some default text...
Previous Section Index Home Page


Children in Care

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of children in care (a) continue their education after the age of 16 years and (b) go on to university; and if she will make a statement. [24563]

Jacqui Smith: I have been asked to reply.

Statistical information concerning the educational status of young people who have left care in England is not available, although we know anecdotally that very few care leavers go on to higher education. A new statistical collection which will provide information for care leavers aged 19 has recently been introduced by the Department, and the first year of data will cover 12 months ending 31 March 2002. This will identify the percentage of care leavers in education, training or employment. The Department plans to publish this information in autumn 2002.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Ministerial Visits

Mr. Collins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many letters to hon. Members were sent by him during his official visits overseas between 26 November and 11 December; and, of these, how many were (a) personally signed by him and (b) signed on his behalf by others. [25643]

The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: Throughout my visit, I continued to deal with the work of my Department clearing letters and other business as appropriate.

Mr. Collins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what commercial sponsorship was (a) sought and (b) received for his activities during his official visits overseas between 26 November and 11 December. [25642]

The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: None.

Mr. Collins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what was the total cost incurred by the travelling party during his official visits overseas between 26 November and 11 December; [25637]

14 Jan 2002 : Column 36W

The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: Since 1999, this Government have published an annual list of overseas visits undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing more than £500 or more during each financial year. Details of visits overseas for 2001–02 will be published as soon as possible after the end of the current financial year.

My recent visit overseas was undertaken fully in accordance with the "Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers", copies of which are available in the Library of the House.

Mr. Collins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what representations he made on behalf of UK companies during his official visits overseas between 26 November and 11 December; [25641]

The Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State: On behalf of the Prime Minister, I visited the United States, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and Vietnam from 27 November to 11 December. In the United States I had meetings with the UN Secretary General, the Vice-President and Senators. I visited

14 Jan 2002 : Column 37W

Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Vietnam as a guest of their Governments and met their Prime Ministers, other Ministers and businessmen.

I discussed the situation in Afghanistan and the global alliance against terrorism; the World Summit on Sustainable Development; and trade and other bilateral issues.

Departmental Sickness Absence

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will commission and publish an independent report on the reasons for the level of sickness absence in his Department. [26976]

Mr. Leslie: The Cabinet Office already commissions and publishes an independent annual report "Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service". This report includes details of the causes of absenteeism in all Government Departments, and is available at: www.cabinet.office.gov.uk/civilservice/publications/ sickness/index. htm.

For 2002 the contract for analysis of absence statistics has been awarded to AON Ltd. which will be conducting a thorough review of all the information currently collected and the needs and requirements of all users of the report.

The Cabinet Office has responsibilities for setting sick absence targets in the civil service as a whole and these are reflected in its Service Delivery Agreement (SDA) as follows:


The Cabinet Office is also committed to managing the attendance levels of its own employees and has set a target of 6.1 days per person per year by 2003. The medical retirement target is the same as that set for all Government Departments.

Urban Regeneration

Dr. Kumar: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what schemes targeting urban regeneration needs are managed by his Department; how much each scheme has available to invest nationally; what issues each scheme aims to tackle; and how much has been spent annually since 1997 (a) nationally, (b) in Teesside, (c) in Redcar and Cleveland and Middlesbrough councils and (d) in the Middlesbrough, South and Cleveland, East constituency. [25481]

Mr. Leslie: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister is responsible for the Government Office network which administers schemes of the type referred to on behalf of other Departments. The aims and budgets for such schemes are the responsibility of the Secretaries of State for those Departments.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Correspondence

Mr. Beith: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when she will reply to the correspondence from

14 Jan 2002 : Column 38W

the right hon. Member for Berwick-upon-Tweed to the Minister for Energy dated 13 June and 14 September relating to help for rural garages to install LPG facilities. [19983]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 3 December 2001]: I replied to the right hon. Gentleman on 12 December.

Nuclear Plants (Decommissioning)

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the cost to date to public funds of decommissioning of nuclear power plants. [23924]

Mr. Wilson [holding answer 18 December 2001]: Between 1994–95 and 2000–01 the cost of decommissioning UKAEA's nuclear power plants amounted to £119.3 million. (Expenditure on decommissioning nuclear power plants owned by BNFL has been met from its own resources). Figures for earlier years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Pre-pay Telephones

Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent research she has commissioned into the use of pre-payment telephones for offensive anonymous calls; and what plans she has to require registration of pre-pay telephones. [24316]

Mr. Alexander [holding answer 8 January 2002]: I have not commissioned research into the use of pre-payment mobile phones for offensive anonymous calls, nor do I have plans to require registration of such phones. Registration is easily falsified and compulsory registration would disadvantage many for whom low cost mobile phones are the only affordable form of telecommunications.

Air Traffic Control (Tanzania)

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment has been made of Tanzania's need for a military air traffic control system; and if she will make a statement. [25828]

Nigel Griffiths: The assessment of a country's current or future defence requirements is exempt from disclosure under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Mr. Redwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the proposed BAE military air traffic control system for Tanzania will also be used for civil aviation. [25201]

Nigel Griffiths: This is a matter for the end user and the exporter.

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations she has received from the World bank regarding the pending sale by BAE Systems to the Government of Tanzania of an air traffic control system. [24976]

Nigel Griffiths: The Department of Trade and Industry's Export Control Organisation has received no representation from the World bank regarding the sale of an air traffic control system to the Government of Tanzania.

14 Jan 2002 : Column 39W


Next Section Index Home Page