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London Underground: Public/Private Partnership

Viscount Goschen asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The estimated cost to London Transport and to the Department of Transport of preparing for the public/private partnership, including the costs being repaid to all bidders, is likely to total around £500 million. It is not possible to identify how much of this is specifically attributable to the Mayor's opposition.

In addition, Transport for London would also have expended significant costs. This is a matter for the Mayor.

Airports: Consultation Documents

Lord Burlison asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Last summer the Government published a set of seven consultation papers on the future development of air transport in the United Kingdom.

On 26 November the High Court upheld a challenge against the exclusion of options for additional runways at Gatwick Airport. On 28 November the Secretary of State for Transport told the House in another place (Official Report, cols. 474–87) that he would not appeal against the judgment, because an appeal would result in an extensive period of uncertainty for people up and down the country. The

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Government therefore announced that they were keeping open the consultation, which had been due to end on 30 November, and that they would publish a further consultation paper including runway options at Gatwick.

We are today publishing the further consultation material. We have decided that it would be easier for consultees to publish it in the form of second editions of the full south-east consultation paper, the summary south-east paper and the questionnaires for both the south-east and other areas of the UK. Consultees can easily see the text added as a result of including the Gatwick options.

The new documents include the original consultation material on options at Heathrow, Stansted, Luton and other south-east airports, and the option for a new airport at Cliffe. In addition, in accordance with the High Court decision, the papers now include options for additional runways at Gatwick.

As for options on the other south-east airports published last July, the papers now set out for Gatwick all the options which were appraised in detail in the later stages of the South East and East of England Regional Air Services (SERAS) study. Accordingly, there are two options for a single new runway at Gatwick and one option for two new runways there. The papers also set out alternative assumptions on the timing of these Gatwick options.

The consultation, for all parts of the UK, will now close on 30 June. We will consider carefully all responses received by that date, including proposals for options other than those which have been included in the Government's consultation documents. This is an opportunity for anyone to express their views on all the options in the consultation, as well as to put forward any reasonable alternatives.

Copies of all the new documents are available in the Printed Paper Office and in the Library. Officials are writing to everyone on the original consultation list, and to all those who have responded to the consultations so far, to alert them to the new documents and to the 30 June deadline, and explaining that people who have already submitted responses can choose either to let their response stand, or to add to, or amend, or withdraw their response in the light of the new material.

Sir William Stubbs: Payment

Baroness Seccombe asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What was the source of the £95,000 paid to Sir William Stubbs following his dismissal by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills.[HL1656]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): The sum of £95,000 was paid out of existing departmental provision.

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Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the breakdown of the £95,000 paid to Sir William Stubbs following his dismissal by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills.[HL1663]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: The sum of £95,000 represents a payment in respect of Sir William's lost earnings and his legal costs. The two parties agreed this global sum and have not sought to break it down into its component parts.


Baroness Blatch asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will supply a breakdown of the budget for learndirect to include annual and total amounts since its inception and a forecast for the next three years; and[HL1746]

    What has been the expenditure of learndirect to date, including the costs of setting-up the organisation, the annual running costs, and the marketing and public relations costs; and[HL1747]

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    How many course inquiries have been received by learndirect (a) via the telephone and (b) via the website; how many course bookings have been made; and how many applicants have completed courses.[HL1748]

Baroness Ashton of Upholland: We fund Ufi to carry out two functions key to our agenda; to deliver innovative learning through the network of learndirect centres, and to provide the national learndirect information and advice service.

Ufi receives public funding through two channels. My department makes available an annual grant which funds Ufi's infrastructure and operating costs such as product development. Additional departmental funding provides for the learndirect information and advice service.

Secondly the Learning and Skills Council funds learning delivered through the network of learndirect centres. In line with government policy Ufi also generates commercial income, for example through the sale and supply of services and products outside of public policy areas. Details of the public funding that Ufi receives area set out in table 1.

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Table 1: Total Departmental Funding for Ufi

General fund£10 million£32 million£67 million£50 million£48 million£207 million
Information and advice service£3.23 million£5 million£10 million£11 million£11 million£40.23 million
Total£13.23 million£37 million£77 million£61 million£59 million£247.23 million

The department covers the difference between Ufi's commercial income and expenditure by making available a grant up to the levels shown above. To date Ufi has not drawn down the maximum grant because of higher than expected levels of income and savings across expenditure headings.

For 2003–04, the department has secured £44 million for general funding and £12.25 million for the information and advice service. The LSC is making available £159.5 million in 2003–04 for funding learning delivered through learndirect centres.

We are currently undertaking a review of the DfES/Ufi/LSC relationship to establish a long-term sustainable relationship. This may suggest different organisational and funding implications from those at present. Because of this it will be difficult to forecast expenditure with any certainty beyond 2003–04.

Ufi also provides the learndirect information and advice service. This is an impartial, comprehensive, national telephone and web-based service available to adults across the country. By using the UK-wide learning opportunities database, advisers are able to direct inquirers to a range of appropriate local learning opportunities. The service does not book potential learners on to learndirect courses. Departmental funding for this is detailed at table 1. To date the learndirect information and advice service has responded to nearly 5,000,000 enquiries via the telephone service. The learndirect website has to date received 9,579,388 hits.

The Learning and Skills Council, as the national post-16 funding body, funds learning delivered through the learndirect network. The estimated LSC funding used to date is shown in table 2. Ufi has exceeded expectations in terms of course delivery. For example between 1 April 2000 and 31 January 2003, 707,279 individuals registered for 1,566,370 learndirect courses.

Table 2: LSC Funding

LSC funding for
learndirect provisionn/a£5 million pilot
funding for 99/00
academic year£28 million for 00/01
academic year£90–110 million for academic year£145.5 million for
financial year

Table 3: Ufi Expenditure

Expenditure1999–20002000–012001–022002–03Total since inceptionBudget 2003–04
Marketing and
public relations
£7 million£16 million£15 million£13 million£51 million£15 million
Other setting up
(and other) costs£25 million£49 million£59 million£60 million£193 million£72 million
Information and
advice service
costs inc.
marketing (estimated)£5 million£16 million£17 million£18 million£56 million£19 million
Total£37 million£81 million£91 million£91 million£300 million£106 million

Table 4 below provides a breakdown of Ufi's performance. Ufi was set up to encourage learners, particularly non-traditional learners. Learning provision is therefore provided in easily accessable chunks in contrast to traditional courses. The current course completion rate (on a rolling 12-month basis) is 45.

Table 4: learndirect learners and courses

1999–20002000–012001–022002–03 forecastTotal since Inception
New learners in each yearn/a87,474246,959400,000734,433
Courses soldn/a196,533570,882915,0001,682,415
Enquiries to the
helpline 1,165,2561,364,8221,332,8731,000,0004,862,951
Raw Web Sessions362,1581,799,3814,305,8283,700,00010,167,367
Eligible advice
sessions n/an/a3,485,7874,700,000n/a

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