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30 Jun 2010 : Column 546Wcontinued
Mr Lammy: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 22 June 2010, Official Report, column 107W, on betting shops: licensing, how many decisions by local authorities in London to reject gambling premises licence applications have been overturned by local magistrates. 
John Penrose: Unlike decisions to grant or refuse a premises licence, there is no requirement in the Gambling Act for either local authorities or magistrates to notify the Gambling Commission of appeals (whether granted or refused). As a result the Department does not hold the information requested and nor does the Gambling Commission.
Mr Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport what the budget is of each current project in Iraq funded by his Department; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Vaizey: This Department does not directly fund any project in Iraq. However, the British Library and the British Museum are providing valuable support for the preservation of the Iraqi cultural heritage through their work in Baghdad and Basra.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport pursuant to the answers of 8 June 2010, Official Report, column 106W and 21 June 2010, Official Report, column 18W, on S4C: finance, how much funding his Department allocated to S4C in each of the last 10 years; and what the average daily viewing figures for that channel were in each such year. 
Mr Jeremy Hunt: The funding provided by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport to S4C over the last 10 years is shown in the following table:
|(1) Provisional outturn.|
The average weekly reach to S4C since 2000 is shown in the following table:
Data for the period prior to 2002 were based on a different BARB (Broadcasters' Audience Research Board) viewer panel and therefore it is difficult to make comparisons between recent years and the preceding period. In 2002, problems with the new panel led to a disproportionate and significant shortfall in the sample size of Welsh speakers, which affected S4C's data for the year.
Jonathan Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if she will publish the advice she has received in relation to the wording of the forthcoming referendum on primary law-making powers for the National Assembly for Wales. 
Mrs Gillan: On 23 June 2010 I referred the proposed referendum question and the preceding statement to the Electoral Commission for assessment. The wording of the question was considered and provided to me by the Wales Office Project Board which includes representatives of the Welsh Assembly Government, the Welsh Language Board and the Assembly Commission.
It would not be appropriate for me to publish advice I have received. Given that the question has been referred to the Electoral Commission, it is now right and proper that the Electoral Commission have the 10 weeks they require to carry out their assessment before producing their report. When I lay the referendum order, I will also lay a copy of the Electoral Commission report before both Houses.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the Financial Statement of 22 June 2010, Official Report, columns 166-80, (1) what estimate he has made of the number of (a) pensioners, (b) those of working age in work, (c) those of working age out of work, (d) social sector tenants and (e) private sector tenants in receipt of housing benefit who will not receive the benefit as a result of the proposed reforms to the benefit in (i) 2011-12, (ii) 2012-13, (iii) 2013-14 and (iv) 2014-15; 
(2) what estimate he has made of the number of people likely to be affected by the proposed reform of housing benefit where (a) local housing allowance is set at the 30th percentile of local rents, (b) previous freezes on uprating are reversed and the link with prices and deductions for non-dependents is maintained, (c) working age entitlements are limited to reflect the size of the family for those on the social rented sector, (d) housing benefit is linked to consumer price indexation rather than to local housing allowance, (e) the level of housing benefit awarded is reduced to 90% after 12 months of
claiming jobseeker's allowance and (f) a maximum limit for local housing allowance is introduced for each property size in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; 
(3) what estimate he has made of the likely change in the number of private homes available for rent to local authority tenants as a result of recent reforms to housing benefit in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; 
(4) what estimate he has made of the number of local authority tenants in receipt of housing benefit whose level of housing benefit is likely to decrease in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; how much on average will be lost per week; and what assessment he has made of the likely effect on (a) local authorities and (b) the construction of new local authority housing; 
(5) with reference to Budget 2010, HC 61, what estimate he has made of the number of (a) pensioners, (b) those of working age (i) in work and (ii) out of work, (c) local authority tenants and (d) private sector tenants in receipt of housing benefit who will receive less housing benefit in (A) cash and (B) real terms in each year from 2011-12 to 2014-15; and how much on average will be foregone per week in each such category. 
Steve Webb: The Department for Work and Pensions undertakes an assessment of the impact on specific groups as part of the policy development process. We will publish formal impact assessments in due course.
Helen Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will publish the most recent full dataset of rents used to calculate local housing allowance for each broad rental market area. 
Mr Gauke: I have been asked to reply.
The datasets comprise in excess of 450,000 items and could be published only at disproportionate cost. However, from next month, July 2010, the Valuation Office Agency will be publishing graphs on their website which will show the lowest, highest and median rents as well as the total number of rents held for each category in each broad rental market area (BRMA).
