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Election Literature

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total costs were of

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(a) paper, (b) printing, (c) distribution and (d) circulating letters dated 14 February to acting returning officers for parliamentary constituencies in England and Wales, returning officers for local government areas in England and Wales and electoral registration officers for district and London boroughs in England and Wales in relation to leaflet ER3 published by the Communications Directorate of his Department in January; what the cost was of the destruction of the leaflet; and if he will make a statement. [157634]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [holding answer 9 April 2001]: The leaflet "Make Your Voice Heard" informs the public of changes to the system of updating the electoral register allowed by the Representation of the People Act 2000 and implemented on 16 February 2001. The costs for production of this leaflet, which was changed due to an error in calculating the cut-off date for applying for registration on April's "rolling register", are (a) £15,627.50 for paper; (b) £23,905.38 for printing; and (c) £947.50 for distribution. The costs of informing electoral administrators about the availability of the leaflet were marginal as notification was sent by e-mail. The cost of re-cycling the leaflet is £200. The leaflet was re-issued and has been replaced by another which is not date specific.

Tower Blocks

4. Mr. Hilary Benn: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the safety and security of residents in tower blocks. [156023]

Mr. Mike O'Brien [pursuant to the reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Regent's Park and Kensington, North (Ms Buck) in response to a supplementary question to that asked by my hon. Friend the Member for Leeds, Central on 9 April 2001, Official Report, column 693]: My right hon. Friend the Home Secretary recently met my hon. Friend and local people involved in tackling the problems of drug abuse. I understood that the Home Secretary visited the Regent's Park and Kensington, North constituency as I informed the House but I have now been told that the meeting was at the House of Commons. I do, however, continue to assure my hon. Friend that tackling crack and associated drugs is high on the Government's agenda. We cannot tolerate the behaviour experienced by the residents in her constituency, and we are committed to addressing it.


School Discipline

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what guidance he plans to issue on school discipline following the outcome of the Marjorie Evans case. [155231]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I have been asked to reply.

In Wales, that is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.

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Employment Service

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what target levels have been set for the aims and objectives of the Employment Service in 2001-02. [156866]

Mr. Blunkett: The targets for the Employment Service, which I am announcing today, build on the success of the agency in delivering the Government's welfare to work policies, working in close partnership with employers and others. These targets pave the way for the new agency, Jobcentre Plus, whose pathfinder offices will begin work in October. They give stronger emphasis than ever before to helping individuals facing particular difficulty in the labour market to move from unemployment and economic inactivity into sustainable employment. The highest priority will be given to helping people who have been economically inactive for long periods, including lone parents, to find work, and to capitalise on the opportunities created by the new generation of New Deals. For the first time, the Employment Service will have a target to measure its success in helping long term unemployed people not only to find work but to remain in work. I will also be introducing, from October, two new targets: to support ES's efforts to achieve parity of outcomes for ethnic minority clients by 2004, and to support the key role which ES will play in identifying and remedying shortfalls in the basic skills of unemployed people, to enhance their employability.

I commend this package of targets. They are challenging for the Employment Service to deliver. I believe that the job entry targets are very stretching. I am looking for improved levels of customer service to jobseekers and employers, together with consolidation of the improved performance against the Jobseeker's Allowance Labour Market Activity target. These targets cover a full year, but I propose to carry out a comprehensive consultation and review later in the year that will inform the setting of targets for the new Agency for people of working age, called Jobcentre Plus, for 2002-03.

The targets for the Employment Service for 2001-02 are:

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Target levels for the Employment Service in Scotland and Wales, derived from the GB wide targets, will be announced shortly.

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