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Chris Grayling: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how much business his Department has placed with (a) Capita Group plc and (b) its subsidiaries in each of the last five years; what the total value is of outstanding contracts placed with Capita Group plc and its subsidiaries by his Department; for which current tenders issued by his Department (i) Capita Group plc and (ii) its subsidiaries have been invited to bid; and whether (A) Capita Group plc and (B) its subsidiaries have seconded staff (1) temporarily and (2) on a longer-term basis to (X) his Department and (Y) its agencies. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: I refer the hon. Member to my answers given on 27 March 2006, Official Report, columns 9798W, to the hon. Member for Hornchurch (James Brokenshire). In addition no staff from Capita Plc or any of its subsidiaries have been seconded either temporarily or on a longer term basis to the Department or any of its agencies.
Mr. Keith Simpson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the responsibility allowance allocated to leaders and council members of councils in England and Wales is for (a) their personal use and (b) expenses. 
Mr. Woolas: Special responsibility allowance is paid to members of local authorities as recognition of the time commitment likely to be incurred by those members in the discharge of their duties. The allowance is paid at a rate fixed by the local authority in relation to the responsibility held. It is for the members themselves to decide how they spend this money.
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 19 December 2005 to the hon. Member for Dundee, East, Official Report, column
27 Apr 2006 : Column 1292W
2559W, on departmental staff, what the average additional payment to staff paid the London area pay rate was for 200506; how many and what proportion of staff are entitled to this rate; and if he will estimate the annual saving to his Department if London staff were paid at the national pay rate. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: There are a number of grades of staff in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). Below the senior civil service, there are London and national pay rates for each grade. Pay rates are determined by negotiation with the trade unions, and take account of a number of factors including market rates. Differences between London and national pay rates are proportionately larger for more junior grades.
In 200506, the overall average salary difference for London and national staff in ODPM headquarters was around 11 per cent. Around 2,000 (92 per cent.) of staff were on London pay rates. If all staff had been on national pay rates, we estimate salary costs would have been some £5.5 million lower.
Corresponding figures for the Government offices were a 10 per cent. difference between London and national average salaries. Around 300 (11 per cent.) of staff were on London rates. If all staff had been on national pay rates, we estimate salary costs would have been some £1 million lower.
Tom Levitt: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his Department's progress in meeting its statutory obligation as a public body to promote the rights of disabled people. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 placed new duties on public authorities to promote equality for disabled people, 'the Disability Equality Duty'. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) is working closely with the Disability Rights Commission as a pathfinder Government Department while it develops its disability equality scheme over the next few months. The partnership should help ODPM to develop a high quality disability equality scheme, develop best practice to share with other Government Departments, and provide experience for the Disability Rights Commission on implementing the duty.
In 2004 ODPM carried out a benchmarking exercise developed by the Employers Forum on Disability, to find out more about the problems faced by disabled people in the Department. As a result, a disability action plan was developed. Most of the actions from the plan are underway, and over half have already been completed, such as a major consultation with disabled staff, guidance on organising accessible events and improved building access. Other actions taken by ODPM to help it prepare for the Disability Equality Duty include:
Implementing the Disability Equality Duty within local government is a matter for the local authorities. However ODPM has commissioned a study which examined the extent to which local authorities are implementing the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in ways that promote and support the social inclusion of disabled people. The findings of this study should help local authorities fulfil their duties under the Act. My senior officials and I have also spoken at conferences held by the Disability Rights Commission on the importance of the duty to local authorities.
Together with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department of Health, piloting individualised budgets for disabled people by bringing together sources of funding, services, equipment and adaptations;
Through the Supporting People programme, enabling the provision of housing-related support services at local level to help vulnerable people (including disabled people) to maintain or improve their ability to live independently.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many people were (a) rescued alive from fires and (b) led to safety from fires by fire and rescue service personnel in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The following table shows the number of people that were (a) rescued alive from fires, and (b) led or carried out from fires, by fire and rescue service personnel in England in each year from 1995 to 2004.
|Total(33)||Led/carried out||Other rescue method|
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