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Kickstart funding for projects involving bus service improvements was first introduced by the Department for Transport on a pilot basis as part of the Urban and Rural Bus Challenge competitions in 2003. Kickstart is targeted at schemes that have the potential to become successful or which are currently marginal schemes that with some extra support could be made more successful. The Government are currently inviting local transport authorities to submit bids for funding for a new round of Kickstart projects. £25 million is available between 2009-10 to 2011-12. Kickstart support will not be used to fund projects which have previously received funding under previous challenge schemes, except in wholly exceptional circumstances. In addition it will not be available for schemes which failed to receive funding in earlier Kickstart rounds, unless they have been significantly revised.
The Government provide rural bus subsidy grant to help local authorities support rural bus services. This grant is now paid to authorities as part of their area-based funding and currently supports over 2,000 new and enhanced services on which over 33 million passenger journeys are made annually. This year's allocations total £58.5 million, rising to £60 million in 2010-11, bringing the grant's total to over £0.5 billion since its introduction in 1998. It is for local authorities to determine how they wish to use this funding, but it could be used to support schemes previously funded under earlier challenge schemes.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the Local Transport Act 2008 made it simpler for local authorities to provide vehicles and drivers for community transport schemes in rural areas. [HL2671]
Lord Adonis: The Government acknowledge that the voluntary sector can provide an important complementary role in providing transport services, particularly in areas where commercial services are not viable. That is why the Local Transport Act 2008 removes some of the restrictions associated with community transport permits, such as the payment of drivers and the size of vehicles that can be used, to enable the sector to expand its role further.
The secondary legislation associated with the community transport provisions of the Act will come into force on 6 April 2009. It is therefore too early to comment on the impact the Act has had regarding local authorities' ability to provide vehicles and drivers for community transport schemes in rural areas.
To ask Her Majesty's Government how many people registered as unemployed in (a) the City of Manchester and (b) the parliamentary constituency of Manchester Withington have received help with the cost of mortgage interest payments in each of the past five years. [HL2271]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): The information is not available. Information would be derived from a sample data which is subject to sampling variation and sample sizes would be too small to provide reliable estimates for parliamentary constituencies.
To ask Her Majesty's Government upon what evidence the Youth Justice Board based its decision to alter the asset scores in the three bands of the framework for assessing intervention levels in the Scaled Approach from 025, 2641 and 4264 in the September 2008 draft to 014, 1532, and 3364 in the February 2009 draft. [HL2587]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has advised that it based the decision to alter these bandings on the YJB Asset research (2003) which provided reconviction rates for children and young people falling within the different bands. It also took into account the concerns and experience of the youth offending teams piloting the scaled approach.
As a result it was clear that what was the low band in the model published in September 2008 would in practice contain children and young people who could not be considered as being of low likelihood of reoffending according to the research data. This was considered to be unacceptable as it would undermine public confidence and that of the courts, so the decision was made to amend the model.
The revised model, published in February 2009 on the YJB website, is now consistent with the research and the experience and advice of the pilot sites and will ensure that children and young people will be receiving levels of supervision commensurate with their assessed likelihood of reoffending.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment the Ministry of Justice has made of the impact of changing the asset scores in the three bands of the framework for assessing intervention levels in the Scaled Approach. [HL2588]
The YJB has advised that the impact of changing the asset scores for the three bands in the new model will result in an increase in the numbers of young offenders falling into the medium and enhanced bands and a decrease in the numbers in the low band from that of the previous model. This change impacts on the workload of youth offending teams with the earlier model resulting in a significant fall in workload and the revised model having no discernible increase in contact requirements to those presently required.
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