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4 Nov 2008 : Column 265Wcontinued
The figures quoted relate to staff working on Maternity Allowance new claims and maintenance activities and also include any general support duties and related Maternity Allowance work, including acting as telephone point of contact for all enquiries relating to claims and maintenance. It should be noted however, that before benefit centralisation many staff working on other benefits often helped on Maternity Allowance and this work would not have been recorded on the system. Therefore figures are not comparable year on year.
|M aternity allowanceaverage full- time equivalent staff per quarter|
Jobcentre Plus Activity Based Management Portal
Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made on his Departments mediation with a counsellor initiative; and if he will make a statement. 
[holding answer 30 October 2008]: The Department has successfully been running a mediation pilot for employees in selected parts of Jobcentre Plus
and Pension, Disability and Carers Service since 9 June 2008. The pilot offers mediation as a voluntary alternative to the formal grievance procedures. The pilot is due to finish on 9 January 2009 and it will then be evaluated. Following this a decision will be taken about whether to offer mediation on a permanent basis.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average response time was for new pensions credit applications in (a) Eastbourne constituency, (b) East Sussex and (c) the UK in each of the last 12 months. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available at the level requested.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of pension credit applications received by the Pension Service in the last 12 months have been repeat applications. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Agency does not have any information on the volume of repeat applications.
Mr. Waterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pension credit applications the Pension Service received in each of the last 12 months. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The Pension Service has received a total of 280,893 applications for pension credit in the last 12 months. The following table shows the total number of applications received for each of the last 12 months.
|PC applications received|
Mr. Hepburn: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners claimed free bus travel in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in each year since its inception. 
Paul Clark: I have been asked to reply.
Concessionary travel is administered at a local level therefore the Government do not hold historic pass
holder data. However, due to the recent reissue of passes for the introduction of the England-wide concession, the Government collected data concerning numbers of pass holders from each travel concession authority.
The totals for Jarrow and the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside are both included in the figures for Nexus, the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive. In October 2007 Nexus reported a total of 219,073 elderly and disabled pass holders. The total for the North East region was 460,094 and for England as a whole 7,491,416.
Peter Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the accuracy of information provided on the telephone by Pensions Service staff about the future of the Post Office card account; and if he will make a statement. 
Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 3 November 2008]: We continually monitor our communications and issue appropriate reminders and updates to staff.
Customers are being provided with information about the Post Office card account and around 12,500 new card accounts are being opened every month.
Mr. Crausby: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent representations he has received on the future of the Post Office card account. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: I and my ministerial colleagues have received a number of letters on the future of the Post Office card account. We have also answered questions in the House and responded to points raised during debates.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) West
Chelmsford constituency and (b) the Chelmsford local authority area have a Post Office card account. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The answer is not available in the precise format requested.
The following table shows the number of benefit and pension accounts paid into a Post Office card account in (a) the West Chelmsford constituency and (b) the Chelmsford local authority area.
|Payment type: Post Office card account|
1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10 and refer to payment accounts live and in payment as at 12 April 2008. Claimants with more than one account will be counted for each account.
2. Child benefit is administered by HM Revenue and Customs and War Pensions are administered by MOD. These benefits have been excluded.
DWP, Information Directorate
Jenny Willott: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average processing time for (a) disability living allowance and (b) pension credit applications was (i) in each of the smallest geographical areas for which information is available and (ii) in total in each quarter of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: The information is as follows:
(a) Disability living allowance
Please see the following table giving the DLA New Claim (Normal Rules) year to date (YTD) average actual clearance times (AACT) in each of the new claim business units for DLA for each quarter of the last five years and the equivalent DLA national figure.
|YTD DLA NR C laims AACT||Q1||Q2||Q3||Q4||Q1||Q2||Q3||Q4|
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