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Dr. Ladyman: Safety Camera Partnerships are comprised of representatives from local authorities, the police, the Highways Agency and the magistrates courts and optional representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service, national health service trusts and the health authority.
Safety Camera Partnerships are not however a legal entity, and they complement, not replace, existing local authority and police statutory responsibilities in respect of road safety. Safety Camera Partnerships are not therefore directly accountable to any elected bodies. However each member of the partnership does remain locally accountable to its parent body.
Ms Buck: The Department is funding a number of local authority initiatives which will improve road safety for children, including the Kerbcraft" child pedestrian training programme and travelling to school" project which we support jointly with DfES. Mainstream funding for all transport improvements, including road safety schemes, is allocated to local authorities through the Local Transport Plan system.
Derek Twigg: The Department for Transport ensures that all train operators participate in the Senior Railcard scheme which gives discounts on train travel for people over 60. Additional concessions for senior citizens may be proposed and funded by local authorities, such as the Greater London Freedom pass scheme funded by the Greater London Authority. The Department has received no recent representations proposing free travel for senior citizens.
Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the timetable is for taking decisions on the selection of stations to be improved through platform extensions on the Midland branch of the Thameslink 2000 line. 
Derek Twigg: The various applications which Network Rail have made in respect of the Thameslink 2000 project include their proposals to extend a number of platforms at stations along the Midland branch of the proposed Thameslink route to accommodate trains of 12 car length.
The public inquiry into the Thameslink 2000 project was re-opened between 6 September and 7 December 2005, following the submission of fresh applications by Network Rail to address deficiencies in the scheme identified by the original inquiry.
The inspector is currently preparing his report on the re-opened inquiry for submission to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Deputy Prime Minister, .who are jointly and severally responsible for determining the various consent applications required to implement the project. We expect to receive the inspector's report in March.
We will consider on a case by case basis the merits of extending the platforms to accommodate trains of 12 car length at other stations along the Midland branch that were not included in the submitted applications.
Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria an individual from another EU country must meet to be entitled to (a) jobseeker's allowance and (b) housing benefit. 
Mr. Plaskitt: In order to receive income-related benefits a claimant must both have a right to reside in, and be habitually resident in the Common Travel Area. The benefits affected by the Habitual Residence Test are: income support; jobseeker's allowance (income based); pension credit; housing benefit; and council tax benefit. The Common Travel Area comprises the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
The Habitual Residence Test applies to all claimants, including British citizens, who have lived in this country for two years or less. Claimants who do not satisfy the Habitual Residence Test are classed as people from abroad and are not eligible for these benefits.
Some groups of people who have the right to reside in UK are automatically treated as habitually resident in the UK. These include European Economic Area nationals who are classed as workers under European Community law.
2 Feb 2006 : Column 664W
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the cost of raising the standard rate of housing benefit and council tax benefit earned income disregards from £5 per week to £10 per week. 
Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many women in the City of Newcastle were aged over 60 years in (a) 1995, (b) 2000 and (c) 2005; and how many women were receiving (i) a full basic state pension, (ii) a part basic state pension of 50 per cent. of the full pension and (iii) a part basic state pension of less than 50 per cent. of the full pension in each year. 
(see note 6)
|Women aged over 60 years in City of Newcastle||31,200||30,500|
|Number of women receiving a full basic state pension in City of Newcastle||17,600||15,500|
|Number of women receiving more than 50 per cent. but less than 99 per cent. of the full basic state pension in City of Newcastle||11,800||11,500|
|Number of women receiving less than 50 per cent. of the full basic state pension in City of Newcastle||1,500||800|
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