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Written Statements

Volume 698: debated on Monday 4 February 2008

Written Statements

Monday 4 February 2008

Border and Immigration Agency: IPCC Oversight

My honourable friend the Minister of State for Borders and Immigration and Minister for the West Midlands (Mr Liam Byrne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government are soon to introduce a single border force to deliver stronger policing of ports and airports. Along with these changes we will be equipping agency staff with a wide array of police powers, such as those set out in the UK Borders Act. These include powers of detention at ports, powers to arrest a person who has committed or is about to commit an offence of assaulting an immigration officer, and powers to enter and search premises for evidence of an arrested individual's nationality.

Before these powers are introduced it is important that effective oversight arrangements are in place. On 26 July 2007, therefore, I announced the publication of a consultation document on matters related to the implementation of measures in the Police and Justice Act 2006 to extend the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s jurisdiction to cover the Border and Immigration Agency’s enforcement functions. I wish to inform the House that I am publishing today an analysis of responses; a government policy statement setting out the Government’s consideration of issues raised by respondents; and regulations, subject to negative resolution, which will extend the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s jurisdiction in this regard. Copies of these regulations and documents have been placed in the House Library.

The IPCC will provide independent oversight of the most serious complaints, incidents and misconduct matters where police powers are used by immigration officers and officials. This oversight will be similar to that which the IPCC provides for the police and other law enforcement bodies such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

The new chief inspector created by the UK Borders Act 2007 will monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s processes and practices as a whole. The IPCC will look at individual cases. The chief inspector will work closely with the IPCC to ensure comprehensive independent external scrutiny of our activities. The IPCC already oversees the work of HM Revenue and Customs colleagues, a number of whom will be joining the UK Border Agency.

I welcome this new oversight and would like to inform the House that similar oversight provisions are currently being developed for Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Civil Justice Council

My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing an independent review of the Civil Justice Council in line with Cabinet Office Guidance for Public Bodies. The Civil Justice Council was established in 1998 and has never been reviewed formally. The review is a timely opportunity to illustrate publicly the considerable achievements of the council and to help it develop further. The review will be conducted by Dr Jonathan Spencer CB and will seek the views of the members, those who work with the council and the end users of the civil justice system.

The review will examine in particular:

the council’s strengths and weaknesses, the extent to which it has established itself as an authoritative influence in the civil justice world, the extent to which it has chosen important issues to address; and its success in doing so;

the effectiveness of its chosen ways of working, including the council itself, its committees and the secretariat, and including the way in which it works and communicates with other organisations; and

the ways in which the council and its work should be adjusted, if at all, to maximise its effectiveness in the future.

The review is due to be complete in spring 2008.

Communities: Commission on Integration and Cohesion

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government (Hazel Blears) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today I am publishing the Government’s response to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion. Copies of the response have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

In August 2006 the Government asked Darra Singh, the chief executive of Ealing Council, to chair a commission examining the issues of integration and cohesion—how, in the light of concerns about communities living “parallel lives”, of changing patterns of migration, and of new technologies transforming the way people interact with each other, the Government can help build strong communities where neighbours feel at ease, share a sense of belonging, and have the opportunity to work together to shape the future of the place where they live.

In June 2007, the commission delivered a serious and ambitious report based on in-depth consultation. It set out practical proposals for building cohesion and integration at a local level and contained a number of specific recommendations for government.

The report has already influenced a range of policies, changing the debate about how best to bring people of different backgrounds together and empower them to influence the decisions which affect their lives.

Today, I am pleased to set out in detail my response to all 57 of the commission’s recommendations—what we have already done, what we will do in the future and how we will further develop the commission's ideas.

It sets out a new clarity on, and commitment to, delivering cohesive and integrated communities, backed by increased investment in cohesion of some £50 million over the next three years, and a new public service agreement to drive practical action across government.

At the heart of the Government’s approach, like the commission’s, is the principle that cohesion can only be understood and built locally. Central government’s role is to set the national framework within which local authorities and their partners can deliver improvements to cohesion.

