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The information requested is detailed as follows:

Budget (£ million )
Programme Administration Staff numbers( 1) Offices owned( 2) and rented (on a notional basis) Notional annual rent paid( 3) (£ million)





































(1) Staff numbers are those employed on SBS work, including agency staff, inward secondees and regional based staff.
(2) The SBS does not own any properties.
(3) The DTI are the legal tenants of the properties housing the SBS and the SBS shows these figures in its annual accounts on a notional charge.
(4) Rented.
SBS Annual Reports and accounts, with the 2005-06 figures being on a provisional basis.

Supply-Demand Balance

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether his Department has assessed the possibility of measuring supply-demand balance in millions of cubic metres per day. [78520]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department generally assesses supply and demand in terms of the energy content of gas (GWh), as this is what is important for ensuring that supply and demand are balanced. However, an analysis of the projected supplies and demand in million cubic metres per day for winters up to 2024-25 can be found in the sixth report of the Joint Energy Security of Supply Working Group (JESS) ( F331). For information concerning the forthcoming winter, an analysis of the supply-demand balance in millions of cubic metres can be found in National Grid’s Winter Outlook consultation document, available at:

In addition, daily assessments of supply and demand, displayed in millions of cubic metres per day, can be found on the National Grid website at:

Sustainability and Carbon Impact Accreditation Scheme

Richard Ottaway: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will support a sustainability and carbon impact accreditation scheme for all biomass consumed in the UK. [79540]

Malcolm Wicks: This is a complex area, given the vast array of potential biomass sources and the different end uses. The right balance has to be struck in terms of supporting environmentally beneficial energy generation while avoiding over-regulation in what is still a relatively embryonic industry.

The Government are interested in such accreditation schemes where they could be practical Currently we are looking at these as part of the co-firing review and the development of the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation [RTFO]. The RTFO will place a mandatory reporting requirement on companies supplying biofuels from day one of the obligation to report in detail on the carbon savings of the biofuels supplied, as well as the impact on sustainability.

Work and Pensions

Pension Credit

Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many residents in (a) Lewisham, Deptford constituency and (b) Lewisham borough receive pension credit. [79156]

James Purnell: As at February 2006, the number of pension credit individual beneficiaries for (a)Lewisham Deptford constituency was 3,900 and (b) Lewisham borough local authority area was 11,940.

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Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many residents in each electoral ward in Beverley and Holderness receive pension credit; and if he will make a statement. [78995]

James Purnell: The information is in the following table:

Pension credit individual beneficiaries for wards in Beverley and Holderness parliamentary constituency, November 2005
Ward name Individual beneficiaries( 1)

Beverley Rural


Cottingham North(2)


East Wolds and Coastal(2)


Mid Holderness


Minster and Woodmansey


North Holderness


St. Mary’s


South East Holderness


South West Holderness


Beverley and Holderness constituency total


(1 )The number of individual beneficiaries includes both claimants and their partners.
(2) Only part of Cottingham North and East Wolds and Coastal wards are in Beverley and Holderness Parliamentary Constituency
1. Numbers of individual beneficiaries are rounded to a multiple of five.
2. Because of( ‘1’) and (‘2’) wards will not always sum to constituency totals.
3. Wards are based on 2003 ward boundaries.
DWP Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS) 100 per cent. data.

Compulsory Work-focused Interviews

Mr. Frank Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people starting on incapacity benefits in Liverpool and Wirral attended an initial work-focused interview since it became compulsory. [77087]

Mrs. McGuire: The information requested is not available.

The pathways to work regime only commenced on 24 April in the Liverpool and Wirral district. The first work-focused interviews do not take place until at least week eight, namely the end of June 2006. Early work-focused interviews data are only available three months after the first interviews. It will therefore be September/October before any are available for the Liverpool and Wirral district.

Employment (Rotherham)

Mr. MacShane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what action his Department is taking to increase the number of people in work aged 50 years and over in Rotherham. [76873]

Mr. Jim Murphy: Like all other customers, people aged 50 and over can benefit from the range of services provided by Jobcentre Plus, including access to jobs and help and support to find work.

Additional help is provided to older people who do not find work quickly. New deal 50-plus is a voluntary
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programme that provides people with advice and guidance from personal advisers, and access to in-work financial help through the 50-plus element of the working tax credit. Since April 2000, the programme has been successful in helping more than 150,000 older workers into employment, including 280 people in Rotherham. Once in work, new deal 50-plus customers can claim a training grant of up to £1,500 for training of which up to £300 can be used for life-long learning.

People aged 50 and over, including those in Rotherham, are also eligible for help from new deal 25-plus. People who have been claiming jobseeker's allowance (JSA) for 18 months and who have not previously participated on new deal 25-plus, are already required to attend the gateway stage of the new deal 25-plus programme. This is a period of up to four months of intensive job search and specialist help and support to improve job prospects. This is followed by the intensive activity period (IAP) which is currently voluntary for people aged 50 and over. The IAP provides further support and pre-work training to help people return to work.

