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Written Answers

Volume 477: debated on Friday 20 June 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 20 June 2008

Transport

Departmental Accountancy

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will place in the Library a copy of her Department's (a) chart of accounts and (b) resource account codes and usage descriptions for the 2008-09 financial year. (210986)

The chart of accounts for 2008-09, which has been placed in the Libraries of the House, reflects the Department's structure for that year and will not necessarily reflect the 2007-08 structure, or that for future years. The chart shows the relationship between parent codes (used for preparing resource accounts) and children codes (used for more detailed management purposes). Each code has a brief description that describes its use.

Departmental Furniture

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) chairs, (b) desks and (c) other office furnishings have been purchased by her Department and its agencies in each of the last five years; and at what cost in each case. (211763)

The information requested is not held centrally. It has been estimated that, due to the broad scope of this question and the decentralised and devolved structure of the Department, to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs. However, the information that is available is set out in the table below. This does not include in all cases information on specific categories of purchase as this is not recorded centrally.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has replaced approximately 1,450 workstations per year over the last three years (April 2005 - March 2008) as part of a rolling refurbishment programme of the main headquarters site in Swansea. Each workstation includes a desk, chair, three drawer pedestal, back screen and monitor arm. Cost information is commercially confidential.

Records of furniture purchased by the DVLA prior to this are not available.

Data for the following Department for Transport organisational units is not available in the requested format and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost:

DfT Central:

London Headquarters buildings,

Marine Accident Investigation Branch.

Executive Agency:

Maritime and Coastguard Agency,

Vehicle Certification Agency and

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

£

DfT Central

Executive Agency

Ashdown House, Hastings

Air Accidents Investigations Branch

Rail Accident Investigation Branch (see note 1 )

Driving Standards Agency

Government Car and Despatch Agency

Highways Agency

2003-04

a) Chairs

Quantity

2

Cost

390

b) Desks

Quantity

0

Cost

0

c) Other

Quantity

0

Cost

0

Total

Quantity

2

Cost

390

9,391

63,000

8,388

65,630

2004-05

a) Chairs

Quantity

20

121

Cost

10,700

14,844

b) Desks

Quantity

210

37

Cost

61,000

12,716

c) Other

Quantity

315

255

Cost

54,300

26,969

Total

Quantity

545

413

Cost

126,000

25,795

54,529

86,000

10,968

274,176

2005-06

a) Chairs

Quantity

20

39

Cost

3,900

3,497

b) Desks

Quantity

0

0

Cost

0

0

c) Other

Quantity

0

218

Cost

0

33,888

Total

Quantity

20

257

Cost

3,900

41,952

37,385

48,000

7,141

124,252

2006-07

a) Chairs

Quantity

77

3

Cost

15,600

452

b) Desks

Quantity

0

0

Cost

0

0

c) Other

Quantity

0

34

Cost

0

2,417

Total

Quantity

77

37

Cost

15,600

55,924

2,869

112,000

10,660

2,405,660

2007-08

a) Chairs

Quantity

8

23

Cost

2,100

4,789

b) Desks

Quantity

0

3

Cost

0

1,198

c) Other

Quantity

0

72

Cost

0

7,792

Total

Quantity

8

98

Cost

2,100

27,117

13,779

375,000

12,199

366,412

Note:

1. Rail Accident Investigation Branch became operational on 17 October 2005.

Departmental Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 10 June 2008, Official Report, column 158W, on departmental public participation, what action (a) has been taken and (b) is planned in response to each survey listed in the Answer. (212327)

Research with members of the public, including that listed in the answer on 10 June 2008, Official Report, columns 158-62W, forms an important part of the Department’s evidence base. Monitoring customer satisfaction with transport services helps to underpin improvements to services. Research helps us to understand the transport needs and priorities of the public and is used to design, implement, and evaluate the impact of policy interventions. It also provides important insights into the links between attitudes and behaviour, and how best to bring about behavioural change. The Department’s research also contributes to the development of awareness campaigns, such as Think! and Act on CO2, and monitors their impact. This ensures that the campaigns are effective, reach the target audience, and achieve value for money.

Further information can be found in the Department’s Evidence and Research Strategy. This is available at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/scienceresearch/unitlevelevidence andresearch1905.

Driving Tests

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many driving test centres the Driving Standards Agency plans to operate in addition to the planned multi-purpose test centres. (212438)

[holding answer 19 June 2008]: Currently the Driving Standards Agency plans to operate a national network of 277 centres offering practical driving tests for car, lorry and bus drivers in addition to 66 multi-purpose test centres. A further 41 casual hire sites, mainly in Scotland, will also be operational.

These plans will be kept under review and are subject to change depending on the business needs of the agency delivering a cost-effective and efficient service to the public.

Driving Tests: Fees and Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she next plans to review the level of fees for (a) car and (b) motorcycle practical driving tests; and if she will make a statement. (211646)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) reviews the fees set for all practical and theory driving tests and other functions each business year. Any fee proposals are based on the DSA business plan. DSA published its Business Plan 2008-09 in April 2008. DSA will consult later this year on any proposed changes so that revised fees are in place for 1 April 2009 the start of that business year.

Driving Tests: Scarborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans she has for the future of Scarborough Driving Test Centre; and if she will make a statement. (212437)

[holding answer 19 June 2008]: From September 2008, motorcycle testing at Scarborough will move to the multi-purpose test centre in Hull, which is about 45 miles from Scarborough. Motorcycle test candidates will also have the option of travelling to York, some 40 miles from Scarborough, once the multi-purpose test centre there is acquired and operational.

Practical car driving tests will continue to be carried out at Scarborough driving test centre.

Driving Tests: Southend

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many car and motorcycle tests were conducted at the Southend driving test centre in each of the last 10 years. (210593)

The number of practical car and motorcycling tests conducted at the Southend driving test centre in each of the last 10 years is shown in the following table:

Car

Motorcycling

Total

1998-99

7,687

479

8,166

1999-2000

6,620

697

1,359

2000-01

6,477

518

6,995

2001-02

6,314

355

6,669

2002-03

7,284

453

7,737

2003-04

7,780

571

8,351

2004-05

8,756

390

9,146

2005-06

9,687

392

10,079

2006-07

9,231

431

9,662

2007-08

9,045

393

9,438

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the proposed move of driving tests from the Southend Driving Test Centre to the Multi-Purpose Test Centre in Basildon will cost. (210595)

Based on similar relocations in the recent past the Driving Standards Agency would expect to spend around £5,000 in removal costs for moving from Southend Driving Test Centre to the Multi-Purpose Test Centre in Basildon if that is the final decision.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff are employed at the Southend driving test centre; and how many positions will be available for these staff if the centre is co-located with the Multi-Purpose Test Centre in Basildon. (210596)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) employs seven driving examiners at the Southend driving test centre.

DSA will offer the driving examiners employed at Southend driving test centre the opportunity to take part in a preference exercise for alternative posts prior to any potential redeployment.

If the centre is co-located to the Multi-Purpose Test Centre in Basildon, positions would be available for all the driving examiners currently employed at Southend.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the projected cost is of providing services to users who live within the current Southend catchment area if the Southend Driving Test Centre is co-located with the Multi-Purpose Test Centre in Basildon (a) in total and (b) per test. (210597)

The Driving Standards Agency does not hold the information required in this format and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the feasibility of Southend driving test centre being used for car driving tests only. (211057)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) is currently reviewing the responses received to the recent consultation on the future of Southend driving test centre before a decision is made.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether any steps have been taken by the Driving Standards Agency to identify a site in Southend that is suitable for motorcycle tests compliant with European Community Directive 2000/56/EC. (211058)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) initially focused its search for a suitable site for a multi-purpose test centre on the Chelmsford area. Following poor availability of suitable sites in Chelmsford the search area was widened to include Basildon.

The search areas used are intended to bring the widest possible population coverage within DSA's criterion that most motorcycle customers should be within 20 miles or 45 minutes of a multi-purpose test centre.

Owing to operational concerns over the potential redevelopment of the area around the existing Southend driving test centre, Southend was not considered as a specific search area for the location of a multi-purpose test centre.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what account was taken of the Driving Standards Agency's travel distance criterion in proposing to co-locate the Southend Driving Test Centre with the Multi-Purpose Test Centre in Basildon. (211060)

The “Code of Practice on Written Consultations—Driving Test Centres” used by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) states that candidates in areas with a population density equal to or more than 1,250 persons per square kilometre customers should not have to travel further than seven miles to a driving test centre.

The proposed site for the Multi-Purpose Test Centre in Basildon is some ten miles away from Southend. Therefore DSA has run a public consultation about the future of Southend driving test centre. This commenced on 13 February and closed on 9 May 2008. DSA is currently reviewing the responses received before a decision will be made. This is expected to be announced in August 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the environmental impact of co-locating Southend Driving Test Centre with the Multi-Purpose Test Centre in Basildon; and what account was taken of (a) people travelling from Southend to Basildon for driving lessons and (b) time spent in traffic. (211061)

No environmental impact assessment has been prepared for the co-location of Southend Driving Test Centre with the Multi-Purpose Test Centre in Basildon. There is no requirement for the Driving Standards Agency to do so.

All learner drivers should be taught to drive safely and confidently on a variety of roads rather than to follow test routes. So it should not be necessary for learner drivers to travel to Basildon from Southend for driving lessons, unless it is for pre-test familiarisation. This should minimise the environmental impact of those journeys and reduce the time spent in traffic.

Driving Tests: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Driving Standards Agency plans to review its code of practice with regard to guidance on (a) population density and (b) proximity to a driving test centre. (211059)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) currently has no plans to review its “Code of Practice on Written Consultations—Driving Test Centres.”

Ministers agreed the code of practice when it was revised in July 2005. This code of practice is available on the DSA website at:

http://www.dsa.gov.uk/Consultation.asp?id=SXBAF2-A7825C59&cat=418

Motorcycles: Driving Tests

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many multi-purpose test centres (MPTCs) she estimates will be operational for motorcycle driving tests on 29 September 2008; and what estimate she has made of the greatest distance a candidate will have to travel to access a MPTC in (a) England, (b) Wales and (c) Scotland on that date. (212439)

[holding answer 19 June 2008]: The Driving Standards Agency estimates that 39 multi-purpose test centres (MPTCs) will be operational by 29 September 2008. There will also be up to 12 part time motorcycle test centres to support these MPTCs.

