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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what funding her Department or its predecessor has provided to the National Association of Councillors since 2002. 
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the reasons for changes in the fees charged by local authorities for care services in the last 12 months. 
Charges for residential care are governed by Regulations, the National Assistance (Assessment of Resources) Regulations 1992, and statutory guidance issued by the Department, the Charges for Residential Accommodation Guide. Councils must follow these Regulations and have limited scope to make discretionary changes to what is charged for.
Councils have discretion to set the level of charges for non-residential social services, within the framework of the Departments statutory guidance, Fairer Charging Policies for Home Care and other non-residential Social Services, Guidance for Councils with Social Services Responsibilities.
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she made of recent trends in social care costs when agreeing the local government grant settlement. 
Mr. Woolas: Policy responsibility for the provision and funding of local authority services in the area of adult and children's social services rest with the Department of Health and the Department of Education and Skills respectively. The Government have provided significant investment in local services, including in the area of social care, since taking office. Total Government grant to local authorities has increased by 39 per cent. in real terms since 1997 and this has delivered real improvements, with the Commission for Social Care Inspection reporting recently that social care services for adults have improved for the fourth successive year.
The Government looked carefully with local government at all their cost pressures in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and the ways they could be managed, and have provided an extra £800 million over the two years above spending plans.
We are committed to ensuring that authorities can continue to deliver effective local services. We are working with local government to identify future cost
pressures on local authorities, and the ways in which these can be mitigated, as part of the comprehensive spending review 2007.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans the Valuation Office Agency has (a) to use and (b) to trial handheld computers for (i) council tax and (ii) business rate valuations. 
Mr. Woolas: The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is considering a number of ways in which it can reduce costs whilst improving its service delivery to taxpayers and ratepayers, and value for money for its clients.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the effect on (a) fixed and (b) revenue costs of providing (i) school support services and (ii) specialist functions in the 26 areas where local authorities have put forward cases for unitary structures. 
Mr. Woolas: In making their cases for unitary local government, authorities were required to submit a detailed financial analysis of the costs involved. These analyses, based on a standard pro-forma, included a breakdown of the existing and future costs of providing local authority services, including education. Education costs were provided separately for nursery and primary schools, secondary and special schools and other expenditure.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what account she plans to take of (a) potential and (b) existing economies of scale in the delivery of services in determining which proposals for future unitary structures should go forward. 
Mr. Woolas: All proposals were assessed against the five criteria set out in the Invitation to councils and we announced on 27 March which we judged, on the basis of the information available, had met the criteria and should go forward to consultation. One of those criteria is that the future local government structure must deliver value for money and equity on public services. A proposal demonstrating potential economies of scale in service delivery would have been a factor in our assessment of whether the proposal met this criterion. We will re-assess all proposals against the five criteria (set out in the Invitation) in the light of the consultation.
Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the (a) affordability and (b) value for money of Exeter City Councils business case for a unitary authority for the city. 
Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will break down by sub-heading the £193.45 million spent by her Department in 2005-06 on valuations services, as set out in the notes to the departmental resource accounts for 2005-06; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Woolas: A breakdown of the £193.45 million spent by the former Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in 2005-06 on valuation services provided by the Valuation Office Agency in relation to domestic and non-domestic rating matters can not be provided in a meaningful way.
Michael Gove: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether a saving by a local authority arising from moving from weekly to alternate weekly collections of household rubbish can be counted by the local authority as an efficiency gain for the purposes of completing annual efficiency statements. 
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 21 March 2007, Official Report, columns 956-7W, on No. 10 Downing street, which hon. Members have accepted an invitation to nominate children to have tea at No. 10 Downing street; and what the date was of each such invitation. 
Mr. Dismore: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to how many and what proportion of posts in the civil service a certificate under the Aliens Employment Act 1955 applies, broken down by Department; and if she will make a statement. 
