HC Deb 02 May 2001 vol 367 cc697-9W
10. Miss McIntosh

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress she has made on reform of the European regulatory environment; and if she will make a statement. [159104]

Mr. Stringer

We have worked closely with other member states for instance through joint statements and initiatives, such as the Mandelkern Group and the Commission to achieve the real progress my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister reported to this House on 26 March following the Stockholm European Council.

11. Mr. Borrow

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what action her Department has taken to tackle the problem of drug misuse in South Ribble; and if she will make a statement. [159105]

Mr. Ian McCartney

We are making good progress nation-wide in all areas of the Government's anti-drugs strategy as reported in the UK Anti-Drugs Coordinator's Annual Report for 1999–2000, published on 7 November 2000.

South Ribble lies within the boundary of the Lancashire Drug Action Team—one of the largest DATs in the country. To date, over 230 individuals have benefited from Arrest Referral Services.

New Government resources are being targeted at increasing GP shared care, service capacity and child specific services.

17. Dr. Iddon

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how much the Government are spending in the financial year 2001–02 on misuse of drugs across all its Departments and agencies. [159114]

Marjorie Mowlam

The Government have made available substantial resources for directly tackling the problem of drug misuse. These are planned to increase from £700 million in 2000–01 to over £1 billion in 2003–04.

Details for 2001–02 are set out in the tables.

Key expenditure figures:

2000 spending review—resources directly allocated for tackling drug abuse (by main aim of the national anti-drugs strategy)1
Drug Treatment2 328
Protecting Young People 90
Safeguarding Communities 79
Reducing Availability3 373
Total 870
1Excludes expenditure by devolved Administration
2Comprises mainstream spending by Department of Health, local authorities and the pooled National Treatment Agency budget. Excludes additional Prison Service treatment spend, brigaded under Communities
3Based on projected anti-drugs allocation from anti-Organised Crime shared funding

2000 spending review—new resources provided for related programmes1
£ million
Criminal Justice System 1,420
Neighbourhood Renewal Fund 200
Children's Fund 100
Connexions2 77
1Excludes expenditure by devolved Administration
2This was added to existing provision for the careers service. Funding will go to the careers services in areas where Connexions is not yet running

Budget 2001—new resources for anti-drugs measures1
£ million
Strengthening communities 50
Extending drug testing in the CJS 0
Providing more help to find jobs 5
Strengthening DATs 5
Expanding Positive Futures 2
1Excludes expenditure by devolved Administration

22. Mr. Pike

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress has been made in multi-agency co-operation in tackling drug abuse problems in the last year. [159123]

Mr. Ian McCartney

Co-operation between agencies is essential to the success of the Government's anti-drugs strategy, particularly at local level. The Lancashire Drug Action Team is working closely with 12 Community Safety Partnerships on a Lange of initiatives designed to tackle drug misuse in the area. Examples in Burnley include targeting action to increase child specific services, reducing waiting times for specialist treatment, auditing service provision to ensure new resources are targeted where they are most needed, and encouraging opportunities for residents to voice their views on substance misuse.

We have also made available nationwide an additional £220 million to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships working with Drug Action Teams to build stronger community links and help police and local communities tackle neighbourhood drug problems and the crime associated with them. Partnerships will be free to use this money imaginatively on what will work in their own areas—for example, CCTV in key places, better street lighting or other environmental initiatives that improve visibility and make people feel safer, or to fund police actions against crime associated with drugs.

Mr. Waterson

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress has been made on establishing baseline figures for measuring the Government's targets on reducing drug use. [159118]

Mr. Ian McCartney

The Government have set demanding targets in all four areas of their 10 year anti-drugs strategy—halving drug use among young people, halving re-offending by drug-misusing offenders, doubling the numbers of people entering treatment and halving the availability of Class A drugs—and have put in place comprehensive research and information projects to measure progress.

In one of the areas—halving drug misuse among young people—a baseline figure has been established using the 1998 British Crime Survey. This showed that the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds reporting use of Class A drugs in the last years was 8.3 per cent. and in the last month was 3.4 per cent.

Baselines for the other areas will be established within the next 12 months.

23. Mrs. Gilroy

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment she has made of the impact of the Government's anti-drug policies on the south-west. [159124]

Marjorie Mowlam

We review the progress of local Drug Action Teams annually, through their reports and plans. Reports for 2000–01 are due from Drug Action Teams by the end of April, which will allow us to assess progress of the Government's anti-drugs strategy nationally, regionally and locally.

Emerging information indicates that all Drug Action Teams in the south-west have submitted treatment plans. In addition, a Public Health Observatory has been established to assess the health impact of drug use in the region; Arrest Referral Schemes have been implemented in custody suites in all police force areas; and Drug Treatment and Testing Orders continue to be rolled out across the region.