These provisions will ensure that around 75 per cent. of motorcycle test candidates will be within 45 minutes or 20 miles of a motorcycle testing facility. In addition, around 93 per cent. of the population will be within 60 minutes of an MPTC and 98 per cent. within 90 minutes.

No estimate has been made of the longest distance a candidate will have to travel.

Railways: South East

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the effect of the draft determination of the Office of the Rail Regulator on (a) platform lengthening at Royston and (b) electric power upgrades on the line from Kings Cross to Cambridge; and if she will make a statement. (211076)

I am pleased that the Office of Rail Regulation has confirmed that the Government's specification for a substantial increase in rail capacity by 2014, with further improvements in reliability and safety, is affordable within the funds we have made available. Passengers at Royston will be among the many that will benefit from our widespread investment in the railways. Improving the power supply between Cambridge and Kings Cross, and lengthening the platforms at Royston and other stations, will enable longer trains to operate, meeting the growing peak demand.

Transport: Greater Manchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport at what time, on what date, in what form and by whom information on the matters covered in her Statement of 9 June 2008, Official Report, columns 22-34, on transport (Greater Manchester), was made available to (a) The Times, (b) The Daily Telegraph and (c) the Financial Times; and whether she authorised the releases of the information. (210591)

[holding answer 12 June 2008]: Information relating to the matters covered in the Secretary of State's Statement on 9 June 2008 on transport in Greater Manchester was made available to all media in the form of a press release, issued by the Department for Transport's Communication Directorate at 3.48 p.m on 9 June.

No information relating to the matters covered in that Statement was made available to The Times, The Daily Telegraph or the Financial Times by the Department in advance of the Statement being made by the Secretary of State.

Transport: Safety Measures

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the use of electronic stability control anti-skid systems; and what plans she has to encourage their more widespread use. (212340)

The Department for Transport sponsored a study in 2007 to consider the effectiveness of passenger car Electronic Stability Control (ESC) systems in Great Britain. The research indicated that ESC-equipped passenger cars are involved in 25 per cent. fewer fatal road accidents and are 11 per cent. less likely to be involved in a serious accident.

Officials have been active in agreeing international technical requirements for ESC systems. We anticipate that the European Commission will bring forward proposals for mandating ESC systems to the majority of new types of cars, heavy commercial vehicles and their trailers from October 2012.

We welcome the introduction of ESC systems as a positive step to improving the safety of all road vehicles and have encouraged motorists to purchase ESC equipped vehicles.

Treasury

Child Trust Fund: Gwent

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many children were eligible for child trust fund vouchers in Islwyn constituency in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08; (212680)

(2) what percentage of eligible children in households in Islwyn constituency have (a) received child trust fund vouchers and (b) had child trust accounts opened for them.

Constituency and regional data on Child Trust Fund accounts were published on 24 October 2007 and can be viewed on the HM Revenue and Customs’ website at:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/ctf/stats.htm

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many civil servants are employed by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies at each senior civil service grade. (211780)

The figures in the following table have been provided by individual Departments and represent the senior civil service grades as at 16 June 2008.

Grade

Deputy director

Deputy director

Director

Director general

Pay band

1

1A

2

3

Department:

OGC

18

0

6

2

OGC BS

3

0

1

0

HM Treasury

79

0

16

7

Royal Mint

1

0

1

0

HMRC inc VOA

315

69

37

6

DMO

0

0

1

0

NSI

3

2

5

1

GAD

0

0

1

0

Excise Duties: Motor Vehicles

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which individuals other than his Department’s and HM Revenue and Customs’ officials were present at meetings held with third party interest groups on changes to the system of vehicle excise duty before the 2008 Budget. (211590)

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.

Minimum Wage

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people aged (a) under 18, (b) under 21 and (c) over 60 years were found to be being paid below the national minimum wage in each of the last five years, broken down by (i) sex and (ii) ethnicity. (212351)

HMRC does not collect information which would allow them to determine the ethnic origins or age profile of underpaid workers. HMRC does hold information on gender profile of underpaid workers but not in the format requested. The following table shows the gender profile of underpaid workers.

Male

Female

2003-04

5,026

4,402

2004-05

5,801

5,460

2005-06

11,257

14,057

2006-07

4,989

9,200

2007-08

10,475

8,789

National Insurance Contributions: Earnings Limits

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the merits of alignment of the upper earnings limit for National Insurance contributions with the higher rate threshold for income tax; and if he will make a statement; (206650)

(2) if he will estimate the value in terms of reduced costs to (a) business and (b) HM Revenue and Customs of alignment of the upper earnings limit for national insurance contributions with the higher rate threshold for income tax.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his policy is on the alignment of national insurance and tax thresholds; and if he will make a statement. (208418)

The Government remain committed to bringing the income tax and the national insurance contributions (NICs) systems closer together. The overall aim is to improve fairness and coherence, to reduce administrative burdens, and to make the two systems easier to understand.

There has already been progress in aligning tax and NICs in terms of a simplified structure of employers’ NICs, replacing multiple rates with a single rate and abolishing the entry fee. With just two main rates of income tax and two main rates of national insurance in this tax year, the UK’s personal tax system is already one of the simplest personal tax structures of any developed country.

Nevertheless, the Government are continuing to look at the scope for further alignment of tax and NICs taking into account the changes made on 13 May, and in future pre-Budget and Budget reports.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated cost to his Department is of providing care and support to troops injured during service in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq in 2008-09. (209612)

The net additional costs of operations are recovered from the Treasury Reserve. The highly changeable nature of operations means that we are not able to provide accurate forecast costs for specific elements of operations for 2008-09. Our initial estimate of the net additional costs for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, for 2008-09, will be published in winter supplementary estimates.

Armed Forces: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many complaints were made to Modern Housing Solutions about service accommodation in each month since January 2008; (205129)

(2) how many complaints Modern Housing Solutions have received in each month since January 2008.

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 18 June 2008, Official Report, column 1015-16W to the hon. Member for North Devon (Nick Harvey).

The answer also corrects the figures in my response of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 876-77W for the period of May to December 2007.

Armed Forces: Influenza

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Westbury, (Dr. Murrison) of 1 April 2008, Official Report, column 768W, on armed forces: influenza, what quantity of (a) vaccines and (b) antivirals are held by his Department for use by the armed forces for the treatment of seasonal influenza; where these stocks are held; and if he will make a statement. (208973)

The Defence Medical Services operate in accordance with the guidance issued by the Dept of Health and the Health Protection Agency (which issues annual advice on the prescription of antivirals). For the treatment of seasonal influenza, Defence Medical Services obtain vaccines and antivirals as required, through the UK Departments of Health (DH). Stocks will be held locally at unit medical centres and other medical facilities, and quantities will vary according to clinical requirement and day-to-day usage. Vaccinations and antivirals are prescribed for individuals by medical staff according to clinical need, following national guidance issued by the DH.

It would not be practical to “stockpile” vaccines against seasonal influenza, since antigenic drifts (minor changes) of influenza viruses lead to the emergence of new viral strains every year. These minor changes cause seasonal influenza and explain why reformulation of the influenza vaccine is required every year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Westbury, (Dr. Murrison) of 3 April 2008, Official Report, columns 127-8W, on the armed forces: influenza, how many antiviral courses are available to the armed forces to meet future operational demands; how many antiviral courses are held (a) in the UK and (b) overseas; in which countries the antiviral courses are held overseas; how many antiviral courses are held in each country; whether these antivirals are available for use by armed forces in the event of (i) seasonal and (ii) pandemic influenza; and if he will make a statement; (208983)

(2) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Westbury, (Dr. Murrison) of 3 April 2008, Official Report, columns 1207-8W, on the armed forces: influenza, what total quantity of antiviral courses is held in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan for use by the armed forces; what proportion of the total number of antiviral courses held in (i) Iraq and (ii) Afghanistan is allocated for the treatment of (A) pandemic influenza and (B) seasonal influenza; how many antivirals are held in other countries; in which countries they are held; and if he will make a statement;

(3) pursuant to the answer of 3 April 2008, Official Report, column 1208W, on armed forces: influenza, to which overseas bases the antiviral courses were distributed.

Around 17,500 courses of pandemic influenza antivirals earmarked for future operational demands are held in the UK by the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency (DSDA) on behalf of the Defence Equipment and Support organisation. PJHQ will authorise distribution of the appropriate quantities to operational theatres as required.

In accordance with Defence Medical Services guidance, 10 antiviral courses have been pre-positioned in medical facilities overseas; five courses in the Role 2 (Enhanced) field hospital unit at Basra in Iraq and five in the one at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

A further 18,000 antiviral courses for use in the event of an outbreak of pandemic influenza have been distributed to overseas locations where MOD personnel and their dependents are based. The quantities have been calculated in accordance with Department of Health guidance, and stockholdings are kept under regular review.

For seasonal influenza, guidance is that only “at risk” patients will be treated, and antivirals will be obtained through the normal supply chain in accordance with clinical requirement. Pre-deployment medical standards mean that such individuals would not be allowed to deploy on operations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Westbury, (Dr. Murrison) of 7 January 2008, Official Report, column 24W, on the armed forces: influenza, what assessment he has made of the speed at which the stockpile of antivirals held at Permanent Joint Headquarters may be deployed to theatre in the event of an influenza pandemic; how many face masks are held in (a) Afghanistan, (b) Iraq and (c) other theatres; what other appropriate preventative measures he is considering; and if he will make a statement. (208984)

As stated in my answer to the hon. Member for Westbury (Dr. Murrison) of 3 April 2008, Official Report, column 1207W, around 17,500 courses of influenza antivirals earmarked for future operational demands are held in the UK by the Defence Storage and Distribution Agency (DSDA) on behalf of the Defence Equipment and Support organisation. PJHQ will authorise distribution of the appropriate quantities to operational theatres as required. As with any logistic supplies, if the requirement is urgent antivirals can be deployed rapidly to theatre in accordance with well-established procedures.

