|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
This is a marked and welcome reduction in what are mindless and despicable crimes which have no place in today's Northern Ireland society. There is a level of co-operation developing across Northern Ireland by the public with the police, which is dramatically different from what we've seen in the past.
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many unsolved murders there have been in Northern Ireland over the last 30 years.  [Official Report, 8 October 2008, Vol. 480, c. 1MC.]
Mr. Woodward: The latest figures published by the Office of National Statistics, based on the interim life tables for 2004 to 2006, show life expectancy in Northern Ireland as set out in the following table.
Paul Goggins: The Police Service of Northern Ireland, through the Organised Crime Task Force, lead on tackling the various forms of identity fraud in Northern Ireland. There is close co-operation with colleagues across the United Kingdom and in the Republic of Ireland to tackle this problem.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many serving police officers within the Police Service of Northern Ireland have committed driving offences within the last 12 months. 
Road traffic collisions, where as yet no offence has been identified.
Mr. Woodward: Following the restoration of devolution on 8 May 2007 Northern Ireland Ministers became responsible for the running of the Northern Ireland Departments. The information requested is set out in the following table which has been provided by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment in Northern Ireland (DETI).
Unemployment estimates are sourced to the Northern Ireland Labour Force Survey and the latest estimates relate to the period October to December 2007. DETI advise that annual estimates are not available for the full period requested, so estimates for the last quarter of each year have been provided for comparison purposes.
|Unemployment in Northern Ireland, final quarter, 2000 to 2007|
|Period (October to December each year)||Unemployment level||Unemployment rate (percentage)|
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department has taken to monitor the effectiveness of the Fireworks Act 2003; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Thomas: The Fireworks Act 2003 and other related legislation is kept under review. In particular the effectiveness of the legislation will be examined during the implementation of the European Directive on the placing on the market of pyrotechnic articles, which must be implemented by 10 January 2010.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many complaints about firework noise have been received by his Department; and what statistics his Department has collected on complaints regarding firework noise received by other public bodies in each month from 1 January 2003 to 31st December 2007. 
Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps the Government has taken to provide greater accessibility of employment dispute resolution procedures since 1997. 
Mr. McFadden: In December 2006, the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announced an independent review of Government support for resolving disputes in the workplace which considered the options for simplifying and improving all aspects of employment dispute resolution. The review concluded in March 2007 and recommended complete repeal of the statutory dispute resolution procedures. The Government sought views on the way forward through its March 2007 consultation Resolving disputes in the workplace.
The Government laid the Employment Bill before Parliament in December 2007 to give effect to the main legislative changes needed to reform employment dispute resolution and pave the way for a simpler and more efficient system for employers and employees. The key reforms within the Bill are:
Repeal of the statutory dispute resolution procedures and associated legislation relating to the role of procedure in unfair dismissal.
Introduction of a new principles based statutory ACAS Code of Practice which will be accompanied by fuller non-statutory guidance to provide practical help for employers and employees.
Employment tribunals will take account of the statutory Code in making determinations and have discretionary powers to adjust awards by up to 25 per cent. If either party acts unreasonably.
Removal of time restrictions on ACAS duty to conciliate after an employment tribunal claim has been made.
Additionally, the Government announced on 6 February 2007 that they were making up to £37 million available to help prevent workplace disputes unnecessarily going to employment tribunals. This extra funding over three years, will allow ACAS to boost its helpline and advice services so that they may help at any stage of a dispute ensuring it is never too late for employers and employees to reach an informal resolution. The money will support increased availability of ACAS conciliation before an
employment tribunal claim has been made, enabling the quicker, informal resolution of more disputes.
Mr. McFadden: The Tribunals Service has in recent years developed processes for dealing expeditiously with claims in certain jurisdictions. The Government propose to build on this existing good practice by extending the number of jurisdictions which will routinely be listed and determined quickly. The proposals are set out in my answer of 19 February 2008, Official Report, column 650W, to the hon. Member for Calder Valley (Chris McCafferty). The Government have also announced that additional resources will be invested in ACAS conciliation for cases which are likely to become the subject of an employment tribunal claim, but have not yet done so. This will enable more cases to be resolved quickly and informally.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the cost was of UK overseas regional trade offices in the last period for which figures are available. 
Mr. McFadden: The English Regional Development Agencies maintain representation overseas for the purpose of attracting inward investment, which in the financial year 2006-07 cost a total of £2.3 million.
Customers are not charged when they use their Post Office card account or cash a DWP cheque at the Post Office. However, the contracts for these two services come at considerable cost to the taxpayer. The Post Office card account contract, for example, will cost up to £1 billion over its lifetime. Each payment into a Post Office card account costs around 80p and each cheque cashed around £1.79. This compares to approximately 1p for each payment into a bank or building society account.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform further to the letter of 26 January sent by Lord Hanningfield to his Department, what assessment he has made of whether steps taken by Essex County Council constitute a serious expression of
interest to financially support post offices; and whether such steps require Post Office Ltd to delay physical closure of existing branches in Essex to allow (a) funding and (b) a contract to be put in place. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 18 February 2008]: I have spoken to both Post Office Ltd. and to Essex county council about this issue and encouraged dialogue, but it is for Post Office Ltd. and any interested local authority to work through the details of any proposal for councils to fund post office branches scheduled for closure under the network change programme.
Mr. McFadden: The Government's position on the role of lay members in employment tribunals is set out in my answer of 19 February 2008, Official Report, column 650W, to the hon. Member for Calder Valley (Chris McCafferty).
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many private finance schemes have been signed under the Building Schools for the Future programme; and what the (a) contractor and (b) length of contract is in each case. 
|LA PFI scheme||Contractor||Contract length (years)|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|