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7 Nov 2002 : Column 605Wcontinued
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what strategies his Department has to ensure that there is no ageism in recruitment and retention processes. 
Mr. Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is committed to age diversity and is implementing the recommendations of the Government's Winning the Generation Game report.
Discrimination on the ground of age is not permitted under our equal opportunities policy.
Our recruitment, development, performance management and retention policies are continuously reviewed. There are no age barriers to employment and retirement age is determined on business needs only.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister what role his Department expects local government to play in the delivery of (a) objectives agreed at the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and (b) sustainable development; and what steps have been taken by his Department to encourage local action. 
Mr. McNulty: The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will be launching a major review of the UK Sustainable Development Strategy in the new year. They will use this opportunity to consult stakeholders, including local authorities, on UK action to implement the Johannesburg commitments domestically.
The Local Government Act 2000 placed a duty on local authorities to prepare community strategies for promoting the economic, social and environmental well being of their communities and contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in the UK.
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister, what grants his Department has allocated to community halls for the cost of installing disabled toilets in each of the last three years; what funds his Department is making available in each of the next three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Raynsford: As far as I can ascertain, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has paid no grants specifically to Community Halls for the cost of installing disabled toilets in the last three years. We pay grants to local authorities, which have a power, but not a duty, to provide public toilets. Local authorities are subject to the Disability Discrimination Act.
David Wright: To ask the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister what criteria will be used to define deprived areas in relation to the Post Office Urban Network Re-invention Programme. 
Mr. McNulty: The ''Indices of Deprivation 2000'' will be used to define deprived areas in relation to both the Post Office Urban Network Re-invention Programme and the Post Office Fund for Urban deprived Areas.
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The Indices of Deprivation 2000 are measures of deprivation for every ward and local authority area in England. It combines a number of indicators which cover a range of domains (Income, Employment, Health Deprivation and Disability, Education, Skills and Training, Housing and Geographical Access to Services) into a single deprivation score for each area.
The deprivation criteria for the Post Office Urban Network Re-invention Programme relates only to the fact that other than in exceptional circumstances, the compensated closure arrangements will not extend to offices in the 10 per cent. most deprived urban areas, which are more than half a mile from the next post office.
The deprivation criteria for the Post Office Fund for Urban Deprived Areas will be announced shortly.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what firm his Department has commissioned to gather data from individual householders about safety in the home; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has commissioned several organisations to carry out such research on its behalf since it took on responsibility for fire matters in May 2002
The research projects undertaken relate to individual's or householder's attitudes or behaviour with regard to fire safety in the home and are as follows:
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much (a) money, (b) departmental time and (c) other resources the Government has expended on the Urban Summit. 
Mr. McNulty: The final expenditure and income figures for the Urban Summit have yet to be determined. However, the net cost of staging the event, after taking account of income from ticket sales, exhibition stand sales and sponsorship is currently estimated at about #550,000. This figure includes the costs of contractors, consultants and agency staff recruited to work on the Summit organisation, but excludes the costs of permanent ODPM staff. The costs of the permanent ODPM staff in the Summit organising team are estimated at about #200,000.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which urban councils not controlled by the Labour Party were represented at the Urban Summit on 31st October to 1st November. 
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Mr. McNulty: All urban councils were invited to attend the Urban Summit, regardless of political control. An analysis of the delegate database is being carried out to provide the information requested. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as the information is available. A copy of my letter will be deposited in the House of commons Library.
Mr. Gummer: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which (a) district councillors and (b) officers from urban councils which are not controlled by the Labour Party were invited (i) to speak and (ii) to chair sessions at the Urban Summit of 31st October to 1st November. 
Mr. McNulty: Taking all local authorities in England, one County Councillor and four officers either spoke at or chaired themed sessions at the Urban Summit from authorities which are not controlled by the Labour Party.
Llew Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the (a) regeneration initiatives and (b) publications launched by his Department at the Urban Summit in Birmingham; what the cost was of holding the summit; how many registered attendees and media representatives were present; whether a sustainability audit was done of the summit venue in advance of the decision to use the international convention centre; and if he will make a statement on matters learned at the summit; and what his next actions will be in relation to urban regeneration. 
Mr. McNulty: A number of initiatives and publications were launched at the Urban Summit in Birmingham on 31 October and 1 November 2002. These included:
In relation to the cost of staging the Urban Summit I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave yesterday to the hon. right Member for Suffolk Coastal (Mr. Gummer).
Final checks are being made on delegate numbers but our records currently show that 1525 delegates registered and attended the Summit and 138 media representatives were present.
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No formal sustainability audit was carried out but sustainability issues, such as the accessibility of the venue by public transport, were factors in the criteria for selecting the venue.
Debate on urban issues at the Summit took place not just in the plenary sessions, but also in 28 themed sessions. The key messages and ideas which came out of those sessions are being gathered together and will be fed into the development of the long term plan for sustainable communities which the Deputy Prime Minister will be presenting to the House in January 2003. A report on the Summit's proceedings will be deposited in the House of Commons library.
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