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19 Dec 2006 : Column 1854W—continued

Dr. Alasdair McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will postpone the Draft Street Works (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Order until the Northern Ireland Assembly is in a position to consider the issue fully; and if he will make a statement. [110308]

David Cairns: As you are aware, the draft Order was laid at Westminster on 4 December 2006. No objections have been raised by respondents, other than by the utility companies, to any of the consultations the Department has carried out.

A balance must be struck between the need to minimise congestion and delay on our roads, and introducing additional controls on utilities. Ministers are satisfied that the draft Order strikes the balance correctly and is necessary to address the disruption on the roads in Northern Ireland. For these reasons, it is intended that the draft Order should proceed as planned through the parliamentary stages. I remain hopeful that the draft Order will be made by the Privy Council in February 2007.


Mr. Donaldson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when he will announce funding for a Centre of Excellence for Tennis in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. [110169]

Maria Eagle: The Sports Council for Northern Ireland (SCNI) is responsible for the development of sport in Northern Ireland including the distribution of public funding to individual sports. The SCNI is managing the competition for the provision of the
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High Performance Facilities for Olympic Sports in Northern Ireland. Tennis is one of the sports included in this competition which will be announced early in 2007.

Transport Services

Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what public funds have been offered to ensure the restoration of the Ballycastle-Campbeltown ferry during 2007-08. [101367]

Maria Eagle: Reflecting on the current Comprehensive Spending Review process and the public expenditure priorities which lie ahead, the overall assessment is that no financial support can be offered to attract an operator for the ferry service between Ballycastle and Campbeltown.

Waste Management

Dr. McCrea: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what assessment he has made of progress towards meeting the waste management strategy in each of the 26 district and borough councils. [110289]

David Cairns: The strategy recognises the need for effective co-ordination to ensure the delivery of its aims and targets, and the Department is progressing the establishment of a Strategic Waste Board and a Programme Delivery Support Unit to help councils with the procurement of major waste infrastructure and to oversee and monitor delivery.

Waste management plans, prepared by the three district council Waste Management Groups, have now been determined. These plans will, among other things, identify the new infrastructure requirements.

Duchy of Lancaster

Departmental Equipment

Mr. Francois: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many of the Cabinet Office’s (a) computers and (b) laptops were stolen in each of the last nine years; and what the total value was of stolen computers and laptops in that period. [109215]

Hilary Armstrong: Figures covering the numbers of computers and laptops stolen in my Department in the last nine years and their total value, cannot be provided in full without incurring disproportionate cost. However I can provide figures for the period 2000 to 2005. The information is shown in the table.

Computers Laptops



















The estimated total value of stolen computers and laptops in the period 2000 to 2005 was £9,000.

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Patrick Mercer: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2006, Official Report, column 888W, on e-government, which government services are e-enabled and available to the public electronically. [110298]

Mr. McFadden: A list of the 503 government services which have been e-enabled and are available to the public electronically has been placed in the Library for the reference of Members. This information is currently subject to audit.

Ministerial Residences

Mr. Heald: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2006, Official Report, column 890W, on ministerial residences, which contractors were commissioned to refurbish the flat above 10 Downing street since31 March 2006. [108427]

Hilary Armstrong: Cabinet Office central London buildings, of which the Downing street complex forms an integral part, are covered by the Cabinet Office’s Total Facilities Management Contract with Ecovert FM.

National School of Government

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many foreign nationals have attended the National School of Government, broken down by country; what the cost to public funds was; and if she will make a statement. [109559]

Mr. McFadden: The National School of Government does not record the nationality of participants attending its programmes. The National School operates on a cost recovery basis and events are priced to recover their costs accordingly.

Regulatory Impact Assessments

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the total amount was of additional costs listed in Regulatory Impact Assessments of Government legislation in the 2005-06 parliamentary session. [109498]

Mr. McFadden: The information requested is not held centrally.

Information on the costs of regulations introduced is available in Final Regulatory Impact Assessments (RIAs) which are published by departments on their internet sites. A list of most recent RIAs published between July 2005 and June 2006 can be found in Command Papers CM6987 and CM6988 published on 14 December.

Retirement Age

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 4 December 2006, Official Report, columns 189-90W, on retirement age, what her Department's policy is on the application of the national default retirement age to staff below the Senior Civil Service. [109546]

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Mr. McFadden: The Cabinet Office application of the national default retirement age to staff below the Senior Civil Service complies in full with the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations that came into force on 1 October 2006. We have introduced a process that gives all employees at least six but no more than 12 months notice of retirement on their 65(th )birthday. Employees are also advised about their right to request to remain beyond the age of 65 and the formal process for considering such requests. Requests to remain are considered against clearly defined criteria that meet business needs as well as ensuring fair and equal treatment for all employees.

Rod Aldridge

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what contribution Rod Aldridge made to (a) the Office of Third Sector's Action Plan and (b) the Future Role of the Third Sector in Social and Economic Regeneration Interim Report published on6 December. [109842]

Edward Miliband: In developing “Partnership in Public Services: An action plan for third sector involvement” the Office of the Third Sector spoke to a wide number of stakeholders over a 15-month period. Rod Aldridge made no direct contribution to the work.

The first phase of the review of the future role of the third sector in economic and social regeneration involved the largest ever consultation with the third sector. “The Interim Report” details the messages that were heard during this consultation and the areas that will be further explored in the next phase of the review. Over 250 written responses were submitted to the review, one of the written responses was from the youth volunteering charity v, chaired by Rod Aldridge.

Social Enterprise Start-ups

Margaret Moran: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what sources of funding are available to assist social enterprise start-ups. [107918]

Edward Miliband: On the 16 November the Government published their Social Enterprise Action Plan which set out the current state of the finance market for social enterprises, committed to ways of improving access to finance and announced that the Government would make up to £10 million available for investment in Social Enterprise.

Current sources of financial support for social enterprise start-ups include the Futurebuilders Fund, the Adventure Capital Fund, Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs), the Big Lottery Fund and funds allocated by UnLtd.

Social enterprises can also benefit from support and finance available to the wider business community, such as the Small Firms Guarantee Scheme, on the same basis as other types of business.

In different areas of the country, there are also additional regional or local funds available. The local Business Link would be the best place to advise on available local support.

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Education and Skills

Building Schools for the Future

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of5 December 2006, Official Report, column 237W, on Building Schools for the Future, (1) how many proposals submitted under the Building Schools for the Future programme have been returned to local authorities for further clarification; which local authorities were involved; and what clarification was requested in each case; [109168]

(2) what proportion of proposals submitted under Building Schools for the Future returned to local authorities for further clarification (a) included and (b) did not include an academy in their proposals. [109169]

Jim Knight: The following list shows the 39 local authorities in waves one to three of Building Schools for the Future, 35 of which either have an academy open or in the pipeline. All proposals submitted by these local authorities have at some point, and most at several points, been returned for further clarifications, regardless of whether the local authority included or did not include an academy within its proposals.

We are unable to provide details of the specific clarifications requested from each local authority as compiling the information would breach the disproportionate costs threshold.

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