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Jeff Ennis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the annual cost of increasing the additional 25 pence paid to pensioners over 80 years of age to £5 per week. 
The state pension components included in this answer are the basic state pension, additional state pension and graduated retirement benefit for UK and overseas pensioners.
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what checks are undertaken by jobcentres on firms conducting interviews in jobcentres for enrolment on training courses for which applicants will have to pay; and whether it is a requirement for the pass rates of such courses to be made known to interviewees. 
Mr. Jim Murphy [holding answer 2 March 2007]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question regarding what checks are undertaken by Jobcentre Plus on firms conducting interviews in Jobcentres for enrolment to training courses for which applicants will have to pay; and whether it is a requirement for the pass rates of such courses to be made known to potential applicants. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Our vacancy policy is to refuse to accept or advertise a vacancy where an up-front fee is payable and this is non-refundable to applicants if they are unsuccessful in gaining employment.
It is not a requirement to advise applicants of the pass rate for a particular training course.
I hope this helpful.
Mr. Jim Murphy:
Ministers in this Department regularly receive representations from members of the
public and representatives of major organisations regarding our welfare system. We continue to liaise closely with a wide range of stakeholders.
Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether a faith-based adoption agency which is not in receipt of public funds would be eligible for the exemption under Regulation 14, paragraph 3, of the proposed Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007. 
Meg Munn [holding answer 19 March 2007]: A faith- based adoption agency that is not operating on behalf of and under contract with a public authority could qualify for the religious organisation exemption under Regulation 14, paragraph 3 of the proposed Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007provided the agency is not being run on a commercial basis and can demonstrate that the exemption is necessary either to comply with the doctrine of the organisation, or to avoid conflicting with the strongly held religious beliefs of a significant number of the religion's followers.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) budget and (b) administrative costs were of the Audit Commission in each year since its creation. 
Your parliamentary question on the total budget and administrative costs of the Audit Commission in each year since its creation has been passed to me for reply.
The Commission does not have full records of its budget for each financial year since 1984. Instead, I have set out the Commission's actual costs for each year since 1984 in the annex to this letter.
It is not possible to answer your questions about administrative costs in the absence of any clear definition of this term. The definition of administrative costs employed within central government is not applicable to the Commission as the Commission does not have programmes run by third parties, and therefore all our expenditure is incurred in support of our statutory duties as set out in the Audit Commission Act 1998.
A copy of this letter will be placed in the House of Commons Library.
The Audit Commission's costs since 1984 are as follows:
|Year end||Period length (months)||Total (£000)|
The Audit Commission changed its financial year end in 1997 so there are two sets of accounts for that year. Our financial year end was changed again in 2004, so the period 2002-04 is for 17 months, from November 2002 to March 2004.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations her Department has received from black and minority ethnic groups on the involvement of the Race Equality Group in the development of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights. 
Meg Munn: The Secretary of State has received two letters on the involvement of the Race Equality Group in the development of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR). Officials have also met with the chair of the British Federation of Race Equality Councils, who is also a member of the Race Equality Group, to discuss a programme of work to aid the transition of race equality councils to the CEHR.
Keith Vaz: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for how long the appointed Transition Commissioners are expected to assist the Commissioner for Equality and Human Rights. 
Meg Munn: The transition Commissioners have been appointed to assist in assuring good continuity between the work of the existing equality Commissions (Commission for Racial Equality, Disability Rights Commission and the Equal Opportunities Commission) and that of the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, Under the Equality Act, the transition commissioners will remain in post for up to two years after the dissolution of the existing Commissions.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many Millennium communities have been constructed; in what locations; and how many homes have been completed in each. 
There are seven Millennium communities. Greenwich Millennium Village was the first to be announced in 1997. The others are at Allerton Bywater (near Leeds), New Islington (East
Manchester), South Lynn (Kings Lynn), East Ketley (Telford), Oakgrove (Milton Keynes) and Hastings. In total the programme will bring forward over 9,000 eco-home Excellent standard homes, plus other commercial and community facilities, providing inspiration to both the development industry and the general house-buying public and demonstrating how difficult sites can be brought back into use.
Anne Snelgrove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers local authorities have to increase rent for council house tenants; and if she will make a statement. 
1. A local housing authority may make such reasonable charges as they may determine for the tenancy or occupation of their houses.
2. The authority shall from time to time review rents and make such changes, either of rents generally or of particular rents, as circumstances may require.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment her Department has made of the merits of including Cornish people within the terms of the European Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities. 
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether a by-election would be held under her proposals for reform of local government if a member of a directly elected executive (a) resigned and (b) died. 
Ruth Kelly: The Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill provides that if the executive leader resigns or dies, there is a by-election for the whole executive. If any other member of the executive resigns or dies, it is the decision of the leader whether or not there is a by-election for that position, unless the remaining number of executive members is below the minimum allowed in which case there must be a by-election for that position.
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