Mrs McGuire: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Stirling constituency claim pension credit. 
Steve Webb: The information requested is in the following table.
|Recipients of pension credit in the Stirling constituency|
|As at November 2009||Number|
1. Case load figures are rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Household recipients are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves or on behalf of themselves and a partner. Beneficiaries are the number of claimants in addition to the number of partners for whom they are claiming.
3. Parliamentary constituencies and local authorities are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant ONS postcode directory.
4. This information is published on our website at:
and on the Nomis website at:
DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data.
Lilian Greenwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the written ministerial statement of 10 June 2010, Official Report, columns 15-17WS, on the local government savings package, if he will (a) undertake and (b) publish an assessment of the effects of the in-year reductions for grant funding for local authorities on measures to address child poverty in Nottingham. 
Maria Miller: The Secretary of State for Local Government and Communities set out the reasons and basis for reductions to local government grants in his written ministerial statement of 10 June 2010, Official Report, columns 15-17WS. Details of the revenue and capital grants that are to be reduced were placed in the Library of the House on the same day. The Government do not intend to undertake and publish assessments of the effects of these reductions on individual policy areas; it is for local authorities to decide where their opportunities for efficiencies lie across the totality of their responsibilities. The Government have provided councils with extra flexibility to support them in concentrating on local priorities and protecting essential frontline services.
The Government are committed to tackling the root causes of poverty and to ending child poverty by 2020. The Child Poverty Act 2010 requires local authorities and their partners to prepare local child poverty needs assessments and strategies. This should encourage local authorities and their partners to prioritise the resources they collectively have at their disposal for reducing and mitigating the effects of child poverty in their area.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what consultation was undertaken before limiting eligibility to the Independent Living Fund for new applicants to those in employment for more than 16 hours per week; 
(2) what annual reduction in expenditure is expected to arise from the Independent Living Fund as a result of restricting new applications to those working in excess of 16 hours. 
Maria Miller: The Independent Living Fund is a discretionary fund administered by a non-departmental public body and is subject to the usual strict budgetary limits.
The decision to limit eligibility for new applications to those in employment for more than 16 hours per week was taken under the previous Government. No formal consultation occurred before this decision was made, but prioritising this group was in line with the Independent Living Fund's Trust Deed.
The Independent Living Fund was allocated £348 million for the year 2010-11. Its budget increased by 3% this year despite the wider fiscal pressures. There has not been a reduction in their annual projected expenditure.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate has been made of the financial impact on (a) members of the public, (b) members of the legal profession and (c) the police in attending courts following the closure of local courts. 
Mr Djanogly: An initial impact assessment has been produced for the consultations on proposals for provision of court services across Her Majesty's Courts Service (HMCS) estate. The consultation papers and the initial impact assessment can be found on the Ministry of Justice website at:
The initial impact assessment states there may be a travel cost impact on users of magistrates and county courts and that fewer courts could increase journey times and costs for court users such as victims, witnesses, general public, businesses, solicitors, barristers, police and NOMS-both probation services and prisoner transfers. However, consolidation of the court estate both in terms of function as well as location could mean that some court users will make fewer trips to court, e.g. CPS officers and solicitors may have to travel to fewer courts, and so lessening the overall impact. Fewer courts may also reduce the need for duty solicitors, decreasing costs incurred by the Legal Services Commission.
The impacts, costs and benefits of court closures will be considered more fully during the consultation phase and a full impact assessment will be produced alongside the consultation responses.
Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what arrangements will be made for payment of travel expenses for people who have to travel further to court after the closure of local courts. 
Mr Djanogly: Public consultations on the delivery of courts services were announced on 23 June. No decisions on the closure of courts will be made until after the consultation period has ended and the responses considered in full. As such, no discussion has taken place about the arrangements for payment of travel expenses for people who may have to travel further to their local court. However, those attending court who are entitled to a travelling allowance or the payment of their travelling expenses will continue to be reimbursed as they are currently.
The impact of court closures on travel times and travel costs is a key area on which we are keen to gain the public's views. Responses to the consultations will help shape more detailed discussion after the consultation phase on if and how current arrangements should be altered.
Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what recent assessment he has made of the extent of spare capacity in the magistrates court system. 
Mr Djanogly: Utilisation rates currently average 64% across the magistrates courts. Courtroom utilisation is the time a courtroom is used, against the hours that a courtroom is available for use. The Government's aim is to increase utilisation of courtroom time to at least 80%.
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