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Dawn Primarolo: Estimates of the number of in-work families receiving tax credits in each constituency in Northern Ireland appear in Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics. Geographical analyses. December 2004". This can be found on the Inland Revenue website at www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/menu.htm. The estimates are based on a sample of cases, and are subject to sampling uncertainty.
Dawn Primarolo: Information broken down by regions is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Nationally 8,581,000 returns were received by the filing deadline out of an expected 9,474,000. This represents 90.6 per cent.
Dawn Primarolo: The rate of VAT on goods and services bought by schools and Further Education Colleges (FECs) is generally the same. However, FECs can in certain circumstances benefit from the zero rate for the construction of new buildings.
VAT incurred by FECs and schools is included in the funding they receive from central Government. In the case of FECs this is through their block grant funding, in the case of schools it is through the local government VAT funding mechanism.
Mr. Jamieson: We have recently announced the programme of major transport schemes which we propose to take forward in the East of England, including schemes on both the strategic and local road networks. A number of these schemes will benefit Essex.
Charlotte Atkins: The Department has received a bid for the extensions and is working closely with the scheme's promoters on the procurement and financing aspects. Once the Department has considered fully all of the necessary information a decision on whether to provide approval in principle for the extensions will be made based on value for money, the wider benefits and affordability.
Mr. Jamieson: I launched a public consultation in July 2004 on an Expressway concept as an alternative to widening the M6 between junction 11a and 19. This consultation closed on 21 October. The responses are currently being analysed. When this is complete I will publish my response.
The Midland Main Line/East Midlands Route Utilisation Strategy recently published by the Strategic Rail Authority will be used to inform the Invitations to Tender for the new Thameslink/GN and Midland Mainline franchise. Bids for the franchises will be require commitments on performance, train and crew reliability and operational viability.
1 Feb 2005 : Column 764W
19. Laura Moffatt: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact the Strategic Rail Authority's proposals for the Gatwick Express will have on airport users. 
Charlotte Atkins: The Strategic Rail Authority has considered the impacts on Gatwick airport users while developing the proposals in the Draft Brighton Mainline Route Utilisation Strategy. Representations from consultees on the subject of airport users will be taken into account while the Strategy is finalised.
Charlotte Atkins: Traffic Commissioners are responsible for licensing operators of heavy goods vehicles and public service vehicles. They act in a quasi judicial capacity and are independent of central and local government. Local authorities have the right to object to applications for a licence.
Mr. Grieve: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons personal files held by the Civil Aviation Authority on its staff are not regarded as filing systems within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 1998. 
Charlotte Atkins: Personal files held by the CAA on its staff are paper files containing various material, including sickness absence forms, pay review letters and correspondence with the Human Resources Department. The personal files relating to each employee are stored in reverse chronological order.
The personal files are not regarded as filing systems within the meaning of the Data Protection Act 1998 (the Act") because they do not fulfil the requirements of being a relevant filing system" as defined in Section 1(1) of the Act. This definition is as follows:
any set of information relating to individuals to the extent that, although the information is not processed by means of equipment operating automatically in response to instructions given for that purpose, the set is structured, either by reference
A searcher would be required to leaf through the documents in a personal file in reverse chronological order to find any particular information. Accordingly the personal files cannot be regarded as a relevant filing system" within the meaning of the Act.
Rob Marris: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research the Government had carried out on (a) the extent of and (b) the safety implications of the use of mobile telephones by cyclists while cycling. 
Mr. Jamieson: We are not aware of evidence specifically on cyclists and the safety of using mobile phones. But the Highway Code already tells cyclists to keep both hands on the handlebars except when signalling or changing gear. The police have powers under sections 28 and 29 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, as amended, to deal with cyclists they consider to be riding dangerously, or carelessly or inconsiderately, through using mobile phones or for any other reason.
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