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Employment Directive

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if the Government are committed to implementing Article 13 of the EC Employment Directive by 2 December 2003; and what plans the Government have to ensure that faith schools comply. [11065]

6 Nov 2001 : Column: 170W

Alan Johnson [holding answer 30 October 2001]: We intend to implement the Directive's provisions on religion or belief and on sexual orientation by 2 December 2003; and those on disability and age by 2 December 2006. The implementing legislation will cover all employers, including faith schools.

We believe the current arrangements for the employment of teachers at state maintained religious schools, as set out in the School Standards and Framework Act 1998 (sections 58–60), are compatible with the requirements of the Directive, given the special provisions within the Directive for organisations whose ethos is based on religion or belief.

We will publish a consultation document about our plans for new legislation within the next three months. We intend to issue guidance to help employers understand the new provisions.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Chess

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans she has to recognise chess as a sport. [12330]

Mr. Caborn: There are no current plans to recognise chess as a sport.

National Stadium

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when the money from Sport England for the Wembley stadium project will be repaid. [13017]

Mr. Caborn: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State gave to the hon. Member for South Suffolk (Mr. Yeo) on 22 October 2001, Official Report, column 21W.

Mr. Yeo: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to her answer of 15 October 2001, Official Report, column 816W, on the national stadium, if she will give details of the spending by Sport England on the development of the national athletics centre project, indicating how much of this expenditure is recoverable. [12628]

Mr. Caborn [holding answer 5 November 2001]: Sport England has spent £1.57 million on the development of the national athletics centre project. All of the funding was committed for feasibility and outline design work, which has been completed. The issue of recoverability does not, therefore, arise.

Palliative Care (Children)

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much money from the new opportunities fund was devoted to palliative care for children in each of the last three years. [12713]

Mr. Caborn: Money to support palliative care for children was allocated in the new opportunities fund (Specification of Initiatives) Order 2001. From early 2002, the fund will provide £48 million to palliative care projects for children as part of its £84 million palliative care programme.

6 Nov 2001 : Column: 171W

In the period 1998–99, £1,835,136 of lottery money went to provide palliative care and support to children and young people with terminal illnesses, in five grants made by the community fund. In 1999–2000, the community fund made three grants totalling £902,145 and in the period 2000–01 four grants totalling £655,727.

SCOTLAND

Small Business Sector

5. Mr. Peter Duncan: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she last met the Scottish Executive's Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning to discuss the prospects for the Scottish small business sector. [10313]

Mr. Foulkes: I have regular discussions with Scottish Executive Ministers on a number of issues relating to business and industry including those of relevance to small businesses.

Performance and Innovation Unit

6. Mr. Russell Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether the Scotland Office has made a submission to the PIU energy review. [10314]

Mr. Foulkes: The Scotland Office has made a submission to the performance and innovation unit's energy review. In addition I represent Scotland on the review's advisory group. The Scotland Office submission, along with all other submissions received by the PIU team, is available on the PIU website www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ innovation.

Personal Care (Elderly People)

7. Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions regarding transferring attendance allowance resources to the Scottish Executive in order to ensure that free personal care for elderly people is implemented from April 2002. [10315]

Mrs. Liddell: I have frequent discussions with my right hon. Friend on a wide range of issues.

Boundary Commission

8. Mr. Swayne: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she last met officials from the boundary commission for Scotland. [10316]

Mrs. Liddell: I have not met either the Commissioners or the Secretary of the Boundary Commission for Scotland. My officials are, however, in regular contact with its secretary since the Scotland Office is the Commission's sponsoring department.

Railtrack

9. Sir Robert Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions she has had with the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions as to the consequences for rail travel in Scotland of the decision to put Railtrack into administration. [10317]

6 Nov 2001 : Column: 172W

Mr. Foulkes: My right. hon. Friend and I are in regular contact with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on a range of transport matters affecting Scotland.

Scottish Parliament

10. Ann McKechin: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans the Government have to adjust the number of Members of the Scottish Parliament. [10318]

20. Mr. Davidson: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans she has for amendments to the proportional representation element of the system of election to the Scottish Parliament. [10329]

Mrs. Liddell: I refer my hon. Friends to the answer I gave earlier today to my hon Friend the Member for Glasgow, Anniesland (Mr. Robertson), at column 91.

Tourism

12. Mr. David Stewart: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions she has had with the First Minister about her visits abroad to promote tourism in Scotland. [10320]

Mrs. Liddell: I have regular contact with the First Minister about a range of issues.

Both the First Minister and I are aware of the importance of the tourism industry to the Scottish economy, particularly at this time. I shall be continuing to use every opportunity to promote to overseas audiences the attractions of today's Scotland in all its vibrant diversity and to support the efforts of the tourism agencies in that regard.

Employment Trends

13. Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement on employment trends in Scotland since September. [10321]

Mr. Foulkes: Latest statistics show that there are 2.384 million people in work in Scotland, a fall of 0.6 per cent. over the previous month. The number of people out of work and claiming benefit rose by 800 in September, but remains at its lowest level since October 1975.

Barnett Formula

14. Mr. Fallon: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she last discussed the future of the Barnett formula with Treasury Ministers. [10323]

Mrs. Liddell: I have regular discussions with my right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer and other Treasury Ministers on a wide range of issues. The Government have no plans to review the Barnett formula.

23. Mr. Nicholas Winterton: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions she has held with the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on the operation of the Barnett formula. [10332]

6 Nov 2001 : Column: 173W

Mrs. Liddell: I have regular discussion with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions on a wide range of issues. The Government have no plans to review the Barnett formula.

Army Installations

15. Mr. Swire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when she last met the Secretary of State for Defence to discuss the future of Army installations in Scotland. [10324]

Mr. Foulkes: I have regular contact with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence on a range of issues. I and my right hon. Friend are conscious of the important contribution that Army installations in Scotland make to the defence of the United Kingdom and to the Scottish economy.


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