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Written Answers

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 24 July 2006

Communities and Local Government

Arm's Length Management

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to measure the impact of arm's length management organisations on tenant satisfaction. (83373)

Tenant satisfaction is one of the best value performance indicators used to measure performance by local authorities. To date there are only data available to cover the first two years of operation for the first eight ALMOs. As soon as sufficient data are available we will be able to assess the impact of ALMOs on tenant satisfaction more generally.

City of York Council

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much in (a) rate support grants, (b) business rates and (c) special grants the Government paid to City of York council in each year since its creation as a unitary authority (i) in cash terms and (ii) at current prices; how much will be paid in each category in 2006-07; and what the purpose was of each special grant of £50,000 or more. (86526)

The following table shows the amount of revenue support grant, redistributed business rates and specific and special grants allocated to the City of York council in the period 1996-97 to 2006-07.

£ million

Revenue Support Grant

Redistributed Business Rates

Specific and Special Grants within Aggregate External Finance (AEF)

Cash terms

Current prices

Cash terms

Current prices

Cash terms

Current prices

1996-97

36.598

46.663

41.981

53.526

3.305

4.214

1997-98

38.597

47.821

39.451

48.879

3.128

3.876

1998-99

39.274

47.454

41.267

49.862

4.113

4.970

1999-00

39.478

46.754

44.995

53.288

6.185

7.325

2000-01

36.901

43.096

51.078

59.654

10.977

12.820

2001-02

40.309

45.985

50.021

57.065

15.044

17.162

2002-03

35.89

39.715

55.16

61.039

21.172

23.429

2003-04

45.361

48.747

54.927

59.027

31.192

33.520

2004-05

51.761

54.149

50.943

53.293

31.743

33.208

2005-06

47.84

49.009

61.026

62.517

31.318

32.083

2006-07

6.011

6.011

31.140

31.140

106.983

106.983

Please note that these amounts are not comparable year-on-year due to changes in funding and function. For example, in 2006-07 support for school funding moved from formula grant (i.e. revenue support grant plus business rates) to the dedicated schools grant.

The current prices have been calculated using the GDP deflator as the measure of inflation.

The Department for Communities and Local Government does not routinely collect data on all individual special grants from other Government Departments. The purpose of the special grants is a matter for the department that provides them.

Specific grants within aggregate external finance are those revenue grants paid for councils’ core services (such as schools funding), excluding funding for local authorities’ housing management.

Commission for Equality and Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights will be appointed; and if she will make a statement. (86742)

[holding answer 20 July 2006]: I anticipate that the chair of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights will be appointed during the summer period.

Consultancies

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 10 July 2006, Official Report, columns 1538-42W, on consultancies, if she will place in the Library a copy of document 5, the MORI Survey of Government Office for the South East partners. (86910)

Contaminated Land

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what are the principal purposes of the Contaminated Land: Application in Real Environments scheme; how much public funding the scheme will receive in 2006-07; when its current grant expires; and by what process future public funding levels will be determined; (86426)

(2) what is the commercial remit of the Contaminated Land: Application in Real Environments programme; and what its principal commercial activities are.

I have been asked to reply.

Contaminated Land: Application in Real Environments (CL:AIRE) is an independent registered charity, which organises and independently reviews demonstration projects on the remediation of contaminated land and disseminates the results in line with its charitable objectives. Details are provided in CL:AIRE’s annual accounts.

CL:AIRE’s board includes representatives from the private and public sectors. Some £465,000 of public funds from several sources has been agreed for this financial year, including £80,000 per year from DEFRA for this year and the next two years. Public funding is mainly for specific remedial projects, and also for dissemination of information and other activities. Funding organisations establish their individual requirements in discussions and formal arrangements with CL:AIRE, which has been encouraged to diversify its sources of income.

Council Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of the Greater London population paid council tax in the last year for which figures are available; and what percentage qualified for discounts. (87115)

The number of chargeable dwellings liable for council tax in Greater London as at November 2005 was 3,108,000 of which 1,281,000 dwellings (41.2 per cent.) were entitled to a discount.

The number of chargeable dwellings and those entitled to a discount are taken from the CTB1 forms submitted to this Department by all 33 London billing authorities including the City of London.

The number of individuals liable for council tax cannot be accurately determined from these or other sources.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much council tax was raised in the last year for which figures are available. (87156)

The council tax received by local authorities in England in 2005-06 was £18,419 million. This figure excludes amounts funded by council tax benefit and includes both arrears received for previous years and prepayment of council tax for subsequent years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the cost was of administering the council tax system in the latest year for which figures are available. (87158)

Net current expenditure on administering the council tax system for 2004-05 by local authorities in England is tabled as follows.

£ million

Council tax collection

340.9

Council tax benefits administration

277.5

Total

618.4

The data are as reported by local authorities and are taken from Revenue Outturn (RO) returns for 2004-05.

Net current expenditure is defined as gross expenditure on employees and running expenses, less income from sales, fees and charges, and ‘other income’.

The council tax collection figures also include any costs relating to collection of arrears of pre-1990 domestic rates and community charges.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library copies of the Valuation Office Agency’s council tax people’s panel reports and summaries from the last 24 months. (87348)

The results from the Valuation Office Agency’s council tax people’s panels, for the now postponed council tax revaluation in England, are for input to the formulation and development of Government policy and it is not therefore appropriate to place these in the public domain.

E-Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the Government have for (a) a single property account and (b) a single citizen account as part of its e-government and Government Connects programme. (88058)

The Government recognise the strategic importance of (a) a single property account and issued an outline prospectus entitled “Towards the National Spatial Addressing Infrastructure” for public consultation in May last year, containing technical details and governance structures. Discussions with stakeholders regarding this initiative are currently ongoing.

The Government Connect Programme will provide local government with a single secure approach to registering and authenticating users of online services. This will include checking identity details through data matching and data sharing processes to enable joined-up or shared service provision.

In relation to (b) a single citizen account, a core element of the Government Connect programme is the ability to offer a ‘single sign-on’ to citizens, i.e. once a citizen has registered and authenticated themselves online, all subsequent transactions will use this authentication, which means that citizens will no longer be asked for the same information again and again as they use different services from different providers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what funding was provided to local authorities for Implementing Electronic Government in each year since its introduction; and how much has been allocated for (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08. (88070)

Local authorities in England were allocated the following capital grant for Implementing Electronic Government:

Capital grant (£)

2002-03

200,000

2003-04

200,000

2004-05

350,000

2005-06

150,000

2006-07

0

2007-08

0

The Local e-Government Programme was completed in March 2006, so no Implementing Electronic Government funding has been allocated for 2006-07 or 2007-08.

Empty Dwellings

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many vacant homes there are in (a) England and (b) Swindon. (86631)

The information is as follows:

At October 2005 there were an estimated 723,194 vacant homes in England.

At October 2005 Swindon district council reported a total of 2,374 vacant homes.

Source:

Council Tax Base 1 (CTB1) returns.

Fair Trade Councils

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps her Department has taken to support local authorities becoming designated as fair trade councils. (87523)

Local authorities are responsible for taking their own procurement decisions subject to the requirements of Best Value Legislation and to the EU/UK regulatory framework. Fair trade options have to be considered by local authorities within this framework.

False Fire Alarms

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many malicious false fire alarms were attended by the fire and rescue service in (a) each London borough and (b) constituency since 2004-05. (86813)

Information provided by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) is shown in the following tables:

Malicious false fire alarms attended by London borough

2004-05

2005-06

Barking and Dagenham

342

158

Barnet

245

157

Bexley

119

62

Brent

312

137

Bromley

182

122

Camden

267

321

City of London

18

13

Croydon

140

165

Ealing

234

96

Enfield

327

150

Greenwich

308

152

Hackney

368

121

Hammersmith and Fulham

132

59

Haringey

390

181

Harrow

222

91

Havering

114

78

Hillingdon

169

88

Hounslow

152

61

Islington

265

95

Kensington and Chelsea

135

66

Kingston-upon-Thames

65

64

Lambeth

348

149

Lewisham

324

109

Merton

65

41

Newham

446

173

Redbridge

136

103

Richmond-upon-Thames

35

26

Southwark

385

175

Sutton

65

36

Tower Hamlets

513

219

Waltham Forest

263

154

Wandsworth

196

102

Westminster

301

196

Malicious false fire alarms attended by constituency

2004-05

2005-06

Barking

177

96

Battersea

62

35

Beckenham

50

28

Bethnal Green and Bow

311

129

Bexleyheath and Crayford

49

26

Brent East

90

52

Brent North

88

33

Brent South

134

52

Brentford and Isleworth

83

30

Bromley and Chislehurst

57

35

Camberwell and Peckham

139

70

Carshalton and Wallington

37

26

Chingford and Woodford Green

37

45

Chipping Barnet

63

23

Cities of London and Westminster

231

167

Croydon Central

60

84

Croydon North

60

45

Croydon South

20

36

Dagenham

165J

62

Dulwich and West Norwood

93

38

Ealing North

82

30

Ealing, Acton and Shepherd’s Bush

109

47

Ealing, Southall

101

50

East Ham

179

60

Edmonton

84

45

Eltham

71

45

Enfield North

166

69

Enfield, Southgate

77

36

Erith and Thamesmead

135

53

Feltham and Heston

69

31

Finchley and Golders Green

62

47

Greenwich and Woolwich

153

68

Hackney North and Stoke Newington

154

52

Hackney South and Shoreditch

214

69

Hammersmith and Fulham

74

28

Hampstead and Highgate

51

45

Harrow East

183

76

Harrow West

39

15

Hayes and Harlington

103

44

Hendon

120

87

Holborn and St. Pancras

216

276

Hornchurch

31

28

Hornsey and Wood Green

135

86

Ilford North

46

25

Ilford South

75

63

Islington North

117

48

Islington South and Finsbury

148

46

Kensington and Chelsea

67

37

Kingston and Surbiton

61

60

Lewisham East

139

45

Lewisham West

114

42

Lewisham, Deptford

71

22

Leyton and Wanstead

88

49

Mitcham and Morden

41

27

North Southwark and Bermondsey

198

87

Old Bexley and Sidcup

19

22

Orpington

75

59

Poplar and Canning Town

290

132

Putney

42

24

Regent’s Park and Kensington North

155

70

Richmond Park

12

13

Romford

48

26

Ruislip-Northwood

26

17

Streatham

85

54

Sutton and Cheam

28

10

Tooting

92

43

Tottenham

255

95

Twickenham

27

17

Upminster

35

24

Uxbridge

40

27

Vauxhall

218

75

Walthamstow

153

75

West Ham

179

71

Wimbledon

24

14

Note:

Data supplied by LFEPA.

The total number of malicious false fire alarms by constituency is slightly less than by borough because of missing geographic information.

Fire Control Centres

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what arrangements are in place to (a) monitor the progress of the roll out of regional fire control centres and (b) ensure all functions and duties currently undertaken by fire control centres are covered in the new structure. (86044)

The FiReControl project is managed in line with the principles of PRINCE2 methodology and Office of Government Commerce (OGC) best practice.

It is managed in stages and includes separate accommodation and technology procurements. Regional projects have been established to plan and manage the changes at regional and FRS levels. Progress is monitored and reported against the project plan. Internal reports are provided to the Project Board, and upwards to the programme executive and DCLG Board. As a mission critical project, quarterly reports are also made to OGC and subject to the Gateway Review process.

All functions and duties currently undertaken in FRS control rooms that are essential to the operation of the fire and rescue service will be done in either the new regional control centres (RCCs) or FRS HQs. Following the responses to a recent questionnaire on current control room activities, we are working with our local delivery co-ordinators in each FRS to plan the effective transition of activities.

More detailed information on our recent follow-up work on existing control room activities can be found on the FiReControl website:

www.firecontrol.communities.gov.uk

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what response she has made to the Fire Brigade Union document “Regional Control: national resilience.” (86045)

The Fire Brigade Union sent a copy of their document “Regional Control: national resilience” to the Deputy Prime Minister and requested a meeting. The Deputy Prime Minister met with the Fire Brigade Union Secretary on the 7 February 2006 to discuss their proposals, amongst other things.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the location is of each fire local control room in England, broken down by region; and how many people are employed at each. (86782)

The information requested is tabulated as follows:

Staff in post on 31 March 2005 (all persons having a fire control role)

Region

Staff (full-time equivalents)

East of England: 6 control rooms

Kempston, Bedford

26

Huntingdon

29

Hutton (Essex)

144

Hertford

26

Heathersett, Norwich

27

Ipswich

23

East Midlands: 5 control rooms

Littleover, Derby

32

Glenfield, Leicester

27

Lincoln

24

Northampton

23

Arnold, Nottingham

28

London: 1 control room

London SE1

111

North East: 4 control rooms

Hartlepool

23

Durham

27

Morpeth

23

Newcastle upon Tyne

36

North West: 5 control rooms

Winsford

24

Cockermouth

18

Swinton, Manchester

68

Fulwood, Preston

45

Bootle, Liverpool

54

South East: 9 control rooms

Tilehurst, Reading

34

Aylesbury

21

Eastbourne

27

Eastleigh

38

Newport (Isle of Wight)

13

Tovil, Maidstone

39

Kidlington, Oxford

21

Reigate

28

Chichester

31

South West: 7 control rooms

Bristol

34

Truro

16

Clyst St. George, Exeter

28

Dorchester

24

Quedgeley, Gloucester

21

Cheddon Fitzpaine, Taunton

21

Potterne, Devizes

24

West Midlands: 5 control rooms

Worcester

21

Shrewsbury

17

Stone

31

Royal Leamington Spa

17

Birmingham

62

Yorkshire and the Humber: 4 control rooms

Kingston upon Hull

29

Northallerton

24

Sheffield

38

Birkenshaw, West Yorkshire

55

1 2004 figure.

