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28 Feb 2008 : Column 1795W—continued


Complaints data are not separated by individual benefit type and the categories used do not draw out underpaid benefit as a complaint type. We are, however, looking to rectify this in a planned change to our complaints database over the next three months.

Specifically, where it is discovered that a person has been underpaid state pension as a result of an error in the original calculation of their entitlement, arrears of pension are paid from the date from which the person first became entitled. Compensation is considered under the terms of the Departmental Guide to Financial Redress for Misadministration, a copy of which is available in the Library.

Winter Fuel Payments: Cleethorpes

Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many eligible pensioners in Cleethorpes constituency received winter fuel allowance in each year since its introduction. [176867]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: Information relating to winter fuel payments for the winters of 1997-98 and 1998-99 is not available. The information from winter 1999-2000 is in the following table.

Cleethorpes constituency
Payments made

1999-2000

16,830

2000-01

18,910

2001-02

19,420

2002-03

19,810

2003-04

20,145

2004-05

20,150

2005-06

20,490

2006-07

20,980

Source: Information directorate 100 per cent data. Notes: Figures rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.

28 Feb 2008 : Column 1796W

Winter Fuel Payments: Hendon

Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners in Hendon (a) were entitled to receive and (b) have received winter fuel payments in 2007; how many received the over-80s rate of £300; what additional cold weather payments are available to those on pension credit; how many pensioners in Hendon received such additional payments in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. [177498]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: It is not possible to say how many people in Hendon are entitled to receive a winter fuel payment. This is because not everyone aged 60 or over will be entitled to a payment. A person is not entitled to a winter fuel payment if, for example, they are serving a custodial sentence or have been in hospital for more than 52 weeks. Figures for payments made this winter are not yet available. In winter 2006-07 we made 17,760 winter fuel payments to people in the Hendon constituency and of these 4,090 went to people aged 80 or over. We expect the figures for this winter to be similar.

Cold weather payments provide extra help towards heating costs for the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society, including pensioners receiving pension credit, in periods of exceptionally cold weather.

A cold weather payment of £8.50 is made automatically to people awarded pension credit when the average temperature is recorded as, or forecast to be, 0 degrees Celsius or below over seven consecutive days at the weather station linked to the customer’s postcode. Savings are not taken into account and cold weather payments are paid in addition to winter fuel payments.

No pensioners in Hendon have received a cold weather payment in the last 12 months as the temperature criterion has not been met.

Prime Minister

Administration of Justice

Mr. Drew: To ask the Prime Minister if he will discuss the relationship between Sharia law and the English civil law system when he next meets the Archbishop of Canterbury. [188174]

The Prime Minister: My officials and I have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a range of subjects.

Chequers: Official Hospitality

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to publish the names of people he invites to Chequers. [190247]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 29 January 2008, Official Report, columns 286-7W, the hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb).


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1797W

Departmental Internet

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Prime Minister (1) how much has been spent on video recording equipment for the purposes of films for the 10 Downing street YouTube video platform since 27 June 2007; [188850]

(2) how many (a) unique hits and (b) total visitors the 10 Downing street YouTube video platform received in each month since its establishment; [188851]

(3) how much was spent on website designers to design the 10 Downing street YouTube video platform; [188852]

(4) how many full-time equivalent staff worked on the 10 Downing street YouTube video platform in each month since 27 June 2007; [188853]

(5) what the pay grades are of the staff who work on the 10 Downing street YouTube video platform. [188854]

The Prime Minister: For the costs of the No. 10 website including costs associated with the YouTube site, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) on 17 October 2007, Official Report, columns 1134-5W. In addition, six people work in the No. 10 web team. Since May 2007 there have been approximately 2 million film views on the Downing street YouTube site.

Elderly: Ministerial Responsibility

Margaret Moran: To ask the Prime Minister if he will appoint a Minister for older people; and if he will bring forward proposals to appoint a commissioner for older people. [189016]

The Prime Minister: The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions is responsible in this area at Cabinet level and has responsibility for delivering the agenda across Government. The Government have set a public service agreement (PSA) target to “Tackle poverty and promote greater independence and well-being in later life.” This is the first time that Government have set a PSA target specifically for older people. It complements other PSAs on, for example, health care and employment that address key concerns for those over 50. Work to deliver this PSA target is being taken forward by a number of Departments.

