David Simpson: To ask the Leader of the House how many and what percentage of staff in her office were making additional voluntary contributions to their pensions in each of the last two years. 
Helen Goodman: Owing to a machinery of Government change in May 2007, the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons now forms part of the Cabinet Office. The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster will be answering this question shortly on behalf of the Cabinet Office.
Pension scheme members receive an annual benefit statement showing the pension built up to date, and also a projection of pension on retirement if the member continues in service to scheme pension age. The benefit statement provides details of the civil service pensions website where staff can obtain further information, including on options for making additional voluntary contributions to boost their pension.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what discussions she has had with other Government Departments on discrimination in the supply of goods and services to people on the basis of age. 
Barbara Follett: Since the Discrimination Law Review was launched in February 2005 we have consulted widely across Whitehall on this matter. In particular we have had detailed discussions with the domestic affairs (communities and equality) committee departments.
To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what arrangements (a) have been and (b) are to be put in place by the Equality and Human Rights
Commission to develop and consolidate relationships with (i) the Mayor's office and (ii) the Greater London Assembly. 
Barbara Follett [holding answer 10 March 2008]: In November 2007. the Equality and Human Rights Commissions chief executive met the Mayors director of equalities and Policing and other key GLA staff to discuss how the new Commission could work with the Greater London Authority (GLA) on promoting equality and tackling discrimination across London. Since then, Commission staff have met GLA officers regularly to progress these issues.
The Commission is currently drawing up its business plan for 2008-09 and its stakeholder strategy to promote that work. This will include further arrangements to strengthen links between the Commission and the GLA. The Commission will also be engaging with the London Assembly to ensure that its members are informed and, where appropriate, involved in its work on behalf of Londoners.
John McDonnell: To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many staff are employed in London by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, broken down by (a) grade and (b) specialism; and what consultative stakeholder committees the Commission (i) has established and (ii) plans to establish. 
Barbara Follett [holding answer 10 March 2008]: On (a) and (b), the Commission has 79 permanent staff in London and is currently undergoing a job matching process which means staff who have come from the previous commissions (Commission for Racial Equality, Equal Opportunities Commission and Disability Rights Commission) are still on the same grading as they were before joining. Staff will be offered the opportunity to join the Commissions new grading structure when the job matching process is completed. That exercise is still in progress.
On (i) and (ii), the Commission has statutory committees advising on issues relating to Scotland and Wales and also on matters related to disabled people. The Commission is currently developing a stakeholder strategy, including consideration of what further consultative stakeholder mechanisms it may require. As part of the development of this strategy, the Commission has held an initial scoping event with stakeholders on religion and belief issues and has further events on age and sexual orientation planned.
Barbara Follett: Since its establishment, the Government Equalities Office has purchased two plasma television screens for ministerial use. The total cost of the purchase and installation of the televisions was £2,578.84.
David Cairns: The total number of mail items that the Scotland Office receives is not recorded. The number of items received for ministerial and official reply in the last four years is recorded, as follows:
|Number of items for ministerial or official reply|
David Cairns: The UK Government are supportive of efforts to achieve gender equality and continue to work very closely with both the Women's National Commission and the Women's Budget Group on promoting gender equality within the UK.
In 2004, HM Treasury undertook a pilot project on gender analysis of expenditure with the Women's Budget Group. The project demonstrated the value of gender analysis in some areas and identified what tools and expertise were necessary within Government to carry out gender analysis, but concluded that further work was needed before gender-responsive budgeting could be implemented.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department and its agencies spent on first-class travel in the last 12 months for which figures are available, broken down by staff grade. 
David Cairns: The Scotland Office does not separately record expenditure on first-class travel. All travel is undertaken by the most efficient and costs effective way, in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. Information relating to overseas travel by Ministers is published on an annual basis; the 2006-07 edition was published on 25 July 2007, and is also available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much his Department spent on (a) first and (b) other class travel by Eurostar in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
David Cairns: The Scotland Office does not separately record expenditure on Eurostar journeys. All travel is undertaken by the most efficient and cost-effective way, in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code, copies of which are available in the Library of the House. Information relating to overseas travel by Ministers is published on an annual basis; the 2006-07 edition was published on 25 July 2007, and is also available in the Library of the House.
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many pensioners have claimed free bus travel in (a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the north-east and (d) the UK in each year since its inception. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not hold information about the number of pensioners who have claimed free travel at the level requested. Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive (PTE) administers the concessionary travel scheme that covers (a) Jarrow, and (b) South Tyneside. Tyne and Wear PTE reported to the Department that it had 219,703 concessionary travel passes in circulation. For the (c) north-east region, it reported 466,445 passes in circulation.
In England, around 11 million older and eligible disabled people may benefit from the improved geographic coverage of the statutory minimum bus travel concession from 1 April this year. To date, around 7.5 million people have taken up passes. In the constituency of Jarrow, over 16,000 people are eligible for concessionary travel.
Mr.Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimate she has made of the number of residents of the (a) Bexley Havering, (c) Gravesham and (d) Sevenoaks local authority areas who made fewer than 10 single journeys per annum over the Dartford River Crossing in each of the last three years; 
(2) what estimate she has made of the number of residents of the (a) Bexley, (b) Havering, (c) Gravesham and (d) Sevenoaks local authority areas who made more than 50 single journeys per annum over the Dartford River Crossing in each of the last three years; 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Department spent £102,834 on bottled water during the latest year for which figures are available. This includes spend on associated items such as cooler units and water provided for members of the public by the Highways Agency Traffic Officer service during major incidents and driving test candidates at Driving Standards Agency driving test centres.
At our main London HQ buildings we will be ending the provision of bottled water for meetings as a priority and providing tap water instead. This will take a short time to arrange, as we use up existing stocks and purchase carafes.
The data exclude spend by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and regional offices of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency where spend is not centrally recorded and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
Adam Afriyie: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration was given to the noise costs indicated by the attitudes to noise from aviation sources in England study in drawing up the financial estimates in the adding capacity at Heathrow consultation. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The Government said at the time of publication of the study Attitudes to Noise from Aviation Sources in England that study they would take the findings into account in developing air transport policy. However, as the independent peer reviewers made clear, the study could not provide a reliable way of attaching a monetary figure to the impact of aircraft noise.
Consequently, and pending the availability of a better alternative, we applied existing valuations for road and rail noise in the cost benefit analysis for the adding capacity at Heathrow consultation.
Ms Rosie Winterton: On 6 February 2008, Official Report, columns 74-76WS, the Secretary of State made a written statement on the spending review settlement reached with Transport for London. This statement includes cover for costs arising from Metronet's administration.
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