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Departments: Standards

Volume 465: debated on Wednesday 24 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of her Department’s public service agreement targets (a) take and (b) do not take account of rural proofing. (159631)

The PSAs set the Government’s top national priorities for the next three financial years. The PSAs that the Home Secretary is responsible for leading are:

Ensure controlled, fair migration that protects the public and contributes to economic growth

Make communities safer

Reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drugs

Reduce the risk to the UK and its interests overseas from international terrorism

Deliver a more effective, transparent and responsive criminal justice system for victims and the public (jointly with the Secretary of State for Justice and the Attorney-General)

In developing the policy which underpins all of our responsibilities including these priorities, we would always aim to fully assess the impact of all our proposals including significant effects on the rural community. Under the new impact assessment process we are required, like all Government Departments, to specifically demonstrate that we have considered rural proofing. All impact assessments are published.

The PSA framework also provides some flexibility for local agencies such as the police, local authorities, local criminal justice boards and regional Border and Immigration Agency directors to set local priorities according to local circumstances including rural needs.