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3 Jun 2003 : Column 44W—continued


Civil Service

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office when he expects to publish the Analysis of Sickness Absence in the Civil Service for 2002. [114769]

Mr. Alexander: Data collection for the 2002 Report is currently under way and it is expected that the final Report will be issued in the late autumn.

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Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what his estimate is of the expenditure of his Department on newspapers, magazines and periodicals in 2002. [106301]

Mr. Alexander: Estimated expenditure on newspapers, magazines and periodicals for all units within the Cabinet Office, including those prior to Machinery of Government changes in 2002–03 is £87,000.

Departmental Report

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what the cost was of the publication of the 2001 Departmental Report. [112804]

Mr. Alexander: The publication cost of the Cabinet Office Departmental Report 2001 was £25,248. This Report was inclusive of the Departmental Main Estimates for 2001–02. It also incorporated the Departmental Report requirement and submissions for the Central Office of Information; the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration and Health Service Commissioner for England; the Privy Council Office; House of Lords; House of Commons; National Audit Office and the Electoral Commission.

Some additional costs (not included in the figure), are met by the publisher and do not fall to Government.

Government Car Service

Mr. Simon: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of Government car service vehicles are manufactured in the UK; and what measures are in place to ensure the continued use of British-manufactured cars by Ministers. [112994]

Mr. Alexander: The responsibility for the provision of ministerial cars and drivers has been delegated under the terms of the Framework Document to the Government Car Despatch Agency. I have asked its Chief Executive, Mr. Nick Matheson, to write to my hon. Friend. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.


Lay Magistrates (Northern Ireland)

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department how many people have (a) applied and (b) been appointed as lay magistrates in Northern Ireland since 2001. [114034]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The new office of lay magistrate will not be established until September 2004 and applications for appointment will be sought following a publicity campaign which will commence later this year.

Mr. Dodds: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department whether people with criminal records are eligible for appointment as lay magistrates in Northern Ireland. [114035]

Ms Rosie Winterton: A draft Lay Magistrate Eligibility (Northern Ireland) Order will be laid before both Houses of Parliament later this year which will specify that no person shall be appointed to be a lay

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magistrate if he has been convicted of an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one month.

Transsexual People

Lynne Jones: To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department when she expects to publish the draft bill to bring UK legislation in line with the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in Goodwin and I v UK (Judgment of 11 July 2002); and if she will make a statement. [114875]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government's policy on transsexual people remains unchanged from that set out in my statement to the House on 13 December 2002. We are committed to legislating as soon as possible to give transsexual people their Convention rights. Our aim is to publish a draft Bill later this session with substantive legislation following when Parliamentary time allows.


Abandoned Vehicles

Mr. Battle: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many abandoned motor vehicles have been collected in Leeds in (a) 2000, (b) 2001 and (c) 2002; and if he will make a statement. [114383]

Mr. Meacher: I have been asked to reply.

The question on abandoned vehicles was asked for first time in the 2000–01 Municipal Waste Management Survey. The numbers of abandoned vehicles reported by Leeds City Council are listed as follows.



We have taken action to tackle the abandoned vehicle problem by reducing the statutory notice periods after which local authorities can remove abandoned vehicles from the highway and the storage periods for unlicensed vehicles. Local authorities can now remove from the highway those vehicles that they consider merit destruction after 24 hours.

Following the success of the Newham pilot in which the local authority was given DVLA's powers to wheelclamp and remove unlicensed vehicles after 24 hours, we have announced that all Councils who wished could operate in the same way.

More than 8,000 abandoned unlicensed vehicles have been targeted as a result of Operation Cubit with over 6,000 vehicles crushed. More Operations are planned. To date Operation Cubit has induced more than 27,000 motorists to relicense their vehicles voluntarily bringing in over £3.5 million in additional revenue.

We have provided £2.7 million through the Invest to Save budget to enable local authorities to have quicker, easier access to DVLA's vehicle register

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The Government is currently developing proposals for the reform and modernisation of vehicle registration and licensing, to reduce evasion and to bear down on vehicle crime. In response to the recommendations of a report commissioned by the Department for Transport from the Jill Dando Institute of Crime Science DfT have established a Modernising Vehicle Registration Implementation Board (MVRIB).

This includes representatives of motorists' organisations, the motor trade, the police and the insurance industry to advise on and develop those proposals.

The Finance Act 2002 contained provisions under which the responsibility for licensing and taxing vehicles will be placed on the registered keeper, who will remain liable for doing so until such time that the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has properly been notified of a change of keeper. These proposals will also mean that it is not necessary for a vehicle to be detected on the road for effective enforcement action to take place. The implementation of these new powers is at the heart of MVRIB's agenda.



John Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action he is taking to encourage businesses in the UK to take steps to remove asbestos from workplaces. [114831]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Currently HSE inspectors use their powers under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 to require employers to manage asbestos risks to their employees and others in the workplace.

Regulation 4 of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2002 (CAWR), which will come into force on 21 May 2004, places a duty on all those responsible for maintenance activities in non-domestic premises to manage the risk of any asbestos in the buildings under their control.

This regulation requires the dutyholder to identify where asbestos is present, assess the risk and, depending on its condition and whether it is likely to be disturbed, take action to manage the risk. The duty to manage asbestos does not require all asbestos materials to be removed. If the asbestos is in good condition and is not likely to be disturbed it is safer to leave it in place and manage the risk of exposure.

The Health and Safety Executive is engaged in a campaign to raise awareness of the risks from asbestos in buildings and to encourage dutyholders to achieve effective and proportionate compliance with the duty. They are being encouraged to start work now to meet their new obligations.

Adult Education

Paul Holmes: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) adults on (i) incapacity benefit and (ii) other disability benefits and (b) lone

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parents on income support were in higher education funded by (A) the Higher Education Funding Council for England and (B) the Learning and Skills Council in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. [114474]

Mr. Nicholas Brown: Jobcentre Plus provides everyone of working age with advice and guidance on the full range of support available to help them move into work, including information on the education options open to them. From October 2001, all new claimants in Jobcentre Plus sites attend a personal adviser meeting to discuss the opportunities available for taking up work, advice on training and education is also available. People receive further support of this kind at intervals during their claim, at least once every three years.

Information on the number of benefit recipients in higher education funded by the Higher Education Funding Council or the Learning and Skills Council is not available.

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