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4 Feb 2008 : Column WS63



4 Feb 2008 : Column WS63

Written Statements

Monday 4 February 2008

Border and Immigration Agency: IPCC Oversight

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): My honourable friend the Minister of State for Borders and Immigration and Minister for the West Midlands (Mr Liam Byrne) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government are soon to introduce a single border force to deliver stronger policing of ports and airports. Along with these changes we will be equipping agency staff with a wide array of police powers, such as those set out in the UK Borders Act. These include powers of detention at ports, powers to arrest a person who has committed or is about to commit an offence of assaulting an immigration officer, and powers to enter and search premises for evidence of an arrested individual's nationality.

Before these powers are introduced it is important that effective oversight arrangements are in place. On 26 July 2007, therefore, I announced the publication of a consultation document on matters related to the implementation of measures in the Police and Justice Act 2006 to extend the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s jurisdiction to cover the Border and Immigration Agency’s enforcement functions. I wish to inform the House that I am publishing today an analysis of responses; a government policy statement setting out the Government’s consideration of issues raised by respondents; and regulations, subject to negative resolution, which will extend the Independent Police Complaints Commission’s jurisdiction in this regard. Copies of these regulations and documents have been placed in the House Library.

The IPCC will provide independent oversight of the most serious complaints, incidents and misconduct matters where police powers are used by immigration officers and officials. This oversight will be similar to that which the IPCC provides for the police and other law enforcement bodies such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and the Serious Organised Crime Agency.

The new chief inspector created by the UK Borders Act 2007 will monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of the agency’s processes and practices as a whole. The IPCC will look at individual cases. The chief inspector will work closely with the IPCC to ensure comprehensive independent external scrutiny of our activities. The IPCC already oversees the work of HM Revenue and Customs colleagues, a number of whom will be joining the UK Border Agency.

I welcome this new oversight and would like to inform the House that similar oversight provisions are currently being developed for Scotland and Northern Ireland.



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Civil Justice Council

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am today announcing an independent review of the Civil Justice Council in line with Cabinet Office Guidance for Public Bodies. The Civil Justice Council was established in 1998 and has never been reviewed formally. The review is a timely opportunity to illustrate publicly the considerable achievements of the council and to help it develop further. The review will be conducted by Dr Jonathan Spencer CB and will seek the views of the members, those who work with the council and the end users of the civil justice system.

The review will examine in particular:

the council’s strengths and weaknesses, the extent to which it has established itself as an authoritative influence in the civil justice world, the extent to which it has chosen important issues to address; and its success in doing so;the effectiveness of its chosen ways of working, including the council itself, its committees and the secretariat, and including the way in which it works and communicates with other organisations; andthe ways in which the council and its work should be adjusted, if at all, to maximise its effectiveness in the future.

The review is due to be complete in spring 2008.

Communities: Commission on Integration and Cohesion

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government (Baroness Andrews): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government (Hazel Blears) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

Today I am publishing the Government’s response to the Commission on Integration and Cohesion. Copies of the response have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

In August 2006 the Government asked Darra Singh, the chief executive of Ealing Council, to chair a commission examining the issues of integration and cohesion—how, in the light of concerns about communities living “parallel lives”, of changing patterns of migration, and of new technologies transforming the way people interact with each other, the Government can help build strong communities where neighbours feel at ease, share a sense of belonging, and have the opportunity to work together to shape the future of the place where they live.

In June 2007, the commission delivered a serious and ambitious report based on in-depth consultation. It set out practical proposals for building cohesion and integration at a local level and contained a number of specific recommendations for government.

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The report has already influenced a range of policies, changing the debate about how best to bring people of different backgrounds together and empower them to influence the decisions which affect their lives.

Today, I am pleased to set out in detail my response to all 57 of the commission’s recommendations—what we have already done, what we will do in the future and how we will further develop the commission's ideas.

It sets out a new clarity on, and commitment to, delivering cohesive and integrated communities, backed by increased investment in cohesion of some £50 million over the next three years, and a new public service agreement to drive practical action across government.

At the heart of the Government’s approach, like the commission’s, is the principle that cohesion can only be understood and built locally. Central government’s role is to set the national framework within which local authorities and their partners can deliver improvements to cohesion.

Our response sets out how we will support this local delivery through six key principles:

1. a move away from a “one size fits all” approach; 2. mainstreaming of cohesion into wider policy areas; 3. a national framework for local support and guidance, including establishing specialist cohesion teams to provide support to local authorities facing cohesion challenges and giving local authorities a tool to assess the impact their planned activities will have on cohesion;4. integration of new migrants and existing communities, starting with new guidance for local authorities on developing information packs for migrants; 5. building positive relationships; to this end we are today also publishing a consultation on guidance for funders, which encourages local authorities to consider how funding can be better used to support greater interaction; and6. sharing lessons about what works.

I am grateful to Darra Singh and his commissioners for their hard work. With this response the Government are demonstrating their commitment to maintaining the momentum the report has created and helping build stronger communities where all individuals, no matter what their background, feel a sense of shared belonging, and can work with their neighbours to shape a better future for the place where they live.

Education: 14 to 19 Diplomas

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (Mr Ed Balls) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.



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The first five new diplomas will be available from September 2008 and will be in construction and the built environment; creative and media; engineering; information technology; and society, health and development. We announced last March that over 800 schools and over 150 colleges would be in the first consortia offering 14 to 19 diplomas from September 2008.

