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David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the cost effectiveness of Government-commissioned advertising in the last 12 months relating to matters falling within the remit of his Department. 
Mr. Lammy: All DIUS commissioned advertising is assessed for cost effectiveness by pre and post tracking research that measures the situation or issue before and after the advertising has run. All advertising campaigns are commissioned through the Central Office of Information (COI) to ensure the quality of the media planning and to exploit the bulk media discounts that COI negotiate with media owners.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which organisations provided media monitoring services to (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its non-departmental public bodies in each of the last three years; and what the total cost was of each contract. 
DIUS was formed on 28 June 2007 as a result of the machinery of government changes. Information on the costs of contracts for the provision of media monitoring services to DIUS is therefore only available for the current financial year.
2008/09: £26,269 (to date)
2008/09: £42,125 (annual subscription)
For much of its business, the Department operates through a number of arms length bodies including 20 non-departmental public bodies and other agencies. It is the responsibility of each body to manage its contracts and costs. Therefore the Department does not hold the information requested centrally and there would be a disproportionate cost to gather the information requested.
Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many expressions of interest have been made to the Higher Education Funding Council for England for new higher education centres under the Department's University Challenge initiative; and what the timetable is for assessing such bids. 
Mr. Lammy: The Higher Education Funding Council for England is still in the process of analysing the responses to its consultation paper on our new University Challenge policy. After the consultation period ends, the council will conclude that analysis, which will also cover any expressions of interest. However, the consultation document made clear that there is not a fixed bidding timetable. Rather, HEFCE can receive proposals at any time, and there is an ongoing approval process. The councils regional teams are already working with a number of institutions in the early stages of developing proposals. Local authorities and other bodies which wish to be involved with the development of new HE centres will need to develop links with a local educational partner and at least one higher education institution.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what funding streams are available to universities on application to (a) his Department and (b) the Higher Education Funding Council for England. 
In addition to this funding it currently operates the following special funding streams: the Strategic Development Fund, which supports individual projects to achieve change in the HE sector at a strategic level, such as lifelong learning networks, New University Challenge developments, and inter-university collaborations; the Leadership, Governance and Management Fund, which supports staff development across the HE sector; the Revolving Green Fund, which supports initiatives to bear down on carbon emissions on a spend-to-save basis; and the Shared Services Feasibility Studies, which delivers efficiency gains in the HE sector via the use of shared services.
HEFCE will also be making the payments to institutions under the Government's scheme to promote voluntary giving to universities, in which we have made available £200 million to match-fund private donations worth at least £400 million
Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of recent trends in innovation in the public sector; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: In November DIUS will publish the first annual innovation report which will include examples of public sector innovation from across Government. Work is ongoing to develop better metrics for innovation, including in the public sector and these will be used to assess performance and trends in future reports. In early 2009 the NAO will publish a report on how Government are currently managing public sector innovation with a set of recommendations.
Mr. Lammy: DIUS manages a portfolio of funded activities to support our ongoing commitment to public engagement in science. These include: National Science and Engineering Week, the BA festival of science, the Sciencewise-Expert Resource Centre for public dialogue, STEMNET and the UK Resource Centre for Women.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of students who applied for a student loan received it after the agreed date in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Lammy: The first payments of income-contingent student loans are made after the university or college confirms that the student is in attendance. On current performance, the Student Loans Company (SLC) then initiates payment within one working day of receipt of the confirmation in all cases. Payments are made through an automated system into bank accounts, which takes three working days from initiation.
A payment may be made after the start of the course if the student's application has been received late and did not allow sufficient time for processing. A change in student's circumstances can also affect payment where re-assessment is required.
SLC monitors payment performance against a target set in a service level agreement with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and reported in the SLC Annual Report. The target is for 95 per cent. or more of payments to be initiated within one working
day of confirmation of attendance, and 99 per cent. within two days. In 2007-08 100 per cent. were initiated within one working day.
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Mr. Simon: Union learning representatives have a key role to play in raising the demand for learning and skills, especially for workers with low skill levels and those with literacy and numeracy problems. With their real-life experience and credibility in the workplace, union learning reps inspire trust and foster ambition in others, giving them the confidence to seek new ways to improve their skills.
That is why we will continue to support the Union Learning Fund and unionlearn, the TUC's learning and skills organisation, to develop and promote the work of union learning reps. We have increased the funding for union learning from £2 million in 1998 to over £21 million in 2008so that by 2010 there will be 22,000 trained union learning reps helping over 250,000 workers into learning each year.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Governments policy on bird rearing and shooting is; when that policy was introduced; and if he will make a statement. 
We will work with the relevant bodies to ensure that country sports are protected while ensuring high standards of environment protection, animal welfare and safety.
Game birds reared for sporting purposes are covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This Act makes it an offence to cause unnecessary suffering to an animal, and also contains a duty of care so that people responsible for an animal must take such steps as are reasonable to ensure its welfare.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many and what proportion of staff in (a) his Department and (b) the executive agencies for which he is responsible are disabled; and what the average salary in his (i) Department and (ii) executive agencies is of (A) full-time disabled staff, (B) full-time non-disabled staff, (C) part-time disabled staff and (D) part-time non-disabled staff; 
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the draft New Forest Recreation Management Strategy, if he will publish the evidence upon which the New Forest National Park Authority concludes that many people who live locally and use the New Forest take its tranquillity and high environmental quality for granted. 
Survey of Recreation Visits to the New Forest National Park by Tourism South East with Geoff Broom Associates, prepared on behalf of the Countryside Agency in September 2005;
Interim statement of the special qualities for the New Forest National Park, paper number NFNPA 92 06, presented to the National Park Authority on 18 May 2006;
Future Matters consultationa joint consultation between New Forest District Council, Changing Lives Partnership (the Local Strategic Partnership) and the National Park Authority, which took place in December 2006;
Statement of special qualities for the New Forest National Park, paper number NFNPA 191 07 presented to the National Park Authority on 28 June 2007.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which consultants were employed by the New Forest National Park Authority to advise on the draft New Forest Recreation Management Strategy; whether the process of appointment was subject to competitive tender; and if he will place a copy of the terms of reference given to the consultants in the Library. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: I understand that the consultants employed were Land Use Consultants, based in Bristol and that the contract for this work was subject to competitive tender. I will arrange for a copy of the invitation to tender and the specification for the development of the National Park Plan and the Recreation Management Strategy to be placed in the Library.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many letters he has received on the Uplands Entry Level Scheme; and how many of those opposed its introduction. 
Huw Irranca-Davies: We received 48 letters responding to our informal document on Uplands Entry Level Scheme (Uplands ELS), which was published shortly after the Secretary of States statement in July confirming that an uplands strand of the Entry Level Stewardship scheme would replace the Hill Farm Allowance in 2010. This document sought views on specific design aspects of Uplands ELS, and so did not solicit views on support or opposition for its introduction. A summary of the responses received, together with the outcome of regional meetings with stakeholders on Uplands ELS, will be published shortly.
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