Since April 2004, we have been piloting mandatory participation in the new deal 25-plus IAP for people aged 50-59 who have been claiming JSA for 18 months. The pilot has offered people in this age group more extensive help back to work. Rotherham was not part of the pilot, however. Interim pilot data have yielded positive results and, as announced in our Welfare Reform Green Paper, we will be commencing a phased national rollout.

Between 1979 and the mid 1990s, the number of people on incapacity benefits trebled. Growth in the caseload has since slowed significantly, and in November 2005, there were 2.71 million people claiming incapacity benefits, a fall of 61,000 over the year. Although 46 per cent. of those claiming incapacity benefits are aged between 50 and state pension age, between 2000 and 2005 the number of people in the 50-plus age group fell by 52,000. This has contributed to the overall reduction in the incapacity benefits caseload.

Like other age groups, people aged 50 and over will be able to benefit from the rollout of the successful pathways to work service across the whole country which will be completed by 2008. Pathways offers new IB customers early support from skilled personal advisers and direct access to a ‘Choices Package’ of employment programmes and clear financial incentives to make work pay. Any IB customer will be able to access the support and help available on a voluntary basis. Pathways has already begun helping people in the Rotherham area, having rolled out there in April.

Our age positive campaign works with employers and others to promote the business benefits of an age diverse workforce and best practice on age in recruitment, training and promotion. In May 2005 we launched the ‘Be Ready’ national information campaign to raise employer awareness of, and ability to adopt, flexible employment and retirement opportunities to support the recruitment and retention of older workers in advance of age legislation due in October 2006.

Health and Safety

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many health and safety at work
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stability duties are defined in legislation as (a) absolute and (b) qualified as duties reduced to what is (i) reasonably practicable, (ii) practicable, (iii) reasonable, (iv) appropriate, (v) suitable and (vi) adequate. [76598]

Mrs. McGuire: The key duties in the Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974, to protect people from harm, are qualified by the term “reasonably practicable”. However in Regulations made under the Act there are a number of specific duties that are absolute and others that are qualified by terms including “reasonable” and “practicable”. Guidance is used to explain what is needed in practice. In terms of the specific number of times each term is used to qualify a duty in the various statutory provisions, this information is not held and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Human Resource Functions

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the development of human resource functions within Departmental activities. [76521]

Mrs. McGuire: When the new Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was formed in 2002, the Human Resources (HR) function inherited different sets of legacy HR policies and terms and conditions; paper driven systems: HR Service Centres dominated by low value added data input; Business HR teams preoccupied with detailed transactional based advice; and Corporate HR focussed on developing and maintaining detailed and over-prescriptive HR guidance.

Working with colleagues from the DWP Businesses, the HR Senior Management Team designed a new HR Operating Model based on best practice in both the private and public sectors. The HR function now has in place a set of HR job roles common across the Department, delivering a uniform HR service.

This new HR Operating Model places the emphasis on self service for employees and line managers, with on-line access to HR processes through the new Resource Management IT system which will be fully implemented in 2007. This is supported by a telephone based advice and guidance service provided by integrated HR and Finance shared service centres, and accessed through a single telephone number.

The new Operating Model for HR in DWP has already allowed for a reduction in HR staff numbers from 5,500 to 3,000, and by March 2008 that number will be reduced by a further 500. This has freed up resources for front line work with our clients.

Business HR teams focus on working strategically with operational managers on the HR issues affecting business performance. Corporate HR has been restructured to form four new Centres of Expertise which have improved and simplified the Department’s HR policies, making them easier for line managers to interpret and use.

Jobseeker Assistance

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what arrangements are in place to
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manage the transition of individuals from jobseeker to student status. [76317]

Mr. Jim Murphy: There are no special arrangements in place to help a person make the transition from a jobseeker to student status.


Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what funds are available to pay compensation to people who suffer from mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos in the workplace when their employers or insurers cannot be traced; and if he will make a statement. [78573]

Mrs. McGuire [holding answer 19 June 2006]: People suffering from mesothelioma due to exposure in the workplace can make a claim for Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IIDB), Constant Attendance Allowance (CAA) and Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance (ESDA). From July 2002 people suffering from mesothelioma were exempted from the need to be medically examined by the Department if clear evidence is already available to confirm their condition. Alongside that change regulations were introduced to automatically award IIDB at the 100 per cent. rate. Currently this is £127.10. In addition CAA may also be payable dependant upon the level of the person’s care needs. There are four rates of payment ranging from £25.45 to £101.80 a week. Where the two higher rates of CAA are in payment Exceptionally Severe Disablement Allowance (ESDA) may also be payable at the current weekly rate of £50.90. Where the relevant employer is no longer in business the person may also make a claim under the Pneumoconiosis etc. (Worker’s Compensation) 1979 Act scheme where the current average payment is £13,000.

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