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Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will obtain a reply for the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton to the letter with regard to Mr. Pat

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McGuinness that he sent on 13 March to the then Secretary of State for Transport, Local government and the Regions and to which that Department sent a holding reply dated 25 April saying that the letter had been transferred to the Planning Inspectorate. [68659]

Mr. McNulty: I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given by my right hon. Friend the former Secretary of State for the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions on 2 May, Official Report, column 902W.

Departmental Property

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will place in the Library his Department's departmental-owned residential property record. [70768]

Mr. Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister does not directly own residential property.

London City Racecourse

Linda Perham: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he will make a decision on the planning application for the London city racecourse. [70750]

Mr. McNulty: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister expects that a decision on the London City Racecourse will be issued by the end of July.

E-mail Press Release Service

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when his Department intends to establish an e-mail press release service similar to that previously provided by the former Department of Transport, Local government and the Regions. [70656]

Mr. Leslie: We expect that the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister will establish a similar service by Autumn 2002.

Delayed Discharge

Clive Efford: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement about the Government's strategy to tackle delayed discharge in London; and what resources will be needed to meet the level of demand. [69147]

Jacqui Smith: I have been asked to reply.

In September 2001 there were 1126 people who experienced a delayed transfer of care from an acute hospital bed in London. By March 2002, the target reduction to 901 beds had been met. London Boroughs received their share of the £300 million made available through the Building Care Capacity Grant to end unnecessary delayed discharges from hospital. Their total allocation was £42,560,387 over the two years 2001–02 and 2002–03.

London Boroughs have agreed challenging targets for further reductions, averaging between 20 per cent and 25 per cent by March 2003. The targets were set as part of the conditions for receiving the grant. For Personal Social Services, we have already announced annual average growth in real terms of 6 per cent from 2003–04 to 2005–06.

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Sue Doughty: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what proportion of (a) paper and (b) other goods purchased by his Department was recycled paper in each year since 1997; what the annual total cost of these purchases was; what plans there are to increase these proportions; and if he will make a statement. [65773]

Mr. Alexander: The Cabinet Office purchases all its standard photocopier/printer paper from "sustainably managed" sources. A small amount of high quality premium paper, which does not come from the same sources, is purchased and used for specific jobs. We are seeking a more "environmentally friendly" alternative to this product.

We have successfully tested re-cycled paper for use in our office machinery and are now working in partnership with a number of other departments to establish a contract for the purchase of recycled paper.

Information on other goods derived from recycled paper purchased by the Cabinet Office could only be produced at disproportionate cost.

Strategy Unit

Kevin Brennan: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what additional projects are planned for the Strategy Unit; and if he will make a statement. [72101]

Mr. Alexander: The Prime Minister has asked the Strategy Unit to carry out a project looking at how to tackle the problems associated with alcohol misuse.

The large majority of people who drink do so without causing themselves or others harm. The focus of the project will be the harm that can be caused by excessive drinking. It will pay particular attention to issues such as alcohol-related crime and anti-social behaviour, problems faced by vulnerable groups such as children and what works best in tackling the problems of alcohol misuse.

My hon. Friend the Under Secretary of State for Public Health, will be Sponsor Minister for the project.

The scoping note for the project is available on the SU website ( There will be a wide-ranging consultation on the issues, commencing from this announcement, during which all interested parties are encouraged to contribute their views. The Strategy Unit aims to complete its study by Spring 2003.

Monthly Audits

Brian Cotter: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many monthly audits of regulation have taken place since 1997 relating to (a) the number of new regulations introduced and (b) the number of regulations repealed. [71266]

Mr. Alexander: Regulatory Impact Assessments are produced for regulations that have an impact on business, charities and the voluntary sector. These can be found in the House libraries. They are also reported monthly to the Cabinet Office. Since 1997 (inclusive), 27 Deregulation Orders have been made under the Deregulation and

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Contracting Out Act; a chronological list is available on the Cabinet Office's website. In February 2002 the government published the Regulatory Reform Action Plan, setting 63 proposals for Regulatory Reform Orders (RROs). RROs enable government to repeal more easily unnecessary regulation.


Student Loan Company

Jonathan Shaw: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost was to the Student Loan Company to issue cheques to each student in higher education every term in each of the last five years. [70155]

Margaret Hodge: Only the first loan instalment is paid by cheque each Academic Year. Subsequent instalments are paid by BACS. I have asked the Chief Executive of the Student Loans Company to write to my hon. Friend with further information, and to place a copy of the letter in the House library.

Further Education

Mr. Caton: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the impact of the pay gap between schools and the further education sector on recruiting (a) music, (b) maths, (c) IT and (d) construction and engineering lecturers to further education colleges. [65078]

Margaret Hodge: We have not carried out an assessment of this type. As independent organisations it is for each college to recruit their own staff and to agree pay within the context of the overall resources available to them. We know that there are differences between salaries in general further education colleges and schools and this issue is being considered as part of the current Spending Review settlement.

An additional £314 million is available for FE this year compared with 2001–02; by 2003–04 total funding for FE will be up by 26 per cent in real terms since 1997 and total funding per full-time equivalent student will be up by 16 per cent over the same period. In 2002–03, the Learning and Skills Council has increased colleges' participation funding rates by 2.5 per cent in cash terms, compared to a 1.5 per cent increase in 2001–02.

As part of the overall funding allocation, we are investing more than £300 million in the Teaching Pay Initiative (TPI). TPI is an important initiative designed to help modernise further education (FE) pay arrangements and to recruit, reward and retain teachers and lecturers as part of the drive to improve teaching and learning. Alongside TPI, we are introducing Training Bursaries, Golden Hellos and, subject to the approval of Parliament, a scheme to pay-off over time the student loans of new teachers in FE shortage subject areas. All of these initiatives offer significant financial rewards both to students training to be FE lecturers as well as those taking up teaching posts in FE shortage subject areas.

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Marketing (Universities)

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what information she collates on expenditure by individual universities on marketing. [70024]

Margaret Hodge: This information is not collated centrally. The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects data annually which show the expenditure of each higher education institution broken down by various categories, but expenditure on marketing is not identified separately.

City Academies

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what flexibility there is for city academies to choose (a) their catchment area for admissions and (b) the feeder schools they will work with. [69724]

Mr. Miliband: It is a condition of the Funding Agreement between the Academy and the Secretary of State that each Academy's admissions arrangements are consistent with the law on admissions and the Statutory Codes of Practice as they apply to maintained schools. Within these requirements Academies have the right to determine their own admissions policies and admission arrangements, including oversubscription criteria. Acceptable criteria can include catchment areas and transfer from named feeder primary schools, in addition

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to others such as sibling links and distance from school. Academies will not operate in isolation but are required, as part of the Funding Agreement, to share their facilities with other schools and the wider community.

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