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Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what powers the Secretary of State has in respect of the Liverpool Corporation Act 1902; and what responsibilities she has in respect of breaches of the Act. 
Mr. Khan: The Liverpool Corporation Act 1902 makes certain provisions in relation to the Local Government Board whose functions, which were transferred to Ministers by the Ministry of Health Act 1919, are now exercisable by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (save for some health functions and Wales). Breaches of any Act, including the Liverpool Corporation Act 1902, are matters for the court.
Settlement Working Group
Capital Programmes Working Party
Central Local Information Partnership
Local Government Pension Scheme 111 Health Review Group
Firefighters' Pensions Committee
Local Government Pension Scheme Policy Review Group.
Minerals Planning Guidance Note 4 (MPG4): Revocation, Modification, Discontinuance, Prohibition and Suspension OrdersTown and Country Planning (Compensation for Restrictions on Mineral Working and Mineral Waste Depositing) Regulations 1997 (August 1997).
Minerals Planning Guidance Note 2 (MPG2): Applications, Permissions and Conditions (July 1998)/
Minerals Planning Guidance Note 3 (MPG3): Coal Mining and Colliery Spoil Disposal (March 1999).
Minerals Planning Guidance Note 5 (MPG5): Stability in Surface Mineral Workings and Tips (January 2000).
National and Regional Guidelines for Aggregates Provision in England 2001-2016 (June 2003).
Minerals Policy Statement 2 (MPS2): Controlling and Mitigating the Environmental Effects of Minerals Extraction in England, including Annexes on Dust and Noise (March 2005).
Minerals Policy Statement 1 (MPS1): Planning and Minerals (November 2006).
In addition, national planning policies set out in a number of Planning Policy Guidance Notes and Planning Policy Statements published since 1997 may also be relevant to developments involving mineral extraction. My Department has also published practice guidance to support national planning policies set out in Minerals Planning Guidance Notes. These documents are available on the Department's website at:
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the National Community Forum's main priorities are for 2008-09; how many staff the Forum employs; and what the annual running cost of the Forum will be in (a) 2008-09 and (b) each of the two following years; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Khan: The National Community Forum's (NCF) current work programme focuses on two main areas; Anchoring Resources in the Community, which looks at approaches to social enterprise within local communities, and Community Wellness, which is developing an understanding of healthy, sustainable communities.
The NCF is made up of members who live or work in deprived communities across England. Their direct experience ensures that there is a broad range of knowledge and understanding of how policy works on the ground. From January 2009, there are 16 members, including the chair. NCF have recently appointed an interim advisor until April 2009, to help to ensure the Forum provides timely and credible advice to Government Departments by supporting members in their discussions.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent discussions she has had with the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury on the subject of empty property business rates. 
John Healey: The Department has no record of any representations from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury in regard to empty property rates. However the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury has made representations to Her Majesty's Treasury in his role as Minister for the North East.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many and what proportion of new valuations of British ports for business rates by the Valuation Office Agency (a) have been completed and (b) remain incomplete. 
John Healey: Initial reviews of all 55 major ports in England and Wales have now been completed. The rating list has been updated for 50 of these. In the remaining five ports, the Valuation Office notified the ratepayers of its conclusions by 28 November, inviting them to discuss the proposed changes in advance of the rating list being formally amendedwhich it would expect to do no later than 31 January.
The Valuation Office must continue to maintain the rating lists throughout their five-year life to reflect changes affecting properties or their manner of occupation included within ports. As changes are identified which necessitate a revision of individual assessments, port ratepayers, like as any other business ratepayer, will again be notified of the Valuation Office's intentions and invited to discuss proposed changes in advance of the rating lists being formally amended.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 22 April 2008, Official Report, column 1903W, on Travelling people: council tax, what guidance has been given to local authorities on whether unauthorised Traveller sites should receive rubbish collection services. 
