Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 11 July 2007

Communities and Local Government

Aerials: Planning Permission

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many applications for installing a telecommunications mast were (a) granted and (b) refused in each parliamentary constituency in each of the last five years; (148007)

(2) how many telecommunications masts were installed in each London borough in each of the last five years;

(3) how many telecommunications masts were given permission to be installed in each parliamentary constituency in each of the last five years.

The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if she will amend national planning guidance on mobile telephone masts to allow concerns over health issues to be taken into account by local planning authorities; (148591)

(2) what the timetable is for the revision of Planning Policy Guidance 8; and whether she intends to issue a consultation paper on its revision.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 24 May 2007, Official Report, column 1524W. We intend to review the permitted development rights in relation Part 24 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. Following the completion of this review we will consider what, if any, changes might be necessary to Government Planning Policy in relation to telecommunications.

We have not established our timetable for reviewing Planning Policy Guidance Note 8 on Telecommunications. We will consult on any substantive changes to this policy.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will require all mobile telephone companies to apply for full planning permission for installation of mobile telephone masts. (148593)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Twickenham (Dr. Cable) on 24 May 2007, Official Report, column 1524W. We intend to review the permitted development rights in relation to Part 24 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. The aim of the review is to ensure that permitted development rights remain fit for purpose, particularly in the light of technological advances in telecommunications. I cannot prejudge the outcome of that review, but we will consult on any substantive proposals for change arising from it.

Departments: Aviation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many flights to overseas destinations were taken by (a) civil servants and (b) Ministers in her Department in each of the last three calendar years; and what the total cost of such flights was. (144940)

The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost. Since 1999, the Government have published on an annual basis, a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500, as well as the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2006-07 is currently being compiled and will be published before the summer recess. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the ‘Civil Service Management Code’, the ‘Ministerial Code’ and ‘Travel by Ministers’.

Departments: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of staff in her Department in the last three years; and at what total cost. (146993)

The numbers of non-pensionable bonuses for each of the last three years and the costs of these are tabulated as follows. These figures refer to bonuses paid under the terms of the annual pay settlements for staff working in the Department and its predecessor, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. Bonuses are paid to staff who exceed against their objectives for the year.

The Department also operates a Special Bonus Scheme to reward exceptional performance over a limited period in particularly demanding tasks or situations, but records are not available to show the number of payments made under this scheme.

In recent years the proportion of senior civil service pay which is linked to performance has been increased.

Number of bonuses

Cost of bonuses (£)

2006

561

838,250

2005

596

605,750

2004

435

445, 000

Departments: Performance Appraisal

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many staff in her Department did not achieve an acceptable mark in their annual report in 2006-07. (146930)

On the basis of outcomes agreed and recorded to date a total of 14 staff in the Department did not meet their objectives for the year 2006-07.

Departments: Public Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what incentives she has considered to encourage staff in her Department to use public transport. (148796)

The main incentive the Department offers are interest-free loans for season tickets for travel to work via public transport. Use of public transport is also encouraged by limited car parking, flexible working, the use of public transport during the course of travel and making use of travel websites and information services, such as Transport Direct.

Fire Services: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what targets her Department has issued to local authorities on the performance of fire services. (148982)

The Fire and Rescue National Framework sets out the priorities and objectives for all fire and rescue authorities in England, The framework is a statutory guidance document which is laid before Parliament and the current framework is for 2006-08. Within the framework we provide details of any targets set for fire and rescue authorities and for local authorities where they have a fire function e.g. county fire and rescue authorities. Since April 2005 the Government have had a public service agreement target which is:

“By 2010, reduce the number of accidental fire related deaths in the home by 20 per cent. and the number of deliberate fires by 10 per cent.”

Fire and rescue authorities have largely been responsible for delivering this target and the reduction in fire deaths and deliberate fires has already been achieved but this performance must be sustained until 2010 to meet the target in full. Fire and rescue authorities also have an efficiency target to deliver which commenced in April 2005 of £105 million of cashable efficiency savings by 2007-08. Again, fire and rescue authorities are on track to deliver this efficiency target. Further information on these targets and other priorities for the fire and rescue service can be found within the national framework document.

Housing: Bournemouth

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what targets for building homes Bournemouth borough council is expected to meet; and by when. (147949)

[holding answer 10 July 2007]: The Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Structure Plan, adopted in 2001, sets out an average figure for new housing delivery in Bournemouth of 523 dwellings per annum up to 2011.

The draft South West Regional Spatial Strategy, which recently completed its examination in public, states a range for 2006-26 of between 680 and 780 dwellings per annum.

Housing: Disadvantaged

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what public funds were spent on the Supporting People strategy in each year since its inception. (147376)

The Supporting People programme is administered and delivered locally by 150 top tier local authorities.

The following table details the amount spent on Supporting People services since 2003, as reported to the Department by local authorities.

£

2003-04

1,759,796,581

2004-05

1,752,082,661

2005-06

1,688,430,624

Housing: Low Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what proportion of affordable home completions in each of the last five years for which records are available were sold for (a) less than (i) £40,000, (ii) £50,000, (iii) £60,000, (iv) £70,000, (v) £80,000, (vi) £90,000, (vii) £100,000, (viii) £110,000, (ix) £120,000 and (b) more than £120,000; and what the figures were in each year in each case for the South West. (148252)

Information on affordable dwelling sales is not available centrally in the format requested. However, information recorded by registered social landlords on the proportion of all their affordable dwellings sold at a discounted sale price and the sale of equity shares of shared ownership dwellings and open market properties with the help of an equity loan to improve affordability is given for England in the following table 1 and for South West in table 2.

The information in the tables reflects the fact that the majority of shared equity purchasers are buying in London and the South East. However, the number of shared ownership and equity loans completions per annum in the South West has nearly doubled over the last five years.

Table 1: Proportion of RSL dwellings sold in England by year and sale price1

Percentage

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-072

<£40,000

52

48

42

26

22

£40,000 to £49,999

9

6

6

5

5

£50,000 to £59,999

8

7

7

7

10

£60,000 to £69,999

7

7

8

10

14

£70,000 to £79,999

6

6

7

10

12

£80,000 to £89,999

5

5

6

9

10

£90,000 to £89,999

3

6

6

8

7

£100,000 to £109,999

3

4

4

6

4

£110,000 to £119,999

1

4

3

4

4

>=£120,000

2

6

8

11

7

Unknown price

4

1

1

2

6

1 Discounted sale price for complete dwelling sales and equity share for shared ownership dwelling and equity loan sales.

2 Provisional

Source:

Housing Corporation CORE Sales returns

Table 2: Proportion of RSL dwellings sold in South West by year and sale price1

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-072

<£40,000

48

26

19

9

6

£40,000 to £49,999

16

12

8

6

7

£50,000 to £59,999

12

18

13

14

17

£60,000 to £69,999

8

16

17

19

21

£70,000 to £79,999

5

10

12

17

19

£80,000 to £89,999

3

7

10

12

11

£90,000 to £89,999

2

5

8

8

9

£100,000 to £109,999

1

3

6

5

3

£110,000 to £119,999

0

2

3

3

2

>=£120,000

0

2

4

4

3

Unknown price

4

1

0

2

2

1 Discounted sale price for complete dwelling sales and equity share for shared ownership dwelling and equity loan sales.

2 Provisional

Source:

Housing Corporation CORE Sales returns

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the definition of affordable housing takes account of (a) average local wages, (b) geographical location and (c) whether the house is to be (i) bought outright, (ii) bought with shared equity and (iii) rented. (148445)

[holding answer 9 July 2007]: Annex B to “Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing” defines affordable housing as housing sold or rented at below market rates, to eligible groups, where there is provision for the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households. The definition includes that affordable housing

“should meet the needs of eligible households, including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices”.

The definition comprises social rented housing and intermediate housing (shared equity products, other low cost homes for sale and intermediate rent).

Local Government: Equal Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the total back pay liability for all expected years is in respect of each local authority that has applied for a capitalisation direction in respect of equal pay; and how much each authority is seeking to have capitalised. (149115)

Rates and Rating: Aerials

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many mobile telephone masts were on the Valuation Office Agency’s ratings list in the areas of (a) Guildford borough council and (b) Waverley borough council (i) in 2000 and (ii) at the most recent date for which the information is available. (148594)

Statutory Instrument (SI) No 2421 changed the basis for assessing masts for rating purposes. Therefore, to provide an answer on a consistent basis, the following dates have been used.

