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2 Dec 2002 : Column 618Wcontinued
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many pharmacies participated in the Essential Small Pharmacies Scheme in each of the past five years, broken down according to size of turnover. 
|Year end||Number of community pharmacies|
|31 March 1997||256|
|31 March 1998||255|
|31 March 1999||255|
|31 March 2000||262|
|31 March 2001||243|
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Mr. Hutton: The first priority of national health service bodies is to treat NHS patients. However, as a way of raising additional income, NHS bodies are permitted to provide accommodation and services privately to patients who undertake to pay for them, or on whose behalf such undertakings are given, provided this does not interfere with their NHS duties. These patients may include customers of private health schemes.
|Year||Total number of sight tests (million)|
Information on the number of people having NHS sight tests is not collected centrally. The number of sight tests can not be equated with the number of people as some groups are advised to have more than one sight test in a year.
Dr. Evan Harris: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of doctors suspended for over six months are (a) women and (b) from ethnic minorities; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hutton: As of 30 September 2002, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 38 hospital and community medical and hospital dental staff suspended for more than six months. Of these, 10 were women. We do not collect information by ethnic group.
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Mr. Lammy: NHS Plus providers are a network of 115 occupational health departments in the national health service in England. They provide a wide range of occupational health services, which includes advice on rehabilitation. Occupational health services are a component of vocational rehabilitation and it therefore already falls within the remit of the NHS Plus unit to sell each service to those providing vocational rehabilitation.
Where possible, NHS Plus will offer support to the Government's latest vocational rehabilitation initiatives, the XHealth, Work and Recovery" programme, led by the Department for Work and Pensions and XPathways to Work: Helping People into Employment", the new Green Paper presented to Parliament on 18 November by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
Mr. Edward Davey: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many empty homes each Government Department has disposed of in (a) 199899, (b) 19992000, (c) 200001 and (d) 200102; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what arrangements are to be put in place under proposals for business improvement districts for a minimum threshold of businesses voting in the ballot and what safeguards will be put in place for low-turnover businesses to pay the levy. 
Mr. Leslie: The rules governing the BID ballot are set out in the Local Government Bill. A successful ballot will have to meet two tests. Firstly, a simple majority of those voting in the BID ballot must vote in favour. Secondly, those voting in favour must represent a majority by rateable value of the hereditaments (rateable properties) of those voting. This Xdual-key" mechanism means that a scheme cannot be forced through by large firms against the wishes of small firms, or vice versa. We do not intend to introduce a third test, namely that for a vote to succeed a set percentage of those entitled to vote must vote in favour. We believe that the Xdual-key" provides sufficient protection for small businesses, including those with a low turnover.
Mr. Letwin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) whether his Department's bid to the Capital Modernisation Fund for an additional £217 million to fund extra equipment and training for firefighters for a CBRN emergency has been successful; 
2 Dec 2002 : Column 621W
(3) how much additional funding has been granted to each fire authority since 11 September 2001 for CBRN training, protection equipment and additional search and rescue equipment. 
Mr. McNulty: The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is an independent UK wide grant making body launched in 1999 as part of the Government's response to the Coalfield Task Force Report published in 1998. Working with partners, it delivers the social and economic regeneration of the coalfields in England, Scotland and Wales.
No separate figures are available for the funding of projects by the Trust in the Stoke on Trent North area. However, during its first round of funding (19992002) the Coalfields Regeneration Trust made 11 grants with a value of £670,000 to the wider Stoke on Trent area. Since the inception of the second round of funding from April 2002 a further five grants have been made with a value totalling £458,300.
A wide range of community projects have been supported by these grants including the provision of new community facilities, the refurbishment of former miners welfare facilities and the provision of work based training opportunities to disaffected young people.
Mr. Leslie: No. As my right hon. Friend the Member for Greenwich and Woolwich (Mr. Raynsford) announced on 19 November 2002, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has decided that authorities exercising the proposed new powers to create their own council tax discounts and exemptions will have to meet the costs of these new discounts or exemptions.
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Mr. McNulty: Initial estimates from the 2001 English House Condition Survey are that, at April 2001, 1.6 million local authority and 1 million registered social landlord owned homes met the decent home standard.
Local authorities' estimates of the number of homes they own that met the standard at April 2002 are mapped out in the following table. The data from the two sources are not directly comparable, as not all local authorities have supplied data and less stock is owned by local authorities in 2002 than 2001.
|Stock owning local authority||Number|
|Barking and Dagenham||10,800|
|Brighton and Hove||3,600|
|City of London||-|
|Crewe and Nantwich||-|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||6,900|
|Ellesmere Port and Neston||4,100|
|Forest of Dean||-|
|Hammersmith and Fulham||9,400|
|Hinckley and Bosworth||3,600|
|Isles of Scilly||0|
|Kensington and Chelsea||3,000|
|Kings Lynn and West Norfolk||2,200|
|Kingston upon Hull||6,900|
|Kingston upon Thames||2,400|
|Newark and Sherwood||4,300|
|Newcastle upon Tyne||7,200|
|North East Derbyshire||4,800|
|North East Lincolnshire||6,200|
|North West Leicestershire||4,600|
|Nuneaton and Bedworth||3,700|
|Oadby and Wigston||1,200|
|Reigate and Banstead||-|
|The Medway Towns||2,700|
(38) Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100. Authorities marked with a - did not supply the information in their HRA Business Plan Statistical Appendix.
2 Dec 2002 : Column 626W
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