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Ian Pearson: DEFRA provides the Environment Agency (EA) with a budget each year for flood risk management projects. The north east region of the EA produces an annual needs-based programme of works which is approved by the Yorkshire Regional Flood Defence Committee. This programme is then considered with the other regional programmes produced by the EA and funding is allocated according to priority.
Barry Gardiner: The Government are satisfied with the effectiveness of the Hunting Act 2004, which bans all hunting of wild mammals with dogs, apart from the tightly-drawn exemptions set out in the Act. These exemptions are recognised as effective ways of dealing with specific pest control issues.
DEFRA has agreed with British Waterways and the Shareholder Executive how the recommendations of the Quinquennial Review should
be taken forward. I have met the Chairman and Chief Executive of British Waterways on a number of occasions to discuss a wide range of issues in the context of British Waterways revised governance framework, as recommended by the Review.
Barry Gardiner: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State made a statement to the House on 22 February 2007, Official Report, column 60WS, about progress on payments under the Single Payments Scheme. The total paid at that time represented about 59 per cent. of the estimated total fund of £1.54 billion. Further payments have been made since that date. The Rural Payments Agency publishes regular updates on payments under the Single Payments Scheme on its website.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much money from the public purse (a) his Department and (b) its agencies gave to (i) the Smith Institute and (ii) its subsidiary SI Events Ltd in each year since 1997; and for what purpose each payment was made. 
Barry Gardiner: DEFRA came into being in June 2001. From information held centrally, the Department believes no money from the public purse has been given to the Smith Institute and its subsidiary, SI Events Ltd.
Ian Pearson: The Governments approach to the management of sustainable water resources is the twin track approach involving the consideration of demand management alongside sustainable resource development. Each water companys Water Resources Management Plan will identify the need for any additional abstraction for the public water supply in line with this approach. These plans will also identify the scope for additional demand management activity, to obviate or minimise the need for new abstraction.
Where additional abstraction is identified, then any applications for new abstraction licences will be made to the Environment Agency. The licensing system aims to achieve a balance between the requirements of abstractors and adequate protection of the environment against the impacts of abstraction.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of UK water use is by (a) agriculture, (b) business excluding agriculture, (c) domestic consumers and (d) public bodies and agencies. 
Ian Pearson [holding answer 14 March 2007]: Ofwat collects data from water companies each year on water usage. These data are provided for household and non-household customers. The following table provides the most recent figures for 2005-06.
The non-household figure includes agricultural use where it is drawn from the public water supply. Many farmers tend to have their own sources of water supply (such as private boreholes) that are not part of the public supply.
Mr. Dhanda: The Youth Opportunity and Youth Capital Funds have been running since April 2006 and are worth £115 million over two years. Local authorities are required to report to Government offices on delivery of the funds on a six monthly basis. The first six monthly reports were received at the end of October 2006. The second reports are due at the end of April 2007. The reporting system is supported by independent evaluation which is being undertaken by the National Foundation for Educational Research.
9. Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many (a) places and (b) courses there are in the adult education sector; how many there were on 15 March 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Bill Rammell: In my previous response I was able to confirm that we have realigned funding to support our priorities, which has allowed us to achieve our interim adult Level 2 target with a million more adults in the work force with essential employability skills and more than 1.6 million learners achieving Skills for Life qualifications. Overall in the 2005/06 academic year there were nearly 4 million publicly funded adult learner places. We do not hold information on the number of adult education courses.
Skills are one of the five key drivers of productivity. 1.6 million adults have gained literacy and
numeracy qualifications since 2001 and since 2002 1 million more have gained essential Level 2 qualifications. Lord Leitchs report Prosperity for all in the global economyworld class skills sets an ambition for the UK to be a world leader in skills by 2020, which we accept. We will create a demand-led system of skills supply, ensuring that economically valuable skills are delivered at all levels to enhance productivity, employability and social mobility.
12. Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the progress to date in implementing conclusions and recommendations of the report of the Leitch review of skills. 
Bill Rammell: We welcomed the ambitions and recommendations of Lord Leitchs report. It set a vital challenge to raise the UKs skills to world class levels by 2020, which we cannot afford not to meet as a nation. Its key proposals include a demand-led system of skills supply, and the creation of an Employment and Skills Commission to scrutinise progress and make recommendations on further action, including legislation. We will publish an implementation plan to take forward this agenda in the context of the Comprehensive Spending Review settlement.
13. Paul Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact of the Sure Start programme on the early education, childcare, health and family support of disadvantaged children and their families. 
Beverley Hughes: In 2005 the Department published the key emerging findings from our rigorous National Sure Start Evaluation. The report highlighted that even at this early stage in the programmes lives there were some promising overall positive effects on parenting, and some small positive effects on child outcomes for most families. It also identified where we need to work harder to support our most disadvantaged families, and we have taken steps to address this.
Jim Knight: From September 2007, schools and local authorities will be required to arrange suitable, full-time education for all excluded pupils from the sixth day of exclusion. This is a considerable improvement on the current expectation that local authorities do this from the 16th day of a permanent exclusion. And, by requiring schools to provide education for pupils who are excluded for a fixed period, these changes will ensure that no child misses out on their education when excluded.
Beverley Hughes: Childrens centres revenue and capital funding for 2006-08 was allocated to 150 local authorities, based on a unit cost per child that took account of the numbers of children under the age of five that must be reached by 2008 and levels of disadvantage. Further amounts were added in recognition of the higher costs of delivering services to children in rural areas and London boroughs.
16. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost of transport for pupils attending denominational schools was in (a) Leicestershire, (b) the East Midlands and (c) England in 2005-06. 
Bill Rammell: The latest figures published by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) last month show that 42,700 or 15 per cent. of students who had applied for full-time undergraduate courses by mid-January for entry in autumn 2007 were mature students.
18. Fiona Mactaggart: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment he has made of the impact of the creative partnership programme on childrens learning; and if he will make a statement. 
Jim Knight: There have been four recent independent evaluations of the Creative Partnerships programme. They have been positive about the programmes impact and it has reached over 300,000 young people and 1,600 schools. We are currently considering options for the future of the programme beyond 2008.
Jim Knight [holding answer 13 March 2007]: Extended services are being developed in and around schools as a key part of the every child matters agenda in order to deliver outcomes for children which include being safe, healthy, and enjoying and achieving. The core offer of services which all schools have been asked to develop by 2010 includes a varied menu of activities, childcare, parenting support, swift and easy referral to more specialist services such as health, social care and education welfare specialists as well as opening up facilities to the wider community.
In doing so the offer can help tackle both the causes and the impact of bullying by giving children and young people safe places in which to achieve and build their confidence, helping to address their social and emotional needs through effective relationships between children's professionals, and by supporting parents in building strong and constructive relationships with their children and dealing with issues such as bullying.
Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure that schools are aware of the proposed new guidelines on the collection of biometric data in schools. 
Jim Knight [holding answer 13 March 2007]: The guidance will be available on both the Becta and the Department's teachernet websites and sent as a link to all primary and secondary schools in England as part of the Department's fortnightly e-mail communications with schools.
|Under 19||Adult||All ages|
Figures may not add up to totals due to rounding.
LSC's Individual Learner Record (ILR) and Employer Training Pilots (ETP) databases.
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