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Transport Information Provision

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will place in the Library details of research commissioned by his Department into transport information provision and Transport Direct. [159230]

Mr. Hill [holding answer 27 April 2001]: Details of the travel information research commissioned by my Department were published in April in the "Roads and Local Transport Research Programme, Compendium of research projects 2000-2001", pages 101-111. A copy of the "Compendium" is available on my Department's website and has now been placed in the Libraries of the House.

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Partnership Investment Programme

Dr. Whitehead: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement regarding European Commission approval of the five new land and property regeneration schemes designed to partially replace the partnership investment programme. [159861]

Ms Armstrong: The European Commission has now approved all of the five new schemes which have been designed to partially replace the Partnership Investment Programme, as follows:

All the approved schemes are now in effect. As a result, Regional Development Agencies and English Partnerships will be able to support a wide range of land and property regeneration projects, including projects which can be taken forward in partnership with the private sector.

Direct development involves the public sector acquiring the land to be redeveloped, carrying out the works, and selling the reclaimed site at open market value.

Under gap funding, the public sector bridges the gap between development costs and the likely end value, allowing property developers to bring contaminated, derelict and disused sites back into full economic use. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will be eligible for assistance under this scheme anywhere in England. Where the developer is not a SME, the project must be located in an Assisted Area.

Under the Community Regeneration scheme, funding is made available to local organisations so that they can take forward small-scale regeneration projects. Funding is only available for projects which are put forward by non-profit making bodies working in the community or voluntary sectors.

The purpose of the environmental regeneration scheme is to improve the environment by reclaiming derelict or potentially derelict land and providing a cover of vegetation. Subsequent uses of the site may include public open spaces, nature conservation areas and playing fields.

We now intend to build on this success by continuing to press the Commission for a new regeneration framework, under which state aid would be permitted for the regeneration of derelict or disused land throughout England and the rest of the European Community.

New Deal for Communities Programme

Mr. Coleman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what resources he is prepared to make available to Round 2 partnerships under the New Deal for Communities Programme. [159928]

Ms Beverley Hughes: I am delighted to announce that we have today offered the NDC Round 2 partnerships funding of over £1,100 million to implement their strategy for change. We have also made funding available to the remaining pathfinder partnership.

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Following receipt of delivery plans in March, I am today allocating funding to the following 22 NDC partnerships:

£ million

District NeighbourhoodFunding award
HartlepoolWest Central Hartlepool53.79
SunderlandEast End and Hendon53.89
OldhamHathershaw and Fitton Hall53.53
RochdaleOld Heywood52.0
SalfordCharlestown and Lower Kersal53.0
DoncasterCentral Doncaster52.0
CoventryWood End, Henley Green and Manor Farm54.0
WolverhamptonAll Saints and Blakenhall53.5
LutonMarsh Farm48.835
BrentSouth Kilburn50.06
HarringeySeven Sisters50.12
Hammersmith and FulhamNorth Fulham44.28
LambethClapham Park56.0
LewishamNew Cross45.0
BirminghamKings Norton50.0

The remaining Round 2 partnership, Knowsley, will take advantage of the additional three months they were given at the end of Phase 2 to work on community involvement and strategic linkages with key agencies. The partnership will submit a Delivery Plan in June 2001 with an announcement to follow shortly after.

This brings the total resources allocated to NDC partnerships to just under £2,000 million over the next 10 years.

Designated Airport Status

Mr. Colman: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what work has been undertaken by the Government, as part of the developing aviation white paper process, on the possibility of extending designated airport status to other airports in the UK. [159528]

Mr. Robert Ainsworth: In the integrated transport White Paper "A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone" the Government announced their intention to prepare a UK airports policy looking 30 years ahead and bring forward new policies on civil aviation. The extent to which Government should rely on regulation to influence the environmental effects of aviation, and whether there should be greater reliance on economic instruments and voluntary agreements, is among the issues examined in the Government's recent consultation document on air transport policy--"The Future of Aviation". The closing date for responses to that consultation was 12 April 2001 and they are presently being studied.

