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20 Nov 2002 : Column 134W—continued

Animal Welfare

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what plans he has to relax regulations on the use of terminally anaesthetized animals for training surgeons; [81126]

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Mr. Bob Ainsworth: These matters are all the subject of recommendations in the report published on 24 July 2002 by the House of Lords Select Committee on Animals in Scientific Procedures. The report contained a total of seven conclusions and thirty-one recommendations, all

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of which are being carefully and thoroughly considered. The Government will respond to the report within the six months that is provided for and there will then be a debate in the House of Lords.


Northern Ireland

Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the theft of sensitive documents appertaining to Northern Ireland from police and government Departments. [80915]

The Prime Minister: The police are investigating this matter at the moment. I do not want to say anything that might jeopardise that investigation.


Keith Vaz: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the bishops on whom he has advised appointment since 1997. [81500]

The Prime Minister: I have advised on the following bishoprics since May 1997:

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Children and Young People

Mr. Allen: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list the Ministers in each Department with responsibility for (a) programmes, (b) policy and (c) legislation which makes specific reference to children and young people under the age of 18, indicating their titles and responsibilities. [80470]

The Prime Minister: Providing opportunities for the welfare and development of children and young people is a priority for Government. We have introduced a range of programmes which include legislation to support children and young people. These are delivered by a number of Ministers across Government. For example, Sure Start and the children's fund in the Department for Education and Skills, children's trusts in the Department for Health, and a range of Home Office initiatives to prevent offending, which include support to parents and families. The Treasury and Department for Work and Pensions also have significant responsibilities affecting children and young people including child support and the children's tax credit.

The children and young people's unit was established in July 2000 as a cross-cutting unit to support Government work across the full 0–19 age range. The unit reports to John Denham, Minister of State in the Home Office and the Secretary of State for Education

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and Skills. The Chancellor of the Exchequer chairs the Cabinet Committee on children and young people's services.

The Government recently reaffirmed its commitment to addressing the needs of the most vulnerable children by announcing a new ministerial committee, chaired by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, to oversee the development of a Green Paper on children at risk. A Green Paper will be published early next year on the whole issue of children at risk, including how to ensure that they do not take up crime, and their family, mental health and educational problems.

These initiatives are all in addition to mainstream services which cover young people, such as social services, the health service and schools. Other ministerial responsibilities in this area are set out in the XList of Ministerial Responsibilities", copies of which are available from the Vote Office, the Libraries of the House, and the Cabinet Office website: www.

Downing Street (Refurbishment)

Norman Baker: To ask the Prime Minister what plans are in place to refurbish (a) 10 and (b) 11 Downing street; what the estimated cost will be; and what mechanism exists for public scrutiny of this project. [81595]

The Prime Minister: While there are, currently, no plans to refurbish 10 and 11 Downing street, maintenance and redecoration work across the Downing street estate is part of a continuing programme. No. 10 now, as in the past, is maintained to standards appropriate to its status as a Grade 1 listed building, in consultation with English Heritage and other experts as appropriate. Bills and invoices in connection with such work are subject to audit in line with Treasury requirements.


Miss McIntosh: To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for 20 November. [82220]

The Prime Minister: This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House I will have further such meetings later today. I will be travelling to Prague this afternoon to attend the NATO summit.

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