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Children's Fund

Mr. Kidney: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what arrangements have been made for the administration of Children's Fund moneys in Staffordshire. [159194]

Mr. Boateng: I hope to be able to make an announcement about the second and third wave children's fund areas before the end of this year. An announcement on the areas to receive first wave children's fund local network funding will be made shortly. All areas of England will have access to the children's fund by 2003-04.

Education Rights (UN)

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what the conclusions of his meeting were with the UN special rapporteur on the right to education on 7 February; [159564]

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Jacqui Smith: I was scheduled to meet the special rapporteur on the right to education during the morning of 7 February but the meeting was cancelled at the special rapporteur's request owing to adverse weather conditions in Sweden.

Individual Learning Accounts

Mr. Etherington: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on plans for opening individual learning accounts by March 2002. [160197]

Mr. Blunkett: I am pleased to announce that nearly a year ahead of target the manifesto commitment has been met. There are now over 1 million individual learning accounts in the UK, with over 3,000 opened every day.


Porton Down

Mr. Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many times since 1 March 1998 the War Pension Agency has requested information from the Chemical Defence Establishment, Porton Down, with regard to former service personnel who are claiming disablement as a result of experiments at Porton Down. [159810]

Mr. Bayley: The information is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Occupational Pension Schemes

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what plans he has to reform the system for appointing members of occupational pension schemes to serve as trustees. [159362]

Mr. Rooker: The Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 includes changes to the current legislation governing the nomination and selection of member-nominated trustees and directors. We are currently working on the supporting regulations and aim to bring the new provisions into force in October this year.

The new provisions will ensure that employers can no longer "opt out" of having member nominated trustees, and will be easier and more flexible to implement than the current arrangements.

Social Inclusion

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how the Government measure the impact of their policies on social inclusion. [159107]

Mr. Bayley: Poverty and social exclusion are multi faceted problems. Therefore we do not use a single definition but instead use a range of indicators to monitor the progress of our strategy. Information relating to the indicators can be found in the second Government "Opportunity for all" report on tackling poverty and social exclusion, "One year on: making a difference" (Cm 4865). The report also describes and monitors the impact of policies we have already introduced, and sets out our plans for the future.

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Unmarried Partners

Mr. Dawson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) if he will allow the payment of widows/ widowers benefit to be based on the national insurance contributions of deceased unmarried partners; [159950]

Angela Eagle [holding answer 1 May 2001]: A founding principle of the social insurance system is that all rights to benefit derived from another person's

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contributions are based on the concept of legal marriage. This principle applies equally to bereavement benefits. We have no plans to change the current arrangements.


Mr. Levitt: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what telephone helplines to assist the public are administered by his Department and its agencies. [159504]

Mr. Rooker: The following national helplines and orderlines are administered by this Department or one of its agencies.

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Benefits Agency Publicity RegisterFor advisers to join the mailing list for information and receive a newsletter
Benefit Enquiry LineInformation and advice on disability benefits
Child Benefit Enquiry LineAdvice and information on Child Benefit and Guardian's Allowance
Child Support Literature Line --
CSA National Enquiry LineGeneral advice on child maintenance and maintenance estimates
Disability Living Allowance Customer Care helplineAdvice on existing DLA claims
Inherited SERPS Enquiry lineFor public to ask questions about the new plans
Medical Benefits DirectAdvises on the repayment of medical costs incurred by UK residents on a temporary visit overseas to another European Economic Area country and health cover for people getting UK Retirement Pension, widow's benefits, bereavement benefits or Incapacity Benefit who live permanently in another EEA country
MIG (Minimum Income Guarantee) claimlineFor people aged 60 or over to apply for the Minimum Income Guarantee (paid as Income Support)
Mortgage Payment Protection leaflet orderline --
National Benefit Fraud HotlineFor public to report suspected benefit fraud
New Deal for Lone Parents helplineFor public and advisers to request literature and ask questions about the programme
Overseas customer service helplinesAdvice on transfer of pensions overseas, medical cover and making claims overseas
Pensioners' guide orderline--
Pensions DirectGeneral advice about state Retirement Pension or widow's benefits paid directly into a bank or building society account
Pensions Info-LineLeaflets orderline, primarily pensions education leaflets
Print Direct Customer Services helplineFor advisers to inquire about the progress of bulk literature orders and other miscellaneous queries
Public Enquiry Office --
Retirement Pensions Forecasting and Advice ServiceFor public to make inquiries about their pensions forecast
Retirement Pension Tele-claims lineTo make a claim for state Retirement Payment over the phone or to ask for a state Retirement Pension form to be issued to be completed at home
War Pensions Agency Customer Services UnitFor public inquiries and complaints
War Pensions freelineProvides information and advice on all aspects of war pensions
Welfare Reform leaflets orderlineStocks various leaflets
Winter Fuel Payments leaflets orderline (seasonal)Primarily for advisers
Winter Fuel Payments claimlinePublic can ask questions of Winter Fuel Payments or request a claim form

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In addition, there are a number of regionally based helplines administered by the Department or one of its agencies.



Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development to what extent her Department's headquarters buildings use hydrofluorocarbons for (a) refrigeration and (b) air conditioning; what amounts of hydrofluorocarbons have been purchased in each year since 1995; and what plans she has to phase out the (i) purchase and (ii) use of hydrofluorocarbons. [160012]

Clare Short: My Department's London buildings, all of which are leased, do not currently use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), but there is limited use of HFCs in our East

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Kilbride office. In our new London headquarters building, which we are due to move into later this year, we are replacing the old hydrochlorofluorocarbon-based (HCFC) systems with a HFC alternative, "134A", which has zero ozone depletion potential. This follows a detailed evaluation of the most appropriate system given the requirements and constraints of the existing building. We will also actively consider using hydrocarbon (HC) systems for smaller uses such as catering and small refrigerators wherever possible.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what her Department's policy is regarding the purchase of (a) hydrocarbons and (b) other environmentally benign refrigerants to meet the refrigeration and other relevant energy needs of buildings and premises owned and leased by her Department; and if she will make a statement. [160016]

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Clare Short: My Department already actively considers the use of appropriate alternative refrigerants, and leakage control systems, for our main headquarters buildings. For instance, we will be relocating to a new London headquarters building at the end of this year, and as part of the refurbishment works a wide range of refrigerants were considered for both their ozone depletion potential (ODP) and global warming potential (GWP). We have decided to replace the current hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant--R22--with a modern HFC alternative, "134A", which has zero ODP. This will meet the requirements under the Montreal protocol to phase out the use of R22. We will also carry out a review of the suitable refrigerant alternatives for a second much smaller London building, for which we have just taken responsibility.

Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which London headquarters building or premises owned or leased by her Department use (a) chlorofluorocarbons and (b) hydrochlorofluorocarbons for refrigeration and other relevant energy needs. [160020]

Clare Short: DFID currently has a main London building at 94 Victoria street, SW1, and two much smaller offices at 20 Victoria street and Glen House, Stag Place SW1, all of which are leased. Information provided from the Landlords confirms that all of these make use of HCFCs in the air conditioning/refrigeration systems.

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