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28 Apr 2008 : Column 109W—continued


28 Apr 2008 : Column 110W
Local authority May 2004 to March 2006 April to December 2006 January to December 2007

Barking and Dagenham

250

85

135

Barnet

3,170

580

1,155

Bexley

285

85

130

Brent

2,160

685

1,070

Bromley

515

155

220

Camden

5,435

1,640

2,335

City of London

1,955

710

915

Croydon

1,225

390

610

Ealing

3,745

1,310

1,970

Enfield

1,175

465

625

Greenwich

750

340

485

Hackney

1,255

330

540

Hammersmith and Fulham

2,555

1,120

1,380

Haringey

1,650

410

580

Harrow

1,410

500

810

Havering

285

220

260

Hillingdon

2,785

875

1,355

Hounslow

1,785

670

1,045

Islington

1,715

505

745

Kensington and Chelsea

2,440

595

820

Kingston upon Thames

705

205

285

Lambeth

1,060

420

525

Lewisham

625

150

195

Merton

1,280

395

535

Newham

1,045

335

330

Redbridge

625

635

750

Richmond upon Thames

1,190

340

500

Southwark

3,110

845

1,220

Sutton

345

115

160

Tower Hamlets

1,515

585

845

Waltham Forest

900

275

505

Wandsworth

1,890

515

630

Westminster

11,745

3,270

4,260

Total

62,575

19,775

27,920

Notes:
1. 98 per cent. of approved nationwide applications currently have an accurate postcode. Applications where postcodes could not be matched to the Office of National Statistics database are excluded from this data-set.
2. Figures based on Employers address and the date the application is approved, rather than the date on the application form as used in the Accession Monitoring Report.
3. Figures are rounded to nearest five.
4. Because of rounding, figures may not add up to total shown.
5. The table presents a gross (cumulative) figure for the number of workers applying to the WRS. The figures are not current: an individual who has registered to work and who leaves employment is not required to de-register, so some of those counted will have left the employment for which they registered and indeed some are likely to have left the UK.

Workers Registration Scheme: Southwark

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people registered on the Workers Registration Scheme in the London Borough of Southwark since the scheme was introduced. [199302]

Mr. Byrne: The Home Office only records the regional distribution of workers from A8 countries when they first registered to the Workers Registration Scheme. Data by local authority was published in February 2008 in concert with the Accession Monitoring Report (AMR) on the Local Government Analysis and Research (LGAR) website.

The table shows the last published available data for London borough of Southwark for the number of workers when they first registered to the Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) since the scheme was introduced.

The figures quoted are not provided under National Statistics protocols and have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.


28 Apr 2008 : Column 111W
Local authority May 2004 to March 2006 April to December 2006 January to December 2007

Southwark

3,110

845

1,220

Notes:
1. 98 per cent. of approved nationwide applications currently have an accurate postcode. Applications where postcodes could not be matched to the Office of National Statistics database are excluded from this data-set.
2. Figures based on employers address and the date the application is approved, rather than the date on the application form as used and published in the Accession Monitoring Report.
3. Figures are rounded to nearest five.
4. Because of rounding, figures may not add up to total shown.
5. The table presents a gross (cumulative) figure for the number of workers applying to the WRS. The figures are not current: an individual who has registered to work and who leaves employment is not required to de-register, so some of those counted will have left the employment for which they registered and indeed some are likely to have left the UK.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Astronomy: Finance

Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much full economic costing funding the Science and Technology Facility Council's Grant Review Panel recommended to support sustainable research in the 2007 round of astronomy grants; and how much funding was provided. [200291]

Ian Pearson: STFC's Astronomy Grants Review Panel recommended the award of grants that included a full economic cost (FEC) element of £4.88 million. On receipt of this request the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) allocated £4.88 million of full economic cost contribution towards the cost of new astronomy grant projects in the 2007 funding round.