Face masks are a standard item of clinical equipment, and have a wide range of medical uses. Stocks sufficient for all requirements are held in field hospitals and other medical units in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. Precise holdings will fluctuate on a daily basis, being replenished through the standard logistics chain as required.

Specific guidance on infection control in the event of an outbreak of pandemic influenza has been promulgated to all Defence Medical Services personnel and military commanders. This covers all appropriate medical procedures including hygiene, patient placement, and waste disposal, and includes specialised guidance on procedures in operational settings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Westbury, (Dr. Murrison) of 3 April, Official Report, column 1207-08W, on armed forces; influenza, whether the stockpile of A/H5N1 vaccines for use by the armed forces in the event of an influenza pandemic is held in the UK. (208985)

The A/H5N1 vaccine stockpile is held in the UK by the Department of Health, which includes a ring-fenced allocation held on behalf of the MOD, and in the event of an outbreak will be deployed by MOD in accordance with DH guidelines and MOD need.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Westbury, (Dr. Murrison) of 1 April 2008, Official Report, column 786W, on armed forces: influenza, for which categories of armed forces personnel plans have been drawn up for the prophylactic use of antivirals; and if he will make a statement. (209293)

In the event of a threatened influenza pandemic, antivirals for prophylactic purposes may be prescribed for certain categories of key workers (such as military medical staff) in accordance with guidance issued by the UK Department of Health and MOD’s Surgeon General. Their use will be determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the nature and location of the outbreak.

Armed Forces: Planning

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the armed forces last operated within his Department’s planning assumptions; and when he next expects the armed forces to be operating within these planning assumptions. (212388)

[holding answer 19 June 2008]: As set out in the MOD’s recent annual reports, the armed forces have been operating above our current planning assumptions since 2002. A return to operating within these assumptions will depend upon future commitments.

Defence: Thesauri

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the (a) UK Defence Taxonomy and (b) UK Defence Thesaurus. (211887)

The UK Defence Taxonomy is a living document and is therefore subject to alteration to accurately reflect the changing nature of UK Defence business. Moreover, due to the size of the document, and the dependencies within it, the Taxonomy is designed for electronic application and is most conveniently viewed in electronic format.

The UK Defence Taxonomy is complemented by, and interlinked with, the UK Defence Thesaurus, and the two products are jointly known as the UK Defence Terminology. The UK Defence Thesaurus is an expansion of the UK Defence Taxonomy and provides greater detail.

Electronic copies of both these publications will be placed in the Library of the House.

Departmental Assets

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with (a) the devolved institutions and (b) political parties on the allocation of receipts from the sale of assets held by his Department to (i) Scotland, (ii) Wales and (iii) Northern Ireland. (209810)

In line with HM Treasury guidance, receipts retained by the Ministry of Defence are reinvested by the Department in key priorities. Therefore, no discussions have been held with administrations regarding their allocation.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the value of the property held by (a) his Department and (b) associated public bodies was at the most recent date for which figures are available. (212910)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 12 May 2008, Official Report, column 1310W to the hon. Member for Westbury (Dr. Murrison). The National Asset Register includes Executive Non- Departmental Public Bodies, Trading Funds and the Oil and Pipeline Agency and those assets used by the reserve forces and cadets association which are owned by the Ministry of Defence.

Departmental Conditions of Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the policy of his Department is on granting staff leave to attend criminal trials in order to provide (a) a witness statement and (b) evidence; and if he will make a statement. (212435)

Special paid leave may be granted for attendance at a court of law if MOD employees are requested by the police or Crown Prosecution service to give evidence or a witness statement. A voluntary witness may be granted special unpaid leave.

Ex-servicemen: Mentally Ill

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces veterans were diagnosed with mental health problems in each of the last 15 years. (211399)

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many young people aged (a) 12 to 14, (b) 15 to 16 and (c) 17 years were (i) prosecuted and (ii) given a penalty charge notice for disorder for purchasing alcohol in the Peterborough City Council area in each year since 2001; and if she will make a statement. (192461)

There were no persons aged 12 to 18 who were proceeded against at magistrates courts in the Cambridgeshire police force area for the offence of purchasing alcohol by a person aged under 18 years for the years 2001 to 2006. It would not be possible to provide information for Peterborough city council, as data at this level of detail are not held centrally.

In addition, under the Penalty Notice for Disorder (PND) Scheme, established by the Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001, the police can issue a fixed penalty of £50 for the offence of “Buying or attempting to buy alcohol by a person under 18” section 149(1) of the Licensing Act 2003 (c.17). No PNDs have been issued for the offence to anyone under 18 by Cambridgeshire police force in 2005 or 2006, the latest year for which confirmed data are available.

Animal Experiments: Primates

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which overseas primate supply or breeding facilities which export primates to the UK for the purposes of scientific research her Department has (a) inspected and approved and (b) not inspected in the last two years; what country each is in; and if she will make a statement. (210716)

10 overseas centres are currently accepted to supply non-human primates to designated user establishments in the United Kingdom. Of these, four, in China, Vietnam and the Netherlands, have been visited by Home Office inspectors since June 2006. The remaining centres in the Netherlands, Israel, Mauritius and the United States of America have not been visited in that period.

The acceptability of an overseas centre supplying non-human primates to UK designated establishments is reviewed at least once every two years. This biennial review takes into consideration all available information including full details of the breeding centre, submitted to the Home Office on a standard pro-forma, responses to specific questions on current care and accommodation, routine reports submitted by users following receipt of each consignment of animals and, where possible, informal reports from users who have visited the centre.

Normally, centres will be visited every two to four years depending on the findings from the previous visit, the need to reassess on site and whether animals are being supplied from the site. Visits by the Inspectorate are risk based, depending on the need to monitor standards of husbandry and care or progress of improvements.

Extradition: USA

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will review the extradition treaty with the US with a view to ensuring that the UK is able to extradite suspects from the US under the same conditions pertaining to extradition from the UK to the US. (209876)

The Government consider that our extradition arrangements generally, and with the United States in particular, are balanced and fair and do not require amendment.

The ‘probable cause' test that the US requires of extradition requests made to it by the UK is broadly comparable to the requirement for "information" about the offence that the UK requires of the US ("information that would justify the issue of a warrant for the arrest of a person within the judge's jurisdiction...." - i.e., "reasonable suspicion"). To reintroduce the prima facie test would be to recreate an unequal relationship.

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Kettering

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what assessment she has made of the potential for Kettering constituency to become involved in the 2012 Olympic Games; and if she will make a statement. (212752)

The Government and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) are working hard to ensure that the benefits of 2012 reach across the UK and have established a Nations and Regions Group (NRG) to oversee this work chaired by Charles Allen. Kettering's involvement in the Games is represented through the Northamptonshire 2012 Steering Group. Northamptonshire is one of five county-level groups established by the County Sports Partnership across the region to maximise the benefits of 2012.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) and LOCOG expect to directly procure £6 billion worth of contracts. In January, the Olympic Family launched the London 2012 Business Network, helping businesses across the UK to access these contracts. CompeteFor is a key component of the Business Network, as it enables businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises, across the UK to access contracts from the ODA and LOCOG supply chains. The ODA has already awarded 27 contracts to companies registered in the east midlands. Businesses in every constituency, including Kettering, should be encouraged to sign up and get support via the London 2012 website:

http://www.london2012.com/business

to compete for and win contracts.

Additionally, one facility from Kettering—Kettering Leisure Village—offering three sports disciplines is to be included in the official London 2012 Pre-Games Training Camp Guide.

I also understand there are plans to hold the 2008 Northamptonshire Cultural Olympiad festival (working title) in Kettering on 24 August. This will be held at Wicksteed Park— plans include live coverage of the Beijing closing ceremony and handover as well as a number of sports, arts and cultural events.

Justice

Olympic Games

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department plan to attend the Beijing Olympic games; to what purpose in each case; and what estimate he has made of the cost. (212114)

No Ministers or officials from the Ministry of Justice will be attending the Beijing Olympic games in an official capacity.

Prospects Project

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the objectives of the Prospects Project were; and if he will make a statement on its progress. (212854)

The Prospects programme was designed to reduce crime in local communities by assisting offenders with a history of drug taking to lead law-abiding lives. It offered such offenders a 12-16 week residential place with comprehensive services and support followed by identification of suitable accommodation where support was provided for up to six months in the community. It was originally aimed at drug-using offenders serving short prison sentences who became abstinent in custody and entered into voluntary support on release to the programme.

The numbers of offenders dealt with by the programme were not as high as expected and following a commercial review it was considered that the costs of the programme outweighed the benefits being realised. This view was supported by independent evaluation. I consequently agreed to the closure of the programme on the 7 January 2008. Members of Parliament for the respective constituencies in which the hostels are located have been informed.

Culture, Media and Sport

Bingo

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment he has made of the future prospects for the bingo industry; and if he will make a statement. (212751)

Culture: EU Grants and Loans

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the value of cultural grants made to UK organisations from the European Union’s Regional Development Fund was in each year since 2000. (211325)

The remit of my Department does not extend beyond England, but the current available figures for cultural grants made to English organisations from the European Union’s Regional Development Fund since 2000 are set out in the following table:

£ million

ERDF

Current spending

Capital gains

Total

2000-01

6.6

22.0

28.8

2001-02

6.0

15.7

21.7

2002-03

7.3

6.5

13.8

2003-04

7.0

11.6

18.6

2004-05

5.1

8.7

13.8

2005-06

5.0

6.0

11.0

2006-071

1.0

7.8

8.8

2007-081

1.0

11.4

12.4

1 Based on spending plans.

Note:

All figures are from the HM Treasury Country and Regional Analysis Data Collection Exercise

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding (a) the Arts Council, (b) Arts Council regional offices, (c) the Museum, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and (d) MLA regional offices received from the EU (i) Structural Funds and (ii) Social Fund in each of the last five years. (211534)

The information requested, provided by the bodies in question, is set out in the following table:

£

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

MLA: EU Structural Funds

MLA

East of England

East Midlands

38,283

94,614

London

North East

North West

South East

South West

West Midlands

500,000

Yorkshire

MLA: EU Social Fund

MLA

East of England

East Midlands

31,554

9,270

London

99,000

North East

30,299

35,031

North West

South East

South West

West Midlands

Yorkshire

ACE: EU Structural Funds

Arts Council

East of England

East Midlands

London

North East

805,613

1,569,630

969,743

903,920

945,860

North West

South East

South West

West Midlands

Yorkshire

ACE: EU Social Fund

Arts Council

East of England

East Midlands

London

North East

1,210,340

85,433

1,118,139

799,863

568,859

North West

75,000

South East

South West

25,884

196,664

23,865

West Midlands

Yorkshire

Departmental Assets

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport over what period his Department depreciates the asset value of its (a) vehicles, (b) computer hardware, (c) bespoke computer software, (d) standard computer software, (e) furniture and (f) telecommunications equipment. (213214)

My Department has the following standard depreciation cycles:

(a) Vehicles—My Department does not have any vehicles and therefore no depreciation cycle applies.