Source:

Fire and Rescue Service returns to DCLG.

Firefighters

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many incidents (a) Merseyside Fire Service and (b) fire services in England experienced where booby-traps had been left to injure firemen in the course of carrying out their duties in each year for which figures are available. (88206)

Fires

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many outbreaks of fire were recorded in each London borough in each of the last five years. (86797)

Information provided by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) is tabulated as follows.

Fires attended in each London borough, 2001-02 to 2005-06

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Barking and Dagenham

2,451

2,066

2,960

1,853

1,651

Barnet

1,333

1,299

1,641

1,152

1,248

Bexley

1,745

1,295

1,968

1,337

1,370

Brent

1,367

1,230

1,518

1,124

1,062

Bromley

1,870

1,702

2,130

1,544

1,794

Camden

1,467

1,479

1,303

1,159

1,027

City of London

131

115

131

127

90

Croydon

1,949

1,481

2,084

1,407

1,360

Ealing

1,723

1,534

1,853

1,335

1,336

Enfield

1,834

1,554

2,116

1,496

1,398

Greenwich

2,766

2,285

3,270

1,892

2,092

Hackney

2,609

1,945

1,958

1,557

1,438

Hammersmith and Fulham

744

743

829

655

604

Haringey

1,569

1,402

1,426

1,192

1,107

Harrow

823

746

840

600

531

Havering

1,831

1,482

2,099

1,396

1,485

Hillingdon

1,997

1,893

2,134

1,313

1,211

Hounslow

1,875

1,589

2,112

1,219

1,187

Islington

1,797

1,701

1,707

1,127

1,177

Kensington and Chelsea

666

516

668

553

489

Kingston-upon-Thames

607

527

707

568

467

Lambeth

2,039

1,702

1,772

1,390

1,241

Lewisham

1,588

1,443

1,822

1,313

1,336

Merton

1,090

1,012

1,195

706

761

Newham

3,618

2,929

2,985

1,830

1,688

Redbridge

1,318

1,165

1,664

1,117

1,025

Richmond-upon-Thames

533

525

750

464

404

Southwark

2,740

2,341

2,523

2,026

1,737

Sutton

1,033

908

1,142

731

755

Tower Hamlets

4,008

3,162

3,531

2,761

2,602

Waltham Forest

1,301

1,289

1,779

1,115

1,165

Wandsworth

1,273

1,131

1,367

1,037

921

Westminster

1,501

1,377

1,300

1,197

1,199

Total

55,196

47,568

57,284

40,293

38,958

Note:

Data supplied by LFEPA, and include both primary and secondary fires.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) primary and (b) secondary fires there were in England in each year since 1981; and how many dwelling fires there were in England in each year since 1976. (86803)

The information requested is tabulated as follows:

Primary, dwelling and secondary fires attended by fire and rescue services, England: 1976 to 2004

Thousand

Total primary fires

Dwelling fires

Secondary fires

1976

39.8

1977

40.1

1978

39.6

1979

48.4

1980

42.2

1981

113.0

44.4

112.9

1982

118.8

44.2

126.2

1983

122.4

45.0

132.6

1984

129.1

45.6

169.8

1985

131.0

48.5

125.6

1986

134.1

49.1

122.5

1987

135.0

49.4

102.9

1988

135.7

50.0

118.2

1989

144.5

50.1

194.0

1990

146.0

48.7

210.7

1991

155.8

49.4

156.3

1992

162.5

50.2

148.8

1993

160.2

50.7

168.6

1994

159.4

52.0

195.8

1995

161.3

52.2

300.2

1996

168.6

56.6

226.7

1997

164.5

57.6

189.5

1998

163.4

56.5

146.3

1999

178.8

57.5

180.0

2000

180.0

56.2

179.8

2001

188.4

54.8

229.5

2002

182.6

51.6

225.9

2003

176.8

51.1

308.5

2004

150.9

48.1

192.0

Notes:

1.Data collection methods have varied over time, so categories may not be consistent throughout the period.

2. Data includes estimates for incidents not recorded in November 2002 and January and February 2003 during industrial action.

Source:

Fire and Rescue Service returns to DCLG.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many deliberate (a) vehicle fires and (b) fires there were in each London borough in each of the last five years. (86836)

Information provided by the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) is showing in the following tables:

Deliberate vehicle fires attended by London Fire Brigade by borough

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Barking and Dagenham

729

478

403

275

200

Barnet

195

229

200

138

180

Bexley

362

276

254

162

137

Brent

195

170

164

123

133

Bromley

569

461

375

299

336

Camden

147

120

81

57

61

City of London

0

2

0

0

1

Croydon

389

257

252

179

198

Ealing

316

278

220

142

145

Enfield

451

326

318

210

181

Greenwich

576

462

448

332

279

Hackney

585

399

267

139

156

Hammersmith and Fulham

51

67

46

26

24

Haringey

289

281

242

140

125

Harrow

150

138

74

49

36

Havering

377

333

330

201

196

Hillingdon

645

515

345

229

171

Hounslow

417

371

283

177

176

Islington

330

222

189

67

107

Kensington and Chelsea

32

31

26

23

21

Kingston-upon-Thames

133

96

120

124

51

Lambeth

234

179

144

92

104

Lewisham

267

255

185

117

131

Merton

253

205

157

102

93

Newham

830

579

441

237

215

Redbridge

332

222

177

124

132

Richmond-upon-Thames

46

48

33

25

28

Southwark

399

310

222

171

130

Sutton

162

140

145

73

68

Tower Hamlets

624

505

357

298

252

Waltham Forest

211

194

192

114

121

Wandsworth

127

92

112

56

54

Westminster

34

41

34

17

32

Deliberate fires attended by London Fire Brigade by borough

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Barking and Dagenham

1,835

1,540

2,348

1,305

1,019

Barnet

698

706

815

518

592

Bexley

1,272

920

1,420

838

756

Brent

604

547

693

507

444

Bromley

1,362

1,247

1,499

1,072

1,141

Camden

664

685

585

407

341

City of London

15

16

17

20

3

Croydon

1,125

842

1,174

748

728

Ealing

1,084

847

944

619

605

Enfield

1,163

985

1,339

822

720

Greenwich

1,951

1,580

2,418

1,271

1,226

Hackney

1,871

1,249

1,083

647

585

Hammersmith and Fulham

293

314

328

187

174

Haringey

853

746

748

554

449

Harrow

477

393

408

257

206

Havering

1,317

1,061

1,525

925

880

Hillingdon

1,347

1,276

1,271

679

607

Hounslow

1,275

1,051

1,386

746

673

Islington

1,134

1,114

1,039

575

562

Kensington and Chelsea

189

129

198

153

114

Kingston-upon-Thames

307

245

347

299

198

Lambeth

932

780

806

548

468

Lewisham

866

795

980

639

619

Merton

632

577

704

346

346

Newham

2,743

2,148

1,989

1,013

856

Redbridge

841

691

823

565

515

Richmond-upon-Thames

229

254

326

197

145

Southwark

1,656

1,339

1,360

958

711

Sutton

663

564

739

404

406

Tower Hamlets

2,888

2,172

2,398

1,782

1,526

Waltham Forest

716

785

984

574

526

Wandsworth

565

472

611

419

292

Westminster

393

398

300

221

159

Note:

Data supplied by LFEPA, and includes both primary and secondary fires.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many large outbreaks of fire there were in each fire authority in each of the last 10 years. (87181)

The information requested is in the following table.

Fires1, 2 attended by five or more pumping appliances by FRS area, England: 1995-2004

Number

FRS area

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

England

1,934

1,666

1,420

1,446

2,261

1,554

1,711

1,655

1,890

1,476

England-Non-Met counties

1,132

1,015

766

663

1,314

933

1,020

1,057

1,279

970

Avon

10

46

16

23

37

36

31

37

63

34

Bedfordshire

17

20

23

0

9

25

10

1

14

24

Berkshire

28

28

12

13

40

22

1

23

30

39

Buckinghamshire

28

21

10

6

24

15

4

31

16

7

Cambridgeshire

20

23

8

5

35

16

18

16

13

19

Cheshire

51

32

24

25

33

28

12

46

50

34

Cleveland

25

14

22

4

37

17

25

29

5

27

Cornwall

16

33

17

3

17

34

10

5

1

0

Cumbria

9

7

1

10

7

15

17

11

11

9

Derbyshire

25

15

8

9

17

8

12

17

16

12

Devon

57

39

42

33

33

23

55

100

34

54

Dorset

49

29

28

28

52

63

61

62

66

41

Durham

15

1

14

5

4

7

7

8

6

9

East Sussex

22

17

11

1

29

26

16

21

26

25

Essex

58

42

33

23

67

45

69

21

72

2

Gloucestershire

13

31

4

17

13

26

3

15

22

16

Hampshire

41

44

30

33

69

65

51

34

84

39

Hereford and Worcester

33

15

18

18

17

15

30

23

24

20

Hertfordshire

55

21

14

26

58

26

27

24

28

22

Humberside

47

48

19

20

72

24

51

68

59

12

Isle of Wight

9

3

16

3

7

6

5

0

0

0

Kent

92

116

60

45

'105

90

101

115

96

65

Lancashire

20

28

34

53

78

42

43

33

46

51

Leicestershire

25

18

35

31

33

22

13

24

20

20

Lincolnshire

27

19

12

23

28

28

17

15

24

33

Norfolk

36

13

24

10

53

29

38

42

48

39

North Yorkshire

30

18

29

8

14

11

10

28

21

20

Northamptonshire

16

13

6

8

54

11

2

4

36

19

Northumberland

10

2

27

6

4

1

0

6

17

9

Nottinghamshire

26

21

6

21

37

20

16

17

30

46

Oxfordshire

15

29

27

16

49

20

25

5

39

14

Shropshire

20

21

14

14

18

5

7

20

7

7

Somerset

13

13

5

12

35

18

25

27

21

16

Staffordshire

41

26

10

14

31

22

10

25

30

28

Suffolk

46

78

18

36

16

15

39

30

48

40

Surrey

13

20

27

9

20

5

46

16

58

26

Warwickshire

21

5

15

16

5

0

13

25

13

36

West Sussex

34

27

31

18

30

40

49

23

66

55

Wiltshire

17

19

16

18

29

12

50

7

21

1

Isles of Scilly

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

England-Met Counties

802

651

654

783

947

621

691

598

611

506

Greater Manchester

92

58

60

66

78

50

120

95

108

75

Merseyside

50

38

31

38

69

33

22

48

28

21

South Yorkshire

10

21

12

6

30

16

20

5

20

18

Tyne and Wear

28

28

62

40

44

25

99

33

38

24

West Midlands

117

126

156

249

209

197

126

135

136

138

West Yorkshire

98

62

50

56

63

49

52

58

40

30

Greater London

409

318

283

328

455

252

252

224

242

200

1 Including additional late call and heat and smoke damage incidents (not recorded prior to 1994).

2 Excluding incidents not recorded during periods of industrial action in 2002 and 2003.

Note:

Figures are based on sampled data grossed to fire and rescue service totals.

Source:

Fire and rescue service returns to DCLG

Fire Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the level of provision was during the recent Hertfordshire fire strike for interim fire and rescue cover (a) to tackle fire and (b) to assist with road accidents. (88074)

Hertfordshire experienced three individual periods of strike action, on 20, 26 and 31 May 2006, each lasting for eight hours. The level of fire and rescue cover varied from 11 up to 16 pumping appliances, plus a specialist rescue vehicle. All pumping appliances had capability for both firefighting and road traffic accidents. The specialist rescue vehicle was for road traffic accidents. It was in service for the first two periods of strike action, but not for the last period, when the skills were available in other crews.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the Government have to ensure inter-operability and improve communications between the fire service and the other emergency services. (86977)

The Firelink project, providing updated wide area radio communications to the fire and rescue service, will roll out from this autumn through until 2009. Firelink will provide inter-operability with police and ambulance services at strategic and tactical command levels.

Golf Courses

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many golf courses were registered on the Ratings List for business rates in England in the most recent year for which figures are available. (88077)

The number of properties described as a golf course in the 2005 Rating List for England, at 31 January 2006, is 1,786.

Green Belt

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how she defines inappropriate development with regard to Green Belt policy. (87744)

In deciding whether a development is inappropriate in the Green Belt the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is guided by Planning Policy Guidance note 2 (PPG2), Green Belts.

Horses

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers are available to local authorities to deal with nuisance caused by horses (a) roaming wild in urban areas and (b) tethered on (i) public and (ii) private open space; and if she will make a statement. (85305)

I have been asked to reply.

The Animals Act 1971 and the Highways Act 1980 contain provisions that relate to stray horses. Responsibility for enforcing this legislation lies with the police and local authorities.

The Protection Against Cruel Tethering Act 1988 created a specific offence under the Protection of Animals Act 1911 of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse, ass or mule by the manner or condition of its tethering. Anyone can seek to bring a prosecution where there is evidence of cruelty, either by tethering or by allowing horses to run free.

It is also an offence under the Abandonment of Animals Act 1960 to abandon an animal in circumstances likely to cause it unnecessary suffering. The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of £5,000 or a six months imprisonment, or both.

House Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average price of a home was in each London borough in each of the last five years. (82898)

Average house prices for London boroughs and local authority districts from 1996 based on data from the Land Registry are published in Table 585 on the Department for Communities and Local Government website at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=l156110

Housing (Hounslow)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much funding has been allocated to the London borough of Hounslow for the upgrading and repairs of council housing stock to meet the decent homes standard since 1997. (84430)

Capital investment by the London borough of Hounslow since 1997 via the housing revenue account system is set as follows. ALMO—arm’s length management organisations—allowances are included in these figures.