As at 31 March 2003, the Rating List included 79 ‘Communication Masts’ in Guildford borough council and 34 in Waverley borough council. As at 31 March 2007, the corresponding numbers were 120 for Guildford and 32 for Waverley. Not all ‘Communication Masts’ are mobile telephone masts; the Valuation Office Agency’s database does not distinguish between mobile telephone masts and those used for other purposes.

Defence

Armed Forces: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total expenditure was on armed forces accommodation in each year since 1997. (148228)

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 16 January 2007, Official Report, column 1008W, and my letter of 20 March 2007, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

Armed Forces: Mental Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) psychologists, (b) psychiatrists, (c) mental health nurses and (d) occupational therapists each service employed in (i) 2006 and (ii) 2007. (148273)

Psychologists and occupational therapists are not employed in the armed forces. The following tables list the numbers of consultant psychiatrists and mental health nurses employed in each service on 1 April 2006 and 1 April 2007.

Manning

Consultant psychiatrists

RN

2006

2

2007

2

Army

2006

6

2007

6

RAF

2006

5

2007

5

Mental health nurses

RN

2006

21

2007

21

Army

2006

43

2007

41

RAF

2006

33

2007

36

Source:

DMSD quarterly manning return 1 April 2006/1 April 2007

Armed Forces: Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what budget was provided to each of the armed forces for recruitment purposes in each year since 1992. (147491)

[holding answer 5 July 2007]: Information for all years since 1992 is not held centrally in the format requested. Nevertheless, the known recruitment budgets for the Army and RAF for all years since 1998-99 are as follows:

£ million

Army

RAF

1998-99

49.5

27.1

1999-2000

53.0

27.6

2000-01

53.8

26.3

2001-02

65.4

28.6

2002-03

64.9

29.1

2003-04

70.8

n/a

2004-05

76.1

n/a

2005-06

89.1

n/a

2006-07

86.9

n/a

In 2003, the RAF’s recruitment budget was merged with that for Initial Officer Training and cannot be separated out.

I will write to the hon. Member with the information for the Naval Service annual recruiting budget and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Copthorne Barracks

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the running costs of Copthorne Barracks in Shrewsbury were in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. (147663)

The approximate infrastructure running costs of Copthorne Barracks in each of the last three financial years were as follows:

Financial year

£ million

2004-05

1.5

2005-06

1.9

2006-07

1.1

The introduction of Regional Prime Contracting in 2006-07 altered the way in which infrastructure costs are accounted for, in that not all maintenance costs can now be attributed to a particular site. The figure for 2006-07 is not therefore directly comparable to the figures for previous years.

Departments: Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on (a) management consultants and (b) other external consultants and advisers in each year since 2000; and which of these consultants undertook work for the Department with a total contractual value in excess of £10 million over this period. (146339)

Summaries of MOD expenditure on external assistance (which includes management consultants and other external consultants and advisers) are available in the Library of the House for the years 1995-96 to 2005-06.

Figures for financial year 2006-07 will be placed in the Library before summer recess.

The information on which consultants undertook work for the Department with a total contractual value in excess of £10 million is not held centrally in the form requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Information on organisations, including management consultancy firms, paid £5 million or more by my Department in each financial year is published in the UK Defence Statistics. However, these figures do not differentiate between consultancy spend and non-consultancy expenditure.

Departments: Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many and what percentage of staff in his Department are making additional voluntary contributions to their pensions; and what steps he has taken in the last 12 months to encourage more people to make such contributions. (147529)

Approximately 2,200 members of the Civil Service Pension arrangements in the Ministry of Defence (2.7 per cent. of the total Civil Service Pension schemes members employed by the Department) currently make additional voluntary pension contributions through deductions from their pay.

Pension scheme members receive an annual benefit statement showing the pension built up to date, and also a projection of pension on retirement if the member continues in service to scheme pension age. The benefit statement provides details of the Civil Service Pensions website where staff can obtain further information, including on options for making additional voluntary contributions to boost their pension. The Defence Intranet also provides staff with information on how to boost their pension and an annual office notice is issued to remind staff of the opportunity to have non-consolidated pay or bonuses paid into an additional voluntary contributions fund.

Explosions: Noise

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints about noise caused by explosions at Shoeburyness were received from residents living in (a) Maldon District, (b) Chelmsford Borough, (c) Rochford District, (d) Colchester Borough, (e) Tendring District, (f) Southend on Sea, (g) Castlepoint District and (h) Kent in each year since 1995. (148150)

The number of complaints received by the Ministry of Defence about noise caused by explosions, demolition and gunfire at Shoeburyness in each year since 1995 is set out as follows:

District

1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

20071

Maldon

56

91

23

49

58

48

51

50

19

8

4

4

7

Chelmsford

5

2

0

0

1

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

Rochford

60

48

45

31

86

48

74

16

2

0

0

0

3

Colchester

12

44

5

20

23

38

22

14

13

3

3

10

0

Tendring

107

206

79

129

222

322

239

154

127

56

110

87

7

Southend

33

109

30

65

52

48

35

25

3

6

2

3

1

Castlepoint

2

1

6

5

10

1

3

0

2

0

0

0

0

Kent

360

155

91

335

543

333

477

217

48

75

158

112

30

Total

635

656

279

634

995

838

901

476

216

148

277

216

48

1 Year to 4 July 2007.

Figures up to the end of 2005 are based solely on telephone complaints to a dedicated helpline. Those for 2006 and 2007 are from all sources of complaints.

Housing: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many calls received by Modern Housing Solutions were subsequently passed to Transco in each of the last 12 months. (147938)

The number of calls received by Modern Housing Solutions (MHS) that were passed to Transco is as follows:

Month

Number

2006

July

2

August

7

September

4

October

4

November

6

December

3

2007

January

3

February

8

March

7

April

7

May

6

June

5

Total

62

Military Bases: Europe

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what British military bases there are on the continent of Europe. (147490)

[holding answer 5 July 2007]: The following table lists all of the main Establishments where the Ministry of Defence has a land ownership interest in (either freehold or long leasehold) on the continent of Europe.

Establishment name

Country

Akrotiri Air Base

Cyprus

Dhekelia Garrison

Cyprus

Episkopi Garrison

Cyprus

Ayios Nikolaos

Cyprus

Troodos

Cyprus

Gibraltar Garrison

Gibraltar

Gutersloh Garrison

Germany

Hohne Garrison

Germany

Osnabruck Garrison

Germany

Paderborn Garrison

Germany

Rheindahlen Garrison

Germany

Military Bases: Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what information he has received from the Defence Training Review preferred bidder on the discussions it has had with (a) business, (b) local government and (c) academic leaders in South Wales on future plans for MoD St. Athan; and which organisations have taken part in such discussions; (147273)

(2) what information he has received from the Defence Training Review preferred bidder on discussions it has had with elected representatives in South Wales about future plans for MoD St. Athan; and who took part in those discussions;

(3) what information he has received from the Defence Training Review preferred bidder on discussions it has had with local organisations and community groups in the Vale of Glamorgan on the future plans for MoD St. Athan; and which organisations and groups were involved in those discussions.

Metrix UK meets regularly with members of the Welsh Assembly Government, Community Councils (Llantwit Major, St. Athan, Llanmaes, Llandow, St. Bride’s, Ewenny, Wick, Llangan and St. Donat), local (South Wales) business leaders, and leaders of all the main parties represented in the National Assembly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the principal surface access routes to MoD St. Athan will be (a) during and (b) after the construction of the new military training academy. (147280)

Negotiations are under way between the Welsh Assembly Government, MOD and Metrix to formulate an agreement which will include access arrangements for the Aerospace Business Park and the proposed Defence Training Academy.

Veterans Day

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the total cost was of the events of Veterans Day 2007. (148237)

We are not able to calculate the total costs of events to mark Veterans Day 2007 as many of these are borne by event organisers and are not collected by the Department. The MOD committed approximately £470,000 to such events from its veterans budget. However, this figure does not include the costs of participation by armed forces units, such as military bands, in events organised to celebrate the country’s veterans; these costs cannot be separately identified but the involvement of such units has not been large scale.

War Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cash (a) provision and (b) outturn was for the (i) War Pensions Benefits Programme, (ii) War Pensions Benefits Programme—Far Eastern Prisoners of War and (iii) War Pensions Benefits Programme costs—British Limbless Ex-Servicemen's Association request for resources subheads in each financial year since 1997. (146961)

The Ministry of Defence does not measure financial performance in cash terms. The nearest approximation is ‘near cash’ which comprises cash expenditure and adjustments relating to accrued and pre-paid expenditure. Details relating to the financial years from 1997 to 2002 are not available to the Ministry of Defence as responsibility for reporting financial performance was only transferred in 2002. Prior to this the financial reporting was the responsibility of the Department for Social Security, now the Department for Work and Pensions. The near cash provision for total war pensions expenditure for the years 2002-03 to 2006-07 was:

£

2002-03

1,186,720,000

2003-04

1,158,005,000

2004-05

1,161,221,000

2005-06

1,072,972,000

2006-07

1,047,661,000

The near cash outturn for the years 2002-03 to 2006-07 was:

£

(i) War pensions costs

(ii) Far eastern prisoners of war costs

(iii) British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s costs

Total war pension expenditure

2002-03

1,161,995,058

4,270,000

n/a

1,166,265,058

2003-04

1,113,557,403

3,210,000

3,000

1,116,770,403

2004-05

1,100,266,108

9,810,000

7,000

1,110,083,108

2005-06

1,065,402,752

3,730,000

3,000

1,069,135,752

2006-07

1,035,083,980

3,490,000

0

1,038,573,980

Costs relating to the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association were not separately recorded until 2003-04.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Flood Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which local flood protection and prevention schemes, for which cost benefit analysis has been undertaken, were cancelled or postponed in each of the last five years; and what the reasons for cancellation and postponement were in each case. (147543)

Operating authorities (OAs), that is, the Environment Agency, local authorities and internal drainage boards, are required to produce annual Medium Term Plans (MTPs) setting out their proposed flood protection and prevention schemes for the following three years. Each project will include some form of cost benefit analysis and this will form part of the calculation of the priority score for the scheme. A fully detailed cost benefit analysis is only likely to have been undertaken when a scheme comes forward for final approval either internally in the Environment Agency or, historically, by DEFRA.

MTPs contain a mixture of schemes, some are well advanced and ready to proceed and others are in the early stages of design. There are many more schemes awaiting funding than are able to be afforded in any one year. The list of schemes in the MTP will be added to as new ones are identified by OAs and may displace others with lower priority scores. There are many schemes in the MTP for which a need can be defined but which have a very low priority score. These are unlikely to receive funding for many years, if at all, but are nevertheless promoted by the OA. These should not be regarded as “cancelled or postponed” because they have never received funding approval and, for this reason, the information is not available in the form requested.

Floods: Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to improve the flood defence system in East Lancashire. (148936)

I am advised by the Environment Agency that the Ribble Catchment Flood Management Plan, which will identify the high level sustainable policies for future flood risk management within the catchment over the next 50 to 100 years, is now in its final stages of preparation. The Burnley, Nelson and Colne and the Darwen (including Blackburn) Flood Risk Management Strategies are currently being developed to identify specific scheme needs within those sub-catchments.

The Barrowford Flood Alleviation Scheme has recently been completed. Croasdale Brook, Slaidburn, Flood Alleviation Scheme has recently been completed. Walverden Water and Hendon Brook Flood Alleviation Scheme has been approved and is awaiting funding allocation. Investigations are in progress to identify potential flood risk protection measures at Bolton-by-Bowland and Sawley.

Detailed hydraulic modelling has been completed on Mearley Brook at Clitheroe, and flood risk mapping is being finalised for the area. New Flood Warning Areas continue to be introduced in the highest risk areas such as the River Hyndburn at Accrington, River Calder at Padiham and Green Brook at Padiham. Existing Flood Warning services are also being improved on a continual basis.

The Environment Agency continues to maintain and invest to prevent deterioration of assets in East Lancashire. 97 per cent. of defences are currently in a good condition.

Water: EC Action

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has for increasing the (a) funding and (b) staffing of the Catchment Sensitive Farming programme in meeting the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive; and if he will make a statement. (147243)

Resources for catchment sensitive farming will depend on departmental plans currently being considered as part of the comprehensive spending review.

Wood: Imports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the UK’s timber needs are met by imported material. (148125)

In 2005, the latest year for which figures have been published, it was estimated that 52.5 million cubic metres of wood raw material equivalent was imported and 8.6 million cubic metres was produced in the UK.

Exports, including materials produced from both imported and domestically grown timber for use or re-use outside the UK, were 16.5 million cubic metres of wood raw material equivalent, so UK apparent consumption was 44.6 million cubic metres. Imports therefore made up 81 per cent. of apparent consumption.

Around one third of the wood products imported to the UK in 2005 were imported as softwood (round and sawn). A further one third were imported as paper, 15 per cent. were imported as wood based panels and 13 per cent. as pulp. Paper (20 per cent.) and recovered paper (57 per cent.) accounted for the majority of exports of wood products from the UK in 2005.

Wood: Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the Government’s (a) domestic and (b) imported timber supplies are procured from sustainable sources. (148128)

There are not sufficient current data available from which accurate figures on Government’s purchase of sustainably produced timber could be deduced. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is engaged on an exercise designed to identify options for developing a reliable system that all central Departments in England could use to report their timber purchases.

Transport

Bus Services: North West Region

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department on bus subsidy in the north-west of England in the last 12 months, broken down by constituency. (147087)

The Department provides grants to local transport authorities through the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant, Rural and Urban Bus Challenge and Kickstart schemes. A total of £7.853 million was paid under these schemes to local authorities in the north-west region in the financial year 2006-07. The Department also provides Bus Service Operators Grant (BSOG) directly to operators of local bus services. We estimate that BSOG payments to operators in the north-west region total around £55 million annually. In addition, the majority of local authority support for bus services is funded from the Government's unhypothecated Revenue Support Grant and from other sources.

The Department does not hold information in a form that would enable these figures to be broken down by parliamentary constituency.

Databases: Parking

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether there is a national record of parking areas. (148448)

As far as I am aware, there is no comprehensive and accurate national record of parking areas. However, Transport Direct is creating a database of off-street publicly accessible parking for Great Britain which can be viewed at

www.transportdirect.info.

Departments: Private Finance Initiative

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total cost is of all private finance initiative projects for which her Department has responsibility completed since 1997; and what the projected cost is of such projects commissioned or under way. (148021)

The HM Treasury website provides updated details (on a six monthly basis) of awarded PFI projects overseen by the Department of Transport. The project details include the date of financial close, total capital value and the annual unitary charge payment. This information is available at:

http://www.hm-treasurygov.uk/documents/public-private_partnerships/ppp_pfi_stats.cfm

The Treasury website includes unitary charge payments up until 2033-34. The following projects overseen by the Department for Transport involve payments beyond that date:

Docklands Light Railway Woolwich extension

2034-35 estimated unitary charge £12.2 million

A1 Darrington to Dishforth

2034-35 estimated unitary charge £52.2 million

2035-36 estimated unitary charge £53.5 million

Doncaster interchange

2034-35 estimated unitary charge £3.86 million

2035-36 estimated unitary charge £3.86 million

2036-37 estimated unitary charge £3.86 million

2037-38 estimated unitary charge £3.86 million

2038-39 estimated unitary charge £0.965 million

The forecasts of future payments are subject to the performance of the private sector contractor.

The unitary charge payments represent repayments of the capital (sum of the capital spend) of the project and will also frequently include inflation, service provision, capital repayments and major refurbishments.

Railway Stations: Chorley

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if she will make a statement on progress being made on the development of a railway station at Buckshaw Village, Chorley; (148991)

(2) whether an agreement has been reached with rail operating companies for trains to stop at the proposed railway station at Buckshaw Village, Chorley; and if she will make a statement;

(3) when she expects work (a) to begin and (b) to be completed on the construction of the railway station at Buckshaw Village, Chorley.

This is a project that is being led by Lancashire county council with Network Rail. I understand that Lancashire county council has yet to finalise the detailed project plan which would provide dates for key milestones, but that it is planning for the station to be operational by 2008 provided the funding is in place.

Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average load factor is, expressed as a percentage of seats occupied, on passenger trains running on the UK rail network. (146294)

The Department only holds data pertaining to the morning and evening peaks for commuter services in London and the south-east, which is in the following table. It is not possible to disaggregate seats occupied from total capacity as data are not held in this form.

Total load factor

Percentage

Train operator

In am peak

In pm peak

Aggregated peaks

one

82.0

75.2

78.7

C2C

78.0

72.3

75.3

Chiltern

72.5

61.5

66.9

Southeastern

84.1

67.4

75.9

Stagecoach South West Trains

89.3

70.6

80.0

Southern

82.5

70.8

77.0

First Great Western

90.0

71.5

81.1

First Capital Connect

80.0

74.3

77.1

Silverlink

72.8

65.1

68.9

The table is based on annual counts undertaken by train operators during autumn 2006. Data for other train operators running on the UK rail network are not available.