Mr. Iain Wright: Local authorities are responsible for the collection and disposal of waste in their local area. Communities and Local Government has not produced guidance on whether unauthorised developments and encampments should receive waste collection services. However, Guidance on Managing Unauthorised Camping, published in 2004, gives guidance on dealing with waste and fly-tipping when managing an unauthorised encampment, including the use of Codes of Expected Behaviour.
Local authorities may want to consider whether the provision of means to enable Gypsies and Travellers on unauthorised encampments to dispose of their rubbish and waste, for an appropriate fee, is appropriate in
individual circumstances. Such action was recommended by the Independent Task Group on Site Provision and Enforcement and could help to minimise costs to the authority.
Mr. Paterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans the Department of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland has for action in civil recovery; when these will be implemented; and what budget has been set aside for such civil recovery work in (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10. 
Paul Goggins: This is an operational matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions. I have asked him to reply directly to the hon. Member, and will arrange for a copy of the letter to be placed in the Library of the House.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) letters and (b) e-mails received by his Department had not been responded to as at 15 December 2008. 
(a) The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of departments in replying to Members/Peers correspondence. Information relating to 2008 will be published as soon as it has been collated. The report for 2007 was published on 20 March 2008, Official Report, columns 71-74WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House. When responding to all correspondence the Department abides by the guidance as set out in 'Handling correspondence from MPs, Lords, MEPs and Members of Devolved Assemblies' which was published by the Cabinet office in July 2005.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of contractors and suppliers to (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have reported that they are compliant with the Government's security standards following publication of the report, Data Handling Procedures in Government, and the accompanying document, Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action, on 25 June 2008. 
Mr. Simon: (a) All of the Department's suppliers and contractors who handle personal or sensitive data comply with Government security procedures, and the Data Handling Procedures in Government report.
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many contracts (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have which allow contractors to store personal data of UK citizens overseas; for which contracts this applies; in which countries the data for each contract are held; and how many people have their data stored overseas in the case of each such contract. 
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when his Department appointed a senior information risk owner in accordance with the report, Data Handling Procedures in Government and the accompanying document Cross-departmental Actions: Mandatory Minimum Action; when the appointment was made; and what grade the person holds within the Department. 
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of the IT systems in (a) his Department and (b) its agencies are fully accredited to the Governments security standards. 
(a) All systems (100 per cent.) fully accredited.
(b) All systems at the National Weights and Measures Laboratory are accredited. At the Intellectual Property Office, all externally facing and 3(rd) party provided systems are accredited. Accreditation of the internal systems is ongoing.
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many telephone numbers for which callers are charged at the rate applicable to 0845 numbers are used by (a) his Department and (b) its executive agencies for public access to services. 
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what entitlement individuals over the age of 25 wishing to study a course at a further education college have to (a) grants and (b) income-dependent loans. 
Mr. Simon: Individuals over the age of 25 studying in further education colleges can apply for an Adult Learning Grant which pays up to £30 a week for those on low incomes studying full-time for a first full Level 2 and for a first full Level 3 qualification.
There is no Government funded income contingent loan scheme available for students undertaking FE courses. Students may apply for Career Development Loan which is a commercial loan where the Department pays the interest during the period of learning. Students who wish to study on HE courses, including foundation degrees, delivered at FE colleges are eligible to be assessed for support under the HE package of maintenance grants and loans for living costs.
Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what advice on funding is available to individuals over the age of 25 wishing to study a course at a further education college. 
Mr. Simon: Every adult in England can access free information and advice about careers, learning and work, including help about funding available for those wishing to study at a further education college, such as Adult Learning Grants, Career Development Loans and discretionary support for additional costs of learning such as child care and transport costs.
Advice and support is available by telephone or online through the national Careers Advice Service, or face to face from local nextstep services. All learners participating in LSC funded learning can also receive information and advice from their learning provider.
Mr. Lammy: We have a world class system of higher education in this country, with rising student numbers, high levels of student satisfaction and graduate employability, and an increasing world share of citations and high-impact research papers. Government investment in higher education is 23 per cent. higher than in 1997. That is in sharp contrast to the 36 per cent. fall in funding per student in the previous 10 years. We have also doubled investment in research.
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