Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1082W, on child care, how many staff, and at what grades, took advantage of the child care voucher scheme; and what the total annual cost is of the scheme. 
Nick Harvey: Currently 116 House of Commons staff claim child care vouchers. The scheme records do not include details of the pay bands of the staff concerned. The cost of the scheme for the last full year (2005-06) was £215,000.
Mr. Dismore: To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1983W, on senior staff, what consideration has been given to (a) positive action and (b) positive discrimination to improve the diversity of House staff, especially at senior levels. 
Nick Harvey: The House administration is taking several actions which are working towards the goals of improving ethnic-minority representation at senior levels and helping staff from all backgrounds to realise their full career potential. A corporate Senior Management Development Programme was introduced in 2005 to prepare managers for more senior positions. The first cohort of the programme has a number of ethnic minority staff participants. The Diversity Forum has as part of its action plan for 2006-07 the aim that talented staff from under-represented groups should actively be encouraged to develop their careers. A proposal will go to the Houses Human Resources Group in 2007. On external recruitment, the Houses job advertising policy requires that ethnicity of readership should be a priority in the placing of an advertisement. For fast-stream recruitment the House participates in the Cabinet Offices policy of targeting minorities, and specifically the House is involved in a fast-stream summer development programme which includes an open day aimed at ethnic minority applicants. The next open day is on 18 July.
To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006,
Official Report, column 1083W, on staff travel allowances, what the total cost was of the late night transport service in relation to late sittings for (a) senior House staff and (b) in total in each of the last three years. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department (a) is committed to the achievement of environmental management to ISO 14001 standard and (b) has been externally certified as in compliance with that standard; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Hain: In June 2003 the Wales Office became a separate entity within the Department of Constitutional Affairs (DCA). The office adopts its own internal controls and monitoring to track energy and water consumption. At a strategic level, we are included within the DCA strategy, which includes a commitment achieving EMSs to ISO 14001 standard for the DCA as a whole.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many parliamentary questions tabled to his Department were awaiting a reply on 10 July 2006; which of those had been waiting longer than (a) two and (b) three weeks for a reply; and what the reason for the delay was in each case. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on what occasions a statutory instrument sponsored by his Department has been reported by the Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments as defective since October 2005. 
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the relevance to sustainable energy in Wales of the latest report of the Sustainable Development Commission, From Pioneer to Delivery. 
To that end, the Government of Wales Bill, currently before Parliament, provides for a statutory duty for the Welsh Ministers to produce a sustainable development scheme and provides the Welsh Ministers with additional powers to discharge their duties in relation to sustainable development.
Roger Berry: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many disabled staff in her Department received support through the Access to Work scheme (a) in each of the last five years and (b) in 2006-07. 
Angela E. Smith: The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) was established on 5 May 2006. Staff now working in the Department were formerly employed in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Home Office.
(a) In 2005-06 support was provided through Access to Work for 11 disabled members of staff in ODPM. In 2004-05 such support was provided for seven staff, and in 2003-04 for four staff. Comparable figures do not exist for cases supported in ODPM before 2003-04, as during this period this service was provided for disabled staff in ODPM through a shared service based in the Department for Transport.
(b) In the first three months of 2006-07, support has been provided through Access to Work for five disabled members of staff in the former ODPM who are now employed in DCLG. DCLG has not yet handled any relevant cases for staff who used to be employed in the Home Office or DTI.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when her Department first notified Castle Point borough council of the decision to allow Canvey Island to establish its own town council. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, pursuant to the answer of 28 June 2006, Official Report, column 416W, on correspondence, what estimate she has made of the cost of answering the question; and if she will make a statement. 
Angela E. Smith: It is not possible to separately identify the average cost of officials time in replying to letters from hon. Members and members of the public. Such correspondence is often of a varied and complex nature. Therefore any exercise to determine the average cost in officials time in responding to letters would incur disproportionate cost.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the change in the level of council tax between 1997 and 2006; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list the deposited papers placed in the Library by her Department since 2000; and when each was published. 
Angela E. Smith: The Department for Communities and Local Government was formed on 5 May 2006. The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. A Deposited Papers List is published by the House on the Parliament website at www.deposits.parliament.uk.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether empty ministerial residences owned by (a) the public sector and (b) a private trust may be subject to an Empty Dwelling Management Order. 
Angela E. Smith: Empty Dwelling Management Orders cannot be made against dwellings owned by the Crown or public-sector bodies such as local housing authorities, registered social landlords and police, fire and health authorities.
A dwelling owned by a private trust or any property owner could only be subject to an Empty Dwelling Management Order if the local authority proposing the order sought and received authorisation from a Residential Property Tribunal. In deciding whether to grant such authorisation, the Tribunal must be satisfied that the dwelling had been wholly unoccupied for more than six months, that it did not come within any of the exceptions set out in the Housing (Empty Dwelling Management Orders) (Prescribed Exceptions and Requirements) (England) Order 2006, that there was no reasonable prospect that it would become occupied in the near future and that, if an interim order was made, the local authority would be able to get the dwelling occupied.
The Tribunal must also be satisfied prior to granting such authorisation that the local authority had made reasonable efforts to ascertain what steps the owner had taken or intended to take to secure occupation of the dwelling, and that the local authority had complied with all of the requirements of the Act and the secondary legislation. It and must take into account the interests of the community and the effect the order would have on the rights of the property owner.
Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps the Government are taking to promote equality and diversity within local authorities; and what targets it has set in relation to this. 
There is a Duty to promote race, disability and gender equality.
The Government have introduced the Beacon Scheme for local authorities and their partners.
Government have worked and continue to work with the Improvement and Development Agency and the Regional Centres of Excellence on the improvement programme for local government, including programmes to support embedding equality and diversity.
The level of performance in respect of the authorities delivery on the Race Equality Duty
Percentage of top-paid 5 per cent. of local authority staff who are women.
The percentage of the top 5 per cent. of local authority staff who are from an ethnic minority.
Percentage of the top paid 5 per cent. of staff who have a disability.
The percentage of local authority employees with a disability.
The percentage of the economically active population in the local authority area who have a disability.
The percentage of local authority employees from ethnic minority communities.
The percentage of the economically active (persons aged 18 to 65) population from ethnic minority communities in the local authority area.
The percentage of authority buildings open to the public in which all public areas are suitable for, and accessible to, disabled people.
Percentage of proposed statements of Special Educational Need issued by the authority in a financial year and prepared within 18 weeks.
Older people helped to live at home per 1,000 population aged 65 or over.
Satisfaction of ethnic minority council housing tenants (excluding white minority) with their opportunities for participation in management and decision-making in relation to housing services provided by their landlord.
Whether the authority follows the Commission for Racial Equalitys code of practice in Rented Housing and the Good Practice Standards for Social Landlords on Tackling Harassment included in Tackling Racial Harassment: Code of Practice for Social Landlords.
The percentage of pedestrian crossings with facilities for disabled people, as a proportion of all crossings in the local authority area.
The number of racial incidents reported to the local authority, and subsequently recorded, per 100,000 population.
The percentage of racial incidents reported to the local authority that resulted in further action.
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