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The United Kingdom is currently a member of two working groups developing guidelines and recommendations on Articles 9 and 10, and on Article 14 of the FCTC. The UK was also a member of the working group that developed guidelines on Articles 8 and 11 of the FCTC.
The UK is also participating in the inter-governmental negotiating body which is to draft and negotiate a protocol on illicit trade in tobacco products, to support the provisions of Article 15 of the FCTC.
John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms exist by which signatory countries to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control join its working groups. 
Dawn Primarolo: Countries that are Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Parties volunteer to participate in working groups to elaborate guidelines under the Articles of the Convention, when parties agree that guidelines are to be developed.
John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the membership is of each working group of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control of which the UK is a member; and what recent assessment he has made of the progress of each such working group; 
(3) what his most recent assessment is of progress made by the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (a) working groups and (b) Conference of the Parties; and if he will make a statement. 
Dawn Primarolo: The membership and progress of the current working groups established to develop draft guidelines under the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), is set out by the World Health Organisation on its website at:
John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with European Union counterparts on the development of protocols and guidelines in respect of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. 
Adopted FCTC guidelines were discussed at the fifth meeting of member state health experts under the Tobacco Advertising Directive (2003/33) held on 21 April 2009, and at the ninth meeting of the Regulatory Committee established under Article 10 of the Tobacco Products Directive (2001/37/EC) on 22 April 2009.
John Cummings: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent assessment he has made of the UK's progress in meeting its obligations as a signatory to the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; and which of these obligations the UK has met to date; 
Dawn Primarolo: The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) encourages parties to take a comprehensive approach to tobacco control. A comprehensive approach to tobacco control is taken in the United Kingdom, and therefore, the Government believe that the UK meets the obligations set out in the Articles of the Convention.
FCTC guidelines adopted by parties are non-binding, and set out best practice guidance for parties in the development of their tobacco control policies. Guidelines are important in informing the development of tobacco control policies in the United Kingdom.
Jenny Willmott: To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what estimate has been made of the proportion of personal computers in each of his Departments offices that are turned off (a) overnight, (b) at weekends and (c) during holiday periods; and if he will make a statement.
A publicity campaign on greening IT and working sustainably was initiated in January 2009, highlighting the carbon and financial cost of leaving equipment on outside working hours. The campaign has included events in communal areas and stands at all staff events. Information on greening IT has been published on the Deparments intranet and are included in presentations to staff. A green champions network is being launched on 8 May 2009 and the network will be used to raise awareness of sustainable working including switching off equipment when not in use
A manual survey was undertaken on 7th April outside core hours and, out of 301 PCs surveyed, 12 (around 4 per cent.) were identified as powered on. There is no data available to state whether this level varies significantly in other buildings or varies at weekends and during holiday periods. Further surveys are planned in other buildings in May and June 2009.
8. Angela Watkinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the implications of funding difficulties in the Building Colleges for the Future programme for the programme in (a) Havering and (b) England. 
Mr. Simon: The Learning and Skills Council held discussions with a large number of colleges early this year in establishing the position and Sir Andrew has provided a comprehensive assessment in his final report. This work has allowed us to establish the extent of demand against the available budget and the reasons this position arose. We recognise that there is more to be done to understand that individual position of colleges and the difficulties they face. This is why the acting Chief Executive of the LSC has appointed an external team of property specialists to ensure that we have the most accurate and up to date information, including on the expenditure made to date, on which to make future decisions.
Mr. Bone: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what capital funding has been allocated to further education colleges in (a) Wellingborough constituency and (b) England for 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: Capital funding for Further Education colleges is administered by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). As the information requested is with regard to an operational matter for the Council, Geoffrey Russell, the acting LSC chief executive will write to the hon. Member with the further information requested. A copy of his letter will be placed in the Libraries.
Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much the Learning and Skills Council allocated to each further education college for (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: The Grant Letter to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) (November, 2008) set out planned investment in adult further education (FE) and skills for 2008-09 and 2009-10. Total participation funding is planned to increase from £3.2 billion in 2008-09 to over £3.3 billion in 2009-10.
LSC funding allocations for 2008/09 academic year for each provider including FE colleges is published on the LSC website (www.lsc.gov.uk). These represent the funding allocated to the provider at the beginning of the year and may be subject to change in line with demand. Information on the 2009/10 funding allocations will be published following the start of the 2009/10 academic year.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to his Financial Statement of 22 April 2009, Official Report, column 241, what additional funding will be available for capital funding for further education colleges in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11, (c) 2011-12 and (d) 2012-13; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: Budget 2009 announced additional capital funding of £300 million for this spending review period (2009-10 and 2010-11), which will allow the Learning and Skills Council to give approval to a limited number of projects starting in 2009-10.
