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9 Dec 2002 : Column 141Wcontinued
Malcolm Wicks: Customers who wish to open a post office card account will be issued with a personal invitation document to take to their post office branch where they will then be handed a post office card account application form to fill in.
Customers will need to prove who they are when opening a post office card account by presenting items such as a current passport, a full current driving licence or a council tax or utility bill. The personal invitation document can also act as a form of identification. We have said repeatedly that anyone who wants to open a card account will be able to do so, so there is no need to Xration" post office card accounts by restricting the number of personal invitation documents that are printed.
Malcolm Wicks: The Department for Work and Pensions will be writing to customers over the next two years when it is their turn to change to direct payment into their account. Customers will be provided with information (including letters and leaflets) which clearly sets out the different types of accounts and enables them to choose the account that best meets their needs and circumstances.
All of our information material includes references to post office access and post office card accounts; there is no need for any specific promotional literature for the post office card account. The post office have also
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produced customer information which mentions the post office card account and have plans to produce further material.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what arrangements are being made for those pensioners and benefit claimants who wish to apply for a post office card account who have (a) hearing difficulties, (b) impaired sight, (c) serious learning difficulties, (d) mental illness and (e) seriously restricted mobility. 
Malcolm Wicks: There will be a range of accounts available for people. We will provide customers with information (including letters and leaflets) which clearly sets out the account options as part of the move to direct payment. Customers, including those with a disability, will then be able to consider the options available and choose the account that best meets their needs and circumstances. They will be asked to provide details of their chosen account so that the Department can begin to pay their benefit or pensions by direct payment.
It has always been recognised that there will be some customers who are unable to use any of the banking options or the post office card account. For these people we are currently exploring the options available to ensure they receive their benefit at outlets which will include the post office.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the procedure for opening a post office card account; and whether he plans to take action to simplify it. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Department for Work and Pensions will be writing to customers in Great Britain over the next two years when it is their turn to change to direct payment into an account. Customers will be provided with information (including letters and leaflets) which clearly sets out the different types of accounts and enables them to choose the account that best meets their needs and circumstances.
Customers who wish to open a post office card account will need to contact the Department to discuss their account options with an adviser. They will then be issued with a personal invitation document. This document should then be taken to a post office branch where the customer will be given a post office card account application form to complete.
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Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answers of 27 November, Refs 82508, 82511 and 82513, if he will rank the (a) unemployment rates and (b) ethnic minority population statistics of each 60 local authorities referred to in respect of (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) each nation of the UK. 
Many of the local authorities with the lowest employment rates are also among the local authorities with the highest ethnic minority populations. The local authorities listed as having high ethnic minority populations are therefore the 30 local authorities with the highest ethnic minority populations that do not already feature in the list of the 30 local authorities with the lowest employment rate.
|Local authorities with lowest employment rates||Employment rate|
|Tower Hamlets (E)||55|
|Merthyr Tydfil (W)||56|
|City of Glasgow (S)||57|
|Blaenau Gwent (W)||57|
|East Ayrshire (S)||61|
|Neath Port Talbot (W)||62|
|Newcastle upon Tyne (E)||62|
|South Tyneside (E)||63|
|Redcar and Cleveland (E)||63|
|Kingston upon Hull, City (E)||64|
|Rhondda, Cynon, Taff (W)||65|
|North Lanarkshire (S)||66|
|West Dunbartonshire (S)||66|
|Local authorities with highest minority ethnic population||Population|
|Leicester City (E)||63,889|
|Westminster, City of (E)||52,805|
|Waltham Forest (E)||43,233|
|Kensington and Chelsea (E)||32,261|
|Hammersmith and Fulham (E)||28,652|
1. (E) = England, (S) = Scotland, (W) = Wales
2. Jobcentre Plus does not operate in Northern Ireland
Labour Force Survey
9 Dec 2002 : Column 144W
Maria Eagle: DWP confirmed its commitment to sustainable development by publishing a sustainable development policy statement in July this year. The 2nd DWP annual sustainable development report, published on 25 November, also introduces the departmental strategy for sustainable development that has been developed. This contains targets for improvement and sets out how the Department will continue to contribute to sustainable development. Both of these documents have been placed in the Library.
WSSD outcomes and first views on follow-up will be reflected in the annual report on UK progress on sustainable development for 2002. The DWP Strategy will be reviewed regularly to ensure that it continues to meet the aims and objectives of the UK strategy for sustainable development. The Introduction to the DWP strategy contains specific information on the World Summit on Sustainable Development. This will be updated to reflect the outcomes and as each element of the Strategy is reviewed outcomes from WSSD will be reflected as appropriate.
Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assistance is available to young people resident in Battersea who have left care homes or foster parents over the age of (a) 16 and (b) 18 years. 
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This Act came into force in October 2001 and is accompanied by the Children (Leaving Care) (England) Regulations 2001 and associated guidance. The regulations and guidance set out the framework for young people who leave local authority care.
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