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Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps the Health and Safety Executive is taking to ensure safety in graveyards from headstones; and what guidance the Health and Safety Executive has issued to burial authorities about the safety of headstones. 
Mrs. McGuire: On this issue, HSE supports the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA), who have overall responsibility for burial law, to ensure that the safety of headstones is taken into account as part of the overall management of cemeteries. In 2004, the Chairman of the Health and Safety Commission wrote to all Local Authority Chief Executives, setting out the need for a sensitive and proportionate approach to headstone safety. HSE is now assisting the DCA in preparing advice, which, following consultation, they plan to publish later this year.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action he is taking in conjunction with (a) the Health and Safety Executive and (b) (i) local and (ii) maritime authorities to improve safety in the handling of hazardous cargoes at ports and terminals. 
Safety standards in the transport and handling of hazardous cargoes at ports and terminals are improved and maintained through an inspection and enforcement regime operated by the Health and
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Safety Executive (HSE), the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Statutory Harbour Authorities, which considers the type of cargo handled and any specific risks associated with the cargo.
Specifically, this is achieved through the Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999 and planning requirements (the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 1992). All establishments wishing to hold certain hazardous substances above a threshold quantity (the threshold for LNG for example is 15tonnes) must apply to the Hazardous Substances Authority for a hazardous substances consent. HSE is a statutory consultee under the regulations and carries out risk assessments to enable it to advise on the health and safety risks.
The assessments which are carried out in relation to Consents consider the risks to people in the vicinity of a major hazards establishment. The assessments are rigorous and detailed taking in all aspect within HSE's remit.
COMAH is the principal legislation dealing with the operation of major hazard establishments. COMAH applies to specified quantities and types of substances. The aim of the regulation is to prevent major accidents involving dangerous substances and limit the consequences of any incidents to people and the environment.
COMAH requirements are necessarily robust, the requirements are proportionate to the hazards and risks but the sites with the highest quantities of major hazards substances are subject to a safety report regime which requires a demonstration that all measures necessary have been taken to prevent major accidents and to limit the consequences to people and the environment of any that do occur.
Both the COMAH requirements and the criteria for carrying out assessments in relation to consents are updated and improved in the light of advances in technology and experience. This is an ongoing process.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to what extent differences between poverty levels are recorded on a (a) before and (b) after housingcosts basis attributable to the use of different equivalisation scales. 
Results in the publication for both Before and After Housing Costs use the same equivalisation scale. Equalisation is a formula applied to household income to enable the comparison of households of different sizes and composition. The main results reported in the latest edition of HBAI were equivalised using the McClements equivalence scale.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether the figures used to produce the income distribution curves on page 11 of the most recent edition of Households Below Average Income are publicly available. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking for a list of the locations of each Jobcentre Plus telephone call centre in the UK. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
National Benefit Fraud Hotline is available to encourage the public to help in the fight against benefit fraud and abuse by providing a free, convenient and confidential service for people who wish to report cases of suspected benefit fraud.
|Jobcentre Plus||Bangor (from May 2006)|
|Jobcentre Plus Direct||Blackburn|
|National Benefit Fraud Hotline||Preston|
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people he estimates Jobcentre Plus has helped into work in (a) the Banbury and (b) the Oxford travel-to-work area in the last 12 months; and how many were over 50 in each case. 
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to reply to your question asking how many people he estimates Jobcentre Plus has helped into work in (a) the Banbury and (b)the Oxford travel-to-work area in the last 12 months and how many were over-50 in each case. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
|Travel to work area||Number of filled vacancies|
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) which Jobcentre Plus call centres are available to job seekers in Oxfordshire; and for what hours each call centre operates; 
(2) how many calls to Jobcentre Plus call centres serving Oxfordshire were necessary on average for a jobseeker to get through to a member of staff in the last period for which figures are available. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking which Jobcentre Plus call centres are available to jobseekers in Oxfordshire and for what hours each call centre operates, and how many calls to Jobcentre Plus call centres serving Oxfordshire were necessary on average for a jobseeker to get through to a member of staff in the last period for which figures are available. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobseeker Direct is a telephone job matching service for customers who are job ready and looking for work. Customers can contact Jobseeker Direct by ringing a local rate 0845 number. We have a number of contact centre sites located through out the UK that deliver the Jobseeker Direct Service. None are located in Oxfordshire. When a customer calls the dedicated 0845 number, the next available advisor within the network, regardless of the call's geographic origin, will answer their call. This service is available from 8.00am to 6.00pm Monday to Friday and 9.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays.
Jobseeker Direct is a national service and it is not possible to identify the number of calls received from the Oxfordshire area. However, I can tell you that for the three months to the end of February Jobseeker Direct answered over 2.2 million calls which represents 97% of all calls received (against our target of 90%). Jobseeker Direct also exceeded our target of 80% of calls answered within 20 seconds, for that period.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the establishment of the Stroud Jobcentre Plus office is; and what the combined establishment of his Department's Stroud office and the Jobcentre Plus office in Stroud was on 31 March 2004. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what the current establishment of Stroud Jobcentre Plus office is and what the combined establishment of the Department's Stroud office and Jobcentre Plus office in Stroud was on 31 March 2004. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
In October 2004 the full-time equivalent staffing allocation for Stroud Jobcentre (which included an element for Dursley) was 17.23. The allocation for Stroud Social Security Office was 44.71. There were also 34.37 staff working on across the district functions including bereavement benefit, national insurance number applications, maternity allowance, appeals work, Social Fund and visiting staff. In total the allocation for Stroud was 96.31 full-time equivalent staff.
The current full-time equivalent allocation for Stroud Jobcentre Plus is 27.20. The work currently being undertaken at the Stroud office is significantly different from that undertaken in 2004. The old Jobcentre has closed and the Social Security office has been refurbished and converted into a Jobcentre Plus office. New systems have been introduced and new claims for benefit are now taken over the telephone by the contact centre in Torquay, with the majority of benefit processing work taking place in Gloucester and Cheltenham. District-wide functions have also been housed elsewhere.
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