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European Trades Union Confederation

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment when he last met representatives of the European Trades Union Confederation; and if he will make a statement on the issues discussed. [147520]

Mr. Wicks: I have not met with the European Trades Union Confederation. However, during the UK Presidency, the Foreign Secretary chaired a meeting with the European Trades Union Confederation as is customary, followed by a reception; both events were attended by my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford, East (Mr. Smith), the then Minister for Employment.

New Deal Funding

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the required level of (a) outcome-related funding for New Deal for Disabled People programmes and (b) other New Deal programmes. [147734]

Ms Hodge: The central focus of New Deal is to secure jobs for unemployed people. Each New Deal aims to provide effective help in tackling the barriers that people face in getting work. In the New Deal for Disabled People we have given job brokers very wide discretion as to how they help people into jobs. In support of this wide flexibility much of the funding is geared to job entries and sustained employment rather than to stages and processes. The precise funding arrangements for other New Deals vary according to the detailed design and objectives for each programme.

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New Deal for Schools

Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what funding he has given to each school in Hampstead and Highgate under the New Deal for Schools. [147875]

Jacqui Smith: The information showing the schools in the Hampstead and Highgate constituency which benefited under the New Deal for Schools is shown in the following Table A. These allocations formed part of the £3.462 million investment made so far in schools in Camden local education authority under the New Deal for Schools programme.

The New Deal for Schools was introduced as a new additional programme targeted specifically at addressing the backlog of urgent repairs in school buildings that had built up after 18 years of under funding under the previous Administration. It has been in addition to other capital funds made available to Camden local education authority.

In total, since 1996, Camden local education authority has received some £10.66 million of funding for capital investment in school buildings as shown in the following Table B.

Nationally, investment in school buildings has tripled from £683 million a year in 1996-97 to over £2 billion in 2000-01. It will be £3.2 billion in 2003-04, including grant, credit approvals and Private Finance Initiative credits. There will be central Government investment of £7.8 billion in school buildings in total from 2001-02 to 2003-04.

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Table A: New Deal for schools. Allocations to schools in the Hampstead and Highgate constituency

YearSchoolProject detailsGrant awarded (£)
1997-98Hampstead Secondary SchoolRefurbishment of ground floor laboratory and conversion into two smaller units (13)178,000
Brookfield Primary SchoolCreation of additional teaching space as a new classroom
Fitzjohn's Primary SchoolRefurbishment/upgrade and enclosure of external toilets
1998-99Christchurch Primary SchoolReconstruction of boundary wall10,067
Parliament Hill SchoolFood technology room--full refurbishment58,432
Carlton Primary SchoolRefurbishment of lantern lights to main roof22,325
1999-2000Gospel Oak Primary SchoolReplacement of teaching block310,764
Gospel Oak Primary SchoolStructural works repairing foundation and defective windows113,405
2000-01Brookfield primary SchoolReplacement of temporary classrooms and new library building173,875
Included within a two school package:
Parliament Hill Secondary SchoolConversion and upgrade of science laboratories(13)147,609
Included within a six school package:
New End Primary SchoolReplacement of lead supply pipework (13)154,889
Rosary RC Primary School

(13) Denotes total allocations made to package projects covering more than one school. Camden local education authority will be able to advise the value of projects at schools in the Hampstead and Highgate constituency which benefited from these allocations.


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Table B: All capital allocations to Camden local education authority

£000
1996-971997-981998-991999-20002000-01
Basic Credit Approvals21636284579845
Supplementary Credit Approvals4318365225211
Grant to Voluntary Aided Schools89188223374556
New Deal for Schools--1786217611,902
School Security Grant--33424646
Removal of Outside Toilets----70----
Energy Efficiency Initiative----51----
Key Stage 1 Class Size Initiative------110--
National Grid for Learning Grant----500384457
Schools Access Initiative Grant253----
Assistance with Asset Management Plans------18--
Seed Challenge Funding--------120
Devolved Formula Capital for Schools--------1,004
Renewal of School Laboratories--------130
Nursery Provision--------60
Total3506231,8592,4975,331

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Adult Education

Mr. Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Maidenhead (Mrs. May) of 24 January 2001, Official Report, columns 581-84W, on adult education, how much Standard Spending Assessment was withdrawn from each of the local education authorities listed in respect of the switch of Government resources to the Learning and Skills Councils. [147991]

Ms Estelle Morris: No Standard Spending Assessment has been withdrawn from local education authorities for 2001-02. My right hon. Friend announced yesterday that he would be making available an extra £52 million in grant to authorities with lower than average increases in their Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) in 2001-02, and which face pressures from the introduction of the Learning and Skills Council, which will have responsibility for adult education from April. Newcastle local education authority's share of the additional grant will be £760,000.

Pension Liabilities

Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what is the state's total liability at 2001 prices to pay teachers' pensions, assuming that all existing contributors retire and that all pensioners die at the age projected by the scheme's actuaries. [148006]

Mr. Wicks: The latest actuarial valuation of the Teachers' Pension Scheme (England and Wales), carried out as at 31 March 1996, estimated the total value of the accrued liabilities, including pension increases, to be about £76 billion as at 31 March 1996.

SOLICITOR-GENERAL

Victims of Crime

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Solicitor-General what action the Government have taken since 2 May 1997 to ensure that victims of crime are kept informed of the progress of cases by the Crown Prosecution Service; and what (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory requirements there are on the service to keep victims so informed. [147445]

The Solicitor-General: The 1996 Victim's Charter commits the police to keeping victims informed of significant developments in the case, including any decision to drop or alter charges substantially.

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There is currently no statutory or non-statutory requirement on the Crown Prosecution Service either to inform victims directly of its casework decisions or to inform them of the progress of the case.

The CPS has accepted responsibility to pass on information promptly to the police to enable them to fulfil their Charter obligations.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Solicitor-General on how many occasions in 2000 the Crown Prosecution Service (a) downgraded and (b) dropped charges; on how many occasions victims were informed of the decision; and what (i) statutory and (ii) non-statutory requirements there are on the service to inform victims in such cases. [147443]

The Solicitor-General: During the period January to September 2000 the Crown Prosecution Service discontinued proceedings in respect of 127,078 defendants, amounting to 12.6 per cent. of all cases completed in magistrates' courts. Proceedings were dropped in respect of a further 7,619 defendants in the Crown court, amounting to 11.9 per cent. of cases completed in the Crown court.

The Crown Prosecution Service does not routinely keep figures for charges downgraded, nor for charges increased in seriousness.

There is currently no statutory or non-statutory requirement on the Crown Prosecution Service either to inform victims directly of its casework decisions or to inform them of the progress of the case.

In 1998, Sir Iain Glidewell's independent review of the CPS recommended that the Service should take responsibility for communicating its casework decisions direct to victims rather than via the police. Similar recommendations followed in Sir William Macpherson's report into the death of Stephen Lawrence.

The CPS has welcomed these recommendations and is currently conducting a study to identify best practice with a view to national roll-out of direct communication with victims, which is due on a phased basis from April 2001.

The CPS will give as much detail as possible of the reasons for its decisions, bearing in mind that in some cases there may be sensitive and important matters which cannot properly be disclosed.

Subject to this initiative, the question of keeping victims and witnesses informed of the progress of the case will remain a matter for the police.


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