Our response sets out how we will support this local delivery through six key principles:

1. a move away from a “one size fits all” approach;

2. mainstreaming of cohesion into wider policy areas;

3. a national framework for local support and guidance, including establishing specialist cohesion teams to provide support to local authorities facing cohesion challenges and giving local authorities a tool to assess the impact their planned activities will have on cohesion;

4. integration of new migrants and existing communities, starting with new guidance for local authorities on developing information packs for migrants;

5. building positive relationships; to this end we are today also publishing a consultation on guidance for funders, which encourages local authorities to consider how funding can be better used to support greater interaction; and

6. sharing lessons about what works.

I am grateful to Darra Singh and his commissioners for their hard work. With this response the Government are demonstrating their commitment to maintaining the momentum the report has created and helping build stronger communities where all individuals, no matter what their background, feel a sense of shared belonging, and can work with their neighbours to shape a better future for the place where they live.

Education: 14 to 19 Diplomas

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Mr Ed Balls) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The first five new diplomas will be available from September 2008 and will be in construction and the built environment; creative and media; engineering; information technology; and society, health and development. We announced last March that over 800 schools and over 150 colleges would be in the first consortia offering 14 to 19 diplomas from September 2008.

A breakdown of consortia offering the first five lines by region and local authority is shown in Table 1. The forecast first-year diploma funding for each region in 2008-09 is set out in Table 2, subject to final pupil numbers for each region.

The next five diplomas will be available from September 2009 and will be in manufacturing and product design; business, administration and finance; land-based and environmental studies; hair and beauty; and hospitality. We can now announce that two-thirds of all secondary schools and three-quarters of colleges in England have applied to offer these five new diplomas, plus the first five diplomas, as part of consortia from September 2009.

These figures show that diplomas are proving a popular choice for schools and colleges. Diplomas will offer learners a new route into further and higher education as well as into skilled work. In December, the independent organisation UCAS announced that the points value of the advanced diploma will be the same as that awarded for three and a half A-levels.

