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Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what criteria are used to determine which asylum seekers from Zimbabwe are allowed to stay in Great Britain until the new elections in Zimbabwe; and when they will be required to return to Zimbabwe; [69005]

Beverley Hughes: Applications for asylum from people from Zimbabwe are considered on their individual merits, in accordance with our obligations under the 1951 United Nations' Refugee Convention.

On 15 January, we announced a temporary suspension of returns of unsuccessful asylum applicants to Zimbabwe. We will resume returns only when we are satisfied that it is safe to do so. We are monitoring events in the aftermath of the Zimbabwe presidential election and other developments in the country situation. A decision on resumption of returns will be made when we have properly assessed the risks to returnees. That process is under way.

Time Limited Development Fund

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the assessment of applications for grants from the Time Limited Development Fund will be completed. [68791]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 11 July 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary (Mr. Blunkett) announced the allocation of grants to organisations successful under the Time Limited Development Fund at the re-launch of the Home Office Active Community Unit on 29 May this year. 113 projects in deprived areas of England will benefit from £13.5 million grant aid over the next three years.

Volunteering Projects

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will provide a breakdown by organisation of the annual grants for 2001–02 that have been paid to voluntary and community organisations pursuing volunteering projects. [68794]

Beverley Hughes [holding answer 11 July 2002]: The requested information is provided in the table:


OrganisationAnnual grant
African Family Support Centre22,195
Age Concern38,000
Age Concern Ledbury and District9,918
Alzheimer's Society5,208
Big Brothers and Sisters200,000
Bishop Creighton House15,273
Bolton Lads and Girls Club27,775
Business in the Community258,362
Carlisle Mencap7,320
Chance (UK) Ltd.20,518
Children's Society24,500
Community Service Volunteers—Make a Difference Day60,000
Community Service Volunteers—Media-Community Action Desks300,000
County of Northampton Council on Addiction29,000
Dines Green Streets Ahead15,929
Enfield Business Education Partnership2,500
Experience Corps5,292,000
Family Service Units15,462
Focus Mentoring27,381
Focus—Interaction Volunteer Development Initiative69,000
Fun in Action (FUN) for Children12,000
Halton Voluntary Action289,286
Help and Care55,000
Help the Aged25,032
Home-Start Bournemouth12,250
Home-Start Nottingham16,753
Home-Start Sittingbourne and Sheppey6,219
Home-Start Stoke-on-Trent19,543
Home-Start Wisbech12,000
Lambeth Wellcare8,378
Media Trust—Teletext50,000
Media Trust—Community Channel190,000
Media Trust—New Year New You111,000
Media Trust—Voluntary Matters180,000
Mersey Volunteer Bureau50,000
MSF Union50,000
National Association for Care and Resettlement of Offenders— Walsall32,009
National Association of Volunteer Bureaux—Media Skills100,000
National Centre for Volunteering8,000
National Centre for Volunteering—Diversity Challenge Website16,215
National Centre for Volunteering—IYV 2001 Consortium127,711
National Centre for Volunteering—IYV 'Image Bank'50,000
National Centre for Volunteering—Volunteering Convention14,000
National Centre for Volunteering—Volunteering Supplement28,000
National Mentoring Network: A Plan to Equality430,000
National Trust—Sharing the Caring45,752
National Trust26,542
National Youth Agency—Philip Lawrence Awards100,000
North East Council on Addictions Services Ltd.25,223
North Tyneside Voluntary Organisations Development Agency270,000
Northampton Volunteer Bureau32,000
Northorpe Hall Trust15,954
One to One Youth Befriending27,846
PACT Community Projects15,091
RAMP—The Renewal Programme15,857
Ravidassia Community Centre10,000
Retired Executives Action Clearing House22,725
Regional Interactive Safety Centre19,000
Routes to Volunteering in Havering25,000
Royal National Institute for Deaf People52,654
Royal Philanthropic Society Rainer47,223
Salford Business Education Partnership90,000
Sandwell Volunteer Bureau60,928
SCOPE—South West27,000
SCOPE—North West22,356
Second City, Second Chance12,200
Somerset Youth Voluntary Network35,000
South Northants Volunteer Bureau36,000
Swindon Education Business Partnership24,900
Terrence Higgins Trust13,859
The Befriending Network15,000
The King's Cross Project12,946
The Leonard Cheshire Foundation34,285
The London Connection5,798
Those on the Margins of Society40,000
Voluntary Action Camden227,690
Voluntary Action Luton250,456
Voluntary Action Sheffield—Doing it Locally Campaign39,928
Whitbread Volunteer Action Awards60,000
Youthnet—Developing Diversity Project134,508
Youthnet—Do It Database29,701

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Private Office Guidelines

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what guidelines his private office operates under when dealing with requests from hon. Members on exceptional, urgent and compassionate cases. [69424]

Beverley Hughes: My predecessor, my right hon. and noble Friend, Lord Rooker, wrote to hon. Members on 15 May 2002 setting out how their representations in relation to immigration cases would be dealt with. In exceptional, urgent and compassionate cases, private office staff will intervene directly and act according to the nature of the case to try and seek an urgent resolution.

However, due to the nature of exceptional, urgent and compassionate cases, there are no specific guidelines which private office staff follow. Each case is considered separately, dependent on its individual circumstances. Private office staff liaise with the relevant departmental officials to obtain the necessary information to enable the Minister to make an informed decision.

Asylum (Iraqis)

Mr. Jon Owen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the Government's policy is regarding (a) Iraqi Kurds seeking asylum and (b) removals in the event of their claims being unsuccessful; and if he will make a statement. [69344]

Beverley Hughes: The Government recognise that there may be certain people from northern Iraq who are in need of international protection under the terms of the 1951 United Nations convention relating to the status of refugees. However, there are also some asylum seekers from that region who, after careful consideration of their application, do not appear to meet the criteria set out in the convention. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner is on record saying that it would not object to the return to northern Iraq of asylum seekers from that area who have been found, through fair and objective procedures, not to be in need of international protection.

Iraqi citizens of Kurdish origin are able to return voluntarily to northern Iraq. We are exploring the options for enforcing returns to northern Iraq using routes that will not cross territory controlled by the Government in Baghdad. We hope to be in a position to begin enforced returns shortly.

Pig-to-Primate Organ Transplant

Mr. Lloyd: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the reasons behind the decision not to allow a judicial inquiry into the circumstances surrounding pig-to- primate organ transplant research by Imutran Limited at Huntingdon Life Sciences. [68393]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 11 July 2002]: Home Office Ministers considered the matter very carefully, but concluded that the issues, including those regarding compliance with the authorities granted to Imutran Limited under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 for its xenotransplantation research programme, did not merit such an inquiry. Nor were they considered to justify any other form of special investigation. Instead, in November 2000, the then Home Secretary (Mr. Straw) asked the Chief Inspector of the

16 Jul 2002 : Column 229W

Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate to carry out a routine assessment of compliance with the relevant authorities issued to Imutran Limited under the 1986 Act. The Chief Inspector's report, which covered five years work, was published on 13 July 2001 and copies placed in the Library. It confirmed that the general level of compliance was good and identified no new factors justifying a judicial inquiry.

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