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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions by what means, when voting electronically, a voter can ascertain whether his vote has been recorded and counted. 
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) when he will notify applicants for electronic votes in the May elections whether their proposals have been authorised; 
(3) what the latest date is by which he will consider applications for electronic voting in May. 
Dr. Whitehead: In October 2001, local authorities were invited to apply by 31 December to run electoral pilots in the May 2002 local elections. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and the Regions announced on 5 February 2002, Official Report, columns 82931W, those authorities whose pilots had been approved. On 13 February 2002, Official Report, column 402W, he announced the approval of one further authority.
Dr. Whitehead: Within the electronic voting pilots there are a range of measures in place to guard against impersonation. This will include the use of voter specific PIN numbers and passwords and real time electronic registers to cast and record votes. The systems will also prevent an electronic vote being cast where the PIN number and password have been used previously.
1 May 2002 : Column 812W
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what estimate he has made of the cost to (a) county councils, (b) district councils and (c) borough councils of the 1 per cent. increase in employers' national insurance contributions. 
Dr. Whitehead: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my right hon. Friend, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the hon. Member for Isle of Wight (Mr. Andrew Turner) on Monday 29 April 2002, Official Report, column 544W.
Brian Cotter: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what adjustments have been made to his Department's premises following the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995; and what the cost of these adjustments was as a proportion of the Department's budget. 
Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 29 April 2002]: Records of expenditure relating to adjustments made to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) are not, as a matter of course, held separately across the DTLR estate. In some instances DDA related adjustments have been carried out by landlords, and in others as part of on-going maintenance works.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many net additional staff his Department has recruited in each month since June 2001 at (a) executive officer level and (b) administrative level. 
|Administrative level||Executive officer level|
|Type of staff||FTE||Headcount||FTE||Headcount|
1 May 2002 : Column 813W
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions how many complaints were registered against his Department and its predecessor Departments in (a) 1990 to 1996 and (b) 1997 to 2002; how many are current; and what proportion were (i) taken up and (ii) upheld by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Administration in those periods. 
Dr. Whitehead [holding answer 19 April 2002]: Complaints and suggestions may be received at many different points in the organisation and it is the Department's policy to address these as near to the point of delivery and as soon as possible. Central records are not kept of the number of complaints.
1 May 2002 : Column 814W
|1990 to 1996||1997 to 2002|
|Complaints taken up by PCA||108||71|
|Complaints upheld by PCA||63||31|
Mr. Wray: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what action the Government have take since 1997 to protect (a) bus workers and (b) other public transport staff from assaults at work. 
Ms Keeble: Since 1997 the Department has produced a number of good practice guidance documents for transport operators on what actions they can take to protect their staff from assaults at work. The guidance covers the training of staff, the recording and monitoring of incidents, and management practices which could help staff who have been assaulted. For example, earlier this month we published guidance and a good practice case studies report on improving personal security in bus travel for passengers and staff.
The Health and Safety Commission has agreed a three year programme of work (200003) to help employers from all sectors tackle the increasing problem of work- related violence. The Health and Safety Executive is responsible for taking the programme forward.
More generally, the Government are taking action to reduce all violent crime through a number of measures, based on a concerted strategy of targeted policing, effective punishment and interventions to address the underlying conditions which breed violence.
Ms Keeble: Powers are already available to individual transport operators and the criminal justice system to ban those convicted of violence while using public transport systems from using public transport.
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