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Mr. Livsey: To ask the Secretary of State for Health for what reason the Meat Hygiene Service inspector, Mr. Yogarathnum, was suspended from his duties at the Mead Webber Abattoir at Eardisley and replaced on 10 April 2000 by Mr. Turner of the St. David's Veterinary Practice at Exeter. 
Ms Stuart: On 10 April 2000 St. David's Farm and Equine Veterinary Practice, Exeter commenced provision of contract official veterinary surgeons (OVSs) to the Mead Webber abattoir at Eardisley on behalf of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS). Prior to this Mr. Yogarathnum, a Meat Hygiene Service employee, had undertaken both the OVS and principal official veterinary surgeon (POVS) duties at the premises.
Mr. Yogarathnum was relieved of his OVS duties at the Mead Webber abattoir, in order to allow him to spend more time on his POVS duties in a number of plants in the area. This included remaining as POVS at the Mead Webber abattoir.
Mr. Turner is a partner of the St. David Farm's and Equine Veterinary Practice. While providing locum cover for the new OVS that he had appointed to the Mead Webber abattoir, he identified a number of deficiencies in the operations and structure of the premises to which he drew management's attention. As a result of these
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findings, the MHS Regional Director responsible for the Mead Webber abattoir visited the premises. He also discussed his concerns with plant management, Mr. Yogarathnum and the MHS meat inspection team. Mr. Yogarathnum was subsequently suspended, pending an investigation into his performance as POVS to the premises.
Ms Stuart: Mr. Turner is a partner of the St. David's Farm and Equine Veterinary Practice at Exeter. The practice was successful in its tender to supply Contract Official Veterinary Surgeons on behalf of the Meat Hygiene Service (MHS) to Mead Webber abattoir at Eardisley. The rate per hour quoted in their tender for the provision of Contract official veterinary surgeons (OVSs) to the plant was £24.98. On the basis that the OVS will be present at the plant for 21 hours (in line with previous OVS attendance), the total costs of providing contract OVSs to the plant is therefore £524.
Ms Stuart: Between January 1997 and April 2000, fourteen official veterinary surgeons (OVSs) have carried out OVS duties on behalf of the Meat Hygiene Service at the Mead Webber plant at Eardisley. The vast majority of these provided locum cover for employed OVSs at the premises and as a consequence would only have spent a relatively short period of time in the plant.
In the time available it has not been possible to collate all of the information relating to the number of OVSs who worked at the plant between 1995 and December 1996, or the total number of meat inspection staff who have worked there between 1995 and April 2000. I will place a copy of this information in the Library when it is available.
Ms Stuart: No action to revoke the slaughterhouse licence No. 4103, issued on 4 March 1993 to The Abattoir, Eardisley, Hereford, has been taken. Revocation has not been recommended by the Licensing Authority (the Food Standards Agency) or its executive agency the Meat Hygiene Service, nor has it been requested by the abattoir operators (Mead Webber Ltd).
Mr. Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many people have applied for money from the Social Fund and how much money was issued in loans through the Social Fund, in each of the last three years in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, (c) England and (d) North-West England. 
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The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many people have applied for money from the Social Fund and how much money was issued in loans through the Social Fund, in each of the last three years in (a) Scotland, (b) Wales, (c) England and (d) North-West England.
The figures are included in the attached table.
I hope this is helpful.
|Loan applications received||Amount awarded (£)|
1. Figures show the total number of all applications for budgeting loans and crisis loans. Individual customers may have made more than one application.
2. North-West England is defined as the area covered by the Benefits Agency Area Directorates 8 (North-West Coast) and 9 (Greater Manchester).
3. Some loans paid clerically, and adjustments between awards of loans and grants on review, are not recorded on the computer system. The figures do not therefore add up to total loans awarded for each year as published in the Social Fund Accounts.
4. 1999-2000 expenditure is provisional pending publication of the Social Fund Account.
Mr. Coaker: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what progress is being made in clearing the backlog of payments of winter fuel allowance to those who lost their original cheque. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking what progress is being made in clearing the backlog of payments of winter fuel allowance to those who lost their original cheque.
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The Benefits Agency's (BA) winter fuel team have made enquiries of their Mercia Area Directorate (AD5) which covers your constituency area. They advise that the question of replacing 13 girocheques is still outstanding pending further investigation.
Any winter fuel payments reported lost, missing or not received are treated in the same manner as other lost or missing payments and replaced accordingly. If a customer reports a lost, missing or not received girocheque to the local BA Office a form is completed by the customer stating the circumstances of the loss or non-receipt. This can be either completed at the office or posted to the customer. If posted the process of replacement takes a little longer allowing for postage times. When the form is returned an officer acting on behalf of the Secretary of State examines the information to consider a replacement.
I hope this is helpful.
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what was the total number of lone parents on income support, broken down into those with children (a) below and (b) above school age, for each month since April 1992. 
As many lone parents have more than one child whose ages can be either above or below five years, figures have been provided for all three categories, i.e., lone parents with under fives only, lone parents with over fives only, and those parents with children in both categories.
|Quarter||All children under 5||All children over 5||Children under and over 5|
1. Figures are based on a 5 per cent. sample, and as such they are subject to a degree of sampling error.
3. Lone Parents are single claimants with dependants who are not receiving the disability or pensioner premium.
4. Figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.
5. Information on the numbers of lone parents claiming Income Support by age of child dependants is collected on a quarterly basis. It is therefore not possible to supply monthly figures.
Income Support Statistics Inquiries, November 1992 to August 1999.
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