A certificate under the Aliens Employment Act 1955 may be awarded in respect of employment in any non-reserved post, that is, in 95 per cent. of the total number of posts in the civil service. Figures on the number of certificates issued during 2006-07 are still to be finalised. For information on
earlier years, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer given to him on 27 June 2006, Official Report, column 314W.
Edward Miliband: The recruiting costs of bringing staff into the Cabinet Office, including the Office of the Third Sector, will be accounted for in the Departments annual report and resource accounts which will be published in the summer.
Greg Clark: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment the Office of the Third Sector has made of the proposal from the Commission on Unclaimed Assets for a Social Investment Bank. 
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 7 February 2007, Official Report, column 970W, on British Standard 7971, what the cost has been of analysing the standard against the police operational requirement (POR); and what the cost of producing the related PORs have been. 
John Reid: An estimation of the funds allocated over a three year period (2004 to 2007) for the development and publishing of the Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) standards for public order protection is in the region of £200,000. A small part of this would have been used to assess the BS7971 suite of standards against the police operational requirement. The police operational requirements are produced and owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers with input from HOSDB. The cost of the input from HOSDB would be a small fraction of the £200,000 allocated to developing and publishing of HOSDB standards.
The Government are committed to informing and warning young people about the
dangers of illegal drugs, including cannabis. Through the FRANK drug information campaign, we have consistently informed young people about the risks associated with cannabis use. Information has been made available on a website (with 1,100 visits to the cannabis page a day), in leaflets and via a helpline which receives around 1,350 calls a day. The message that cannabis isnt harmless has been played out to young people as part of the FRANK campaign since October 2005 and information about the risks and effects associated with cannabis use continue to be a major element of the campaign through 2006-07.
Around 25,000 cannabis information leaflets have been distributed to young people and their parents every month in 2006. In October 2006, three new leaflets were published with the clear message that cannabis is not harmless, it can affect mental health and contribute to the risk of schizophrenia. To date over 400,000 leaflets have been distributed.
New radio, TV and online advertising introduced from July 2006 carried strong messages to young people that cannabis can have an impact on mental health as well as having more immediate effects.
The Home Office, DfES and Department of Health have worked together with other key stakeholders to develop a drug education resource for pupils aged 11 to 14 and their teachers.
The pupil book, that accompanies the pack, provides young people with information about those drugs which research indicates they are most likely to encounter, including cannabis.
Working with the Department of Health we have produced a Mental Health pack that has been available to all mental health professionals since October 2006, highlighting the dangers of cannabis use and what can be done to tackle the problem.
The Home Office part funded the charity Young Minds to produce a mental health leaflet for young people which was launched in November 2006.
In addition, DfES has also worked with the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) to produce the joining forces pack which provides guidance for police working in schools and colleges in relation to drugs.
Mr. Vaizey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with crime prevention charities ahead of the announcement to cut the annual grant to Crimestoppers by 10 per cent. 
Mr. Coaker: There has been no reduction in the annual grant to Crimestoppers. This charity is funded by the Crime Strategy Unit via a strategic partnership agreement (SPA) which commenced in December 2004 and is valid until March 2008. In March 2007 Crimestoppers were informed that they will be granted £900,000 for the financial year 2007-08 as specified in the SPA.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been (a) arrested for demonstrating and (b) stopped by police on suspicion of demonstrating within the exclusion zone around Parliament since its establishment. 
The Metropolitan police warn all demonstrators in the designated area who have not sought prior authorisation from the Commissioner who are invited to stop demonstrating and given time to depart. Those who refuse to stop their unauthorised demonstration, having been advised about the provisions covering demonstrations in the vicinity of Parliament, risk being arrested or reported for summons.
Mr. Clegg: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions during the last 12 months clients of Golden Arrow Communications have (a) tendered for and (b) been awarded contracts by his Department. 
John Reid: The Home Office does not hold and is not responsible for the client list of Golden Arrow Communications. All contracts tendered and awarded by the Department are done so through fair and open competition and in compliance with the regularity framework set out in the European Public Procurement Directives.
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