Treasury

Crosby Review

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the report of the Crosby review of identity management to be published. (148643)

Departments: Hotels

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1879W, on Departments: hotels, if he will set out the figures for 2006-07 for (a) HM Treasury, (b) the Debt Management Office, (c) the Royal Mint and (d) the Office of Government Commerce, including subsistence, as in the answer of 16 October 2006, Official Report, column 1060W, on departmental expenditure; (147097)

(2) how much was spent by (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies on hotel and other privately-provided accommodation (i) in the UK and (ii) abroad for (A) Ministers, (B) staff and (C) others in 2006-07.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent on overnight accommodation by civil servants within his Department's areas of responsibilities in the last 12 months. (149057)

The available information is presented in the following table. As explained in the answer given by the then Financial Secretary (John Healey) on 16 October 2006, in most cases, the bodies' accounting systems do not record accommodation costs separately, so the figures are for subsistence, which includes accommodation and associated allowances for meals. Therefore further analysis could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Information relating to overseas travel by Ministers is published on an annual basis. Information for the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 2006 is available in the Library of the House. Information for the financial year 2006-07 is currently being compiled and is due to be published shortly.

All travel and subsistence is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Ministerial Code, Travel by Ministers and the Civil Service Management Code.

Department/Agency/NDPB

Type of Travel

2006-07 (£000)

HM Treasury1

UK

98

Overseas

308

Debt Management Office

UK

3

Overseas

3

Office of Government Commerce

UK

476

Overseas

20

OGCbuying.solutions2

All

284

Valuation Office Agency3

All

633

HM Revenue and Customs4

UK

14,100

Overseas

376

Royal Mint5

All

401

National Savings and Investments

All

121

Office for National Statistics6

UK

713

Overseas

78

Government Actuary's Department

UK

7

Overseas

15

Statistics Commission

UK

2

Overseas

1

1 Treasury figures include Ministers, staff and other persons. 2 OGCbuying.solutions figures are for accommodation only, excluding meals, including both UK and overseas accommodation. 3 The Valuation Office Agency figure represents costs of UK and overseas accommodation only. Figures previously provided for preceding years have included subsistence and other supplementary costs which were unable to be separated except at disproportionate cost. The figure of £525,000 for 2006-07 provided on 20 June was subject to audit adjustments, which have now been agreed. 4 The HM Revenue and Customs figures are for accommodation only, unlike figures previously reported for earlier years, where the method for recording such expenditure made disaggregating accommodation expenditure from subsistence possible only at disproportionate cost. 5 The amount for The Royal Mint includes both UK and overseas subsistence. 6 The Office for National Statistics figures represent accommodation only. Figures previously reported for preceding years included travel and subsistence, as well as accommodation. The method of recording expenditure made disaggregating accommodation possible at disproportionate cost only.

Football Association: World Cup

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what occasions (a) he or his predecessor, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) representatives of his Department met the Football Association to discuss an English bid for the 2018 World Cup (i) before the feasibility study by his Department and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport into holding the World Cup in England began and (ii) while the study was in progress; and what such meetings have taken place since the study was completed. (148963)

Treasury officials met the Football Association between January 2006 and February 2007 following the announcement that a feasibility study into hosting a football World Cup would be conducted.

Treasury Ministers and officials have meetings with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings.

NHS: Finance

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether HM Treasury received recommendations from the Audit Commission in 2006 on changes to the resource accounting and budgeting system in the NHS. (147118)

The ‘Audit Commission Review of the NHS Financial Management and Accounting Regime' was published on 26 July 2006.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance was given to the Department of Health on changes to the resource accounting and budgeting system in NHS trusts in 2006-07. (147119)

The Department of Health announced the reversal of RAB deductions and the replacement of cash brokerage with a formal system of loans for NHS trusts on 28 March 2007. This was done in agreement with HM Treasury.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what preparations were made by HM Treasury for the introduction of the resource accounting and budgeting system in the NHS. (147120)

The Treasury fully introduced resource accounting and budgeting to Government Departments in 2001 with the Resource Accounting Manual (RAM) and other guidance made available to Departments. HM Treasury also provided resource accounting and budgeting training. The Government Financial Reporting Manual has now replaced the Resource Accounting Manual and is available at:

www.financial-reporting.gov.uk

The Department of Health introduced a version of resource accounting and budgeting to the NHS. Guidance on introduction of RAB was issued to the NHS by the Department of Health in 2000 and consolidated guidance was issued in February 2001.

Duchy of Lancaster

Civil Servants: Higher Education

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many university places are funded for in-service courses for civil servants; if he will list the courses so provided; and what the cost is of such courses to the public purse. (148200)

Information on the number of university places funded for in-service courses for civil servants is not held centrally by the Cabinet Office.

Departments: Common Purpose

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much his Department paid to Common Purpose in each of the last five years; for what purpose; and what the outcome of the expenditure was. (147593)

Payments made to Common Purpose between 2002-03 and 2005-06 can be found in the table as follows.

£

2002-03

5,523

2003-04

165

2004-05

0

2005-06

0

These payments were made in connection with Cabinet Office staff attending either training programmes or conferences run by Common Purpose.

Details of the outcome of the expenditure can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Details of any payments made to Common Purpose in 2006-07 will be available when the Department’s resource accounts are fully audited and laid before Parliament. This is expected to be before the 2007 summer recess.

Departments: Private Finance Initiative

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the total cost is of all private finance initiative projects for which his Office has responsibility completed since 1997; and what the projected cost is of such projects commissioned or under way. (148015)

The Cabinet Office has not completed any private finance initiative projects since 1997 and none are currently under way. The National School of Government has one private finance initiative contract in place in relation to its base at Sunningdale Park. Since that came into effect in May 2002 payments totalling £16.924 million have been made to the private sector partner. Future guaranteed payments in respect of the deal until 2017 total £22.650 million. These payments are conditional on the performance of the private sector contractor.

Disadvantaged: Blackpool

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether his officials plan to meet frontline staff and key stakeholders in Blackpool as part of his Department’s Families at Risk review. (146521)

Officials in the Cabinet Office visited Blackpool in April and May this year as part of the Families At Risk review (FARR). They met with a range of frontline staff and key stakeholders from Blackpool council and the Springboard Project.

Government Departments

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the title is of each piece of guidance issued to Government Departments by the Cabinet Office since 27 June 2007. (148865)

The Cabinet Office provides guidance and assistance to other Government Departments as necessary in carrying out their work. Most of this is of an informal nature between officials and as such it is not possible to provide the information requested.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Departments: Public Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what incentives he has considered to encourage staff in his Department to use public transport. (148789)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not offer its staff in the UK direct incentives to use public transport. However, we have in place policies which contribute to staff using more sustainable methods of transport. We provide an advance of salary to help staff obtain season tickets for home to office travel. We offer interest-free loans for the purchase of bicycles, provide racks, showers and changing facilities. We also encourage staff to use a range of flexible working arrangements thereby reducing their travelling to and from work. Where public transport is available, the majority of our staff use it.

International Development

Palestinian Territories

7. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with representatives in the Quartet on the humanitarian situation in the Palestinian territories. (148664)

On 26 June Quartet representatives briefed officials in Jerusalem on the situation in Gaza. Since then we have had regular contact with UN agencies. Food stocks are low but not yet critical. In the West Bank, the situation is stable. On 19 June DFID contributed £1 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross to address the humanitarian situation.

Aid Delivery

8. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans he has to improve the mechanisms for the delivery of aid. (148665)

We are committed to deliver aid in ways that maximise the benefits to poor people.

The best aid supports countries’ own strategies. We have an action plan to improve the predictability and effectiveness of UK aid and encourage other donors to do likewise. We have announced an Independent Advisory Committee for Development Impact to ensure we learn and apply lessons for aid delivery.

We track the effectiveness of multilateral organisations to inform our funding decisions and drive reform. Working with others, we are assessing options to strengthen the ways in which donors and partner countries hold each other to account.

Palestinian Aid

9. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his assessment is of the role of private sector initiatives as a means of sustaining international aid to the Palestinians. (148666)

A thriving private sector in the West Bank and Gaza will be an indispensable element of a lasting peace. Private sector initiatives will play a critical role once restrictions are eased on the movement of goods and people. We call on all Palestinians to end violence, and on Israel to relax its controls on movement and access, including by implementing the 2005 Movement and Access agreement.

DFID is designing a new programme of support to assist Palestinian businesses become more competitive and better prepared to take advantage of any improvements in movement and access.

Zimbabwe

10. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. (148667)

A DFID humanitarian adviser visited Zimbabwe in June 2007 to assess the humanitarian situation and to inform the UK’s response. Conditions in the country continue to deteriorate. The recent UN Food and Crop survey indicates that more than 3 million people will require food aid before the next harvest. Hyper-inflation is having a devastating impact on the poorest, particularly in urban areas. AIDS and declining public services are fuelling high mortality rates.

