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Ms Buck: We know from our evaluation of various small-scale yellow and other dedicated school bus schemes that well-designed schemes have the potential to reduce car dependency for journeys to school and the traffic congestion that results from this. However, care needs to be taken to ensure that schemes are appropriate to local circumstances and, in particular, that they do not reduce levels of walking or cycling or undermine the viability of important commercial bus services.
We approved £18.7 million funding for a much larger yellow bus scheme serving schools in West Yorkshire as part of the local transport settlement for 200405. We are currently working closely with West Yorkshire PTE to evaluate the impacts of this scheme on a range of issues including traffic levels around schools and the number of pupils transferring from car to bus.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children of school age in
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(a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK live in a family where neither parent works. 
The attached table shows the number and proportion of children, aged five to fifteen, in families with no resident parent in work for the three-month period ending November 2004. The figures include the children of married or cohabiting couples where neither parent is working, and those living with a lone parent who is not working.
|Level (Thousand)||Proportion(42) (percentage)|
|Children of couples where neither parent is working||364||6|
|Children of lone parents who are not working||922||46|
|Children in all families where no resident parent is working||1,286||16|
|Children of couples where neither parent is working||19||9|
|Children of lone parents who are not working||50||50|
|Children in all families where no resident parent is working||69||23|
|Children of couples where neither parent is working||6||34|
|Children of lone parents who are not working||3||51|
|Children in all families where no resident parent is working||9||39|
|Children of couples where neither parent is working||3||33|
|Children of lone parents who are not working||2||52|
|Children in all families where no resident parent is working||5||38|
Margaret Hodge: It is not possible to break this figure down into separate years because contracts can span more than one year and be extended due to delays. In the last three financial years the Department for Work and Pensions has employed consultants from the following 152 suppliers:
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to issue guidance on effective commissioning for those in the public and voluntary sectors who are commissioning work from external consultants. 
DWP recognises the need for effective commissioning on external consultancy. All requests for external consults for DWP and its businesses are acquired competitively through existing OGC and our own specialised frameworks to secure optimum value for money.
20 Jul 2005 : Column 1811W
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