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31 Jan 2005 : Column 655W—continued

Traveller Sites

Mr. Key: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much Wiltshire county council has applied for in grant aid in respect of traveller sites in the Salisbury area; and when a decision will be made on the application. [211243]

Yvette Cooper: The current bidding round of the Gypsy Sites Refurbishment Grant closes on 28 February 2005. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has not yet received an application for funding from Wiltshire county council. We will expect to announce successful bids in April 2005.

Wiltshire county council has been awarded £655,736 of funding in previous rounds of the Gypsy Sites Refurbishment Grant.
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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what helpline services the Government provide to travellers; and how much was spent on such services in the last period for which figures are available. [211924]

Yvette Cooper: The Government do not provide any helplines specific to gypsies and travellers.


Sarah Teather: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) how many trees have been planted in London since 1975; [211487]

(2) how many trees there were in Greater London in (a) 1975, (b) 1980, (c) 1990, (d) 2000 and (e) the latest year for which figures are available. [211488]

Phil Hope: Accurate data is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. All local authorities maintain their own records of privately owned trees that are protected by tree preservation orders and many have inventories of trees for which they are responsible. The last survey of trees in London (Action for London's Trees, 1993) estimated that there were nearly 6,000,000 individual trees and hedges and more than 65,000 woodlands and stands of trees. A survey is currently being carried out to assess the composition of trees in towns and cities in England, including London. The results will be available in summer 2005.
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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many adoption cases have been completed in each local authority in each of the last five years. [210362]

Margaret Hodge: The information has been placed in the Libraries.


Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) young apprenticeships and (b) apprenticeships for adults aged 25 years and over are available, broken down by (i)geographic areas and (ii) sectors; and what plans she has to extend them to (A) Stafford and (B) other parts of England. [211223]

Mr. Stephen Twigg: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. Mark Haysom, the Council's Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Member with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Building Schools for the Future

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) whether (a) head teachers and (b) other staff will be able to participate in the design of schools being rebuilt as part of Building Schools for the Future; [211347]

(2) what support is available to head teachers and other staff participating in the design of schools being rebuilt as part of the Building Schools for the Future scheme. [211528]

Mr. Stephen Twigg [holding answer 27 January 2005:] It is essential to the success of any school building project, including Building Schools for the Future, that those who will use the buildings are involved in the design and building from start to finish. This includes head teachers, other staff, pupils and the local community. The process of design and building is also an excellent educational opportunity for pupils.

To this end, the Department develops and spreads good practice through projects with expert bodies such as CABE, School Works, Learning through Landscapes and joinedupdesignforschools", guidance such as the exemplar designs, and materials such as the School Works Toolkit and post-occupancy evaluations. For Building Schools for the Future, our delivery body Partnerships for Schools is charged with supporting local government so that all projects are models of good practice.
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Child Care

Ms Buck: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on what services the funds for the supply side of child care services as set out in the Government's 10-year child care strategy will be spent; and how much will be spent on each. [209775]

Margaret Hodge: The baseline for the Sure Start Unit is £866 million in 2004–05, £1,144 million in 2005–06, £1,671 million in 2006–07 and £1,884 million in 2007–08.

For 2004–06 almost £900 million supply side funding within the General Sure Start Grant has been allocated to local authorities to create, sustain and support child care services. In addition to this, £1,025 million has been allocated to Sure Start Local Programmes and over £34 million to Early Excellence Centres, with all funding supporting the 10-year child care strategy. The details of precise allocations for 2006–07 and 2007–08 are still being finalised.

In addition, from April 2003 all financial support for the delivery of free nursery education was consolidated with the under fives sub-block of each local authority's Education Formula Spending Share (EFSS)—the main source of education funding. Support for free nursery education in 2003–04 was £2.6 billion.

Child Protection

Vera Baird: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how she plans to ensure that the information-sharing database in children's services flags cases of domestic violence or child abuse to ensure that domestic violence perpetrators cannot use their rights under the Data Protection Act 1998 to track down their children or ex-partner. [212089]

Margaret Hodge: We recognise the importance of ensuring that children and families are protected from the perpetrators of domestic violence or child abuse. The details of how the information sharing databases or indexes will work will be set out in regulations and guidance. In framing the regulations and guidance we will take care to address the issue of protection from the perpetrators of domestic violence or abuse. This will include the facility for certain details, such as an address, to be blocked out or not to appear on the index at all where a parent has good cause to believe that the inclusion of such information may lead to a crime being committed.

Where information on a child is held on the index, and a parent makes a request to access that information, their rights to access that information are balanced by the rights of the child. For children of sufficient maturity (which for the vast majority of children is taken to mean aged 12 or over), the right under the Data Protection Act to access data held about the child on the index will belong to the child rather than to the parent. So there will be no obligation on the person with responsibility for managing and operating the index (the data controller) to disclose information to a parent in such cases.
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For other children, where rights to access information held on a child may be exercised by a parent with parental responsibility, the data controller is under no obligation to disclose information if that would lead to harm. We will ensure that guidance to data controllers on handling such requests includes guidance on identifying cases of potential harm and procedures to avoid this, such as asking the other parent if they have any objection to the request or deciding that the other parent is the best person to exercise access right on behalf of the child.

Children's Centres

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recommendations she has made to local authorities regarding parental involvement in children's centres. [210128]

Margaret Hodge: One of the Sure Start principles is that parents and children have access to services that are tailored flexibly according to their needs and circumstances. We issued children's centre start up guidance to local authorities in February 2003. This said that children's centres must not only consult parents and carers, including fathers, on what services to offer, but must also actively involve them by setting up systems to get their feedback on services and having on-going arrangements to ensure parents have a voice. There must also be mechanisms in place to enable parents to self-refer to services. Children's centres should implement specific strategies to include fathers. Family support and health advice must be available at times suitable for working parents. There should also be opportunities for family learning to take place at the centre or in settings linked to the centre such as FE colleges.

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