Last year, DFID spent £33 million tackling hunger, vulnerability and HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe. All DFID funding in Zimbabwe goes through UN agencies and NGOs.

Infant Mortality

11. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps his Department is taking to assist the development of health care systems to tackle infant mortality in developing countries; and if he will make a statement. (148668)

40 per cent. of the 10.1 million childhood deaths take place within the first 28 days of life. Most infant deaths are preventable through access to basic health services, improved water and sanitation and better nutrition. Improving the health of infants goes hand-in-hand with improving the health of mothers. Levels of infant mortality are reducing in countries like Malawi, Tanzania and Bangladesh where DFID long-term funding is assisting Governments to invest in health workers, increasing access to family planning and skilled birth attendants at delivery, and increasing basic child health services such as immunisation, and treatment for pneumonia and diarrhoeal diseases.

Aid to Africa

12. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to improve the mechanisms for the delivery of aid to Africa. (148669)

DFID is strongly committed to improving the delivery of aid in Africa. In 2005 we helped secure international agreement for principles to improve the effectiveness of donors’ efforts. We have improved predictability of our aid by making multi-year commitments of budget support, for instance in Ghana, Tanzania and Mozambique and have a strong set of controls to manage the risk of misuse of funds, and we seek to strengthen partner Government financial systems.

Global Population Increases

13. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the projected increase in global population on levels of severe poverty; and if he will make a statement. (148670)

Rapid population growth, particularly in Africa, will make it harder for countries to achieve the millennium development goals and escape poverty. 99 per cent. of population growth will take place in developing countries and will make it more difficult for countries to maintain and increase investments to keep up with demands for health, education and other basic services. Experience shows that by improving health, education and livelihoods, and promoting gender equality and rights with good sexual and reproductive health information services and supplies, gives people the choice to have fewer children. Delivery of these basic services is central to DFID’s work.

HIV and AIDS

14. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance he is giving to sub-Saharan countries to tackle HIV/AIDS; and whether his Department coordinates its actions with the Gates Foundation. (148671)

DFID has committed to spend £1.5 billion to combat HIV and AIDS between 2005 and 2008. Africa will receive much of this through bilateral country programmes, which support HIV prevention, treatment and care services. International agencies such as the Global Fund for AIDS TB and Malaria are also supported.

DFID works closely with the Gates Foundation on global policy, advocacy and support to national AIDS responses across Africa including development of HIV prevention technologies such as microbicides.

Congo

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent discussions he has had with non-governmental organisations which operate within the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (148662)

DFID is in regular contact with British, international and Congolese NGOs working in DRC to discuss the programmes we fund as well as the broader development context.

Ethiopia: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether there are any plans to review British aid to Ethiopia with a view to enhancing the programme when the treason trials are completed and the civil society activists detained are freed; and if he will make a statement. (148183)

DFID is currently preparing a new country strategy to support implementation of the Ethiopian Government's poverty strategy. The level and focus of DFID support will depend on an assessment of the Ethiopian Government's policies and plans on growth, poverty reduction and governance. We will be reviewing the track record of the Government on poverty reduction, priorities included in the new national plan for growth and poverty reduction, policies in place to improve the quality and effectiveness of government systems and commitments on governance and human rights.

Within this context, we continue to follow closely the trials of opposition politicians and civil society leaders on which further developments are expected.

Sudan: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what aid he has committed to improve the humanitarian situation in Darfur. (148658)

Since October 2003 DFID has committed over £145 million to emergency relief operations in Darfur. The UK has also contributed £73 million to the African Union Mission in Sudan for the protection of civilians.

DFID has led international efforts for an effective humanitarian response in Sudan. We are pressing the Government of Sudan to remove bureaucratic obstacles that inhibit work on the ground. We support the Common Humanitarian Fund, which allows the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator to direct resources towards those in greatest need.

The Government will continue to work vigorously and at the highest level to secure a lasting peace in Darfur.

Northern Ireland

Ports

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many vessels docked in Northern Ireland ports from (a) EU and (b) non-EU states in each of the last two years. (146941)

Prisoners: Literacy

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what measures are in place to improve the rate of literacy amongst prisoners; and what other measures are in place to increase the prospects of a prisoner obtaining employment on release from prison. (148065)

The Prison Service provides a range of educational services at each prison with particular focus on increasing proficiency in basic literacy and numeracy skills. On committal to prison individuals are assessed to determine their standard of literacy and numeracy and, where appropriate, the level of entry into the Essential Skills Programme. Literacy skills are further encouraged through the use of library services.

Employability potential is increased through a wide range of vocational training opportunities which include bricklaying, joinery, painting and decorating, IT, plastering and crafts.

Job search terminals are installed in each of the three prisons to provide prisoners with up-to-date job information and recently, at Magilligan Prison, a new pilot programme (GOALS) was launched to help prepare prisoners for release and employment. The Prison Service works closely with other statutory, voluntary and community organisations such as NIACRO and Business in the Community in sourcing potential employment opportunities for inmates on release.

Trade Unions

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what figures the Northern Ireland Certification Officer holds on the (a) number and (b) proportion of trade union members, of each union, who have opted in to a political fund; (146881)

(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of the rules on trade union political funds published by the Northern Ireland Certification Officer.

Vandalism

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps have been taken to reduce the incidence of criminal damage in Northern Ireland. (148057)

The Northern Ireland Office Community Safety Unit funds and supports 26 multi-agency Community Safety Partnerships across the whole of Northern Ireland to undertake projects to tackle crime and antisocial behaviour, including criminal damage, in their areas.

Organisations represented on the CSPs, including the Police Service of Northern Ireland, are also engaged in their own right in the delivery of projects and initiatives which will contribute to reduction of crime and antisocial behaviour, including criminal damage. In addition, the National Intelligence Model enables police commanders to identify crime problem areas such as prolific criminal damage and to allocate resources to deal with it.

Prime Minister

Departments: Common Purpose

To ask the Prime Minister how much his Office paid to Common Purpose in each of the last five years; for what purpose; and what the outcome of the expenditure was. (147594)

For these purposes my Office forms part of the Cabinet Office. I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Gillian Merron) today.

Honours

To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy not to have a Prime Minister’s resignation honours list; and if he will make a statement. (147100)

Scotland

Departments: Older Workers

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what percentage of staff in his Department were over 60 years of age in each of the last three years; (145686)

(2) how many people aged (a) over 55 years of age and (b) over 60 years of age have been recruited by his Department in each of the last three years; and what percentage in each case this is of the number of new recruits in each year.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to his question 143901 of 25 June 2007, Official Report, column 2W.

Departments: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of staff in his Department in the last three years; and at what total cost. (146980)

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given to my right hon. Friend the Member for Leicester, East (Keith Vaz) on 19 December 2006, Official Report, column 1765W and to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael) on 13 June 2007, Official Report, column 1048W.

Departments: Public Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate his Department has made of the number of its staff using public transport to commute. (147317)

The Scotland Office does not hold this information centrally as staff are seconded from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice.

Departments: Sick Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff in his Department have taken (a) five or more, (b) four, (c) three and (d) two periods of sick leave of less than five days in the last 12 months. (147047)

Departments: Stationery

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on stationery in each of the last five years. (149116)

The information is as follows:

£

2002-03

125,294

2003-04

16,858

2004-05

11,314

2005-06

16,415

2006-07

17,955

1 The Scotland Office provides a number of services, including stationery and office supplies, to the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland (OAG); prior to 2003-04, expenditure by OAG was not held separately.

Scottish Executive

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many meetings he and his predecessors have held with Scottish Executive Ministers in each of the last five years. (148606)

I and my predecessors have had numerous meetings with Scottish Executive Ministers in each of the last five years.

Wales

Departments: Disciplinary Proceedings

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many people in his Department have been (a) disciplined and (b) dismissed for (i) inappropriate use of the internet while at work and (ii) using work telephones to access premium rate telephone numbers in the last 12 months. (149180)

Departments: Racial Harassment

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. (149240)

EU Grants and Loans

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Minister on monies from Objective 1 funds returned to the Welsh Assembly Government by Welsh local authorities; and what consideration he has given to adding the returned funds to the Convergence Fund. (147944)

I have regular meetings with the First Minister on a range of issues including Objective 1.

I know that the Welsh Assembly Government are committed to ensuring the effective delivery of the Objective 1 Programme for West Wales and the Valleys. Where underspends are identified, the Wales European Funding Office recycles these within the programme. However, European Commission rules would not allow any surplus funds from one round of programme to be transferred to another.

