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Regional Ministers

Dan Rogerson: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what responsibilities Regional Ministers have in relation to regional finance allocations. [258175]

Mr. Khan: Regional Ministers have been tasked, within the guidance on the Regional Funding Advice exercise produced in July 2008, to work with regional partners to facilitate development of the regions' advice and broker agreement on the regions' priorities where necessary.

Regional Planning and Development: EC Grants and Loans

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much European regional aid structural funding was allocated to England between 2000 and 2006; how much of this
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funding had been spent by 31 December 2008; whether a request was made to the European Commission to extend the spending deadline beyond that date; and if she will make a statement. [255462]

John Healey: The 2000-06 round of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes in England were allocated €5793 million. Over 2,900 claims by projects for reimbursement of ERDF expenditure are being processed, more made up to 31 December 2008 are still being received and we do not yet have final figures for any of the 20 English programmes.

Government did not request extension of the spending deadline for any of the European Structural Funds programmes operating in England.

Regional Planning and Development: Finance

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projects for which her Department is responsible are planned to be funded through the (a) New Ventures Fund, (b) New Deal for Communities and (c) European Regional Development Fund in (i) 2008-09, (ii) 2009-10 and (iii) 2010-11; and how much is planned to be spent on each such project. [258241]

Mr. Khan: The information is as follows.

Funds/Year 2008-09 2009-10 2010-11

(a) New Ventures Fund




(b) New Deal for Communities (£ million)




(c) European Regional Development Fund (Euros million)




(a) New Ventures Fund (NVF). The NVF no longer exists as a funding stream.
(b) New deal for communities (NDCs). The NDC programme is a 10-year programme to regenerate 39 of the most deprived neighbourhoods across England.
(c) European Regional Development Fund. The ERDF for 2007 to 2013 is being managed by the nine regional development agencies (RDAs). The Department does not manage projects funded by ERDF. However, the Department remains the overall managing authority for the fund in England. The aim in devolving key functions and management to the RDAs was to bring the fund’s programmes into line with regional economic strategies. England’s ERDF allocation for 2007 to 2013 totals 3.2 billion Euros.

Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what projects for which her Department is responsible are planned to be funded by the (a) Government Offices for the Regions and (b) regional development agencies in (i) 2008-09, (ii) 2009-10 and (iii) 2010-11; and how much is planned to be spent on each such project. [258242]

Mr. Khan: The Government offices for the regions have specific responsibility for an administration running cost budget and a capital budget.

Programme budgets administered by the Government offices are the responsibility of the Secretaries of State for the relevant sponsor Departments. The Departments delegate authority to the regional directors to spend against their programmes, though all expenditure incurred is recorded in the accounts of the Department concerned.

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The Thames Gateway programme, now administered by the Homes and Communities Agency, includes some projects for which funding is provided to the three Greater South East regional development agencies. Funding for Invest in Thames Gateway and Parklands projects amounts to £0.827 million in 2008-09, £3.177 million in 2009-10, and £6.775 million in 2010-11. In addition, the regional development agencies’ Thames Gateway Economic Development Investment Plan sets out how the £200 million joint Strategic Economic Investment Fund will be invested over the same period.

The Department does not otherwise fund projects directly through regional development agencies. Regional development agencies are funded through the Single Programme, which is administered by their sponsor Department, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The Department is one of six contributing Departments to the Single Programme and is contributing £1.548 billion in 2008-09, £1.585 billion in 2009-10 and £1.098 billion in 2010-11 to the Single Programme. Spending priorities for each regional development agency are set out in their corporate plans, which are available on their websites.

Regional Planning and Development: South East

Anne Milton: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 10 February 2009, Official Report, column 1843W, on regional development and planning: South East, in which month she expects analysis of responses to the South East plan consultation to be made available; and by what date the regional spatial strategy for the South East will be published. [257495]

Mr. Khan: Our intention to publish an analysis of responses and the Regional Spatial Strategy for the South East remains as stated to the right hon. Member for Guildford, in the answer given on 10 February 2009, Official Report, column 1843W, that is publication in the spring.

Repossession: Mortgages

Robert Neill: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what the (a) maximum proportion and (b) cash value is of mortgage interest payments that can be deferred under the mortgage rescue scheme announced on 3 December 2008; and whether capital repayments can be deferred under the scheme; [255219]

(2) what eligibility criteria will be applied to applicants to the Mortgage Rescue Scheme. [254856]

Margaret Beckett: The Government are determined to do everything possible to ensure stability and security for those affected by the downturn in the housing market.

For the most vulnerable home owners, who would be owed a statutory homelessness duty if repossessed, we opened the Mortgage Rescue Scheme in January 2009. This £200 million scheme will help up to 6,000 households remain in their homes. The scheme is targeted on families, the elderly and other vulnerable households.

On 3 December 2008, the Prime Minister announced additional support for home owners facing financial difficulties through a new Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme. The new scheme should enable households
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that experience a significant and temporary loss of income as a result of the economic downturn to defer a proportion of the interest payments on their mortgage for up to two years, providing they meet the scheme eligibility criteria. The Government will guarantee the lender against a proportion of any loss incurred on the deferred interest payments in case the borrower defaults. The guarantee will not apply to deferred payments of capital.

I wrote to lenders detailing the proposed key elements of the scheme in December. This letter is available at:

and we will shortly publish confirmation of the final scheme description.

Legal authority to proceed with the scheme was obtained in the Banking Act, which received Royal Assent on 12 February 2009.



Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales with reference to the answer of 9 July 2008, Official Report, column 1581W, on apprentices, what progress his Department has made towards meeting its share of the Government’s commitment to employ over 1,000 apprentices in central Government departments and agencies in 2008-09; and how many apprentices his Department now employs. [256280]

Mr. Paul Murphy: The Wales Office is unable to provide apprenticeships due to the small size of the Department and the nature of its work.

Departmental Buildings

Greg Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will place in the Library a copy of the (a) display energy certificates and (b) advisory reports for public buildings issued in respect of each property occupied by his Department. [256056]

Mr. Paul Murphy: My Department will place in the Library a copy of the display energy certificate and associated advisory reports in respect of the Wales Office’s London building.

In Cardiff, my Department leases space in a larger office building, whose owner assesses the energy efficiency of the building as a whole.

Departmental Public Appointments

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which of the public appointments for which his Department is responsible are due to be (a) renewed and (b) filled in the next 24 months; what the (i) remit, (ii) salary, (iii) political restriction, (iv) eligibility requirement and (v) timetable for each appointment is; and what records his Department keeps in respect of such appointments. [254247]

Mr. Paul Murphy: Following the devolution settlement in 1999, responsibility for the majority of public appointments that were made by the Secretary of State for Wales was transferred to the National Assembly for Wales.

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The exception is appointments to the Boundary Commission Wales. More detailed information about individual appointments is set out in the Boundary Commission Wales’ Annual Report. Vacancies may be advertised on the Cabinet Office Public Appointments website at:

The process for making a public appointment, including guidance on political activity and eligibility criteria, follows the Cabinet Office publication “Making and Managing Public Appointments”. For appointments regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments, the appointments process also complies with the “Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies”.

Copies are in the Libraries of the House.

Home Department

Alcohol Disorder Zones

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the Answer to the right hon. Member for Beaconsfield of 18 December 2008, Official Report, column 1069W, on alcohol disorder zones, what assessment she has made of the reasons for no notice of the proposal to designate an alcohol disorder zone having been made to her Department by that date. [253520]

Mr. Alan Campbell: The Home Office has been clear that an alcohol disorder zone (ADZ) should only be used as a measure of last resort, after all other tools and powers have been tried. ADZs only came into force in June 2008 and we have committed to report to Parliament in June 2009 on how many have been used.

Alcoholic Drinks: Crime

Mr. Malins: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions have taken place for the offence of selling alcohol to children on more than one occasion since 2003. [249934]

Mr. Alan Campbell [holding answer 21 January 2009]: For prosecution data for the offence of selling alcohol to children I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 3 February 2009, Official Report, columns 1025-34W.

The Ministry of Justice publishes statistics on reoffending, but figures are not available for individual offences.

For the offence of persistently selling alcohol to a person under 18 no data are currently available. Section 147A of the Licensing Act 2003 (as amended by the Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006) came into effect in April 2007. Court proceedings data for 2008 will be available in autumn 2009.

Chris Grayling: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what data (a) her Department and (b) police forces collate on (i) knife crime, (ii) youth crime and (iii) crimes and incidents in which alcohol represents a characteristic or motivating factor. [254368]

Jacqui Smith: The police forces of England and Wales will collect data depending on their own operational
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needs and priorities. The extent of what is collected is likely to be greater than what is requested by the Home Office, and will differ between police forces.

The Home Office collects crime data in two main ways: crimes recorded by the police; and the British Crime Survey (BCS), a victimisation survey covering adults aged 16 and over, living in private households in England and Wales. In January 2009 the BCS was extended to include under-16s. Other data may be collected on an ad hoc basis; this is included where relevant.

Knife Crime

The Home Office receives aggregated recorded crime data from the police forces for a wide range of offences. Since April 2007, the Home Office began to collect data on the numbers of offences where a knife or sharp instrument has been involved for selected offences: attempted murder, robbery and GBH. This was in addition to homicide, where offences including a knife were already covered by the homicide index collection, a more detailed individual record collection from police forces. The knife crime collection was extended in April 2008 to cover the additional offences of threats to kill, ABH, rape and sexual assault.

In addition to these returns, a separate data collection has been established as part of the Tackling Knives Action Programme (TKAP). TKAP is a time limited initiative which aims to tackle the possession of knives and knife related serious violence among young people in 10 police force areas in England and Wales. The programme started in June 2008 and is planned to finish in March 2009. A programme of monitoring has been established to assess progress and recorded crime information on knife and sharp instrument related homicide, attempted murder, threats to kill, GBH, ABH, robbery and possession offences are collected from the ten forces. Other information such as the age of victim and suspect and whether the incident is counted as domestic violence are also collected.

Findings from the TKAP will be published after its completion.

The BCS collects information on weapons, including knives, used in incidents of violent crime. Figures on the proportion of violent incidents involving knives are published regularly in the annual Crime in England and Wales publication.

Copies of these publications are available in the House of Commons Library (the most recent publication is Crime in England and Wales 2007/08).

The Offending, Crime and Justice Survey (OCJS), which ran between 2003 and 2006 and focused on young people aged 10 to 25 living in private households in England and Wales, asked questions on knife carrying. Figures for the proportion of young people aged 10 to 25 who reported carrying a knife in the past year (and further details, including their motivations for doing so) were published regularly in the annual reports on the survey. Annual publications are available on the RDS website at:

Youth crime

The BCS has covered only adults aged 16 and over until January 2009 when the BCS was extended to cover 10 to 15 year olds.

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The Offending, Crime and Justice Survey (OCJS), which ran between 2003 and 2006 and focused on young people aged 10 to 25 living in private households in England and Wales, asked questions about the experience of young people as both offenders and victims of crime. The results from the surveys have been published in a series of annual publications available on the RDS website at:

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