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11 Oct 2006 : Column 752W—continued

Departmental Child Care Facilities

Mr. Weir: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what child care provision and assistance is available to the Prime Minister’s office staff; [89621]

(2) whether the Prime Minister’s Office has child care facilities on site. [89622]

Hilary Armstrong: For these purposes, the Prime Minister’s Office forms an integral part of the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office does not have on-site crèche facilities, but it has family-friendly and child care policies that help employed parents balance the demands of working life with domestic responsibilities.

The Cabinet Office, like other employers, provides vouchers towards the cost of child care and subsidises the cost of holiday play schemes.

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Departmental Expenditure

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent by (a) her Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies in respect of hotel and other similar privately-provided accommodation (i) in the UK and (ii) abroad for (A) Ministers, (B) staff and (C) other persons in each year since 2001-02. [91913]

Hilary Armstrong: The information is not collected in the format requested. To provide a breakdown of costs would incur disproportionate costs.

Due to the way that subsistence costs are recorded on our system, it is not possible to extract the hotel and similar privately-provided accommodation costs from it.

All official subsistence related expenditure in the Department is undertaken strictly in accordance with the rules contained in the Cabinet Office Management Code. All ministerial subsistence related costs are undertaken fully in accordance with the rules set out in the “Ministerial Code” and “Travel by Ministers”, copies of which are available in the Library for the reference of Members.

Information relating to overseas travel by Ministers is published on an annual basis. Information for the period 2 May 1997 to 31 March 2006 is available in the Library for the reference of Members. Information for the financial year 2006-07 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the current financial year.

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent by her Department on food and alcohol for its staff working out of office in each year since 2001-02. [91914]

Hilary Armstrong: The Cabinet Office does not separately record on its accounting system expenditure on food and alcohol incurred by its staff working out of the office. This information is therefore available only at disproportionate cost.

All Cabinet Office expenditure incurred by staff working out of the office is made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting.

Departmental Staff

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many staff there are in the (a) Strategy Unit, (b) Delivery Unit and (c) No. 10 Policy Unit; and how many are drawn from (i) consultancy firms and (ii) major accountancy firms in each case. [88675]

Hilary Armstrong: As at 30 June 2006, staff numbers based as full-time equivalents for the following units are shown in the table.

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Secondments or short term fixed term appointments from:
Unit Staff number as full-time equivalent consultancy firm accountancy firm

Strategy Unit



Delivery Unit



No. 10 Policy Directorate


(1) Figure included in the units staff number as full-time equivalent figure. (2) Includes six special advisers.

Departmental Staff (Bicycles)

Hywel Williams: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what tax-efficient schemes for the purchase of bicycles the Cabinet Office makes available to its employees; how many and what percentage of Cabinet Office staff purchased bicycles through such schemes in 2005-06; whether the schemes are available through a range of suppliers; and whether arrangements are made to enable staff with disabilities to purchase adapted bicycles from a specialist supplier. [90062]

Edward Miliband: The Cabinet Office does not currently make available to its staff tax-efficient schemes for the purchase of bicycles, although such schemes are kept under review. Instead, all permanent staff (including those on loan to the Cabinet Office) may apply for an advance to purchase a bicycle, including specially adapted bicycles for those who require them. This advance is an interest-free loan and payment is recovered from the individual’s salary over a period of 12 months. Staff have access to parking, showers and changing facilities as a further incentive to cycle to work.

Dysfunctional Families

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what percentage of dysfunctional families have a lone parent. [91539]

Hilary Armstrong: Healthy—‘functional’—families create and sustain an environment that promotes emotional and physical health and psychological well-being for their members. The idea of ‘dysfunctional’ families refers to a broad and complex range of different circumstances and processes which interfere with healthy family functioning. Because of this complex interplay between different factors, it is not possible to produce one simple statistical ‘measure’ of the number of dysfunctional families. Equally, there is no simple measure of the number of lone-parent families who might be categorised as ‘dysfunctional’.

What is clear from research is that, while being a member of a lone-parent family often brings additional challenges such as greater likelihood of living in poverty, many lone parents are able to function very effectively and to bring up their children to be happy, healthy and productive members of society.

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Public Bodies

Grant Shapps: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress has been made in response to the recommendation of the Public Administration Select Committee, Fourth Report, 2002-03, HC 165, Recommendations 38 and 39 in relation to public bodies within the remit of central Government. [92146]

Mr. McFadden: Since publication of the Public Administration Select Committee’s Fourth Report the Government have reviewed and classified over 120 bodies not previously centrally-recorded. 22 have been formally recorded as public bodies and have been documented in subsequent versions of the Public Bodies directory, available on a Cabinet Office website at:

The 2006 edition of the annual Public Bodies directory was published on 11 September 2006 and sets out information on bodies’ remits, staffing, openness and accountability arrangements and public appointments as at 31 March 2006.

