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12 Feb 2004 : Column 1567W—continued

Recycling

Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she is taking to encourage local authorities to ensure that blocks of flats have recycling bins. [154244]

Mr. Raynsford: I have been asked to reply.

Requirements for the disposal of waste from buildings are set out in Part H, Drainage and Waste Disposal, of Schedule 1 to the Building Regulations 2000. When these Regulations were amended in 2002, a recommendation was made in the supporting Approved Document that "residents only" recycling centres should be provided as part of communal waste collection facilities for flats and other high density housing. It is also recommended that designers and developers should consult the local waste collection authority so that provision for the storage of waste prior to collection can be properly accommodated.

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CABINET OFFICE

Civil Servants (Disability)

Mr. Hammond: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office by what percentage he estimates that the recorded number of disabled civil servants will change as a result of the proposed change in methodology used to calculate the number of disabled staff in the Civil Service to the percentage of those responding to a questionnaire. [154110]

Mr. Alexander: The Cabinet Office is consulting on a change to the methodology for collecting and calculating staffing figures on disability in order to improve the robustness of the data and to allow better comparisons with other sources of data on disability, such as the Labour Force Survey.

Table 1 sets out the difference that the proposed methodology would have on previously published figures on the basis of information currently held. However, this is unlikely to provide a full picture of the impact of the change as data for previous years is insufficient to be able to distinguish between staff who have declared they do not have a disability and those who have not made any declaration. This information would be collected in future if the proposed change in methodology goes ahead.

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If we proceed with the proposed change, disability figures based on the old calculation method will be published alongside the new method in the short-term so that year-on-year comparisons can continue be made.

Table 1:

As at AprilTotal disabledTotal non-disabledPublished percentageRevised percentage using new method
200319,510355,6303.65.2
200218,650334,9403.65.3
200115,520364,3303.14.1
200018,480410,9503.74.3

Note:

Disability information for MOD is only available for 2000, for later years the data are not provided (but their staff totals were used in the denominator for the Civil Service as a whole).

Source:

Civil Service Statistics Website (http://www.civil-service.gov.uk/statistics/css.htm)


Government Cars

Mr. Chope: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how many fixed penalty notices for speeding were issued against vehicles belonging to the Government Car Service during 2003; [153592]

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 and Despatch Agency. I have asked its Chief Executive Mr. Nick Matheson to write to the hon. Member. Copies of his letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Norman Baker: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what his policy is on the provision of Government cars to Whips. [154811]

Mr. Alexander: Guidance on the use of official cars is set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel By Ministers.

The Chief Whips in both the Commons and Lords are entitled to be provided with allocated cars. Other whips are able to use cars in the Government Car Service pool for official purposes. This travel is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Public Bodies

Llew Smith: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many non-United Kingdom resident UK citizens sit on non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs); and

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what costs will be incurred in 2003–04 by the payments of international travel costs to enable their participation in NDPB meetings. [154689]

Mr. Alexander: This information is not held centrally. Individual Departments are responsible for making appointments to their own public bodies and for paying the travel costs incurred by appointees.

Public Services Audit

Mr. Gibb: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to his answers of 26 January 2004, Official Report, column 72W and 5 February 2004, Official Report, column 1048W, on public services audit, what inquiries he has made regarding the source of the unauthorised briefing to Rosemary Bennett of The Times newspaper. [154934]

Mr. Alexander: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to him on 5 February 2004, Official Report, column 1048W.

LEADER OF THE HOUSE

European Treaties

Mr. Spring: To ask the Leader of the House to what Treaty he referred to in his letter to Mr. Jonathan Evans MEP of 17 December 2003, in which he stated that the Treaty agreed at the European Council made clear that member states retain control of their natural resources; whether it remains the Government's position that Article III-157 (Section 10: Energy) of the draft Constitution for Europe is unnecessary as all aspects of energy policy are effectively covered elsewhere in the Treaty; whether the Government's concerns on the changing of boundaries of EU competence and the types of measure which will be subject to unanimity have been allayed; and if he will make a statement. [152330]

Mr. Hain: I have written to Jonathan Evans MEP to apologise for an error in my letter of 17 December 2003. No Treaty was agreed at the Inter-Governmental Conference. The Prime Minister did, however, make it clear that good progress had been made in relation to energy matters during negotiations.

An Energy Chapter will bring European competence on energy together in a single legal base. We support the proposal on the basis that it is more transparent than existing legislation. We have, however, consistently set out our concern that any uncertainty about the impact of the Energy Chapter could undermine investment in North sea oil and gas. With that in mind, we proposed a series of amendments to this part of the Treaty with the aim of ensuring that European member states would retain the right to control the exploitation of their natural resources. Maintaining unanimity in relation to tax proposals remains part of the Government's "red line".

We are confident that all our efforts, including work with other member states, will provide a sound basis for future negotiations.

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CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Sports Coaching

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate she has made of the number of (a) voluntary, (b) part-time and (c) full-time qualified athletics coaches in each year since 1997; and if she will make a statement. [154116]

Mr. Caborn: The final report of the Coaching Task Force published by DCMS in July 2002, noted that governing bodies of sport—including athletics—find it difficult to maintain accurate and current records of their qualified coaches, irrespective of their employment status. DCMS has funded Sports Coach UK to commission a UK wide study of coaching across the 31 sports—including athletics—invited to participate in the National Coaching Certificate. The results are expected around Easter.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what estimate she has made of the number of coaches employed through the Coachmatch scheme who will be (a) full-time and (b) part-time in each year until 2006; [154114]

Mr. Caborn: The Community Sports Coach scheme (formerly known as Coachmatch) will see a first phase of some 100 full-time coaches employed by the end of 2003–04. Decisions on the roll out of the scheme during 2004–05 will be made following evaluation of phase one. We expect that some 450 full-time and 2,550 part-time coaches will be employed by the end of 2005–06.

Future funding for the scheme is dependent on the outcome of the 2004 Spending Review.

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) which National Governing Body coaching awards for sport qualify for Learning and Skills Council funding; [154059]

Mr. Caborn: Coaching awards in swimming, gymnastics, orienteering and angling are eligible for funding from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) in England. In addition, if a sport offers an NVQ the LSC will fund the employer and the training provider directly rather than the individual. The value of any LSC grant depends on the length of the course. Typically a coaching qualification in the above sports taking between 60–90 hours to achieve can attract funding of approximately £400 per candidate, irrespective of employment status.


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