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Anti-drugs Policy

Mr. Cox: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what discussions he has had with the directors of London education authorities on developing the Government's anti-drugs policy in schools within their authority areas. [121121]

Jacqui Smith: The main vehicle for anti-drugs education is the Personal, Social and Health Education Framework which was issued in November 1999. This was developed after extensive national consultation, and the views of Local Education Authorities were taken on board as part of that process.

Jobcentre, Chelmsford

Mr. Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many vacancies were notified to the Chelmsford jobcentre in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available. [120347]

Ms Jowell: The number of vacancies notified to the Chelmsford Jobcentre during the months April 1999 to March 2000 were as follows.

Number
1999
April627
May718
June636
July711
August897
September608
October1,104
November559
December545
2000
January322
February529
March563

Jobseeker's Agreement

Mr. Opik: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what procedure is followed in cases where a jobseeker and an employment office cannot reach agreement on the details of a jobseeker's agreement; and if he will make a statement. [120081]

8 May 2000 : Column: 295W

Ms Jowell: Responsibility for the subject of the question has been delegated to the Employment Service agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.

Letter from Mark Neale to Mr. Lembit Opik, dated 8 May 2000:


As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has asked Leigh Lewis to reply to your question about the procedure that is followed where a jobseeker and an employment officer cannot reach agreement on the details of a Jobseeker's Agreement. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to Mr. Lewis as Chief Executive of the Employment Service. I am replying in his absence.
Jobseeker's Allowance regulations set out the conditions for the receipt of Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA). These include a requirement that a jobseeker must have a Jobseeker's Agreement which both the jobseeker and the employment officer have signed. The contents of the Agreement are negotiated between the Jobseeker and the employment officer at the initial interview when a claim for JSA is made.
If the adviser and Jobseeker cannot agree the Jobseeker's Agreement, the case is referred to an independent Sector Decision Maker for consideration.
The Sector Decision Maker can determine the contents of a Jobseeker's Agreement and issue a direction that the jobseeker should comply with. The direction will state what the contents of the Jobseeker's Agreement should be and enable the jobseeker to satisfy the availability and actively seeking employment conditions. If the Jobseeker's Agreement is not signed by the jobseeker following the Decision Maker's determination, the Jobseeker's Agreement will not be valid and Jobseeker's Allowance will not be paid.
I hope this is helpful.

PRIME MINISTER

"Wiring it Up"

Mr. Chope: To ask the Prime Minister from what date conclusion No. 1 of the Performance and Innovation Unit report, "Wiring it Up", took effect for Cabinet Minsters; and what steps were taken to draw this to their attention. [114387]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 13 March 2000]: Conclusion number one of the Performance and Innovation Unit's report, "Wiring it Up", took effect from the date of its publication on 13 January 2000. I am, of course, in regular touch with Cabinet Ministers about their responsibilities. In addition, in explaining their work to new Cabinet Ministers I will take account of conclusion number one.

Sellafield

Mr. Llew Smith: To ask the Prime Minister what representations he has received from councillors in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland in respect of Sellafield since 1 April. [120251]

The Prime Minister: I have received one representation from a councillor in the Republic of Ireland in respect of Sellafield since 1 April.

Depleted Uranium

Mr. Dalyell: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 12 April 2000, Official Report, column 200W, on the use by NATO of depleted uranium

8 May 2000 : Column: 296W

against Yugoslavia, what steps he will recommend that NATO takes to monitor (a) Serbian civilians, (b) ethnic Albanian civilians, (c) the environment of Western Kosovo and (d) the environment of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia for the effects of the use of depleted uranium. [119503]

The Prime Minister [holding answer 3 May 2000]: As my earlier answer noted, NATO is co-operating with the United Nations in the on-going work of the UN Environment Programme into the environmental consequences of the Kosovo conflict. The United Kingdom has contributed over £50,000 to this work. We will study carefully the conclusions reached by the UNEP Balkans Task Force.

London Mayor

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Prime Minister what contacts he has had with the Mayor-elect of London; and if he will make a statement. [120934]

The Prime Minister: I spoke to the Mayor by telephone during the course of the weekend. I will have further conversations and meetings with him as appropriate.

HOME DEPARTMENT

Asylum Seekers

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if it is his policy that the value of toys and groceries given by charities to those seeking asylum should be deducted from benefits paid to such persons. [119919]

Mrs. Roche: In determining whether an applicant for support is eligible for support and if so what the appropriate level of support should be, the National Asylum Support Service will take into account substantial and continuing support to meet accommodation or other essential living needs being provided by charities (or any other body or person) to the asylum seeker. The Service will normally disregard one off or very small donations of groceries or other support.

Donations of toys whether from charities or any other source will not be taken into account.

Birth Certificates

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department for what purposes his Department requires a birth certificate to be furnished by (a) employees, (b) contractors, (c) those applying for employment and contracts and (d) other persons. [120317]

Mr. Straw: Birth certificates are one of the documents requested as proof of identity and age for recruitment and pension purposes. They are also normally required for the issue of passports and for applications to remain in the United Kingdom on the basis of marriage to a British Citizen. My Department does not normally require existing employees or contractors to provide birth certificates.

8 May 2000 : Column: 297W

Crime Fighting Fund

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the number of police he intends should be recruited nationally in 2000-01 as a result of the crime fighting fund; and what the cost will be of this recruitment. [120486]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary to the right hon. Member for Maidstone and The Weald (Miss Widdecombe) on 6 April 2000, Official Report, columns 595-96W. I hope to make the promised announcement shortly.

Drugs Misuse

Mr. Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs will consider the Police Foundation's report. [120375]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs is an independent body and, therefore, I cannot speculate on its consideration of the Police Foundation report into the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. I can confirm however that copies of the report will be sent to members of the Council for information ahead of its next meeting on 25 May.

Juvenile Secure Estate

Mrs. Golding: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what methods of physical control and restraint will be used in the new juvenile secure estate; if different methods will be used according to the age of the child; and how the use of control and restraint will monitored. [120590]

Mr. Boateng: The methods of physical control and restraint currently in use in the juvenile secure estate vary according to the type of accommodation in which a young person is held.

Local authority secure units use a variety of control and restraint methods in line with Department of Health guidance. Secure training centres use physical control in care methods which are approved by the Home Secretary. Prison Service Young Offender Institutions follow control and restraint methods which may be used to resolve incidents involving violent prisoners of all ages and of both sexes.

The Youth Justice Board for England and Wales is responsible for monitoring regime standards and performance across all forms of juvenile secure accommodation. The Board intends to conduct a review of methods of physical control and restraint in juvenile secure accommodation with a view to identifying and promoting good practice.


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