Social Exclusion

Julie Morgan: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress has been made on the actions set out in the report of the Social Exclusion Unit entitled A Sure Start to Later Life published in January. [92330]

Hilary Armstrong: Significant progress has been made since the launch of the report only nine months ago. £10 million has been spent in eight areas to establish ‘one stop-shops’ for older people with the aim of tackling a range of issues which are linked to exclusion, for example, benefit advice, health, transportation, and/or housing. Five LinkAge Plus pilots have already been launched, in Devon, Tower Hamlets (London), Gateshead, Lancaster, Salford, and other pilots are scheduled to go live in Nottingham, Leeds, Gloucester over the next few months. In addition to this, the Department for Communities and Local Government is undertaking the actions related to housing and is currently working on a National Housing Strategy for Older People which is due to be published in the summer of 2007.

Education and Skills

Asperger's Syndrome

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what account is taken of students with Asperger’s syndrome when funding is allocated to local education authorities. [92195]

Mr. Dhanda: The funding local authorities receive contains proxy factors aimed at reflecting the distribution of children with learning needs that imply additional costs for authorities and schools: that includes students with Special Educational Needs such
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as autistic spectrum disorders. It is not possible to identify funding for specific conditions within authorities’ funding.

Mainstream school funding through the Dedicated School Grant has increased by 6.8 per cent. per pupil in 2006-07 and 6.7 per cent. in 2007-08. Funding levels beyond 2007-08 are subject to the outcomes of the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review.

Education Maintenance Allowance

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent representations he has received on the implications of the introduction of education maintenance allowance for recruitment and outcomes for entry to employment learners. [91713]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department has received representations from one national provider, one local provider group and the Association of Learning Providers (ALP). The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has operational responsibility for the extension of EMA to learners on Entry to Employment (E2E). The LSC has worked closely with the ALP and providers and a good deal of progress has been made. For example, the LSC has produced good practice guidance to assist providers in delivering EMA and they have recently funded a Professional to work directly with providers on how to maximise the benefits of EMA having been extended to E2E.

School Meals

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assistance has been made available to Kent county council to enable the introduction of guidelines on meals for pupils. [92516]

Mr. Dhanda: The Government are determined to transform the quality of food in schools and supports the work local authorities and schools are doing to raise the nutritional standards of school meals.

Kent county council received £804,386 from the Targeted School Meals Grant for 2005-06 and £1,362,576 for 2006-07 to improve school food. In addition, in each of those years, schools were awarded a lump sum of £1,070 per primary school and £1,500 per secondary school, with an additional amount per pupil. The per pupil amount for PRUs and all schools except nursery schools is 50p; for nursery schools it is 50p for half of FTE pupils, to reflect the fact that fewer pupils in nursery schools take school meals.

In addition to financial support, the School Food Trust, as our key delivery partner on the improvement of school food, has produced guidance for schools and authorities on the new standards and is working with local authorities to help them implement them.

Special Educational Needs

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many statements of special educational needs have been issued in England in each of the last five years. [91513]

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Mr. Dhanda: The information requested is shown in the table.

Children for whom a statement of SEN was made for the first time ( 1) each calendar year, England











(1) Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
SEN2 Survey

Mr. Holloway: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of mainstream school pupils have a statement of educational needs in (a) Gravesham and (b) Kent. [92436]

Mr. Dhanda: The information requested is shown in the table.

Mainstream schools: Number and percentage of pupils with statements of SEN( 1 ) January 2006
Gravesham parliamentary constituency Kent local authority
Pupils with statements of SEN Pupils with statements of SEN
Total pupils Number Percentage Total pupils Number Percentage

Maintained nursery







Maintained primary(2)







Maintained secondary(2)







Total mainstream







(1) Excludes dually registered pupils.
(2) Includes middle schools as deemed.
Schools’ Census

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare Bill

Adam Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what resources will be available to the body responsible for ensuring compliance with the provisions of the Animal Welfare Bill; and if he will make a statement. [91520]

Mr. Bradshaw: There will be no single body responsible for enforcement of the Animal Welfare Bill. As with existing legislation, the Bill is a ‘Common Informers’ Act and we anticipate that most of the routine prosecutions under the Act will be brought by private prosecutors such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Otherwise, enforcement of the main provisions of the Bill will be carried out, as now, by the police, the State Veterinary Service and local authorities, who will be able to recruit the assistance of other specialists, such as veterinary surgeons, where appropriate. We anticipate that most of the day-to-day enforcement work relating to farm animals will continue to be undertaken by the State Veterinary Service.

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It is not anticipated that the Bill will entail any substantial changes in public service expenditure or manpower.

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