Recognising the long-term nature of capital projects, the Government are planning a continuing FE capital investment programme in future years, with a planning assumption of £300 million a year from 2011-12 to 2013-14 to be confirmed at the next Spending Review.
Mr. Lammy: Swindon is one of the 27 areas that believes it could benefit from our New University Challenge initiative and has submitted an initial expression of interest. The Funding Council have recently published guidance for applications and in due course will make the decisions on the funding of projects, subject to high quality bids.
Mr. Simon: Ministers commissioned Sir Andrew Foster to carry out a review in January and the report was published on 1 April. My Department and the LSC have accepted all of his recommendations in full.
In response to those recommendations the new acting Chief Executive of the LSC immediately appointed external teams to review the financial data and work with individual colleges to ensure the information held is a sound basis for making future decisions. The LSC is consulting with the sector on the approach to prioritising schemes to help meet Sir Andrews recommendation to develop a needs-based approach. Following the Budget announcement of the additional £300 million of capital fundingthis work is needed to allow the most urgent projects to be approved as soon as possible.
20. Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills when he next expects to meet the Learning and Skills Council to discuss the funding of further education colleges. 
Mr. Simon: I have regular meetings with the Chief Executive of the Learning and Skills Council. The overall accountability framework includes formal quarterly review meetings on LSC performance, the most recent of which took place on 16 March 2009. We also meet on a regular and frequent basis to discuss a wide range of further education (FE) policy and implementation issues, including the funding of FE colleges.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the adequacy of levels of funding for capital projects undertaken by further education colleges; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Simon: We have invested more than £2 billion between 1997 and 2007 on FE capital. The Learning and Skills Council have supported more than 700 projects, in nearly 330 collegeswith only 42 colleges not benefiting from any of this investment. More than half the FE state has been modernised and even before the Budget announcements total LSC capital investment in this CSR was £2.3 billion.
Budget 2009 announced that an additional £300 million of capital funding will be made available in the current spending review period. Also, for planning purposes, we are working on the basis of a provisional programme budget of £300 million a year in the next spending review. The final level of investment will be confirmed at the next spending review.
12. Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills if he will hold discussions with the Association of Colleges on the number of new students applying for college places in 2010. 
Mr. Lammy: My right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, and my hon. Friend, the Minister for Further Education meet the Association of Colleges regularly to discuss issues of mutual concern. They will be meeting the Association on 6 May.
19. Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent discussions he has had with representatives of higher education institutions on their procedures for allocating places for applicants. 
Mr. Lammy: I have regular discussions with the HE sector and its representative bodies. Concerning the allocation of places, it is a steadfast principle that individual universities decide who they admit to their courses and Government do not interfere in that process.
13. Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Government are taking to encourage the training and development of the self-employed in Denton and Reddish constituency. 
Mr. Denham: Small businesses will be the top priority for the growing support that is available through Train to Gain, including the planned £350 million growth in the programme over the next two years.
But I want to make sure we are doing enough. So I have asked Peter Jones to lead a review looking at what
more FE colleges and universities could do to support people entering self-employment from education or unemployment.
14. Jeremy Corbyn: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent discussions he has had with the Higher Education Funding Council for England on the funding of London Metropolitan University. 
Mr. Lammy: The situation at London Met is clearly serious and I sympathise with the students and staff at this time of uncertainty. However, responsibility for resolving the financial difficulties properly falls to the funding council and the university. Ministers cannot be involved in those discussions. I am though kept informed of developments and remain confident that HEFCE is acting appropriately in the best interests of the university and the rest of the sector.
17. Sir Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many residents of Macclesfield constituency received funding for an apprenticeship in 2008-09. 
Mr. Denham: 240 young people and adults in Macclesfield started an apprenticeship in the six months from August 2008 to January 2009. This is an increase from 190 in the same period in 2007/08, and shows the result of the extra investment we have made in apprenticeships in England.
22. David Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent discussions he has had with representatives of sector skills councils on access to apprenticeships for people with learning difficulties. 
Mr. Simon: I and ministerial colleagues have met with a number of individuals and organisations to discuss access to Apprenticeships for people with Learning Difficulties and/or Disabilities. There have been no recent discussions with Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) specifically on this topic. As public bodies, SSCs are expected to promote equality for disabled people in their work. The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill allows the provision of assistance and support in relation to finding Apprenticeships places and we are presently consulting on the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England.
24. Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of provision of apprenticeships by employers in (a) local government and (b) the third sector. 
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