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Departmental officials have written to strategic health authorities (SHAs) asking them to identify where PCTs have agreed with their local authority to prioritise carers' support for the current year and those that are likely to prioritise it for the next year. Responses have started coming in from SHAs and officials are following up with those who have yet to respond. The replies received so far indicate that a number of PCTs have identified carers as a local priority, are increasing their level of investment and are planning and working jointly with their local authority partners to support carers. The need for further intervention will be determined once all responses have been analysed.
Phil Hope: The national carers strategy, "Carers at the Heart of 21st Century Families and Communities", identified the funding that was available within primary care trust (PCT) baselines to improve support for carers. A copy has already been placed in the Library. It announced that £150 million would be given to PCTs to provide carers' breaks (£50 million in 2009-10, and £100 million in 2010-11). Although this is new money, it is part of PCT baseline allocations and PCTs have not been advised of individual sums for carers' breaks. It is for PCTs to decide their priorities for investment locally, taking into account their local circumstances and priorities as set out in the national health service operating framework.
Department directors of NHS Performance and Adult Social Care Performance have written to strategic health authorities to identify where PCTs have agreed with their local authority to prioritise carers' support for the current year, and those that are likely to prioritise it for the next year. This information will help ensure the Department has a rounded picture when considering the priority afforded to carers in future planning rounds. The Department has ensured that the NHS Operating Framework for 2010-11 brings out the role carers can make as expert partners in care, as well as the need to provide support for them. This includes the provision of carers' breaks.
Justine Greening: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people aged (a) under and (b) over 18 years (i) have been treated for and (ii) have died as a result of skin cancer in each London primary care trust in each year since 2000. 
Ann Keen: The information requested on the number of people treated for skin cancer is not collected centrally. A table, which displays a count of finished admission data by primary care trust where skin cancer was a primary diagnosis, has been placed in the Library.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what reports he has received on treatments for (a) children and (b) adults with disabling conditions developed as a result of (i) human embryo, (ii) embryonic stem cell and (iii) non-embryonic stem cell research since 2006; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what reports he has received on progress in developing cures for diseases of (a) adult stem cell, (b) embryonic stem cell and (iii) human embryo research since July 2006; and if he will make a statement. 
Gillian Merron: The Department does not have a record of any specific reports it has received on research into treatments or cures for diseases developed from a specific human stem cell source since 2006.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library a copy of the internal background note for each parliamentary question tabled by the hon. member for Southend West and answered by his Department since January 2009. 
Andrew Mackinlay: To ask the Prime Minister whether the Intelligence and Security Committee has received the report of Sir David Omand referred to in paragraph 177 of the annual report of that Committee for 2007-08; what the reasons are for the time taken to disclose that report to the Committee; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: Sir David Omand's report was sent to the Intelligence and Security Committee in November 2008. The Government accepted all of Sir David's conclusions and have implemented each of the recommendations in the report as far as is practicable.
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to whom a complaint from (a) a student aged 19 years or over and (b) an apprentice aged 19 years or over and attending a (i) further education college and (ii) sixth form college will be referred if the student is dissatisfied with that college's response to their complaint after 1 April 2010; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: The current policy for complaints from a student aged 19 years or over is that they can complain to the relevant regional office of the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) which funds the further education college or sixth form college in question. The LSC would only consider such complaints once the college's own internal complaints procedure has been fully exhausted.
From 1 April 2010, complaints from learners aged 19 years and over will be dealt with by the chief executive of Skills Funding. Complaints about sixth form colleges will be dealt with by the relevant local authority and subsequently directed to the Local Government Ombudsman if the complainant continues to remain dissatisfied. All complaints from Apprentices will be directed to the Skills Funding Agency after exhausting the provider mechanisms.