A breakdown of consortia offering the first five lines by region and local authority is shown in Table 1. The forecast first-year diploma funding for each region in 2008-09 is set out in Table 2, subject to final pupil numbers for each region.

The next five diplomas will be available from September 2009 and will be in manufacturing and product design; business, administration and finance; land-based and environmental studies; hair and beauty; and hospitality. We can now announce that two-thirds of all secondary schools and three-quarters of colleges in England have applied to offer these five new diplomas, plus the first five diplomas, as part of consortia from September 2009.

These figures show that diplomas are proving a popular choice for schools and colleges. Diplomas will offer learners a new route into further and higher education as well as into skilled work. In December, the independent organisation UCAS announced that the points value of the advanced diploma will be the same as that awarded for three and a half A-levels.

Table 1



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4 Feb 2008 : Column WS68

GOLocal AuthorityNo. of Consortia in LANo. of Schools in Consortium in LANo. of Colleges in Consortium in LA

EE

Cambridgeshire

1

7

2

EE

Hertfordshire

3

28

3

EE

Luton

1

6

1

EE

Norfolk

2

9

1

EE

Southend-on-Sea

1

5

1

EE

Suffolk

1

4

1

EM

Derby

1

2

1

EM

Nottingham

1

11

4

EM

Derbyshire

1

4

0

EM

Leicestershire

2

10

2

EM

Lincolnshire

6

25

5

EM

Northamptonshire

3

9

3

EM

Nottinghamshire

4

30

5

EM

Rutland

1

2

2

L

Barking and Dagenham

1

8

1

L

Bromley

1

5

1

L

Croydon

1

4

2

L

Ealing

1

17

2

L

Hackney

3

6

5

L

Hammersmith and Fulham

1

3

0

L

Haringey

1

3

0

L

Harrow

1

4

1

L

Hillingdon

1

8

1

L

Hounslow

1

3

0

L

Islington

1

8

1

L

Lambeth

1

7

2

L

Lewisham

1

6

2

L

Newham

1

15

2

L

Southwark

1

6

2

L

Tower Hamlets

1

6

1

L

Waltham Forest

1

18

3

L

Wandsworth

1

3

1

NE

Durham

1

1

1

NE

Gateshead

1

1

1

NE

Hartlepool

1

2

1

NE

Middlesbrough

1

4

1

NE

Newcastle Upon Tyne

1

6

1

NE

North Tyneside

1

11

1

NE

Sunderland

1

18

1

NW

Blackburn with Darwen

1

1

1

NW

Bolton

1

11

2

NW

Bury

1

7

1

NW

Cheshire

3

16

2

NW

Cumbria

1

9

2

NW

Halton

1

6

1

NW

Knowsley

1

7

1

NW

Lancashire

4

21

5

NW

Liverpool

1

8

1

NW

Manchester

1

11

2

NW

Oldham

1

5

1

NW

Rochdale

1

3

1

NW

Salford

1

10

3

NW

Sefton

1

3

1

NW

St Helens

1

3

2

NW

Tameside

1

5

1

NW

Trafford

1

3

0

NW

Warrington

1

4

2

SE

Brighton & Hove

1

10

2

SE

Buckinghamshire

2

2

1

SE

East Sussex

5

5

1

SE

Hampshire

3

24

4

SE

Kent

4

13

3

SE

Medway

1

11

2

SE

Milton Keynes

1

3

1

SE

Oxfordshire

2

6

1

SE

Reading

1

6

0

SE

Surrey

5

19

5

SE

West Sussex

2

3

2

SW

Plymouth

1

9

1

SW

Cornwall

1

8

2

SW

Dorset

3

13

5

SW

Gloucestershire

1

2

1

SW

North Somerset

1

14

1

SW

Somerset

1

4

1

SW

South Gloucestershire

1

6

1

SW

Swindon

1

8

1

SW

Torbay

1

2

1

SW

Wiltshire

1

3

1

WM

Birmingham

4

21

6

WM

Coventry

2

6

1

WM

Dudley

1

3

1

WM

Shropshire

1

2

1

WM

Solihull

1

6

2

WM

Staffordshire

3

10

1

WM

Stoke-on-Trent

1

7

1

WM

Walsall

1

2

1

WM

Wolverhampton

1

13

1

WM

Worcestershire

2

16

1

Y&H

Barnsley

1

8

2

Y&H

Bradford

1

7

1

Y&H

Calderdale

1

10

1

Y&H

Kingston upon Hull

1

15

3

Y&H

York

1

6

1

Y&H

Kirklees

1

27

4

Y&H

Leeds

2

15

2

Y&H

North East Lincolnshire

1

2

0

Y&H

North Yorkshire

1

4

0

Y&H

Rotherham

1

6

1

Y&H

Sheffield

1

17

2

Y&H

Wakefield

1

1

0

Table 2

Local AuthorityNo. of Consortia in Government Office RegionNo. of Schools in Consortium in Government Office RegionNo. of Colleges in Consortium in Government Office RegionKey Stage 4 funding for Diplomas in Government Office Region

East of England

9

59

9

£2.3 million

East Midlands

19

93

22

£2.6 million

London

20

130

27

£5.2 million

North East

7

43

7

£1.4 million

North West

23

133

29

£4.3 million

South East

27

102

22

£3.5 million

South West

12

61

13

£3.3 million

West Midlands

17

86

16

£2.1 million

Yorkshire and The Humber

13

118

17

£1.8 million

Figures shown above are based upon early estimates of student take-up of diplomas. When take-up numbers have been confirmed the funding may change accordingly.

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