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14 Mar 2007 : Column 345W—continued

Learning Disability

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to improve the detection of learning difficulties in children at an early age. [126623]

Mr. Dhanda: The Special Educational Needs (SEN) Code of Practice gives guidance to early years settings and primary schools on identification, assessment and
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making provision for all children with SEN, including those with learning difficulties. SEN Coordinators in early years settings and schools facilitate early identification and intervention for children with SEN.

The Government’s SEN strategy “Removing Barriers to Achievement” (2004) set out a long-term programme for improving identification of and provision for children with SEN, including early identification and intervention. The Government’s response to the Education and Skills Committee’s report on SEN renewed this strategy and set out a programme for building capacity in the children’s workforce to identify and meet children’s SEN.

The Government have introduced a number of measures to increase the take up of child care, meaning that more children will have access to the services and facilities required for effective early identification of a child’s needs and intervention. In addition £50 million has been allocated between 2006 and 2008 for the Transformation Fund to improve the quality of the child care workforce. One of the key aims is to provide training to help professionals identify and work with children with additional needs. Early identification and intervention is also central to the new statutory framework for children from birth to five, the Early Years Foundation Stage, which comes into force in September 2008.

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the percentage of people in England who have undertaken tests for learning difficulties. [126624]

Mr. Dhanda: This information is not collected centrally.

Parents: Intimidation

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what support is available for families in which there are instances of violence towards parents by children; [126673]

(2) what discussions he has had with (a) ministerial colleagues and (b) family support groups about the needs of families that experience instances of violence towards parents by children. [126674]

Mr. Dhanda: The Department, via the Children, Young People and Families, Strengthening Families and Family Support grant programmes, supports 207 third sector projects that enable an increase in family and relationship support. These projects provide a range of information, advice and guidance which may include support for parents, carers and families experiencing different levels and types of family and relationship difficulties. This support might include, but is not specifically aimed at, families in which there may be instances of violence towards parents by children.

No discussions have been held with ministers or parent support groups on this specific issue.

School Meals

Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what advice he received from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in response to the
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recommendations of the Turning the Tables report produced by the School Meals Review Panel (SMRP); what the scientific basis was of (a) the recommendations of the SMRP report and (b) the FSA advice; and what differences there are between (i) the SMRP recommendations and (ii) the FSA advice and the final standards set out in the Education (Nutritional Standards for School Lunches) Regulations 2000. [125718]

Mr. Dhanda: The School Meals Review Panel (SMRP) was established by DfES in May 2005 to advise on standards for school lunches. The SMRP's ‘Turning the Tables - Transforming School Food’ report, published in October 2005, set out their recommendations to Ministers.

The SMRP's report recommended that new combined 'food' and 'nutrient' based standards were needed to bring about effective changes to school lunches and should replace the previous standards introduced in 2001. The report included references to the published scientific studies that were considered during the panel's deliberations. The full report can be viewed at:

The first phase of the changes to school lunches began with the introduction, in September, of the Education (Nutritional Standards for School Lunches) (England) Regulations 2006. Schools will need to adhere to final 'food' and 'nutrient' based lunch standards by September 2008 (primary schools) and September 2009 (secondary schools). These will be set out in later regulations that will be laid before Parliament later this year.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is an independent Government Department established to protect the public's health and consumer interests in relation to food. It advises DFES on scientific and technical aspects including food safety, nutrition and diet.

Officials from the FSA acted as observers at SMRP meetings and provided technical advice to DfES on those issues that fell within its remit. This advice was broadly supportive of those aspects of the SMRP's recommendations that were within the FSA's remit and assisted with the formulation of the 2006 Regulations. The FSA's advice was provided in line with its nutrition policy, which is informed by considerations of the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition and formerly the Committee on Medical Aspects of Food Policy.

The Nutritional Standards for School Lunches introduced in September 2006 implemented all of the SMRP's 'food based' recommendations, with a minor amendment to acceptable drinks:

Mr. Moss: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the potential effects on (a) nutrition and (b) costs which might arise from use of new-generation steam convection ovens in school kitchens; and what advice he has received from the School Food Trust on this subject. [126062]

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Mr. Dhanda: The Department for Education and Skills has not made an assessment of the potential nutritional benefits and savings which might arise from the use of new-generation steam convention ovens in schools. The School Food Trust has not provided advice to the Department on this subject.



Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he will support a mandatory 10 per cent. minimum target for use of biofuels by 2020 at the EU Spring Summit. [127183]

Dr. Ladyman: At the EU spring summit on 8 and 9 March member states, including the UK, agreed to set a minimum target for biofuels of 10 per cent. share of total petrol and diesel consumption to be introduced in a cost-efficient way in Europe by 2020 subject to a number of conditions. In particular, the target should be binding only if production of the biofuels is sustainable, second-generation biofuels become commercially available and the Fuel Quality Directive is amended to allow for adequate levels of blending.