(b) Computer hardware—three years.

(c) Bespoke computer software—three years.

(d) Standard computer software—three years.

(e) Furniture—five years;

(f) Telecommunications equipment—three years.

Departmental Homeworking

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many staff in his Department are authorised to work from home. (212528)

Departmental Trade Unions

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which trades unions represent members of staff in (a) his Department and (b) its agency. (212487)

The trade unions representing staff in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are the Public and Commercial Services Union and the First Division Association. In the Royal Parks, the trade unions are the Public and Commercial Services Union and Prospect.

Listed Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many (a) Grade I, (b) Grade II and (c) Grade III listed buildings are located in (i) Ribble Valley constituency, (ii) Lancashire and (iii) England. (212818)

According to English Heritage, the number of listings in each grade in England, Lancashire and Ribble Valley is as follows:

Grade

England

Lancashire

Ribble Valley

I

9,152

71

20

II1

21,145

270

51

II

342,217

5,094

890

Total

372,514

5,435

961

1 Grade II are particularly important buildings of more than special interest

Information is held on the number of listings, rather than the number of buildings, as a listing may include groups of buildings. Information is not held on Grade III listed buildings as the classification was rendered obsolete in 1970. To clarify, the grades are defined as follows:

Grade I buildings are those of exceptional interest;

Grade II1 are particularly important buildings of more than special interest;

Grade II are of special interest, warranting every effort to preserve them.

National Heritage Memorial Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many applications were received by the National Heritage Memorial Fund in each year since 1997; what percentage of applications were successful; and what amount of grants was given out in each year. (210255)

The information requested, as supplied by the National Heritage Memorial Fund, is set out in the following table:

Financial year

NHMF applications received

Successful (percentage)

Grants awarded (£)

1997-98

28

50

1,694,085

1998-99

18

33

2,112,019

1999-2000

10

60

4,653,761

2000-01

11

64

4,903,157

2001-02

10

50

2,599,607

2002-03

7

71

22,016,500

2003-04

7

100

7,724,048

2004-05

10

60

2,186,395

2005-06

29

79

5,493,237

2006-07

20

75

6,166,346

2007-08

16

81

16,397,985

Public Libraries: Essex

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many public libraries there were in Essex in each of the last 15 years. (212065)

The following table shows the total number of library service points in Essex open for 10 hours or more per week including mobiles. The table is compiled from figures published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in their report Public Library Statistics. Copies of this report are available in the House of Commons Library, including the most recent edition which also contains estimated figures for 2007-08.

Number

1992-93

107

1993-94

108

1994-95

108

1995-96

110

1996-97

109

1997-98

109

1998-99

90

1999-2000

90

2000-01

90

2001-02

90

2002-03

90

2003-04

89

2004-05

89

2005-06

86

2006-07

86

Raoul Wallenberg

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what files are held by his Department on the Raoul Wallenberg (Memorial) Bill of Session 1989-90; and if he will make a statement. (212646)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport holds no files on the Raoul Wallenberg (Memorial) Bill of session 1989-90.

Regional Sports Boards

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 16 June 2008, Official Report, column 661W, on regional sports boards, what the role of Sport England's regional offices is expected to be; how much he has allocated to them for each of the next three years; and how much will it cost to run them. (212978)

Sport England will continue to maintain a strong regional presence through a network of nine area offices. The regional work will be more narrowly focused on:

Managing relationships, advocacy and influencing at a local level to maintain the existing investment for community sport from the various local stakeholders;

Sport England's statutory and non statutory planning functions;

Taking an overview of sports facility provision within each area; and

Managing the allocation of the remaining Community Investment Funds.

The organisational structure which will deliver the Sport England 2008-11 strategy is being finalised and will be announced shortly. This will determine operating costs at a regional and national level. I have therefore asked Sport England to write to the hon. Member once the structure has been announced and budgets decided. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses of Parliament.

Sports: ACP Countries

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what guidance is available to sports national governing bodies relating to the application of the Cotonou Agreement to sport in the UK. (208685)

[holding answer 5 June 2008]: We are waiting clarification from the European Commission on the application of the Cotonou Agreement for the freedom of movement of professional sports people within the European Community. We understand that the Commission will be issuing substantive clarification shortly. Any such clarification will inform any guidance issued to national sports governing bodies in the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether he has made representations to the EU on the impact of the Cotonou Agreement on the free movement of sportsmen and women; and if he will make a statement. (208686)

[holding answer 5 June 2008]: I have not made any representations to the EU over the impact of the Cotonou Agreement on the free movement of sports people. However, we look forward to the Commission's response on this matter which should provide guidance for sports national governing bodies in the UK.

Tourism: Leeds

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department allocated to tourism in the Leeds Metropolitan District in each year since 2005. (211176)

Central Government funding for the English regions (including the Leeds metropolitan district) is administered by the regional development agencies but is not ring-fenced for particular economic sectors, such as tourism. Since 2005 the DCMS has contributed £3.6 million to DBERR's Single Programme budget (the “Single Pot”) in respect of the tourism responsibilities of the eight agencies outside London; and £1.9 million in support of the statutory tourism duties of the Greater London Authority.

The regional development agencies themselves spent £52 million in 2005-06; £51.8 million in 2006-07; and £43.5 million in 2007-08 on tourism support.

Tourism: Marketing

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on marketing and promoting tourism in each of the last five years. (210258)

DCMS funding for VisitBritain is all spent on the marketing of Britain overseas, and of England within Britain and Europe. The budget for the last five years (in £ million) was:

£ million

Total

Overseas budget

Domestic budget

2003-04

47.9

35.5

12.4

2004-05

48.4

35.5

12.9

2005-06

48.9

35.5

13.4

2006-07

49.9

35.5

14.4

2007-08

49.9

35.5

14.4

DCMS also provided £3.6 million in each of these years to the eight regional development agencies outside of London and £1.9 million for each of these years to the London Development Agency for the support of tourism.

All of the DCMS funding for the London Development Agency is spent on the tourism marketing of the capital, and the promotion of its role as a gateway to the rest of the UK. It is for the regional development agencies outside London to decide on how best to use DCMS funding to support tourism in their regions. In 2007-08, all the agencies spent a total £43.5 million on supporting tourism.

Tourism: North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much was allocated by his Department to tourism in the North West of England in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by category of expenditure. (209895)

Central Government funding for the Regional Development Agencies (including the North West) is not ring-fenced for particular economic sectors, such as tourism. However, the Agencies have reported that their tourism spending totalled £43.5 million in 2007-08. Of that amount, DCMS contributed £3.6 million to DBERR’s Single Programme budget (the “Single Pot”) in respect of the tourism responsibilities of the eight Agencies outside London; and £1.9 million in support of the statutory tourism duties of the Greater London Authority.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Dementia: Yorkshire and the Humber

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much the Medical Research Council plans to spend in 2009-10 on dementia research in (a) Leeds university and (b) Yorkshire and Humberside. (211175)

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is one of the main agencies through which the Government support medical and clinical research. In 2006-07, MRC spent approximately £6.4 million on research on dementias in the UK. MRC is currently undertaking a strategic review on neurodegeneration. Recommendations from the review may help inform future levels of funding for dementias. MRC do not have set budgets for specific illnesses and research proposals in all areas compete for the funding available. MRC welcome applications for support into any aspect of human health and these are subject to peer review and judged in open competition, with awards being made on the basis of the scientific quality of the proposals made.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of his Department's employees are (a) male, (b) female, (c) from an ethnic minority, (d) disabled and (e) not heterosexual; and if he will make a statement. (208395)

In my Department, the breakdown of staff is as follows:

(a) 434 male (49.7 per cent. of all staff),

(b) 440 female (50.3 per cent. of all staff),

(c) 56 declared from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds (6.4 per cent. of all staff),

297 not known (34.0 per cent.), 16 prefer not to say (1.8 per cent.),

(d) 67 have declared a disability (7.7 per cent.), 451 not known (51.6 per cent.), 21 prefer not to say (2.4 per cent.),

(e) 66 declared as not heterosexual (7.6 per cent.), 337 not known (38.6 per cent.), 246 prefer not to say (28.1 per cent. ) - this category applies to ex-DFES figures only.

The percentage proportions are based on a total of 874 staff in DIUS.

Departmental records on the numbers of BME staff are based on voluntary self declaration on the basis of the categories used in the 2001 census. Records on the numbers of disabled staff are also solely based on voluntary self-declaration of being a disabled person as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act; and not connected in any way to a formal register of disability.

Olympic Games

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department plan to attend the Beijing Olympic Games; to what purpose in each case; and what estimate he has made of the cost. (212112)

Five Government Ministers will attend the games. The Minister for the Olympics will attend the whole games. The Prime Minister; the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport; the Minister for Sport and the Minister for Trade Promotion and Investment will each attend a part of the games.

The number of Government officials attending has not yet been finalised.