£ million

1997-98

15,200,000

1998-99

12,523,000

1999-2000

12,948,000

2000-01

12,690,000

2001-02

10,028,000

2002-03

23,019,000

2003-04

38,901,000

2004-05

68,894,000

2005-06 (Planned)

68,413,000

Housing Renewal (Morecambe)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been allocated by English Partnerships to housing renewal in the West End of Morecambe under the West End Masterplan. (85033)

Under the West End Masterplan for the renewal of the West End of Morecombe, English Partnerships have approved an investment of £8.6 million of which £4.5 million has been spent on land assembly and masterplanning works.

Intelligent Addressing

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what use (a) her Department and (b) local authorities make of Intelligent Addressing in geographical information systems. (88069)

The Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has a development and demonstration licence with the Improvement and Development Agency to use the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG) data produced under contract by Intelligent Addressing. NLPG data supports the National Register of Social Housing data collection. DCLG has previously used Intelligent Addressing directly as a contractor to perform address matching.

Local authorities access data and services provided by Intelligent Addressing through their Mapping Services Agreement.

Land Classification

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many hectares of land were classified as (a) urban and (b) suburban in each year since 1990, broken down by region. (84057)

From the Department's statistics for Urban Settlements, the amounts of urban land in England were as follows:

Hectares

1991

2001

North East

57,200

60,200

North West

153,100

160,300

Yorkshire and the Humber

114,100

121,000

East Midlands

92,300

100,900

West Midlands

122,700

129,200

East of England

124,200

134,900

London

130,600

130,500

South East

190,100

205,100

South West

103,000

116,700

England

1,087,200

1,158,900

Urban settlements are defined here as settlements with a population of 1,000 or more. They are based on the built-up extent and not on administrative boundaries. They are available only for census years, when there is information on population down to the necessary geographic level.

There is no standard definition of suburban areas and no information available centrally on their extent.

Land Value Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the likely effects of introducing a land value tax. (88087)

The Department for Communities and Local Government has not made any assessment of the likely effects of introducing a land value tax.

Local Authority Staff (London)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff were employed by each London borough in each year since 1997. (87277)

Local Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost to local authorities of complying with BS 7799 on information security. (88065)

As part of the Implementing Electronic Government return process, local authorities were asked to provide information on compliance with BS 7799 on information security management, as an advisory good practice outcome relating to the internal organisation and management practices of the council that are required to help deliver the people, systems and service management changes necessary for e-government. No specific estimate of the costs of BS 7799 compliance has been made, as this outcome is advisory in status only. However, every local authority in England has been allocated £900,000 in capital grant to help in Implementing Electronic Government up to the end of 2005-06.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the contact administration address is for each pension scheme within the Local Government Pension Scheme. (88066)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government why the Audit Commission will not be reporting on Best Value Performance Indicator 199d for 2005-06. (88068)

Best Value Performance Indicator 199d measures the year-on-year reduction in the number of incidents and the increase in the number of enforcement actions taken to deal with fly-tipping. The indicator was introduced in 2005-06. It will not be possible to publish data showing year-on-year changes until the indicator has been in place for two years.

Local Government Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was given to each London borough per person in the Local Government Finance Settlement in each year since 1997. (87322)

The table shows formula grant per head for each London borough for 1997-98 to 2006-07. Formula grant comprises Revenue Support Grant, redistributed business rates and principal formula Police Grant.

Formula grant per head has been calculated by dividing the total amount of formula grant received by the authority and dividing through by the mid-year population used in the calculation of the formula grant. For 1997-98 to 2005-06, the latest population estimates were used. These relate to the period two-years before the period for formula grant. For example, in 2005-06, the mid-2003 population estimates were used. In 2006-07, the population projections relating to the period of formula grant have been used i.e. the mid-2006 population projections.

Please note that these amounts are not comparable year-on-year due to changes in funding and function. For example, in 2006-07 support for school funding moved from Formula Grant (i.e. Revenue Support Grant plus Business Rates) to the dedicated schools grant.

Formula Grant per head

£ per head

Authority

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

City of London

18,164.52

15,852.79

16,047.26

16,256.25

14,534.16

Camden

982.61

961.99

984.95

1,004.76

1,007.84

Greenwich

897.73

927.66

979.21

1,011.24

1,031.47

Hackney

1,194.50

1,180.36

1,223.50

1,219.51

1,220.75

Hammersmith and Fulham

880.69

859.55

881.44

891.84

888.44

Islington

1,034.01

1,031.03

1,057.50

1,095.58

1,131.96

Kensington and Chelsea

707.27

678.37

676.28

663.68

658.17

Lambeth

931.84

925.89

947.68

942.82

955.25

Lewisham

876.35

913.88

943.20

971.95

984.69

Southwark

979.61

1,017.10

1,079.73

1,111.58

1,142.66

Tower Hamlets

1,374.95

1,445.85

1,505.97

1,529.05

1,557.43

Wandsworth

755.36

732.30

755.23

763.54

770.85

Westminster

994.83

919.91

907.86

882.24

858.16

Barking and Dagenham

723.85

788.88

860.49

895.62

939.30

Barnet

544.66

564.16

575.81

590.74

609.57

Bexley

552.35

597.26

645.43

672.22

707.46

Brent

821.59

839.38

852.72

853.46

887.18

Bromley

482.85

500.64

523.78

546.53

573.70

Croydon

565.60

590.75

610.79

635.57

664.47

Ealing

658.24

690.73

708.83

728.48

748.79

Enfield

672.87

715.91

750.44

779.80

815.67

Haringey

863.87

903.95

914.60

945.85

974.67

Harrow

519.96

549.44

564.62

583.78

604.80

Havering

497.14

527.39

551.82

578.43

606.61

Hillingdon

564.99

579.41

601.07

628.46

657.98

Hounslow

721.59

738.92

761.13

783.11

816.62

Kingston upon Thames

485.93

495.37

508.72

520.12

540.01

Merton

514.27

542.20

572.85

577.62

587.09

Newham

1,059.98

1,147.08

1,193.80

1,236.93

1,279.71

Redbridge

634.79

672.79

708.52

740.91

780.59

Richmond upon Thames

374.93

381.37

388.29

393.32

404.90

Sutton

546.11

569.83

598.98

620.89

652.49

Waltham Forest

759.34

806.74

845.99

869.86

908.69

£ per head

Authority

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

City of London

13,974.07

13,336.05

13,658.95

13,990.73

10,892.15

Camden

975.93

1,029.92

1,065.62

1,128.11

649.22

Greenwich

1,024.41

1,141.71

1,191.33

1,273.76

637.32

Hackney

1,227.81

1,349.32

1,406.90

1,529.12

926.93

Hammersmith and Fulham

881.52

933.38

960.60

1,022.59

607.79

Islington

1,144.29

1,231.86

1,276.68

1,361.13

779.20

Kensington and Chelsea

642.46

811.08

811.43

804.81

475.65

Lambeth

973.20

1,062.03

1,109.44

1,184.75

720.99

Lewisham

994.07

1,083.38

1,139.18

1,224.82

654.45

Southwark

1,187.73

1,273.47

1,330.79

1,419.22

818.59

Tower Hamlets

1,587.54

1,652.19

1,699.98

1,835.16

964.30

Wandsworth

756.02

833.61

844.45

875.22

481.47

Westminster

838.59

1,189.86

1,175.91

1,069.94

644.46

Barking and Dagenham

950.49

984.56

1,058.69

1,130.13

489.58

Barnet

586.25

684.46

700.94

735.17

240.81

Bexley

710.29

755.29

786.46

833.38

260.15

Brent

877.72

952.43

973.54

1,053.47

568.01

Bromley

551.10

611.57

630.81

661.23

184.43

Croydon

681.04

742.02

769.71

812.14

306.90

Ealing

742.43

827.53

850.90

918.79

422.17

Enfield

815.37

861.06

897.12

952.19

351.52

Haringey

990.07

1,071.42

1,086.46

1,143.28

583.70

Harrow

623.92

707.04

737.48

789.50

278.34

Havering

619.26

687.16

720.61

754.58

209.03

Hillingdon

647.95

749.14

786.76

844.87

286.72

Hounslow

792.16

859.34

885.70

951.47

381.50

Kingston upon Thames

522.92

585.92

616.03

662.54

208.76

Merton

588.37

648.65

675.70

731.91

307.94

Newham

1,311.56

1,396.40

1,416.75

1,514.26

742.24

Redbridge

753.08

795.06

828.45

882.46

326.06

Richmond upon Thames

412.06

503.07

512.91

537.24

126.87

Sutton

635.30

702.69

754.39

815.00

263.32

Waltham Forest

932.00

991.33

1,022.27

1,080.25

492.69

London Mayor

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much extra funding the Government plan to provide to the Greater London Authority to finance the new responsibilities of the London Mayor. (86781)

In line with our policy of meeting net new burdens costs, the Government are committed to meeting reasonable net additional costs falling on the GLA as a result of its new responsibilities.

Mineral Extraction

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued to local authorities on applications for mineral extraction operations in areas of outstanding natural beauty. (88345)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what assessment her Department has made of the impact of quarries on (a) residential areas and (b) areas of outstanding natural beauty; (87249)

(2) what her Department's definition is of an exceptional circumstance, for the purposes of Minerals Policy Statement 2, in which mineral extraction would be allowed in an area of outstanding beauty;

(3) what steps she has taken to satisfy herself that Minerals Policy Statement 2, on controlling and mitigating the environmental effects of mineral extraction in England, protects areas of outstanding natural beauty from unnecessary and damaging quarrying.

Planning guidance to local authorities on planning applications in areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) is set out in Planning Policy Statement (PPS)7 Sustainable Development in Rural Areas. PPS7 states that AONBs confirmed by the Government have the highest standards of protection in relation to landscape and scenic beauty. Major developments (including mineral working) should not take place in these areas except in exceptional circumstances and applications for such developments should be subject to the most rigorous examination. Major development proposals should be demonstrated to be in the public interest before being allowed to proceed and will need to be assessed against the criteria set out in paragraph 22 of PPS7. However, it will be for local planning authorities to decide on a case by case basis whether exceptional circumstances exist which would allow them to grant planning permission for a minerals development in an AONB.

No recent assessment of the impacts of mineral operations on residential areas or areas of outstanding natural beauty has been undertaken by my Department. Any adverse potential impacts of quarries will need to be considered by mineral planning authorities after applications for planning permission have been submitted. Mineral operators will need to demonstrate to local planning authorities in planning applications including (where appropriate) through the preparation of environmental impact assessments that their proposals are acceptable. Minerals Policy Statement (MPS)2 “Controlling and Mitigating the Environmental Effects of Minerals Extraction in England” stresses that mineral planning authorities should take account of the full range of social, community, economic and environmental issues relevant to the planning decision. Any adverse effects on local communities, environmental damage or loss of amenity must be kept to an acceptable minimum. MPS2 advises mineral planning authorities on the use of appropriate planning conditions, which must be capable of being monitored, to mitigate any environmental impacts. Where adverse environmental effects cannot be adequately controlled or mitigated through the design of proposals or the attachment of conditions, planning permission should be refused.

Ministerial Visits

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will visit Kettering to attend a public meeting to discuss her Department's housing expansion plans for Northamptonshire. (82864)

[holding answer 6 July 2006]: We consider that Kettering plays an important part in the growth proposals for North Northamptonshire. We are kept regularly updated on development of the plans to take these forward and I chair the regular Milton Keynes and South Midlands Inter Regional Board. In addition, officials are closely involved with the borough council and other partners in bringing forward housing, growth and other agendas. There have already been a number of ministerial visits to North Northamptonshire and more are planned. DCLG Ministers are more than happy to discuss housing development in Kettering with key partners during future visits to Northamptonshire.

Multi-foil Insulation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research she has commissioned on the insulating qualities of multi-foil insulation products. (86744)

The Department for Communities and Local Government commissioned the Building Research Establishment to provide ‘The thermal performance of multi-foil insulation’ a copy of which has been placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued to building control officers regarding the use of multi-foil insulation products. (86749)

The Department for Communities and Local Government issued guidance to building control officers in England and Wales on 19 June, following its circular letter on 30 March in which we mentioned UKAS accreditation. We have since understood that UKAS accreditation was not possible since there was no adopted test method, so the Department wrote to LABC Services and the Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors on 19 June and referred them instead to the Approved Documents for Part L, Conservation of Fuel and Power, and Regulation 7 which sets out ways for assessing fitness for purpose for materials.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how multi-foil insulation products are treated under Approved Document L of the Building Regulations. (86760)

Part L of the Building Regulations and its associated Approved Documents do not refer to multi-foil insulation or any other type of insulation product. The Approved Documents indicate that the methods for calculating thermal performance and establishing the thermal properties of insulation materials must be as described in BR443 “Conventions for U-value calculations”.

National Land and Property Gazetteer

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the Audit Commission plans to undertake a formal audit of the probity and efficiency of public expenditure on the National Land and Property Gazetteer. (88083)

This is an operational matter for the Audit Commission. The Chief Executive of the Audit Commission has written to the hon. Member and a copy of the letter has been placed in the Library of the House.

National Land Information Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of the National Land Information Service; and if she will make a statement. (85701)

The National Land Information Service is a community interest company, and the Government do not therefore have any formal role in assessing its effectiveness.

Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what stock was transferred from the Government wine cellar to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in 2005-06. (85708)

Ordnance Survey

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what payments the Valuation Office Agency makes to Ordnance Survey (OS) outside the pan-government OS agreement for access to the imagery and photographic data that OS holds. (87350)

The Valuation Office Agency does not take any imagery or photographic data from Ordnance Survey and consequently makes no payment for such.

