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Police

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the proposals for the merger of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire police forces. (25363)

My right hon. Friend, the then Home Secretary, announced on 11 April that he was initiating the statutory consultation process on this merger. However, the Home Secretary announced on 19 June that he would not be laying any orders for Home Secretary initiated mergers before the summer recess. This will provide the opportunity for further discussion and dialogue.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department where Cumbria and Lancashire's new merged police force headquarters will be based. (61322)

The location of the new Headquarters will be a decision for the chief constable and police authority of the newly merged force.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many meetings his civil servants have had with chief constables to discuss police restructuring in England and Wales. (68620)

Senior officials and other members of the Home Office police restructuring team have met chief constables and other colleagues on numerous occasions from police forces and authorities throughout England and Wales to discuss police restructuring.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what progress is being made with the proposed mergers of police forces in the North East region. (76812)

On 3 March my right hon. Friend, the then Home Secretary, announced his intention to initiate a merger of the police forces in the North East.

My right hon. Friend, the Home Secretary, announced on 19 June he would not be laying any Home Secretary initiated amalgamation Orders before Parliament before the summer recess. This will allow further discussions to take place and outstanding matters to be resolved.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which members of the (a) Cumbria and (b) Lancashire police authority (i) supported and (ii) opposed the merger of Lancashire and Cumbria police. (81704)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which sites are being considered as a possible headquarters for the merged Lancashire and Cumbria police force; and when a decision on the site will be made. (81705)

The location of the headquarters for a merged Cumbria and Lancashire police force will be a matter for the Chief Constable and police authority of the newly merged force.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many representations he has received from people in Yorkshire supporting the police mergers. (61675)

We have received a number of representations from people across the country, both in favour of, and opposed to police force mergers.

It is not possible to identify those relating to Yorkshire separately.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he will take in relation to police authorities who do not submit business cases on the proposed police structure reforms by the 23 December deadline. (39464)

I apologise to my hon. Friend for the delay in answering his question and will write to him in full.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to ensure that the Cumbria Police Authority remains a separate organisation. (50812)

No. My right hon. Friend has made it clear that the new merged force will have a single police authority.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate of the cost of the police restructuring proposals has been carried out by his Department; and when they will be published. (48617)

For areas where options have been identified as viable and effective a case for amalgamation has been provided. The cases for amalgamation contain indicative projected costs for amalgamation of the relevant forces. These documents have been sent to the police forces and police authorities concerned.

They are also available on the Home Office website—http://police.homeoffice.gov.uk/police-reform/Force-restructuring.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with (a) the Minister of State in the Department for Constitutional Affairs and (b) other ministerial colleagues on the possible impact of proposed police force mergers on court services; and if he will make a statement. (64734)

Discussions are ongoing with colleagues on the possible impact of proposed police force mergers.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many responses (a) favourable to and (b) opposed to a full merger of the Yorkshire and Humberside police forces his Department has received. (64984)

To date, the Home Office has received submissions on merger options for Yorkshire and the Humber police forces from North Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and Humberside police forces and authorities. All of these considered a full region merger as a viable option among a range of proposed possibilities.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the proposed timetable is for the establishment of the new Yorkshire and Humber Regional Police Force; and if he will make a statement. (67510)

[holding answer 2 May 2006]: I refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary's announcement on 19 June 2006, Official Report, columns 1057-62W and the letter which he sent to all hon. Members on that date. He said that the formal objection period for the Yorkshire and Humber merger, which would have expired on 11 August, will be extended. The replacement timetable will be subject to further discussion.