Table 1

GO

Local Authority

No. of Consortia in LA

No. of Schools in Consortium in LA

No. of Colleges in Consortium in LA

EE

Cambridgeshire

1

7

2

EE

Hertfordshire

3

28

3

EE

Luton

1

6

1

EE

Norfolk

2

9

1

EE

Southend-on-Sea

1

5

1

EE

Suffolk

1

4

1

EM

Derby

1

2

1

EM

Nottingham

1

11

4

EM

Derbyshire

1

4

0

EM

Leicestershire

2

10

2

EM

Lincolnshire

6

25

5

EM

Northamptonshire

3

9

3

EM

Nottinghamshire

4

30

5

EM

Rutland

1

2

2

L

Barking and Dagenham

1

8

1

L

Bromley

1

5

1

L

Croydon

1

4

2

L

Ealing

1

17

2

L

Hackney

3

6

5

L

Hammersmith and Fulham

1

3

0

L

Haringey

1

3

0

L

Harrow

1

4

1

L

Hillingdon

1

8

1

L

Hounslow

1

3

0

L

Islington

1

8

1

L

Lambeth

1

7

2

L

Lewisham

1

6

2

L

Newham

1

15

2

L

Southwark

1

6

2

L

Tower Hamlets

1

6

1

L

Waltham Forest

1

18

3

L

Wandsworth

1

3

1

NE

Durham

1

1

1

NE

Gateshead

1

1

1

NE

Hartlepool

1

2

1

NE

Middlesbrough

1

4

1

NE

Newcastle Upon Tyne

1

6

1

NE

North Tyneside

1

11

1

NE

Sunderland

1

18

1

NW

Blackburn with Darwen

1

1

1

NW

Bolton

1

11

2

NW

Bury

1

7

1

NW

Cheshire

3

16

2

NW

Cumbria

1

9

2

NW

Halton

1

6

1

NW

Knowsley

1

7

1

NW

Lancashire

4

21

5

NW

Liverpool

1

8

1

NW

Manchester

1

11

2

NW

Oldham

1

5

1

NW

Rochdale

1

3

1

NW

Salford

1

10

3

NW

Sefton

1

3

1

NW

St Helens

1

3

2

NW

Tameside

1

5

1

NW

Trafford

1

3

0

NW

Warrington

1

4

2

SE

Brighton & Hove

1

10

2

SE

Buckinghamshire

2

2

1

SE

East Sussex

5

5

1

SE

Hampshire

3

24

4

SE

Kent

4

13

3

SE

Medway

1

11

2

SE

Milton Keynes

1

3

1

SE

Oxfordshire

2

6

1

SE

Reading

1

6

0

SE

Surrey

5

19

5

SE

West Sussex

2

3

2

SW

Plymouth

1

9

1

SW

Cornwall

1

8

2

SW

Dorset

3

13

5

SW

Gloucestershire

1

2

1

SW

North Somerset

1

14

1

SW

Somerset

1

4

1

SW

South Gloucestershire

1

6

1

SW

Swindon

1

8

1

SW

Torbay

1

2

1

SW

Wiltshire

1

3

1

WM

Birmingham

4

21

6

WM

Coventry

2

6

1

WM

Dudley

1

3

1

WM

Shropshire

1

2

1

WM

Solihull

1

6

2

WM

Staffordshire

3

10

1

WM

Stoke-on-Trent

1

7

1

WM

Walsall

1

2

1

WM

Wolverhampton

1

13

1

WM

Worcestershire

2

16

1

Y&H

Barnsley

1

8

2

Y&H

Bradford

1

7

1

Y&H

Calderdale

1

10

1

Y&H

Kingston upon Hull

1

15

3

Y&H

York

1

6

1

Y&H

Kirklees

1

27

4

Y&H

Leeds

2

15

2

Y&H

North East Lincolnshire

1

2

0

Y&H

North Yorkshire

1

4

0

Y&H

Rotherham

1

6

1

Y&H

Sheffield

1

17

2

Y&H

Wakefield

1

1

0

Table 2

Local Authority

No. of Consortia in Government Office Region

No. of Schools in Consortium in Government Office Region

No. of Colleges in Consortium in Government Office Region

Key Stage 4 funding for Diplomas in Government Office Region

East of England

9

59

9

£2.3 million

East Midlands

19

93

22

£2.6 million

London

20

130

27

£5.2 million

North East

7

43

7

£1.4 million

North West

23

133

29

£4.3 million

South East

27

102

22

£3.5 million

South West

12

61

13

£3.3 million

West Midlands

17

86

16

£2.1 million

Yorkshire and The Humber

13

118

17

£1.8 million

NB. Figures shown above are based upon early estimates of student take-up of diplomas. When take-up numbers have been confirmed the funding may change accordingly.

EU: General Affairs and External Relations Council

My honourable friend the Minister for Europe (Mr Jim Murphy) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary (Mr David Miliband) and Kim Darroch (UK permanent representative to the EU) represented the UK at the General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) in Brussels.

The agenda items covered were as follows:

External Relations

Pakistan

The council discussed the situation in Pakistan ahead of elections on 18 February. Foreign Ministers underlined the importance of maintaining pressure on the Government of Pakistan to ensure free and fair elections, including through the deployment of an EU election observation mission to Pakistan. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary intervened to encourage further thought within the EU on what it could do to support Pakistan after the elections, including in the areas of institution building and economic development.

Middle East

The council discussed the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza and events on the Egyptian border. Foreign Ministers emphasised the EU’s commitment to helping Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Egypt find a solution to the current situation. The council highlighted the EU’s readiness to contribute to a peaceful solution, including through the resumption of the EU’s border monitoring mission at Rafah.

The council adopted conclusions encouraging the parties to honour their road map commitments, particularly on Israeli settlements and on Palestinian security, and welcoming the achievements of the Paris donors’ conference.

The council adopted conclusions on Lebanon condemning the recent terrorist attacks in Beirut and welcoming mediation efforts by the Arab League in resolving the political crisis.

Kenya

The council discussed the latest situation in Kenya following recent presidential elections. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary intervened to underline the seriousness of developments in Kenya and urge continued EU support for the African Union and Kofi Annan in their efforts to help Kenya’s political leaders reach agreement on resolving the crisis.

