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21 Jan 2004 : Column 1349W—continued

Government Office for London

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much Government money was distributed by the Government Office for London in each year since 1999–2000; and what is forecast to be distributed in 2003–04. [149601]

Yvette Cooper: Government Office for London (GOL) Programme expenditure is as follows:

£ million

Programme expenditure

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the running costs of the Government Office for London were in each year since 1999–2000; and what the forecast is for 2003–04. [149602]

Yvette Cooper: Government Office for London (GOL) running cost expenditure is as follows:

21 Jan 2004 : Column 1350W

£ million

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many staff were employed by the Government Office for London in each year since 1999–2000; and how many are forecast to be employed in 2003–04. [149603]

Yvette Cooper: Approximate full time equivalent posts from April 2000 are as follows:

April 2000370
April 2001240
April 2002260
April 2003288

The forecast for 2003–04 is 310.

Mr. Mark Field: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the projects managed by the Government Office for London in 2003–04. [149604]

Yvette Cooper: Programmes managed by Government Office for London (GOL) in 2003–04:

21 Jan 2004 : Column 1351W

Housing (Yorkshire and Humberside)

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the difference is between the housing capital allocation for local authorities in (a) Yorkshire and (b) Humberside for 2005–06 and 2004–05; what the basis is of the new allocations; what account they take of (i) the state of the stock, (ii) decent housing targets and (iii) repair backlogs; and how any money still to be allocated is to be made available. [149220]

Yvette Cooper: £76.110 million is being allocated to Yorkshire and the Humber local authorities for 2004–05 from the Single Regional Housing Pot, and £81.059 million for 2005–06. Resources for 2004–05 are fully allocated. £22.555 million remains to be allocated for 2005–06. Allocations made to date to authorities in (a) Yorkshire and (b) Humberside are as follows:

£ million


Allocations for both years comprise a formulaic element (fully allocated) plus the outcome of Regional Housing Board (RHB) commissioning of proposals for private sector renewal, low demand (in specified areas), and 'transformational proposals' (2005–06 only). Proposals for the remaining resources have been commissioned, and will be considered by the Board at meetings up to September 2004.

Stock condition is an element in the indicator used for the formulaic element. Additionally, decent homes were taken into account through a Government Office survey of expenditure commitments.

I will write to my hon. Friend with additional information.

Liveability Fund

Mr. Coleman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the local authorities which have been successful in bidding for the Government's Liveability Fund; and what criteria were used to determine which authorities were successful. [148727]

Yvette Cooper: The 27 Liveability Fund pilots will be announced early next month.

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The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's key selection criteria sought to secure a good regional balance (i.e. three pilots per region) and a cross-section of local authorities in terms of:

It also sought to ensure a range of areas with very different levels of deprivation, but with a greater number of local authorities in deprived areas, reflecting the higher incidence of poor quality spaces there.

Registered Social Landlords

Mr. Byers: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many tenants of registered social landlords there are (a) in England, (b) in each housing authority area and (c) in each region. [148732]

Yvette Cooper: As at 31 March 2003:

(a) The estimated number of RSL tenancies in England was 1,684,500.

(b) The estimated number of tenancies by Government Office Region were as shown in the following table:

Government Office Region Total occupied RSL stock
North East98,500
North West 294,300
Yorkshire and the Humber 116,000
East Midlands 94,900
West Midlands 213,700
East 154,300
London 303,300
South East 253,300
South West156,200

Note:Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.


Primarily the Housing Corporation's Regulatory and Statistical Return for 2003 but with minor adjustments to reflect two late transfers of stock within the local authority areas of North Hertfordshire and Forest of Dean.

(c) The numbers for local authorities (housing authority areas) are available in the Library of the House.


Operation Global Mercury

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what lessons have been learned from Operation Global Mercury; whether identified failings have been addressed; and if he will make a statement. [147539]

Mr. Hutton: The evaluation report and a summary are available on the Department of Health website at, and a copy has been placed in the Library.

Work is underway to implement all of the recommendations identified in the report.

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Ambulance Services

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will list the vacancy (a) rates and (b) numbers for NHS ambulance staff, broken down by grade, in (i) England and (ii) each ambulance service in each of the last six years; [147934]

Mr. Hutton: Information on the number and rate of vacancies lasting three months or more in each year since 1999, the first year the data was collected centrally, and the number of ambulance staff employed in the national health service since 1996 has been placed in the Library.

Cancelled Operations

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will publish the guidelines given to NHS trusts in reporting cancelled operations, with particular reference to guidelines on the use of stand-by lists of patients who may be operated on that day if capacity allows; [146338]

Mr. Hutton: Guidance on reporting last minute cancelled operations is made available to the national health service through the Department of Health NHS web. A copy has been placed in the Library. No national guidance exists on the use of stand-by lists. The operation of stand-by lists is a matter for individual NHS trusts in consultation with their commissioners.

In addition, the Modernisation Agency's operating theatre and pre-operative assessment programme is supporting NHS trusts to implement good practice guidance on tackling cancelled operations and effective utilisation of operating theatres.

The programme has published good practice such as the "Step Guide to Improving Operating Theatre Performance" published in June 2002 which sets out four key steps, or stages, to improving operating theatre performance and reducing cancelled operations. It contains diagnostic tools and common sense, practical solutions for trusts to increase theatre utilisation and improve patient care.

Information on the usage of operating theatres is not collected centrally by the Department.

As part of a larger project, the Department of Health commissioned York University to carry out some modelling of bed occupancy. Findings from the study were published in the BMJ: "Dynamics of bed use in accommodating emergency admissions: stochastic simulation model"—Adrian Bagust et at BMJ vol. 319, 17 July 1999, pages 155–158, a copy of which has also been placed in the Library.

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Dr. Richard Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the rules relating to the time of cancellation for acute hospital trusts to record operations as cancelled for non-clinical reasons. [147189]

Mr. Hutton: The Department of Health collects data on the number of operations cancelled by the hospital for non-clinical reasons (i) at the last minute (that is, on the day patients are due to arrive, or after arrival in hospital, or on the day of their operation), and (ii) the number of patients not admitted within 28 days of a 'last minute' cancellation as part of the NHS Plan cancelled operations guarantee.

The NHS Plan cancelled operations guarantee introduced in April 2002, states if a patient's operation is cancelled by the hospital on the day of surgery for non-clinical reasons, the hospital will have to offer another binding date within a maximum of the next 28 days, or fund the patient's treatment at the time and hospital of the patient's choice.

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