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Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when she plans to reply to the letter of 6 May from the right hon. Member for Tonbridge and Malling, on behalf of Ms Denise Roberts. 
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many people have participated in the Flexible New Deal programme in each (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district in each month since the scheme was introduced; 
(5) how many people who have found employment through the Flexible New Deal programme have returned to the programme at a later date in each (a)
region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district in each month since the scheme was introduced; 
(6) what her Department's (a) budget for and (b) expenditure on the Flexible New Deal programme has been in each (i) region and (ii) Jobcentre Plus district in each month since the programme began. 
Jim Knight: The Flexible New Deal programme is being introduced in two phases. The first phase, covering 28 Jobcentre Plus districts including Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth, will start from 5 October 2009. The second phase will follow in October 2010. A number of Jobcentre Plus offices, including Wandsworth, have tested aspects of the new regime for jobseekers that will accompany the Flexible New Deal, but not the programme itself, so information on participation, performance and expenditure will not be available until after the full service has started.
The budget for Flexible New Deal is being finalised following the Budget 2009, which made an additional £2.8 billion available to DWP, on top of the £1.3 billion funding announced in the pre-Budget report, which will ensure we can continue to maintain our support to jobseekers through the economic downturn, including funding to support the Flexible New Deal.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners resident in (a) Sunderland and (b) England have received pension credit in each year since such credits were introduced. 
|Date||Sunderland local authority||England|
The number of households in receipt are rounded to the nearest 10.
Totals may not sum due to rounding.
Household recipients are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of a household.
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100 per cent. data.
Rounded to the nearest 10,000.
Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, February 2009.
Rounded to the nearest 10,000.
Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study, February 2009.
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if she will ensure that the independent review commissioned by the Government of the ways in which people with mental health conditions can be better supported by the benefit and welfare to work system (a) reports and (b) will be made publicly available before the Welfare Reform Bill completes its passage through Parliament. 
Jonathan Shaw: The independent review referred to, which is being led by Dr. Rachel Perkins of the South West London and St. George's Mental Health NHS Trust, will report in the autumn. The Government will consider its findings and respond in due course.
Paul Rowen: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps her Department is taking to assist young people who are in employment but not receiving training to receive training. 
The Government have put substantial training provision in place for people in employment. Through Train to Gain, employers can access training at work for their employees who are 19 or above. Funding for Train to Gain will increase to over £1 billion by 2010-11. Training leading to Skills for Life literacy or numeracy qualifications, full level 2, and first full level 3 (where the learner is aged between 19 and 25) do not require a financial contribution.
The National Apprenticeship Service is committed to increasing the uptake of Apprenticeships among the group of 16 to 18-year-olds who are currently in Jobs without Training as part of our 16 to 18 Apprenticeships Action Plan. The Government have increased funding for Apprentices by almost a quarter since 2007-08 to over £1 billion in 2009-10.
The Learning Agreement Pilots, which ended in July 2009, tested interventions, incentives and options for engaging young people who are in jobs without training. These lessons are feeding into, for example, the on-going Activity Agreement pilots for those who are not in education, employment or training and the development of the Foundation Learning Tier as the learning suite for 14 to 19s working predominantly at Entry level or Level 1.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate she has made of the proportion of people undergoing the new Work Capability Assessment who have (a) passed that assessment and moved into the work-related activity group of the employment and support allowance, (b) passed that assessment and moved into the support group of the employment and support allowance and (c) failed that assessment; and what proportion of people assessed under the personal capability assessment (i) passed and (ii) did not pass that assessment. 
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent changes have been made to Work Capability Assessments to take account of the circumstances of those with fluctuating mental health conditions; and if she will make a statement. 
Jonathan Shaw: There have not been any recent changes to the Work Capability Assessment. However, when it was introduced in October 2008, it was designed to ensure that people with mental health conditions are better identified and that their functional ability and support needs are correctly assessed. In addition, to allow for fluctuating conditions, the Work Capability Assessment does not take a snapshot of a person's condition on the day of assessment. Instead it looks at the person's level of function over time and considers whether they are able to complete actions reliably and repeatedly.
Bill Wiggin: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what adjustments have been made to his Department's funding allocations to Advantage West Midlands in each of the last three years. 
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what meetings Ministers and officials of his Department have had with representatives of BT to discuss the proposals in Government's Digital Britain report in the last six months. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 8 July 2009]: The Digital Britain project is a joint initiative led by the Departments for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport under Lord Carter as Minister for Communications, Technology and Broadcasting. Over the past six months, there have been four meetings on Digital Britain issues between Lord Carter and representatives of BT, and a further nineteen with BIS officials only.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding the Government has allocated for expansion of high-speed broadband usage in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point in each year since 1997. 
As you may already be aware, in the Budget on 22 April the Chancellor confirmed the Government's commitment to delivering a Universal Service for broadband at a speed of 2 Megabits per second, by no later than 2012. In the Digital Britain report, we will set out in greater detail our plan of how the Universal Service Commitment might work and we will be publishing the report very shortly.
Mr. Kemp: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much his Department has allocated for the roll-out of high-speed broadband in the North East in the next three years. 
Mr. McFadden: In the Digital Britain White Paper, the Government announced the creation of a Next Generation Fund, to be funded by a 50p per month supplement on all fixed telephone lines from 2010. This will generate £150-175 million per year and will encourage investment in super-fast broadband or 'next generation' broadband for the "Final Third" of the country that the commercial market will not deliver to otherwise. It is not possible at this time to say what areas will benefit or by how much. The proposed Network Design and Procurement Group will be responsible for this through the procurement process and network design.
Mr. Harper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much and what proportion of Business Links' budget was spent on support for self-employment and business start-ups in the last 12 months; and what expenditure under what budgetary headings Business Links has incurred on service delivery in that period. 
Business Link does not have a national budget. The Department provides regional development agencies (RDA) with funding in a single pot for the delivery of services. The RDAs contract with regional
suppliers to deliver Business Link. The question requires gathering data from the nine regions and the multiple suppliers they contract with to deliver start up services locally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.
David Taylor: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Leicestershire have applied for assistance under the Enterprise and Finance Guarantee Scheme to date. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many officials at each grade have been employed on work relating to the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme since its creation; how much has been allocated by his Department for staff costs; what recent discussions he has had with the Treasury on this issue; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The Enterprise Finance Guarantee has been developed by the Department's Enterprise Directorate, which has policy responsibility for start-up and growth for small and medium sized enterprises. The Directorate's resources are deployed on a project basis whereby resources follow priority work.
The Enterprise Finance Guarantee was developed and is being monitored from within an Access to Finance team consisting of around a dozen staff with responsibility for policy and monitoring of all aspects of finance for small and medium businesses.
Capital for Enterprise Limited, a wholly owned Government non-departmental public body, is responsible for the delivery of the Government's finance interventions, including the Enterprise Finance Guarantee.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department is taking to assist small to medium-sized enterprises through the current economic downturn. 
Kevin Brennan: We have taken steps to help improve cash flow, to increase the availability of the credit businesses need, and to encourage investment so that businesses come through the recession ready to grow.
In particular, we obtained bank lending commitments from RBS and Lloyds to lend £27 billion additional lending to businesses this year. This includes lending guaranteed under the working capital scheme.
We have also taken steps to assist small businesses to overcome short-term cash-flow problems-for example the Enterprise Finance Guarantee and also measures to ensure prompt payment by both public and private sectors.
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