Previous Section Index Home Page

27 Mar 2006 : Column 697W—continued

Recruitment Advertising

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will change the method of Government recruitment advertising in Northern Ireland to ensure that such job vacancies are advertised in publications read by all main sections of the community. [61108]

Angela E. Smith: Recruitment advertising for vacancies in the Northern Ireland civil service is governed by the Northern Ireland civil service commissioners' code and is in accordance with the Department of Finance and Personnel's Equality Scheme. Advertisements are placed in three local daily papers to achieve a broad readership across the community. For some specialist posts a wider range of publications may be used. All vacancies are also advertised on the recruitment service website and the Jobcentre online website.

A review of government advertising is underway and a report is due to be published in April.

Visual Impairment

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many pupils in Northern Ireland assessed as blind left school with (a) five or more and (b) no GCSE passes in each of the last three years. [60612]

Angela E. Smith: Figures for 2004–05 are not yet available. Out of a total of 15 children with a statement of special educational needs who were recorded as blind
 
27 Mar 2006 : Column 698W
 
and who left school in the previous three years, seven achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A*-G, and six achieved no GCSEs. Because of the very small numbers in any one year, it is not appropriate to break the figures down into individual years.

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what provision is made in schoolsin Northern Ireland for children who have sight loss. [60609]

Angela E. Smith: Education and Library Boards (ELBs) assess and make provision for pupils on an individual basis, in line with the Code of Practice on the Assessment of Special Educational Needs and the supplement to it.

All of the ELBs have staff qualified to teach children with visual impairments, including those staff attached to the peripatetic support services. In addition support is available from Jordanstown Schools' outreach service.

Depending on the needs of the individual, ELBs make available large print literature, Braillers and appropriate ICT equipment and software. Schools themselves may also purchase specialist items through their dedicated SEN budgets.

Sammy Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people in Northern Ireland who suffer from sight loss are (a) unemployed and (b) on incapacity benefit. [60610]

Mr. Hanson: Information is not available on the number of Jobseekers Allowance claimants who are suffering from sight loss. At August 2005, 234 people on incapacity benefit were categorised as suffering from blindness or low vision.

Hospital Television and Telephone Facilities

Mark Durkan: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what firms provide personal television and telephone facilities to patients at hospitals in
 
27 Mar 2006 : Column 699W
 
Northern Ireland; what daily rates are charged in each case; how many patients at each hospital have used these facilities in each of the last three years; and whether concessionary rates are available to long-term patients at each hospital. [60427]


 
27 Mar 2006 : Column 700W
 

Mr. Woodward: The provision of personal television and telephone services in hospitals are matters for individual Health and Social Services Trusts. Trusts have provided the following information about these services.
Daily rates


Trust


Service provider


Television


Telephone
Number of patients
availing of facilities in
previous three years

Concessions offered for
long stay patients
Belfast City Hospital TrustPatientline UK Ltd.£3.50 per day (24 hour access)Outgoing calls from the bed—10p per minute Incoming calls: Peak—49p per minute. Off peak—39p per minuteInformation not availableTelevision: Patients 60 and over—50 per cent. discount. Long stay patients (over 2 weeks) 50 per cent. discount. Free television for children (under 16). Free television to patients who may benefit from the service but unable to afford it (at the discretion of ward staff)
Royal Group of Hospitals TrustPatientline UK Ltd.£3.50 per day (24 hour access)Outgoing calls from the bed-10p per minute. Incoming calls: Peak —49p per minute Off peak—39p per minuteInformation not availableTelevision: Patients 60 and over—£1.70. Long stay patients (over 2 weeks)—£1.70. Free to age 16 and under. Everyone gets 1 hour of free TV a day
Ulster Community and Hospitals TrustPatientline UK Ltd.£3.50 per day (24 hour access)Outgoing calls from the bed—10p per minute Incoming calls: Peak —49p per minute. Off peak—3 9p per minuteInformation not availableTelevision: Patients 60 and over—£1.70. Long stay patients (over 2 weeks)—£1.70. Free to age 16 and under. Everyone gets 1 hour of free TV a day
Mater Hospital TrustHospital Telephone Services Ltd.£2 for continuous 24hr period for the rental of equipment; 10p per minute for outgoing calls; 17p per minute for incoming callsInformation not availableNo concessionary rates
Causeway Hospital TrustBT Payphone Services (bedside only)Outgoing calls at BT payphone rates. Incoming calls 25p per minute from BT landlinesInformation not availableNo concessionary rates

Theft/Vandalism (Primary Schools)

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what has been the cost of (a) vandalism and (b) theft to (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools in East Londonderry constituency in 2005. [59822]

Angela E. Smith: The cost of vandalism to controlled and maintained schools in the East Londonderry constituency in 2005 is as follows:
Amount (£)
Nursery545
Primary9,486
Secondary11,063
Special164
Total21,258

The cost in relation to theft in schools is only available for the Western Education and Library Board. This amounted to £8,405 in the 2005 calendar year. The North Eastern Education and Library Board cannot provide the figure until May 2006 when their yearly statement of losses are collated.

The cost of vandalism and theft in voluntary grammar and grant maintained integrated schools is not available, Such costs are borne by individual schools from their LMS budget or are the subject of insurance claims.

Witness Protection

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department spent on witness protection in (a) 2003–04, (b) 2004–05 and (c) 2005–06; and what the projected spending is for 2006–07. [59690]

Mr. Woodward: This is an operational matter for theChief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

CABINET OFFICE

Better Regulation Task Force

Mr. Willis: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what advice members of the Better Regulation Task Force have provided to the Government; and whether the advice is published. [61042]

Mr. Jim Murphy: The Better Regulation Task Force was an independent advisory body, established in 1997 to advise the Government on regulatory issues. At the end of 2005 it was replaced by the Better Regulation Commission.

During its existence the Better Regulation Task Force undertook over 40 studies on a wide range of regulatory issues and published its advice and recommendations in a series of reports.
 
27 Mar 2006 : Column 701W
 

The final report produced by the Task Force Better Regulation—from design to delivery—the 2005 report of the Better Regulation Task Force" summarises this work.

The reports were distributed to the Libraries and are available on the Better Regulation Commission website www.brc.gov.uk, or in hard copy from the Better Regulation Commission Secretariat.

As an Advisory Body, the Task Force also responded to Consultation Documents and contributed to the wider debate on better regulation in the United Kingdom and Europe.


Next Section Index Home Page