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Waiting Lists (Mental Health)

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health in what form he collects statistics on the number of children waiting to be referred to the CAHMS; and what the figures are for the last two years for which figures are available. [81719]

Jacqui Smith: The only information currently available on the waiting time for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is by the consultant specialty of child and adolescent psychiatry. The latest information on waiting times for inpatient and outpatient appointments is shown in the tables.

We recognise that in some places waiting times CAMHS are unacceptably long. The development of CAMHS is an important part of the work we are taking forward in the children's national service framework. In 2002–3 we are investing an additional 40 million in services provided by the national health service and local authorities which will help in reducing waiting.

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On the 16 October my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, announced that CAMHS would receive an additional investment of 140 million over the next three years through increased grants to local authorities. This will build capacity, improve access and, together with new NHS investment, help deliver for the first time a comprehensive CAMHS service for every area.

WORK AND PENSIONS

Congestion Charging

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many car parking spaces are available to (a) employees of his Department and (b) visitors to his Department within the proposed Central London Road User Charging Zone. [81857]

Maria Eagle: Within the proposed central London charging zone there are 112 parking spaces available to employees of the Department. There are no parking spaces designated for visitors to the Department.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the policy is of his Department in relation to the reimbursement of Central London road user charges incurred by its employees. [81837]

Maria Eagle: All civil servants are responsible for their own every day home to office travel costs. The introduction of a central London road users' charge will not affect this basic condition of service. However, staff on official business who are required to drive their own vehicles, or hire vehicles, within the charging zone will be reimbursed.

Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the estimated cost is to his Department of the central London road user charging scheme for (a) 17 February 2003 to 31 March 2003, and (b) 1 April 2003 to 31 March 2004. [81876]

Maria Eagle: All civil servants are responsible for payment of their own every day home to office travel costs. The introduction of a central London road user charge will not affect this basic condition of service. Any additional costs incurred to the Department by staff on official business as a result of the congestion charging scheme will be just one element within wider costs which have to be met from budgets for official travelling and other costs.

Information on the number of departmental employees who travel to the central London area on official business is not held centrally. I am therefore unable to give an estimate of the likely cost to the Department.

Age Discrimination

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the Government will take powers to make it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of age. [81692]

Alan Johnson: I have been asked to reply.

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The Government are committed to introducing legislation under the European Employment Directive outlawing age discrimination in employment and vocational training by December 2006.

The Government have already sought views on a number of general age issues in the consultation document XTowards Equality and Diversity" and we intend to consult again on specific proposals by summer 2003.

MINISTER FOR WOMEN

Domestic Violence

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Minister for Women when she will publish the results of her inquiry into the economic costs of domestic violence. [81089]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 18 November 2002]: The research project is scheduled to conclude in summer 2003 and the report will be published thereafter.

Sandra Gidley: To ask the Minister for Women when the Women and Equality Unit and the Public Carriage Office will publish their package of measures and promotional products regarding reducing domestic violence; and what these measures will include. [81090]

Ms Hewitt [holding answer 18 November 2002]: The Women and Equality Unit and the Public Carriage Office are continuing to develop plans on awareness raising and domestic violence. We are currently consulting with major charities and with women and children in order to market test a number of propositions. Further details will be announced shortly.

DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Regional Development Agencies

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he expects to carry out a review of regional development agency boundaries. [80422]

Alan Johnson: I have been asked to reply.

The Government have no plans to carry out a review of the regional development agency boundaries.

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what mechanisms exist for the review of regional development agency boundaries. [80423]

Alan Johnson: I have been asked to reply.

The boundaries of the regional development agencies are set out in Schedule 1 of the Regional Development Agencies Act 1998. Section 1 of that Act provides that any reference in Schedule 1 to a local government or administrative area is to that area as it is for the time being.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

LPG Stations

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of petrol stations in the UK supply liquefied petroleum gas to customers. [80505]

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Mr. Wilson: The Liquid Petroleum Gas Association (LPGA) informed my Department that there is currently a total of 1179 LPG public refuelling stations in UK (including Offshore Islands and Ireland), of which 666 are located at petrol stations.

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the impact of requiring (a) new and (b) refurbished petrol stations to provide liquefied petroleum gas. [80506]

Mr. Wilson: An impact assessment has currently not been undertaken, however at a meeting between my Department and the Liquid Petroleum Gas Association in January this year, the association informed us that new retail sites are opening at a rate approaching one per day. Given the incentives from both DFT and my Department and the rate at which sites are opening, the Government continue to promote, encourage, and more importantly continue to raise the awareness of alternative fuel in particular LPG, by continue working with Energy and Transport Industries.

ASW Sheerness (Receivers)

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) how many meetings the senior executives at GOSE and SEEDA had with (a) management and (b) workforce at ASW Sheerness since 11 July 2002 to discuss its future; [81075]

Alan Johnson [holding answer 18 November 2002]: Since ASW went into administrative receivership on 11 July 2002, the Chief Executive and senior officials from SEEDA and GOSE have remained in close touch with my Department on the future of the company.

While the company was in the hands of the receiver, KPMG, the DTI has led the contact with the receiver and in these contacts has taken fully into account the representations it has received from SEEDA and GOSE. During this time efforts made at a regional level by partners have concentrated on planning an appropriate response once the receivers have made a decision.

Mr. Wyatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what financial help she can offer to ensure all of ASW Sheerness mills are kept on site. [81093]

Alan Johnson [holding answer 18 November 2002]: The rules governing aid to the steel industry are embodied in the European Commission Multi-Sectoral Framework on state aid and commission communications on rescue, restructuring and closure aid. These rules prohibit the provision of rescue and restructuring aid to steel companies.

Battery Recycling

Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she and her

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officials have had with her European counterparts regarding the recycling of nickel-cadmium batteries; and what plans there are to ban nickel-cadmium batteries (a) throughout the European Union and (b) in the UK. [80898]

Mr. Wilson: DTI officials have met European Commission officials and key battery organisations such as the European Portable Battery Association and collect NiCad to discuss the recycling of nickel cadmium batteries. DTI officials have also met SAFT, a battery manufacturer that runs the Bat-Re-Back scheme in the UK which accepts all industrial nickel cadmium batteries for recycling.

Beyond transposing the terms of a Commission Decision amending Annex II of the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive, which requires member states to ensure that cadmium in batteries for electric vehicles is not put on the market after 31 December 2005, the UK has no plans at present to ban nickel cadmium batteries. A proposal for a new EU Batteries Directive is currently awaited, and this may call for significant reductions in the use of nickel cadmium batteries throughout the European Union.

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