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John Healey: Funding from 200304 to 200506 is the subject of the current spending review in which we will be considering the resources available to deliver the Government's ambitions for further education in 200304 and beyond. The Government are making a massive investment in further education. By next year funding for FE will have risen by 26 per cent. in real terms since 1997 on current plans.
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what efficiency gains have been factored into funding awards proposed for (a) further education colleges, (b) sixth-form colleges and (c) schools with a sixth form in England in each of the next five years. 
John Healey: We are examining spending plans from 200304 until 200506 as part of the current spending review. We must await the outcome of this review before committing funds to specific areas of education.
Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many vacancies for academic staff teaching applied science and technology subjects at (a) further education colleges, (b) sixth-form colleges and (c) sixth-forms in schools there were in England broken down by region, at the beginning of each academic year since 1997. 
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Mr. Chidgey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the median salary for the academic staff teaching applied science and technology subjects was in England, broken down by region at (a) further education colleges, (b) sixth-form colleges and (c) schools with a sixth form in each year since 1997. 
John Healey: The Department does not collect this information. Further education sector colleges are run by independent corporations established under the Further Education and Higher Education Act 1992. There is no nationally agreed pay scale in the general FE sector. Colleges determine their own staff pay policies and salaries will, therefore, vary from college to college. Salary information is not available for teachers in school sixth forms.
John Healey: I am pleased to tell my hon. Friend that £20 million capital modernisation funding will be provided over the next two years to develop and modernise prison education and training through the "Learning to Earning" project. Finding prisoners suitable employment plays a key role in helping them resettle into society. This project will improve dramatically opportunities for prisoners to acquire skills and knowledge that will equip them for jobs on release, and so reduce the likelihood of re-offending.
Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will respond to the requests made by the hon. Member for Mid-Worcestershire for a meeting to discuss compensation for the residents adjacent to the Throckmorton carcase disposal site. 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 17 July 2001]: I regret that this reply has been delayed pending consideration of meetings between officials and residents. I am aware of the interest of the hon. Member in this issue, and will be writing to him shortly.
Mr. Barnes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the hon. Member for North-East Derbyshire will receive a reply to his letter of 12 November, as acknowledged on 16 November, reference 162094. 
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the costs of (a) introducing technetium-99 abatement technology and (b) storage facilities in order to reduce Sellafield's discharges to 10 terabecquerels per year; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 11 March 2002]: My right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State for Health and for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have not carried out any separate cost assessment of their own. They have before them the cost assessment carried out by the Environment Agency, as set out in the agency's proposed decision published in September 2001. The agency's document sets out in some detail considerations of costs for the various technetium-99 abatement techniques that have been considered, and for a range of schemes to partially or fully replace the B211 facility where medium active concentrate (MAC), containing technetium-99, is stored. Costs are given both as undiscounted costs and present value costs, and they are further broken down into capital, operating and decommissioning costs. Where appropriate, the costs of combining abatement techniques with each other and with new storage facilities are also considered.
The undiscounted cost of introducing so-called "TPP abatement" would be in the order of £3 million, whereas "MAC Diversion" costs would be in the range £1490 million. The so-called "end of pipe" abatement techniques that have been identified by BNFL are estimated to cost in the range of £76256 million. Replacement of the B211 storage facility to include replacement of the current MAC storage capacity would cost in the order of £450 million. BNFL are also assessing options for refurbishing the B211 facility, which would be notably cheaper.
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, pursuant to her answer of 23 January 2002, Official Report, columns 92627W, on stolen equipment, what criminal proceedings have been undertaken for cases of theft against her Department, stating in each case (a) whether the proceedings (i) led to a criminal conviction and (ii) were
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unsuccessful, (b) the cost incurred by her Department in pursuing a conviction and (c) the value of items recovered; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley: Only one person has been prosecuted for stealing equipment from the Department since May 1997. He pleaded guilty at Horseferry Road magistrates court on 4 March 2002 to 10 offences of theft of departmental property. He received 80 hours community punishment concurrent on each offence and was ordered to pay £442.48 compensation. The prosecution's claim for investigative and prosecution costs of £500 was not granted by the sentencing court. No stolen items were recovered.
Mr. Meacher: The proposal to develop a national ambient noise strategy was announced in the Rural White Paper in November 2000. The consultation on the development of such a strategy"Towards a National Ambient Noise Strategy"closed on the 15 March this year and the results of the consultation are currently being considered and may result in changes to our approach. However, currently it would only be at a later stage that the introduction of targets (if any) would be considered.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost in 200102 was of the pay increase to staff in her Department, agencies and the non-departmental public bodies for which she is responsible; and what the cost of the forthcoming increase will be in 200203. 
|Veterinary Medicines Directorate||542|
|Pesticides Safety Directorate||703|
|Rural Payments Agency||3,738|
|Central Science Laboratory (CSL)||700|
|Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS)||620|
|Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA)||1,693|
1. These figures include earnings related national insurance contribution and superannuation liability.
2. Under the terms of their respective framework agreements, the chief executives of three of DEFRA's executive agencies (CSL, VLA, CEFAS) have delegated responsibility for pay arrangements for staff below senior civil service level.
The information for non-departmental public bodies is not available. It will be published in their annual reports and accounts in due course. These are laid before Parliament each year and copies deposited in the Library of the House.
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