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Amy Gehring

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills on what date her Department received notification from Surrey police of their concerns about Miss Amy Gehring; what action was taken to consider her inclusion on list 99 before the conclusion of recent criminal proceedings; and when Ministers were informed of the communication from Surrey police. [35222]

Mr. Timms: The Department received a letter on 20 November 2000 from Surrey police which contained factual information about allegations made against Miss Gehring, and stated that no further police action would be taken. The letter did not express concern about the risk that Miss Gehring might pose to children. By this time Timeplan had already placed Miss Gehring in the school where more alleged assaults took place, having failed to inform the LEA, DfES or the school of a Surrey child protection unit warning that she was a serious risk to children. After receiving information from the police my officials initiated their list 99 procedures, making a criminal background check and writing to Timeplan seeking copies of all the documents relating to the case. On 8 January 2001 my officials were informed by Surrey police that Miss Gehring's conduct was the subject of a fresh police investigation and they followed our normal practice of suspending further inquiries until documents, witness statements and other evidence from the police investigation and trial became available. Ministers were informed of the initial letter from Surrey police on 24 January 2002.

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WORK AND PENSIONS

Minimum Income Guarantee

Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners have (a) claimed and (b) been awarded the minimum income guarantee in Shrewsbury and Atcham; and if he will make a statement. [32588]

Mr. McCartney: The information is not available in the format requested.

As at August 2001 there were 2,900 minimum income guarantee (MIG) claimants in the Shrewsbury and Atcham constituency.

Pensioner Incomes

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate the proportion of (a) men and (b) women over state pension age who have income from earnings. [32616]

Mr. McCartney: The information required is not fully available in the format requested. However such information as is available shows that 15 per cent. of pensioner couples have income from earnings and 4 per cent. of single male pensioners and 4 per cent. of single female pensioners have income from earnings.



Industrial Action (Jobcentre Plus)

Mr. Clappison: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he last met the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus to discuss the industrial action by Public and Commercial Services Union staff; and what the outcome of the discussions were. [32646]

Mr. Nicholas Brown [holding answer 5 February 2002]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State regularly meets the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus to discuss a range of issues, including the current industrial dispute with the Public and Commercial Services Union.

Pensions

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 28 January 2002, Official Report, column 38W, to the hon. Member for Lichfield (Mr. Fabricant), on pension savings, what the source is of his estimates of contributions to non-state pensions; and if he will provide a breakdown of these totals between different categories of employer and different categories of non-state pension scheme. [32756]

Mr. McCartney [holding answer 1 February 2002]: The source of the estimates of contributions to non-state pensions provided to the hon. Member for Lichfield was the Office for National Statistics MQ5 publication as quoted in "Opportunity for All" (Cm 5260). The figures are calculated by summing the contributions of both employers and employees to self-administered pension funds and income for pension business of insurance companies. Data are not available to break down the information as requested.

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Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what information will be provided on combined pension forecasts to advise individuals of any loss of entitlement to means-tested benefits. [15796]

Mr. McCartney: The purpose of the combined pension forecast is to provide people with good information about their current and future retirement incomes in order to help them make better informed decisions about their needs in retirement and raise awareness of the importance of making adequate provision.

The forecast provides information from both employers/ pension scheme providers and the Department about current and projected entitlements that could be accrued through the payment of contributions.

Motability

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what was (a) the total number of applicants for Motability vehicles, (b) the number of successful applicants (c) the number of successful applicants who cease to qualify after approval but before a vehicle is provided, in each of the last four years. [32892]

Maria Eagle: Information is not available in the form requested. The available information is shown in the table.

Calendar years

Applications receivedAgreements made live
1998166,030136,023
1999194,664147,022
2000201,498146,076
2001196,224141,445

Applications may be made up to three months before delivery, and the differences between the numbers of applications received, processed and promulgated can be due to a number of causes, but principally are the result of either lack of appropriate benefit entitlement, dealer-related errors or changing customer preferences resulting in a fresh application for a different vehicle.

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the length of waiting time and the number of people waiting for an application for a Motability vehicle, from initial application to delivery of the vehicle, was in each of the last three years. [32978]

Maria Eagle: There has never been a waiting list for the Motability main scheme.

Winter Fuel Payments

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 29 January 2002, Official Report, column 262W, ref 29706, on winter fuel payments, in what format such information is available. [32921]

Mr. McCartney: Information relating to the number of winter fuel payments by age band is not available. The table shows the number of men, by local authority area, in Scotland who received a payment last year. The information is not available for earlier years, and the details for this winter are not yet available.

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Men in Scotland who received a winter fuel payment in 2000–01 by local authority area

Number
All409,500
City of Aberdeen15,620
Aberdeenshire17,980
Angus9,700
Argyll and Bute7,840
Scottish Borders9,860
Clackmannanshire3,500
West Dumbartonshire7,100
Dumfries and Galloway14,000
City of Dundee12,220
East Ayrshire10,040
East Dumbartonshire8,760
East Lothian8,360
East Renfrewshire8,000
City of Edinburgh33,000
Falkirk11,980
Fife28,780
City of Glasgow43,380
Highland17,820
Inverclyde7,340
Midlothian6,680
Moray8,020
North Ayrshire10,680
North Lanarkshire22,660
Orkney Islands2,060
Perthshire and Kinross13,380
Renfrewshire14,160
Shetland Isles1,800
South Ayrshire10,120
South Lanarkshire24,480
Stirling7,300
West Lothian10,520
Western Isles2,360

Source:

WPF data based on 5 per cent. sample from Matching Intelligence Data Analysis Service, so subject to sampling error.


Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for each year since 1997, (a) how many and (b) what proportion of men aged between 60 and 64 years, who were not in receipt of a social security benefit, received a winter fuel payment. [33623]

Mr. McCartney: The information is not available in the format requested. However, over 600,000 men who are not in receipt of a social security benefit received a winter fuel payment last year.

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what methods and outlets were used in 2000–01 to publicise entitlement to winter fuel payments. [18986]

Mr. McCartney: We have run information campaigns for both winter 2000 and winter 2001, to inform people aged 60 and over about winter fuel payments.

Activities include: press advertisements in national newspapers including titles in Scotland and Wales; a leaflet and poster; a dedicated winter fuel payment helpline and on-going information on the internet. We distributed leaflets and posters to a variety of venues including: local social security offices; post offices; people in caring and advisory roles; libraries; town halls; hospitals; supermarkets; bingo halls; fuel outlets; doctors'

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surgeries; as well as from our orderline. We have worked successfully with a number of voluntary organisations who distributed our leaflets amongst their networks, including Age Concern, National Pensioners' Convention, Local Government Organisation and Citizens' Advice Bureaux. National and regional press releases were issued to highlight the winter fuel payment campaign to the press.

A mailshot was also undertaken in spring each year to people we could identify as being newly eligible for a winter fuel payment, and who would need to claim it, to inform them of the payment.


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