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The boards determine the needs of their population and allocate resources to meet these needs. Day care services provided through the Health and Social Services Boards and Trusts are for those individuals who will be unable to access services provided elsewhere. Additional investment in day care will continue to be made for those who do not have access to any other form of provision, such as further education, skills training or employment.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 8 June 2006, Official Report, column 796W, on superannuation entitlements, when he expects the outstanding cases in (a) the Northern Ireland Office and (b) the Southern Health and Social Services Board to be concluded. 
Paul Goggins: The Department cannot give any commitment as to when cases brought by part-time employees before the industrial tribunals will be completed. This is a matter for the tribunal. The Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Southern Health and Social Services Board are parties before the tribunal and have no special influence on when cases may be listed.
Peter Luff: To ask the Prime Minister what discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and (b) the Home Secretary on the impact of extradition arrangements to the United States on the UK's commercial relationship with that country. 
The Prime Minister: I have regular meetings and discussions with ministerial colleagues and others on a wide range of subjects. Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.
James Duddridge: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what (a) discussions and (b) meetings he had with (i) Thames Gateway, (ii) Thames Gateway South Essex, (iii) the East of England Development Agency and (iv) Southend-on-Sea borough council regarding the possibility of a single bid for a regional casino being entered from the Thames Gateway region. 
Sir Paul Beresford: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 3 July 2006, Official Report, column 787W, on the departmental budget, when he plans to publish the Departments annual report and accounts. 
Mr. Wallace: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether, during his visit to Texas and the USA, (a) he and (b) his officials met (i) representatives of Canatxx Ltd. and its associated companies and (ii) representatives of the gas storage industry. 
The Government have a vision that families will be able to afford flexible, high quality child care services that are appropriate for their needs. To further this aim, the Government have directed substantial help with child care costs for low to moderate-income families through the child care element of the working tax credit. To engage employers with employees child care needs, the Government have also introduced an income tax and national insurance
contributions exemption on £55 per week of employer-supported child care. This combination of tax relief and tax credits is working to ensure that every child gets the best start in life and that parents have more choice about how to balance their work and family life.
Meg Munn: The Department for Trade and Industry, the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) and the direct.gov website provide guidance for employees (men and women) on the right to request flexible working. The direct.gov website has three interactive tools which help employees make applications to work flexibly. ACAS provide leaflets and also operate a helpline, answering queries from both employees and employers on employment matters including flexible working.
Meg Munn: We have not yet carried out a formal assessment of the effectiveness of the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002, which enables political parties, if they wish to do so, to use positive measures to reduce inequality between the number of men and women selected as election candidates for their party. However, an independent report published by the Hansard Society in 2005 found that all-women shortlists are the quickest and most effective means of delivering equal representation.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with the Solicitor-General on increasing the number of cases brought by the Crown Prosecution Service and the prosecution rate in relation to women being forced to work in the sex industry. 
Meg Munn: As a Member of the Ministerial Group on Human Trafficking, I work closely with ministerial colleagues including the Solicitor-General to ensure that provision for victims is sensitive to womens needs. The prosecution rate has been discussed at meetings of the Group.
To date there have been 30 convictions (in 16 separate cases) for trafficking for sexual exploitation, resulting in sentences of between two to nine years on specific countsalthough convictions for several counts have resulted in sentences of up to 21 years.
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many working women have been awarded funds from the child care element of working tax credits; and if she will make a statement. 
The estimated number of working women who benefited from the child care element of child and working tax credits for 2005-06, as at 3 April 2006, is around 367,000. Around 123,000 were part of a couple and 244,000 were single.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2006, Official Report, column 1590W, on Afghanistan, what assessment she has made of whether the Afghan Government's plans to establish community police units under the control of the Ministry of Interior will include adequate vetting procedures; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: Given Afghanistan's recent history and the destruction of administrative capacity, detailed vetting procedures will not be in place. The Afghan Government are currently working on the details of President Karzai's community police initiative. President Karzai has given assurances that the units will be under the control of the Ministry of Interior. Their purpose is to deliver stability in some rural areas. We and international partners are maintaining a dialogue with the Afghan Government as their plans evolve.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of UK funding for Afghanistan is administered through the (a) UN, (b) EU and (c) UK embassy in Kabul; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: In financial year 2005-06, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Afghanistan Drugs Inter-departmental Unit provided £157 million in bilateral assistance to Afghanistan. 15 per cent. of this funding was administered through the UN and 44 per cent. was channelled through the World Bank administered Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund. The remaining 41 per cent. was administered directly by the FCO and DFID in both London and Afghanistan.
