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11 Dec 2002 : Column 371W—continued

Youth Courts

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many youth courts there are in England and Wales; and what jurisdictions they cover. [86179]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 9 December 2002]: In England and Wales, there are about 220 youth courts spread across all 42 criminal justice areas.

Youth courts have jurisdiction to deal with summary only, triable either way and indictable only offences. Nearly all criminal proceedings brought against a child or young person are dealt with in a youth court. The main exceptions are:


Members' Salaries

Ann Clwyd: To ask the President of the Council by what percentage hon. Members' salaries have increased in each year since 1997. [86650]

Mr. Robin Cook: The increases in hon. Members' salaries since 1997 are as follows:

YearSalaries (#)Percentage change
April 199743,8602
April 199845,0663
April 199947,0084
April 200048,3713
April 200149,8223
June 2001(15)51,8224
April 2002(15)55,1186

(15) In June 2001 and April 2002 Members' pay was increased by #2,000 per year. These increases, which were recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Body, were in addition to the increases delivered via the normal uprating mechanism.

Further details are in the House of Commons Information Office's Factsheet M5 XMembers' Pay, Pensions and Allowances" available on the Parliament website

11 Dec 2002 : Column 372W


Pecheney Plant Redundancies

Tony Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what support he will provide for redundant workers at the Pecheney plant in Workington constituency. [85465]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Jobcentre Plus offers assistance to help companies handle any significant reduction in staffing they may have to make, and help to those employees who are affected in identifying alternative jobs or any training they require.

In the case of Pecheney Aviatube, Jobcentre Plus has already agreed to give those employees being made redundant immediate access to its employment and training programmes. In addition to this, the West Cumbria support group, which includes Jobcentre Plus, will attend the premises of Pecheney on 5 and 6 December to provide further support and guidance to the workforce.

Benefit Applications (Signing)

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will provide funding to allow existing Jobcentre Plus staff to receive British Sign Language training; and if he will make a statement; [83995]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Both Jobcentre Plus and The Pensions Service are committed to providing a British Sign Language interpreter for anyone who requires one to carry out their business with us. Disability Employment Advisers in Jobcentre Plus offices can also take up British Sign Language training.

Interpreters can be arranged both for office appointments and for home visits, for example in rural areas. Interviews and home visits using a British Sign Language interpreter are arranged as soon as a suitable interpreter is available. Similar arrangements are available at other Government offices.

We are continuously examining possible service improvements and Jobcentre Plus is currently in discussion with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf about improving further the service available to deaf customers.

11 Dec 2002 : Column 373W

Child Support Agency

Mr. Todd: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects the new CSA IT system to be fully tested; and if he will make a statement. [85858]

Malcolm Wicks: I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave the hon. Member for Galloway and Upper Nithsdale (Mr. Duncan) on 27 November 2002, Official Report, column 317W.

Action Teams for Jobs

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many unemployed people have received support through the Action Teams for Jobs initiative; how many found work as a consequence of the initiative; and if he will make a statement on the sustainability of such employment. [85977]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 9 December 2002]: Action Teams for Jobs are having a positive impact on the lives of disadvantaged people in the most employment deprived areas of the country. Up to the end of October 2002, Action Teams had engaged with 130,160 eligible jobless people and helped 53,010 of them into work.

Our research 1 has shown that 80 per cent. of people who found jobs through Action Teams moved into sustained jobs (i.e. lasting more than 13 weeks).

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the budgets were for each Employment Action Team in the last five years; and what the outturn expenditure was to April. [83245]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 26 November 2002]: Action Teams for Jobs were launched in October 2000 and have so far helped over 50,000 people into work. Forty teams were in operation in the first, pilot year. In 2001, the initiative was expanded and the number of Teams increased to 63.

Information on the total budget and spend for the initiative in the last two financial years (April to March) is in the table.

# million

YearTotal budgetTotal spend


All figures are rounded to the nearest #10 million. All figures include the cost of administering the Action Team initiative. The 2001–02 spend figure is forecast expenditure.


Jobcentre Plus

Information on the budgets for each Action Team has been placed in the Library, and is available on the Action Teams website,

Information on the out-turn of individual Jobcentre Plus led Action Teams is not separately available. Out-turn figures for the contractor led Teams cannot be published because they are commercially confidential.

11 Dec 2002 : Column 374W

Employment Service

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what were the results of the discussions in January with the Cabinet Office and the NHS Executive about the advertisement of vacancies on the Employment Service website; and if he will make a statement. [86055]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 9 December 2002]: Jobcentre Plus maintains a continuous dialogue with the Department of Health through regular meetings of the Joint Service Development Group. Discussions about the most cost-effective way of establishing an NHS-wide e-recruitment service on the internet, and how that might be linked to and supported by the Jobcentre Plus website, are continuing. The Department of Health is currently assessing responses from potential suppliers to an invitation to tender for this work.

Officials in Jobcentre Plus and the Cabinet Office are working together to improve existing internet-based services for recruitment to the Civil Service. That work is currently focused on identifying the resources needed to do the development work and on identifying an appropriate opportunity in the current programme of improvements to the Jobcentre Plus website to implement the changes required.

Employment Zones

Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are involved in (a) stage 1 and (b) stage 2 of the Employment Zone scheme in each of the Employment Zone areas. [85975]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 9 December 2002]: The information is in the table.

Number of current participants (at 30 September 2002)
Employment ZoneStep 1Step 2
Brighton and Hove271288
Doncaster and Bassetlaw505597
Liverpool and Sefton1,3001,280
Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland405411
North West Wales239542
Tower Hamlets285421
Heads of the Valleys, Caerphilly and Torfaen241284


Employment Zones vary in size and coverage.


Employment Zone Management Information.

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