Furthermore, I am advised that the Welsh Assembly Government have achieved all annual spend (i.e. N+2) targets for the Objective 1 programme to date, and are on track to achieve the N+2 target for 2007.

Work and Pensions

Access to Work

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the budget for the Access to Work scheme in order to meet the Government’s aspiration of getting a further million older people and a million people with disabilities into work. (146848)

The Access to Work budget has more than quadrupled since 1997, from £15 million to £64 million and now helps nearly three times as many people as it did ten years ago. However, Access to Work is only one of a range of measures which we have to help disabled people return to work, and most people currently claiming an incapacity benefit do not require help from this programme.

The aspiration to reduce the number of people on incapacity benefits by 1 million over the course of a decade remains our overall long-term aim. We will do this by addressing the needs of each individual. We will help those already in work to stay in work if they become ill or disabled. We will also provide support to those already without work to help them find the right work for them and we will create the right environment for them to move into and keep a job. The support available includes our successful Pathways to Work programme, new deal for disabled people and a wide range of programmes provided by Jobcentre Plus, which includes Access to Work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the level of unmet demand has been in relation to applications for support under the Access to Work scheme during the last five years. (146849)

Access to Work is a demand-led programme and the budget has increased year-on-year to cope with the extra numbers of customers and has more than quadrupled since 1997, helping three times as many people. During the last five years, all customers who have been eligible for help under the current programme rules have been offered help through Access to Work. Therefore, there has not been any unmet demand.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has undertaken of the (a) value for money and (b) effectiveness of publicity undertaken to promote the Access to Work scheme to employers. (146850)

The promotion of Access to Work comes under the wider Jobcentre Plus marketing budget. Around £125,000 was spent in 2005-06 on targeted marketing of Jobcentre Plus services for disabled people in disability magazines. The Department does not record specific marketing expenditure on Access to Work separately.

Because Access to Work has not been marketed in isolation from the other disability programmes, it is not possible to evaluate how effective the overall marketing exercise has been for that specific programme.

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) whether private enforcement of maintenance debt will be permitted under the new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission; and if he will make a statement; (146142)

(2) what plans he has to allow parents with care to take legal action to enforce child maintenance where (a) maintenance and (b) arrears has not been secured within a set time scale; and if he will make a statement.

We have given serious consideration to whether or not parents with care should be able to privately enforce maintenance debt under the new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. However we do not believe it is appropriate and I refer you to the Government’s response to the Work and Pensions Select Committee report (CM7062 para 28).

Child Support Agency: Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to pay compensation to parents with care who are owed large arrears through the Child Support Agency which may never be collected; and if he will make a statement. (146172)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 December 2006, Official report, column 1990W.

Child Support Agency: Debt Collection

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the longest repayment schedule for Child Support Agency (CSA) arrears is which has been agreed by the CSA to date; and if he will make a statement. (146136)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the number of non-resident parents owing arrears through the Child Support Agency who are now deceased. (146149)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 11 July 2007:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary questions about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what recent estimate he has made of the number of non-resident parents owing arrears through the Child Support Agency who are now deceased.

The Agency is not able to provide an estimate of the number of non-resident parents owing arrears of child support maintenance who are deceased. Current legislation states once a non-resident parent dies, the Agency closes the case. The Agency would in such cases, if we were approached by the Executor of the Will accept an offer for child maintenance arrears. The Agency cannot make an approach directly to the Executor of the Will. It would be for the parent with care to pursue the Executor of the Will for maintenance arrears.

Since the launch of the Agency the value of debt suspended due to this reason on the old computer system is £2.645 million, the equivalent value for the new system is not available.

I hope this is helpful.

Children: Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of compliance rates for Child Support Agency maintenance paid by (a) manual means, (b) direct debit, (c) standing order, (d) maintenance direct, (e) deduction of earnings order, (f) deduction from benefits and (g) other means in the last 12 months; what proportion of total maintenance was paid by each method in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (146629)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 11 July 2007:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the Child Support Agency the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what estimate he has made of compliance rates for Child Support Agency maintenance paid by (a) manual means (b) direct debit (c) standing order (d) maintenance direct (e) deduction of earnings order (f) deduction from benefits and (g) other means in the last 12 months; what proportion of total maintenance by paid by each method in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement.

The information requested on compliance rates can be obtained from table 10 of the March 2007 Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary Statistics. A copy of this is available in the House of Commons Library, or on the internet via the following link:

www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/child_support/csa_quarterly_mar07.asp

Maintenance direct is a private arrangement between parents, and the agency assures compliance unless the arrangement breaks down.

The proportion of total maintenance paid by each method of collection is provided in the attached table.

I hope you find this helpful.

Proportion of total maintenance received in each month by method of collection: April 2006 to March 2007

Percentage

Deduction from Benefit

Deduction of Earning/Orders

Direct Debit

Manual

Standing Order

Maintenance Direct

Other

2006

April

1

27

11

11

18

32

0

May

1

29

11

10

17

30

0

June

1

30

11

10

17

31

0

July

1

30

11

9

17

32

0

August

1

29

11

10

17

32

0

September

1

28

11

9

17

33

0

October

1

29

11

9

17

32

1

November

1

29

11

9

16

33

0

December

1

26

11

9

17

35

1

2007

January

1

29

11

9

16

32

0

February

1

29

12

9

15

33

0

March

1

29

11

10

16

32

0

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest per cent. and may not sum to 100 as a result.

2. Proportions calculated based on the value of collections in each category.

3. The number of new Deduction from Earnings Order/Request (DEO/R) decreased in December 2006. This is due to a fix on the new computer system to suspend 8,500 ineffective Deduction from Earning Orders on cases where employers had informed the Agency that the non-resident parent on that case was no longer in their employment. Many of these had compliance restored through DEO/Rs in January 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are being taken to reduce the backlog of cases awaiting action by the Child Support Agency. (146721)

[holding answer 29 June 2007]: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty dated 11 July 2007:

In reply to your recent parliamentary question about the Child Support Agency the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are being taken to reduce the backlog of cases awaiting action by the Child Support Agency.

Processing applications commences on receipt and at any time the number of unprocessed applications the Agency holds is negligible. An application is described as cleared once the maintenance calculation has been made and payment schedule established or if work on it is completed for another reason (e.g. if it is withdrawn).

Given the necessity of locating the non-resident parent, establishing parentage, obtaining income details etc. the Agency will always have a number of uncleared applications. The Agency's Operational Improvement Plan, announced last February, includes a commitment to reduce the number of uncleared applications and reduce the time taken to clear new intake.

Significant progress has been made in this area. In March 2007 the volume of uncleared new scheme applications stood at 156,000. This is a fall of 65,000 since March 2006, equivalent to a 29 per cent. reduction and the percentage cleared within 12 weeks has increased from 53 per cent. to 61 per cent.

The Agency is confident that it will be able to meet the new Secretary of State target to reduce uncleared new scheme applications to 140,000 and further increase clearance rates by the end of this operational year.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Children: Poverty

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the percentage of children living in poverty in (a) the UK, (b) the North East and (c) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland. (148052)

Specific information regarding low income for the UK is available in “Households Below Average Income 1994/95-2005/06 (Revised)”. The report uses 60 per cent. of median income as the low income threshold. This threshold is the internationally recognised measure of poverty. The report is available in the Library.

The percentage of children in the UK living below the low income threshold stood at 22 per cent. in 2005-06. In the North East region, during the three-year period up to and including 2005-06, 28 per cent. of children were living below the threshold.

The figure for the North East region represents a fall in the total number of children living below the low income threshold of 18 per cent. in five years, which is broadly the same decrease as has been seen across the UK as a whole in the seven years since 1998-99.

The information requested is not available below regional level.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on progress towards meeting the 2010 target of halving child poverty. (148296)

Our child poverty targets are ambitious and rightly so; when this Government came to power, one in three children were living in poverty. Our labour market polices and the tax credit systems have helped to lift 600,000 children out of poverty.

We know there is much more to do and are committed to meeting the targets. Earlier this year DWP published ‘Working for Children’, our strategy for parental employment, and this year's Budget included measures which will lift an additional 200,000 children out of poverty. DWP is currently working closely with HM Treasury, the Department for Families, Children and Schools, and other Government Departments on producing a child poverty delivery agreement as part of the 2007 comprehensive spending review.

Departments: Visits Abroad

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which foreign countries civil servants from his Department have visited over the last 12 months in order to study the design and impact of welfare reforms. (148155)

[holding answer 9 July 2007]: With a view to studying best practice in welfare reform, officials from my Department have visited a number of countries in the 12 months up to 30 June 2007, including Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Denmark and Germany.