Transport Act (Contracts)

Ms Kelly: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to extend the maximum length of a contract for a subsidised service as set out in Section 90(1) of the Transport Act 1985. [159280]

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Mr. Hill: None at present, although we have undertaken in the Rural White Paper to look at the possibility of extending the maximum period from five years to 10.


Departmental Policies (Luton, South)

Ms Moran: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out, with statistical information relating as directly as possible to the constituency, the effects on the Luton, South constituency of his Department's policies and actions since 2 May 1997. [156162]

Mr. Wills: Outlined are details of the effects of a range of the Department's policies on the Luton, South constituency and Luton local education authority.

Beacon Schools

There is one Beacon School in the Luton, South constituency: Hillborough Junior School.

Schools with specialist status designated since 1997

There is one Specialist School in the Luton, South constituency: Ashcroft High School, which has Technology College status.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Luton LEA is one of the new EMA pilot areas. Since September 2000 just over £260,000 has been paid out in EMAs to 569 students.

School Achievement Awards

15 Schools in the Luton, South constituency have been awarded a total of £121,250.00 under this scheme. The schools and awards are as follows:

Beech Hill Community Primary School12,030
Dallow Infant School7,500
Dallow Junior School7,310
Denbigh High School29,880
Denbigh Infant School8,800
Foxdell Junior School5,350
Hillborough Junior School5,520
Orchard Centre PRU (formally Charles Street Tuition Centre)2,820
Putteridge Infant School5,460
Sacred Heart RC Infants School3,990
Slip End Lower School3,410
Someries Junior School6,450
St. Mary's RC Lower School6,020
Tennyson Road Primary School4,840
Wigmore Primary School11,870

Class Sizes

Luton LEA


The September 2000 figures show that there are now only 380 (6.2 per cent.) pupils remaining in infant

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classes of 31 or more. The figure in January 1997 was 2,427 (42 per cent.).

Luton Performance Data

Key Stage 2, percentage of pupils achieving level 4

LEA average72686158
England average75716563
LEA average65625154
England average72695962
LEA average82746163
England average85786969

GCSE--percentage of pupils achieving

5+ A*--C
LEA average39.735.835.034.3
England average49.247.946.345.1
5+ A*--G
LEA average91.49292.489.9
England average88.988.587.586.4
No Passes
LEA average3.
England average5.
Average Point Score
LEA average36.735.535.9n/a
England average38.938.137.0n/a

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A/AS level and Advanced GNVQ

Average points for 2 or more A/AS levels
LEA average13.613.414.1
England average18.518.217.8
A/AS average per entry
LEA average4.54.44.6
England average5.55.55.4
Average point score GNVQs
LEA average8.19.09.5
England average10.19.99.6

Funding per pupil

In Luton LEA, funding per pupil has increased by £520 in real terms between 1997-98 and 2001-02.

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Luton LEA capital funding

Credit approvals
NDS Condition Funding392--------392
VA grant1272399873102639
Schools devolved formula capital--1,344------1,344
Science labs134134------268
AMP support----25----25
Seed challenge161146------307
Infant class size--11054557--712
Schools Access Initiative23217------249
NDS Devolved Formula1,109--------1,109
Outside Toilets------6--6
Nursery provision--64------64

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Further Education

Student numbers at all Further Education Funding Council funded institutions where home postcode is in the local authority district of Luton are given in the table.

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1996-97 to 1999-2000

FEFC funded Non-FEFC funded
16-18 Adult 16-18 Adult

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Modern Apprenticeships

Information on Modern Apprenticeships for all English constituencies will be placed in the Library by the end of March.

New Deal for Young People

In the Luton, South constituency, 966 young people had joined the New Deal to the end of December 2000. 386 have found jobs, 299 of which are sustained.

Labour market statistics

The working age employment rate in Luton in autumn 2000 was 71.9 per cent., below the UK rate of 74.7 per cent. The rate in autumn 1997 was 77.0 per cent., in autumn 1998 73.0 per cent., and in autumn 1999 74.9 per cent. These figures are volatile at this level, and our best interpretation of the trend in the employment rate for Luton since 1997 is that it has been broadly flat.

The claimant unemployment rate has fallen from 5.3 per cent. in February 1997 to 2.7 per cent. in February 2001 in the Luton, South constituency.

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