Minister answers questions about Gordon Brown’s toilets, drug deaths and the 2011 census

September 13, 2009 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

downingstwhitehall

More than 300 questions from MPs have been answered by ministers via written answers published earlier this week.

Parliament is in recess until October 12.

A question from Tory party chairman Eric Pickles asking how much has been spent in the last 24 months on the refurbishment of lavatories in 10 Downing St received a terse response.

Cabinet Office minister Angela E Smith replied: “Information on capital expenditure in 2007-08 and 2008-09 on improving Cabinet Office buildings, including the Downing street estate are included in the annual Cabinet Office resource accounts. Copies are available in the Library of the House.”

Ms Smith referred two questions to the UK Statistics Authority – one on drug deaths and the other on the 2011 national census.

The National Statistician, Jill Matheson, said that in 2008 there were 1,617 deaths in England where selected controlled substances as classified under the Misuse of Drugs Act were mentioned on the death certificate.

The region with the highest number of deaths was the North West, with 307 deaths.

Ms Matheson also responded to a question about the new questions on the census, which is held every ten years.

“The proposals for the 2011 Census have not yet been approved by Parliament,” she wrote.

“The draft Census Order which contains details of the questions to be asked in the 2011 Census is scheduled be laid before Parliament in October.

“The proposals for questions for the 2011 Census were set out in the White Paper Helping to shape tomorrow (Cm 7513) published and laid before Parliament on 11 December 2008, and which is available on the ONS website.

“The White Paper proposes new questions on Type of central heating, Number of bedrooms, National identity, Type of passport held, Date of entry into the UK and Intended length of stay (for non-UK born). Language and Second residence.”

She also informed MPs of the questions that were asked for the first time in 2001.

They were religion; general health; provision of unpaid care; time since last worked; type of landlord; whether schoolchild/student; lowest floor level of accommodation and size of workforce at place of work.

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