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29 Oct 2007 : Column 612W—continued


(c) Accurate figures for the gender pay gap by constituency are not available, because sample sizes are too small.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent steps the Government have taken to reduce the gender pay gap. [161563]

Barbara Follett: Closing the pay gap between men and women is a key priority for us, as I made clear in my statement to Parliament on priorities for the Ministers for Women. We see tackling the pay gap as an essential part of enabling families to have real choices about how they live their lives because the pay gap plays such a large part in the unequal division of labour in the home, preventing fathers from playing a more active role in their children's early years and preventing women from fulfilling their opportunities to work.

To galvanise this, closing the pay gap is now one of the indicators in the new equalities public service agreement. This will help to build on other practical measures we have introduced, such as: giving the parents of young, or disabled, children and the carers of adults the right to request flexible working; since 1997, doubling the number of registered childcare places to 1.28 million; and guaranteeing all three and four-year-olds a free, 121/2 hours a week 38 weeks a year Government funded, early education place.

Suicide: Gender

Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what research the Government has (a) conducted, (b) commissioned and (c) reviewed on the gender gap in suicide rates. [161588]

Barbara Follett: The Government have not conducted or commissioned any research on the gender gap in suicide rates. However, we know that men are around three times more likely to take their own life than women and the ratio in younger men aged 15-34 is even greater. The Government commissioned an evaluation of three mental health promotion pilots targeted at young men and published a report of that evaluation, Reaching Out: Evaluation of three mental health promotion pilots to reduce suicide among young men, in 2006.

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Manpower

Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many staff were employed by the (a) Commission for Racial Equality, (b) Disability Rights
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Commission and (c) Equal Opportunities Commission prior to the establishment of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. [157110]

Barbara Follett [pursuant to the reply, 17 October 2007, Official Report, c. 1075W]: The CRE headcount was 215, the DRC headcount was 205 and the EOC headcount was 180, which gives a total of 600 staff across the three organisations.

Equality and Human Rights Commission: Marketing

Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much was spent on (a) branding, (b) marketing and (c) website design as part of the establishment of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. [157113]

Barbara Follett: The following amounts have been spent on the establishment of the new Equality and Human Rights Commission:

Gender: Health

Jo Swinson: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what research the Government has conducted into the gender gap in reported levels of subjective well-being. [157726]

Barbara Follett: The Government Equalities Office has conducted no such research.

Maternity Services: East Midlands

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Health on the ratio of births to maternity nurses in the East Midlands. [160597]

Barbara Follett: I have had no such discussions with the Secretary of State for Health.

Rape: Victim Support Schemes

Mrs. May: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what representations she has received on the possible closure of rape crisis centres. [157120]

Barbara Follett: The sustainability and viability of the sexual violence voluntary sector is an issue which has been raised with the Ministers for Women and Equality both directly in correspondence and via the consultation on the priorities for the Ministers for Women, led by the Women’s National Commission. According to the Women’s National Commission, of a total of 235 responses received by 14 September, when the consultation closed, 13 respondents made comments about funding for the sexual violence sector, statutory and non-statutory. Since July 2007, the Government Equalities Office has received six letters which were concerned about the future of rape crisis centres.


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As already indicated in my previous answer, this is an issue which I take very seriously and which I will shortly be discussing with other Ministers.

Duchy of Lancaster

Transport Links

22. Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what discussions she has had with the Department for Transport in order to ensure efficient transport links to the Olympic Stadium from across the country are in place for the 2012 Games. [160992]

Tessa Jowell: The Olympic Transport Plan (OTP) published on 23 October contains details of the national transport systems to be provided for the 2012 Games. This plan was the result of extensive consultation which included representatives from Department for Transport, and other relevant Government Departments.

The provision of transport enhancements within London is being designed to take account of the need to move visitors efficiently from their point of arrival in the capital, be that a rail terminus or a ‘park and ride’ site, across London to the Olympic Park. For instance, it will take only seven minutes to travel from St. Pancras to Stratford International using the Javelin service.

Skilled Local Workers

23. Mr. Sheerman: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what steps she is taking to ensure that a sufficient supply of appropriately skilled local workers are available for the construction of the Olympic infrastructure. [160993]

Tessa Jowell: A significant amount of activity is already under way to ensure Londoners have the necessary skills to compete for jobs. This includes a construction training centre being developed in Waltham Forest and a training facility being developed on the Olympic site to provide sustainable training and employment opportunities. The Local Employment and Training Framework for host boroughs is providing for training across key sectors for 2012, including construction.

North-East Derbyshire

24. Natascha Engel: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what steps are being taken to ensure that North-East Derbyshire benefits from the London 2012 Olympic Games. [160995]

Tessa Jowell: A Nations and Regions Group (NRG) has been established to maximise the benefits from the Games across the UK.

