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Committee Mandates

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the mandate of the Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunity for Women and Men is; how many times it has met over the last 12 months; what the UK representation on it is; what the annual cost of its work is to public funds; if he will list the items currently under its consideration; if he will take steps to increase its accountability and transparency to Parliament; and if he will make a statement. [61726]

Ms Hewitt: I have been asked to reply.

I have nothing to add to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Member for Hornsey and Wood Green on 23 May, Official Report, columns 557-58W.

LORD CHANCELLOR'S DEPARTMENT

Staff Numbers

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many staff were employed by her Department on (a) 2 May 1997 and (b) 31 May 2002. [60925]

Ms Rosie Winterton: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by the Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, my hon. Friend the Member for Paisley, South (Mr. Alexander), on 13 June 2002, (Official Report, column 1402W).

Strelley Social Club

Mr. Allen: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department with reference to the letter of 13 February from the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department, my hon. Friend the Member for Doncaster, Central (Ms Winterton) to the hon.

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Member for Nottingham, North, when he expects the Official Solicitor to have traced the members of the Strelley Social Club in order to distribute the income of the club to the surviving members; and if he will make a statement. [63457]

Ms Rosie Winterton: This question concerns the resolution of a long-outstanding dispute as to the funds of a defunct private social club. The Official Solicitor became involved in 1999, following some 14 years of litigation, which has now been settled. It is his responsibility to carry into effect the terms of the settlement, in accordance with a High Court Order. In doing so he will be acting under the supervision of the Court, and this is not a matter upon which I can intervene.

Advertising

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how much was spent on press and advertising campaigns in 2001–02; and what the planned expenditure is for 2002–03. [60905]

Ms Rosie Winterton: My Department did not conduct any press and advertising campaigns in the financial year 2001–02 and has not at present planned any such campaigns for 2002–03.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill

Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what budget provision has been made to implement the provisions of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Bill. [62701]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 18 June 2002]: Financial implication of provisions in the Nationality and Asylum Bill, were set out in the XFinancial effects of the Bill" in the Explanatory Notes to the Bill, as introduced in to the House of Commons.

Spending plans and priorities for all immigration and nationality areas are under discussion with Treasury as part of the Spending Review 2002.

Dungavel Detention Centre

Annabell Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the cost of converting Dungavel Detention Centre into a removal centre is to be met from his Department's budget. [62700]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 18 June 2002]: The refurbishment cost of Dungavel Removal Centre was met from the Immigration and Nationality Directorate (IND) budget.

Inquiry Costs

Mr. NcNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of the (a) Inquiry into the Bradford City Football Club fire in May 1985, (b) Hillsborough Stadium disaster in 1989 and (c) Shipman Inquiry was. [48030]

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Mr. Denham: I understand from West Yorkshire Police that it is no longer possible to identify the costs of the Police Inquiry into the Bradford City Football Club fire in 1985. Financial arrangements for West Yorkshire Police Authority in 1985 were made through the former West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council, which was replaced in 1986. This information can only be retrieved at disproportionate cost.

I understand from West Midlands Police that the cost of the Police Inquiry into the Hillsborough Stadium disaster totalled #3.8 million.

I understand from Greater Manchester Police that the costs of the Shipman Police Inquiry totalled #1.65 million.

Policing (Cheltenham)

Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what effect the Budget will have on policing in Cheltenham. [52938]

Mr. Denham: Police forces in the south-west and Wales have received extra funding to make communities safer. Avon and Somerset Police received a cash boost to step up operations against street offenders and all forces in the south-west and Wales, including Gloucestershire, received funding allocations based on careful assessments of their current requirements and commitments to provide an enhanced counter-terrorist capability. The overall level of funding allocated following the Budget, to police forces in the south-west and Wales for counter terrorism purposes, #1.8 million, has been made public. To break this down further in public could compromise security.

Special Constables

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of service of a special constable is in working in (a) Jarrow, (b) South Tyneside and (c) the UK. [61488]

Mr. Denham: I am informed by the Chief Commandant of Northumbria Police Special Constabulary that the average length of service for special constables in Jarrow and South Tyneside is three years.

Complete data concerning the average length of service are not available centrally. The most recent available Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) returns regarding specials in post were for March 2000, and these asked how long specials had been in post within bands of less than six months, six months to two years, two to five years, five to 10 years, and over 10 years. These figures show that most specials in England and Wales fell within the band of length of service of between two and five years at that time.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Department plans to introduce incentives to encourage people to become career special constables. [61489]

Mr. Denham: The police reform process is an opportunity to achieve a stronger, increasingly professional special constabulary. We are introducing a range of measures to improve the recruitment and retention of specials. These include: a new headline role

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focusing on intelligence led patrolling and crime reduction initiatives; a new national foundation training package for special constables; joint Home Office/Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) good practice guidance covering recruitment, management and deployment of specials; new conditions of service and conduct regulations.

In January 2002 we ran a press campaign targeting Specials as part of the national recruitment campaign for the regular Police Service. We are also considering whether we can increase the opportunities for recognising the skills and experience specials acquire in forces and in their wider workplace. And as my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary (Mr. Blunkett) recently announced in his speech at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), we will also be working with employers who are specials.

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many special constables have operated in the Jarrow constituency in each year since 1997. [61283]

Mr. Denham: I am informed by the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police that the number of specials is not collected at constituency level, but is collected within force at Area Command level. The Jarrow constituency falls within the South Tyneside Area Command. For the South Tyneside Area Command, figures are available for the previous three years as follows:


Rural Policing

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much was spent on rural policing in (a) 1999–2000, (b) 2000–01 and (c) 2001–02. [61129]

Mr. Denham [holding answer 13 June 2002]: The deployment of resources within a police force area is a matter for the Chief Officer who will assess local needs in line with operational priorities and the force policing plan, and allocate available resources accordingly. Records of the amount of spending on rural policing are not held centrally.

The funding formula for Police grant in England and Wales allocates 0.5 per cent (around #38 million) of total funding in relation to sparsity of population. In addition, in June 2000 we introduced the Rural Policing Fund that allocates additional resources to police forces to enhance policing in rural areas. The fund was #15 million for 2000–01 and #30 million for 2001–02 and 2002/03.

Policing in Scotland is a devolved issue and is a matter for the Scottish Executive.

Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what measures his Department is taking to maintain a police presence in rural and remote areas of England and Wales. [62168]

Mr Denham [holding answer 17 June 2002]: The deployment of resources, including police officers, within a police force area is a matter for the Chief Officer

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who will assess local needs in line with operational priorities and the force policing plan, and allocate available resources accordingly.

The funding formula for Police grant in England and Wales allocates 0.5 per cent (around #38 million) of total funding in relation to sparsity of population. In addition, in June 2000 we introduced the Rural Policing Fund that allocates additional resources to police forces to enhance policing in rural areas. The fund was #15 million for 2000–01 and #30 million for 2001–02 and 2002–03. The rural policing fund benefits 31 police forces. Devon and Cornwall constabulary receive the highest allocation from the fund, just over #3 million.


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