Lembit Öpik: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the effects of recent changes in funding for Jodrell Bank on UK capacity in astronomy and physics (a) education and (b) research. [200622]

Ian Pearson: Jodrell Bank Observatory is owned and run by the University of Manchester. It is involved in a variety of radio astronomy activities including the e-Merlin project. E-Merlin is the development of a network of seven UK radio telescopes run by the Jodrell Bank Observatory and funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) in partnership with the North West Development Agency and the University of Manchester. The STFC has recently undertaken a review of all its existing programmes to make sure they are delivering, or will deliver, the anticipated science output, and that they continue to represent value for money. The initial results of this review have been subject to consultation with the relevant scientific communities, and STFC is currently considering the responses it has received. STFC has yet to take a decision on its future level of support for e-Merlin. However, STFC has made it clear that the e-Merlin project is part of its strategy for radio astronomy and that it is in discussion with its partners about the issues raised by the review.

Counselling: Finance

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the
28 Apr 2008 : Column 112W
answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 2431W, on counselling: finance, if he will bring forward the review of exempted subjects from December 2008 to summer 2008. [201894]

Bill Rammell: No. We want to keep a close eye on how demand to study key subjects evolves over time, but this has to be evidence-based. As we have already informed Parliament, the first such review will take place starting in December 2008, in the light of entry data for the 2008-09 academic year. Since the review will look specifically at what happens as people enter higher education this autumn, we do not intend to bring the review forward from December.

Departmental Freedom of Information

David T.C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many freedom of information requests made to his Department were (a) answered (i) within 20 days, (ii) within 40 days, (iii) within 60 days, (iv) after 60 days, (b) not answered and (c) answered citing an exemption in the Freedom of Information Act 2000 as a reason not to provide the requested information in each year since the Act came into force. [201727]

Mr. Lammy: The Department have received a total of 27 requests since July 2007. Of these, 17 were responded to within 20 days and one within 40 days. The remaining nine requests are currently in progress. Of these nine cases, seven are new requests, one is at Internal Review stage and one is at Information Commissioner’s stage. None of the cases in progress are currently overdue.

With regards to exemptions, seven cases were withheld in full or withheld in part. The following exemptions were cited:

Higher Education: Finance

Stephen Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will make an estimate of the cost to the public purse of making the support available to part-time first degree undergraduates equivalent to that of full-time first degree undergraduates in respect of (a) grants, (b) student loans and (c) bursaries; and if he will make a statement. [196032]

Bill Rammell: There are around 200,000 part-time first degree undergraduates compared to around one million full-time. To estimate the cost to the public purse of giving part-time students the full-time package of support is complicated due to their diverse nature. We can give very broad estimates based on the assumptions we hold for full-time students and replicating the exact same package of support. This enables us to estimate grant costs in the region of £250 million and loan costs also in the region of £250 million per year. We are not able to estimate the cost to
28 Apr 2008 : Column 113W
the public purse of bursaries as institutions determine the eligibility criteria and are responsible for payments.

These estimates assume that part-time students are identical to full-time students in every respect except they are part-time. They are highly dependent on uncertain factors such as household incomes on which student support is assessed, eligibility for and take-up of support, level of fees charged and earnings following completion of the course, all of which have been assumed the same as for full-time students. The support has not been pro-rated, but if part-time students take twice as long to complete their course compared to a full-time student the costs would be around a half.

This Government were the first to introduce statutory support for part-time students, in 2000-01. In 2006-07, we introduced the most generous package of financial support ever for part-time students in England. This included increasing the maximum fee grant by 27 per cent. and an above-inflation increase in the income threshold for receiving this support. The part-time package is different from the support available to full-time students because it has been designed to meet the particular needs of part-time students. Unlike full-time students, many part-time students are in full-time employment —two thirds according to the Woodley report, published at the end of 2004. That report also found that 36 per cent. of part-time students receive full fee support from their employer.

We must ensure that statutory student support is carefully focussed to achieve maximum benefit.


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