Pathways to Work

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what measures exist in Pathways to Work to assist individuals who may be continuously in and out of work due to (a) multiple sclerosis and (b) other long-term and fluctuating medical conditions. (85292)

I have been asked to reply.

Our Welfare Reform Bill set out our plans to assess people based on the effects a condition has on a person's capacity to work. This is not done on the basis of a single “snapshot” assessment but over a reasonable period of time given the nature of the condition. In this way we will take account of the effects of fluctuating and long-term conditions. Personal advisers have the freedom to waive or defer a work-focused interview where a claimant is unable to participate for good reason.

We aim to have a system that can be flexible to an individual's changing condition. We will be sensitive to each person's situation and take serious consideration of any medical advice given, such as that provided by a GP. Our services are delivered by personal advisers whose key motivating factor is the help they are able to offer. These advisers receive specialist training to give them the skills, knowledge, techniques and confidence to deal with customers whose circumstances include having a health condition or disability. If someone cannot reasonably participate in back-to-work activity because of their current health condition, they will not be required to do so. It is about people meeting with an adviser to discuss their circumstances and look for ways to improve the quality of their day-to-day living and perhaps begin to chart a route back to work.

In Pathways to Work areas, our Condition Management Programmes have been effective in helping individuals with health conditions to return to work. The programmes, jointly delivered by Jobcentre Plus and NHS Primary Care Trusts, offer help to the very large proportion of people coming on to incapacity benefit who want and expect to work again but genuinely believe that they are too ill to do anything about it. The programmes are designed to assist individuals understand and manage their health conditions better, particularly in a workplace environment, and reflect current best clinical practice in the management of these conditions.

Planning (London)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many planning enforcement notices were issued in each London borough in each year since 1997. (87278)

The number of planning enforcement notices issued in each London borough in each year since 1997 is presented in the following table:

Formal enforcement notices issued by London borough councils 1997 to 2005

Council name

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

City of London

2

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

Barking and Dagenham

9

5

1

5

14

15

20

12

16

Barnet

51

36

38

47

42

27

53

67

97

Bexley

24

1

15

5

10

4

6

9

15

Brent

71

64

119

103

85

104

101

117

157

Bromley

123

128

105

105

87

101

65

111

115

Camden

64

67

73

105

62

64

41

47

27

Croydon

23

19

32

11

25

30

13

14

42

Ealing

11

39

26

30

44

46

31

59

46

Enfield

46

40

42

29

27

14

18

64

88

Greenwich

19

14

54

47

38

28

34

22

41

Hackney

0

9

19

0 (3)

n/a (0)

9

24

16

0

Hammersmith and Fulham

30

25

65

48

54

45

39

52

31

Haringey

21

44

37

50

54

73

65

66

91

Harrow

43

21

27

9

13

22

13

8

10

Havering

17

14

13

8

8

11

16

22

20

Hillingdon

10

12

7 (2)

(0)

7 (3)

0

0

0

0 (3)

Hounslow

9

34

43

54

30

56

51

8

38

Islington

32

33

21

17

49

94

40

27

51

Kensington and Chelsea

58

53

53

45

34

53

66

84

38 (3)

Kingston upon Thames

13

9

10 (3)

12

20

17

23

36

13

Lambeth

12

41

18

21

32

19

31

26

43

Lewisham

7

6

2 (1)

7 (3)

3

7

18

26

28

Merton

5 (3)

5

0

8

7

7

22

20

16

Newham1

53

25

24

9

1

25

18

14

73

Redbridge

35

24

55

26

21

19

0

1

10

Richmond upon Thames

14

31

10

22

21

33

39

17

58

Southwark1

12

15

5

6

4

7

9

26

9

Sutton

13

2 (3)

14

11

9

10

20

11

19

Tower Hamlets1

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

Waltham Forest

28

28

39

0

27

31

4

36

45

Wandsworth

8

7

1

5

10

8

19

40

15

City of Westminster

75

37

67

102

84

104

104

164

156

Total

938

889

1,036

947

922

1,083

1,004

1,222

1,408

n/a = Not available.

1 These councils included areas within London Dockland Development Corporation, however the statistics exclude enforcement within the LDDC. The LDDC served no enforcement notice during 1997 or 1998 when the LDDC was wound up.

Note:

The number in parenthesis indicates how many quarters were reported.

Source:

DCLG General Development Control Return, PS1.

Small Business Rate Relief

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 16 May 2006, Official Report, column 928W, on small business rate relief, how many small firms she estimates claimed relief in 2005-06; and if she will estimate the proportion of small firms who were eligible who claimed the relief. (88249)

Sports and Leisure Facilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what conclusions on (a) the relative merits of (i) private and (ii) public sector contracts for sports and leisure facilities and (b) the future letting of contracts for sport and leisure facilities she drew from the Audit Commission report “Public Sports and Recreational Services”. (87625)

I have been asked to reply.

I agree with the report's conclusion that there is no single “best practice” model for managing local authority leisure services. The report makes clear that both the public and private sector can provide good public leisure services for local communities where councils have taken decisions based on a robust options appraisal. It is important that councils, with support from Government, continue to get better at managing their leisure provision which is why I have asked Sport England to work closely with them in taking forward the Audit Commission's recommendations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she will take to improve strategic planning in leisure services following the publication of the Audit Commission report “Public Sports and Recreational Services”. (87626)

I have been asked to reply.

We want to help local authorities to revitalise their leisure facilities and to ensure that the right sports facilities are in the right places. Sport England has already developed a range of strategic planning tools to assist them. These include, among others: the Active Places database, which provides a comprehensive picture of sports facilities across the country; the National Benchmarking Service; a Facilities Planning Model; and a Sports Facilities Demand Estimator. In addition, I have charged Sport England with the task of driving forward work with local authorities to improve the quality of their sports facilities and service delivery. They are creating an Improvement Unit to deliver this.

Valuation Office Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research the Valuation Office Agency has undertaken in relation to developing (a) a national property database and (b) a National Spatial Data Infrastructure. (88092)

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) has maintained a national database of properties in England and Wales to enable it to discharge its statutory functions for many years.

The VOA has not researched the development of a National Spatial Data Infrastructure.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 10 May 2006, Official Report, columns 956-57W, on the Valuation Office Agency (VOA), when the VOA’s communications strategy for the council tax revaluation was (a) submitted to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and (b) last (i) updated and (ii) amended by the VOA. (88282)

The answer given to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 10 May 2006, Official Report, columns 956-7W, explains that a communications strategy was being drafted by the Valuation Office Agency before the postponement of council tax revaluation in England, announced on 20 September 2005.

Working jointly with the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, the Agency worked on a proposed strategy from late 2003. The draft was last amended in April 2005 and has not been updated since, due to the postponement.

Valuebill Database

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment the Government have made of whether the Valuation Office Agency’s Automated Valuation Model holds sensitive personal data as defined by the Data Protection Act 1998. (86834)

The Valuation Office Agency’s Automated Valuation Model (AVM) is a processing tool and does not hold data.

Education and Skills

Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many accidents have taken place in establishments for which his Department is responsible in the last 12 months; how many court cases have arisen as a result; how much has been awarded in (a) damages and (b) settlements; and if he will make a statement. (81906)

The Department has received three personal injury claims relating to accidents on its premises, since 1 July 2005. Two of the cases are ongoing and one was settled out of court, at a cost to my Department of £479.99 to cover costs for physiotherapy and damage to personal property.

Adoptions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children whose parents have learning difficulties were adopted in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (86340)

We do not collect centrally information on parents of looked-after children therefore figures are not available for the number of children adopted whose parents have learning difficulties.

Advertising Campaigns

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advertising campaigns the Department has run between 2000 and June 2004; and what the (a) date and (b) cost was of each. (87065)

The Department’s total spend on advertising campaigns was:

£

2000-01

29,110,000

2001-02

17,665,000

2002-03

13,790,000

2003-04

20,170,000

Campaigns over £500,000 are:

2000-01

£

Don’t Quit Now

2,700,000

New deal 50 plus

2,400,000

ICT Employability

2,011,000

Childcare Recruitment

1,821,000

Parents’ Magazine

1,484,000

Disability Discrimination

1,242,000

Fast Track Teachers

1,056,000

Modern Apprenticeships

856,000

Individual Learning Accounts

612,000

2001-02

£

Adult Basic Skills ‘Get on’

5,096,143

Childcare Recruitment

2,504,000

Science Year 2001/02

1,803,000

Excellence Challenge

1,750,000

Modern Apprenticeships

1,670,000

Foundation Degree

1,325,000

Fast Track Teachers

1,250,000

Millennium Volunteers

848,000

Parents’ Magazine

770,000

New Deal 25+

633,000

2002-03

£

Adult Basic Skills

5,478,117

Childcare Recruitment

2,741,377

Aim Higher

2,649,999

Connexions

1,320,331

HE Funding

655,000

Foundation Degree

549,397

2003-04

£

Adult Basic Skills

6,672,938

Aim Higher

4,190,018

Childcare Recruitment

2,986,659

Foundation Degree

2,813,787

Connexions

2,608,005

It is not possible, except at disproportionate expense, to provide a more detailed breakdown for actual dates for when each campaign ran, other than detailing the Financial Year within which the expenditure occurred.

The Department runs a number of campaigns in support of our key delivery priorities, in order to inform our target audiences of how they are affected by our policies. All of our campaigns follow the guidelines which govern Government information on issues of propriety and cost.

Every campaign is measured vigorously against specific communication objectives using pre- and post-campaign research, to record shifts in awareness, attitudes, knowledge or behaviour among the target audience(s).

The Department employs tracking research to monitor these shifts over time and, typically, conducts telephone surveys of respondents to advertising campaigns, to monitor satisfaction with the services offered and actions taken as a result of the campaign. It routinely tests the likely effectiveness of different creative approaches on the target audience(s) through market research, as part of the development of advertising campaigns. Lessons learnt from previous campaigns are used to inform future ones.

Autism

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what steps he plans to take to provide specialist teacher training for the support of children with autism in mainstream schooling; (86500)

(2) what steps his Department is taking to support specialist teacher training for the support of children with autism in mainstream schooling.

The framework for teacher training ensures that qualifying and newly qualified teachers, including those who support children with autism in mainstream schools, are aware of their responsibilities to children with special educational needs (SEN) and can plan effectively to meet these children’s needs. Further, in-service training on particular SEN, such as autism, is a matter for schools and local authorities.

In order to be awarded Qualified Teacher Status, all trainee teachers must demonstrate that they understand their responsibilities under the statutory Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, know how to seek advice from specialists on less common types of SEN, can differentiate their teaching to meet the needs of pupils, including those with SEN, and can identify and support pupils who experience behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.

The current standards for teachers are under review. Once revised, it is proposed that they will be strengthened to include a standard which requires teachers to know and comply with current legislation on well-being of children and young people and one which requires teachers to know and understand the role of others when dealing with children who have special needs and/or disabilities.

Induction Standards require Newly Qualified Teachers to demonstrate that they can plan effectively to meet the needs of pupils in their classes with SEN, with or without a statement, and in consultation with the SEN Co-ordinator (SENCO), can contribute to the planning for individual needs.

The Department’s published SEN Strategy, ‘Removing Barriers to Achievement’ recognised the importance of training and committed us to work closely with the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) to ensure that initial teacher training and programmes of continuing professional development provide a good grounding in core skills and knowledge of SEN. We have commissioned the TDA to carry forward a range of initiatives designed to improve and strengthen the SEN skills and confidence of trainees, newly qualified and established teachers. These initiatives will be implemented over the period 2005-08 at a cost of approximately £1.1 million.

All schools receive a School Development Grant which they are able to use to support improvements in any aspect of teaching and learning. Local authorities may retain a proportion of this grant, under certain conditions, to provide specific training and development of SEN.

In 2002 we published jointly with the Department of Health, “Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASDs): Good Practice Guidance” which offered a series of pointers to good practice, including pointers on in-service training. The Guidance advises that,

“all those who plan or provide for children with an ASD should have some knowledge and understanding of autism”.

Many schools, local authorities and Regional Partnerships have used the Guidance to develop their autism provision. The West Midlands Regional Partnership last month published “autism spectrum disorders: training policy and framework” to ensure more consistency in ASD training by clarifying the knowledge and skills that courses are aiming to cover. This has been distributed to all the Regional Partnerships.

BECTA

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will publish the most recent review of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency. (87360)

The most recent review of BECTA was published in March 2003. Copies of the reports are lodged in the Commons Library and are also available on BECTA's website:

www.foi.becta.org.uk

Building Schools for the Future Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he expects schools in Brent to receive funding from the Building Schools for the Future programme. (87782)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my predecessor on 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 394W, when she was advised that Brent has been informed that it may expect to start in the programme in waves 7-9.

CAFCASS

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the timetable is for the allocation of cases in (a) private and (b) public law in the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). (86962)

This is a matter for CAFCASS. Anthony Douglas, the Chief Executive, has written to the hon. Member with this information and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Lamorna Wooderson, dated 20 July 2006:

In my capacity as Acting Chief Executive, whilst Mr Douglas is on leave, I am responding to the recent parliamentary question that you tabled.

PQ 86962 - what the timetable is for the allocation of cases in (a) private and (b) public law in the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service.

CAFCASS aims to allocate all cases at the earliest opportunity. In public law we have a Key Performance Indicator, to allocate at least 70% of cases within 2 days of receipt by March 2007. At the end of May 2006 five of our ten regions are exceeding this target. The national average was 55.3%. In addition, we have a Key Performance Indicator, to allocate 98% of public law cases within 28 days of receipt. At the end of May we achieved this in 92% of cases, with 5 regions exceeding the target.