Females: Disadvantaged

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are being taken to help women from disadvantaged backgrounds enter jobs that will lift them out of poverty. (146396)

We know that women living in families with no one in work are more likely to be living in poverty. All of our labour market policies are gender-neutral although some by their nature help more women than men. As a result of this Government's policies nearly 2 million more women are now employed than there were in 1997.

However we know there is still more to do. That is why we are piloting New Deal Plus for Lone Parents (NDPLP) in seven areas across the country, including Edmonton. As part of the package of help NDPLP provides, eligible people can claim an In-Work Credit of £40 (£60 in London) a week for up to a year when they move into work.

It is also why we have introduced the Deprived Areas Fund, and are introducing the City Strategy which provides tailored support in some of the most deprived areas of the country to all people in those communities with the greatest barriers to returning to work.

And with a lack of affordable child care being the greatest barrier to getting work for many women we are determined to continue to build on our policies, which, since 1997, have already resulted in a doubling of the number of child care places in England and, with extra help through the tax credit system, have significantly improved affordability. In addition, the London Childcare Affordability Project, which is jointly funded with the Greater London Authority, is testing the effectiveness of providing additional subsidies in the capital, where costs tend to be higher.

Housing Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the ranking is of local authority housing benefit services by comprehensive performance assessment rating for each year since its introduction. (146050)

Jobcentre Plus: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the change to the use of the 0845 number for Jobcentre Plus on (a) Jobcentre Plus local offices and (b) their customers. (146686)

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 11 July 2007:

The Secretary of State has asked me to respond to your question asking what assessment he has made of the likely effect that the change to the use of the 0845 number for Jobcentre Plus will have on Jobcentre Plus local offices and their customers.

Centralisation of benefit processing represents part of the modernisation of Jobcentre Plus services. It allows us to build centres of expertise which will enable us to improve standards of customer service, develop greater expertise in meeting customers’ needs and move work around the country to meet changes in local demand so reducing delays.

This way of working reduces benefit enquiry footfall in our local Jobcentre Plus offices, which means they can then concentrate their efforts in helping customers back to work.

Many of our customers find it easier to access our services now there is a choice of using the telephone, the internet or face to face. Centralising our benefit claims systems means customers have the option to make benefit enquiries from the privacy of their own homes and their calls will be answered by a pool of benefits experts. Creating a Contact Centre network means that we are better able to cope with peaks in demand.

We recognise that the telephone is not suitable for all customers and for this reason we continue to offer alternative means to contact us and to make benefit claims.

I hope this is helpful.

Redundancies: Jobcentre Plus

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Jobcentre Plus staff have been made redundant since July 2006. (147689)

Children, Schools and Families

Building Schools for the Future Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many schools were built or refurbished outside the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme in each year since the start of the BSF programme. (148138)

Wave 1 of Building Schools for the Future (BSF) launched in 2004, and the first school procured through a local education partnership is due to open in September.

The number of schools built or refurbished outside this programme is given in the table. The data come from a survey of local authorities to which over 95 per cent. responded. There may be a margin of error, and the data may include some of the ‘quick win’ projects in early BSF. A summary of the survey information is in the House of Commons Library.

Financial year

New schools built

Existing schools rebuilt

Existing schools refurbished1

2004-05

28

95

235

2005-06

28

149

299

2006-07

17

170

240

2007-08

27

160

251

1 More than 50 per cent. of floor area.

Child Minding: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what representations he has received on the provision of training for child minders; and what guidance he provides to local authorities on the matter. (147297)

[holding answer 3 July 2007]: The Department has not received any recent representations on the provision of training for child minders. Guidance to local authorities on the provision of such training is contained within statutory guidance on the Childcare Act 2006, Sure Start Children’s Centres Practice Guidance, General Sure Start Grant allocation letters for 2006-08 and Transformation Fund guidance.

Class Sizes: Secondary Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average class size was in (a) comprehensive, (b) grammar and (c) independent schools in (i) the Ribble Valley and (ii) England in each of the last five years. (147848)

[holding answer 5 July 2007]: The available information is shown in the table. Information on class sizes is not collected from independent schools.

Maintained secondary schools1: Average class size2—2003-07 position in January each year—Ribble Valley parliamentary constituency

Ribble Valley parliamentary constituency

England

Grammar schools3

Other secondary schools

All maintained secondary schools

Grammar schools3

Other secondary schools

All maintained secondary schools

2003

20.3

22.8

22.3

20.7

21.9

21.9

2004

20.9

23.2

22.9

20.4

21.9

21.8

2005

20.3

23.2

22.8

20.4

21.7

21.7

2006

19.3

23.0

22.4

20.2

21.5

21.5

20074

20.9

22.2

22.0

20.1

21.3

21.2

1 Includes middle schools as deemed.

2 One teacher classes as taught during a single selected period on the day of the census.

3 School type as reported by schools. There is currently one grammar school in Ribble Valley parliamentary constituency.

4 Provisional data.

Source:

School census

Classroom Assistants: Mathematics

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 11 June 2007, Official Report, column 783W, on classroom assistants: mathematics, (1) what assessment his Department has made of the degree to which the scheme is meeting its objectives; (146954)

(2) when the scheme began; and how much funding his Department gave to the scheme in each financial year since it started.

The Student Associate Scheme began in the academic year 2003-04, The following table details the budget for each academic year to date. The scheme has proved to be extremely successful with schools, higher education institutions and undergraduates. Its twin aims are to use the undergraduates as role models for school pupils and to encourage bright undergraduates into initial teacher training (ITT) by giving them a taste of life in front of a classroom. The Training and Development Agency for Schools, who administer the scheme, are about to carry out an assessment process which will try to ascertain how successful the scheme has been in terms of its twin aims. Data should be available in October 2007. However, previous limited research suggests that around 40 per cent. of participating undergraduates go on to ITT. In recognition of its success, the Treasury will announce on 5 July 2007 that the scheme will be extended and placements doubled over a three-year period.

Student Associate Scheme

£ million

Academic year

Budget

2003-04

7.5

2004-05

10.0

2005-06

16.6

2006-07

11.9

2007-08

11.9

Total

57.9

Departments: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many employees of the former Department for Education and Skills moved (a) within his Department and (b) out of his Department on its creation. (148419)

Following the creation of the Department for Children, Schools and Families:

(a) A total of 2,890 former Department for Education and Skills staff will be employed in my Department; and

(b) a total of 560 former Department for Education and Skills staff will move to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

This position may change as we work further through the details of establishing the new Departments.

Departments: Public Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate his Department has made of the number of its staff using public transport to commute. (147324)

The Department was created on 28 June 2007 and does not hold up-to-date information on staff using public transport to commute. We plan to carry out a survey and develop a travel plan for the new Department later this year.

Drama: Curriculum

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what changes are planned to the number of Shakespeare plays that may be offered for study by schools at Key Stage 3 from 2009 onwards; and if he will make a statement. (148136)

It is the QCA’s responsibility to set and maintain standards independently of Government. They have decided to make a choice of two Shakespeare plays, rather than three, available for the KS3 English test from 2009. They have based their decision on the historically low take-up by schools (less than 5 per cent.) of the third option. There will be no reduction in the standard or quality of the assessment of Shakespeare.

Education: Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families for which public service agreement targets his Department is now responsible which were not previously the responsibility of the former Department for Education and Skills. (147745)

In addition to 12 PSA targets from Spending Review 2004 which my Department is directly responsible for, the Department for Children, Schools and Families will lead work across Government to improve outcomes for children—exact working arrangements and responsibilities will be decided in due course.

Howard Goodall: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance has been given to the singing ambassador, Mr. Howard Goodall, on responding to correspondence from hon. Members. (148282)

There has been huge interest in the national singing campaign and Howard Goodall, the singing ambassador, has received hundreds of messages from schools, organisations and individuals asking how they can become involved or providing details of the work they already do. Mr. Goodall is working as an unpaid and independent champion for singing and, as such, has received no guidance from Government on responding to correspondence,

Pre-school Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which (a) Steiner, (b) Waldorf and (c) Montessori pre-school institutions are registered in each local authority area; whether each institution has open enrolment; and whether each makes provision for those who rely entirely upon nursery grants to fund a place. (148338)

The information requested is not collected centrally. Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure sufficient free nursery education places for three and four-year-olds in their area. In discharging this duty, local authorities must have regard to the code of practice which states that they must ensure sufficient places are available for parents who only want to access the free entitlement.

