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Tom Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what assessment has been made by his Department of the changes which have taken place within National Air Traffic Services since the beginning of the PPP; and if he will make a statement. 
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Mr. Jamieson: My Department, as a major shareholder in NATS, is in regular contact with the company itself and other interested parties regarding the development of NATS since the inception of the PPP. We are confident that the new NATS management will secure the necessary improvements in efficiency and project management.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what arrangements have been made for co-ordinating security measures for UK ports with the Royal Navy since 11 September 2001; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what proportion of UK ports were not in receipt of TRANSEC advice prior to 11 September 2001; and if he will make a statement; 
(4) what recent assessment has been made of measures required in respect of protective security for UK ports; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what resources he will make available to Gloucestershire county council to upgrade the A436 prior to de-trunking the A40; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jamieson: The A436 is a local road for which Gloucestershire county council is the local highway authority. The Government have allocated £16,489,000 to the county council to maintain and improve the local transport infrastructure within the county in the 200203 financial year. It is for the county council to decide if it wishes to use part of this allocation to fund improvements to the A436.
Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many (a) deaths and (b) serious injuries have resulted from road accidents involving (i) the Fire Service and (ii) police cars; and how much compensation has been paid, in each of the last five years. 
Dr. Whitehead: Information on deaths, serious injuries and compensation, resulting from road accidents involving the fire service is not held centrally. Chief Fire Officers may be able to provide this information relative to their own brigades
Mr. Woodward: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many road accident casualties involving (a) fatal injuries, (b) serious injuries and (c) slight injuries there were in
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(i) St. Helens Metropolitan Borough Council area, (ii) Merseyside and (iii) the Northwest in each year from 1992 to 2001. 
|Year of accident||Fatal||Serious||Slight|
(2) Government Office Region (including Merseyside)
Figures are not yet available for 2001.
Ms Keeble: The guidance issued to local authorities on the Rural Bus Challenge scheme already makes clear that the term "bus" will be broadly interpreted to cover a broad range of road-based public transport. It can include for example projects involving taxi buses or shared taxis and a number of such schemes have been supported with Challenge funding.
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Margaret Hodge: DFES Ministers have met representatives of the Association of Colleges (AoC) on a number of occasions in recent months. The Secretary of State met David Gibson and other representatives from the AoC on 11 February where a wide range of issues relating to FE was discussed. I last met the AoC on 11 April to discuss issues including FE pay and funding.
John Healey: We are making available over £4.2 billion for further education in 200203, a 3 per cent. real terms increase. We are looking to the current spending review to deliver the resources we need to meet the Government's ambitions for further education in 200304 and beyond.
John Healey: Further education plays a key role in driving forward growth in participation and achievement, by providing high quality vocational and academic routes. This year we are investing over £4.2 billion in further education, a 3 per cent. real terms increase on last year and this will enable the Learning and Skills Council to fund a 2.9 per cent. growth in full-time equivalent students in the sector. The Council has recently submitted a report to the Government on its plans for widening participation and we will be working jointly with the LSC to implement this.
Mr. Timms: We assign an equally high priority to education in schools and colleges. My hon. and learned Friend will know that the 1419 Green Paper sets out our aim that schools and colleges should collaborate to provide all young people with an extended range of opportunities from age 14.
Mr. Timms: We have received a number of representations about education funding. We are currently working up a new funding system for introduction in 200304. Our aim is not only to make funding fairer, justified by the education needs of children, but to make it clearer as well. In the meantime, we are continuing to make significant increases in education funding overall.
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John Healey: This Government recognise the vital importance of improving adult basic skills. Since Skills for Life, our national strategy, was launched last year, we have made significant progress. This includes piloting a number of new initiatives, including one in my hon. Friend's constituency, to determine what works best in helping adults improve their skills. Participation by adults in basic skills courses is increasing and from April to October 2001 over 91,000 adults improved their skills.
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