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23 Mar 2010 : Column 164W—continued

Police: Harassment

Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many incidents of harassment in the workplace were reported by employees of (a) police services and (b) his Department in each of the last 10 years. [321438]

Mr. Hanson: Information on the number of incidents of harassment in the workplace in the police service is not collected centrally.


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Information prior to the 2005-06 financial year is not held centrally within the Home Office (excluding its agencies) and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost. We are unable to provide information in relation to the number of allegations of harassment within Home Office HQ in each year since 2005-06 as there were fewer than five cases in each year. Further information is therefore withheld on grounds of confidentiality.

Terrorism: Detainees

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many foreign nationals are being detained in the UK under anti-terrorist legislation. [323378]

Mr. Hanson [holding answer 22 March 2010]: The only anti-terrorism legislation in the UK which provides for the detention of individuals is section 41 of and schedule 8 to the Terrorism Act 2000. This provides for persons arrested as terrorist suspects to be detained pre-charge (for up to a maximum of 28 days). The Home Office does not hold statistics on how many foreign nationals are, or have been, detained under these provisions. However, the Home Office does collate statistics on the number of individuals arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and the length of time that these individuals are detained pre-charge. These are included in a Bulletin published for the first time on 13 May 2009 (Statistics on Terrorism Arrests and Outcomes Great Britain 11 September 2001 to 31 March 2008). The first edition of the Bulletin is available at:

The second and third issues of the Bulletin were published on 26 November 2009 and 25 February 2010. These are available via the following links:

26 November 2009

25 February 2010

Scotland

Departmental Publications

David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the dates of publication of any regular statistics or reports by his Department have been affected by planning for the forthcoming general election. [323456]

Ann McKechin: On the announcement of a general election, the Cabinet Secretary issues guidance to Departments on their activities during the pre-election period. This will be published on the Cabinet Office website.

Regular statistical releases and reports will continue to be issued and published during the election period on dates which have been pre-announced.

Departmental Theft

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps his Department is taking to deter theft from within the Department. [322654]


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Ann McKechin: A wide range of security measures are in place to deter and detect theft. These are kept under review and additional measures are put in place as appropriate.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Community Development: Finance

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding his Department and its agencies have allocated to local authorities for Parish Path initiatives and partnerships in each year since such partnerships were established. [323525]

Huw Irranca-Davies: The Parish Paths Partnership was launched by the Countryside Commission in 1992 and ran until 1998 as a demonstration project. Some local authorities continue to run and fund the scheme, which is aimed at improving and maintaining local public rights of way. There is no centrally held information as to which authorities continue to operate the Parish Paths Partnership scheme, and how much funding is allocated to the scheme by those authorities.

Environment Protection: Seas and Oceans

Mr. Benyon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to publish the Government's Marine Protected Area Strategy; and what priority will be accorded to ecological coherence in the strategy. [323244]

Huw Irranca-Davies: We plan to publish our Marine Protected Area (MPA) strategy before Easter. MPAs are an important tool to achieve the Government's vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas. The Government are committed to designating Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) and Special Protection Areas (SPAs) under the European habitats and birds directives respectively, and Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Our ambition is to have sufficient sites designated by the end of 2012 so that they form a UK ecologically coherent network together with existing SACs, SPAs, MCZs, Ramsar sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and those sites designated by the Devolved Administrations.

Fish: Conservation

Lindsay Roy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to protect fish stocks in UK waters; and if he will make a statement. [323850]

Huw Irranca-Davies: As UK Fisheries Minister, I have made clear that the conservation of our fish stocks is my top priority. Without sustainable fish stocks, we cannot have a sustainable fishing industry. I want to see that reflected in reform of the common fisheries policy.

In the last round of EU Fisheries Council negotiations, I supported the setting of catch limits for this year, which reflected the scientific advice for the stocks in
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question-and only sought to alter the Commission's proposals where these would have caused significant economic difficulties for the coastal communities concerned. Ultimately, this represented a balance of UK interests.

In the lead-up to this year's negotiations, we will be working with industry and colleagues from the devolved Administrations to further encourage the widespread application of more selective fishing gear and working practices, to deliver even more significant reductions in discards, and eventually more sustainable fish stocks in UK (and EU) waters.

