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12 Jan 2005 : Column 539W—continued

Local Government Finance

Mr. Swire: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the percentage change in the environmental, protective and cultural services block of revenue support grant to district councils will be for 2005–06. [207033]

Mr. Raynsford: Revenue Support Grant is an unhypothecated block grant. This means that it is not possible to identify the amount of funding that authorities receive for a specific service. Shire districts' formula grant (i.e. Revenue Support Grant plus redistributed business rates) is calculated using the total of their Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services Formula Spending Share and their Capital Financing Formula Spending Share. The increase in formula grant under the provisional 2005–06 settlement on a like-for-like basis for shire districts is £59.797, or 4.0 per cent..

Under the provisional 2005–06 settlement, shire districts will receive an increase of £67.051 million, or 2.2 per cent., in their Environmental, Protective and
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Cultural Services Formula Spending Share on a like-for-like basis. Formula Spending Shares are neither grant nor are they the Government"s assessment of how much an authority should spend on a particular service.

Planning Policy Statement 6

Brian Cotter: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the meetings that have taken place between (a) Ministers and (b) officials of his Department and representatives of organisations representing small and independent retailers about Planning Policy Statement 6 (Town Centres) over the last 12 months. [207063]

Keith Hill: In May 2004 I and officials of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister met the British Retail Consortium. Among those present were representatives of the National Federation of Retail Newsagents. This meeting discussed a range of issues including draft Planning Policy Statement 6 (PPS6). In January 2004 I made a presentation on PPS6 to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Small Shops, at which representatives of organisations representing small and independent retailers were present.

In addition, during the course of Government business Ministers and their officials regularly attend conferences, seminars and events on retail planning matters at which representatives of organisations representing small and independent retailers are present and general matters of policy are discussed.



David Davis: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many antisocial behaviour orders have been breached in each (a) month and (b) year since they were introduced; and what percentage of the total handed out this represented in each case. [205359]

Ms Blears: The available information is given in the table. Breach data are currently available for the period from June 2000 to December 2002. The figures are available yearly, they are not produced by month. Data up to 2002 show that two thirds of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) are not breached. Breach and disposal (sentencing) data up to December 2003 will be available shortly.

Courts take ASBO breaches seriously. From Home Office data we know that a significant number of ASBO breaches result in immediate custody.
Number of ASBOs issued, as reported to the Home Office, and breached in each year, by period

Number issuedNumber breached (year of breach)Number breached as a percentage of the number issued
Total 2000–200286030535

(6) From 1 June 2000. Data from 1 April 1999 to 31 May 2000 were collected, for the whole period, by police force area on aggregate numbers

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Crimes Against Young People

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) discussion forums, (b) conferences and (c) focus groups his Department has held on reducing crime against young people since 2001. [200337]

Paul Goggins: Since 2001 the Home Office has held three focus groups with young people to discuss the ways in which crime impacts on them and how to reduce crime against young people. The Home Office was a partner in the Children and Young People's Unit's (now part of the Department for Education and Skills) major conference "Safely on our Streets" where young people voiced their opinions on four topic areas; alcohol, transport, victims of crime and mobile phone theft.

The Home Office has also held events to tackle specific types of crime against young people. The Home Secretary's Task Force on Child Protection on the Internet, established in 2001, meets on a quarterly basis with additional meetings of the taskforce subgroups and working parties taking place in a regular basis. A series of discussion forums have been held with young people about reducing the likelihood of them being victims of mobile phone theft. In August 2004 Ministers from the Home Office and Department for Education and Skill wrote to Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) encouraging them to hold workshops on youth robbery. Half have already done so, the other half are planning to. A conference on this issue on 4 October 2004 also included a workshop on youth robbery.

In addition to the discussion forums, conferences and focus groups held on crime reduction, other events have been organised to tackle antisocial behaviour and youth crime. For example an International Seminar on Youth Crime held in October 2002, examined the reduction of crime committed both by young people and against young people. Preparations for this included a meeting with the youth crime focus group and the organisation of a focus group in Huntercombe Youth Offenders Institute.

Criminal Records Bureau

Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the average time taken for the Criminal Records Bureau to approve individual volunteers was in the last period for which figures are available; [207034]

(2) what action he is taking to shorten the amount of time that staff and volunteers must wait before receiving clearance from the Criminal Records Bureau. [207035]

Ms Blears: No distinction is made by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) in relation to the time taken to process an application received from a person from the voluntary sector and from an applicant who pays for his or her Disclosure.

The overall average for completed applications in November 2004, the last month for which figures are available, was 24.1 days. Breaking this down Standard Disclosures took an average of 12.9 days to complete and Enhanced Disclosures took 25.7 days. These figures may be compared against the Bureau's published service
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standards of completing 90 per cent. of Standard Disclosures within two weeks and 90 per cent. of Enhanced Disclosures within four weeks.

The CRB will never sacrifice the accuracy of its service for speed; however, the Bureau remains committed to improving the overall efficiency and effectiveness of its service.

Departmental Expenditure

Mr. Oaten: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what purposes the additional expenditure to be funded by the planned increase in his Department's budget for central services in 2005–06, as indicated on page 132 of the Home Office Annual Report 2003–04, will be put. [207692]

Fiona Mactaggart: The largest element of the reported increase in Central Services is £79 million for additional Accruing Superannuation Liability Charges (ASLC) to cover the cost of increased pension contributions, made by the Home Office, to the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). When financial allocations are finalised for 2005–06, these amounts will be disaggregated across all business areas.

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost of refurbishments in his Department was in each year since 1997; and what the planned expenditure is for 2005–06. [205677]

Mr. Charles Clarke: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Buckingham (Mr. Bercow) on 5 January 2004, Official Report, column 382W. Figures before 1990–2000 can be supplied only at disproportionate cost. The additional figures are:
£ million

(7) Anticipated out-turn.
(8) Not yet known.

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