Science: Museums and Galleries

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what plans he has to assess the learning impact of science and discovery centres; and if he will make a statement. (212952)

DIUS and DCSF have funded Ecsite-UK as part of a £750,000 package. This funding supported a benchmarking project and grants for consortia of centres to explore new ways of collaborative working with each other to provide inreach and outreach activities to schools, and also included an assessment of available evidence on learning impact as part of a wider review of all impacts. The impact study element of the project can be viewed online at:

www.ecsite-uk.net/reports/impact-of-science-discovery-centres.htm

In response to the recommendations in the Science and Technology Committee's 2007 inquiry into the funding of science and discovery centres, and as subsequently discussed at the Westminster Hall debate on 15 May this year, my Department is currently commissioning independent research to assess the relative impact, effectiveness and value for money of science centres in comparison with other science, technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) delivery agents. Impact in this context will be measured in terms of effectiveness in delivering the Government's science and society (STEM and public engagement) goals. The procurement process for this work has begun, so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage. However, the Terms of Reference for this project have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Welsh Language

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the level of demand for the services provided by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies and non-departmental bodies to be provided in the Welsh language; and if he will make a statement. (210541)

DIUS makes an assessment of the need for provision of services in the Welsh language on a case by case basis. DirectGov, which provides on-line access to Government services and includes information for students in Further Education and Higher Education applying for courses and financial support, is available in Welsh. DIUS agencies and NDPBs also assess the need on a case-by-case basis.

Work and Pensions

Immigrants: Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of migrants from (a) Poland, (b) Ukraine, (c) Pakistan and (d) Sri Lanka in Leeds Metropolitan District found full-time employment in each year since 2000. (211185)

I have been asked to reply.

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 20 June 2008:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question on what percentage of migrants from (a) Poland (b) Ukraine (c) Pakistan and (d) Sri Lanka found full-time employment in Leeds Metropolitan District in each year since 2000. [211185]

The Office for National Statistics compiles statistics on migrant workers for local areas from the Annual Population survey (APS) and its predecessor the annual Labour Force Survey (LFS). The National Statistics method for estimating the employment rate of migrant workers employed in the UK is based on the employment rate of people at a given time who were born outside the UK and of working age. This question has been answered on this basis. It means, for example, that some people who are UK nationals will be included in the figures. Those in full time employment are defined following International Labour Organisation definitions of employment with the respondent answering that they worked full time.

Table 1, attached, shows estimates of the employment rate of persons who live in the Leeds Local Authority District in full time employment who were born in Poland, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Figures for Ukraine are not available. Estimates are obtained for the 12 month periods ending in February, for 2001 to 2004, from the annual LFS. The APS estimates from 2004 to 2006 are provided covering the 12 month periods ending in December. The most recently released estimate is also included, which covers the 12 month period ending in September 2007.

The unweighted count (sample size) underpinning the estimates are also provided because at this geographic level they are inevitably small, especially for the earlier years. In addition some numbers in the table are not provided because the sample sizes are very small and risk being disclosive. The estimates are therefore subject to large margins of uncertainty and special care should be taken on drawing conclusions on the basis of year-on-year comparisons.

Table 1: Employment rate and unweighted count of working age1 people who were born in Poland, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, who were in full time2 employment3, living in the Leeds local authority district, 2001-07

Percentage and count

Poland

Pakistan

Sri Lanka

Rates (percentage)

Unweighted count4

Rates (percentage)

Unweighted count4

Rates (percentage)

Unweighted count4

October 2006-September 2007

73

19

40

7

January 2006-December 2006

71

23

37

4

January 2005-December 2005

52

7

44

9

January 2004-December 2004

5

5

45

8

March 2003-February 2004

56

7

March 2002-February 2003

5

28

3

March 2001-February 2002

36

6

March 2000-February 2001

36

6

‘—’ = Nil or negligible

1 Men aged 16-64, women aged 16-59.

2 Based on respondents’ answers.

3 Based on International Labour Organisation definitions.

4 Number of respondents for numerator (number of people in full time employment).

5 Sample too small to provide estimates.

Note:

The country of birth question in the APS/Annual LFS may undercount foreign born because:

it excludes students in halls of residence who do not have a UK resident parent,

it excludes people in most types of communal establishments (eg hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites),

it is grossed to population estimates that only include long term migrants (staying 12 months or more).

Source:

Annual Population Survey and local Labour Force Survey

Jobseeker's Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions with reference to those circumstances when Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants are told they must accept a job, whether the conditions include jobs that are paid by 100 per cent. commission. (212821)

Jobseeker's Allowance regulations treat all jobs classed as employed earners’ employment, including those based on 100 per cent commission, in the same way.

An employment officer, for example, may offer someone who has the relevant sales experience and looking for this type of work, a job based on 100 per cent. commission.

Where the offer of the job is refused it will be referred to an independent decision maker who will determine whether the jobseeker can demonstrate “good cause” for their decision. Each case is judged on its individual circumstances, taking all available evidence into account in reaching the decision.

Where the decision maker determines the jobseeker has not demonstrated good cause, they may lose entitlement to benefit for between one and 26 weeks.

National Insurance Contributions: Females

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions by what means women who opted to pay the married woman's rate of national insurance contributions prior to the abolition of the half test were advised of (a) its abolition and (b) the implications of its abolition for their continued election to pay contributions at the reduced rate. (211278)

[holding answer 16 June 2008]: The abolition of the half test for women reaching state pension age after 5 April 1979 was part of a package to encourage married women to make independent pension arrangements and to revisit their election choice. The main thrust of the early publicity was a national press advertising campaign commissioned by DSS during February and March 1977. The programme was designed to give optimum, cost effective coverage of the main target group, working housewives. In addition, there was extensive editorial news and feature coverage in newspapers, magazines, and on radio and television. According to DSS records the published articles all stressed the importance of married women making decisions on their national insurance contributions position.

Leaflets, available at local offices, were distributed by DSS. Specifically, Leaflet NP25 entitled “PENSIONS: Britain's great step forward” issued in August 1975 and Leaflet NP31 entitled “New Pensions: a better deal for women” issued in January 1977 drew attention to the abolition of the half test. Leaflet NI1 entitled “National insurance guidance for married women” issued in February 1978 dealt extensively with the implications of election choice and invited women who were proposing to change their choice and were unsure that they would be able to satisfy the contribution conditions for basic pension to consult their local social security office who would usually get their individual contribution record before giving advice.

Poverty: Liverpool

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what recent assessment he has made of measures to tackle worklessness in Liverpool, Riverside constituency; and if he will make a statement; (212385)

(2) what recent assessment he has made of measures to tackle poverty in Liverpool, Riverside constituency.

[holding answer 19 June 2008]: Work is the best route out of poverty. For example, children in working households are much less likely to be in poverty than those living in households where no one is working. The Government have made considerable progress in tackling worklessness through national back-to-work programmes such as New Deal and Pathways to Work, as well as local initiatives such as Step Closer 2 Work.

Since 1997 the number of unemployed people in the Liverpool Riverside constituency has fallen by 45 per cent., the number of lone parents claiming benefit has fallen by 28 per cent. and the number of people claiming incapacity benefits has fallen by 17 per cent. Specific information on the level of poverty are not available below regional level.

However we recognise that there is more to do.

In August the Jobcentre Plus District for Liverpool Riverside will start a campaign targeting over 2,000 small to medium-size employers, encouraging them to work with us in local employment partnerships. This will open up job opportunities for those of our customers who have found it difficult to take advantage of the employment opportunities that exist across the district. Across Liverpool the working neighbourhoods fund is investing over £3 million in 2008-09 and the deprived area fund over £2 million to improve employment opportunities. Jobcentre Plus have also been working with the local authority and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs to improve the transition when people move between welfare and work.

Vertex Data Science

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many times he met the Chief Executive of Vertex Data Science Ltd. in each of the last three years. (212023)

Neither the Secretary of State nor any of his predecessors have met with the Chief Executive of Vertex Data Science Ltd. in any of the last three years.

Women and Equality

Age: Discrimination

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the Answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, column 2684W, on age: discrimination, what the terms of reference of the research commissioned by her Department on the costs and benefits of eliminating age discrimination in health and social care provision are. (208257)

The briefs for the two literature reviews commissioned by the Department of Health were:

for a rapid literature review with the key focus on costs (and if possible benefits) of removing age discrimination in social care and mental health services with particular emphasis on international literature (Centre for Policy on Ageing); and

to summarise the theoretical literature in order to explore what are the specific age-based criticisms and defences of cost-effectiveness analysis within the literature, to what degree could alternative methods address the different equity concerns raised within the debate, and related issues (university of Leeds).

The briefs for the two research studies commissioned by the Department of Health were:

On social care (university of Kent):

to investigate the extent, reasons for and impact of any age discrimination in the commissioning and provision of adult social services;

to produce an estimate of the costs of eliminating any such age discrimination, on the basis that services for the disadvantaged group would be levelled up to those of the advantaged group;

to prepare a report setting out findings from the study, including details of caveats, and suggestions for any further research on this topic.

On mental health (London School of Economics/university of Swansea):

to explore the extent of age discrimination in mental health services. Three broad issues are addressed: inequalities between adult and older people’s mental health services; inequalities between adults and older people with mental health problems in their use of health and social care services; and knowledge about the likely single equalities legislation in current services and the possible costs of implementation.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality pursuant to the Answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, column 2684W, on age: discrimination, whether the research commissioned by her Department on the costs and benefits of eliminating age discrimination in health and social care provision has examined the issues in relation to those under 18 years. (208258)

The research commissioned by the Department of Health considered age discrimination in relation to adults (aged 18 and over), in keeping with the proposal in the consultation paper “A Framework for Fairness” that any legislation to ban unfair age discrimination would deal with adults but not with people under 18.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with ministerial colleagues on proposals for implementing a positive duty on public bodies to promote age equality; and if she will make a statement. (210722)

Throughout the progression of the Equality Bill, I and my officials have been in close contact with colleagues in a number of key departments including the Department of Health, Department of Work and Pensions, the Treasury and others, to discuss among other things the proposals for a single public sector duty. Our proposals for the Bill will be included in the Government's response to the Discrimination Law Review consultation, which will be published shortly.

Clubs: Membership

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what representations she has received on the applicability of sexual discrimination legislation to the membership rules of private members’ clubs; and if she will make a statement. (209516)

The Government consulted on the issue of discrimination in private member clubs in their consultation on proposals for an Equality Bill which closed in September last year. Nearly 200 responses were received on this issue. The Government will publish their response to the consultation shortly.

