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Sector Skills Bodies

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the relationship is between Skills 4 Security and the Learning and Skills Council; and if she will make a statement. [36374]

Phil Hope: Skills for Security is a newly established standards setting body formed after two years of research and consultation within the security industry. The new body will be fully operational from 1 January 2006 and, as the Security Industry Association's successor organisation on skills, will work with the Learning and Skills Council on the industry skills remit including promoting the industry's priorities to the LSC to inform their planning and funding decisions.

David Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her Department's involvement was in the establishment of Skills 4 Security as a sector skills body for the security industry; and if she will make a statement. [36375]

Phil Hope: Skills for Security is an independently established organisation which will become fully operational on 1 January 2006. It will take over the skills remit for the security industry from the Security Industry Association (SIA). Skills for Security is not part of the Skills for Business Network which encompasses 25 employer led Sector Skills Councils and the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA). It is anticipated that Skills for Security will work with the SSDA on skills matters in a similar way to its predecessor, the SIA. The SSDA and the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, both non-departmental public bodies, were involved in the industry-wide consultation exercise which led to the formation of Skills for Security, although the Department for Education and Skills itself was not a contributor.

Student Debt

Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Cambridge (David Howarth) of 22 June 2005, Official Report, columns 1175–1176W, on student debt, on what date the Student Income and Expenditure Survey for 2004–05 will be published. [36205]

Bill Rammell: It is intended that the Student Income and Expenditure Survey will be published in February 2006.

University Staff (Salaries)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the average salary is of a senior university (a) professor and (b) lecturer in England. [35215]

Bill Rammell [holding answer 8 December 2005]: The latest available figures are shown in the table. Figures for 2004/05 will be available in January 2006.
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Average salary(38) of full-time HE academic staff with teaching responsibilities HE institutions in England 2003/04

GradeAverage salary (£)
Senior lecturers and researchers41,700

(38) Average salary is derived from the gross basic salary per annum, in pounds sterling as stated in the contract at the reference date of HESA's staff count (July 31) or at the end date of the contract if earlier. It does not include any regular payments for additional duties, responsibility allowances or honoraria, regardless of their source.
Figures have been rounded to the nearest 100.
Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Youth Opportunity Fund

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what her estimate is of the resources likely to be made available to Birmingham city council under her Youth Opportunity Fund initiative. [36155]

Beverley Hughes: Allocations for the resources are not currently available. We expect to make announcements early in the new year.


A21 Upgrade

Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what role the South East of England Regional Development Agency has in the proposed A21 upgrade; and what funding it has received in each year since 1997. [34337]

Alun Michael [holding answer 5 December 2005]: SEEDA leads the Hastings and Bexhill Task Force, the partnership established in 2002 to take forward the regeneration of the Hastings area. The improvement of the A21 is one of the transport priorities identified in the Five Point Plan for the regeneration of Hastings and
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Bexhill. The role of SEEDA, and the Task Force, has therefore been to advocate the bringing forward of A21 improvement schemes. The Highways Agency is the responsible body for delivering these schemes, SEEDA has no direct role in them. Therefore SEEDA has received no funding for such schemes.


Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many bankruptcies there have been in (a) Southend, (b) Essex, (c) Hertfordshire, (d) Greater London and (e) England and Wales in each of the last 10 years. [37557]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The regional breakdown available for the insolvency statistics is not directly comparable with standard administrative or electoral geographies. The insolvency regions" are areas assigned to groups of Official Receivers and are based around the location of county courts where the cases are heard and of courts having jurisdiction over these. The county courts covered in Southend are Southend-on-Sea, Brentwood, Chelmsford, Maldon and Romford. The county courtscovered in St. Albans are Amersham, Aylesbury, Harlow, High Wycombe, Hitchin, Luton, St. Albans and Watford. The county courts covered in London areAldershot and Farnham, Barnet, Bloomsbury, Bloomsbury and Marylebone, Bow, Brentford, Bromley, Chingford, Clerkenwell, Croydon, Edmonton, Epsom, Guildford, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Lambeth, Marylebone, Mayor's and City of London, Reigate, Sevenoaks, Shoreditch, Staines, Wandsworth, West London, Westminster, Willesden and Woolwich. The county courts covered in Croydon are Aldershot and Farnham, Bromley, Croydon, Epsom, Guildford, Kingston-Upon-Thames, Reigate, Sevenoaks, Staines and Woolwich.

Figures for England and Wales are provided as follows, together with those for Official Receivers offices whose coverage is closest to the regions requested. The statistics below national level should not be considered to be a reliable measure of bankruptcies in those regions listed in the question and should, therefore, be interpreted with caution.
Numbers of individual bankruptcies recorded over the last 10 financial years, April 1995 to April 2005

Official receivers office1995–961996–971997–981998–991999–20002000–012001–022002–032003–042004–05
St. Albans8187446786536606226767378451,224
London and Croydon3,1002,6562,5582,3152,2202,1352,2492,6673,3354,910
England and Wales22,18621,05819,71320,50821,47921,96123,42625,17729,63337,562

Company Audits

Mr. Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps his Department is taking to improve the auditing of British companies. [36204]

Alun Michael: As part of the Government's commitment to promoting high quality auditing. It has:

In addition, the Company Law Reform Bill, introduced in the other House in November, brings the law on company auditing together in one place and restates it more clearly. It also makes a number of changes designed to improve the audit process.
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