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London Housing Associations

Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to enable London housing associations access to development opportunities. [73318]

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Yvette Cooper: We expect that housing associations, in London and elsewhere, will deliver affordable housing both in their own right and through partnership with developers linked to the provision of market housing. We will publish revised planning guidance on the provision of affordable housing through the planning system later this year. The Housing Corporation is also exploring how RSLs might take an increasing role in the provision of market housing for sale.

Sutton Town Football Club

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what advice the then Secretary of State received regarding the planning application for Sutton Town Football Club's new ground; and what account was taken of the opinion of local residents when her decision on the application was made. [72645]

Yvette Cooper: I believe the hon. Member is referring to a planning application for a new ground for Shrewsbury Town Football Club at Oteley Road, Sutton, Shrewsbury. The application was approved by Shrewsbury and Atcham borough council in September 2003. I understand the local planning authority did not refer the case at the time to the Secretary of State to consider whether to call it in for his own decision, as the authority considered the application was in accordance with the terms of the adopted local plan. It was for the borough council as local planning authority to take into account the views of local residents when determining the application.

Thames Gateway

Paul Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the funds which have been distributed to projects within the Medway local authority area through the Thames Gateway project. [74721]

Yvette Cooper: A total of £100,370,330 from the 2003-08 Thames Gateway budget, has been allocated for projects in the Medway local authority area. A list of these projects is tabled below. Combined, these projects are forecast to lever in over £1.5 billion of private sector investment into the Medway area.

This investment will support the delivery of over 2,500 homes and 900 jobs at Rochester and Strood Riversides; three universities and a college have combined to share a new campus, at Chatham Maritime, increasing full time education student places from 2000 in 2002 to 10,000 by 2010; a new innovation centre will help to retain and create up to 2,000 high quality jobs. Working with our partners in Medway Renaissance, we are also investing in town centre improvements at Chatham and Gillingham and a series of community and environmental improvements projects that will benefit the people of Medway.

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DCLG Medway Investment

Rochester Riverside


Universities at Medway


Strood Riverside


Chatham Town Centre and Waterfront


St Mary's Island


Medway Renaissance Partnership


Medway Innovation Centre


National Museums at Chatham


Transport for Medway


Gillingham Town Centre


North Kent Environmental Programme:


Ranscombe Farm




Cliffe Conservation Park


Community Enterprise Hubs Medway


Chatham Centre and Waterfront Environmental


River Medway Strategic Flood Risk Assessment


Gateway Knowledge Alliance; Rochester Construction Centre




Minister for Women

Career Advice

Anne Moffat: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what measures the Government are taking to improve career advice for girls. [74140]

Meg Munn: The Youth Matters: Next Steps document, published on 8 March 2006, sets out proposals for improved information, advice and guidance for young people. It recognises the importance of access to individually-tailored information, advice and guidance that challenges rather than perpetuates traditional stereotypes.

Central to improved information, advice and guidance will be the development of quality standards. The challenging of traditional stereotypes will be included in these standards. The Equal Opportunities Commission is represented on the steering group that is supporting the development of the standards.

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Ethnic Minority Staff

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what assessment she has made of the employment of staff from ethnic minorities in the public sector in Northamptonshire. [72931]

Meg Munn [holding answer 22 May 2006]: No assessment of the situation in Northamptonshire has been undertaken.

Under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 public authorities are required to comply with the Employment Duty. This means that they have to monitor, by racial group, the numbers of staff in post and the number of applicants for employment, training and promotion. Where an authority has 150 or more full-time staff they are also required to monitor a number of other indicators. Authorities are required to publish the results of this monitoring annually.

The Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) guidance states that authorities should use the information gathered to see if there are differences in the way racial groups are treated; to investigate the underlying reasons for the differences; and to deal with any unfairness, disadvantage or possible discrimination. The CRE are also responsible for enforcing the Duty.

