Norfolk97.0
Sussex96.9
Staffordshire96.6
Derbyshire96.3
Northamptonshire96.0
Thames Valley93.9
Wiltshire93.8
Cambridgeshire93.8
Suffolk92.7
Lincolnshire92.5
Hertfordshire92.3
Warwickshire92.2
Essex92.1
North Yorkshire91.8
West Mercia90.1
Dorset85.8
Surrey77.0

Police AuthorityFunding per 1,000 population 2002–03 (k)
Merseyside168.3
Northumbria147.7
Cleveland147.0
Greater Manchester145.8
West Midlands144.6
West Yorkshire133.4
Durham132.0
South Yorkshire129.2
South Wales128.6
Humberside124.3
Lancashire121.9
Gwent121.9
Cumbria119.2
Nottinghamshire117.9
Kent112.1
North Wales111.0
Dyfed-Powys107.2
Bedfordshire106.2
Devon and Cornwall105.3
Leicestershire105.0
Cheshire104.2
Hampshire103.8
Gloucestershire103.3
Norfolk102.3
Derbyshire101.6
Sussex101.4
Staffordshire100.1
Northamptonshire99.7
Thames Valley98.5
Wiltshire97.4
Cambridgeshire97.3
Hertfordshire97.0
Suffolk96.5
Essex96.5
Lincolnshire96.2
NorthYorkshire95.9
Warwickshire95.4
West Mercia93.7
Dorset89.5
Surrey79.6

Funding for the Metropolitan and City police is included in provision for the Greater London Authority (GLA) and Corporation of the City of London respectively; both of which include funding for functions other than police. The principal police grant is given in the Provisional Police Grant Report.

The population data are the resident population figures used in the police funding settlement for each year.


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