Consumers: Protection

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality if she will commission research into the incidence of discrimination in the supply of goods and services to children and young people under 18 years of age on the basis of their age; and if she will make a statement. (209654)

The consultation paper on proposals for the Equality Bill, “A Framework for Fairness”, signalled that the Government were considering the case for prohibiting age discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services and that they considered any legislation should only apply to those aged 18 and over. Nevertheless, during the consultation process the Government commissioned the Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) to organise an event at which a cross-section of children discussed their own experiences of age discrimination. A report of the event is available on CRAE’s website. In addition, a number of consultation responses raised the issue of age discrimination against those aged under 18. The Government will publish their response to the consultation shortly.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many and what proportion of staff working in the Government Equalities Office are (a) male, (b) female, (c) from an ethnic minority, (d) disabled and (e) not heterosexual; and if she will make a statement. (208404)

In the Government Equalities Office 40 per cent. of staff are male and 60 per cent. are female. Complete information for the other categories is not available as declaration of ethnic background and disabled status is voluntary and information on civil servants’ sexual orientation is not collected.

Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality (1) what (a) projects, (b) initiatives and (c) programmes the Government Equalities Office has (i) started and (ii) concluded since its creation; (202569)

(2) what projects have been carried out by the Government Equalities Office since its creation, excluding those projects carried out by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Women's National Commission, and the former Equalities Commissions;

(3) what projects the Government Equalities Office has taken the lead on since its establishment.

Since its creation the Government Equalities Office has undertaken a wide range of projects and initiatives. These include work on the setting up of the Equality and Human Rights Commission; developing and undertaking preparatory work to deliver the Equalities Public Services Agreement; managing the consultation and policy development work relating to proposals for a new Equality Bill, and undertaking a variety of initiatives relating to the Minister for Women's Priorities set out in Command Paper Cm 7183.

More detailed information about the work and achievements of the Government Equalities Office will be set out in its first departmental report due to be published later this year.

Departmental Transport

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality when the Government's Equalities Office's green transport plan was introduced; and if she will place in the Library a copy of the plan. (209417)

The Government Equalities Office, which was established in October 2007, is a small department of some 80 people based in central London. Its staff use public transport and, given these circumstances, the GEO has not introduced a Green Transport Plan.

Equality

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality (1) what estimate she has made of the number of people who do not feel they have been treated with dignity and respect from (a) disadvantaged and (b) non-disadvantaged backgrounds for use as a baseline against performance for indicator five in the 2008 to 2011 PSA 15; and if she will make a statement; (208690)

(2) what estimate she has made of the number of people who feel they have been discriminated against for use as a baseline for performance against indicator 4 in the 2008 to 2011 PSA 15; and if she will make a statement.

[holding answer 5 June 2008]: In respect of tackling discrimination (indicator 4), we will use responses to the 2008 Citizenship Survey to inform a baseline. This is because previous surveys did not separately identify disability-related discrimination. Baseline data based on the revised questions will be available in July 2009.

For reducing unfair treatment (indicator 5), we are considering whether early evidence from the 2007 Citizenship Survey is suitably robust to inform a baseline.

We will publish high-level delivery plans for PSA15 by the summer, which will include the baseline information available at that time for all of the PSA indicators. We will report twice-yearly thereafter on progress in delivering the PSA, beginning in October 2008.

Prisoners: Females

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on the implementation of the recommendations of the Corston Report on the needs of vulnerable women in prison. (212142)

The Minister for Women has had a number of discussions with the Secretary of State for Justice on implementing Baroness Corston’s recommendations. We are fully committed to reducing the number of vulnerable women in prison. My hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Justice (Maria Eagle) will make a statement on progress six months on from the recommendations.

Welsh Language

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent assessment she has made of the level of demand for the services provided by the Government Equalities Office to be provided in the Welsh language; and if she will make a statement. (210536)

The Government Equalities Office provides a Welsh language translation of documents in downloadable PDF form through its website where appropriate. We do not have records of how often these are downloaded.

Health

Ambulances: Fuels

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what contingency plans his Department has for the provision of fuel for ambulances during periods of fuel shortages. (211516)

The arrangements for accessing fuel for ambulances are handled at the local level. The Department encourages all national health service organisations to establish contingency plans in line with business continuity management advice and guidance, of which the sourcing of fuel is one element. It is the responsibility of each ambulance trust to put in place local arrangements to mitigate the effects of fuel shortages.

The Government have also established emergency provisions, as a part of the National Emergency Plan—Fuel, which can be invoked should the emergency services be unable to obtain fuel.

Continuing Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people received continuing care (a) in total and (b) per 50,000 of population in each primary care trust area in England in (i) the last quarter of 2007-08 and (ii) the first quarter of 2008-09. (211755)

The information for 2007-08 is shown in the following table. However information for the first quarter of 2008-09 is not available.

Number of people receiving continuing national health service healthcare, England, quarter four 2007-08

