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GM Trials

Mr. Charles Kennedy: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what safety tests genetically modified

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crops being grown on UK farm scale trials have been subjected to in order to establish their safety for (a) human consumption and (b) use as animal fodder; if he will provide details of these tests, including studies of toxicity; and if she will make a statement; [156770]

Mrs. Liddell: In Scotland, these matters are devolved.

CABINET OFFICE

Anti-drugs Strategy

Mr. Hendrick: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will make a statement on funding being made available to support young people as part of the anti-drugs strategy. [157947]

Marjorie Mowlam: In addition to the £220 million announced by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Budget, new funding of £5 million will also be made available to expand and develop the "Positive Futures" initiative. "Positive Futures" is a partnership between the UK Anti-Drugs Co-ordination Unit, the Youth Justice Board and Sport England designed to divert youngsters away from drug misuse and crime through the provision of sporting and educational programmes.

Duchy of Lancaster

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office if she will list the assets of the Duchy of Lancaster in the county of Yorkshire and the income they generated in each of the last three years. [157703]

Marjorie Mowlam: The Duchy of Lancaster's Yorkshire Survey consists of 7,012 hectares including 4,221 hectares of Goathland Moor. The Duchy owns Tickhill, Pontefract and Pickering Castles, the last two of which are under the guardianship of Wakefield district council, and English Heritage respectively. Under its Urban Survey the Duchy owns property in Harrogate, Knaresborough, York and Doncaster. These include shop and business properties and 103 hectares of open space known as Harrogate Stray. Knaresborough Castle is leased to Harrogate borough council.

Gross income generated in the last three years was:

£
Year to March 19981,057,000
Year to March 19991,192,000
Year to March 20001,318,000

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EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

Nursery Places (Wansbeck)

Mr. Denis Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many free nursery places have been created for three and four-year-olds in Wansbeck since 1997. [153144]

Ms Hodge: As figures are not held for each individual constituency, the information provided relates to Northumberland local education authority area.

Since September 1998, all four-year-olds in Northumberland have been able to access a free, part- time, early education place. By March 2004, we expect all three-year-olds in Northumberland will have this entitlement.

The following table shows how many free early education places have been made available for three and four-year-olds since 1997 in Northumberland.

YearNumber of places availablePercentage of children
1997-985,90283
1998-995,83383
1999-20005,60081
2000-015,71383

In 2001-02 Northumberland will receive additional funding of £702,108 to provide places for 591 three-year- olds. This is in addition to the places that the authority will make available through their own resources (including Standard Spending Assessment).

The figures include those funded through the nursery education grant and the LEAs own resources (including Standard Spending Assessment).The drop in the number of places since 1997-98 is due to demographic changes in the number of three and four-year-olds.

In addition to early education places, since April 1999, 1,072 new child care places have been created in the Northumberland area.

Child Care Places (Shrewsbury and Atcham)

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many child care places there were in Shrewsbury and Atcham on (a) 1 May 1997 and (b) the latest available dates for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [154647]

Ms Hodge: Details of the number of child care places are not available by constituency. Between May 1997 and March 1999, the National Childcare Strategy created 7,855 child care places in the West Midlands. Since April 1999 local Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships have provided details of the new child care places that have opened by constituency. Between April 1999 and December 2000 Shropshire Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership have reported the creation of 142 new child care places in the Shrewsbury and Atcham area.

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Since 1997, 1,639 new early education places have been created for three and four-year-olds in the Shropshire area 1 .


Child Care Places (Leeds, Central)

Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what has been the total number of (a) new early education places for three year olds and (b) new child care places created in the Leeds, Central parliamentary constituency since May 1997. [156747]

Ms Hodge [holding answer 3 April 2001]: As figures for early years education places are not held by individual constituencies, the information provided relates to Leeds local education authority.

The overall proportion of three-year olds in the Leeds area able to access a free, part time, early education place was 66 per cent. in May 1997. All three-year olds in Leeds will be able to access a free early education place from this month. 1,621 additional early education places were created for three-year olds in Leeds local education authority between May 1997 and March 2001.

Child care figures by constituency are only available from April 1999. 208 new child care places have been created in Leeds, Central since April 1999. Between May 1997 and March 1999 the National Childcare Strategy created 7,759 child care places in Yorkshire and Humberside.

LEA Funding

Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on local education authority funding for 2001-02. [156859]

Ms Estelle Morris: The overall increase in Education Standard Spending (ESS) in 2001-02 is over £1 billion. In addition to the increase in ESS, the Government are also increasing Standards Fund grant by over £400 million; and following the recent budget announcement schools will also benefit from an increase of £350 million in direct grants. Taken together all these increases represent an 8 per cent. cash increase in revenue support for authorities and their schools next year, a real terms increase of £200 per pupil.

The schools' capital allocation for 2001-02 is £2.2 billion: this is part of an allocation of £8.5 billion over the three years covered by the Year 2000 Spending Review.

Since 1997, funding has increased by £540 per pupil in real terms. Under the last Government, funding per pupil fell by £80 in real terms between 1994-95 and 1997-98. The total increase following the Year 2000 Spending Review will be around £750 between 1997-98 and 2003-04.

While we have been increasing resources to education authorities, we have been reviewing the formula for allocating funds to local authorities. We are currently working on a reformed system, with the aim of moving towards it in 2002-03.

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Early Years Education (Amber Valley)

Judy Mallaber: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what has been the total number of (a) new early years education places for three year olds and (b) new child care places created in Amber Valley since May 1997. [157119]

Ms Hodge: Between spring 1998 and spring 2001 3,435 additional, free, early years places have been created for three-year-olds in the Derbyshire local education authority area 1 . These places were funded either through Nursery Education Grant funding or from the Authority's own resources.

Between May 1997 and March 1999, the National Childcare Strategy created 5,901 child care places in the East Midlands. Since April 1999 local Early Years Development and Childcare Partnerships have provided information by constituency of all new child care places except for child minder places. Between April 1999 and December 2000 Derbyshire Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership have reported the creation of 548 new child care places in Amber Valley. During that same period 261 new child minder places were created across the Derbyshire local education authority area.



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