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20 Mar 2003 : Column 931W—continued

Violence at Work

Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what measures have been introduced to reduce violence at work. [103560]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: The Health and Safety Commission (HSC) is committed to tackling the problem of work-related violence. In March 2000, HSC agreed a three-year programme to help reduce the number of incidents of violence at work. So far the programme has resulted in the publication of new guidance specifically aimed at small businesses; the development of new National Occupational Standards on work-related violence; a programme of inspections in the health care sector; new research to establish good practice for lone workers; and a major conference run jointly by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the TUC to help raise awareness of violence in the workplace.

HSE has published general guidance for employers to help them tackle work-related violence, in accordance with their duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. HSE has also published sector-specific guidance covering health services, education, retail, banks and building societies.


Accountancy Services

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total cost to his Department was for accountancy services in 2002. [101565]

Mr. Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was created on 29 May 2002. Between that date and the end of 2002 the amount spent on accountancy services was £359,000.

Departmental Costs

Mr. Laws: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many people are employed in (a) the devolution and English regions division and (b) the international and policy division of the central policy group; what the cost of each was in the last year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement; [99887]

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Mr. Leslie: The Devolution and Constitution Division and the International and Central Policy Divisions form part of the Central Strategy and Resources Directorate in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. A total of 24 people are employed and are based in 26 Whitehall. From July 2001 to June 2002 they formed the Deputy Prime Minister's Central Policy Group in the Cabinet Office. The Devolution and Constitution Division oversees the relationship between the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations; the International and Central Policy Division works across the Department on a range of international, regional and domestic policies, and a number of corporate issues, and provides advice to my right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister and other Ministers and officials.

In their current form the divisions have only been in operation since the creation of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in May 2002. Therefore there are no comparative figures yet available which cover a full financial year.

Firefighters' Dispute

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions he has had with the Fire Brigades Union on the effects of fire strikes on the training and readiness of HM Armed Forces for military operations. [103999]

Mr. Raynsford: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister has met the Fire Brigades Union on a number occasions to discuss a variety of topics since the dispute began. He has made it clear that, while the Armed Forces have been, and continue to be, able to provide emergency cover, this has had an impact on their usual duties.

Government Initiatives

Mr. Maude: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister which central government schemes and initiatives since 1997 have required the formation of partnerships with local government to implement them. [103730]

Mr. Leslie: The Government are committed to working in partnership with local government in the development and implementation of policy, a principle enshrined in the Framework for Partnership agreed with the Local Government Association. Accordingly, partnerships with authorities of many different kinds have been involved in the implementation of a wide range of Government policies. The specific information requested could, however, be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Industrial Action

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many working days were lost owing to industrial action by staff in (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) non-departmental public bodies in 2002. [101507]

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Mr. Leslie: There have been no working days lost by staff in 2002 as a result of industrial action in either the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, its agencies or non-departmental public bodies

Local Government Grant Settlement

Harry Cohen: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 6 March 2003, Official Report, column 1202W, on the local government grant settlement, if he will list the specific and special grants to which he refers; which of them are ringfenced; what amount in cash terms is available for distribution to (a) local authorities and (b) other organisations for each; when he plans for bids to be submitted to him for a share of each grant; and if he will make a statement. [103323]

Mr. Raynsford: The following table gives up-to-date details of specific and special grants announced for 2003–04. Some grants are bid for and successful bids

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receive allocations. The majority are allocated to all qualifying authorities by a formula or on an agreed basis. The definition of ring-fencing was updated last year to reflect the types of grant which now exist. Some grants previously classified as ring-fenced are not now classified in this way. The key distinction made remains that ring-fenced grants are those which restrict local authority spending. For completeness the following list includes all special grants inside Aggregate External Finance. Further details of classifications are in an annex to the freedoms and flexibilities announcement of 26 November. Under the terms of the freedoms and flexibilities announcement, from 2003–04, the majority of the grants in the following table are unfenced for excellent performers. Exceptions include those grants which must be passed to schools, and the supporting people grant, where in view of the legislative requirements, different arrangements are in place for removing ring-fencing for excellent performers.

Details of Specific and Special Grant

Specific/Special GrantDepartmentRing-fenced?Bids?Amount available to local authorities in 2003–04 unless otherwise stated (millions)
Standards FundDfESYesNo1,339
Excellence in CitiesDfESNoNo219
School StandardsDfESNoNo800
Teachers' Pay ReformDfESYesNo745
Leadership IncentiveDfESYesNo175
Intervention in Failing LEAsDfESYesNo5
London Budget Support GrantDfESYesNo11.29
Personal Social Services
Training Support ProgrammeDHYesBiddable Element—£13 million (deadline 25 April)57
National Training StrategyDHYesNo25
Preserved RightsDHNoNo509
Performance FundDHYesNo100
Children's ServicesDHYesNo557
Human Resources Development StrategyDHYesNo10
Access & Systems CapacityDHYesNo170
Care DirectDHYesNo5
Children and Adolescent Mental Health ServicesDHYesNo51
Young People's Substance Misuse PlanningDHYesNo5
Teenage Pregnancy Local ImplementationDHYesNo24
Deferred PaymentsDHYesNo40
Mental HealthDHYesNo134
AIDS SupportDHYesNo17
Crime Fighting FundHOYesNo238
Outer London Pay LeadHOYesNo10
Rural Policing FundHOYesNo28
Police Negotiating BoardHOYesYes36
DNA GrantHOYesYes9
Basic Command UnitsHOYesNo47
London & South East AllowanceHOYesNo20
London TravelHOYesNo3
Community Support OfficersHOYesYes39
Officer Retention Over 30 YearsHOYesYes1
Special ConstablesHOYesPart8
Occupational HealthHOYesNo5
Street Crime InitiativeHOYesPart25
Reform DealHOYesYes8
Non Emergency NumberHOYesNo3
National Intelligence ModelHOYesYes2
Counter TerrorismHOYesYes58
Airwaves Communication ProjectHOYesNo58
Environment Protective and Cultural Services
Council Tax Benefit and Housing Benefit AdministrationDWPNoNo321
Supporting PeopleODPMYesNo1,400
Civil DefenceCOYesNo19
Waste Re-Cycling ChallengeDEFRAYesNo40
Personalised Travel PilotsDfTYesLocal Traffic Authorities, Passenger Transport Executives, Transport for London, BAA Heathrow invited to bid for funding in July 20020.586
Roadside Vehicle Testing DfTYesYes, bids accepted at any time4
Travel Plan BursariesDfTYesNo3
Probation Loan ChargesDfTYesNo3
Neighbourhood WardensODPMYesYes, every 2½ years, although annual review/performance management takes place21 (20 per cent. to otherorganisations—housingassociations, charitablegroups, police)
Planning Delivery GrantODPMNoNo50 (46.9 to local authorities,3.1 to regional planningbodies)
Magistrates CourtsLCDYesNo330
Rural Bus SubsidyDfT YesNo50
Rural Bus ChallengeDfT YesYes, most bids for funding in 2003–04 have been accepted in January 2003 and in earlier years of the competition, the future of this scheme has yet to be decided.20
Urban Bus ChallengeDfTYesYes, most bids for funding in 2003–04 have been accepted in November 2002 and in earlier years of the competition, the future of this scheme has yet to be decided20
National Parks and BroadsDEFRAYesNo25
Neighbourhood Renewal FundODPMNoNo400
GLA General GrantODPMNoNo35

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