7 Jan 2003 : Column 1W
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The total costs of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 to business are estimated, over a 50-year period, at #1.5 billion. These future costs are discounted in present values under standard government accounting conventions. The regulations will help to prevent some 4,700 people dying from asbestos-related diseases from future exposure to asbestos in commercial buildings. This is equivalent to total benefits exceeding #3.0 billion. Full details of costs and benefits are contained in the Regulatory Impact Assessment available in the Library.
Mr. Heald: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 27 November 2002, Official Report, column 316W, on the adviser discretion fund, how many persons have received payments from the fund; how many payments have been made (a) in total and (b) broken down by month; how many persons have received (i) more than one payment, (ii) more than two payments and (iii) more than three payments from the fund; what the value is of payments from the fund, (A) in total and (B) broken down by month; what the average payment from the fund to date is; if he will list the types of goods and services purchased from the funds, indicating how many payments have been used to purchase each type of goods and service; if he will place in the Library a summary of the records referred to in his answer; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: The adviser discretion fund was introduced to give personal advisers more flexibility in the help they can offer their New Deal clients. Over 71,200 people have moved into work after receiving help from the fund. We are building on this success by extending access to the fund to people who have been claiming benefits for six months or more.
7 Jan 2003 : Column 2W
|Number of awards||Value of awards (#)|
Information on the number of people who have received payments, and the number of times they receive payments, is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. An individual can receive more than one award from the adviser discretion fund, but the total value of the awards cannot exceed #300.
Information on all the goods and services the adviser discretion fund has helped to purchase is not collected centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. However, the following table gives information under broad headings on the type of goods and services purchased using the adviser discretion fund by people who have started work after receiving an award from the fund.
|Type of goods or services purchased||Proportion of the number of awards provided to people who have moved into work (percentage)|
|Help with clothes purchase||52|
|Help with travel fares||20|
|Help buying tools||6|
|Help with training/certificates||2|
|Help overcoming other barriers||20|
The latest information on the number of awards made under the adviser discretion fund; their total monetary value; the number of people who have moved into work having received an award; and the type of goods and services purchased by people who have started work after receiving an award from the fund has been placed in the Library.
7 Jan 2003 : Column 3W
installed in his Department; how the PCs that these computers replaced were disposed of; and what the lifespan of the new machines is. 
Mr. McCartney: The purchase cost of PCs installed in the Department of Work and Pensions up to 30 November 2002, including the associated software and network costs, is #156.7 million. Installation costs, again up to 30 November 2002, amount to #58.5million.
The old PCs are being disposed of by the Disposal Services Agency through a company called XRecommit", which redeploys suitable surplus computer equipment back into the community. Some old PCs and dumb terminals are not suitable for redeployment.
XRecommit" set no hard and fast eligibility criteria and charitable organisations and their clients, usually low income families, can order from them direct. Recent recipients of DWP PCs include Age Concern, the Arthur Rank Centre for Rural Studies, All Nations Christian College, Whizzkids (a children's charity), Woodend Park Community School and Firth Primary School Orkney.
(3) what discussions he has had with the Health and Safety Executive regarding fairground safety since the death of Stacey Rowe in 2000. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: My right hon. Friend has had no discussions with the Health and Safety Executive regarding fairground safety since the death of Stacey Rowe in 2000. The Secretary of Sate for Work and Pensions assumed responsibility for the Health and Safety commission and the Health and Safety Executive on 24 July 2002. However, meetings were held on 10 and 26 July 2001 between HSE and my hon. Friend the Member for Southampton, Test (Dr. Whitehead), the Minister with health and safety responsibilities at the time.
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In addition, both trade associations are full members of the Fairgrounds and Amusement Parks Joint Advisory Committee (FJAC), which comprises members of the trade associations and others involved in the fairground industry together with representatives from the Health and Safety Executive. This committee has a number of sub-committees; these are the Technical Working Group, the Amusement Devices Inspection Procedures Working Group (ADIPS) and the Research Working Group.
The Health and Safety Executive, and the Showmen's Guild of Great Britain and the National Association for the Leisure Industry Certification are represented on these working groups, which meet regularly and whose purpose is to maintain and improve standards of safety within the industry as a whole through a formal communication process.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of mains gas pipes Transco agreed to replace by 1 January 2003; and what percentage of this work had been achieved by 1 December. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: This required replacement of mains gas pipes, as part of the medium pressure ductile iron replacement programme, was 0.86 per cent. of the total mains gas pipes by 1 January 2003. As at 1 December, Transco was on target to achieve 1 per cent., thus exceeding their original target. Actual performance is at a level of 116 per cent. against original projections.
Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the terms were of the agreement between Transco and the Health and Safety Executive for the replacement of metal gas pipes; and if Transco has met the time scale for replacement agreed with the Health and Safety Executive. 
Mr. Nicholas Brown: I am informed by the Health and Safety Executive that Transco's mains replacement work is governed by a five-year programme which commenced in January 2001 for iron mains within 30 metres of property. This programme was agreed following discussions with Transco and Ofgem. At the end of this five-year period, Transco should be replacing mains so that the remaining mains within 30 metres of buildings should be replaced within the following 25 years.
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