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WORK AND PENSIONS

Child Support Agency

Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent measures have been taken to (a) modernise the Child Support Agency and (b) make it more efficient. [74416]

Malcolm Wicks: I refer my hon. Friend to the letter sent to Members on 19 September 2002 by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, a copy of which is in the Library.

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place a copy of the new Child Support Agency Charter in the Library. [74718]

Malcolm Wicks: A copy was placed in the Library on 9 October.

New Deal

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on recent developments in the New Deal for Disabled People, with particular reference to (a) client participants and (b) recruitment and continuity of providers. [74671]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 15 October 2002]: Since the national extension of the New Deal for Disabled People programme began, it has helped over 5,000 people into jobs and more than 25,000 have registered with Job Brokers to actively pursue employment.

HEALTH

Parliamentary Questions

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) parliamentary questions and (b) letters to him from hon. Members remain unanswered; broken down by those which are (i) one

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month old, (ii) two months old, (iii) three months old, (iv) four months old and (v) over six months old. [73918]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 15 October 2002]: The table shows the number of outstanding parliamentary questions in the Department on 16 October 2002, which are over one month old.

Month TabledNumber of Parliamentary Questions Outstanding
May1
July13

The table shows the number of letters in the Department which had not received an answer at 15 October 2002.


With a Received Date BetweenNumber
1 & 2 months601
2 & 3 months385
3 & 4 months201
4 & 6 months367
greater than 6 months474

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what capacity his special advisers are involved in drafting answers to parliamentary questions tabled by hon. Members. [73921]

Mr. Lammy [holding answer 15 October 2002]: Officials with responsibility for the policy take the lead in drafting answers to parliamentary questions, which are then cleared by Ministers before a final reply is sent. There is no formal role for special advisers in this process, but they may from time to time be consulted by Ministers and/or officials about draft replies.

NHS Foundation Trusts

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether borrowing by NHS foundation trusts will be backed up by Treasury guarantees. [74550]

Mr. Hutton: Details of the financial regime for National Health Service foundation trusts are currently being developed.

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS foundation trusts will have other income streams in addition to standard NHS funding from the Treasury. [74551]

Mr. Hutton: National Health Service foundation trusts may have limited access to other income streams, in a similar way to existing NHS trusts, in addition to standard NHS funding from Her Majesty's Treasury. Their prime purpose will be to treat NHS patients.

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether NHS foundation trusts will be able to develop services for private patients in addition to existing pay beds in their particular hospitals or clinics. [74552]

Mr. Hutton: Provision of clinical services to National Health Service patients will remain the principal objective for NHS foundation trusts. However, as is the case for existing NHS trusts, the new organisations will

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be able to treat private patients including foreign nationals who may live in the United Kingdom but are not eligible for NHS treatment.

The governance and regulatory framework that we are developing for NHS foundation trusts will ensure that appropriate controls are put in place to prevent these organisations from developing private business at the expense of developing services for NHS patients.

Foundation Trust Consultative Group

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the members of the Foundation Trust Consultative Group. [74553]

Mr. Hutton: To develop the policy on National Health Service foundation trusts, the Department has sought a wide range of specialist advice. In particular, since December 2001 Chief Executive Officers from NHS trusts that have achieved three stars in the NHS performance ratings have been consulted on a range of issues. Key topics for discussion have been development of new freedoms and policy development on NHS foundation trusts. We expect these arrangements to continue.

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans there to award, (a) Northamptonshire and (b) Norfolk and Norwich NHS trusts foundation trust status. [74554]

Mr. Hutton: On 25 July, the Department published NHS Foundation Trusts: Eligibility Criteria and Timetable. Amongst other criteria, applicant National Health Service trusts need to hold and retain three star status in the NHS performance ratings. Northamptonshire and Norfolk and Norwich NHS Trusts will not be eligible to apply for NHS foundation trust status this autumn because they did not achieve three star status in the NHS performance ratings announced in July 2002.

Mr. Dobson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many of his departmental officials are involved in work on foundation status for NHS trusts. [74555]

Mr. Hutton: At present, there are nine Departmental staff working full time on National Health Service foundation trusts. However, as policy on NHS foundation trusts embraces a wide range of issues a number of other staff are also contributing to the policy development as and when required.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Countryside Protection

Ms Walley: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects to finalise the details of the service delivery agreement in respect of protection of valuable countryside around towns and cities; and if he will make a statement. [74794]

Mr. McNulty: A service delivery agreement relating to all of the Office's public service agreements will be published later this year.

