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Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what communication activities are planned in relation to the policy areas covered by her Department during the UK presidency of the EU; and what budget has been allocated for these activities. 
Bill Rammell: External communications activity for the presidency is being co-ordinated centrally by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. During the UK Presidency of the Education and Youth Council, the external communications we are planning are; information on the DfES presidency internet site, letters and update notes to key stakeholders, information to the school work force about general teaching resources available via the web, and national, regional and specialist media activity. Communications activity has been provided for within existing budgets for the presidency programme.
Bill Rammell: Information on the closure, merger or opening of particular university courses and departments is not collected by the Department. Higher education institutions are autonomous organisations responsible for their own academic direction and strategic use of funds, and any decisions on closures of departments are made by them, not by Government or the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
Phil Hope: Central Government provide substantial financial investment in training and skills through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) for Coventry and Warwickshire. The LSC works with a range of partners, learning providers and employers. They have conducted an in-depth analysis of sector skills priorities in order to develop appropriate learning provision. The recent White Paper Getting on in Business; Getting on at Work", announced a National Employer Training Programme which will tailor training solutions to meet the skills needs of employers and their employees. The LSC already works collaboratively with the Business Link in Coventry supporting employers to improve their businesses and they have recently developed Skillssolutions to enable employers to access a full range of information and advice to develop their businesses and staff.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans she has to take forward the recommendations of the Clementi Review; and if she will make a statement. 
Bridget Prentice: My Department has already made a statement on taking forward the recommendations of the Clementi Review and I refer my hon. Friend for Hendon to the earlier statement made by my predecessor, my hon. Friend the hon. Member for Tottenham (Mr. Lammy) on 22 March 2005, Official Report, column 49WS.
The Government remains committed to consumer focused reform of legal services regulation and has broadly accepted the main recommendations of the
6 Jun 2005 : Column 354W
Clementi Review. We will publish a White Paper in the autumn, followed by a draft Legal Services Bill which is included in the 200506 legislative programme.
Bridget Prentice: Domestic violence proceedings are a priority area for legal aid funding. The Legal Services Commission's (LSC's) Funding Code Criteria for domestic violence cases are wider than for most other family and non-family areas; they are not limited to any specific definition of domestic violence or abuse. Legal aid solicitors have wide devolved powers to grant funding for victims of domestic violence who are in urgent need of the court's protection. Following the Department's consultation 'A New Focus on Civil Legal Aid', provision was made for the LSC to waive the upper monthly disposable income limit for legal representation in specified domestic violence proceedings.
Legal aid advice is provided by solicitors and advice centres with a contract with the LSC. An LSC leaflet 'Domestic Violence, Abuse and Harassment' is available from solicitors, courts and advice and support agencies. The LSC funds community projects providing advice, legal and practical help on domestic violence.
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what types of funding from EU institutions for public information on the EU Constitution will be permissible (a) before and (b) during the referendum on UK ratification. 
Ms Harman: Funding from the EU Institutions for public information on the EU Constitution before and during the referendum will be subject to the rules on donations contained in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000.
(1) a registered political party (other than a minor party), unless the payment is made by or on behalf of the European Parliament for the purpose of assisting MEPs to perform their functions as such members;
(3) a member of a registered political party, a member's association or the holder of a relevant elective office, such as an MEP, if the payment is for his use or benefit (in that capacity) in connection with his political activities, unless the payment consists of remuneration or allowances paid to the holder of a relevant elective office in his capacity as such.
James Duddridge: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether UK nationals living outside the United Kingdom but within the European Union will be eligible to vote in a referendum on a Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. 
Ms Harman: As the European Union Bill introduced on 24 May 2005 states, the franchise for the referendum is the same as for Westminster parliamentary elections, plus peers who are also members of the House of Lords, and the people of Gibraltar. This includes UK nationals living overseas registered as overseas electors. To register they must have lived in the UK in the last 15 years irrespective of whether they now live in the EU or not.
John Hemming: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many local authorities arranged during the general elections for their presiding officers to record details of those people who turned up to vote in person, but were turned away because they were registered as absent voters; and how many people were turned away in this manner in each local authority. 
John Hemming: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many postal votes were issued for the general elections of (a) 1997, (b) 2001 and (c) 2005; and how many were counted. 
Ms Harman: In the 1997 General Election, 937,205 postal ballots were issued, of which 737,995 (78.7 per cent.) were returned and included in the count. These details are taken from the House of Commons Paper Election Expenses" (HC 260, session 199899).
In the 2001 General Election 1,758, 055 postal votes were issued, of which 1,370,884 (78 per cent.) were returned and included in the count. These details are taken from the independent Electoral Commission's report Postal votes, proxy votes and spoilt ballot papers at the 2001 general election".
Copies of these publications are in the Library of each House. Information about postal votes and turnout at the 2005 General Election will be included in the Electoral Commission's report on participation and turnout, to be published later in the summer.
Ms Harman: The Government have published a policy paper for discussion on electoral administration. This paper invites comments on existing and proposed new electoral offences and the appropriate penalties to be applied.
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