Org. code

Organisation

Number of people receiving continuing NHS healthcare

Number of people receiving continuing NHS healthcare per 50,000 population

England

38,168

38

5HG

Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust

415

69

5C2

Barking and Dagenham PCT

155

47

5A9

Barnet PCT

313

47

5JE

Barnsley PCT

60

13

SET

Bassetlaw PCT

23

11

5FL

Bath and North East Somerset PCT

421

115

5P2

Bedfordshire PCT

162

20

5QG

Berkshire East PCT

379

50

5QF

Berkshire West PCT

246

27

TAK

Bexley Care Trust

135

32

5PG

Birmingham East and North PCT

183

23

5CC

Blackburn With Darwen PCT

46

15

5HP

Blackpool PCT

72

26

5HQ

Bolton PCT

169

32

5QN

Bournemouth and Poole PCT

283

45

5NY

Bradford and Airedale PCT

261

26

5K5

Brent Teaching PCT

567

101

5LQ

Brighton and Hove City PCT

731

142

5QJ

Bristol PCT

217

26

5A7

Bromley PCT

167

28

5QD

Buckinghamshire PCT

373

38

5JX

Bury PCT

37

10

5J6

Calderdale PCT

156

39

5PP

Cambridgeshire PCT

245

22

5K7

Camden PCT

115

25

5NP

Central and Eastern Cheshire PCT

221

25

5NG

Central Lancashire PCT

243

28

5C3

City and Hackney Teaching PCT

215

48

5QP

Cornwall and Isles Of Scilly PCT

660

63

5ND

County Durham PCT

529

52

5MD

Coventry Teaching PCT

441

68

5K9

Croydon PCT

987

149

5NE

Cumbria PCT

115

11

5J9

Darlington PCT

99

51

5N7

Derby City PCT

222

41

5N6

Derbyshire County PCT

789

57

5QQ

Devon PCT

853

59

5N5

Doncaster PCT

360

62

5QM

Dorset PCT

819

108

5PE

Dudley PCT

296

49

5HX

Ealing PCT

80

13

5P3

East and North Hertfordshire PCT

207

19

5NH

East Lancashire PCT

129

17

5NW

East Riding Of Yorkshire PCT

48

8

5P7

East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT

181

28

5QA

Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT

329

23

5C1

Enfield PCT

208

39

5KF

Gateshead PCT

162

42

5QH

Gloucestershire PCT

101

9

5PR

Great Yarmouth and Waveney PCT

79

18

5A8

Greenwich Teaching PCT

303

66

5NM

Halton and St. Helens PCT

201

33

5H1

Hammersmith and Fulham PCT

75

22

5QC

Hampshire PCT

1,740

71

5C9

Haringey Teaching PCT

210

44

5K6

Harrow PCT

277

70

5D9

Hartlepool PCT

133

73

5P8

Hastings and Rother PCT

155

45

5A4

Havering PCT

301

64

5MX

Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT

267

47

5CN

Herefordshire PCT

149

43

5NQ

Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale PCT

105

26

5AT

Hillingdon PCT

394

82

SHY

Hounslow PCT

295

67

5NX

Hull PCT

187

34

5QT

Isle of Wight NHS PCT

192

70

5K8

Islington PCT

135

36

5LA

Kensington and Chelsea PCT

205

54

5A5

Kingston PCT

74

22

5N2

Kirklees PCT

246

32

5J4

Knowsley PCT

118

39

5LD

Lambeth PCT

249

43

5N1

Leeds PCT

677

45

5PC

Leicester City PCT

163

27

5PA

Leicestershire County and Rutland PCT

352

28

5LF

Lewisham PCT

249

49

5N9

Lincolnshire PCT

77

6

5NL

Liverpool PCT

285

32

5GC

Luton PCT

245

67

5NT

Manchester PCT

543

57

5L3

MedwayPCT

177

33

5PX

Mid Essex PCT

98

14

5KM

Middlesbrough PCT

159

55

5CQ

Milton Keynes PCT

61

13

5D7

Newcastle PCT

125

24

5C5

Newham PCT

215

42

5PQ

Norfolk PCT

301

21

5PW

North East Essex PCT

83

13

TAN

North East Lincolnshire Care Trust

123

37

5NF

North Lancashire PCT

200

31

5EF

North Lincolnshire PCT

103

33

5M8

North Somerset PCT

70

18

5PH

North Staffordshire PCT

133

33

5E1

North Tees PCT

167

45

5D8

North Tyneside PCT

160

39

5NV

North Yorkshire and York PCT

232

15

5PD

Northamptonshire PCT

391

30

TAC

Northumberland Care Trust

216

35

5EM

Nottingham City PCT

144

24

5N8

Nottinghamshire County PCT

353

28

5J5

Oldham PCT

219

49

5QE

Oxfordshire PCT

364

30

5PN

Peterborough PCT

71

24

5F1

Plymouth Teaching PCT

434

88

5FE

Portsmouth City Teaching PCT

209

53

5NA

Redbridge PCT

181

38

5QR

Redcar and Cleveland PCT

65

24

5M6

Richmond and Twickenham PCT

104

30

5H8

Rotherham PCT

122

25

5F5

Salford PCT

250

56

5PF

Sandwell PCT

80

13

5NJ

Sefton PCT

161

30

5N4

Sheffield PCT

299

28

5M2

Shropshire County PCT

280

49

TAM

Solihull Care Trust

136

33

5QL

Somerset PCT

214

21

5M1

South Birmingham PCT

104

15

5P1

South East Essex PCT

65

10

5A3

South Gloucestershire PCT

32

7

5PK

South Staffordshire PCT

310

27

5KG

South Tyneside PCT

117

39

5PY

South West Essex PCT

62

8

5L1

Southampton City PCT

238

49

5LE

Southwark PCT

161

32

5F7

Stockport PCT

161

29

5PJ

Stoke on Trent PCT

148

29

5PT

Suffolk PCT

152

13

5KL

Sunderland Teaching PCT

304

55

5P5

Surrey PCT

548

26

5M7

Sutton and Merton PCT

194

26

5K3

Swindon PCT

79

21

5LH

Tameside and Glossop PCT

191

42

5MK

Telford and Wrekin PCT

214

66

TAL

Torbay Care Trust

682

247

5C4

Tower Hamlets PCT

195

46

5NR

Trafford PCT

60

14

5N3

Wakefield District PCT

173

26

5M3

Walsall Teaching PCT

534

107

5NC

Waltham Forest PCT

124

27

5LG

Wandsworth PCT

60

11

5J2

Warrington PCT

108

28

5PM

Warwickshire PCT

497

49

5PV

West Essex PCT

75

14

5P4

West Hertfordshire PCT

307

29

5P9

West Kent PCT

300

23

5P6

West Sussex PCT

1,151

75

5NN

Western Cheshire PCT

131

27

5LC

Westminster PCT

186

40

5QK

Wiltshire PCT

325

38

5NK

Wirral PCT

112

18

5MV

Wolverhampton City PCT

227

48

5PL

Worcestershire PCT

235

22

Source:

Department of Health form: Local delivery plan return Commissioner; general practitioner membership populations—attribution data set 2007 reconciled to Office for National Statistics mid 2006 estimates for local authorities (minus special populations), and the Information Centre for Health and Social Care.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to page 148 of his Department's annual report 2008, what percentage of the (a) primary care trust allocations and (b) NHS Trust and FT capital budgets have already been allocated; (209138)

(2) pursuant to the answer of 15 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1672-3W, on departmental public expenditure, what capital plans his Department has agreed for 2008-09; how much was allocated for each in 2008-09; and what the indicative allocations are for (a) 2009-10 and (b) 2010-11 for each;

(3) how much has been set aside in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11 to cover the costs of the arrangements to fund the local investment plans of (i) primary care trusts, (ii) foundation trusts and (iii) NHS trusts.

The amounts allowed on page 148 of Departmental Report 2008 for primary care trusts (PCTs) and strategic health authorities (SHAs) capital expenditure and that of national health service trusts and foundation trusts (FTs) are £0.8 billion and £2.7 billion respectively.

As explained in my answer of 15 May 2008, PCTs and NHS trusts are no longer subject to the formulaic capital allocations of recent years. Under the new capital regimes established for them, capital for investment by PCTs and NHS trusts is allocated in response to plans that they submit at the start of the year, as part of their annual planning process.

The process for 2008-09 is not yet complete, as had been anticipated in the answer of 15 May 2008. It is however well advanced, with individual NHS trusts, and PCTs, plans having been checked for accuracy by SHAs and with the position across most SHA patches validated by the Department. The SHAs and Departmental officials are now broadly satisfied with the majority of the plans and should be able to approve them in the next few weeks.

As capital plans have not yet been approved, none of the capital funding identified for expenditure by PCTs or NHS Trusts in 2008-09 has so far been formally allocated. For the NHS trusts and FTs, however, approaching £1.8 billion of the cash that is spent on capital investment is provided through the cash-funding of depreciation in their revenue income. NHS trusts have had confirmation that they may invest this capital funding, which equates to about 65 per cent. of the £2.7 billion that is stated on page 148 of the Departmental Report 2008 as being available to fund capital investment by NHS trusts and FTs.

FTs are not subject to capital allocations or required to submit financial plans to the Department in the same way as PCTs and NHS trusts. Under their capital regime, the majority of their investment is funded with cash retained from their operations and any property disposals, and through borrowing from the departmentally operated FT financing facility.

Included in the £0.8 billion identified in the Departmental Report 2008 for SHAs and PCTs was a total of £0.497 billion for expenditure on PCTs, own local investment plans in 2008-09, of which £0.097 million was expected to be released through the PCTs’ own property disposals. The remaining £0.4 billion of capital resources that was to be provided by the Department had already been notified to PCTs in ‘The Operating Framework For the NHS in England 2008-09’, which was published in December 2007. This document also advised that the Department would contribute £0.48 billion towards PCTs’ local investment plans in 2009-10 and £0.565 billion in 2010-11. The £0.48 billion and £0.565 billion do not include any anticipated contribution from PCTs' property disposals. Copies of this document are available in the Library

The £2.7 billion identified in the Departmental Report 2008 for NHS trusts and FTs capital expenditure included £2.165 billion for expenditure on trusts' local capital investment plans, of which £0.159 billion was expected to be released through the trusts' own property disposals. There is no fixed split of the £2.165 billion into a budget for NHS trusts and FTs. This is because the expenditure of each of these sectors will depend on the number of trusts that achieve foundation status in the year.

The allowances for the local capital investment priorities of PCTs and NHS trusts in 2008-09 may be adjusted as part of the process referred to above of validating and signing off the plans of local NHS Trusts and PCTs.

Capital budgets to cover the local investment plans of NHS trusts and FTs in 2009-10 and 2010-11 and indicative capital allocations for NHS trusts and PCTs for those years have not yet been agreed or announced.

Diabetes: Nurses

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many specialist diabetes nurses were employed in the NHS in each of the last five years. (212077)

The information is not collected centrally.

The annual national health service workforce census does not separately identify the nurses.

The Government have supported the development of a range of specialist roles within nursing. It is for local NHS organisations to invest in training for specialist skills and to deploy specialist nurses in accordance with their local needs.

Doctors: Working Hours

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of doctors (a) working in the NHS and (b) required by the NHS to meet requirements under the Working Time Directive in each of the next five years, broken down by (i) specialism and (b) grade. (212204)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 13 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1541-42W.

General Practitioners

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether it is his policy that primary care trusts may expand existing doctors' practices in under-doctored areas by employing more general practitioners rather than creating a new practice in circumstances where the primary care trust considers that this would be the most effective means by which to increase access to general practitioners. (212951)

The additional funding provided to primary care trusts (PCTs) in poorly served areas is to secure additional new primary care capacity through an open and fair transparent procurement process. This does not preclude existing general practitioner practices putting forward tenders to expand existing services and capacity that meet their local PCTs service specifications.

NHS: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many applications for income-assessed NHS student bursaries were received in each of the last five years; how many applicants were successful; and how much was paid in such bursaries; (212849)

(2) how many applications were received for non-income assessed NHS student bursaries in each of the last five years; how many applicants were successful; and how much was paid in such bursaries.

The number of students for whom the NHS Student Bursaries Unit received and assessed an NHS bursary application form, the number of NHS bursary holders in training and the amount of NHS bursary paid for both income assessed bursaries and non-income assessed bursaries in each of the last five years is shown in the following table.

Academic year

Number of students for whom a NHS bursary award assessed

Number of NHS bursary holders in training

Amount of NHS bursary paid (£)

Income-assessed bursaries

2002-03

27,176

26,594

67,945,615

2003-04

31,044

30,293

79,974,536

2004-05

34,083

33,339

94,014,031

2005-06

37,197

36,272

113,840,537

2006-07

39,657

38,600

126,273,938

Non-income-assessed bursaries

2002-03

53,103

52,364

279,084,394

2003-04

54,999

54,175

293,778,507

2004-05

55,669

55,239

318,773,305

2005-06

56,001

55,322

334,132,328

2006-07

54,748

53,974

334,731,614

Notes:

Number of students for whom a NHS Bursary award assessed is shown rather than number of applications because:

1. Non-income-assessed award holders do not need to make an application for any other academic year other than the first academic year for their basic bursary entitlement, if the data showed the number of applications received, the number would be approximately one-third of the number of awards assessed which would inflate the figures when comparing with total amount of NHS bursary paid.

2. If an application is received and returned for more information, NHS Student Bursaries do not hold the data on the number received and returned.

3. If an application is received, and rejected on residency eligibility grounds, NHS Student Bursaries receive the application, but do not assess their entitlement as they are rejected before that assessment is made.

4. If an application is received, but NHS Student Bursaries need more information to determine if they are eligible on residency grounds, they have received that application, but do not assess their entitlement information until the student provides the additional information.

Source:

National Health Service Business Services Authority Student Bursaries Unit

NHS: Working Hours

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has for the completion of the NHS National Workforce Projects pilots in relation to the European Working Time Directive. (212203)

NHS National Workforce Projects have been commissioned by the Department to support national health service trusts with implementation of the European Working Time Directive for doctors in training and to ensure that learning from the pilots is supported and embedded into the NHS.

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what meetings he has had with the South Central Strategic Health Authority to discuss the future of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre; and if he will make a statement. (212644)

The decision about the future of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust is a matter for the local national health service.

More generally, the Department monitors and manages delivery of its key performance indicators for the NHS through strategic health authorities (SHAs), focusing on the priorities as laid out in the Operating Framework—The NHS in England: The Operating Framework for 2008-09, copies of this publication are available in the Library. Officials from the Department liaise regularly with South Central SHA to review performance against priorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of the current level of the national tariff on the finances of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. (212645)

An impact analysis was undertaken prior to the publication of the national tariff for 2008-09. This analysis compared income under the 2008-09 tariff to income under the 2007-08 tariff based on 2005-06 activity levels. This indicated that the changes to the tariff in 2008-09 would be financially beneficial to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust.

Social Services: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to launch the social care skills academy. (212205)

The intention is for the social care skills academy to be operational from March 2009. The process of developing the social care skills academy is being led by social care employers, facilitated and supported by the Department. An expression of interest in becoming a National Skills Academy will be submitted to the Learning and Skills Council by 15 July 2008.

Strokes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) males and (b) females of each age group diagnosed with a transient ischaemic attack in each health authority area in each of the last five years. (210522)

This information has been placed in the Library.

It should be noted that these figures are based on hospital episode statistics. Some cases of transient ischaemic attack will not be admitted into hospital and will not be counted.

