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1 Sept 2004 : Column 789W—continued

Sure Start

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether the budget cuts recently announced for Sure Start were cuts previously announced for the 2004–05 budget; if he will make a statement on how the cuts will be made; and what impact assessment his Department has made of the effect of the cuts on the Sure Start programme. [181300]

Margaret Hodge: The Government remain strongly committed to Sure Start. The 2004 spending review settlement is £1,167 million, £1,483 million and £1,667 million for 2005–06, 2006–07 and 2007–08 respectively.

In addition the Government are streamlining the administration of the programme in order to concentrate resources on the front line. The Sure Start Unit's administrative budget has been reduced by
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approximately 5 per cent. on a broadly like for like basis between 2003–04 and 2004–05. Programme budgets have not been reduced.

Ms Keeble: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to his answer of 13 July 2004, to question reference 182841, on Sure Start, how many children are receiving services from the Sure Start centre at King's Heath, Northampton. [184773]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: Pursuant to the previous question answered on 13 July, which asked "how many children in Northampton North have received services from a Sure Start centre". The Sure Start centre in King's Heath is one of two satellite centres developed by the Northampton Sure Start local programme. The programme operates out of its main building, the Camrose Centre, and has developed two satellite centres at Kings Heath and St. James. The Kings Heath satellite delivers a range of Sure Start services, including a medical service and "need to know" shop, which gives a range of advice on areas such as benefits, housing and other statutory services.

Monitoring figures are collected only for the Sure Start Local Programme as a whole. We are not able to give a separate breakdown of figures for the two satellite centres. Sure Start Northampton (Camrose Centre) has a register of 685 children who access its services. In March 2004 155 (23 per cent.) children under four years living in the catchment area had accessed services. The annual average of children seen is 19 per cent.

These figures include the St. James and Kings Heath centres.

Mr. Simmonds: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much of the 2003–04 budget for Sure Start was allocated to (a) capital expenditure, (b) internal management costs, (c) running costs for children's centres, (d) health within children's centres and (e) nursery education in Sure Start. [185720]

Margaret Hodge: In 2003–04, £116 million was spent on Sure Start capital programmes. Over this period total administration expenditure was £13 million.

Funding for children's centres was due to start on 1 April 2004. However, £3.2 million of revenue funding was brought forward to allow local authorities to make an early start with development in 2003–04.

Children's centre health services are integrated with other services and are mainly paid for by Primary Care Trusts. It is not possible to provide a separate figure for health expenditure in children's centres.

The information on nursery education is not available in the form requested. From April 2003, Nursery Education Grant was consolidated within the under-fives sub-block of the Education Formula Spending Share (EFSS)—local authorities' main education budget. It is for individual LAs in consultation with local partners to determine how overall resources should be used.

All LAs received sufficient funding to enable them to meet their statutory responsibilities to provide free nursery education for three and four-year-olds. The overall EFSS under fives sub-block in 2003–04 was £2.6 billion.
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University Students/Results

Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research his Department has commissioned on changes in results achieved on university courses over the last 10 years. [185198]

Alan Johnson: Information on the degree classifications of newly qualified graduates has been collected and published annually since 1994/95 by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) at The latest figures show that, in 2002/03, 55 per cent. of graduates gained a first class or upper second class degree, compared to 47 per cent. in 1994/95.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students were offered university places for 2003–04; how many students took up places at universities in 2003–04; and how many students dropped out during the academic year 2003–04. [183640]

Alan Johnson: Details of the offers made to students are matters for individual institutions and are not held centrally. The latest information from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) shows that 646,000 students began undergraduate courses in English institutions in autumn 2003/04. Information on the non-completion rates of these students is not yet available, but the latest figures from HEFCE (based on students entering in 2000/01) indicate that 16 per cent. of full-time first degree students in the UK did not complete their studies.



Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress his Department has made to manage the changeover from the Bank Automated Clearing System to the new BACSTEL-IP system for electronic payments. [164322]

Mr. Pond: The Department is not part of the current programme to move to the new BACSTEL-IP method of transmitting data for benefit payments. DWP has a full and active liaison in place with its sponsor bank and BACS Ltd., to change over to another new system within a longer timeframe.

Employment Records

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will bring forward legislation to permit employees to gain access to records of their employment stored by employers in unstructured manual form; and if he will make a statement. [185899]

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Mr. Leslie: I have been asked to reply.

Individuals' right of access to their employment and other records is regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998, as amended by the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We have no plans to extend the application of the 1998 Act to unstructured manual personnel records.


Dog Excrement

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many tonnes of dog excrement is estimated to have been collected by local authorities from public byways and spaces in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by authority; [185900]

(2) what the estimated cost to local authorities of collecting dog excrement from public byways and spaces was in the latest period for which figures are available; and what percentage of local council budgets this figure represents; [185901]

(3) how many personnel she estimates are employed by local authorities (a) full-time and (b) part-time in the collection of dog excrement from public byways and spaces; [185902]

(4) what she estimates the cost of employing personnel in (a) cleaning up and (b) recycling dog excrement from public byways and spaces was in each year for which figures are available, broken down by local authority. [185903]

Alun Michael: The Government does not collect consolidated figures on how much each local authority spends on collecting dog excrement but the ENCAMS report on local environmental quality showed that there was a reduction in dog fouling in 2003 compared to 2002.


Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate her Department has made of agriculture (a) gross value and (b) gross profitability for each year for the last 10 years for which records are available, broken down by (i) region and (ii) agricultural sector. [184760]

Alun Michael: We do not have data for gross value and gross profitability by region and agricultural sector. We do, however, have data for total farm output (a reflection of gross value) and net farm income. The trends shown by net farm income could reasonably be expected to reflect those shown by gross profitability.

Total farm output and net farm income in England are shown by region and by farm type in the tables.
Table 1: Total output and net farm income by regions in England—All farm types
£ per farm

England: North
England: East
England: West
All farm types
All farm types
All farm types
Total farm outputNet farm incomeTotal farm outputNet farm incomeTotal farm outputNet farm income

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Table 2: Total farm output and net farm income by farm type in England
£ per farm

LFA cattle and sheep
Lowland cattle and sheep
Total farm outputNet farm incomeTotal farm outputNet farm incomeTotal farm outputNet farm income

£ per farm

General cropping
Total farm outputNet farm incomeTotal farm outputNet farm incomeTotal farm outputNet farm income

£ per farm

Pigs and poultry
All farm types
Total farm outputNet farm incomeTotal farm outputNet farm incomeTotal farm outputNet farm income

Source: Farm Business Survey

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Net farm income is the return to the principal farm and spouse for their manual and managerial labour and to the tenant-type capital of the business.

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