We have an internal performance indicator that there will be no more than 4% of Private Law cases unallocated. At the end of May 3% of cases were unallocated. All but 4 regions met the target as 97% of requests received had been allocated by the month end.

Child Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many child care places were available in Swindon in each year since 1997. (86636)

The available information on child care places, for Swindon local authority area, is shown in Tables 1 and 2.

Table 1: Number1, 2 of day care places for children under eight years of age by type of provider, Swindon local authority area, position at 31 March each year, 1997 to 2002

Type of provider

19973

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

Day nurseries

n/a

n/a

1,100

1,100

1,100

n/a

Playgroups and pre-schools

n/a

n/a

1,600

1,500

1,500

n/a

Child minders

n/a

n/a

2,200

2,200

2,100

n/a

Out of school clubs

n/a

n/a

550

680

840

n/a

Holiday schemes4

n/a

n/a

2,700

1,300

1,400

n/a

Family Centres

n/a

n/a

5—-

5—-

5—-

n/a

n/a = Not available.

1 Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10 or 100 places.

2 Data Source: Children’s Day Care Facilities Survey.

3 Affected by local government reorganisation on 1 April 1997.

4 From 1999, places were counted once for each school holiday. Before 1999, places were counted once each year.

5 Under 5.

Table 2: Number1, 2 of registered child care places for children under eight years of age by type of care, Swindon local authority area, position at 31 March each year, 2003 to 2006

Type of care

2003

2004

2005

2006

Full day care

1,200

1,800

2,100

2,200

Sessional day care

1,400

1,400

1,300

1,200

Child minders

1,900

1,800

1,800

2,000

Out of school day care

1,300

1,500

1,500

1,400

Crèche day care

100

100

100

100

1 Rounded to the nearest 100 places.

2 Data Source: Ofsted.

The figures for child care places for 2003 to 2006 are not directly comparable with the day care figures for 1997 to 2001. The figures for 2003 to 2006 were derived from the Ofsted database of registered child care providers. The figures for 1997 to 2001 were derived from the Children’s Day Care Facilities Survey, which was discontinued in 2001. There are no figures for 2002.

With the introduction of the National Day Care Standards and the transfer of responsibilities for registration and inspection of child care providers from local authority social service departments to Ofsted in September 2001, child care places were classified according to the type of day care provided: full day care, sessional day care, child minder, out of school day care or crèche day care. Ofsted have produced figures based on this classification on a quarterly basis from March 2003. Their latest figures were published on 5 May 2006 in their report “Registered Childcare Providers and Places, 31 March 2006”, which is available on their website, www. ofsted.gov.uk/publications

Up until March 2001, child care providers were classified according to the type of provider: day nurseries, playgroups and pre-schools, child minders, out of school clubs and holiday schemes. Figures based on this classification were published in a series of statistical bulletins, which are available from the Department’s website, www.dfes.gov.uk/statistics

Child Deaths

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many Part 8 reviews into child deaths have occurred in each local authority area in each of the last 10 years. (84571)

The Child Protection Database, maintained by the Commission for Social Care Inspection, provides the data in the table on the numbers of confirmed Serious Case Reviews (SCRs), following the death of a child, in each local authority since 2000. Accurate data prior to 2000 are not available. The following table includes only those authorities where a child death has led to a confirmed SCR and provides an overall total for between 2000-05. In order to maintain the confidentiality of individual children who were the subject of a SCR, (1—) denotes fewer than three SCRs. The data for 2006 are not yet complete.

2000-05

Responsible Council

Number

Barking and Dagenham

1

Barnsley

4

Bedfordshire

4

Birmingham

12

Blackpool UA

1

Bolton

9

Bournemouth UA

3

Bradford

4

Brent

1

Bristol UA

1

Calderdale

1

Cambridgeshire

1

Camden

1

Cheshire

5

Cornwall

1

Coventry

4

Croydon

1

Cumbria

3

Derby UA

1

Derbyshire

1

Devon

4

Doncaster

6

Durham

5

Ealing

1

Enfield

Essex

5

Gloucestershire

3

Hackney

1

Hartlepool UA

4

Havering

4

Hertfordshire

7

Hounslow

1

Isle of Wight UA

1

Islington

1

Kent

1

Kingston-upon-Hull UA

1

Kingston-upon-Thames

3

Kirklees

4

Knowsley

1

Lambeth

1

Lancashire

5

Leeds

4

Leicester UA

1

Leicestershire

1

Lewisham

3

Lincolnshire

3

Liverpool

1

Luton UA

5

Manchester

12

Medway Towns UA

1

Newcastle-upon-Tyne

1

Newham

8

Norfolk

1

North Lincolnshire UA

5

North Somerset UA

1

North Yorkshire

1

Northamptonshire

11

Northumberland

1

Nottingham UA

1

Nottinghamshire

7

Oldham

3

Other

1

Plymouth UA

3

Rochdale

1

Rotherham

1

Sandwell

1

Sheffield

3

Solihull

1

Somerset

1

Somerset

1

South Gloucestershire UA

1

Southend-on-Sea UA

1

Southwark

1

St. Helens

1

Stockport

1

Stockton-on-Tees UA

3

Stoke-on-Trent UA

6

Suffolk

6

Sunderland

1

Surrey

1

Sutton

1

Swindon UA

6

Tameside

1

Thurrock UA

1

Torbay UA

1

Trafford

3

Wakefield

6

Waltham Forest

4

Warwickshire

1

Westminster

1

Wigan

3

Wirral

1

Wolverhampton

3

Worcestershire

1

1 Fewer than three SCRs.

Chinese Students

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students from mainland China studied in England in each year since 1997. (86632)

The latest available information is given in the table:

Students from mainland China who studied1 in English higher education institutions in each year since 1997

Academic year

Number

1997/98

2,070

1998/99

3,040

1999/2000

4,990

2000/01

8,685

2001/02

15,265

2002/03

26,975

2003/04

36,580

2004/05

39,280

1 Figures include both undergraduate and postgraduate students and also full-time and part-time students.

Notes:

1. Figures are on a snapshot basis as at 1 December (excluding those writing up, on sabbatical or dormant).

2. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5.

Source:

Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) student record data.

Diplomas

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what projections he has made of the number and proportion of pupils in the fourth key stage who will opt to study for (a) a general diploma and (b) a specialised diploma in each of the first five years following their introduction; (87353)

(2) what his Department’s targets are for the take-up of (a) academic and (b) vocational qualifications in each of the next five years;

(3) how many and what proportion of pupils (a) in the fourth key stage and (b) between the ages of 14 and 19 years he expects to opt for vocational qualifications in each of the next five years.

Chapter 6, paragraph 18, of the ‘Department’s Five Year Strategy for Children and Learners’, published on 8 July 2004, set out our aim to extend vocational options across all schools as part of our commitment to strengthening choice and the personalisation of the curriculum. To support this aim, the Strategy stated that we will dramatically increase the number of 14-16 year olds studying vocational subjects in schools, colleges and training providers to just over 180,000 by 2007-08.

The Department published its projections for 14-16- year-olds’ take up of specialised Diplomas in the 14-19 Implementation Plan, Chapter 1, page 20, figure 1.3. A copy of the Implementation Plan is in the Library. Figure 1.4 shows the estimated participation of 16-18- year-olds in education and work-based learning over the period 2002/03 to 2014/15. We expect the numbers of young people participating to increase as more learning options become available to them. We also expect the balance of provision to shift towards specialised Diplomas as these come onstream.

Young people wishing to do just GCSEs will be able to do so. They will also be eligible for award of the General Diploma when this is introduced in 2009.

Electronic Children's Database

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 6 July 2006, Official Report, column 1384W, on the Electronic Children’s Database (1) what plans he has to prevent accidental loss or theft of data stored in the index; (86889)

(2) what plans there are (a) to link and (b) to enable data-sharing between the Information Sharing Index and the National Identity Register;

(3) what rights (a) children, (b) their parents and (c) children on the index who have reached adulthood will have to view their personal data stored on the Information Sharing Index;

(4) what legal requirement there will be permanently to delete information from the Information Sharing Index once (a) the child reaches adulthood and (b) a set period of time has passed;

(5) whether the Information Sharing Index will hold (a) fields and (b) information for Audit Trail log files on which organisations or individuals have been examining or amending individual records;

(6) what the differences are between the Information Sharing Index database and Integrated Children’s system database;

(7) what plans he has to introduce offences for the misuse or abuse of the database;

(8) whether he plans to establish the statutory limitation on what data the Information Sharing Index will hold and which public sector bodies can access the database by means of (a) primary legislation and (b) secondary legislation.

In relation to questions 86889 and 86903, the Information Sharing Index will be designed to ensure a high level of physical and environmental security to protect against natural hazards that could interrupt service. Arrangements will be in place to enable operations to continue effectively, notwithstanding any system component failures. There will be an effective and tested contingency plan that would, for example, ensure that a back-up system is in place.

We see no need to introduce specific offences as there are already measures in criminal law which impose penalties for theft or misuse of data or unauthorised access to computer records. Mandatory training for all users and operators of the index will stipulate that the Data Protection Act provides that a serious offence, with a penalty of a fine up to the statutory maximum, will be committed where personal data is unlawfully obtained or disclosed without the consent of the data controller. The Computer Misuse Act 1990 provides that unauthorised access, or attempted unauthorised access to a program or data held on a computer may be punishable by imprisonment.

In relation to question 86901, all index use will be monitored through the creation of an audit trail record. Users will be required to supply a valid reason when searching for and viewing an index record. All access to any record will be recorded and reviewed regularly for suspicious patterns of access. Misuse of the index will therefore be detected and dealt with through internal disciplinary procedures or the criminal measures referred to.

In relation to question 86890, the index will not be linked to the National Identity Register, nor are there plans for data-sharing between them.

In relation to questions 86892 and 86891, the Children Act 2004 provides that records of children and young people will remain on the index until they reach age 18. There is also provision for records of young people who receive additional services—for example, care leavers and those with learning disabilities—to remain on the index, with their consent, up to age 25 in order to provide continued support in the transition to adult services. We will be consulting over the autumn on draft regulations that will, among other issues, propose a period of time during which records will be kept in a secure archive before permanent destruction.

Children, young people, and parents when acting on their behalf, have rights under the Data Protection Act to see the data that is held about them on the index and to request that incorrect data is corrected or removed.

In relation to question 86902, the Information Sharing Index is a central database containing a basic record on all children in England, with contact details of practitioners working with them. There will be no case information on the index record. The Integrated Children’s System (ICS) is not a database. ICS is a framework that provides a set of principles for case record management by local practitioners working with individual children in need (as defined under the Children Act 1989) and looked-after children. ICS is not itself an IT system, but it is IT-enabled to help practitioners carry out their key tasks effectively.

In relation to question 86978, section 12 of the Children Act 2004, and affirmative resolution regulations to be made under section 12, will set out the information that must or may be included on the index and specify the types of practitioner whose role would make it appropriate for them to have access. Consultation on the draft regulations will run over the autumn.

Examinations

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many pupils under the age of 18 years sat (a) SATs (b) GCSEs, (c) GNVQs and (d) A-levels in each year since 1997. (86446)

[holding answer 20 July 2006]: The information required is in the following table.

Pupils under the age of 18 entered for tests or exams

Thousand

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Key Stage11

Reading task2

589.2

604.1

603.7

583.0

581.4

568.6

557.9

Reading test3

488.3

499.8

512.3

503.9

505.2

495.3

487.6

Writing task2

572.0

585.6

587.4

569.0

570.0

558.5

545.2

Key Stage 24

English

546.5

568.7

593.9

589.0

601.0

608.9

604.8

580.5

579.8

Mathematics

553.2

574.6

599.4

595.2

606.5

613.7

609.1

585.5

584.6

Science

554.2

577.2

602.5

598.3

610.4

619.2

617.3

594.0

592.0

Key Stage 34

English

491.2

500.1

524.0

527.9

539.7

561.4

551.6

544.7

569.0

Mathematics

520.0

518.9

543.2

550.7

565.0

582.5

579.2

586.0

595.1

Science

514.4

519.0

542.9

548.5

559.9

578.3

578.0

582.8

595.0

GCSE

551.6

545.1

553.3

554.1

577.4

581.5

597.3

618.2

618.1

GNVQ

3.7

7.0

11.7

14.2

9.3

64.5

123.7

67.0

79.6

GCE/VCE A-level

231.3

236.0

236.0

231.4

241.0

257.9

268.7

265.3

263.6

1 The 2004 and 2005 figures have not been made available as they are not directly comparable to figures prior to and including 2003. This is to reflect the following:

in 2004 a trial took place in which some local authorities (LAs) were asked to only submit teacher assessments to the Department, and the remaining LAs continued to submit both.

in 2005, for the first time, schools were only required to report teacher assessments.

2 Figures are calculated as pupils eligible for assessment less those who were absent (A), disapplied (D) and “working towards” level 1 (W).

3 Figures are calculated as pupils eligible for assessment less those who were absent (A), disapplied (D) and not require to be entered for the reading tests (X).

4 Figures are calculated as pupils eligible for assessment less those who were absent (A), working below the level of the test (B) or disapplied/unable to access the test (A/T).

Foreign Language Teaching

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of (a) primary and (b) secondary school children are taught at least one foreign language. (87493)

The Department does not collect data on the number of primary school children learning languages. However, in January 2005 the findings of Headspace, a survey of head teachers by Education Guardian and Edcoms, indicated that 56 per cent. of all primary schools in England were planning for or implementing language learning programmes to their pupils, (b) In 2005, the percentage of pupils at the end of key stage 4 attempting any modern foreign language examination was 59 per cent. (375,300 pupils out the cohort of 633,400).