The Legal Team of the Learning and Skills Council are currently revising the complaints procedures for both the Skills Funding Agency and the Young People's Learning Agency in preparation for the transition on 1 April 2010.
|19+ apprenticeship funding participation (England)|
| Sources: 2005-06: LSC Annual Report and Accounts 2005-06. 2006-07 and 2007-08: LSC Annual Report and Accounts 2007-08. 2008-09: LSC Annual Report and Accounts 2008-09. 2009-10 Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11.|
Lembit Öpik: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions he has had with (a) British Telecom and (b) other internet service providers on testing lines for faults known to affect broadband services; and if he will make a statement. 
John Battle: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what research has been undertaken by his Department on the level of interest rates charged in the (a) legal and (b) illegal home credit market; and what the highest rate of interest charged was in each such case. 
[holding answer 22 March 2010]: Research carried out for the DTI by Policis in 2004 gave an
example of an APR in the legal home credit market of 497 per cent. The Competition Commission investigation of the home credit market in 2006 stated that APRs in the home credit market range from 150 to 500 per cent. One of the remedies introduced by the Commission was the requirement for all home credit providers to include their products on a website, lenders compared, to enable customer comparison of prices. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation reported that the break-even APR for a not-for-profit home credit company was between 123 and 129 per cent. The OFT is reviewing the high cost credit market, including the home credit market, and they will report shortly.
The Department commissioned a research report into the scope and extent of illegal money lending in the UK by Policis and the Personal Finance Research Centre (PFRC) in 2006. The total cost of credit charged by illegal money lenders was on average £185 per £100 advanced, approximately three times the cost of credit from the highest cost legal lenders and more than double what people expected to pay. Loan sharks' interest rates can vary from 500 per cent. up to as high as 11 million per cent. in some extreme cases.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to ensure that the meat and dairy products procured by his Department and its non-departmental bodies are free range or produced to standards equivalent to those of the RSPCA Freedom Food scheme. 
Mr. McFadden: This Department adheres wherever possible to the key objectives of the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI), which advises public sector bodies how they can specify higher animal welfare standards, including farm assurance schemes and higher level schemes such as the RSPCA's Freedom Foods standards. These objectives run in parallel to those of our contracted catering supplier, BaxterStorey, which form part of our policies that result in our approach to sustainable and ethical procurement. BaxterStorey are committed to buying 100 per cent. British meat, both reared and processed and are accredited to the Red Tractor Farm Assurance Scheme, demonstrating robust support for enhanced animal welfare, environmental responsibility, quality produce and supporting British producers.
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants in his Department received coaching in a foreign language in the last 12 months; what expenditure his Department incurred in providing such coaching; and in what languages such coaching was provided. 
Mr. McFadden: Foreign language coaching is not provided for staff or Ministers in BIS. We do provide access to language training in a range of languages including French, Spanish and Portuguese, although the information about which languages have been studied is not centrally monitored. This information could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.
£29,529 (including £5,372 spent within UKTI).
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much has been paid in reimbursable expenses to special advisers in his Department and its predecessors in each of the last five years. 
|Financial year||Total expenses paid (£)|
David Davis: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills whether the dates of publication of any regular statistics or reports by his Department have been affected by planning for the forthcoming general election. 
Mr. McFadden: On the announcement of a general election, the Cabinet Secretary issues guidance to Departments on their activities during the pre-election period. This will be published on the Cabinet Office website.
Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what methodology his Department used to determine whether answers to questions in the formulation "if he will set out with statistical information related as directly as possible to the tabling hon. Member's constituency the effects on that constituency of his Department's policies since 1997" could be provided without incurring disproportionate cost; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The Department obtained information from internal data sources and a number of other databases including the Local Area Labour Force survey and the Annual Population Survey in order to answer these questions. The relevant sources were identified in each answer. Given the availability of the information, disproportionate costs were not a factor in providing answers.
Grant Shapps: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of regulation of estate agents; and if he will make a statement. 
Kevin Brennan: The Office of Fair Trading recently published a market study report entitled Home Buying and Selling, which considered the effectiveness of regulation in respect of estate agents. The Government will respond to the OFT's recommendations addressed to them in due course.
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