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11. Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Secretary of the National Assembly for Wales about levels of manufacturing employment in Wales. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet the First Secretary regularly to discuss a range of issues, including manufacturing employment in Wales. Some 7,500 jobs have been announced in the manufacturing sector in Wales in the past 12 months. This is particularly welcome in the context of severe losses in the steel sector.
12. Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the Treasury with regard to the Government's policy on the provision of investment aid in the west Wales and the valleys objective 1 programme area; and if he will make a statement. 
13. Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary for Health and Social Services in the National Assembly regarding the number of people waiting for treatment in Wales. 
Mr. Touhig: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I meet regularly with the National Assembly First Minister and Health Minister to discuss a range of issues including the number of people waiting for treatment.
Mr. Touhig: The Government's partnership approach to fighting crime is making a significant difference in communities across Wales. With funding running into millions of pounds, local crime and disorder reduction partnerships are implementing projects targeted at crime hotspots, domestic violence and drug related crime. Much
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The Government have provided funding for the September 2001 apprentice intake at Aberporth. Future arrangements for apprentices at QinetiQ sites depend on the Ministry of Defence review of Ranges and Test Evaluation provision. The MOD expects to have agreed a procurement strategy for this business by the end of the year.
18. Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with members of the Assembly about the proposed Wrexham incinerator and its potential cross-border effect on English constituencies. 
I understand that the Assembly has received a number of requests for the planning application to be called in and consideration is currently being given to these requests. The Assembly's approach is not to interfere with a local planning authority's jurisdiction unless an application involves planning issues of more than local importance.
19. Hywel Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the operation of the autumn movement of livestock scheme in Wales. 
Mr. Paul Murphy: I have regular meetings with the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on a wide range of issues, which have of course included matters related to foot and mouth disease. I understand that in respect of this scheme there is close and effective operational liaison between the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the National Assembly.
Mr. Paul Murphy: I meet, visit and correspond regularly with representatives of the Welsh manufacturing industry. Some 7,500 jobs have been announced in the manufacturing sector in Wales in the past 12 months. This is particularly welcome in the context of severe losses in the steel sector.
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Mr. Paul Murphy: The new deal has been a success story in Wales. 81,500 people in Wales have benefited from the scheme so far and 42 per cent. of those have now found jobs. Since the launch of the scheme in Wales there has been a 68 per cent. fall in the number of 18 to 24-year-olds claiming jobseeker's allowance for six months or more and the number of people over 25 claiming jobseeker's allowance for two years or more has fallen by 45 per cent.
The Assembly's Education and Lifelong Learning Committee is conducting a comprehensive policy review of higher education in Wales, to inform a 10-year strategy for the sector. The review's findings are expected later this year.
23. Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Secretary about the operation of the Barnett formula relating to health provision. 
24. Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer regarding extra funds for the National Assembly for Wales to assist those farmers in Wales suffering losses resulting from animal movement restrictions and poor trading conditions. [R] 
I welcome the re-establishment of Welsh lamb and beef in domestic markets, and the recent announcement that the export of sheep and goat meat can resume from parts of Wales. The Government have extended the Livestock Welfare Disposal Scheme in order to pre-empt problems arising this winter for lambs that would, under normal trading conditions, be sold and moved off farms.
I understand that the Assembly is making strenuous efforts to deal with both long-term issues in Welsh agriculture and the current difficulties affecting the market and farmers' incomes this autumn. Both the Assembly and
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25. Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will meet the First Secretary of the National Assembly to discuss the legal obligations placed on local authorities relating to home-to-school transport. 
Mr. Touhig: I have written to the Assembly Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning on this matter, with particular reference to the issues raised by my hon. Friend in the debate on Transport to School, on 30 October 2001, Official Report, columns 24350WH. Local education authorities (LEAs) have a statutory duty to decide how best to meet their home to school transport obligations. LEAs are obliged to provide free transport to the nearest school for pupils under eight-years-old who live more than two miles from the school, and for pupils above the age of eight who live more than three miles from the school.
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