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Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department takes to ensure that pensions are not withheld from pensioners whose mail has been returned by the Post Office for any time after an investigation into the reason for the mail being returned has been concluded; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Harper: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 12 January 2009, Official Report, column 42W, on the Post Office Card Account, if he will place in the Library a copy of the script of the message that staff use when speaking to customers. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: When discussing account options with customers staff use the messages contained in the document Collecting Account Details. This is guidance rather than a script. A copy of this document will be placed in the Library.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of children in (a) Vale of York constituency and (b) England were born into families in relative poverty in (i) 2006 and (ii) 2007. 
Mike Penning: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children in (a) Hemel Hempstead and (b) Hertfordshire were considered to be in severe poverty in (i) 1999 and (ii) 2007. 
Dr. Stoate: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what practical support and advice is provided by his Department and its executive agencies to workers in Dartford who are facing redundancy. 
Jonathan Shaw: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the acting chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what practical support and advice is provided by his Department and its executive agencies to workers in Dartford who are facing redundancy. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
Jobcentre Plus has a number of measures to support companies and their employees who are facing redundancy.
A strengthened Rapid Response Service was launched on 12 November, doubling funding from £3 million to £6 million. It is being promoted through relevant press and on-line. The Pre Budget Report announced a further doubling of Rapid Response Service funding£12m will be available in 2009/10.
Through the Rapid Response Service, Jobcentre Plus has access to funds to enable those individuals made redundant to receive the necessary help to get them back into work. Such measures could include:
Skills Transfer Analysis (to help identify an individuals transferable skills and training needs relevant to the local labour market);
Job-Focussed Training (to assist individuals with appropriate training and certification linked to employment or self-employment linked to the needs of the local labour market).
In conjunction with the South East Regional Development Agency, our staff will provide pre-redundancy advice about benefit entitlement and claim making arrangements, as well as advice about job hunting and job vacancies. We will also work closely with any job placement provider that may be engaged by the company facing the prospect of redundancy.
Jobcentre Plus Kent District has appointed a Rapid Response Manager and we have a pool of Rapid Response volunteer staff from Kent District who can be deployed where additional help is required.
In addition, Jobcentre Plus across the South East has a joint initiative with South East England Development Agency, known as the Continuing Employment Support Service, which tailors support for companies and their affected workforce and has helped place many people in new careers, by giving them the tools to find alternative employment as quickly as possible, either directly or via local partners.
The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions has asked me to reply to your questions asking at which locations Social Fund staff work and how many such staff work at each location and how many staff have worked on the Social Fund in each month in each of the last five years. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The following tables attached at Annex 1 provide the average number of staff working on Social Fund from April 2008 to September 2008, the mid point of the 2008/09 operational year for each Benefit Delivery Centre and Contact Centre.
Historically it is difficult to make a robust estimate of the number of staff working on Social Fund alone. Although Social Fund activity was recorded on our Activity Based Modelling System, we know that for many of these staff Social Fund was only part of their work. Following centralisation of benefit processing, which began in April 2006 and was completed in March 2008, we can be more confident that our data represents people working full time on Social Fund.
Overall our data shows staff working on Social Fund for 2003/04 around 3,400; 2004/05 around 3,200; 2005/06 around 3,200; 2006/07 around 3,300 and 2007/08 around 3,600.
|Annex 1: Social fund processing locations and average staff numbers between April 2008 and September 2008|
|Benefit Delivery Centre( 1)|
|Average staff number (FTE)|
|Contact Centre location( 2)|
|Average staff number (FTE)|
(1) Jobcentre Plus ABM systems.
(2) Contact Centre Directorate.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received pension overpayments in (a) the UK, (b) the North East, (c) Tees Valley district and (d) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency in the last 12 months. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: The information is not available by region, district or constituency. The national figure for pension related overpayments is in the following table. This is split between state pension and pension credit overpayment.
|Volume of pension related overpayments|
|April 2007 to March 2008||April 2008 to December 2008|
Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, (1) how many people claiming jobseekers allowance have been claiming support for mortgage interest payments for two years or more; 
(2) how many people have been claiming support for mortgage interest payments for (a) less than six months, (b) between six months and one year, (c) between one and two years and (d) two or more years. 
Train to Gain builds on the Employer Training Pilots which were very successful in engaging employers and employees in training up to a first full level 2. Train to Gain started to roll out regionally in April 2006 achieving full national coverage in August 2006. Data on Train to Gain is not available prior to this date.
Train to Gain is a growing programme and employer demand is increasing. In 2005-06 (April 2006 to July 2006) there were 4330 employer engagements and 32,400 learner starts. In 2006-07 (August 2006 to July 2007) there were 47,490 employer engagements and 206,300 learner starts. In 2007-08 (August 2007 to July 2008) there were 52,080 employer engagements and 331,800 learner starts.
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people over the age of (a) 60 and (b) 80 years have claimed the winter fuel allowance in (i) the UK, (ii) the North East, (iii) Tees Valley district and (iv) Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency since its introduction. 
|Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland constituency||North East||Great Britain|
1. Figures rounded up to the nearest 10.
2. Parliamentary constituencies, local authorities and Government office regions are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
3. The increased winter fuel payment for people aged 80 or over was introduced in winter 2003-04.
Information directorate 100 per cent. data.
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