Primary Education: Literacy

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the average reading age was of pupils aged (a) five, (b) six, (c) seven, (d) eight, (e) nine, (f) 10 and (g) 11 in primary schools in each of the last five years. (147847)

[holding answer 5 July 2007]: The requested information is not available. The Department does not collect data on the reading ages of individual pupils.

The Department does however; collect data on pupils' achievements in reading at the end of key stage 1 teacher assessments and at the end of the key stage 2 national curriculum tests. The target level at key stage 1 is level 2 in reading. At key stage 2 the target level in English is level 4. Key stage 2 pupils are assessed in both reading and writing to arrive at their overall level in the English test. In 2006, 84 per cent. of pupils achieved level 2 or above in reading and 83 per cent. of pupils achieved level 4 or above.

The Government commissioned the independent review of the teaching of early reading, led by Jim Rose, to find ways to raise standards in reading even further. The review recommended that all children should follow a programme of systematic phonics teaching, This recommendation has been implemented in the revised primary framework for teaching literacy, which was published last year.

Primary and Secondary Education: Pupil Exclusions

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many primary school pupils were excluded in (a) the Ribble Valley and (b) England in the last five years; (147845)

(2) how many secondary school pupils were excluded from secondary schools in (a) the Ribble Valley and (b) England in the last five years.

[holding answer 5 July 2007]: The information requested is shown in the following tables.

Maintained primary and secondary schools1: number and percentage of exclusions 2001-02 to 2005-06: Ribble Valley parliamentary constituency

Maintained primary

Ribble Valley

England2

Number of permanent exclusions

Percentage of school population3

Number of permanent exclusions

Percentage of school population3

Number of permanent exclusions

Percentage of school population3

Number of permanent exclusions

Percentage of school population3

2001-02

4

4

5

5

1,450

0.03

5

5

2002-03

4

4

5

5

1,300

0.03

5

5

2003-04

0

6

21

0.25

1,270

0.03

41,300

0.97

004-05

0

6

22

0.26

1,000

0.03

43,720

1.04

2005-06

4

4

5

5

970

0.02

5

5

Maintained secondary

Ribble Valley

England2

Number of permanent exclusions

Percentage of school population3

Number of permanent exclusions

Percentage of school population3

Number of permanent exclusions

Percentage of school population3

Number of permanent exclusions

Percentage of school population3

2001-02

16

0.9

5

5

7,740

0.24

5

5

2002-03

20

0.23

5

5

7,890

0.23

5

5

2003-04

21

0.24

806

9.21

8,320

0.25

288,040

8.66

2004-05

21

0.24

779

8.83

8,070

0.24

329,680

9.94

2005-06

14

0.16

804

9.13

7,990

0.24

343,840

10.40

1 Includes middle schools as deemed. 2 National figures have been rounded to the nearest 10. 3 Number of exclusions expressed as a percentage of the number (headcount) of all pupils (excluding dually registered pupils). 4 Fewer than three, or a rate based on fewer than three. 5 Not available. 6 Not applicable. Source: School census

Pupils: Basic Skills

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps his Department is taking to improve the standard of basic skills of school leavers. (148243)

The percentage of 16-year-olds achieving five A*-C GCSE grades or equivalent has risen from 45.1 per cent. in 1997 to 58.1 per cent. In 2006.

Teaching literacy and maths at primary school is the essential foundation for every child's learning. Last year we revised the primary framework for literacy and mathematics for the first time since the national literacy and numeracy strategies were introduced. The revised document embeds best practice in systematic phonics teaching, as recommended by the Rose review, and raises expectations for pupils' progress. For example they are expected to learn their times tables a year earlier.

We have provided schools with significant funding for personalised learning: reaching £900 million this year. This can be used to support small group and one-to-one tuition for those who have fallen behind national expectations in English and maths. The Budget announced further funding sufficient to provide an average of 10 hours of one-to-one tuition in schools for over 300,000 under-attaining pupils a year in both English and mathematics by 2010-11. We have provided schools with guidance and support on how to help pupils who are at risk of falling behind in English and maths through programmes such as Study Plus, which targets pupils who are struggling with English and maths at Key Stage 4 (ages 14 to 16). Changes to the curriculum at KS3 will also, over time, support higher standards of literacy and numeracy.

We know that demonstrating basic competence and the ability to apply practically what they learn in English, maths and ICT is vital to young people's future employability. Competence in functional skills in these areas will be tested as an important part of the new diplomas for 14 to 19-year-olds which are being piloted from September 2008 and will be available nationally from 2013. For students embarking on GCSEs in English, maths and ICT from September 2010, it will also be necessary to demonstrate the appropriate level of functional skills in order to obtain a pass at grades A* to G*. Pilots of functional skills will be taking place in a range of schools and colleges across England from this September, supported by a programme of professional development for teachers to support the necessary changes in teaching and learning.

Pupils: Per Capita Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much funding per head was provided to school children up to 18 years of age in (a) Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency and (b) Telford constituency in (i) 2004, (ii) 2005 and (iii) 2006. (147676)

The requested information is allocated to local authorities and not at constituency level. The Shrewsbury constituency is part of Shropshire LA, and the Telford constituency is part of Telford and Wrekin LA. The revenue funding figures per pupil aged three to 19 for Shropshire LA and Telford and Wrekin LA for years 2003-04 to 2005-06 are as follows:

ShropshireTelford and Wrekin2003-043,7103,7902004-053,8503,9102005-064,0404,120 Notes:1. Price base: real terms at 2005-06 prices, based on GDP deflators as at 27 September 2006.2. Figures reflect relevant sub-blocks of Education Formula Spending (EFS) settlements and include the pensions transfer to EFS and the Learning and Skills Council.3. Total funding also includes all revenue grants in DCSF Department Expenditure Limits relevant to pupils aged three to 19 and exclude Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs) and grants not allocated at LEA level.4. The pupil numbers used to convert £ million figures to £ per pupil are those underlying the EFS settlement calculations.5. Rounding: figures are rounded to the nearest £10.6. Status: some of the grant allocations have not been finalised. If these do change, the effect on the funding is expected to be minimal.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what amount in (a) percentage and (b) real terms the Government have spent on (i) primary and (ii) secondary schools from its education budget in the last five years. (147846)

[holding answer 11 July 2007]: The requested figures are in the following table. These are extracted from table 12.3 of the 2007 Department for Education and Skills departmental report, a link to which follows:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/publications/deptreport2007/

Education expenditure1 by central and local government2 by sector in real terms3 in England 2002-03 to 2006-07

£ million

Schools4

2002-03 outturn

2003-04 outturn

2004-05 outturn

2005-06 provisional outturn

2006-07 estimated outturn

Primary5

10,188

10,785

10,911

11,350

11,640

Percentage of education expenditure

22.3

21.6

21.0

20.6

20.7

Secondary

12,944

14.295

14,869

15,454

15,822

Percentage of education expenditure

28.3

28.6

28.6

28.0

28.2

Total education expenditure (real terms)

45,697

49,992

51,998

55,168

56,121

1 Figures within departmental expenditure limits (DEL), Excludes DfES administration costs and expenditure on other areas than education, for instance on children and families and on skills.

2 The recurrent local authority figures in this table are drawn from Table 8.4 of the 2007 departmental report; the footnotes to that table set out the underlying data sources. Central Government figures are drawn from the Combined Online Information System (COINS).

3 All figures have been converted to 2005-06 price levels using the 28 March 2007 gross domestic product (GDP) deflators.

4 Figures from 2003-04 onwards reflect the transfer of responsibility from the Department to LEAs of costs relating to teachers’ pensions,

5 Primary figures exclude expenditure on under fives.

Pupils: Qualifications

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 were entered for a qualification provided by the awarding body CACHE in the last year for which figures are available; (147306)

(2) how many pupils at the end of Key Stage 4 were entered for a CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Child Care and Education in the last year for which figures are available.

Pupils: Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) whether parents will need to demonstrate that (a) they are registered disabled and (b) that they have been assessed for a certain level of community care services for home to school transport to be provided to their children, with reference to sections 87 and 88 of his Department's guidance on home to school travel and transport; (148439)

(2) whether home to school transport will be provided to children if their parent's disability varies in severity from day to day, with reference to sections 87 and 88 of his Department's guidance on home to school travel and transport;

(3) whether home to school transport will be provided to children in circumstances where they have parents with disabilities who are in receipt of support from community care services, with reference to sections 87 and 88 of his Department's guidance on home to school travel and transport.

[holding answer 9 July 2007]: It is for the local authorities to ensure that their policies and practice take account of the provisions of disability discrimination legislation, when determining entitlement to free home to school transport.

Schools: Admissions