These conditions are broadly consistent with the conditions the Government have proposed in relation to the future development of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) that is due to start in April 2008. A consultation on the long-term future of the RTFO is currently under way. The RTFO will require transport fuel suppliers to ensure that 5 per cent. of their total transport fuel sale comes from biofuels by 2010-11. The Government have made clear that they are committed to increasing the level of the RTFO beyond 5 per cent. provided that similar conditions around sustainability, technical feasibility and costs to consumers are met and that it represents an effective use of our biomass resources.

Motor Vehicles: Registration

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the requirements are for the registration of Class 3 vehicles with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA); what factors were taken into account in deciding those requirements; and what steps have been taken by the DVLA to convey this information to the owners of Class 3 vehicles. [127344]

Dr. Ladyman: All mechanically propelled vehicles, including class 3 invalid carriages, used or kept on public roads are required by law to be registered.

DVLA has been liaising with suppliers of class 3 vehicles to inform them about the registration requirements for these vehicles. Special information packs, which provide guidance on how to complete the first registration application forms, are available to suppliers and members of the public. Information about the registration requirements for class 3 vehicles is published at:

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Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many and what proportion of Class 3 vehicles have been registered. [127345]

Dr. Ladyman: Official statistics indicate that at the end of September 2006, fewer than 100 class 3 vehicles were registered. Since then, it is estimated that the figure now exceeds 1,500.

The proportion of registered vehicles to unregistered vehicles is unknown.

Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the annual administration cost to his Department is of registering Class 3 vehicles, including the cost of issuing literature and advice. [127346]

Dr. Ladyman: The Department does not record separate administration costs for registering class 3 vehicles. The unit cost for processing registration applications for vehicles of that type is £33.61.

DVLA issues advice and literature about the registration and licensing procedures for all types of vehicles generally.

Railways: Swindon

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the status is of the proposal to redouble the line between Kemble and Swindon currently with Network Rail; and if he will make a statement. [125555]

Mr. Tom Harris [pursuant to the reply, 6 March 2007, Official Report, c. 1853-54W]: I understand that Network Rail has consulted industry parties on possible changes to the Kemble to Swindon line to improve performance.

Roads: Expenditure

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total cost is of road schemes approved in (a) the Targeted Programme of Improvements, (b) local transport plans and (c) the Community Infrastructure Fund. [122745]

Dr. Ladyman: The total approved cost of road schemes currently in (a) the Targeted Programme of Improvements is £11.897 billion.

The total approved cost of major road schemes in (b) local transport plans is £1.385 billion, of which the Department’s agreed contribution is £1.128 billion. These figures exclude PFI credit funding for schemes that are being taken forward through the private finance initiative or those schemes that have already been completed.

The total cost of road schemes agreed under (c), the Community Infrastructure Fund is £82.2 million.

Trade and Industry

Businesses: Orders and Regulations

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate he has made of the (a) one-off and (b) recurring cost of implementing the Electricity, Safety, Quality and Continuing (Amendment) Regulation 2006 to (i) businesses and (ii) the regulators. [126617]

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Malcolm Wicks: The information is as follows.

Combined Heat and Power

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the planned timetable for grants for small community projects with micro-generation was; what the timetable for that programme is now; and what the reasons are for the change. [124711]

Malcolm Wicks: From April 2006 to February 2007, small scale community projects received grant support through the Low Carbon Buildings programme Phase 1. Since February they have been signposted through Phase 2. The change is the result of high demand for grants from householders. In October 2006, we re-allocated funds from within the programme to increase funds available to householders from £6.5 million to £12.7 million. To facilitate that increase in householder funding, we also took the decision to move the majority of small scale community projects to Phase 2 of the Low Carbon Buildings programme from February 2007.

Phase 2, with a £50 million budget announced in Budget 2006, supports projects in the public and not for profit sectors with the specific aim of driving down the cost of microgeneration technologies. Phase 2 has a significant budget, which should continue to provide excellent support to small scale community projects. The plan is to commit the majority of the budget between now and March 2008, however, some projects are likely to complete over the following years.

Small scale community projects can also continue to apply to Phase 1 Stream 2 through to March 2009, although this is a competitive process more geared to larger projects.

Electricity Generation

John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of energy was produced by (a) coal fired, (b) gas fired and (c) nuclear power stations in each of the last five years. [126448]

Malcolm Wicks: Fuel used in power stations as a percentage of total primary energy demand on a fuel input basis is as follows:

Coal Natural gas Nuclear stations





















Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2006, tables 1.1-1.3 and table 5.6

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Electricity supplied by fuel source as a percentage of total electricity supplied(1) on an output basis is as follows:

Coal Natural gas Nuclear stations





















(1) Includes pumped storage
Digest of UK Energy Statistics 2006, table 5.6

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