Further Education Colleges

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 13 July 2006, Official Report, column 1984W, on further education colleges, from which providers’ prospectuses he found evidence of these types of courses. (86896)

Information about tarot card reading, stand-up comedy and various forms of cake decorating courses is available on the learndirect website (http://www.learndirect.co.uk/) or the London Floodlight website (http://www.floodlight.co.uk/). The websites provide course information plus details of those colleges and other providers which offer the course.

GCSE/A-levels

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students re-sat at least one examination at (a) GCSE and (b) A-level in each of the past five years. (86862)

The information requested is not readily available and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many completed examination papers at (a) GCSE and (b) A-level were lost in each of the past five years. (86870)

The National Assessment Agency (NAA) collected data on the number of GCSE, AS and A-level examination scripts missing on results day in 2004 and 2005; comparable data is not available for previous years. More than 20 million exam scripts circulated in summer 2005 across all awarding bodies. The number of scripts missing prior to marking was as follows:

Missing scripts

2004

2005

GCSE/GNVQ

Total for AQA, Edexcel and OCR

3,411

3,054

AS, A-Level and Vocational Certificate of Education (VCE)

Total for AQA, Edexcel and OCR

3,235

2,204

Gifted Pupils Register

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the creation of a gifted pupils’ register; and what assessment he has made of the merits of such a proposal. (86950)

The National Register is a key part of our programme to support gifted and talented learners in our schools. The National Register will help schools to identify these learners, as requested in the Schools Census, including those aged 11-19 who are eligible for membership of the National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth. It will enable schools and local authorities to target interventions where necessary to help pupils at risk of underachieving to fulfil their potential. We are also exploring whether higher education institutions might use data from the register to assist with their widening participation strategies.

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent discussions he has had with the Home Department on protection of children on the internet and the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill. (85737)

My right hon. Friend and I have been informed of the content of discussions between DfES and Home Office officials and representatives of the industry about the provisions in the Bill for vetting chat room moderators. My hon. Friend the Minister for Policing, Security and Community Safety wrote to the Moderation Sub-Group of the Home Secretary's Taskforce for Child Protection on the Internet setting out the two Departments' response to the concerns raised by the group. Discussions are continuing with a view to clarifying how the requirements in the Bill will work alongside the “Good Practice Guidance for the Moderation of Interactive Services for Children”, which the taskforce published in November 2005. There is ongoing discussion at official level on matters arising from the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Bill which impact upon both Departments as and when they occur as well as a range of other areas concerning child protection on the internet. The taskforce child protection measures sub group has, for example, set up a working group, of which DfES is part, to look at the safety issues for children caused by the development and growth of social networking sites.

School Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if his Department will take steps to ringfence schools spending to ensure the appropriate level of investment is allocated to providing ergonomic, height adjustable furniture in schools; and if he will make a statement. (87415)

The Government believe that schools are best placed to decide how to deploy the resources available to them through their delegated budgets and allocations of devolved formula capital and to decide on the appropriate level of investment to maintain the fixtures and fittings of their schools, including ergonomic furniture.

School Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of (a) primary and (b) secondary schools have a playing field or playground where students can practise sports and participate in physical education lessons; and how much land was in use as school playing fields in (i) 1997 and (ii) the most recent year for which figures are available. (86872)

[holding answer 20 July 2006]: Data on areas of school playing fields and external spaces were supplied to my Department by local education authorities in 2001 and 2003. However, the completeness and quality of the data are not good enough accurately to assess the proportion of schools that have playing fields or playgrounds where students can practice sports and participate in physical education lessons. Nor can the data provide information on the total area of land in use as school playing fields.

Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 was introduced in October 1998 to stop the indiscriminate sale of school playing fields. Local authorities and governing bodies of all maintained schools now need the Secretary of State’s consent before they can dispose of a playing field or any part of a playing field.

Since 1998, 175 applications to sell an area of school playing field capable of forming at least a small sports pitch have been approved. Of these, 73 related to playing fields at closed or closing schools. In every case the sale proceeds were used to provide new or improved sports or educational facilities.

School Toilets

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) primary and (b) secondary schools have toilets fitted with (i) hippos, (ii) cistern and flush controls and (iii) other water saving devices. (87376)

The Department does not hold information on how many schools have fitted cistern displacement devices (such as hippos), cistern and flush controls and other water saving devices. However the Water Regulations (Water Regulations Advisory scheme 2005) require automatic controls to be fitted to all new or refurbished urinal flushing cisterns. Comprehensive guidance on the fitting of water saving devices in schools is available in a new free publication “Sustainable water management in schools1”.

1 Publication reference CIRIA W12, 66 pages, available for free download from http://www.ciria.org/downloads.htm

Sign Language

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which colleges offered a British Sign Language course for the academic years (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05, (c) 2005-06 and (d) 2006-07; which colleges expect to offer such a course in 2007-08; and what public funding supported or is planned to support such courses in each year. (86912)

Data on the particular courses offered by colleges are not held centrally. However, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) holds information on which FE providers have at least one LSC-funded learner taking a British Sign Language course for 2003/04 (336 providers in total) and 2004/05 (312 providers). A list of these FE providers will be placed in the House of Commons Library. Full year figures for 2005/06 are not yet available as the academic year which spans 1 August to 31 July has not finished, but an initial list based on enrolments at 1 October 2005 will also be provided in the House Library. Full-year information for 2005/06 is likely to be available in December 2006.

FE college planning data for 2006/07 or 2007/08 at the level of individual courses are not required by the Learning and Skills Council. The Learning and Skills Council plans provision with FE providers at a higher and more aggregated level i.e. Full level 2 achievements, etc.

In 2004-05 the LSC funded 641,000 learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities at a cost of around £1.5 billion. Continuing investment in this provision remains a priority, which was confirmed in our 2006-07 Grant Letter to the LSC and the LSC has in turn made clear in its strategic planning guidance the priority it attaches to this provision.

Speech and Language Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what guidance is available to children's trusts on joint working between agencies responsible for supporting children with communication disabilities; (86773)

(2) what professional support is available to assist early years practitioners to assist children with communication disabilities;

(3) what assessment the Department has made of the long-term impact for children with a speech and language disability;

(4) what steps he has taken to improve parental awareness of Government support for children with communication disabilities;

(5) what assessment his Department has made of the merits of implementing a national unitary framework for special educational needs.

The Joint Planning and Commissioning Framework for Children, Young People, and Maternity Services, published in March 2006, aims to help local partners to put in place a unified planning and commissioning system which will put improved outcomes at the centre of their thinking, will create a clear picture of what children and young people need, will make the best use of resources, and will join up services so that children and young people with multiple needs experience a seamless service.

To assist the process of joint working, the Department for Education and Skills and the Department of Health have commissioned a study of good practice in the provision of speech and language therapy services to children and young people with special educational needs in the age range 0 to 19. A research team from Christ Church College Canterbury is carrying out this study and the fieldwork is currently under way.

The Department recognises that early identification of need, early intervention and early co-ordinated support are key in improving outcomes for children with communication difficulties. As part of a major new £250 million investment in improving the quality of the early years work force, the Department has identified training to support practitioners working in private, voluntary and independent sector settings in meeting the needs of disabled children and their families as one of four priority areas. This is new money and complements the training resources already available to local authorities through the General Sure Start Grant. The Department has also funded the development in partnership with 45 partnership areas of a wide range of practical resources and training materials through the Early Support Programme.

The Department is supporting a longitudinal study by the university of Warwick looking into the learning needs of a group of children with specific language and communication difficulties, the characteristics of the current provision made for them and its impact, their aspirations for the future and the ways in which services can best support them. The results of the study are due to be published in autumn 2006.

Parental awareness of speech and language difficulties is of course very important. In 2005 the Department published a detailed and well received information booklet for parents on speech and language difficulties under the Early Support Programme. This resource was produced in close collaboration with specialist organisations in the voluntary sector and the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. It explains how children normally develop communication, language and speech, how adults can help in this, the difficulties that can arise and how to seek help from professionals.

In the report of their inquiry into special educational needs published on 6 July 2006, the Education and Skills Select Committee make recommendations concerning the possible shape and nature of a national framework on SEN. We are considering the Select Committee's report very carefully and will respond in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what advisory support services (a) are provided by his Department and (b) the Department funds the voluntary and community sector which offer information and support to children identified as having communication disabilities; (87151)

(2) what assessment he has made of the merits of implementing a national delivery model for schools and other educational settings to support children's speech and language development;

(3) what recent assessment his Department has made of the level of speech and language skills in England; and if he will make a statement.

The Department does not itself provide advisory support services for children with communication disabilities. We have however published a detailed information booklet for parents on speech and language difficulties under our Early Support Programme and we continue to look for opportunities to work in collaboration with relevant voluntary sector organisations. We have, for example, given grants for particular projects to the Association For All Speech Impaired Children (AFASIC), I CAN, the Aiding Communication in Education Centres and the Selective Mutism Information and Research Association (SMIRA).

The Primary and Secondary National Strategies provide a range of support and guidance to schools and childcare settings on the teaching of English and the development of speaking and listening skills, including frameworks to help teachers meet the requirements of the National Curriculum. The primary framework for teaching literacy is currently being revised, and we are developing a statutory framework for care and learning for children aged between birth and five—the Early Years Foundation Stage. Both of these documents will emphasise the importance of supporting children’s development of speaking and listening skills from an early age. We have also rolled out a national training programme—Communicating Matters—for practitioners in early years settings, dealing specifically with children’s language acquisition. This training, which relates closely to the curriculum guidance for the Foundation Stage, includes a module focused on support for children with additional needs.

Speech and language skills are assessed by teachers on an ongoing basis in all key stages including the Foundation stage. Speaking and listening is an explicit element of the overall subject level for English and it is reported within the overall subject level for English at the end of each key stage; it is not reported separately. In the Foundation Stage, it is reported within communication, language and literacy in the Foundation Stage Profile.

The Department has also indirectly assessed levels of speech and language development in Sure Start Local Programme areas to monitor progress towards its targets in this area. This has been collected using the Sure Start Language Measure (SSLM), a parental report tool used to measure change in the language skills of two year old children in Sure Start Communities. SSLM data collected by Sure Start local programmes has shown that between 2001-02 and 2004-05 the proportion of children in Sure Start areas with a high word count score at age two and whose parents were not worried about their development rose from 70 per cent. to 74 per cent.

Student Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of graduates were paying back income-contingent student loans in each year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (84697)

Borrowers enter repayment status in the April after they leave their course as they are, in principle, eligible to repay their loans. However, borrowers only make repayments when they are earning over £15,000 and those earning less are not required to make any repayments.

The following table shows the number in repayment status and the numbers who made a repayment in each financial year. Full data is not yet available for more recent financial years.

Financial year

2003-04

2002-03

2001-02

2000-01

Total in repayment status

568,500

298,300

100,000

35,500

Total who made a repayment1

270,900

132,600

42,600

14,500

Percentage making a repayment

48

44

43

41

1 Figures include those who made a repayment but who are not in repayment status.

Note:

Numbers are rounded to the nearest 100.

The repayment system is still relatively young. The table shows an increasing proportion repaying each year as older cohorts earn more and pass the threshold. However, full cohorts did not enter repayment until 2002-03 onwards. These larger, new cohorts have a negative impact on the percentage repaying compared to the positive impact of the older, but smaller, cohorts. This ‘drag’ effect will become less evident as more cohorts move into repayment and the system reaches a steady state.

Student Loans

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimates he has made of the average time graduates in each year since 1990 will take to pay off (a) mortgage-style student loans and (b) income-contingent student loans; and if he will make a statement. (86072)

The currently estimated average times for loans to be fully repaid are (a) around eight years for mortgage-style loans and (b) around 13 years for income-contingent loans. There is no evidence available to suggest that there is any difference in time taken to repay between particular borrower cohort years.

In both cases, the average number of years is counted from the statutory repayment due date, which is the April following the year of graduation.

Sure Start

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many places are available on Sure Start schemes in Swindon; and what percentage of eligible children are on each scheme. (86637)

There are three Sure Start children’s centres up and running in Swindon offering services, including 56 child care places, to 2,7391 children under five and their families. These build on the earlier Sure Start Local Programme set up in 2001 to offer services to 804 children under four. Information on numbers using children’s centres’ services is not available yet, however information for the month of March, 2005 (the latest available) shows 28 per cent.2 of children in Swindon had significant contact (that is, a home visit or attendance at a centre-based activity) with the Penhill and Pinehurst Sure Start programme.

1 2,739 children include 804 children previously served by the 1 SSLP in Swindon that has become a children’s centre.

2 Source:

Sure Start Local Programme data returns March 2005.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children have participated in Sure Start schemes in each constituency since its introduction. (87377)

The information requested by constituency is not collected centrally. Between 1999 and 2003, 524 Sure Start local programmes were approved to deliver services to 400,000 children aged under 4 and their families in disadvantaged areas. The latest information available (for March 2005) shows an average of 23 per cent. of children had significant contact (that is a home visit or at a centre-based activity) with their local Sure Start programme. We expect all of these to become children’s centres providing services to children aged under 5 and their families. The first children’s centres were approved in 2003. By the end of September 2006 we expect children’s centre services to be offering services to 893,977 children. By March 2008 we expect this to rise to 2,132,279 children across England, including all those living in the 30 per cent. most deprived areas.

Translation

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what interpretation and translation service provision his Department makes for people (a) visiting his Department, (b) telephoning his Department and (c) visiting his Department's website. (87379)

The procedure for visitors and telephone calls is to use the DfES internal network services. The network provides information on officers who are native or fluent in a language and can be called upon when required.

