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27 Nov 2002 : Column 316W—continued


Adviser Discretion Fund

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information is kept on the uses of money paid out from the Adviser Discretion Fund; and what checks are made to ensure that the money is spent on the things for which it is assigned. [81793]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: We have introduced the Adviser Discretion Fund to give personal advisers more flexibility in the help they can offer their New Deal clients.

The fund has been a success. Over 61,000 of the people who have received an award have moved into work. On 18 November we announced that we will be extending access to the Adviser Discretion Fund to all incapacity benefit clients working with Jobcentre Plus advisers in areas piloting the changes recommended in the 'Pathways to Work' consultation document.

We maintain records of: the number of awards; the monetary value of awards (case by case and in total); the type of goods and services being purchased; and the number of people who, having received an award, subsequently find work.

Confirmation of the goods and services purchased and their cost is provided through either an invoice where the supplier is paid direct or a receipt (from the supplier) provided by the individual customer.

Attendance Allowance

Mr. Steve Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the basis on which his Department collects data on the number of pensioners who had attendance allowance

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withdrawn during a stay in hospital; and how many pensioners were affected by these rules in the past three years for which figures are available. [84124]

Maria Eagle: The Department collects data on people in receipt of attendance allowance (and other disability and carer benefits) by means of a quarterly statistical inquiry. This allows analysis—on a sample basis—of the numbers of recipients whose awards are suspended at the date of the inquiry because they have been in hospital more than 28 days. Because periods of suspension may be completed between two quarterly inquiries or span more than one inquiry, this information does not provide a basis for calculating cumulative figures for people who have had their AA or DLA suspended after spending 28 days in hospital.

Numbers of attendance allowance cases at 31 May of each year in the period 2000 to 2002 and numbers of cases in which payments were recorded as suspended because the recipient was in hospital

Attendance allowance
Total casesCases with payment suspended while recipient in hospital


1. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.

2. Figures for suspensions refer only to cases where the reason is known.

3. Information is collected at the end of February, May, August and November each year. Figures in the table vary from those given in the written answer on 11 July 2002, Official Report, column 1146W, which date back from November 2001.


Analytical Services Division Information Centre: 5 per cent. data.

Child Support Agency

Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to implement the new assessment procedures at the Child Support Agency for (a) existing and (b) new clients. [82571]

Malcolm Wicks: I refer the hon. Member to the letter sent to hon. Members on 19 September 2002 by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, a copy of which was placed in the Library. The new scheme will commence for existing clients when we are satisfied that it is working well. We expect this to be about a year later.

Civil Service Pensioners

Mr. Randall : To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in receipt of a civil service pension started their service prior to 1949. [82047]

Mr. Alexander: I have been asked to reply.

This information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Arrangements for the extraction of information from the civil service pensioner payroll database and subsequent investigation of individual pensioner files by former employing Departments would be necessary to identify those with pre-1949 service, including those whose service was in an unestablished (ie temporary) capacity.

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Corporate Responsibility

Helen Jones : To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many HSE investigations into the deaths of (a) people at work and (b) members of the public have resulted in the prosecution of a company director or senior manager in each of the last five years. [82054]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 21 November 2002]: HSE's validated prosecution statistics do not identify cases against individual directors and senior managers following fatal incident investigations. HSE have already recognised the need to address this shortfall in their information systems. They set up a new system in April 2002 that will enable them to accurately capture and provide this information for future years.

Employment Action Teams

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria are used by each Employment Action Team to define the areas of special employment action. [83244]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 26 November 2002]:We launched the first phase of the Action Teams for Jobs initiative in 2000. The locations of the 40 teams were selected on the basis of their low levels of employment, high levels of unemployment, high proportions of people from ethnic minority backgrounds; or their being in existing Employment Zone or European Social Fund Objective One areas. These teams were able to choose where they worked within the area, subject to the approval of an inter-Departmental Project Steering Group.

In 2001 the Action Team initiative was extended. Some new teams were introduced and some teams in large urban areas were divided to ensure a strong local presence was retained. The focus of the teams was sharpened to ensure they targeted only the most disadvantaged people in the most employment deprived wards. Wards covered by the new Action Teams and additional wards covered by existing teams were selected because their working age employment rate was 58.5 per cent., or below in April 2001 when selection took place. Within these wards, teams can work with people from specified disadvantaged groups.

Jobcentre Plus

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) which local authority areas have been selected to receive additional points in respect of the Jobcentre Plus Job Entry Target set by his Department; what criteria were applied when selecting the areas; whom he consulted in respect of the selection; and if he will make a statement; [82508]

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Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 25 November 2002]: The Jobcentre Plus job entry targets help focus the agency's efforts and resources on helping those people on whom we want to target more support to move from welfare into work. They include lone parents, disabled people and those living in the most disadvantaged areas of the country.

The way in which job entry and additional point scores have been allocated sends clear signals about our priorities to all Jobcentre Plus managers and staff who have been informed about them in writing.

The 60 local authority areas attracting additional job entry point scores are in the table. These local authorities were chosen because they either have the highest unemployment rates or the highest minority ethnic populations. We consulted other Government Departments, the National Employment Panel and key stakeholders in deciding on these criteria.

Local Authorities with highest unemployment ratesLocal Authorities with highest minority ethnic population
Blaenau GwentBarnet
Dundee CityBradford
East AyrshireCamden
Glasgow CityCoventry
Kingston upon HullHammersmith and Fulham
Merthyr TydfilHounslow
MiddlesbroughKensington and Chelsea
Neath Port TalbotKirklees
North LanarkshireLeicester City
Redcar and ClevelandMerton
Rhondda, Cynon, TaffRedbridge
South TynesideSheffield
SouthwarkWaltham Forest
Tower HamletsCity of Westminster
West DunbartonshireWolverhampton

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