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Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how his Department plans to work with voluntary sector providers of speech and language support to ensure high quality provision in all childrens centres; 
Beverley Hughes: We have a strong commitment to use childrens centres to provide integrated services including health services for families of young children. Speech and language therapy services are an important priority because foundations of communication skills development in the early years are crucial to maximising childrens outcomes. It is because of thiswe have a programme to support speech andlanguage development in early year settingsCommunicating Matterswhich was developed following consultation with all our delivery partners including voluntary sector providers. PCTs are the main providers of speech and language services through childrens centres and we work closely with the Department of Health on improving these services. Nationally, we are holding discussions with ICAN (a voluntary sector organisation with expertise in speech and language therapy) about a proposal for work in a number of childrens centres. The Sure Start Childrens Centres Practice Guidance supports the development of speech and language services through childrens centres and encourages them to work with PCTs and voluntary sector organisations in their area.
Helen Southworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will take urgent steps to ensure that vulnerable young people at Thorncross Young Offender Institute continue to receive their entitlement to services under the Children Act 1989 after March 2007. 
[holding answer 11 December 2006]: The statutory duty to provide services to children and young people in need rests with local authorities and I expect them to act in accordance with this responsibility. My Department has been discussing with local authority representatives, the Home Office and the Youth Justice
Board how local agencies can best discharge their statutory responsibilities in meeting the needs of vulnerable young people in custody, including where they are or may be children in need as defined in the Children Act 1989.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what legal obligations there are on universities to provide freedom of speech and freedom of association on university campuses to Christian Unions. 
Bill Rammell: Universities have duties under the Education (No. 2) Act 1986 to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, that freedom of speech within the law is secured for members, students, employees and visiting speakers. They must also ensure insofar as reasonably practicable that the use of the institutions premises is not denied to any individual or body of people on the grounds of their beliefs, views, policies or objectives. In addition, the Education Act 1994 requires university governing bodies to take such steps as reasonably practicable to ensure the student union operates in a fair and democratic manner.
I believe that legitimate faith groups on campus should be affiliated with the students union provided that they are operating within the law and thestudents union framework. Students unions should be inclusive.
Hilary Armstrong: The Government have made personalisation of services a key feature of public sector reform. We are stepping up efforts to personalise services for the most excluded through pilots of budget-holding lead professionals for children in care, health-led parenting support projects for disadvantaged families, and pilots to address the needs of adults with chaotic lives and multiple problems. These initiatives will provide more tailored support, empower the service user, and better enable co-ordination of services, thereby improving the outcomes of the most excluded.
7. Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if she will give an example of early intervention; what assessment she has made of the effect of early intervention on social exclusion; and if she will make a statement. 
Early intervention is one of the guiding principles of the Governments Social Exclusion Action Plan and is vital to breaking the cycle of disadvantage and deprivation. This is not only beneficial to the children and families concerned, but it also saves
the taxpayer from the high costs of treatment and communities from the side-effects of exclusion.
The Nurse-Family Partnership is an excellent example of early intervention. It is a structured programme of home visits by trained nurses to disadvantaged families during pregnancy and the first two years. I visited this programme last week in the United States, where the model has been running for nearly 30 years and has proven to be very successfulparticularly for families with complex problems.
Hilary Armstrong: This Government use both relative and absolute measures of poverty. Regardless of which measure is used, what is clear is that poverty has been greatly reduced since 1997. Since 1997 there are now 7 million fewer people in absolute poverty;2.4 million adults have been lifted out of relative poverty; and 700,000 children lifted out of relative poverty.
9. Ms Angela C. Smith: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment she has made of the impact of the Governments policies on poverty and social exclusion in Sheffield since 1997; and if she will make a statement. 
Hilary Armstrong: Sheffield is the key economic driver for South Yorkshire. The Government have supported Sheffield through targeted funding for the regeneration of the city centre and through programmes such as new deal for communities (NDC) and neighbourhood renewal fund (NRF). This has had a significant impact. Between November 1997 and November 2006 the total unemployment claimant count dropped by 48 per cent. with the number of long term claimants falling by77 per cent. The number of long term youth claimants fell by 93 per cent.
Mr. McFadden: As we announced on Monday,19 Departments, agencies and regulators have now published simplification plans, and copies of these plans have been laid in the House. The plans contain details on the measurement of the administrative burden.
16. Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on his responsibilitieswith regard to the chairmanship of the Ministerial Committee on Local and Regional Government. 
20. Mr. Evennett: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent contribution he has made to cross-departmental co-ordination of the development of policy on pensions; and if he will make a statement. 
Choosing Health money in the sum of £36 million has been allocated to primary care trusts for this purpose. However, it is up to individual PCTs to make decisions about where they allocate resources and how many health trainers they will need to meet the needs of their local population.
Caroline Flint: The employment requirements are that health trainers satisfy the mandatory core competencies supplied by the Department. The core competencies, developed by Skills for Health with the Department, were finalised at the end of the early adopter phase, which finished on 31 March 2006. Health trainer training is agreed and implemented at a local level.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment has been made of the effectiveness in improving health of the Choosing Health strategy for pharmaceutical public health. [R] 
Andy Burnham: No formal assessment has been made of the effectiveness in improving health of the Choosing Health 10-year strategy for pharmaceutical public health. However, there are many examples of pharmacys valuable contribution, including through improving access to sexual health services, increasing uptake of stop smoking services and better services for substance misusers.
the management of latex allergies in the workplace;
the identification and management of infected food handlers;
the management of expectant mothers undertaking shift work and manual handling; and
the management of chicken pox and shingles in the workplace.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The prostate cancer charter for action was first launched at the House of Commons on 29 January 2003. It represents the coming together of all the key charities and professional organisations working in the field of prostate cancer, speaking with a collective voice. The actions agreed by the charter are being considered by the prostate cancer advisory group (PCAG), chaired by Professor Mike Richards, the National Cancer Director. Some of these actions will have an impact on cancer networks, but not all.
The main driver to improve prostate cancer services is the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidance on Improving Outcomes in Urological Cancers, including prostate cancer, which was issued in September 2002. Each strategic health authority was asked to demonstrate that its cancer network(s) had suitable action plans in place for the implementation of this guidance. Progress towards the implementation of these plans is assessed by both the Department and the Healthcare Commission.
Mr. Fraser: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department spent on (a) breast cancer, (b) lung cancer, (c) prostate cancer, (d) colorectal cancer and (e) cancer research in each of the last eight years. 
Andy Burnham: The main part of the Departments research and development budget is allocated to and managed by national health service organisations. These organisations account for their use of the allocations they receive from the Department in an annual research and development report. The reports identify total, aggregated expenditure on national priority areas, including cancer. Details of individual projects supported in the NHS, including those concerned with site-specific cancers, can be found on the national research register at www.dh.gov.uk/research.
The National Cancer Research Institutes 2004 strategic analysis of the directly funded cancer research supported by Government and charities showed that, as at 1 April 2004, 62 per cent. of total funding was dedicated to supporting research that could be applicable to all cancers.
This figure and the figure for 2004-05 are provisional
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