The council adopted conclusions condemning the violence, expressing concern about the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in Kenya and urging all parties to engage constructively in dialogue to find a sustainable political solution to the crisis.

Sudan/Darfur, Chad and the Central African Republic (CAR)

UN envoy to the Darfur political process Jan Eliasson briefed the council on the humanitarian and political situation in Darfur. He underlined that it was important the international community urged all parties to cease hostilities and engage in the peace process. In discussion, Foreign Ministers highlighted the need for continued EU pressure on the Government of Sudan to co-operate fully with the prompt deployment of an effective African Union-UN peacekeeping force to Darfur and to implement the comprehensive peace agreement as the basis for peace and development in Sudan.

The council adopted conclusions on Sudan welcoming the return of the parties to the comprehensive peace agreement to the Government of national unity. The council also highlighted the importance of humanitarian access to the people of Darfur, urging all parties in the conflict to cease hostilities, and to engage constructively with the peace process mediated by the UN and African Union envoys.

The council also underlined its concern at the deterioration of the security situation in neighbouring Chad and agreed to launch an EU military operation in Chad and the CAR, which will contribute towards an improved security situation in those countries by protecting displaced persons and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Iran

The high representative for the common foreign and security policy, Javier Solana, briefed the council on his recent contact with the Iranian authorities and on the decision by the E3+3 (Germany, France, UK, China, Russia and the US) to start consultations in New York on a further sanctions resolution given the lack of Iranian co-operation. The Government support discussion of a further resolution in New York, given the lack of progress and strengthening of the EU’s measures in support of action by the UN Security Council.

Western Balkans

Discussion of the western Balkans focused on Serbia. Foreign Ministers agreed to invite Serbia to sign a political agreement on co-operation with the EU and establish a task force to assist Serbia to meet the conditions which would enable it to make accelerated progress towards a stabilisation and association agreement. The Government support this political agreement, believing it sends a positive signal of the EU’s commitment to Serbia’s European future.

EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council

The Justice and Home Affairs Informal Council was held on 25 and 26 January 2008 in Ljubljana. My right honourable and noble friend the Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland), my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Maria Eagle), and my honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Meg Hillier), attended on behalf of the United Kingdom. Since it was an informal council, no formal decisions were taken. The following main issues were discussed:

The first home affairs session opened with a report from the presidency on the work of the Future Group on EU Home Affairs.   Those not on the group were invited to give their views.  All supported the work under way, stressing the need to prioritise data sharing, both within the EU and co-operation with third countries.  In relation to other subject areas, there were suggestions that work might look at the further harmonisation of rules to manage the Schengen area, tighter border controls, measures to bring terrorists to justice and the strengthening of action in the area of civil protection and disaster response. Several delegations also raised the need to ensure that the work of the Home Affairs Group and that of the Justice Future Group were linked more closely.  The new European Parliament’s civil liberties, justice and home affairs (LIBE) president, Gérard Deprez, gave a general introduction to the approach of LIBE, stressing its concern for privacy and individual rights.

The presidency concluded that interoperability of databases and the needs of law enforcement should drive future EU policy on data sharing, coupled with thorough data protection. On migration, an integrated approach to management was needed based on Frontex (the EU’s border agency), operating across land and sea borders. Links with external policy should be stronger, as should data sharing, and work with and in third countries.  In all these areas the EU should analyse what it already had, and then look at the next steps.  The presidency noted that a final report should be prepared under the incoming French presidency, with a view to contributing to the successor to the Hague JHA work programme.

The second session discussed practical co-operation in the field of asylum, with the presidency stressing the need for joint practical projects and asking for views on a European Support Office (ESO) which would oversee all forms of co-operation between member states on the common European asylum system. The UK welcomed practical co-operation based on an assessment of why people moved. The Commission said that its proposals on the second stage of the common European asylum system were due in July and work on an ESO should start with a feasibility study.  All member states agreed that practical co-operation should be strengthened, and that there was a need for more uniform country-of-origin information.  All member states also supported the ESO, but views differed as to its role and staffing.  The presidency concluded that work to unify the interpretation of existing instruments, common training, and shared interpretation pool should continue. There was wide support for an ESO, but further work was needed on its tasks and financing. The presidency looked forward to the Commission’s ESO study. The council would be invited to agree conclusions on this at a future session.