17 Oct 2002 : Column 943W

Housing

Ms Oona King: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 16 May 2002 Official Report, column 800W, what information his Department has collated on the levels of under-occupancy in social housing in each borough in London; if he will list the financial compensation package and cash incentives available from each local authority in London to encourage tenants to move from an underoccupied property to more suitably sized accommodation; what assessment he has made of the impact in London of the good practice guidance on managing underoccupation published by his Department in April 2001; and what further action he plans to encourage local authorities in areas of high demand to develop a strategy for addressing underoccupancy. [74155]

Mr. McNulty: The information requested is not held centrally, and would only be provided at disproportionate cost; the information on financial compensation package and cash incentives available from each local authority in London to encourage tenants to move from an underoccupied property to more suitably sized accommodation will be available from the House of Commons library; the ODPM has not made an assessment of the impact in London of the good practice guidance on managing under-occupation; the ODPM has no firm plans to take further action to encourage local authorities in areas of high demand to develop a strategy for addressing underoccupancy.

Ms Oona King: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total expenditure by his Department was on each estate action programme in the borough of Tower Hamlets since 1985; and what this was as a percentage of the total cost of each programme. [74146]

Mr. Raynsford: The records of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets show the total expenditure for each of the estate action projects in Tower Hamlets since 1985, and the Department's contribution as a percentage of the total cost of each project are:

Estate Action SchemesTotal Cost of Project #mDepartmental contribution as % of Total cost
Aberfeldy Estate0.76450
All Estates on Isle of Dogs14.1100
Anglsey House0.378100
Ashpark House0.32100
Bancroft9.55646
Barkentine42.4692
Barkentine 322.03498
Barley Mow Estate4.46654
Bazely Estate0.39255
Bengal House5.12261
Berner Estate1.766100
Bethnal Green Estate3.41436
Birchfield House1.30162
Boundary Estate1.96463
Bow Bridge0.16100
Brinsley House Tarling East0.88100
British Street2.29512
Brownfield Estate2.5937
Brune House Complex1.93861
Burley House0.6100
Burnham Estate0.97168
Channel House-Ocean Estate2.26567
Chicksand Estate2.41877
Christchurch0.51145
Cleveland Estate0.79669
Coventry Cross East0.23100
Coventry Cross West0.28100
Cranbrook Estate4.1924
Cranford Cottages0.12100
Crossways0.15100
Cubitt Town-Thermopylae Gate1.04232
Digby Greenways10.5763
Dorian Estate all blocks in Stepney0.307100
Galleon House4.19278
Holland0.71297
Isle of Dogs3.5100
Jefferson Estate.Madison & 502.754
John Scurr4.80746
Lefevre Walk9.76985
Leobold Building9.54443
Limehouse Fields1.34785
Limehouse Fields0.70571
Lincoln Estate1.3100
Locton1.95952
Maddocks House Tarling West0.87100
Malmesbury0.5100
Manchester Estate2.68598
Mansford1.838
Martinu Estate0.886100
Mercers, mountmorres,0.2100
Midhurst House0.32100
Minerva2.67100
Monteith Estate8.58352
Newdieate House0.304100
Ocean2.59473
Ocean (Bothnia, Malaka, Tunis)1.776
Ocean (Play Area)0.449
Ocean Estate Security Works0.219100
Ocean(Muslim Prayer facilities)0.449
Parkview/Crankbrook0.66100
Perring Estate1.48450
Ranwell East0.356100
Ranwell West1.0969
Ring House-Martineau Estate2100
Riverside Estate0.343100
Robin Hood Gardens1.51677
Robin Hood Gardens 20.52100
Roche Estate3.00381
Rogers Estate2.7864
Roman Road North0.67783
Samuda Estate2.39545
Samuda Estate phase 20.0940
Samuda Estate. Hedley House0.66579
Samuda Housing Office1.6100
Sandhurst House0.14100
St Georges Estate2.42870
St John1.84485
St Peters0.081100
St Vincent0.804100
Studland House0.5100
Teviot Estate1.0749
Tredegar Road0.45100
Vaugham Estate1.033100
Wapping Estate00
Watney market19.02785
Wellington13.99786
Winterton.19.94886
Total/Average285.68876

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