Rodents

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will place in the Library a copy of the Central Science Laboratory research reports commissioned by his Department on rodent issues with reference MoU with CSL - WM05002. [323055]

Huw Irranca-Davies: The memorandum of understanding between DEFRA and the Food and Environment Research Agency (previously the Central Science Laboratory) refers to the "English House Condition Survey Rodent Element and other Rodent Issues". The only reports commissioned on rodents under this agreement have been those reporting on infestation of dwellings by commensal rodents, derived from data arising from the rodent element of the English House Condition Survey. Copies of these commensal rodent infestation reports are already available in the House Library.

Rural Development Programme: North West

Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much funding has been allocated to businesses in the North West under the Rural Development Programme for England to date; and how many businesses in that region have participated in the programme. [323815]


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Huw Irranca-Davies: Under the socio-economic measures of the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), to date £62 million of funding has been committed to businesses in the North West for investment projects. This has benefitted 367 businesses in that region.

These figures do not include those businesses benefitting under axis 2 of the programme from the agri-environment or forestry schemes, or payments under the Hill Farm Allowance.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the Talisman project is fully operational in Afghanistan. [323638]

Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The Talisman route clearance system is currently in theatre and should be operational soon. As with other counter-improvised explosive device systems, Talisman is a developing capability and will continue to evolve over the coming months. I am withholding information on the exact schedule as its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Animal Experiments

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many animals of each species involved in procedures died as a result of those procedures at (a) Porton Down and (b) other establishments for which he is responsible in each of the last five years. [322457]

Mr. Quentin Davies: The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) returns the numbers of procedures undertaken involving animals at DSTL Porton Down to the Home Office on an annual basis, the numbers of procedures returned for last five years are detailed in the following table. This is the only designated defence establishment for such procedures.

Numbers of DSTL procedures returned to the Home Office

Guinea Pig Ferret Mouse Pig Rabbit Rat Sheep Non-human primate Total

2005

661

60

20,016

127

3

195

2

54

21,118

2006

545

0

15,986

123

0

335

4

52

17,045

2007

647

0

17,095

74

5

359

2

75

18,257

2008

254

0

10,404

113

2

549

0

55

11,380

2009

190

0

7,698

96

30

5

0

149

8,168


A very large proportion, approximately 95 per cent. of the total number of animals involved in the procedures either died during the procedure, or were humanely culled at the end of the procedures, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986:

Sections 3D, 14 (3) and 15 (2) detail the requirement for specific approval to keep animals alive after the completion of any regulated procedure.

A small number of animals, are approved for re-use in further procedures. An example of re-use was the herd of goats retained at Alverstoke for use in the hyperbaric research programme supporting the Ministry of Defence's Submarine Escape Rescue and Abandonment System. This programme ceased in November 2006, as formally announced in a written ministerial statement on 6 February 2008, Official Report, column 70WS.

Armed Forces: Training

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations he received on the research and assessment facility at the Defence Academy prior to the decision to close it; and if he will make a statement. [321484]


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Bill Rammell [holding answer 10 March 2010]: No representations were made prior to the decision to close the Research and Assessment Branch at the Academy.

The decision was taken as part of our regular review of Defence spending to ensure resources are focused on our top priority-success and support to operations in Afghanistan. To support this, the Secretary of State for Defence announced on 15 December 2009 a package amounting to £900 million over three years. However, in taking the latter decision we must prioritise rigorously and recognise that tough choices are required to better match the Defence programme to the available resources.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

Ann Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which company has been awarded the contract to supply 200 vehicles as part of the light protected patrol vehicle programme; and if he will make a statement. [323639]

Mr. Quentin Davies: A contract has not yet been awarded as the Ministry of Defence is still conducting the Concept Vehicle Evaluation trial phase of the Light Protected Patrol Vehicle (LPPV) Programme. Two contenders, which could fill the LPPV requirement, are currently being trialled, and it is expected that this phase will be completed in April 2010.

Wales

Out of Area Treatment

Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the First Minister on arrangements for cross-border healthcare. [321890]

Mr. Hain: I have regular meetings with the First Minister and we keep under review the cross-border implications of the policies of both Governments. The position of the Governments in Westminster and Wales is that the border should not represent a barrier to provision of health care, and to that end we have worked closely together on the Revised Protocol for Cross-border Healthcare. The Protocol provides increased clarity on commissioning and funding arrangements and on access standards for patients. It ensures patients who live in border regions and who access health services across the border will continue to see improvements to their services. Across the entire UK the Government remain committed to the core defining principles of an NHS funded by tax and free at the point of use.


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