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Disused Railway Lines

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions how many disused railway lines have been re-opened since 1969; and what was the cost to public funds in each case. [100580]

Mr. Hill: This information is not readily available.

Council Housing

Mr. Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to synchronize secured and assured tenancy regulations in connection with the large-scale voluntary transfer scheme of council houses; and if he will make a statement. [100095]

Mr. Mullin: I am aware of the discussion paper published by the Chartered Institute of Housing on a single form of tenancy for social housing. It is an interesting proposal which the Department will bear in mind in developing the contents of any forthcoming Housing Green Paper.

Correspondence

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for Woking

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concerning the law on abandoned vehicles, dated 17 September, forwarded to him by the Home Office in October. [100419]

Mr. Hill: My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary wrote to the hon. Member on 26 November.

Green Ministers Committee

Mr. Green: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list the actions taken by the Green Ministers Committee since its formation. [99927]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 26 November 1999]: The Green Ministers Committee has made good progress since May 1997 and has met seven times. I refer the hon. Member to the replies I have given previously announcing the actions taken at each meeting.



    To the hon. Member for Lewes (Mr. Baker) on 17 March 1998, Official Report, column 546W, with regard to the outcome of the Committee's meeting in December 1997.


    To my hon. Friend the Member for Worsley (Mr. Lewis) on 31 July 1997, Official Report, column 542W, with regard to the outcome of the Committee's meeting in July 1997.

The Committee published its first annual report on its activities, "Greening Government: the first annual report of Green Ministers 1998/99" in July 1999. It sets out achievements and a future work programme across a wide range of activities.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Child Care

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many places with registered forms of child care there have been for each quarter of 1999 in England. [98664]

Ms Hodge: Information, which is collected annually, is not available in the precise form requested. The available information is shown in the following table.

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Children's day care provision in England as at 31 March 1999
(provisional)

ProvidersChild care places
Day Nurseries7,000247,700
Playgroups15,000347,200
Child minders82,200336,600
Out of School Clubs3,800113,800
Holiday Schemes10,200435,300

Note:

Data compiled from information provided by local authorities. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100. Provision may be made by local authorities, voluntary or private organisations register under Part X of the Children Act 1989 or exempt from registration. Where complete information was not available, some estimates have been made. Holiday schemes are counted once for each holiday period in which they operate.


Merseyside Training and Enterprise Council

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what (a) performance indicators and (b) output measures are used to measure the (i) absolute and (ii) relative performance of Merseyside TEC. [98569]

Mr. Wicks: The indicators used to measure performance of all Training and Enterprise Councils (including Chambers of Commerce, Training and Enterprise) are:








































Performance information for all TECs is collated and published annually. A copy of the publication "TEC/CCTE Performance Indicators 1998-99" has been placed in the Library. The publication shows the absolute performance of Merseyside TEC against a range of indicators and makes relative comparison with TECs within the North West and in England as a whole.

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Equal Opportunities Legislation

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when his Department will give its considered response to the Equal Opportunities Commission's proposal for reform of equal opportunities legislation. [98680]

Ms Hodge: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to my hon. Friend the Member for Enfield, Southgate (Mr. Twigg) on 14 July 1999, Official Report, column 194W.

Training and Enterprise Councils

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what level of funding was received by each TEC in the north-west and north-east in the last financial year. [98515]

Mr. Wicks: Information relating to the funding of Training and Enterprise Councils (including Chambers of Commerce, Training and Enterprise) can be found in the individual or group TEC/CCTE Statutory Accounts for 1998-99 filed in the Library.

The following table shows the income reported in the 1998-99 Statutory Accounts:

Reported income 1998-99 statutory accounts

£
North-East
County Durham17,193,770
Northumberland18,404,012
Tees Valley31,403,000
Tyneside32,321,000
Sunderland City13,609,590
North-West
Bolton Bury14,013,044
Manchester45,721,464
Wigan12,648,226
Oldham7,159,008
Rochdale8,920,382
South and East Cheshire14,322,311
Stockport and High Peak11,709,431
Cumbria19,931,255
Eltec (East Lancs)19,519,119
Lawtec (Lancashire Area West)25,792,672
North and Mid Cheshire14,549,521
Cewtec (Cheshire, Ellesmere Port and Wirral)18,499,595
Merseyside42,390,021
St. Helens10,236,787

Early Years Education

Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what advice since May 1997 he has given to local education authorities on funding early years provision (a) at school and (b) at pre-school nurseries. [100008]

Ms Estelle Morris: We have provided policy and funding guidance to Local Education Authorities and early years settings through the "Requirements of Nursery Education Grant" document as well as our "Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership Planning Guidance", both of which are distributed annually. The guidance makes clear that early years provision must be

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provided across all sectors, be appropriate to the age of the children and that new places for three year olds must not be in reception classes.


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