The home affairs session closed the official programme with a working lunch, during which Ministers considered the timetable for the implementation of the second generation of the Schengen information system (SIS II).  The Commission and presidency argued that member states had to set and commit to a real timetable for SIS II. More time for testing was needed, but a formal decision had to be taken at the February JHA council. Ministers agreed with a presidency proposal to remodel the oversight of the SIS II project on similar grounds to that used for SISOne4All, setting up a ministerial-level steering group of various member states.

Ministers also had an exchange of views on the Commission's proposal on the use of the passenger name records (PNR) for law enforcement purposes. The Commission stressed the need to prevent terrorism, but protect the privacy and rights of honest travellers. At the presidency’s request, the Government presented the UK's experience of using PNR data, with concrete examples of their use, proportionality and success, with the conclusion that they should be used to detect all forms of crime.  While generally favouring the proposal, member states noted that it raised difficult technical and substantive issues, including concerns about data protection.  The presidency concluded that there was general support for the proposal, subject to further work on the scope and to ensure data protection. 

Over lunch on the second day, Justice Ministers discussed the report on the Justice Future Group. There was no clear conclusion on whether to merge the Home Affairs and Justice Future Groups, though the presidency encouraged Ministers to co-ordinate better with their home affairs colleagues.

After lunch, Justice Ministers discussed whether the e-justice portal should be opened to the public and if so how it should be co-ordinated and whether data should remain decentralised. My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Maria Eagle), said that the portal should be opened up, but that issues around data protection and charges for access, if any, had to be carefully considered in each pilot.

The next justice session focused on the presidency’s paper (co-sponsored by the UK) on trials in absentia. The paper was unanimously welcomed as a step forward for EU criminal procedural rights. My right honourable and noble friend the Attorney-General (Baroness Scotland) congratulated the presidency on its achievement. The presidency aims to conclude agreement by the end of June.

During their final session, Justice Ministers discussed matters of family law and, in particular, their views in relation to the proposed regulation on maintenance obligations and the proposed regulation on divorce, also known as Rome III. The UK has not opted in to either proposal. In response to a question from the presidency, a majority of Ministers agreed that the recently agreed text on the Hague convention and protocol on maintenance obligations should be signed and ratified as soon as possible, reflecting the UK's position. Further discussions took place on the desirability of eliminating obstacles to the recognition and enforcement of maintenance decisions from other member states. On Rome III, a consensus view emerged that spouses ought to be able to choose the competent jurisdiction and law applicable to their divorce.

Iraq and Afghanistan: Casualties

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Defence (Mr Des Browne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Following a review of published operational casualty data to align current and historical methods of statistical recording, the number of casualties categorised as seriously injured (SI) (excluding natural cause) on Operation Herrick for 2006 has increased by one from 12 to 13. The number of Operation Telic casualties categorised as SI (excluding natural cause) for 2006 has increased by two from 19 to 21. There have been no changes to the number of very seriously injured (VSI) casualties in either operation. These changes bring the total number of SI casualties (excluding natural cause) for Op Herrick to 57 and Op Telic to 144 up to 31 December 2007.

The statistics on casualty severity which are published on the MoD internet site exclude those individuals whose condition was recorded as due to a natural cause. In a very small number of cases, however, it is not possible to confirm whether individuals are suffering from injury or disease. When casualty reporting on the MoD internet site was first established in early 2006, cases where there was uncertainty over the cause were excluded from the published statistics. However, during an exercise last year to validate and publish retrospective data for the period 2001 to 2005 for the first time, it was decided that such cases, where there is uncertainty over the cause, should be included. This ensures that all those who have suffered an injury are reported. To ensure consistency of the statistical approach, we have now added such cases into the published statistics for January 2006 onwards.

These revised statistics supersede information previously released by the department into the public domain.

