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22 Jan 2007 : Column 1488Wcontinued
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the budget is of Teachers TV for 2006-07; how many consultants it employed in 2006; what its role is; and how many people it employs. 
Jim Knight: Teachers TV aims to help raise standards in classrooms by helping to share good practice, support continuing professional development, offer classroom resources, and provide education news and information. The channels target audience includes teachers, school leaders, teaching assistants and school governors.
For the financial year 2006-07 the Departments budget for Teachers TV is £19,142,800.
In 2006 Teachers TV employed 58 full-time and part-time staff. In addition, two individual consultants were used on specialist projects during the year. They provided a total of 35 days input to the channel.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many cases of trespassing were reported by schools in (a) England and (b) each local education authority in the last five years for which figures are available; how many resulted in schools calling the police; and how many involved (i) verbal and (ii) physical abuse of (A) teachers and (B) pupils; 
(2) how many incidents of vandalism on and in schools in England were reported in each of the last 10 years; and how many resulted in a prosecution; 
(3) how many offensive weapons were confiscated in (a) primary and (b) secondary schools in each of the years between 2000 and 2006. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 19 January 2007]: DfES does not collect information on cases of trespassing, vandalism and confiscation of offensive weapons in schools. To do so would place unnecessary burdens on schools.
Schools are generally safe places for pupils and staff, and we have helped school managers to act against rare but serious incidents in order to maintain that level of safety. On trespass, we have advised schools on how they can ban nuisance intruders from the school site and then prosecute if banned intruders persist in causing a nuisance. Schools are right to take strong action against any verbal or physical abuse of staff or pupils. On vandalism, we have advised schools on how to secure their site and advised schools and local police to liaise closely in order to act strongly against any crimes of vandalism. On weapons, we have announced that schools can screen pupils without suspicion, and will soon be able to do hands-on searches with suspicion; on these we plan to issue guidance in the spring.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many books have been made available for visually impaired pupils in (a) Braille, (b) audio and (c) large print format in each local education authority in the last 12 months; 
(2) what plans the Government have to increase the availability of school books which have been specially adapted for use by visually impaired pupils; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Dhanda: The Department does not collect information on the numbers of books available to visually impaired pupils in each local authority.
The Government are committed to providing a good education for all learners, to help them fulfil their potential. Under Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act schools, colleges and universities have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled pupils and students are not put at a substantial disadvantage in comparison to those who are not disabled.
Schools, colleges and universities make their own decisions as to how best to meet this duty in respect of individual learners. Support for visually impaired learners will therefore range from the provision of written materials in alternative formats, to the provision of specialist equipment and services, to alterations to the physical environment.
The Department does provide funding to the RNIB for production of embossed literature for visually impaired people.
Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what support is being provided by (a) the Learning and Skills Council, (b) the London Development Agency and (c) the sector skills councils to ensure that the wood industry attracts the skilled new entrants it needs to meet levels of demand in London and the South East; and if he will make a statement. 
Phil Hope: The LSC funds and supports the delivery of a wide range of qualifications in wood occupations in London and the South East e.g. wood machining, the use of chainsaws, fencing, tree work; forestry and arboriculture as well as basic literacy and numeracy skills for new entrants. The LSC is also working with stakeholders such as learning provider organisations to promote the wood industry to young people in the 14 to 19-year-old age group.
The London Development Agency, Lantra (the Sector Skills Council for the land based industries) and the LSC are working together to commission research into training provision covering the wood industries to inform supply and demand for the sector. The London Development Agency is also funding a range of projects at Capel Manor College including a specialism in arboriculture.
There are a number of sector skills councils (SSCs) with an interest in the wood industry that are taking forward skills partnership initiatives in London and the South East. Among the main ones, Lantra and ConstructionSkills are working with the LSC, employers, learning providers and other partners to develop and deliver Sector Skills Agreements which include identifying and addressing skill shortages and gaps in the wood industry and assessing whether provision meets identified skill needs. Lantra and the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA) are working together to raise levels of management and business skills associated with the wood industry. Another of Lantras initiatives is a joint project with the Forestry Commission on skills issues relating to sustainable green woods. In addition, the Sector Skills Development Agency is funding two projects with UK Woodchain, which represents the
wood processing industry, to improve the industrys use of occupational standards in skills provision and establish better links with SSCs.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 7 November 2006, Official Report, column 1052, on blue badges, what estimate has been made of the number of children aged up to two years who would be affected by the change in eligibility criteria for disabled blue badges; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: During the review of the scheme it was estimated that there would be approximately 12,000 children under the age of two who would be eligible for a badge following the proposed change.
Martin Linton: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with cycling campaign groups on the draft highway code and on the use of cycling facilities. 
