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Highways Agency

The Minister of State, Department for Transport (Dr. Stephen Ladyman): The Highways Agency’s business plan for 2007-08 is published today and contains eight key performance indicators for the Agency to deliver against by 31 March 2008. The indicators and associated targets are:

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Indicator07-08 Target

Deliver the PSA target to make journeys more reliable on the strategic road network by 2007-08.

Make journeys more reliable on the strategic road network by ensuring that the average vehicle delay on the 10% slowest journeys is less in 2007-08 than the baseline period

Deliver the programme of improvements to the strategic road network.

Open at least 23 major national and regional schemes between 1 April 2005 and 31 March 2008

Develop a target by 30 September 2007 to measure progress in developing and delivering major schemes, and in the meantime continue to work towards achieving by 31 March 2008, at least 2666 of 2806 progress points for delivery of the strategic roads programme

Complete a cumulative total of at least 85 priority action sites at junctions

Deliver improvements to journeys by making information available to influence travel behaviour and inform decisions.

Implement the new driver information services in line with the timetable agreed in the business cases approved by Ministers in 2006-07, and develop further services for Ministerial consideration during 2007-08

Evaluate the benefits of the voluntary travel plans introduced in 2006-07 and introduce at least 18 travel plans (making a cumulative total of least 26)

Implement high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane at the junction of the M606 and M62.

Deliver the Agency’s agreed proportion of the national road casualty reduction target.

By 2010 reduce by a third (i.e. to 2244) the number of people killed or seriously injured on the core network compared with the 1994-98 average of 3366. Reduce by at least 841 to 2525 by 31 March 2008.

Maintain the network in a safe and serviceable condition.

Maintain road surface condition index of 100 ± 1 within the renewal of roads budget, and develop a value for money indicator by September 2007

Mitigate the potentially adverse impact of strategic roads and take the opportunities to enhance the environment taking into account value for money.

Deliver the Highways Agency's contribution to the Department's Joint PSA target for air quality.

Achieve an average score of no less than 95% across the five sub-targets:

Air Quality: implement measures to improve the air quality in at least 2 prioritised Air Quality Management Areas - AQMAs (making a cumulative total of six completed improvements in the 32 priority areas)

Biodiversity: achieve at least 7% of the published HA Biodiversity Action Plan, which extends across 15 targets (making a cumulative total of 48% of the HA BAP completed)

Landscape: introduce at least nine planting schemes to enhance the landscape

Noise: treat at least 900 lane km of road surface with lower noise surfacing of which 20 lane km are on concrete roads

Water Quality: treat at least four of the high priority pollution risk water outfall sites

Improve the environmental performance of major schemes by improving the average score for the environmental sub-criteria in the Appraisal Summary Table, in at least five out of the 10 sub-criteria.

Deliver a high level of road user satisfaction.

Improve road user satisfaction by reducing the gap between the 2006-07 targets and total road user satisfaction by 5% across core objectives:

Journey reliability and congestion



Deliver the Highways Agency's contribution to the Department's efficiency target.

Deliver efficiency improvements in roads procurement through adding value to service delivery of £200 million in 2007-08

Deliver our programme within the allocated administration budget, which requires an efficiency improvement of at least £1 million.

Explanatory notes against each of these indicators are provided in the business plan, copies of which have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

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Work and Pensions

Child Poverty

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. John Hutton): Today I am publishing “Working for Children” (Cm:7067) which includes our response to recommendations made in the report “Delivering on Child Poverty: what would it take?” by Lisa Harker in November 2006. It is only one element of a cross-governmental child poverty strategy and sets out the additional measures DWP will take to maximise its contribution to the ambitious targets of halving child poverty by 2010 and eradicating it by 2020.

Building on the announcements made in the Budget to take a further 200,000 children out of poverty by increasing tax credits and widen support for parents, “Working for Children” refocuses £150 million of resources within the Department for Work and Pensions towards greater support for families.

Measures include:

We have made significant progress by lifting 600,000 children out of relative poverty since the Prime Minister set the historic target in 1998 to eradicate child poverty by 2020.

Our success in helping people into work has been key to reducing child poverty. We have seen 2.5 million
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more people in work than in 1997 and there are now over 1 million lone parents in employment. We need to continue to build on this success but recognise there is more to do if we are to reach our goal.

Copies of the report are available from the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office.

Households Below Average Income

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. John Hutton): I am publishing today Households Below Average Income 1994-95 — 2005-06.

This is the 18th edition of the Households Below Average Income (HBAI) series. This report presents information on potential living standards in the United Kingdom as determined by disposable income in 2005-06, and changes in income patterns over time.

Housing Benefit (Antisocial Behaviour Sanctions)

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (Mr. James Plaskitt): I am pleased to announce the local authorities that have been chosen to pilot a sanction of Housing Benefit linked to anti-social behaviour. The sanction, contained in the Welfare Reform Bill (Clause 31), is part of the Respect programme and would apply where a household has been evicted for anti-social behaviour and subsequently refuses to engage with rehabilitation services offered. It will give local authorities an additional tool for tackling anti-social behaviour in order to achieve a culture of self-respect, respect for others and respect for community.

The intention is to pilot the scheme for a period of two years (subject to the Bill receiving Royal Assent) in the following local authorities:

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