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Sarah Teather: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints have been made about licensed taxi drivers in each licensing authority in the last five years; and how many of these complaints have led to (a) prosecution and (b) loss of licence. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Department does not keep a central record of complaints made to licensing authorities against taxi drivers and any subsequent action. If a licensing authority receives a complaint against an individual taxi driver, it is a matter for that authority to decide how to proceed in dealing with the complaint.
Ms Rosie Winterton: We carry out surveys of local authorities, including information about the number of vehicles and drivers licensed in each local licensing authority area. The latest statistics, from March 2007, are on the Department's website. There were 73,328 taxis licensed in England and Wales at that time; there were also 132,505 private hire vehicles (PHVsusually known as minicabs).
In order to offer a taxi or PHV service lawfully, the vehicle and the driver must be licensed; in the case of PHVs, there is an additional requirement for the operator to be licensed. It is for the relevant local authority to make an assessment of the extent of illegal operation in their area, and take appropriate enforcement action where necessary. We do not keep a central record of any such assessments.
The Department is responsible for the legislative framework within which licensing authorities license taxis and within which taxis provide a service. We also issue guidance to local authorities about how they might best use their licensing powers.
While the Department takes steps to ensure that the legislation and the guidance promote the use of licensed taxis, it is a matter for the local licensing authority to deal with actual instances of unlicensed taxi/PHV activity. There is a strong deterrent in placethe legislation allows a maximum fine of £2,500 for a person who is convicted of illegal plying for hire or taxi touting.
Ms Rosie Winterton: The legislation governing taxi (and private hire vehiclePHV, minicab) licensing places on local licensing authorities a statutory duty to ensure that any person to whom they grant a taxi or PHV driver licence is a fit and proper person. Local authorities have responsibility for deciding what constitutes fit and proper', for the standards that they impose for the grant of a licence and for subsequent enforcement.
The Department has provided Best Practice Guidance to assist local licensing authorities in carrying out their taxi licensing responsibilities. The Guidance includes advice about assessing taxi driver licence applicants. It can be found on the Department's website.
We have also taken steps to enhance training opportunities for licensed taxi and PHV drivers. This includes providing financial support for the work of Go Skills, the sector skills council for the road transport industry in this area.
Ms Rosie Winterton: Taxi licensing authorities must satisfy themselves that any person to whom they grant a taxi or private hire vehicle (PHV) driver licence is a fit and proper person to hold such a licence. As part of this assessment, authorities can make use of information on an applicant's criminal record. Taxi and PHV drivers are listed as Exceptions to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that taxi licensing authorities are entitled to take spent convictions into account in assessing taxi and PHV driver licence applicants. Consequently, they can request either a standard disclosure or an enhanced disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau. The actual level of check will depend on the type of work which the driver is likely to undertake when they are licensed. However, the Department understands that authorities typically require enhanced disclosure.
|As at March each year||Taxis||PHVs|
|(1) PHV licensing in London was introduced in 2004 so the 2005 figure takes account of the PHVs licensed in London for the first time.|
Mrs. Villiers: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many transport-related applications for assistance from the funds announced by the Government to aid reconstruction following the floods in (a) Hull and (b) Gloucestershire in 2007 have been approved and paid; and how much has been paid in total. 
In response to the 2007 summer floods CLG has allocated and transferred flood recovery grant (FRG) of £2,762,000 to Hull and £2,763,000 to local authorities in Gloucestershire. Flood recovery grant is unringfenced so local authorities have had the flexibility to decide how to best to use the grant based on their own local circumstances. Allocations of FRG were made on the basis of the best available data held by local authorities at the time on the number of households affected by flooding.
Following the summer 2007 floods, DSCF made available £3,214,424 to Hull, and £1,007,900 to Gloucestershire. These sums, which could be used for a range of purposes relating to schools and children's services, have already been transferred to the local authorities. DCSF's payments to local authorities were calculated according to a formula based on the number of schools severely, significantly or slightly damaged by the floods, the number of flooded homes, and the number of pupils in flooded schoolsthe latter two indicators to act as a proxy for the impact on other services for children, young people and families.
DCSF is discussing with Hull an application for exceptional capital funding for costs arising from the floods; the amount of this application is currently under discussion, and nothing has yet been paid. There has been no claim from Gloucestershire for such funding.
An initial claim submitted by Gloucestershire county council under the Department for Transport's emergency capital highways maintenance scheme has been processed and the £10.048 million allocated has been transferred to the authority. The funding received by the authority covers mainly repairs to landslips, roads, footways, structures, drainage and traffic signals.