Financial Planning

Anne Moffat: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps the Government are taking to encourage women to plan their financial lives and save for their retirement. [74139]

Meg Munn: On 25 May the Government published a Whiter Paper “Security in retirement: towards a new pensions system” The proposals in this paper set out a new structure for the UK pensions system for the long term. It is designed to enable people to take responsibility for their retirement by saving more.

The Government will be taking forward a number of measures in the White Paper to encourage women plan for their retirement:

Goods and Services (Sexual Discrimination)

John Bercow: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality when she plans to introduce regulations to implement the relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2006 to outlaw sexual discrimination in the provision of goods and services. [75546]

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Meg Munn: We published a consultation paper in March setting out proposals for regulations that will prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods, facilities, services and public functions. The consultation period ended on 5 June and our intention is to lay the sexual orientation regulations before the House after the summer recess.

Pension Schemes (Carers)

Ms Abbott: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what discussions she is planning to have with colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions about ensuring that women's caring role is recognised and supported in pension schemes. [75577]

Meg Munn: I have had regular meetings with colleagues in the Department for Work and Pensions throughout the development of the pension reforms. I am pleased that the White Paper “Security in Retirement: Towards a new Pension System” has proposals to modernise home responsibilities protection and introduce a new carer's credit to improve state pension outcomes for women and carers. These two measures, allied to the whole package of pension reforms, will deliver a full basic state pension to 270,000 more women by 2020, and extend state second pension to an estimated 1 million people—over 90 per cent. of whom are women.

In proposing personal accounts for private saving we will introduce a new, low cost savings vehicle with easy access for all. Those who are not in paid work will be able to save in a personal account on an opt in basis.

People Trafficking

Mrs. Moon: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what steps she has taken to promote schemes designed to help victims of trafficking outside London. [74570]

Meg Munn: I work closely with Home Office colleagues to ensure that provision for victims is sensitive to women's needs.

The UK is sympathetic to the needs of victims of trafficking. The POPPY Scheme, run by Eaves Housing for Women, already provides a protective environment in which victims can receive care and support whilst deciding whether to assist the authorities. It is a national scheme and takes referrals from across the country.

The Home Office's new £2.4 million funding agreement with Eaves Housing allows for, among other things, the first ever specialist national outreach service in the UK for victims trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Trade and Industry

Arms Trade Treaty

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he plans to take to increase his Department’s efforts, resources and capacity to deliver an Arms Trade Treaty. [74444]

Malcolm Wicks: I refer the hon. Member to my previous responses to two parliamentary questions on
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4 May 2006, Official Report, column 1747 and 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1453W.

British Military Hardware Sales

Mr. Ellwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what British military hardware has been sold to the United Arab Emirates in the last five years. [74485]

Malcolm Wicks: The Government publish detailed information on their export licensing decisions by destination, in their annual and quarterly reports on strategic export controls. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs collects some data on exports of military list items which is published, by destination, in the annual reports.

The Government’s annual reports are available from the Libraries of both Houses, and the quarterly reports, from the DTI export control organisation website:

We expect to publish the 2005 annual report by June 2006.

Coal Supply

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what projections his Department has made of future levels of (a) British deep-mined and (b) imported coal supply. [74712]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department does not make separate projections of British deep-mined, surface-mined and imported coal supply. The most recent projections of primary energy demands to 2020, including solid fuels, were published in February 2006 and are available at:

Charles Hendry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment his Department has made of the need for a long-term supply of indigenous deep-mined coal as part of the UK's future energy mix. [74713]

Malcolm Wicks: UK coal production and the place of coal as a generating feedstock are being considered in the Energy Review. The Energy Review will report in the summer.


Mr. Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which firms have been engaged by his Department over the past 12 months to provide consultancy services on energy issues. [73171]

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Malcolm Wicks [holding answer 23 May 2006]: Listed as follows are the providers of consultancy services to the Energy Group during the financial year 2005-06:

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