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Mr. Gummer: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on sovereignty over Western Sahara. 
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Mr. Mike O'Brien: The UKin common with most other countriesregards the sovereignty of Western Sahara as undetermined pending UN efforts to find a solution to this dispute.
We supported UN Security Council Resolution 1359. This reiterated full support for the ongoing efforts of MINURSO to implement the Settlement Plan and agreements by the parties to hold a free, fair and impartial referendum for the self-determination of the people of the Western Sahara.
It also endorsed the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to invite all the parties to meet directly, or through proximity talks under the auspices of his Personal Envoy, James Baker, to discuss any proposal in order to arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made towards EU enlargement. 
Peter Hain: Excellent progress was made under the Spanish presidency, which agreed EU positions on the four final chapters for negotiation, in line with the "road map" agreed at Nice. The Seville European Council reiterated the EU's commitment to completing negotiations with the best-prepared candidates by the end of the year, so they can join the EU in time to take part in the 2004 European Parliament elections. The UK is firmly committed to this timetable, first proposed by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in 2000. 10 candidate countries are on track to complete negotiations this year, having closed between 23 and 28 of the 30 chapters.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Governments of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia concerning anti-Semitism in the media in those countries; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: We deplore anti-Semitism and make this clear to those concerned.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) the Saudi Ambassador and (b) the Saudi Government concerning recent statements made by the Ambassador relating to suicide bombing; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Mike O'Brien: The FCO has made clear to the Saudi Ambassador our well-known position on suicide bombings. We condemn them as we condemn all forms of terrorism and indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians. We have not made any other representations to the Saudi Government.
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Mr. Dhanda: To ask the Prime Minister what changes to ministerial responsibilities he will be making in relation to Sure Start, early years and child care. 
The Prime Minister: The Chancellor announced yesterday a significant increase in the combined budget for child care, early years and Sure Start, rising to £1.5 billion in 200506. This includes a more than doubling of investment in child care by 200506, following an inter-departmental review of child care co-ordinated by the Performance and Innovation Unit.
The extra investment will support the expansion of child care places across the country, and the integration of good quality child care with early years education, family support and health services through a network of children's centres in the most disadvantaged areas.
In keeping with this new focus on integration, responsibility for early years education, child care and Sure Start will be brought within one inter-departmental unit based within the Department for Education and Skills. The Chancellor announced yesterday the PSA target for the new unit which will be shared by the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Work and Pensions.
This new inter-departmental unit will report to a new Minister for Sure Start, early years and child care, who will be jointly appointed to the Department for Education and Skills and the Department for Work and Pensions, to ensure that our early years and child care vision delivers on both our educational and employment objectives. I have asked Baroness Ashton, who led the inter- departmental review of child care, to take on this role.
Baroness Ashton will report to a new cross- departmental ministerial group on Sure Start, early years and child care. This Group will be a sub-Committee of MISC9, the Cabinet sub-Committee on Children's Services. The focus on health has been vital to the Sure Start programmes already up and running. To ensure that this is maintained, the sub-committee will be chaired by the Minister for Public Health. The sub-committee's other members will include the Paymaster General and the Minister for Disabled People.
The Secretary of State for Education and Skills will continue to speak on these issues in Cabinet. At junior ministerial level, the Minister for Disabled People will answer questions in the House of Commons.
I believe these new arrangements will ensure that an integrated approach is taken to the development and delivery of our early years and child care vision.
Rob Marris: To ask the President of the Council if he will make a statement on E-democracy. 
Mr. Robin Cook: The Government will today publish "In the service of democracy, a consultation paper on a policy for electronic democracy". Copies of the paper are
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available in the Vote Office, Libraries of the House and on the new e-democracy website www.edemocracy.gov.uk. A copy of the paper will be sent to all MPs and Peers.
Our strategy for e-democracy offers new ways of participating and seeks to complement rather than replace existing structures. The paper sets out our aim of using new technologies to promote, strengthen and enhance our democratic structures.
Government action is proposed in two main areas, e-participation and e-voting. We outline new ways in which the mechanisms of democracy can be enhanced, by modernising voting methods, improving access to ballots and broadening the scope of Government consultations.
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) provide a means to increase public participation, and we hope that with an active Government policy the potential benefits can be maximised.
The period of public consultation will end on Wednesday 31 October 2002.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many exclusions from (a) primary and (b) secondary schools there have been in each English local education authority in each year since 198081; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 8 July 2002]: Tables showing the available information have been placed in the House of Commons Library.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what plans there are to advertise the existence of the national register of child minders and day care providers; 
(3) when the national register of child minders and day care providers will be available online; 
(4) how many child care professionals are listed on the national register of child minders and day care providers; 
(5) how many child care professionals are listed on the national register of child minders and day care providers within the area of the Devon county council. 
Margaret Hodge: The establishment of a national register of child minders and day care providers is a matter for the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted). The HM Chief Inspector for Schools, David Bell, will write to the hon. Gentleman and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library. Ofsted routinely transfers information from its database of child care providers to local Childcare information Services (CISs). The Government have made funds available to local CISs across England in order to make child care information available to parents. The Department has set up the ChildcareLink national
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information line (0800 0 96 02 96) to help parents find their local CIS. There is also a ChildcareLink website www.childcarelink gov.uk that includes a search facility to find local child care provision.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) when assessment of child care providers against OFSTED's satisfaction criteria will (a) commence and (b) be completed; 
(3) when OFSTED's satisfaction criteria for child care providers will be finalised. 
Margaret Hodge: This is a matter for the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED). The HM Chief Inspector for Schools, David Bell, will write to the hon. Gentleman and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library.
Richard Younger-Ross: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what further training is necessary for staff as a result of the transfer of responsibilities for child care regulation to OFSTED; and what plans there are for its provision. 
Margaret Hodge: Training for staff employed by the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) is a matter for OFSTED. The HM Chief Inspector for Schools, David Bell, will write to the hon. Gentleman and a copy of his letter will be placed in the Library.
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