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18 Dec 2003 : Column 1072Wcontinued
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether it is the policy of his Department to use fair trade products, as a matter of course, in (a) sales on Departmental premises and (b) receptions and meetings involving staff and visitors. 
Yvette Cooper: The purchasing policy of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister reflects the Government's value for money policy and the EC procurement rules, which require the procurement of goods and services to be based on value for money and acquired by competition unless there are convincing reasons to the contrary, and the objectives of the Office.
Fair trade products are widely available in our offices. The restaurants sell fair trade products including coffee, tea and chocolate bars. The catering menus include options that allow for fair trade tea and coffee to be provided, on request, for official meetings and conferences.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 8 December 2003, Official Report, column 343W, if he will make a statement on the outcome of discussions within Government and with industry on the implications of the implementation of the Landfill Directive for regeneration of brownfield sites, including (a) potential obstacles identified and (b) agreed action. 
Keith Hill: Discussions are continuing but have not yet reached the stage where we are able to report on outcomes. A further meeting of Government and industry representatives is to take place in January 2004.
|Revenue Support Grant||69,460||65,703||72,305||75,574||74,395||78,789||74,672||91,122||102,243|
|National Non- Domestic Rates||42,108||39,269||40,857||44,154||49,674||48,615||53,162||51,772||49,369|
|Specific Grants within AEF(13)||5,774||4,548||6,457||6,988||12,834||18,546||21,523||24,891||(14)|
(13) Information on specific grants up until 200203 is taken from local authority outturn returns. From 200304, where outturn information is not yet available this is based on local authority budget returns.
(14) Data not available until spring 2004 when they will be reported by local authorities on their RA and RA(SG) returns.
The grants are on an unadjusted basis and may not be comparable between years, because transfers of function may have taken place.
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Mr. Raynsford: There is no provision for long-serving councillors in England to be provided with any form of severance payment. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has no plans to change this position.
Ms Buck: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans his Department has to take into account levels of pupil mobility between schools when measuring education, skills and training deprivation in revised indices of deprivation. 
Yvette Cooper: During the initial phase of work to update the Indices of Deprivation 2000 (ID 2000), the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister considered the issue of pupil mobility and investigated various avenues for constructing such an indicator. This investigation showed that, at present, there is no centrally held database on pupil mobility. As one of the criteria for inclusion of an indicator in the ID 2000 is that it must be nationally available at a small area level, we were unable to pursue this issue in the current update.
(3) what guidance he has given to Government Offices for the Regions on increasing the turnout in the referendums on elected regional assemblies. 
Ms Oona King: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of whether the number of disputes requiring adjudication under a tenancy deposit scheme would differ from the current rate of alleged unreasonable withholding of deposits; and if he will make a statement. 
Keith Hill: No reliable assessment has been made of the number of disputes requiring adjudication under a tenancy deposit scheme. But it is expected that the number of disputes will fall as and when well thought out arrangements for tenancy deposit protection are
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introduced. The Government are currently exploring with the key stakeholders how best that might be achieved.
Keith Hill: Following a consultation the Government will in the new year be considering options for legislative proposals for the safeguarding of tenancy deposits. We will then announce the outcome of our consultations and our legislative proposals.
Richard Ottaway: To ask the Prime Minister (1) whether copies of the transcript prepared by Radio Technical Services of the briefing given by him en route to Hong Kong on 22 July 2003 have been made available to the Press; 
The Prime Minister: Any comments I made en route to Hong Kong on 22 July 2003 were made on the record and were fully reported by the media at the time in the same way as any briefings I make on visits like this.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to meet the new Prime Minister of Canada; and if he will discuss with him parliamentary reform in Canada, with particular reference to the greater use of free votes. 
The Prime Minister: I have spoken and written to the new Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, to congratulate him on his appointment. I have no current plans to meet him, but look forward to doing so in the future.
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 15 December 2003, Official Report, column 657W, on honours, how many honours have been returned since 1 January 1997, broken down by type. 
Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to his answer of 15 December 2003, Official Report, column 657W, on honours, how many people returning honours gave a reason for returning the honour. 
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