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For those who are doing their bit but still struggling to get a job, the Government will step in and do their bit too. For jobseekers who do not find work after two years we will guarantee them employment or work placements and for people on employment and support allowance who do not find work after two years, we will provide a guaranteed place on our specialist disability employment programme-Work Choice.
I am also today publishing the Government's response to the Social Security Advisory Committee's consultation on the Employment and Support Allowance (Transitional Provisions, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit) (Existing Awards) Regulations and laying these regulations before Parliament.
Over the next three years healthcare professionals will assess current incapacity benefits claimants, looking at what they can do, as well as what they cannot, using the work capability assessment to move them to our more active welfare regimes, culminating in the abolition of old style incapacity benefits by April 2014.
These proposals involve a radical change in the way we use our resources to support people at risk of long-term worklessness-providing more personalised help and conditions coupled with guarantees to prevent those who are able to work spending a lifetime on benefits.
The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Defence (Lord Drayson): My right honourable friend the Minister for Higher Education and Intellectual Property has today made the following Statement.
I have tasked the Intellectual Property Office with managing and shaping an intellectual property system which encourages innovation and creativity, balances the needs of rights holders and the public, provides support to businesses on managing and exploiting their intellectual property, and stimulates economic growth.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): My right honourable friend the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (Jack Straw) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I am very pleased to announce that the chairman of the Law Commission and I have agreed a statutory protocol governing how government departments and the Law Commission should work together on law reform projects. The protocol is key to ensuring a more productive working relationship between the Law Commission and Whitehall. The protocol has been laid before Parliament today.
The Law Commission Act 2009, which amends the Law Commissions Act 1965 to provide for the statutory protocol, also introduces a duty on the Lord Chancellor to report annually to Parliament on the extent to which Law Commission proposals have been implemented by the Government. The protocol is intended to improve the rates of implementation of Law Commission reports and its success in this respect will be highlighted in the annual reporting to Parliament.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Policing, Crime and Security (David Hanson) has today made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
I have today launched a public consultation on the management of police pursuits. To promote the efficiency and effectiveness generally of the police, Section 39A of the Police Act 1996 empowers me to issue to chief officers of police codes of practice relating to the discharge of their functions.
The National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) will be leading a 12-week public consultation on the draft of a code of practice on the management of police pursuits. The draft has been produced following detailed discussions involving the Home Office (HO), the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), NPIA and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). We have also consulted the Department for Transport, the Superintendents' Association, the Police Federation, the Health and Safety Executive and the Scottish and Welsh Assembly Governments.
Police on-road pursuits typically involve around 35 to 40 fatalities a year. Not all of these involve the pursuit car. However, both ACPO and the HO agree with the IPCC that we need to ensure we have done all we can to ensure public safety in the process of preventing crime. I want to reduce the risk of casualties to the minimum and ensure that pursuits are undertaken as safely as possible and only when a necessary and proportionate means of preventing crime and apprehending offenders. I want to ensure public confidence in the management of pursuits.
In 2007, the IPCC published research on police pursuits. Its recommendations included the updating, development and codification of existing ACPO guidance on pursuit management. ACPO prepared new guidance and recommended to Ministers that it should be issued as a statutory code. The Police Act requires chief officers to have regard to such a code. Its issue would therefore ensure more consistent good practice.
Ministers agreed the ACPO recommendation. To help achieve earlier benefits from the guidance and speedier implementation of the code, a Home Office circular was issued last July to all police forces. This announced the planned development of a statutory code based on the guidance and HO and ACPO agreement that all forces should work towards full compliance with that guidance.
The draft code clearly sets out over-arching requirements and principles, including the need to comply with the detailed ACPO operational guidance. The guidance will remain a separate document, subject to up-dating and amendment as necessary. Code and guidance together will reduce the risks of death and serious injury, enhance public confidence in pursuit management and promote the safe prevention of crime and apprehension of offenders.
Following the consultation, we will consider the responses and feed these into a final draft. The Act requires me to lay before Parliament the code as finally issued. I intend to do this before the end of the year.
NPIA is sending the draft code direct to the police and other key parties and it is available for public comment on the NPIA and HO websites. Copies are also available from the Vote Office and in the House Library.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Lord Young of Norwood Green): My right honourable friend the Minister for Business, Innovation and Skills has today made the following Statement.
