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23 Feb 2004 : Column 176W—continued

Wayleave Compensation

Mr. McGrady: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what Government policy is in relation to wayleave compensation payable to landowners affected by measures to facilitate the provision of public services; and what recent changes there have been relating to payments for wayleaves. [154579]

Mr. Pearson: The primary legislation governing compensation for the acquisition of pipeline wayleaves in Northern Ireland is The Water and Sewerage Services (Northern Ireland) Order 1973. The rules for assessing any compensation payable under this Order are contained in the Land Compensation (Northern Ireland) Order 1982. The principal thrust of this legislation and the associated case law decisions has been to ensure that compensation is based on the actual loss in every case.

The legal basis of compensation has therefore not changed but each individual case must be looked at on its merits with the aim of establishing what the actual loss is.

The Valuation and Lands Agency (VLA) act on behalf of Water Service in the assessment of wayleave compensation. In most cases the compensation amount is agreed between VLA and the landowner or his agent. If agreement is not possible the landowner then has the option of referring the matter to the Lands Tribunal for Northern Ireland.

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EDUCATION AND SKILLS

CAFCASS

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures are undertaken by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service to ensure that full medical and psychiatric reports of a parent who is not a UK citizen are examined when making their report. [152401]

Margaret Hodge: CAFCASS officers are able to make inquiries of health and psychiatric services if it is deemed necessary to take such information into account to ensure the best interests of the child are met when preparing their reports.

If the circumstances require, CAFCASS officers are able to seek a direction from the Court to request relevant information. They are also able to contact International Social Service, or the relevant consulate to obtain necessary documents from abroad.

John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what procedures are followed by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in cases where one parent is a non-UK resident. [154080]

Margaret Hodge: The role of CAFCASS is professionally and impartially to inquire into individual cases, in order to assist the court in reaching decisions that are in the best interests of the children who are the subject of court proceedings.

The same procedures are followed by CAFCASS in cases where one parent may be a non-UK resident. In addition to collecting and assessing documentation for each case, CAFCASS officers are able to contact International Social Service, or the appropriate consulate, to obtain relevant documentary information from abroad.

Adoption and Children Act

Dr. Tonge: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he expects to implement the provisions of the Adoption and Children Act 2002; and if he will publish a timetable for implementation. [148913]

Margaret Hodge: The Government have already implemented the following key provisions of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (the Act):




The first phase of the independent review mechanism, which will cover prospective adopters whose adoption agency is minded not to approve them, will become operational on 30 April 2004.

We expect the provisions on Independent Reviewing Officers to come into force in September 2004.

Consultation documents have been published on provisions in the Act regarding advocacy services for children and young people; the review of children's cases; arranging adoptions and assessing prospective adopters; and adoption reports and adoptions with a

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foreign element. Copies are available in the Library. The Government will be consulting on the remaining provisions over the next few months.

The regulations, court rules and guidance required to implement the core of the Act should be in place by the end of 2004. After a period for preparation and training, we expect the legislation to come into force in September 2005.

The provisions on domestic violence and the definition of harm are being considered separately and the Government will make an announcement on these provisions in due course.

Adult Learning

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many courses for adult learning have been made available in each year since 1997; [154232]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: Information on the number of courses made available for adult learning is not held centrally. What is held centrally, is information on the number of adults actually participating in further and adult education courses. Figures for (a) the number of adults aged 19 and over participating in LSC funded further education in sector colleges and external institutions and (b) the number of enrolments on adult education courses offered by local education authorities (LEAs), are set out separately as follows. Data on the number of learners participating in 2003/04 are not yet available.

Adult learners (in thousands) on FE provision funded by the LSC in colleges and external institutions in England: 1997/98 to 2002/03

Adult learners
1997/982,774.6
1998/992,669.5
1999/20002,611.6
2000/012,777.4
2001/023,220.8
2002/033,234.9

Source:

LSC Statistical First Release ILR/SFR02


Enrolments by learners aged 19 and over (in thousands) on adult education courses offered by LEAs at 1 November 1997 to 2002

1 NovemberEnrolments
19971,014.7
19981,055.9
19991,007.2
2000(24)983.8
2001(25)1,015.4
2002993.2

(24) Revised estimate: enrolments were over reported by some LEAs in this year

(25) Revised estimate: enrolments were inaccurately reported by some LEAs in this year, overall there was a net under-reporting

Source:

Local education authorities


Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much funding will be made available for adult learning in further education colleges for 2003/04. [154235]

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Alan Johnson: The Department allocates funds for education and training in the post-16 learning and skills sector to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). In the 2003/04 academic year the LSC's planned allocation for adult learning in further education colleges is £1.923 billion. This figure includes planned funding for Additional Learner Support.

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many adults have been trained at local colleges in each year since 1997. [154236]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The numbers of Learning and Skills Council (formerly Further Education Funding Council) funded adult learners (aged 19 and over) enrolled in further education sector colleges in each year since 1997/98 are shown in the following table.

Adult learners (in thousands) on FE provision funded by the Council in colleges in England: 1997/98 to 2002/03

Learners
1997/982,480.1
1998/992,383.4
1999/20002,316.1
2000/012,441.8
2001/022,832.7
2002/032,844.5

Source:

LSC Statistical First Release ILR/SFR02


Adult Learning Grant

Stephen Hesford: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many adults are entitled to adult learning grant; and what steps his Department is taking to promote take-up. [154560]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: We estimate that some 6,000 adults may be eligible for the grant in the 10 pilot areas. So far there have been over 2,600 applications.

We are working with the Learning and Skills Council, Further Education colleges, and advice and guidance agencies in the 10 pilots to promote this new grant. At this stage, the main focus is on promoting the grant to new learners who started courses during January 2004 and to existing learners who may be eligible but have not applied.

Arts and Humanities Research Council

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the subject remit of the Arts and Humanities Research Council will be. [152634]

Mr. Charles Clarke: The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) will cover the same broad range of areas of the arts and humanities as currently covered by the Arts and Humanities Research Board.


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