Separately, in terms of multilateral assistance through the UN and EU, the UK provided 19 per cent. of the €1 billion pledged by the EU to Afghanistan between 2001 to 2006. The UK continues to provide core funding through its yearly commitment of £160 million to UN Agencies, a number of which operate in Afghanistan.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment she has made of patterns of cultivation and production of cannabis resin in Afghanistan over the last five years; and if she will make a statement. 
Margaret Beckett: The UK has not made any assessment regarding patterns of cultivation and production of cannabis resin in Afghanistan over the last five years. However, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime 2006 World Drug Report, Afghanistan was the third largest source of cannabis resin, after Pakistan and Morocco, over the period 1999-2003.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what strategy is in place to ensure equal implementation of poppy counter-narcotics programmes across different provinces in Afghanistan. 
Margaret Beckett: The UK is supporting the Government of Afghanistan to implement its National Drug Control Strategy (NDCS) to target the trafficker and the trade, strengthen and diversify legal rural livelihoods, build effective counter-narcotics institutions and reduce domestic demand. Co-ordination of assistance takes place nationally via the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MCN) and the Counter Narcotics Cabinet Sub-Committee, which brings together all relevant ministries to oversee and monitor the implementation of the strategy across Afghanistan. The Ministry of Counter Narcotics has identified seven priority provinces (Helmand, Kandahar, Balkh, Farah, Badakhshan, Uruzgan and Samangan) which account for the highest levels of opium poppy cultivation in 2005. Poppy Elimination Programme teams have been established in these provinces and are tasked with increasing public awareness of the counter narcotics campaign and assessing the effectiveness of governor-led elimination programmes.
Additionally, the Department for International Development is spending £130 million over the next three years on strengthening and diversifying legal rural livelihoods through the Afghan Government's National Programmes. MCN and the Ministry of Rural Reconstruction and Development are also working to establish a database of legal rural livelihoods implementation across all provinces in order to improve the co-ordination and targeting of assistance.
Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr (Adam Price), of 30 March 2006, Official Report, column 1127W, on Afghanistan, what factors the UK Government took into account in deciding that legal cultivation of opium for legitimate medicinal export was not viable. 
Dr. Howells: The UK supports and agrees with the Government of Afghanistan's position that licensing opium cultivation in Afghanistan for medical export is not a realistic solution to the problems of the opium economy in Afghanistan. Legalisation risks a high level of diversion of licit opium into illegal channels and, by sending out a mixed message to farmers, threatens to undermine the effectiveness of the Government of Afghanistan's counter narcotics campaign. There are no central Government and law enforcement mechanisms in place to set up and administer such a proposal and the trafficker would be free to continue to exploit the illicit market.
There has also been no systematic market testing throughout the world to calculate demand for additional morphine-based medicines and no evidence to show that Afghan opium would be price competitive in a global market place.
The UK is supporting the Government of Afghanistan to tackle the drugs problem through a balanced and comprehensive strategy involving strengthening the rule of law and providing alternative livelihoods for poppy farmers.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether (a) she and (b) officials in her Department have received representations regarding a UN report on human rights abuses in Afghanistan by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. McCartney: An Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report on human rights abuses in Afghanistan was completed in January 2005, but has not been published. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not received representations about the report.
We continue to work closely with the OHCHR, the Afghan Government, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and international partners to improve respect for human rights in Afghanistan, to strengthen capacity building, and to build on the Afghan Governments many achievements since the fall of the Taliban regime.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whose responsibility it is to reduce the area contaminated by mines and exploded ordnance in Afghanistan in accordance with the commitments laid out in the Afghanistan Compact; and what progress has been made. 
[holding answer 6 July 2006]: The United Nations Mine Action Centre for Afghanistan currently has de facto responsibility, on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan, for the planning, management and oversight of the Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan (MAPA). Progress continues to be made towards meeting the benchmarks laid out in the Afghanistan Compact. During financial year 2005-06, MAPA decreased the number of highly effected communities by almost 42 per cent. During this period, MAPA cleared 136,371,592 square metres of contaminated land, releasing 19 per cent. of the mine and unexploded ordnance area. It is
estimated that 716 square kilometres of land was still contaminated by the end of the financial year.
The UK is playing its part. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Department for International Development/Ministry of Defence Global Conflict Prevention Pool (GCPP) continues to provide funding to UN and non-governmental organisations weapons and ammunition destruction programmes in Afghanistan. In financial year 2005-06, the GCPP contributed over £2 million to such projects.
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