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Mr. Pond: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what arrangements have been made following the expiry of the terms of appointment of the members of the Security Service Tribunal on 18 December 1999; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Straw: Lord Justice Mummery has been appointed as President of the Tribunal for a period of five years, following his predecessor's acceptance of an appointment to the post of Security Service Commissioner. Sheriff John McInnes has been re-appointed as Vice-President of the Tribunal and both he and Sir Richard Gaskell have been re-appointed to the Tribunal for a further period of five years.
Kali Mountford: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has received the recommendations of the inquiry into the machinery for determining firefighters' conditions of service. 
Mr. Straw: Professor Burchill, who undertook the inquiry has submitted to me a number of recommendations for improving the working of the National Joint Council for Local Authorities' Fire Brigades. These include proposals which would involve the acceptance by the employees and the union of conciliation and arbitration, in the event of disputes, a clarification of procedures, a streamlining of the negotiation arrangements, and an independent Chair for the National Joint Council.
Implementation of these recommendations would be a matter for the National Joint Council rather than for the Government itself. I am, therefore, consulting the employers and the union, and with other interested parties, to confirm that they are willing to accept the proposals and to give them effect. I expect to announce the outcome of these consultations and to publish Professor Burchill's report early next month.
I am extremely grateful to Professor Burchill for the time and effort he has given to the inquiry, the way he has conducted it and the extent of common understanding and agreement he has already been able to achieve.
Mr. McWalter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he has reached a decision on the bids for notional credit approvals under the second round of the private finance initiative for the Fire Service. 
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My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary has also decided that he will be prepared to consider further the indicative bids from Tyne and Wear (Phase two) and London once decisions on provision of notional credit approvals for 2002-03 have been taken.
Mr. Straw: I am very aware of the nuisance caused by the activities of kerb crawlers. The Government agree that a specific power of arrest would assist the police in dealing with this problem. I intend to include this proposal in the draft of a police and private security Bill, on which we will be consulting later this session, and which we will introduce at the earliest legislative opportunity.
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Mr. Charles Clarke: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by the Minister of State, Home Office, my right hon. Friend the Member for Brent, South (Mr. Boateng), to the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington) on 21 October 1999, Official Report, columns 621-22W, which remains valid as a description of the state of play.
At the request of the United Kingdom and some other member states, it has been agreed with our Council of Europe partners that the draft convention should be made publicly available and we expect it to be released shortly. We plan to consult relevant interests, including industry, and will place a copy of the draft convention in the Library.
Mr. Boateng: The Prison Service has accepted that its policies should conform to the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The Prison Service has already put in place policies, practices and procedures to prevent discrimination, and to provide auxiliary aids or services to facilitate disabled prisoners' and visitors' access to services. A Working Group has been set up to consider what needs to be done to conform with the requirement of the Act to remove or alter physical barriers to disabled persons' access to services.
Miss Widdecombe: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list, for (i) 1997-98, (ii) 1998-99 and (iii) 1999-2000, together with estimates he has made for the year 2000-01 (a) the number of applications for asylum made in each year, (b) the number of dependants of applicants for asylum applying in each year, (c) the number of asylum seekers and dependants being supported at cost to public funds, (d) the costs to public funds of supporting asylum seekers and their dependants, including costs relating to unaccompanied children, (1) in total, (2) per head of population, (3) per income tax payer, (4) per household and (5) as a percentage of total Government expenditure and (e) the cost to public funds of administration associated with asylum seekers and their dependants, (A) in total, (B) per head of population, (C) per income tax payer, (D) per household and (E) as a percentage of total Government expenditure. 
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|Asylum seekers and dependants being supported by public funds||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|Costs to public funds of supporting asylum seekers and their dependants (19)|
|Total (£ million)||375||475||597||n/a|
|Per head of population(20) (£)||6.38||8.08||10.15||n/a|
|Per income tax payer(20) (£)||13.44||17.03||21.40||n/a|
|Per household(20) (£)||15.50||19.63||24.67||n/a|
|Percentage of total Government expenditure(20)||0.12||0.14||0.17||n/a|
||Costs to public funds of administration associated with asylum seekers and their dependants (21)
||Total (£ million)||215||209||(22)260||n/a
||Per head of population(20) (£)||3.66||3.55||4.42||n/a
||Per income tax payer(20) (£)||7.71||7.49||9.32||n/a
||Per household(20) (£)||8.88||8.64||10.74||n/a
||Percentage of total Government expenditure(20)||0.07||0.06||0.08||n/a
(17) Includes an estimated figure for March 2000.
(18) Only available for calendar years.
(19) Including costs associated with unaccompanied children.
(20) The estimated figure for the UK population is 58.8 million, the estimated number of tax payers is 27.9 million and the estimated number of households is 24.2 million. The total managed public expenditure in 1997-98 was 322.1 billion, in 1998-99 is 331 billion (estimated) and in 1999-2000 is £345.2 billion (estimated).
(21) These figures are for total immigration administration which includes asylum administration costs.
(22) Includes National Asylum Support Service (NASS) administration costs.
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In 1997-98 to 1999-2000 asylum seekers were supported by the Department of Social Security and Department of Health (Local authorities). Figures for the numbers being supported change from week to week. Financial year figures for supported asylum seekers are not available.
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