Gloucestershire has submitted evidence to support a further claim which the Department for Transport is considering. They expect the authority to submit additional evidence to support further repair works in due course.
In addition Hull has received Bellwin payments amounting to £2,097,817 and Gloucestershire (this includes the county council, police authority and relevant district councils) has received £4,447,964 in Bellwin payments. Bellwin is a scheme of emergency financial assistance to help local authorities meet
uninsurable costs they incur when dealing with the aftermath of an emergency in their area, rather than to fund recovery.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many cases involving equal shared care the Child Support Agency is dealing with; and in how many of those cases the father is the parent with care; 
In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.
You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many cases involving equal shared care the Child Support Agency is dealing with; and in how many of those cases the father is the parent with care. ; and
How many cases involving shared residence orders the Child Support Agency is dealing with; and in how many of those cases the father is the parent with care. 
The level of information the Child Support Agency holds on cases with shared care differs between old and new scheme cases, and does not classify cases as involving equal shared care as you have requested. Information on shared care for old scheme cases maintained on the new computer system (CS2) is not available. Such information as is available is set out in the attached tables.
The Agency does not hold information on the number of cases with a shared residence order issued by the Courts.
I am sorry I cannot be more helpful.
|Table 1: New scheme cases maintained on CS2 broken down by shared care arrangements and gender of the parent with care: March 2008|
|Parent with care||Shared care arrangement|
1. Includes all new scheme cases with a calculation, including positive and nil calculations.
2. A shared care arrangement is defined as a case where the child spends at least 52 nights per year with the non resident parent.
3. There are a number of cases on both computer systems where the case is flagged as having shared care, but there are no qualifying children on the case. We have assumed that these are old shared cases i.e. arrears only cases where a shared care arrangement was previously in place, and have removed these from the figures provided.
4. Figures rounded to the nearest 100.
|Table 2: Old scheme cases maintained on CSCS broken down by number of nights a child spends with the non-resident parent: March 2008|
|Parent with care|
|Number of nights child spends with non resident parent||Male||Female|
1. Includes all old system (CSCS) cases with a calculation, including positive and nil calculations.
2. Cases where the child spends one night per week with the non-resident parent is recorded as 0 nights on the old system. The two categories can therefore not be separated.
3. Shared care information is not available for old rules cases held on the new computer (CS2) system.
4. There are a number of cases on both computer systems where the case is flagged as having shared care, but there are no qualifying children on the case. We have assumed that these are old shared cases i.e. arrears only cases where a shared care arrangement was previously in place, and have removed these from the figures provided.
5. The NRP is the parent who provides less day to day care for the child than the other parent, If both parents provide equal amounts of care for the child, the NRP is identified as the parent who is not receiving child benefit. If neither parent receives child benefit, a decision must be made on which parent provides less care in order to determine which is the NRP. In a small number of cases an NRP may have shared care for more than three nights but be treated as having less day to day care.
6. Figures rounded to nearest 100.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consideration he has given to the merits of defining both parents as a parent with care in cases of equal shared care. 
Mr. Timms: We have received numerous representations on employment and support allowance. These have included questions from hon. Members and Lords, and correspondence from hon. Members, organisations, and members of the public.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of the employment support allowance on people who have worked and paid national insurance contributions and have no partner and have no other income or savings. 
Mr. Timms: Single people who have paid sufficient national insurance contributions will be entitled to claim contribution-based employment and support allowance. The basic rate of employment and support allowance will be £84.50 a week for those entitled to the work-related activity component and £89.50 for those entitled to the support component. These basic rates are the same for people on both the income-related and contribution-based benefit. Those in the support group on income-related employment and support allowance will also be automatically passported to the enhanced disability premium.
People on contribution-based employment and support allowance who have no other income will need to apply separately for other benefits, such as help with NHS prescription charges, as is the case currently for those who are not in receipt of income-related benefits. However, providing they have no other income or capital, a person in this situation would be eligible for maximum housing benefit and council tax benefit.
Mr. Graham Stuart: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Beverley and Holderness will be affected by the decision of the Rent Service to review the Broad Rental Market Areas in the East Riding of Yorkshire; and if he will make a statement. 
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what mechanisms he has put in place to measure progress towards the target of reducing the number receiving incapacity benefit by one million by 2015; and whether such mechanisms will measure total (a) off-flow and (b) net reductions. 
Mrs. McGuire: Our aim is to reduce the case load by one million over a decade, starting from May 2005. We publish statistics for incapacity benefits on a quarterly basis, covering both off-flows and case loads. These data provide an effective mechanism for assessing progress towards our goals.
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