The Government have also set out five legacy promises for 2012 and will be publishing in the next few months a Legacy Action Plan outlining what national programmes we will deliver and how local people in every region can get involved.

The East Midlands launched its 2012 strategy for consultation in March.


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Olympic Contingency Fund

25. Bob Spink: To ask the Minister for the Olympics to which organisations the £2.7 billion Olympic contingency fund announced in March 2007 has been allocated. [160996]

Tessa Jowell: On 15 March 2007, I announced a funding provision of £9.325 billion for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, which included provision for £2.747 billion programme contingency.

£238 million of the programme contingency is for any potential increases in the costs of policing and wider security. The use of the remaining programme contingency is subject to the approval of the Ministerial Funders’ Group, who in June 2007 agreed to release £360 million of the programme contingency to the Olympic Delivery Authority.

North-West England: Support

26. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Minister for the Olympics what support is available for local authorities in the North West of England to develop their strategies and policies for London 2012. [160997]

Tessa Jowell: The Local Government Association are supporting local authorities across the UK in the lead up to 2012 and cultural agencies in the North West are assisting the development of their strategies and projects to help broker partnerships with other authorities and schemes.

Local authorities are also fully engaged across the region through representation on the North West Steering Group for the 2012 Games.

Citizens' Juries

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what estimate he has made of the total cost of running the citizens’ juries since June, broken down where possible by (a) market research company payments, (b) other outsourced services, (c) venue and catering expenses, (d) payments to participants for (i) attendance and (ii) transportation, (e) analysis and presentation of results and (f) other costs; [160257]

(2) what the total cost has been of each citizens jury held to date. [159932]

Edward Miliband: The Cabinet Office held a day long deliberative forum on the draft legislative programme. This was delivered by IPSOS Mori, after a competitive exercise run by COI. The estimated cost is £52,575 which is broken down as follows:


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£

Project Development and Management

4,850

Fieldwork (including recruitment and moderation)

17,480

Analysis and reporting

4,200

Venue Hire (22 Whitehall)

Free

Travel, Accommodation and other expenses

15,700

IML Voting Handsets (hire)

4,500

Miscellaneous (printing, stationery)

1,250

COI Research Costs

2,000

Ecovert Catering Costs

2,163.70

Courier costs (because of postal strike)

550


Civil Servants: Pay

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) whether regional pay for England outside London is to be introduced across all departments; [159908]

(2) what protocols have been agreed to protect the terms and conditions of civil servants who transfer between Whitehall departments following the introduction of regional pay in England outside London. [159910]

Gillian Merron: Departments have delegated authority to determine pay arrangements for their own staff below the Senior Civil Service (SCS) that best meet their own business needs. Under the delegated arrangements, it is for individual departments and agencies to determine what levels of pay are appropriate to recruit, retain and motivate their own staff, taking into account local labour markets where relevant. Where staff are required to transfer between civil service organisations, it is for the departments and agencies involved to ensure that there is no overall detriment to individuals' terms and conditions.

For the SCS, which is managed centrally, departments and agencies have flexibility to differentiate pay between London and National regions. There are no plans to introduce more regionalised pay structures for the SCS.

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many separate negotiating bodies for pay, terms and conditions there are in the Civil Service; and how many there were in 2001. [159909]

Gillian Merron: Departments have delegated authority to determine pay and conditions arrangements for their own staff below the Senior Civil Service (SCS) that best meet their own business needs. Under the delegated arrangements, there are 89 civil service departments and agencies that negotiate pay and conditions for their own staff as part of the wider management of human resource functions in their organisations. Such negotiations take place within the parameters set by the Treasury in its annual pay remit guidance and pay policy for the wider public sector. There are no central records for 2001. Pay for the Senior Civil Service is not delegated to departments (recommendations to the Government are made by the Senior Salaries Review Body).

Civil Service: Codes of Practice

Norman Baker: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he expects to publish the updated Directory of Civil Service Guidance. [160955]

Edward Miliband: The Directory of Civil Service Guidance is being revised. A new version will be published before the end of the year.


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Departmental Coordination

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what projects the Strategy Unit has begun since 1 July. [159799]

Edward Miliband: The Strategy Unit's work programme falls into two broad parts:

Departmental Responsibilities: Publications

Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the average time taken to publish the Ministerial Responsibilities Book has been since its first publication. [160689]

Edward Miliband: This information is not held.

Keith Vaz: To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the cost was to publish the Ministerial Responsibilities Book in each of the last five years. [160690]

Edward Miliband: The “List of Ministerial Responsibilities” is produced in-house and the costs are not separately identified.


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