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27 Sept 2000 : Column WA133

Written Answers

Wednesday, 27th September 2000.

Sudan: Humanitarian Aid

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What oversight mechanisms exist with regard to the distribution of food and humanitarian aid in Sudan.[HL3716]

Baroness Amos: Her Majesty's Government oblige all relief agencies they fund in Sudan to build sound monitoring and reporting arrangements into food and other humanitarian projects. This is to ensure that the targeted beneficiaries are indeed the people who benefit. We in turn monitor these agencies in the field as a further check that our assistance is reaching the people who need it.

Sudan: Demining Projects

Lord Ahmed asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What funding they have made available for demining projects in eastern and southern Sudan.[HL3720]

Baroness Amos: Her Majesty's Government have made no funding available for demining projects in Sudan. We consider it inappropriate to provide funds for demining in situations where conflict continues and when new mines continue to be laid.

Reproductive Health

Baroness Williams of Crosby asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How much was spent on reproductive health by the Department for International Development in each of the years 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999; and within that total how much was spent on protection against and treatment of HIV/AIDS.[HL3449]

Baroness Amos: In many cases it is not practical to distinguish between the sexual and the reproductive health/family planning elements of our programmes. There is also often no clear distinction between assisting with work in HIV/AIDS and in other sexual health issues. However, the following is an approximate breakdown of DFID's bilateral contributions to reproductive health/family planning and HIV/AIDS in 1996-1999. This does not include its significant contributions to multilateral agencies involved in tackling HIV/AIDS.

£ million

Reproductive Health/Family PlanningHIV/AIDS
19963515
19973815
19984216
19994017


27 Sept 2000 : Column WA134

Home Secretary's Driver: Prosecution Criteria

Lord Tebbit asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What criteria govern the decision whether the Home Secretary's driver should be prosecuted for driving in excess of 100 miles per hour on the M.5 motorway.[HL3665]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Bassam of Brighton): The decision is a matter for Avon and Somerset Constabulary to make in the light of all the circumstances. It is open to them to seek Crown Prosecution Service advice, in which event the CPS will apply the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

Lieutenant Governors: Appointment Criteria

Lord Hoyle asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Further to the Written Answer by Lord Bassam of Brighton on 24 July (WA 22), what steps are being taken when filling the position of Lieutenant Governors in the future to ensure that people who are not former service personnel or former diplomats are shortlised.[HL3657]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The aim is to ensure that those people who appear best to fulfil the criteria for the position are shortlisted; this could include people who are not former service personnel or former diplomats.

Asylum Seekers

Lord Vivian asked Her Majesty's Government:

    How many asylum seekers and how many illegal immigrants arrived and how many have been reported deported in each year since 1997.[HL3641]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The numbers of persons applying for asylum in each year since 1997 are shown in the first table. By definition, it is not possible to provide total numbers of illegal immigrants over the same period. The second table shows the number of persons who were served with illegal entry papers. The third table shows the number of failed asylum applicants removed or departing voluntarily as a result of enforcement action, whilst the fourth table shows the number of persons, including some persons who had applied for asylum, removed or departing voluntarily as a result of illegal entry enforcement action.

Applications received for asylum in the United Kingdom, excluding dependants

199719981999P
32,50046,02071,160

P 1999 data are provisional.

Data are rounded to the nearest 10.


27 Sept 2000 : Column WA135

Number of persons served with illegal entry papers

199719981999P
14,39016,50021,580

P 1999 data are provisional.

Data are rounded to the nearest 10.


Persons removed or departing voluntarily 1 as a result of enforcement action who had, at some stage, applied for asylum

199719981999P
7,1606,9007,620

1 Includes voluntary departures taking place after the initiation of enforcement action.

P 1999 data are provisional.

Data are rounded to the nearest 10.


Persons removed or departing voluntarily 1 as a result of illegal entry enforcement

199719981999P
Enforcement--illegal4,5405,5805,220

1 Includes voluntary departures taking place after the initiation of enforcement action.

P 1999 data are provisional.

Data are rounded to the nearest 10.


Criminals: Facial Identification Technique

Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have any empirical evidence that the use of photo-fits is effective in catching criminals; if so, whether this evidence compares such photo-fits with the facial features of criminals convicted in cases where such technology was used; and, if so, in what percentage of such photo-fit pictures there is a reasonable likeness.[HL3650]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The use of photo-fit as an important investigative tool has largely been superseded by E-FIT and other electronic systems. I understand that the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) will shortly be looking at the contribution made by all types of facial identification techniques in the investigation of crime.

Prisoners: Dietary Requirements

Lord Harrison asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the diet provided in HM prisons for insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent inmates is appropriate and properly forms part of an appropriate therapy.[HL3647]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Prison doctors will provide advice on any special dietary requirement a prisoner may have on medical grounds, including diabetes. The catering department would be advised as soon as possible. Prisoners with self-regulated diabetes will normally be encouraged to choose appropriate items from the menu on offer and would have access to advice to help them make such choices.

27 Sept 2000 : Column WA136

Prisons: Accessibility for Wheelchair Users

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether Agecroft and Ashfield prisons are fully accessible to (a) prisoners, (b) visitors, and (c) staff who are wheelchair users or who have sensory impairments; and [HL3712]

    Whether the prisons currently under construction at Marchington and Onley will be fully accessible.[HL3713]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: Ashfield and Forest Bank (Agecroft) prisons are fully accessible to prisoners, visitors and staff with physical disabilities. Dovegate (Marchington) prison and Rye Hill (Onley) prison will also be fully accessible.

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether all new houseblocks being added to the existing Prison Service managed prisons and contracted out prisons are fully accessible.[HL3714]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: The ground floors of all new houseblocks, of both Prison Service managed prisons and contracted out prisons, are fully accessible, i.e. via ramps and entrances which are of adequate width to allow access of wheelchairs etc.

The upper levels of such accommodation are galleried and are not readily accessible. Sufficient accommodation and facilities are available on the ground floor to ensure reasonable access to the full range of facilities.

Prisons: Building Regulations

Baroness Masham of Ilton asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether all prisons in England and Wales are subject to building regulations.[HL3711]

Lord Bassam of Brighton: All design, building and engineering work carried out by the Prison Service is subject to the substantive (as opposed to the procedural) requirements of the Building Regulations 1991 (Statutory Instrument No. 2768) apart from:


    Schedule 1 paragraph B1 (Fire safety means of escape)


    Schedule 1 paragraph B3 (fire resistant sub-divison of buildings when material alterations are made)

Prisons within the Inner London Area (Belmarsh, Brixton, Holloway, Pentonville, Wandsworth and Wormwood Scrubs) are subject also to the requirements of the Building (Inner London) Regulations 1985 and 1987.

27 Sept 2000 : Column WA137

The Prison Service is not subject to the procedural requirements of the Building Regulations; i.e. it is not required to submit drawings etc. for prison buildings and engineering works for Building Regulation approval.


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