The Department provides official languages for its website in association with official language bodies. It does not provide translation in any other language at present. It should be noted however that our website is being moved in 2007 to a new technical infrastructure that will allow multiple language capability.

DfES operates a Welsh Language scheme in accordance with section 21(3) of the Welsh Language Act 1993. Although the Department has limited responsibilities in Wales, any telephone helplines, or similar facility we set up to give information, services or support in Wales, to the public, we would provide a Welsh language service.

Truancy

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his most recent estimate is of the levels of truancy in secondary schools in (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (85944)

The Department does not hold data on pupils recorded as truant. However, the figures for the proportion of half days missed due to unauthorised absence (of which truancy forms a part) in maintained mainstream secondary schools in (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas in each year since 1997 are given in the table as follows:

Percentage of half days missed in maintained mainstream secondary schools1 due to unauthorised absence2

Rural areas

Non-rural areas

1997/98

0.6

1.2

1998/99

0.6

1.1

1999/2000

0.6

1.1

2000/01

0.7

1.0

2001/02

0.64

1.16

2002/03

0.64

1.14

2003/04

0.70

1.20

2004/05

0.76

1.31

1 Includes middle schools as deemed.

2 Figures are only available to 1 decimal place prior to 2001/02.

Unauthorised absence is absence without leave from a teacher or other authorised representative of the school. This includes all unexplained or unjustified absences, such as lateness, holidays during term time not authorised by the school, absence where reason is not yet established and truancy.

Tuition Fees

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students in (a) Barnsley and (b) Doncaster are exempt from tuition fees. (87636)

The number of students in Barnsley and Doncaster local authority making no contribution to their tuition fees in 2004/05 was 970 and 1,4301 respectively.

Students on full-time undergraduate courses and their families are expected to make a contribution towards the cost of their tuition based on household income. Students from lower income backgrounds are wholly or partially exempt from paying tuition fees.

From 2006/07 upfront fees are abolished and full-time students will be eligible for tuition fee loans of up to £3,000. In addition, we expect around 30 per cent. of students to receive a maximum maintenance grant of £2,700 and an HE institution bursary of at least £300. Overall, we expect around half of all eligible students to receive at least some maintenance grant.

1 Numbers rounded to the nearest 10 students.

Under-25s

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many people under the age of 25 years were not in education, employment or training in (a) Hyndburn and (b) England in (i) the last year for which figures are available and (ii) 1997. (86234)

The following table shows the percentage of 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training for Hyndburn constituency, Lancashire LEA and England. Figures are for 2004 and are the latest available; figures for 1997 are not available.

Geographic area

Percentage of 16 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training, 20041

Hyndburn

16

Lancashire

12

England

14

1 To reduce the margin of error, figures have been produced by combining information from the Local Labour Force Survey for 2002, 2003 and 2004. However, sample sizes for Hyndburn and Lancashire are still small and are subject to sampling variability. Care should be taken when interpreting the figures.

University Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received from university admissions tutors on the relative value of A-levels and the International Baccalaureate in admission assessments; and if he will make a statement. (85961)

[holding answer 18 July 2006]: I am not aware of any such representations. Higher education institutions are autonomous organisations and are entirely responsible for their own admission assessments, entry requirements, and decisions.

University Staffing Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the staffing costs were of each (a) university and (b) former polytechnic in (i) 1976-77, (ii) 1979-80, (iii) 1985-86, (iv) 1996-97, (v) 1997-98, (vi) 2001-02 and (vii) 2004-05; and how many full-time equivalent students there were at each university in each year. (85290)

The latest available information is given in the following tables. Information for the former polytechnics for the years prior to 1996-97 is not held centrally. Figures for 1979-80 were not published; figures for 1978-79 are given instead.

Expenditure on total staff costs and student full-time equivalent numbers Universities in England

1976/77

1978/79

1985/86

Institution name

Staffing costs (£000)

Full-time equivalent student load

Staffing costs (£000)

Full-time equivalent student load

Staffing costs (£000)

Full-time equivalent student load

Aston

6,483

5,076

9,110

5,554

14,329

3,599

Bath

4,456

3,734

6,335

3,835

15,722

3,799

Birmingham

16,739

8,527

20,124

8,975

48,439

8,939

Bradford

6,553

4,553

8,650

4,994

16,410

4,436

Bristol

12,548

6,746

16,028

6,804

38,395

7,099

Brunel

4,286

2,642

5,567

2,898

15,026

3,196

Cambridge

18,896

11,633

25,196

11,968

61,614

12,567

City

4,720

2,546

6,056

2,977

14,305

3,326

Durham

5,045

4,278

6,670

4,269

17,643

4,996

East Anglia

4,155

3,507

5,808

3,883

16,213

4,383

Essex

3,036

2,523

4,024

2,860

10,834

3,082

Exeter

4,932

4,333

6,844

5,165

15,825

4,943

Hull

5,157

4,616

6,804

5,227

15,318

4,862

Keele

3,158

2,725

4,125

2,983

8,715

2,759

Kent

3,732

3,329

5,035

3,868

12,149

4,230

Lancaster

4,871

4,232

6,742

4,610

16,095

4,530

Leeds

16,317

10,058

20,990

10,451

52,903

10,374

Leicester

6,140

4,214

8,174

4,478

22,330

4,729

Liverpool

12,616

7,656

16,208

7,859

39,631

8,144

London Graduate School of Business Studies

883

327

1,116

334

3,070

363

London University

103,830

42,922

133,518

45,333

329,325

44,908

Loughborough

5,325

4,001

8,059

5,284

23,045

5,295

Manchester Business School

740

143

948

144

2,656

259

Manchester University

18,895

10,765

24,706

11,385

55,337

11,539

Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

7,295

3,874

9,711

3,899

26,996

4,019

Newcastle

11,988

6,915

15,716

7,610

38,754

7,769

Nottingham

10,199

6,359

13,741

6,704

34,485

7,364

Oxford

20,259

12,503

27,296

12,946

68,695

13,139

Reading

8,356

5,435

10,695

5,972

24,413

5,563

Salford

6,231

4,545

7,874

4,714

16,764

4,143

Sheffield

12,300

7,702

15,736

7,996

35,416

7,960

Southampton

10,748

5,805

14,710

6,119

36,235

6,502

Surrey

5,095

3,069

6,537

3,542

19,629

3,336

Sussex

7,133

4,251

8,693

4,274

18,370

4,532

Warwick

4,770

4,203

7,459

5,099

23,431

5,697

York

3,884

2,918

5,203

3,216

13,220

3,606

Source:

University Grants Committee.

Expenditure on total staff costs and student full-time equivalent numbers Universities, former Polytechnics and University Colleges in England

Expenditure (£000)1

Student FTE numbers2

Institution

1996/97

1997/98

2001/02

2004/05

1996/97

1997/98

2001/02

2004/05

0047

Anglia Ruskin University

35,325

34,593

49,083

54,321

14,020

13,805

17,555

18,330

0108

Aston University

22,415

24,060

31,178

42,011

4,670

5,070

5,920

6,880

0048

Bath Spa University

8,002

8,467

11,388

16,455

2,560

2,920

3,930

5,335

0109

The University of Bath

41,169

42,790

58,270

72,411

6,390

6,735

8,525

10,380

0127

Birkbeck College

19,335

18,886

28,904

37,839

6,500

6,385

6,880

7,060

0110

The University of Birmingham

115,107

114,025

154,316

181,401

17,530

17,835

21,765

23,100

0049

The University of Bolton

15,944

16,694

16,664

22,766

5,335

5,250

4,770

4,920

0050

Bournemouth University

21,072

21,567

31,106

38,871

9,250

9,540

11,105

12,100

0111

The University of Bradford

39,383

39,629

44,745

51,696

8,340

8,600

8,105

8,795

0051

The University of Brighton

37,642

38,468

49,000

62,081

12,565

12,940

14,420

15,350

0112

The University of Bristol

99,949

101,727

129,578

165,195

12,055

11,940

14,260

15,715

0113

Brunel University

43,502

43,484

51,925

61,817

11,535

12,040

11,695

12,540

0009

Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College

17,687

18,538

24,230

30,024

7,190

6,995

7,320

7,125

0203

The University of Buckingham

575

0114

The University of Cambridge

151,581

159,109

227,791

334,764

16,010

15,990

18,015

18,395

0012

Canterbury Christ Church University

17,927

19,366

27,862

40,702

7,025

7,220

9,305

10,365

0052

University of Central England in Birmingham

44,911

45,842

58,509

74,183

17,845

17,200

16,735

17,925

0053

The University of Central Lancashire

38,788

37,109

56,738

77,228

14,490

14,900

17,220

19,365

0129

Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School

21,308

970

0011

University of Chester

10,193

10,392

15,581

29,621

3,540

3,530

5,330

7,750

0082

University of Chichester

7,173

8,293

9,514

12,861

3,110

3,915

3,605

4,100

0115

City University

39,223

40,580

55,117

74,446

7,395

7,730

10,210

12,870

0056

Coventry University

37,133

38,868

50,942

60,044

13,080

13,800

13,470

13,530

0002

Cranfield University

50,524

50,424

63,850

71,515

2,455

2,590

2,720

2,985

0068

De Montfort University

63,475

63,619

68,347

74,807

20,305

20,110

19,235

18,690

0057

University of Derby

25,449

26,481

37,742

43,841

10,540

11,025

10,070

10,885

0116

University of Durham

52,847

54,589

72,872

93,288

10,495

10,445

12,000

14,200

0117

The University of East Anglia

40,935

42,328

56,657

72,599

5,385

9,420

9,075

11,095

0058

The University of East London

34,129

33,040

38,244

46,792

10,040

10,065

10,430

12,190

0118

The University of Essex

29,742

30,209

41,217

54,506

5,500

5,805

6,980

8,440

0119

The University of Exeter

44,306

42,906

53,238

77,711

8,730

8,855

9,805

11,350

0017

University College Falmouth

3,241

3,516

5,769

8,353

1,045

1,115

1,425

1,895

0054

University of Gloucestershire

17,288

17,059

21,985

28,842

5,935

5,730

7,515

6,635

0131

Goldsmiths College

20,328

21,200

28,289

32,960

5,145

5,565

5,870

5,875

0059

The University of Greenwich

51,394

51,275

55,969

58,673

13,215

13,375

13,900

16,175

0018

Harper Adams University College

5,068

5,341

7,297

8,863

1,530

1,535

1,610

1,425

0060

University of Hertfordshire

44,822

45,304

58,530

73,777

14,225

15,000

15,775

19,325

0061

The University of Huddersfield

31,532

31,206

40,605

46,393

12,035

13,225

12,935

13,360

0120

The University of Hull

44,671

45,849

58,012

68,444

9,530

9,440

12,555

13,365

0132

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

121,073

179,096

220,671

268,439

7,715

9,605

10,540

11,595

0133

Institute of Education

14,085

14,905

21,213

28,673

2,270

2,290

2,310

2,970

2001

Institute of Psychiatry (associated with King’s College London)

16,997

355

0121

The University of Keele

31,489

31,690

40,749

49,150

7,935

8,415

7,255

7,850

0122

The University of Kent

39,991

39,347

47,323

58,893

8,105

7,905

9,975

12,215

0134

King’s College London

85,974

109,074

201,075

225,984

11,225

11,895

15,690

17,200

0063

Kingston University

42,362

42,540

55,450

72,477

12,015

11,930

13,895

16,755

0123

The University of Lancaster

44,231

40,978

52,603

69,903

8,345

8,455

9,200

10,825

0064

Leeds Metropolitan University

43,786

42,496

63,450

83,788

14,005

15,105

17,120

20,770

0124

The University of Leeds

129,829

130,309

175,116

213,023

20,775

21,225

25,510

28,655

0125

The University of Leicester

62,721

64,689

84,422

103,176

11,145

11,195

12,640

12,365

0062

The University of Lincoln

23,878

23,131

31,391

35,504

11,995

11,830

9,585

10,175

0023

Liverpool Hope University

10,728

11,351

16,118

22,249

3,705

4,105

5,910

6,030

0065

Liverpool John Moores University

51,405

52,196

60,352

77,552

15,105

16,270

16,925

17,930

0126

The University of Liverpool

92,843

94,865

118,847

143,661

13,735

13,665

15,595

16,825

0024

University of the Arts, London

39,903

41,693

55,476

73,314

8,415

8,320

9,845

11,760

0135

London Business School

14,634

15,135

27,645

37,167

870

940

1,315

1,655

0151

University of London (institutes and activities)

54,310

55,908

41,336

47,718

1,145

955

700

305

0055

London Guildhall University

23,825

23,377

32,935

9,165

9,805

10,130

 

0202

London Metropolitan University

92,354

 

 

 

