Working Neighbourhoods Fund: Birmingham

Richard Burden: To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress he has made in his assessment of the effectiveness of the use of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund in Birmingham. [314299]

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Ms Rosie Winterton: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has received a report from the regional director of the Government office for the west midlands, outlining the ways in which Birmingham intend to improve their delivery of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) programme.

Improvements are being made but we still have concerns over the pace of the delivery of WNF programmes. The Secretary of State has written to the chair of Birmingham’s LSP saying that issues that are impeding the delivery of WNF projects need to be addressed as a matter of urgency. We are determined that that the people of Birmingham should not be penalised for slow action by their local authority.

A further report on Birmingham and WNF will be provided to the Secretary of State in March.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office


David Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports his predecessor received on resolutions proposed in the Italian Senate in (a) 2002 and (b) 2003 recommending the exile from Iraq of Suddam Hussain; what steps his Department took in consequence; and if he will make a statement. [314891]

Chris Bryant [holding answer 2 February 2010]: We have no record of the former Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Blackburn (Mr. Straw) having received specific reports on Resolutions by the Italian Senate concerning the possible exile of Saddam Hussein. This is however likely to have been part of the routine political reporting from our embassy in Rome. Chapter VII of the Charter of the UN provides that the Security Council shall decide what measures are to be taken to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Pitcairn Islands

Mr. Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on how many occasions he has visited the Pitcairn Islands on official business in the last five years. [315452]

Chris Bryant: No Minister has visited in the last five years.