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Minimum Income Guarantee

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many retirement pensioners are receiving the minimum income guarantee in (a) Great Britain, (b) each region of Great Britain and (c) each parliamentary constituency; and what the percentage change in the number of claimants in each category has been from the previous year. [39546]

Mr. McCartney: The information has been placed in the Library.


Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of children were living in poverty defined as living below 50 per cent. mean income after housing costs, expressed as an average for the period (a) 1992 to 1997 and (b) 1997 to 2001; [40294]

Malcolm Wicks: Such information on low incomes as is available can be found in the publication Households Below Average Income 1994–95 to 1999–2000, a copy of which can be found in the Library. Data for the financial year 2000–01 will be published on 11 April 2002.

Employment and Social Policy Council

(Scottish Representation)

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether a Scottish Executive Minister will be a member of the UK delegation to the Employment and Social Policy European Union Council of Ministers meeting on 7 March; and what information is being provided by his Department to guarantee effective pre-council scrutiny by the European Committee of the Scottish Parliament. [40321]

Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 4 March 2002]: No Scottish Executive Minister attended the Employment and Social Policy Council Meeting on 7 March 2002.

It is the responsibility of the European Committee of the Scottish Parliament to scrutinise the Scottish Executive's involvement in preparations for EU Council meetings. These arrangements are a matter for the Committee and the Scottish Executive. The Department provides information to Scottish Executive officials as part of that process.

Child Support Agency

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will estimate the monetary value of Child Support Agency maintenance assessments for 2000–01 that have been (a) collected and arranged and (b) classified as outstanding debt; [33341]

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Malcolm Wicks: The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the Chief Executive, Mr. Doug Smith. He will write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Doug Smith to Mr. Steve Webb, dated 13 March 2002:

Annex 1: Table 1 Number of cases processed in year ending March 2001

Maintenance assessment
Time taken to process claimsFull Interim
Under 20 weeks53,2871,139
Between 20 to 52 weeks26,8461,246
Over 52 weeks20,6231,390
Total cases processed100,7563,775


Strategic assurance team


Public Appointments

Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many appointments to public bodies have been made through

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her Department (a) from April 2000 to March 2001 and (b) since 31 March 2001; and how many of these were (i) men and (ii) women. [42155]

Ms Rosie Winterton: 143 new non-judicial appointments were made to the Lord Chancellor's non-departmental public bodies from April 2000 to March 2001. Of these, 86 were men and 57 were women. Since 31 March 2001, 252 new appointments have been made: 151 men and 101 women.

Golden Jubilee

Valerie Davey: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when he will announce the results of the civic honours competitions held to mark Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee. [44196]

Mr. Wills: I am pleased to announce that Her Majesty has commanded that city status should be granted to Preston, Newport, Stirling, Lisburn and Newry and that Exeter should be honoured with the grant of a Lord Mayoralty, to mark the Golden Jubilee.

Before advising Her Majesty, my noble and learned Friend the Lord Chancellor consulted my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions, and the Secretaries of State for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland on the applications relevant to their Departments.

On the advice of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, the Lord Chancellor exceptionally recommended, and Her Majesty agreed, that two towns in Northern Ireland should be granted city status on this occasion.

I know that the unsuccessful applicants will be very disappointed not to have been honoured on such an important occasion. I can, however, assure them that the standard of all the applications was impressive and some were outstanding. The winners were particularly so and all deserve congratulations. The competitions have demonstrated a very positive attitude to Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee among towns and cities across the United Kingdom.

Electoral Roll

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if she will list the constituencies which have marked registers missing from the 2001 general election. [30104]

Ms Rosie Winterton: It is the responsibility of returning officers to ensure that marked registers are despatched to the Clerk of the Crown in good order and complete.

The Guidance to Acting Returning Officers in England and Wales was revised and reissued by the Home Office prior to the general election in 2001 and, at the request of this Department, specifically sought to remind them of previous concerns about incomplete and missing registers.

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Given that context, the list is of constituencies in England and Wales where, to date, some marked registers, or part of them, are or appear to be missing is as follows:

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