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Departmental Expenditure Limits

Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to change the (a) departmental expenditure limit and (b) administration costs limit for 2001–02. [19700]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Subject to Parliamentary approval of the necessary supplementary estimate, the Department for Work and Pensions Departmental Expenditure Limit will be increased by £3,338,291,000 from £3,964,124,000 to £7,302,415,000 and the administration cost limit by £1,336,666,000 from £3,566,177,000 to £4,902,843,000. Within the DEL change, the impact on resources and capital are set out in the following table:

New DEL7,091,614210,801
Of which: voted5,843,935121,461
Non voted1,247,67989,340

The change in the resource element of the DEL arises from:

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The change in the capital element of the DEL arises from:

All of these changes will either be offset by transfers or charged to the reserve and will not therefore add to the planned total of public expenditure.

New Deal for Communities (Leicester Braunstone)

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the operation of the Braunstone Community Association in respect of the new deal; what the cost is of the scheme; what plans he has to inquire into the administration of the scheme; and if he will make a statement. [15779]

Ms Keeble: I have been asked to reply.

Leicester Braunstone is one of the New Deal for Community Round 1 Pathfinders and has an overall grant of £49.5 million to spend over up to 10 years.

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The scheduled mid year review of the Braunstone New Deal for Communities Programme took place in Braunstone on 22 November 2001. The review considered among other things the strategic direction and delivery of the programme, including progress in delivering the Braunstone Community Association 2001–02 Action Plan, developments in partnership working and community involvement.

Proceedings, which were chaired by an official from the Government Office for the East Midlands, were conducted in a positive atmosphere. Nothing substantive arose during the review to change the status of the programme.

The next few weeks will be very important for the Braunstone New Deal for Communities Programme as the BCA awaits the findings of an independent investigation it set up to look into various allegations related to its internal relationships. That investigation is expected to report by mid-December.

In the meantime, in order to protect the public purse the Government office for the East Midlands has suspended delegated authorities to the BCA to commit expenditure. The Government office is also discussing with auditors the terms of reference for a mid-year audit of the NDC Programme (to end September), which, with evidence arising from the findings of the independent investigation, will allow the Government office what further steps it needs to take in order to secure the future of the Braunstone NDC Programme.



9. Mr. John Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what action he is taking to co-ordinate departmental policies on mass terrorist threats. [15979]

Mr. Leslie: Under the leadership of the Civil Contingencies Committee, the Government are conducting a comprehensive review of our tried and tested contingency plans in the light of the events of 11 September. We are taking all sensible steps to make sure the country is well prepared for any emergency or threat.

Social Exclusion

10. Vernon Coaker: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with the Government office for the east midlands to ensure that projects designed to tackle social exclusion take into account the needs of areas that have small pockets of deprivation. [15980]

Mrs. Roche: I discussed implementation of the Government's programmes to tackle social exclusion with the Government office for the east-midlands on 25 July.

The targets we have set for mainstream programmes, which will receive substantial increases in resources, will lead to substantial improvements in deprived neighbourhoods across the country.

The local authority districts receiving additional support from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund include over 80 per cent. of the most deprived wards in England and 90 per cent. of the people living in the most deprived wards.

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11. Mr. Shaw: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what policy projects the social exclusion unit is working on. [15981]

Mrs. Roche: The unit is currently working on four projects, looking at:

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