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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors on the
number of women on the Institutes governing body. 
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of the Technology Programme budget announced in the 2006 Budget has been allocated; to whom; and in which sectors. 
There was no Budget announcement in 2006; however, since 2004 over eight collaborative research and development competitions have been held and the Technology Programme has allocated £438 million to 620 projects in the following technology priority areas:
Environmentally Friendly Transport
Bio Science and Healthcare
Advanced Materials and Micro/Nano Technology
Sensors, Displays and Imaging and Optoelectronics
Validation of Complex Systems
Zero (Carbon) Emissions Enterprises
Waste reduction and Sustainable Production and Consumption
4. Mr. David Jones:
To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what recent representations she has received on the impact of lottery funding for
voluntary sector organisations of the 2012 Olympics. 
5. Mr. Evennett: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what recent representations she has received on the impact of lottery funding for voluntary sector organisations of the 2012 Olympics. 
Edward Miliband: In the run-up to the Olympics decision, I received many representations from third sector organisations seeking assurances that money for the sector from the Big Lottery Fund would be protected.
As confirmed by the BLF, the additional funding to the Olympics announced on 15 March will come from money that would have gone to statutory programmes, not money set aside for the voluntary sector, and as the Chairman Sir Clive Booth said at the time:
I am pleased that we will be able to protect existing programmes and the money earmarked for the third sector.
8. Tom Brake: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment she has made of the impact on third sector organisations of the diversion of lottery funding towards the 2012 Olympics. 
Edward Miliband: As confirmed by the BLF, the additional funding to the Olympics announced on 15 March, will come from money that would have gone to statutory programmes, not money set aside for the voluntary sector. The other distributors contributing to the Olympics have said they do not expect existing commitments to be affected and will make specific announcements about future programmes in due course.
Edward Miliband: The Charities Act provides a robust and flexible framework for the Charity Commission, as an independent regulator of charities in England and Wales, to properly take forward the public benefit test. The Commission has recently completed consulting on its draft public benefit guidance, and will publish a response before the relevant provisions of the Charities Act come into force early next year.
7. Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what recent steps she has taken to improve the effectiveness of Whitehall Departments in formulating policy and delivering the Government's objectives. 
Hilary Armstrong: Our main current initiative is the programme of Capability Reviews. This has now covered almost all Government Departments. The reviews are identifying the actions needed to improve their capability and performance including devising and delivering policies.
(2) what steps her Department is taking to improve representation of (a) black and ethnic minority groups and (b) women in the senior Civil Service; and what assessment she has made of (i) the effectiveness of those initiatives and (ii) levels of awareness of them among (A) potential recruits and (B) existing civil servants; 
(3) what steps have been taken to ensure that aptitude and personality tests used in recruitment to the Civil Service are not biased against (a) people from black or ethnic minority backgrounds and (b) women. 
The Cabinet Office launched the Civil Service wide diversity 10-Point Plan in November 2005, which is a robust and pro-active framework aimed at increasing representation of women, disabled people and BME staff at senior levels. A review of departmental progress against the 10-Point Plan has recently been conducted and further interventions/actions have been agreed to help accelerate progress towards further supporting and encouraging existing civil servants as well as attracting potential new recruits.
While departments are responsible for their individual recruitment practices, the 10 Point Plan, launched in November 2005, makes it clear that they should ensure recruitment practices are free from cultural bias in assessment processes.
(i) limiting the weight of any one selection method in the process (personality tests are not used); and (ii) subsequently evaluating these assessment methods for potential bias on an on-going and annual basis.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on the effect of tougher enforcement of debt collection, as proposed in the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill, on socially excluded groups with low levels of financial literacy. 
Hilary Armstrong: I have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The Social Exclusion Task Force works closely with DWP and the Treasury (HMT) on many of initiatives to tackle social and financial exclusion.
Mr. McFadden: Designing public services around the needs of citizens and businesses is at the heart of the transformational Government agenda. Hundreds of thousands of people are discussing public services and public policy issues online. The Government has received a report from Tom Steinberg and Ed Mayo on the power of this information, especially for improving public services. The report has today been placed in the House Libraries. The Government hope to respond to the report in the near future.
The Deputy Prime Minister: I am very proud of the progress that has been made over the past 10 years revitalising the former English coalfields, including those of the Northern Midlands. When we came into power in 1997, these communities had suffered and been ignored for years.
I would like to pay tribute to three people who have been instrumental in bringing the coalfield communities back to lifePaula Hay-Plumb of English Partnerships, Peter McNestry of the Coalfield Regeneration Trust, and Bill Flanagan of the Coalfield Communities Campaign.
15. Ms Angela C. Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the co-ordination of Government policy on congestion charging and the urban environment; and if he will make a statement. 
The Deputy Prime Minister: Over the past 10 years, this Government have spent £128 billion on transport. After 18 years of neglect, 10 years of investment mean we now have more people travelling on public transport.
Despite this, car use still continues to grow. It is not a new problem, but it has a different form from 1997with 10 years of unprecedented economic growth, many families now have two and often three cars. Between 1997 and 2006, the number of vehicles on our roads has increased from 27 million to 33 million.
This is why we have introduced the draft Local Transport Bill. It proposes a package of measures to further empower interested local authorities to take local action to address local congestion. It also includes important measures to deliver further improvements in public transport, especially bus services.
This approach builds on our existing action to tackle the problem of congestion. For example, in the Greater London Authority Act 1999 and Transport Act 2000, we brought in the controversial legislation to allow congestion charging, which Mayor Ken Livingstone then introduced. Over the period of the scheme, it has achieved:
Congestion down by 21 per cent.
Traffic volumes down 20 per cent.
And over £300 million raised to be re-invested into Londons public transport network
The Deputy Prime Minister: Government policy on European Union matters is co-ordinated through the Joint Ministerial Committee on Europe (JMC(E)) and the European Policy Cabinet Committee. I am a member of both committees, which are chaired by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary.
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