The revised data have now been published on the MoD website at

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInlraqBritish Casualties.htm and

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInAfghanistan BritishCasualties.htm.

Local Government

My honourable friend the Minister for Local Government (John Healey) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 7 January 2008, the department published a statement on its website about the local authority business growth incentives scheme (www.local. communities.gov.uk/finance/labgi/statemtyr3pay.pdf).

This indicated that, following further consideration of the new legal challenges that have been made against the current LABGI scheme and the inherent uncertainty this causes to the remaining LABGI pot, the Government intended to reconsider all aspects of the approach used to distribute resources available for year 3 of the LABGI scheme.

Alongside our reconsideration of the year 3 scheme, the Government have reconsidered the payments for years 1 and 2 of LABGI, which were made on the basis of a number of Valuation Office Agency rateable value “change codes”. We have taken the view that there are a number of Valuation Office Agency change codes that have not previously been used in LABGI calculations, which could contain elements of business growth. In light of this, and to avoid the additional delay and uncertainty caused by further legal challenge, the Government propose to reward authorities on the basis of a wider set of codes than has so far been the case for years 1 and 2. I will set out the details shortly.

The Government are still finalising their analysis of options for allocating the resources available for year 3 of the scheme. We continue to be convinced of the value of providing incentives to encourage business growth, a view echoed by the great majority of the responses to our recent issues paper on the reform of the LABGI scheme (Building Better Incentives for Local Economic Growth: Reforms to the Local Authority Business Growth Incentives Scheme). We also remain determined to try to achieve this policy aim for LABGI. However, the inclination of a small number of authorities to pursue legal action has created greater complexity, uncertainty and delay. Given this, it will be necessary to retain a portion of the year 3 funding as a contingency in this final year of the current scheme. I will make an announcement on year 3 methodology and the size of the contingency retained as soon as possible.

NHS: Foundation Trusts

My honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Ben Bradshaw), made the following Written Ministerial Statement on 1 February.

The chairman of Monitor (the statutory name of which is the Independent Regulator of NHS Foundation Trusts) announced this week that, in accordance with Section 35 of the National Health Service Act 2006, Monitor has decided to authorise the following NHS acute and mental health trusts as NHS foundation trusts from 1 February:

Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust;

Norfolk and Waveney Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust;

Bolton, Salford and Trafford Mental Health NHS Trust;

Tameside and Glossop NHS Trust; and

Birmingham Women’s Health Care NHS Trust.

Monitor’s announcement brings the total number of NHS foundation trusts to 88. A copy of Monitor’s press notice has been placed in the Library.

The Government remain committed to offering all NHS acute and mental health trusts the opportunity to apply for foundation status as soon as practicable. Monitor is now authorising trusts on a monthly basis, and further waves of NHS foundation trusts are set to follow.

Supporting People

My right honourable friend the Minister for Housing and Planning (Caroline Flint) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government are today confirming final programme grant allocations to administering authorities for the Supporting People programme in 2008-09. The programme funds housing-related support services for over 1 million vulnerable people—including victims of domestic violence, teenage parents, older people and those with mental health problems—enabling them to live independently in their accommodation. The Government have invested £8.7 billion since the Supporting People programme began in 2003 and announced a further £4.9 billion of funding for the next three years.

Final allocations for 2009-10 and 2010-11 will be confirmed by a further Statement to this House closer to the beginning of those financial years. In line with the Government's policy on three-year settlements, it is not intended that the 2009-10 and 2010-11 indicative allocations will be changed from those published on 6 December, other than in exceptional circumstances.

The refreshed consultation on the Supporting People distribution formula closed in January 2008. Following consideration of the responses, we are today confirming final allocations for 2008-09 and publishing our response to that consultation on the department’s website.

This three-year settlement, alongside a radically slimmed-down performance framework, will provide authorities with stability for the future and greater flexibility to budget and plan realistic delivery of housing support services.

A table of Supporting People final programme grant allocations for 2008-09 and a copy of the consultation response have today been placed in the Library of the House. The consultation response will be available on Communities and Local Government’s website at: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/housing/distributionformularesponses.