Dr. Ladyman: Cyclists and cycling groups have been fully consulted on the proposed revisions to the code and many of them have taken the opportunity to comment.
In addition, I met my hon. Friend the Member for Islington, South and Finsbury (Emily Thornberry), chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling on 7 September 2006, to discuss cyclists' views on the proposed revisions to the highway code. This has been the only Ministerial meeting, on the revision of the code, with any road user group.
We are now considering all the comments received on the revision to the highway code and the new edition will be published in mid 2007.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in what circumstances motorists will be required to re-take their driving tests under the EU directive on driving licences; and when the directive will be implemented in the UK. 
Dr. Ladyman: I refer the hon. Gentleman to my answer of 19 January 2007, Official Report, columns 1433-34W.
Geraldine Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether all the rejected options to the preferred Heysham M6 Link (northern route) have been documented in the major scheme business case; and if he will list them. 
Lancashire county council's major scheme business case (MSEC) for the Heysham to M6 Link, submitted in July 2005, provides details of the
western route (as the next best option) and online improvements to the existing highway network (as the lower cost option) as well as background information on the highways options that were considered between 1997 and 2004: the western (green) route, the western (blue) route and the northern (orange) route.
The MSBC also refers to a study carried out for Lancashire county council in 1993 which considered and compared light rail transit, guided light transit, guided busways, quality bus and bus priority measures. The study also appraised a scheme between Galgate and Heysham harbour via Lancaster university, Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham and compared the financial and economic assessments of the different options.
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance has been produced for (a) local authorities and (b) the Highways Agency on tackling light pollution from street lighting. 
Dr. Ladyman: The Government published Lighting in the Countryside: Towards Good Practice in 1997. This provides advice to all highway authorities and is also applicable in urban areas. The Institute of Lighting Engineers has also published advice.
Mrs. James: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many service stations there are on the motorway network. 
Dr. Ladyman: There are currently 68 motorway service areas in England. Planning Permission to develop a motorway service areas has been granted to a further three sites. These are at Cobham (M25 J9- 10), Burtley Wood (M40 J2) and Saltwood (M20, J11).
Mr. Jamie Reed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when work will begin on the A595 Parton-Lillyhall bypass. 
Dr. Ladyman: Work is scheduled to start on the A595 Parton to Lillyhall bypass in late January 2007.
Clive Efford: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons fares for rail journeys in north Kent from zone four to zone three are the same as those from zone four to zone two; and for what reasons those fares are different from (a) those published in his press release of 19 October 2006 and (b) those listed for rail journeys only on the National Rail Enquiries website. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The fares in question are not different, they should be exactly the same as those in the Departments press release. An error made by Southeastern in implementing these fares is now being corrected.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials are employed by his Department on project teams to investigate and design proposals to provide extra capacity on the rail network. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Within the Department's Rail Division, all Directorates have individual responsibilities for the investigation and design of proposals which increase rail capacity. A team of 21 posts, supported by the railway industry, is directly involved to promote and co-ordinate such work as well as ensuring delivery of major rail projects in accordance with Government's requirements.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people are employed by Network Rail to investigate and design proposals to expand capacity on the rail network. 
Mr. Tom Harris: This is an operational matter for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Gentleman should contact Network Rail's Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his question.
40 Melton Street
London NW1 2EE
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport under what circumstances vehicles may drive on public roads with (a) registration plates hidden and (b) no registration plates. 
Dr. Ladyman: Motor traders using vehicles under a trade licence must cover the original registration plates with the trade plates. Invalid carriages that do not exceed 254 kgs, pedestrian controlled vehicles that do not exceed 450 kgs, vehicles being driven in order to be registered and vehicles travelling to a pre-arranged test to facilitate registration are not required to display registration plates.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fatal road crashes involving drivers aged (a) 17 to 20 and (b) 21 to 25 years occurred in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and how many (i) drivers, (ii) passengers and (iii) others lost their lives. 
Dr. Ladyman: Information requested is given in the following tables.
|Accidents involving drivers/riders aged 17 to 20 and resulting casualties in personal injury road accidents reported to the police, Great Britain, 2001 to 2005|
|Fatal accidents||Drive/rider fatalities( 1)||Passenger fatalities( 1)||Pedestrian fatalities( 1)|
|Accidents involving drivers/riders aged 21 to 25 and resulting casualties in personal injury road accidents reported to the police, Great Britain, 2001 to 2005|
|Fatal accidents||Drive/rider fatalities( 1)||Passenger fatalities( 1)||Pedestrian fatalities( 1)|
|(1) Includes casualties of all ages.|
There is a small amount of double counting between these tables in instances involving drivers/riders of the same age groups.
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