Strokes: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government are taking to encourage improvements in support for people with communication disabilities following a stroke. (212304)

The new National Stroke Strategy, published in December 2007, sets out 20 quality markers for the provision of high quality treatment and care for adult stroke survivors. Seven of those quality markers link directly to the kind of support and services which those who have had a stroke and their carers need in the community. These include support with communication disabilities and other high quality rehabilitation, information, advice, practical and peer support throughout the care pathway, in line with individual need. Copies of this publication are available in the Library.

In addition to the funding that has gone to primary care trusts, £105 million of central funding over three years will support implementation. This includes £45 million to local authorities (LAs) to help them develop or accelerate their existing provision of long-term support to those who live with the effects of a stroke. We expect that LAs will work with their NHS partners in this. The strategy recognises that some people who have had a stroke, including those with aphasia and other communication difficulties, will have specific support needs. We expect that LAs will use some of the new funding we have made available to meet these needs in line with local needs and priorities.

Strokes: Speech Impaired

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to increase access to communication support services for people who have suffered strokes in (a) England and (b) Gloucestershire; and if he will make a statement; (212634)

(2) what NHS funding is available to help people recover from the loss of communication skills following strokes in (a) England and (b) Gloucestershire in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

Information is not collected centrally for national health service funding that is available to help people recover from the loss of communication skills by people who have suffered strokes in England and Gloucestershire in each of the last five years.

The new ‘National Stroke Strategy’, published in December 2007, sets out 20 quality markers for the provision of high quality treatment and care for adult stroke survivors. Of those quality markers, seven link directly to the kind of support and services which those who have had a stroke and their carers need in the community. These include support with communication disabilities and other high quality rehabilitation, information, advice, practical and peer support throughout the care pathway, in line with individual need. Copies of the strategy are available in the Library.

In addition to the funding that has gone to primary care trusts, £105 million of central funding over three years will support implementation. This includes £45 million to local authorities (LAs) to help them develop or accelerate their existing provision of long-term support to those who live with the effects of a stroke. We expect that local authorities will work with their NHS partners in this. The strategy recognises that some people who have had a stroke, including those with aphasia and other communication difficulties, will have specific support needs. We expect that LAs will use some the new funding we have made available to meet these needs in line with local needs and priorities.

Wheelchairs

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 2401W, on wheelchairs, what progress has been made on publishing the outline model for wheelchair services as part of the transforming community equipment and wheelchair services programme. (212080)

The data analysis process has now been completed and the detailed business case is currently under consideration. The Transforming Community Equipment and Wheelchair Services Programme is working closely with senior executives in the national health service to agree the most appropriate way forward.

Communities and Local Government

Eco-Towns

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) if her Department will advise on the (a) permeability and (b) resilience to floods of materials used for homes in the new eco-towns; and if she will ensure that such materials are used in constructing such houses; (209440)

(2) what criteria homes in new eco-towns must meet in respect of the adaptation criteria for the Government’s climate change objectives.

As we have set out in “Eco-towns—Living a greener future”, eco-towns should show that they are sustainable under present climatic conditions, but are also resilient to future climate change. This will mean taking account of predicted changes in rainfall and increased temperature in building design and construction, not just for homes but all buildings, including schools, shops and offices. The precise features of climate change adaptation that are required will vary from place to place, but we will make sure that the process of locating and designing eco-towns respects the local circumstances, rather than setting a one-size-fits-all blueprint for what a future eco-town should look like.

There is also a strong expectation for eco-towns to have all their built-up parts, including housing fully within Flood Zone 1 (the lowest risk). A water cycle study should be completed for the eco-town and related areas, and this includes an assessment of flood risk and surface water drainage.

Homelessness

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people have been registered as homeless in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England in each year since 1997. (210970)

Information about English local authorities’ actions under the homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level. Constituency level information is not held centrally. The parliamentary constituency of Jarrow falls into two local authorities: South Tyneside and Gateshead.

Information collected includes the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.

Since 1998, information has also been collected on the number of people who sleep rough—that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night.

Summary tables showing the total number of households (a) accepted as owed a main homelessness duty and (b) in temporary accommodation, from 1997-98 to 2007-08, (c) rough sleeper estimates from 1998 to 2007, for each local authority, including South Tyneside and Gateshead, and (d) rough sleeper estimates by Government Office region are provided with this answer and have been placed in the Library.

Extracts from the table, showing data for South Tyneside and Gateshead, are provided as shown.

National and regional data on acceptances and temporary accommodation is published in our quarterly statistical release on Statutory Homelessness. This is published on our website and placed in the Library each quarter. The latest release was published on 12 June 2008, and provides national and regional acceptance figures in table 3, and temporary accommodation figures in table 7, both back to 1997:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/840324.xls

Rough sleeping figures are also published on our website, back to 1997:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/152200.xls

Table A: Number of households accepted1 as owed a main homelessness duty during the year, 1997-98 to 2007-08

Local authority

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Gateshead

293

413

431

476

648

626

South Tyneside

150

202

225

321

379

595

573

286

294

213

Table B: Number of households in temporary accommodation1, March 1998 to March 2008

Local authority

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

Gateshead

7

13

14

7

10

271

24

16

18

36

South Tyneside

56

61

48

5

6

13

51

26

18

22

11

Table C: Number of rough sleepers (persons), 1998-2007 (mid-year estimates1)

Local authority

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Gateshead

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

South Tyneside

1

3

1

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people aged (a) under 18 and (b) over 60 years old were homeless in each of the last 10 years. (212353)

Information about local authorities' actions under homelessness legislation is collected in respect of households rather than persons. The number of households accepted by local authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty, is not collected by specific ages, but since June 2006, data has been provided by the age band into which the applicant falls. These age bands include 16 to 24-year-olds, and 60 to 64-year-olds, 65 to 74-year-olds, and 75-year-olds and over. Data is provided in our Statistical Release on Statutory Homelessness, which is published on our website and placed in the Library each quarter:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/housing/housingresearch/housingstatistics/housingstatisticsby/homelessnessstatistics/publicationshomelessness/

The latest release was published on 12 June 2008 and contains data from June 2006 up to March 2008. Table 10(b) of the release contains details of acceptances by age band:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/840324.xls

Local Authorities: Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities (a) have planned and (b) are implementing decentralised energy networks. (212859)

The Department is aware of some local authorities which have taken steps, or are taking steps, to develop decentralised energy networks, for example Woking, and Southampton. The Department, however, does not hold information on this subject which is comprehensive across all local authorities.

Planning

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for what reasons her Department plans to abolish the needs test in the new edition of Planning Policy Statement 6. (212655)

As set out in the Planning White Paper: “Planning for a Sustainable Future” in May 2007, the need test has proved to be a blunt instrument and can have the unintended effect of restricting competition and consumer choice. For example, a proposal on the edge of a town centre that would support the centre and bring wider benefits can be refused because the identified need is being met by an existing or proposed out of centre development.

The Government are reviewing the current approach in “Planning Policy Statement 6: Planning for Town Centres” (PPS6) to assessing the impact of proposals outside town centres and will replace the need and impact tests with a new test which has a strong focus on our town centre first policy, and which promotes competition and improves consumer choice. We intend to publish a consultation paper on proposed revisions to PPS6 later this summer.

Planning: Thames Gateway

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the timetable is for the publication of the 2008-09 Thames Gateway Implementation Plan. (212787)

An exercise was undertaken with all the accountable bodies, local delivery partners in the Gateway and other Government Departments between February and May this year to understand their plans for implementing the Thames Gateway Delivery Plan published in November 2007. This has resulted in a clear set of agreed detailed baselines that provide the basis for more robust performance management of delivery and financial spend in the Thames Gateway. There are no plans to create or publish an overarching implementation plan or document.

Social Rented Housing: Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projection she has made of the likely future change in numbers of available social housing units in (a) Chorley, (b) South Ribble, (c) Bolton and (d) Preston. (212324)

Social housing is funded by the Housing Corporation which in autumn 2007 published the National Affordable Housing Programme (NAHP) 2008-11 Prospectus, which outlines priorities for funding over the three-year period.

40 per cent. of the initial North West allocation of the 2008-11 NAHP has already been committed, with a total of £8.55 million allocated to 19 accepted schemes in the local authorities areas identified. In contrast to previous programmes, the Housing Corporation has decided not to allocate all the available resources at the first bidding round. Additional allocations are timetabled to be made quarterly, from April 2008 to October 2010 (or when resources are fully committed), to enable housing associations to be more responsive to land acquisition and development opportunities.

The following table provides a breakdown of funding by local authority and Housing Corporation social housing type.

Sponsor LA Name

Type

Total grant requested (£)

Number of units

Bolton

LCHO

1,623,000

62

Bolton

RENT

2,316,196

44

Chorley

LCHO

600,000

30

Chorley

RENT

2,217,222

48

Preston

LCHO

150,000

5

Preston

RENT

1,650,000

15

South Ribble

0

0

Total

8,556,418

204

Notes:

LCHO - Low Cost Home Ownership

RENT - Socially Rented

Travelling People: Caravan Sites

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations her Department has received on the law in relation to gypsy caravan sites; and if she will establish a review of the operation of the relevant legislation. (212253)

The Department receives a variety of correspondence in relation to Gypsy and Traveller policy. In December 2007, the independent Task Group on Site Provision and Enforcement for Gypsies and Travellers published its final report. It concluded that the Government's policy of firm but fair enforcement with proactive measures to increase site provision was the right approach. The Government published its response to the Task Group's report in April 2008. There are no plans to establish a review of the relevant Act(s).

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what restrictions exist on building traveller sites on sites of special scientific interest. (212654)

Circular 1/06, “Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites”, makes it clear that, in areas with nationally recognised designations such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest, as with any other form of development, planning permission for Gypsy and Traveller sites should only be granted where it can be demonstrated that the objectives of the designation will not be compromised by the development.

Prime Minister

10 Downing Street: Planning Permission

To ask the Prime Minister whether any (a) planning applications and (b) licensing applications have been submitted in relation to the Downing street complex in the last 24 months. (210892)

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Phil Hope) on 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1186W.

Economic and Monetary Union