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20 Jan 2004 : Column 1155Wcontinued
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent representations he has made to the owners of Belfast International airport on maintaining adequate police security at the airport. 
Jane Kennedy: My officials have had recent and ongoing communications with the Belfast International airport authorities and other interested parties to ensure that appropriate policing standards are maintained.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of the implications for security of the reduction in the number of police officers patrolling Belfast International airport. 
Jane Kennedy: Following a review of security at the Belfast International airport, new arrangements have been put in place for some static police posts. However, there is to be no reduction in the number of police officers patrolling at Belfast International airport, neither within the terminal building or the wider complex. Indeed, new policing arrangements will result in a net increase in this activity.
Angela Smith: In 2001, Northern Ireland hospitals took part in the "National Sentinel Caesarean Section Audit", in collaboration with the Department of Health in England and Wales and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE). The audit was undertaken by the Clinical Effectiveness Support Unit of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and was carried out in response to concerns over the variation in caesarean section rates across the United Kingdom.
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Following the audit, the Clinical Effectiveness Support Unit on behalf of NICE has been developing clinical guidelines for caesarean section. The Department, Boards and Trusts will carefully consider these guidelines when they are produced. In the meantime, the Department will continue to work with the professionals concerned to ensure that care delivered locally is of the highest quality.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of births in Northern Ireland were by caesarean section in the last 12 months for which figures were available; and what the figures were (a) five, (b) 10 and (c) 15 years ago. 
|Year of Birth||Caesarean Sections|
(8) Data not available for 1988
(9) Data for 2003 is provisional
Child Health System
Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what his estimate is of the number of speakers of (a) each European lesser-used language and (b) other languages used in Northern Ireland. 
|Language||Speakers||Source and comments|
|Irish||106,844||Persons aged three and over (NI census, 2001). In total 167,490 persons have 'some knowledge' of Irish|
|Ulster-Scots||35,000||Approximate, based on 2 per cent. of population. (NI Life and Times Survey, 1999)|
|Language||Speakers||Source and comment|
|English||1,700,000+||All Irish and Ulster-Scots speakers are bilingual. See "In other words", Daniel Holder (2003) for information on knowledge of English among speakers of other languages|
|Chinese||4,200||Various dialects are spoken. NI census (2001) recorded 4,200 people of Chinese ethnic origin. Holder (2003) estimates 8,000|
|British Sign Language||3,000||British Deaf Association|
|Irish Sign Language||1,500||British Deaf Association|
|Cant/Shelta/Gammon||1,700||Oral languages of the Irish Traveller Community Holder (2003), Kirk and O Baoill (2002)|
|Arabic||1,0001,500||Holder (2003), Modern Standard Arabic, also including speakers of Western and Eastern Arabic|
|Tagalog||600||Holder (2003) (National Language of the Philippines)|
|Hindi or Punjabi||1,700||Holder (2003)|
|Southern Indian Languages||500||Holder (2003) includes Tamil, Kannada, Kanta, Malay ala, Marati, Oriya and Telugu|
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There are also smaller numbers of other language speakers such as Albanian; Turkish; African Languages such as Swahili; Afghani; Russian; Japanese; Hebrew; Korean; Vietnamese; Mallayo; Thai and speakers of other European Languages such as French and Spanish (both from those countries and from other countries where those languages are spoken). In total there are over 70 minority ethnic languages spoken in Northern Ireland (Holder, 2003).
|HIV infected individuals|
The figures refer to persons diagnosed with HIV and show the cumulative number of HIV infected individuals each year, i.e. the number up to and including the relevant year. Some persons who are no longer living in Northern Ireland may be included.
Health Protection Agency
Jane Kennedy: There is no statutory time scale for issuing industrial tribunal decisions to the parties. However the Office of the Industrial Tribunals and the Fair Employment Tribunal aim to issue 80 per cent. of decisions within six weeks of the end of the hearing.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make it his policy to increase the three week consultation period before imposing the temporary ban in hunting and coursing of hares in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. 
Angela Smith: The proposed temporary ban on the killing or taking, or the sale or purchase, of Irish hares would be made through a special protection order, under the provisions of section 7C(1) of the Game Preservation Act (Northern Ireland) 1928. Section 7F(5) of the Act
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requires that notice of the proposed ban be placed in the Belfast Gazette, specifying the time within which objections may be made. A four-week period for this purpose was considered to be reasonable.
Accordingly, a notice was placed in the 31 October edition of the Belfast Gazette, specifying a four-week deadline, to 28 November, for objections to be lodged. The Department of the Environment also published the notice in the three Belfast daily newspapers on 3, 4 and 5 November and wrote directly to a number of interested parties.
Almost 3,000 objections to the proposed Order were received within the specified period. Such a volume of replies would suggest that the period for objection was sufficient for those who wished to express their opposition to the proposed ban. I expect to make a final decision on the proposed Order shortly.
(3) how many NHS employees in Northern Ireland were dismissed in each of the last five years. 
The cost to the Health and Personal Social Services of employees suspended from work in the financial year April 2002 to March 2003 was £214,185. This is the most recent period for which figures are available:
|Permanent staff||Temporary staff||Total|
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