There is currently no plan to appoint a UK commission for older people.

Honours

Mr. Gordon Prentice: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to bring forward legislative proposals to require the revocation of (a) knighthhoods and (b) other honours where the behaviour or conduct of the holder is held to be dishonourable by the committee which recommended the conferral of the award. [188313]

The Prime Minister: The Sovereign may already, on the advice of Ministers, cancel membership of any of the Orders of Knighthood at any level or appointment as Knight Bachelor.


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1798W

Joint Intelligence Committee: Public Appointments

Lynne Jones: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 127W, on Joint Intelligence Committee: public appointments, whether there was a Civil Service-wide competition held in 2007 for the appointment to the post of Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee. [188614]

The Prime Minister: I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave my hon. Friend on 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 127W.

Ministerial Policy Advisors

Mrs. May: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the Written Ministerial Statement of 22 November 2007, Official Report, columns 147-50WS, on numbers and cost of special advisers, how many (a) male and (b) female special advisers are paid in each pay band. [189562]

The Prime Minister: I have nothing further to add to my written statement on 22 November 2007, Official R eport, columns 147-150WS.

Multi-National Chairmen's Group

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Prime Minister how many meetings of the Multi-National Chairmen’s Group have been held at 10 Downing Street (a) since he became Prime Minister and (b) during the time his predecessor held office; and if he will publish the minutes of the meetings of the group. [188166]

The Prime Minister: Ministers have meetings with a wide range of organisations and individuals on a range of subjects.

Official Visits: India

Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Prime Minister which representatives of (a) industry and (b) non-governmental organisations accompanied him on his visit to India in January. [189197]

The Prime Minister: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave on 4 February 2008, Official Report, column 747-8W, to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Mr. Davies).

Operating Costs

Mr. Laws: To ask the Prime Minister what the budget is for the running costs of 10 Downing Street in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. [189614]

The Prime Minister: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 22 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1098-99W.

Romania

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Prime Minister when he or any of his predecessors last visited Romania, other than for EU or NATO conferences; and whether he plans to make any such visit. [188739]


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1799W

The Prime Minister: Since 1999 the Government have published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing £500 or more during each financial year. Copies of these lists are available in the Library of the House.

Wales

Sustainable Development: Transport

Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with (a) the Chancellor of the Exchequer and (b) the Secretary of State for Transport to ensure that part of the new funding of £140 million to promote walking and cycling is made available to the devolved Administrations of the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [189214]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I have regular discussions with all members of the Cabinet.

The funding made available to promote cycling and walking in England by the Department for Transport has come from the existing comprehensive spending review settlement for that Department. The settlements for the devolved Administrations were determined by the application of the Barnett formula in the normal way.

Dr. Francis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with Ministers of the Welsh Assembly Government and the UK Government to ensure that adequate matching funding is available to the successful Connect 2 lottery bid; and if he will make a statement. [189215]

Mr. Paul Murphy: I have regular meetings with ministerial colleagues both in Whitehall and the Assembly Government to discuss issues affecting Wales.

I would like to congratulate Sustrans’ successful lottery bid for the UK-wide Connect 2 scheme, which won the public vote for the Big Lottery Fund’s “The People’s £50 million” contest. The Connect 2 scheme in Wales will see funding for 11 schemes across Wales, including a bridge spanning Cardiff bay and other schemes for Merthyr Tydfil, Newport and Carmarthen.

The UK Government and the Assembly Government match fund a number of schemes, including £60 million in capital grants to improve local roads; £3.9 million on cycling infrastructure schemes to provide infrastructure and promote safe use of the network; £8.1 million in capital grants towards local authority safety schemes; and 5.6 million to local authorities to support local road safety schemes.

Children, Schools and Families

Departmental Visits Abroad

Mr. Jeremy Browne: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many overseas visits by officials in his Department took place in each of the last 10 years; which countries were visited; and how much was spent on such visits in each such year. [181612]


28 Feb 2008 : Column 1800W

Kevin Brennan: Details of overseas visits by officials over the last seven financial years are set out as follows:

Financial year Number of visits Cost (£)

2001-02

226

138,964

2002-03

375

240,768

2003-04

423

197,297

2004-05

398

167,675

2005-06

455

251,630

2006-07

405

251,328

2007-31 January 2008

164

189,277


The countries visited are:


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