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13 Oct 2005 : Column 593W—continued


Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to respond to the recent report of the Royal Commission on Environmental Protection's investigation into the impact of pesticides. [18404]

Caroline Flint: We shall be contributing to the Government response, which is being co-ordinated by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The Government is committed to respond to the report within a year of publication.


Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government is taking to reduce the number of children and teenagers who smoke. [16351]

Caroline Flint: The Government has a comprehensive strategy in place to tackle smoking, which focuses on action to discourage young people from ever starting, and help for all smokers, of whatever age, to quit. We are aiming to create a climate where non-smoking is the norm, so there is less incentive for young people to take up the habit.

We have banned almost all tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion, which has removed the attractive glossy advertisements used to entice young people to try the product. Our highly effective national anti-smoking education campaign is designed to reach people of all ages including young people. Young people who wish to give up smoking can get help from the national health service stop smoking services. In our White Paper, "Choosing Health", we set out proposals to bring in new measures to combat underage sales of tobacco products, and increased enforcement of existing regulations. We will reduce exposure to second-hand smoke and through a staged approach make almost all enclosed public places and workplaces smoke-free. We will hold a consultation later in the year on mandatory picture warnings on tobacco products.
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Together this strategy has helped reduce smoking rates in young people aged 11 to 15 years from 13 per cent. in 1996 to 9 per cent. in 2004.

Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority

Michael Jabez Foster: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what special assistance was provided by the Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority to each of the trusts within the area in (a) 2002–02, (b) 2003–04, (c) 2004–05 and (d) the current financial year. [15721]

Caroline Flint: Information about special assistance from the NHS Bank to Surrey and Sussex Strategic Health Authority (SHA) for 2002–03 to 2004–05 is shown in table 1. Special assistance has not been provided for 2005–06.

Surrey and Sussex SHA has provided information about the distribution of the money to trusts within the area. This information is shown in table 2.
Table 1: NHS Bank special assistance provided to Surrey and Sussex SHA for 2002–05

Amount (£ million)

Table 2: Distribution of NHS Bank special assistance to trusts within the area as provided by Surrey and Sussex SHA

National health service trusts
Ashford and St. Peter's Hospitals NHS Trust9,50018,65013,000
Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust4,0003,500
Frimley Park Hospital NHS Foundation Trust3,0002,700
Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust2,0007,2507,000
Royal West Sussex NHS Trust1,500
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust7,5005,900
Primary care trusts (PCTs)
Crawley PCT688
East Surrey PCT487
Horsham and Chactonbury PCT575
Western Sussex PCT750
Guildford and Waverley PCT2,000

Special assistance is understood to mean NHS Bank support. No special assistance has been provided to Surrey and Sussex SHA for 2005–06.


Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans her Department has to fund the maintenance of the central point of expertise on timber. [15299]

Jane Kennedy: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State for the Environment (Mr. Morley) to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 10 October 2005, Official Report, column 160W.
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Disability Living Allowance

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of under-16s who applied for disability living allowance in each year since 2002 were successful; and what percentage of successful claimants received (a) mobility allowance and (b) care allowance. [16836]

Mrs. McGuire: Not all the requested information is available, because data on the number of claims received for disability living allowance are not broken down by age. The information that is available is in the table.
Number of new awards of disability living allowance (DLA) made to children under 16 years of age in the 12 months ending on 28 February in each of years from 2002 to 2005; and the percentage of those awards in which (a) a mobility component and (b) a care component was awarded

Total number of new awards(23) of DLA to children under 16 years of age(a) Percentage awarded a mobility component(24)(b) Percentage awarded a care component(24)

(23) New awards are successful awards resulting from claims for DLA from or on behalf of children not previously in receipt of the benefit and relate to first awards made as a result of initial claims, reviews or appeals. Figures are rounded to the nearest hundred.
(24) The figures for mobility component awards and care component awards include cases in which both components are awarded.
DWP Information Division, 5 per cent. samples.

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average length of time taken to process new claims for disability living allowance for under-16s was in each year since 2002, broken down by region. [16837]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is not available because data for clearance times for claims for disability living allowance are not broken down by age.

Freedom of Information

Pete Wishart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Freedom of Information Act 2000 requests have been answered by the Department; and in how many cases (a) information was wholly exempted, (b) information was partly exempted and (c) the requests were answered in full. [14965]

Mrs. McGuire: I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Constitutional Affairs, on 12 September 2005, Official Report, column 2248W.

Hospital Benefits

Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the Chancellor's Budget proposals for paying benefits to those in hospital are being implemented. [17207]

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Mr. Timms: Yes. We intend to lay regulations shortly to abolish the 52-week hospital down-rating rule, from April 2006.

Pensions Caseworkers

Mr. David Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what pay arrangements the Pensions Ombudsman operates for caseworkers; and whether there is an arrangement by which a caseworker's remuneration is varied according to the number of complaints which are concluded. [16999]

Mr. Timms: Pay arrangements for staff engaged on casework duties reflect the remuneration received by Higher Executive Officers, Senior Executive Officers and Grade 7 civil servants working in the Department for Work and Pensions. They incorporate a limited performance-related element. This takes account of the number of complaints that are concluded as well as the quality of the casework involved.

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