In December 2009, the Government published a consultation on Post Office Banking, setting out its vision for banking at the Post Office based around four values: universal; accessible; trusted and sustainable. The scale of the response showed a clear desire for the Post Office to do more.
The document also sets out new measures on mortgages, access to business banking, and a Post Office current account which would be available in all of its 11,500 branches. These new products will add to the wide range of banking products and services already on offer at the Post Office-credit cards, insurance, loans, foreign currency, and savings.
The measures the Government are taking mark a step change in banking at the Post Office. They also demonstrate the Government's ongoing commitment to the Post Office network. A commitment the Government are backing up with a £180 million of
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Copies of the Government's response to the consultation will be available in the Vote Office, the Printed Paper Office and will be deposited in the Libraries of the House. The consultation document will also be accessible online on the department's website.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Baroness Thornton): My honourable friend the Minister of State, Department of Health (Phil Hope) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
This is the final year of the £520 million Social Care Reform Grant which is ring-fenced to be used by local authorities to assist them with their partners in delivering the transformation of adult social care, as set out in Putting People First: AShared Vision and Commitment to the Transformation of Adult Social Care.
In the first two years of the Social Care Reform Grant, significant progress has been made to deliver this transformation but this circular details what councils will need to do in the final year of funding.
In September 2009 the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services and the Local Government Association with the Department of Health agreed a set of milestones focusing on five areas of priority to help councils be clear about what good progress implementing Putting People First looks like and to prioritise their use of the final year of the reform grant. These priorities are:effective partnerships with people using services, carers and other local citizens;ensuring everyone has self-directed support and a personal budget;ensuring universal access to information and advice;commissioning a range of services to ensure people have choice; anddelivering services in a cost effective and efficient manner to use the available resources well.
The final year of revenue money (£237 million) has been ring-fenced by the department, so that it should be used for supporting the process of transformation. In addition, non ring-fenced capital moneys have also been allocated this year. This includes:£30 million allocated to local authorities as a capital investment grant, to support delivering personal budgets and transformation in adult social care; and an allocation of £20,000 to each council with adult social service responsibilities to develop innovative strategies and approaches to extra care housing.
The text of the TIEA has been deposited in the Libraries of both Houses and made available on HM Revenue and Customs' website. The text will be scheduled to a draft Order in Council and laid before the House of Commons in due course.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (John Denham) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
The aim of the strategy is to help ensure our seaside towns have the help they need to build on their heritage and take advantage of the new opportunities to develop strong economies and communities for the future. While many seaside towns have had to confront particular economic challenges in recent years, seaside towns have unique histories and retain a special place in the development of modern Britain.
A renewed interest in these places, coupled with new possibilities to develop and use low carbon economies and tap into the global digital economy, provides an excellent opportunity for seaside towns to become great places to live, work and visit.
This strategy builds on support the Government have given to seaside towns since 1997 through a range of mainstream policies together with targeted support to some of the most deprived seaside authorities.
We have given councils more powers to tackle their own problems locally, through devolution, while the regional development agencies have given seaside towns significant support to promote economic development. The North West Development Agency has invested over £200 million in its seaside towns, and over £86 million has been invested in coastal areas by the East of England Development Agency.
The Government's Sea Change initiative has put £38 million into improving seaside town infrastructure in 32 seaside areas since 2008. The Heritage Lottery Fund has provided over £234 million to 864 projects in English seaside reports to support their regeneration. Over £99 million has been targeted on 21 of the most deprived seaside resorts through the Working Neighbourhoods Fund and New Deal for Communities.
Seaside towns face complex economic and social issues so this strategy will evolve. It will help to ensure all our seaside towns to reach the standards of the best and become year round economies that flourish and grow in the 21st century.
The Minister for International Defence and Security (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary and Minister for Veterans (Mr Kevan Jones) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
Deliver at least 90 per cent of all Dstl-led projects that complete in the financial year 2010-11 to time and to budget, and achieve at least 93 per cent of customer feedback responses at a score of seven or above for overall satisfaction.
Dstl will sustain and develop its technical capability, independently assessing 10 capability groups chosen by the R&D Board where Dstl needs to lead thinking either now or in the future. No more than three of these will be assessed as development needed.
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