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17 Oct 2006 : Column 1122W—continued

Third Sector Forum Children & Young People's Services

John Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether there is representation from organisations which work specifically with children with communication disabilities on the Third Sector Forum for Children and Young People's Services. [92947]

Mr. Dhanda: The DfES third sector forum met for the first time in July this year and agreed their terms of reference as “to increase opportunities for effective third sector engagement in children and young people's services, propose solutions and work together to promote agreed action”. The forum's 36 members, representing a wide range of organisations, do not look at specific issue-related needs of children and young people but at the generic ways to improve opportunities for third sector organisations. There are no representatives from organisations which work specifically with children with communication disabilities.

University Grants

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many students received university grants in each of the last 30 years. [93674]

Bill Rammell: The table shows the number of students in England and Wales receiving maintenance grants(1, 2) from 1985-86(3) to 2005-06.


17 Oct 2006 : Column 1123W
Academic year( 4) Students (000)

1985-86

306

1986-87

306

1987-88

304

1988-89

313

1989-90

329

1990-91

360

1991-92

420

1992-93

496

1993-94

561

1994-95

586

1995-96

583

1996-97

563

1997-98

555

1998-99

(5)359

1999-2000

209

2000-01

69

2001-02

16

2002-03

n/a

2003-04

n/a

2004-05

107

2005-06

(6)202

(1) Data do not include numbers receiving supplementary grants and allowances e.g. students with disabilities, students with dependents, single parent students, those incurring certain travel costs and those who have recently left care.
(2 )Data do not include numbers receiving tuition fee remission grants.
(3 )The earliest year for which comparable data are available
(4 )Data prior to 2004-05 refer to Mandatory Award scheme students. These arrangements applied to students who entered HE up to 1997-98 who received support for maintenance through means-tested grants. Data were not collected for mandatory award students in 2002-03 and subsequent years because of the low numbers of students involved.
In 2004-05 and 2005-06, data refer to Student Support Scheme Students (students entering from 1998-99 who received support for living costs mainly through loans which are partly income-assessed) in receipt of a full or part Higher Education Grant (HEG) which was introduced for new students entering from 2004-05.
(5 )The drop in the number of students receiving a grant from 1998-99 onwards reflects the fact that maintenance grants were replaced by loans for new students, therefore only existing students continued to receive a maintenance grant.
(6) The large rise in the figures shown for 2005-06 reflects the fact that the HEG was introduced in 2004-05 for new students and is now in its second year. There are therefore two cohorts of students in receipt of the HEG, those commencing in 2004-05, and those commencing in 2005-06.
Source: DfES F503G survey of Local Authorities, Student Loans Company (SLC)

Youth Centres

Mr. McGovern: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the impact on (a) crime, (b) educational achievement and (c) antisocial behaviour of the provision of youth centres. [93781]

Mr. Dhanda [holding answer 16 October]: I have been asked to reply on behalf of Secretary of State as this question falls within my ministerial responsibilities.

The Government do not collect specific information on the impact of youth centres or youth clubs.

We expect high quality youth work and the provision of positive activities to support young people to achieve their full potential and to help reduce young people's engagement in crime and antisocial behaviour. These activities will often be delivered through youth centres, but it is up to local authorities to decide how best to meet their duties and to respond to local needs in doing so.

Findings from the evaluation of the Positive Activities for Young People, a programme targeted at a
17 Oct 2006 : Column 1124W
hard-to-engage client group, show a range of positive outcomes for participating young people including contributing to reductions in criminal and antisocial behaviour and supporting young people back into education.

Wales

Engagements

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales on how many occasions he has visited each region of the UK in an official capacity in the last 12 months. [89235]

Mr. Hain: As Secretary of State for Wales I have offices in Cardiff and London.

In my capacity as Secretary of State for Wales, I have carried out ministerial duties outside the office on 46 occasions in Wales, on two occasions in Northern Ireland and on two occasions in the West Midlands.

Ministerial Visits

David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1188W, on ministerial visits, on how many occasions he has stayed overnight in Wales while on official business since May 2005. [91734]

Mr. Hain: Since taking up my post as Secretary of State for Wales and Northern Ireland in May 2005 I have spent 97 days in Wales on official business.

In addition to the time spent in Wales, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and I undertake Wales business in Parliament in the Wales Office at Gwydyr House, London.

Tidal Power

Mr. Paul Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions (a) he and (b) his Department have had with the Welsh Assembly Government regarding the generation of tidal power from the Severn estuary. [90083]

Mr. Hain: In its submission to the Energy Review, the Welsh Assembly Government called for the Government to commission a new feasibility study on Severn tidal power and the contribution it could make towards reducing our carbon emissions. As Secretary of State, I supported this proposal.

In the Energy Review, the Government committed, together with the Welsh Assembly Government, to working with the Sustainable Development Commission, the South West of England Regional Development Agency and other key interested parties to explore the issues arising on the tidal resource in the UK. The study is expected to report in early 2007.

I and my Department will continue to maintain close discussions with the First Minister and his officials on this and other aspects of energy policy as this work is taken forward.


17 Oct 2006 : Column 1125W

Work and Pensions

Child Support Agency

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many telephone calls the Child Support Agency received in each of the last 12 months; and what proportion of these telephone calls were answered within (a) five minutes, (b) 10 minutes and (c) 30 minutes. [93028]

Mr. Plaskitt: The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Hilary Reynolds:


17 Oct 2006 : Column 1126W
Telephony outcomes for calls to the Child Support Agency between July 2005 and June 2006
July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005

Attempted customer calls

418,000

440,000

500,000

480,000

454,000

332,000

Calls for which outcome not recorded

5,000

4,000

4,000

4,000

2,000

2,000

Calls for which outcome recorded

413,000

436,000

496,000

476,000

452,000

331,000

of which:

Percentage calls that received an engaged/busy tone

0

0

1

5

0

0

Percentage calls otherwise ineffective

2

2

3

3

2

1

Percentage calls abandoned/lost during the IVR process.

5

5

5

6

7

7

Percentage calls abandoned in the queue (post IVR)

8

9

11

8

6

4

Percentage calls answered

86

83

79

77

85

88

Total (percentage)

100

100

100

100

100

100

Percentage calls answered that were available to staff to answer (post IVR)

92

90

88

90

93

96

Average answer time from the queue (hh:mm:ss)

0:00:54

0:01:10

0:01:20

0:01:10

0:00:52

0:00:34


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