20,645

0076

London South Bank University

47,213

47,353

58,650

62,294

14,560

16,390

13,825

13,810

0137

London School of Economics and Political Science

34,243

36,226

56,609

72,745

6,310

8,310

6,725

7,520

0138

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

16,511

16,956

25,956

30,377

930

640

770

800

0152

Loughborough University

53,532

55,124

71,069

87,271

9,325

9,665

11,280

13,070

0026

University of Luton

27,248

23,738

28,685

24,688

11,820

13,325

8,365

8,110

0153

University of Manchester

139,582

142,790

181,833

20,910

20,890

22,270

0165

The University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology

47,631

49,238

63,179

6,850

6,860

6,465

0066

The Manchester Metropolitan University

73,247

73,406

82,828

102,994

25,045

24,975

24,690

27,080

0204

The University of Manchester

311,796

32,525

0067

Middlesex University

46,332

48,262

61,801

71,575

18,595

18,715

17,790

20,920

0154

The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

92,946

93,190

127,992

142,721

12,655

12,950

14,770

16,635

0070

The University of North London

31,556

32,193

41,112

11,610

11,660

11,975

0027

The University of Northampton

22,738

23,362

26,740

33,446

8,015

8,880

9,210

8,640

0069

The University of Northumbria at Newcastle

55,965

53,775

70,485

83,077

15,690

16,085

17,930

19,740

0071

The Nottingham Trent University

56,895

57,686

73,169

84,605

21,585

21,420

21,655

22,770

0155

The University of Nottingham

106,574

108,897

147,037

186,114

15,330

15,645

20,465

24,715

0001

The Open University

121,001

119,270

175,537

197,976

63,335

57,710

66,185

64,130

0072

Oxford Brookes University

35,811

36,629

53,868

70,095

9,520

10,035

12,165

14,450

0156

The University of Oxford

153,306

158,426

209,869

268,808

16,000

16,250

17,100

18,400

0073

The University of Plymouth

48,823

49,438

66,427

80,434

17,275

17,480

18,875

21,410

0074

The University of Portsmouth

48,935

48,941

53,745

70,720

14,140

15,010

14,875

17,915

0139

Queen Mary and Westfield College

78,455

76,344

87,665

106,077

7,485

7,805

8,190

9,865

0157

The University of Reading

65,302

66,597

81,270

93,194

10,525

10,195

10,795

11,095

0031

Roehampton University

18,670

18,464

24,035

28,100

5,530

5,880

6,305

7,260

0140

Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine

19,273

20,334

685

710

0141

Royal Holloway and Bedford New College

27,996

28,752

37,975

47,858

5,115

5,575

5,390

6,630

0142

Royal Postgraduate Medical School

30,671

— 

— 

295

— 

— 

0143

The Royal Veterinary College

9,924

10,346

14,852

21,250

620

640

865

1,285

0145

St. George’s Hospital Medical School

28,814

29,744

39,568

44,443

1,365

1,230

1,890

2,365

0158

The University of Salford

57,039

56,615

68,509

83,573

13,760

14,760

16,610

16,220

0146

The School of Oriental and African Studies

16,173

17,227

21,592

26,731

2,575

2,660

3,220

3,555

0147

The School of Pharmacy

4,613

4,754

5,966

8,721

575

580

730

930

0075

Sheffield Hallam University

61,893

57,315

75,775

91,132

19,980

19,265

21,900

22,755

0159

The University of Sheffield

106,958

112,319

143,339

183,631

20,320

19,625

20,965

22,340

0037

Southampton Solent University

25,245

25,870

33,010

34,050

13,750

11,500

9,630

9,490

0160

The University of Southampton

87,938

93,325

127,332

166,246

13,030

14,565

16,305

19,090

0077

Staffordshire University

35,762

35,309

44,811

48,601

12,870

13,025

12,580

10,820

0078

The University of Sunderland

31,284

32,256

39,539

45,613

12,270

12,155

10,060

11,620

0161

The University of Surrey

49,139

52,876

69,028

90,740

7,300

7,695

8,715

9,870

0162

The University of Sussex

42,522

42,991

53,808

68,471

8,965

8,535

9,120

9,210

0079

The University of Teesside

28,533

29,397

38,253

51,413

10,090

9,820

11,120

12,525

0080

Thames Valley University

35,109

34,967

36,530

68,785

15,155

13,325

12,130

13,690

0148

United Medical and Dental Schools, Guy’s and St. Thomas’s Hospitals

49,898

49,560

— 

— 

2,220

2,270

— 

— 

0149

University College London

177,929

185,224

273,137

325,512

13,475

13,860

15,300

17,190

0163

The University of Warwick

71,865

74,440

99,539

145,850

12,200

11,925

13,645

16,150

0081

University of the West of England, Bristol

55,809

54,769

72,633

89,741

19,265

19,750

20,330

23,020

0083

The University of Westminster

37,651

38,440

54,933

71,835

12,670

13,045

14,805

15,960

0021

The University of Winchester

9,258

9,430

10,486

14,158

3,965

4,125

3,950

3,955

0085

The University of Wolverhampton

45,697

45,473

55,332

71,199

16,485

17,995

15,855

16,265

0046

University of Worcester

9,110

10,025

12,502

18,175

3,195

3,395

4,435

5,030

0164

The University of York

44,395

46,345

65,092

87,240

6,680

7,115

9,145

9,685

Notes:

— indicates:

No separate finance record was collected for that institution in that year.

No Student Record was collected separately for that institution in that year.

Source:

Higher Education Statistics Agency’s Finance and Student records 1996-97,1997-98,2001-02, 2004-05

Students FTES have been rounded to the nearest 5.

Visual Impairment

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what support is provided by his Department for partially-sighted and blind pupils in (a) primary, (b) secondary, (c) further and (d) higher education; (86542)

(2) how much funding has been allocated by his Department for the provision of appropriate literature and equipment for partially-sighted and blind students in (a) primary, (b) secondary, (c) further and (d) higher education in (i) Somerset and (ii) England in each year since 1997.

The special educational needs (SEN) code of practice provides advice to local authorities and schools on their statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision for children who have special educational needs, including children who are blind or partially sighted. The code sets out a graduated approach to providing support. Many children who are blind or partially sighted will have statements of SEN. All statements are reviewed at least annually. The purpose of the review is to consider a child’s progress, to ensure they are achieving desired outcomes and, if necessary, to amend their statements to reflect newly identified needs and provision.

Children with SEN, including those who are blind or partially sighted, benefited from the substantial increase of £1,170 in the funding per pupil from £2,940 in 1997-98 to £4,110 per pupil in 2005-06 (a rise of nearly 40 per cent.) and from the increase in local authorities’ budgeted expenditure on the education of children with SEN from £2.8 billion in 2001-02 to £4.5 billion in 2006-07. £300 million was also made available from 2003-04 through the schools access initiative to improve access to mainstream schools for disabled pupils. Recently a further £100 million per annum has been announced for both 2006-07 and 2007-08. Funds can be used for improving physical access, including adaptations for sensory disability such as improved colour schemes; access to the curriculum; access to written information in alternative formats. This encompasses information, communication technology equipment (both hardware and software).

Decisions about the support provided for children in Somerset are a matter for the local authority, taking into account its statutory duties.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has a responsibility under the Learning and Skills Act to support young people and adults with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, including learners with visual impairments. Overall, in 2004/05 the LSC supported more than 640,000 learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities which accounted for nearly £1.5 billion.

Disabled students’ allowances (DSAs) are available to help students in higher education with the extra costs they may incur on their course as a direct result of a disability (or specific learning difficulty).

DSAs are paid in addition to the standard student support package; they are not means-tested and do not have to be repaid.

In academic year 2004/05 (the latest for which figures are available) 64,2001 DSAs were awarded in England and Wales totalling £74.1 million. In addition there were over 2,600 OU students with DSAs worth around £3.5 million.

1 The total number of students in receipt of DSAs involves an element of double-counting since a student can have more than one allowance.

York Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much capital expenditure there has been on schools which come under York local education authority in each year since 1986. (86524)

Records are not maintained centrally of local authority capital expenditure on schools, as this is decided in accordance with local asset management plans and will depend upon local authorities’ total sources of available funding. The Department has maintained records of capital allocations to local authorities for schools since 1996, and those for York city council and schools in its area are set out in the following table:

£ million

1996-97

0.8

1997-98

1.3

1998-99

1.8

1999-2000

4.5

2000-01

7.4

2001-02

4.8

2002-03

25.5

2003-04

9.7

2004-05

9.4

2005-06

8.7

2006-07

28.3

The large allocations in 2002-03 and 2006-07 result, respectively, from a PFI allocation of £15.4 million and successful Targeted Capital Fund bids of £22.2 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much per child was spent on (a) (i) pre-school, (ii) primary school and (iii) 11 to 16-year-old secondary school pupils in York schools and (b) sixth formers (A) in York schools and (B) at York College in each year since 1996-97 (1) in cash and (2) at current prices. (86525)

The Department does not hold any comparable expenditure information for pre primary pupils and it is not possible to distinguish figures for sixth formers from 11 to 16-year-old secondary pupils. The Department does not collect figures for York College. The available information is contained in the following tables:

School based expenditure per pupil1,2,3,4,5 and combined local authority and school based expenditure per pupil1,6 since 1996-977,8,9

£ cash terms10,11

Primary school based expenditure per pupil1,2,3,4

Pre-primary and primary school based expenditure per pupil1,2,3,4

Secondary school based expenditure per pupil1,2,3,5

Combined LA and school based expenditure per pupil1,6

1996-97

1,540

2,210

2,500

1997-987

1,600

2,350

2,590

1998-997

1,730

2,460

2,690

1999-20008,9

1,760

1,800

2,430

2,710

2000-01

1,860

1,870

2,640

2,850

2001-02

2,180

2,260

2,830

3,130

2002-03

2,390

3,080

3,270

2003-04

2,560

3,330

3,740

2004-05

2,680

3,660

3,900

£ real terms (2005-06 prices)10,11,12

Primary school based expenditure perpupil1,2,3,4

Pre-primary and primary school based expenditure per pupil1,2,3,4

Secondary school based expenditure per pupil1,2,3,5

Combined LA and school based expenditure per pupil1,6

1996-97

1,920

2,760

3,110

1997-987

1,940

2,840

3,130

1998-997

2,040

2,900

3,170

1999-20008,9

2,030

2,080

2,810

3,130

2000-01

2,120

2,130

3,010

3,250

2001-02

2,430

2,510

3,150

3,480

2002-03

2,580

3,330

3,530

2003-04

2,680

3,490

3,920

2004-05

2,740

3,740

3,980

1 The expenditure data to 1998-99 are drawn from the annual ‘RO1’ spending returns which local authorities submitted to the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. Figures for 1999-2000 to 2001-02 are drawn from section 52 (table 3) outturn statements which local authorities submitted to the DfES. Figures for 2002-03 onwards are taken from section 52 (table A) outturn statements. The change in sources is shown by the blank rows.

2 School based expenditure includes only expenditure incurred directly by local authority maintained schools. This includes the pay of teachers and school-based support staff, school premises costs, books and equipment, and certain other supplies and services, less any capital items funded from recurrent spending and income from sales, fees and charges and rents and rates. This excludes the central cost of support services such as home to school transport, local authority administration and the financing of capital expenditure. The pupil data are drawn from the DfES Annual Schools Census adjusted to be on a financial year basis.

3 From 2002-03 onwards the school based expenditure calculation is broadly similar to the calculation in previous years. However, 2001-02 and earlier years includes all premature retirement compensation (PRC) and Crombie payments, mandatory PRC payments and other indirect employee expenses, while from 2002-03 only the schools element of these categories is included. In 2001-02 this accounted for approximately £70 per pupil of the England total, while the schools element of these categories accounted for approximately £50 per pupil of the England total in 2002-03. Also, for some LAs, expenditure that had previously been attributed to the school sectors was reported within the LA part of the form from 2002-03 and would therefore be excluded from the school based expenditure calculation, though this is not quantifiable from existing sources.

4 Figures for the primary sector alone were not available until the inception of section 52 in financial year 1999-2000. The pre-primary figures are not sufficiently robust to use in this reply.

5 Secondary school based expenditure includes all expenditure incurred directly by local authority maintained secondary schools. It is not possible from existing sources to distinguish this expenditure between expenditure on 11 to 16-year-olds and expenditure on 6th form pupils attending maintained secondary schools.

6 Combined local authority and school based expenditure includes all expenditure on the education of children in local authority maintained establishments and pupils educated by the authority other than in maintained establishments. This includes both school based expenditure and all elements of central LA expenditure except youth and community and capital expenditure from revenue (CERA). Pupil figures include all pre-primary pupils, including those under fives funded by the authority and being educated in private settings (only available from 1999-2000), pupils educated in maintained mainstream schools and any other local authority maintained pupils. All pupil numbers are adjusted to be on a financial year basis.

7 Spending in 1997-98 reflects the transfer of monies from local government to central Government for the nursery vouchers scheme. These were returned to local government from 1998-99.

8 Figures prior to 1999-2000 exclude any expenditure on service, strategy and regulation.

9 The expenditure data for 1999-2000 onwards reflect the return of grant maintained schools to local authority maintenance.

10 ‘—’denotes figures are not available or have not been scored on a consistent basis

11 Figures are rounded to the nearest £10.

12 Cash figures are converted to 2005-06 prices using the 30 June 2006 gross domestic product (GDP) deflators.

Note:

As reported by York local authority as at 17 July 2006.

Prime Minister

Casinos

To ask the Prime Minister (1) when (a) he and (b) his officials have held meetings in the last 12 months with casino operators interested in securing licences under the Gambling Act 2005; where each meeting took place; and what was discussed; (83362)

(2) what meetings (a) he and (b) his officials have had with (i) Mr. Philip Anschutz and (ii) representatives of Anschutz Entertainment Group;

(3) what discussions (a) he and (b) his officials have had with Anschutz Entertainment Group on its development of the millennium dome site and surrounding land.

To ask the Prime Minister (1) if he will list the meetings he has had with representatives of the Anschutz Entertainment Group and associated companies since 1997; (85660)

(2) what meetings he has had with (a) casino developers, (b) representatives of Kerzner International and (c) representatives of the Anschutz Entertainment Group in the last five years.

My officials and I have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a wide range of subjects. Information relating to internal meetings, discussion and advice is not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

I also refer the hon. Members to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster) on 10 November 2004, Official Report, column 696W.

Correspondence