|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mrs. McGuire: Workplace Health Connect, including Workplace Health Connect West Midlands (the West Midlands 'pathfinder) launched on 23 February 2006 and is now up and running. The service provides free, impartial and practical advice and support on workplace health, safety and return to work issues to smaller businesses.
The collaborative service, set up in partnership with the Health and Safety Executive offers an adviceline for England and Wales, and workplace visits from qualified Workplace Health Connect advisers. The workplace visits are available now, in the West Midlands and also the North East, North West, South Wales and Greater London.
Human Focus Return to Work Limited operates Workplace Health Connect West Midlands and they have begun carrying out the workplace visits. They have also established a Regional Stakeholder Council which includes among others, representatives of small business, trade unions, the insurance industry, local authorities and a primary care trust.
The West Midlands Stakeholder Council met for the first time on 24 February. The area covered by Workplace Health Connect West Midlands includes all unitary authorities and county districts as defined by the Government Office Region for West Midlands.
93 per cent. of callers to Workplace Health Connect say they are satisfied or very satisfied with the service they have received. Smaller businesses (those with between five and 250 workers) and their workers can access the service by calling the adviceline on 0845 609 6006.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much the net revenue from council tax receipts was in (a) England and (b) Great Britain in each year since 1997-98; and if he will estimate what the revenue will be in 2006-07. 
|Net receipts (£ million)|
John Healey: The Treasury encourages home working in appropriate circumstances and many staff work from home from time-to-time. Information relating to the number of staff who have worked from home is not available.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent discussions he has had with the (a) International Monetary Fund and (b) World Bank on its policy on opening up markets in developing nations. 
Ed Balls: As the Chancellor set out in his statement to the International Monetary and Financial Committee on 22 April 2006, the international community must grasp the opportunity presented by the Doha Development Agenda of world trade talks to achieve an ambitious outcome, by the end of 2006, that will make a real contribution to poverty reduction. Concrete action is needed to provide significant increases in market access for developing countries. Effective special and differential treatment for developing countries is key to increasing growth in developing countries, integrating the most vulnerable countries into the world economy, and maintaining the credibility of the multilateral trading system.
And as the Chancellor and the Secretary of State for International Development set out in their joint statement to the Development Committee on 23 April 2006, developing countries should have the flexibility to decide, plan and sequence trade reforms within their own plans for development and poverty reduction.
Additional support is also needed to help developing countries to build the physical, human and institutional capacity to trade. There is a key role for the Bank, working jointly with the Fund, in taking this agenda forward.
Treasury Ministers and officials have conversations and discussions with a wide range of organisations and individuals as part of the process of policy development, analysis and delivery, including with the IMF and the World Bank.
Dawn Primarolo: HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has no power to outsource the recovery of written off tax debts to private debt collection agencies. However, HMRC will always consider wider developments and compare its recovery operations against best practice in the private sector and other Government Departments.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations the Valuation Office Agency has received on whether the London congestion charge zone (a) represents a national change in circumstances for the valuation of and (b) justifies amended valuations of inner London businesses for business rate purposes. 
Valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency in central London have received approximately 10,500 proposals from ratepayers or their agents to alter the rating lists, making representations that the Congestion Charge Zone has affected the rating valuation of their business premises.
Whether a reduction in rateable value is justified will depend on the facts and circumstances of individual cases. These are matters for the valuation officers orin the absence of agreementfor the independent valuation tribunal or ultimately for the courts to decide.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations the Valuation Office Agency has received on whether the acts of terrorism of 7 July 2005 (a) represent a material change in circumstances for the revaluation of and (b) justify amended valuations of inner London businesses for business rate purposes. 
Valuation officers of the Valuation Office Agency in central London have received approximately 400 proposals from ratepayers or their agents to alter the rating lists on the grounds that they consider the terrorist bombings of 7 July 2005 to have affected the rating valuation of their business premises. However whether any reductions in rateable value are justified will depend on the facts and circumstances of individual cases. These are matters for valuation officers orin the absence of agreementfor the independent valuation tribunal or ultimately the courts to decide.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance she plans to issue to local authorities in the sustainable communities growth areas on the provision of adequate burial spaces; and if he will make a statement. 
The need for guidance for all local authorities on the provision of burial space is one of the matters we are considering in the course of our current review of burial law and practice. As I explained in my statement on 7 November 2005, Official Report, column 3WS, the Government will inform the House of its plans to bring forward proposals for burial law reform later this year.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much (a) Tamworth borough council and (b) Staffordshire county council received under the Local Authority
Business Growth Incentive in 2005-06; and what proportion of the amount retained by each local authority has been allocated to supporting business growth to date. 
All monies awarded under the LABGI scheme are not ring-fenced and we do not hold information on their use. It is for local authorities to decide how their LABGI reward is spent. Some may invest in further business growth while others may choose to invest in better public services for their communities or to keep down council tax pressures.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many nursery and crèche places are provided for people working in his Office; what charges are made for the provision of such services; and what other facilities are provided for the children of employees of her Office. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is a member of the Westminster Holiday Playscheme that runs every school holiday. The ODPM funds 50 per cent. of the cost of places and the cost to staff is £12.50 per child. For the latest scheme (30 May 2006 to 2 June 2006) 42 places were available for the entire scheme although the number allocated to OPDM staff has not yet been confirmed. For previous schemes the following number of places were allocated:
The ODPM also runs a Childcare Vouchers Scheme. Full time staff are eligible to receive vouchers to a maximum value of £23 per week (part time staff will receive vouchers pro rata in relation to the numbers of hours they work). To be eligible for these vouchers staff must be employed by the Crown and work as a civil servant in ODPM on a permanent or fixed-term contract. Unless they are a single parent or their partner is disabled or in full time education, the member of staffs partner must be in full time employment The member of staff or their partner must not be receiving support for the same child from another employer or another government department.
(a) Be living with the member of staff
(b) Be under five years old
(c) Not be in full time education;
Mr. Woolas: The number of chargeable dwellings liable for council tax in England as at November 2005 was 21,267,000. This figure includes any dwellings entitled to discounts but excludes any exempt dwellings. 401,000 of these chargeable dwellings were either second homes or long-term empty homes.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|