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30 Oct 2002 : Column 868W—continued

Welsh Language Broadcasting

26. Michael Fabricant: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues on the promotion of digital broadcasting in the Welsh language throughout Wales. [76083]

Peter Hain: Like my predecessor I plan to have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues and Assembly Ministers about a wide range of matters affecting Wales.

The Government recognises the key role which S4C plays in nurturing and developing the Welsh language throughout Wales, and the importance of their moving forward with the development of their digital service.


27. Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly about cross-border needs for further education provision. [76084]

Mr. Touhig: I regularly meet Welsh Assembly colleagues to discuss a range of issues, including further education provision.

Community Safety

28. Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what discussions he has had with the First Secretary on community safety, and if he will make a statement. [76085]

Mr. Touhig: My right hon. Friend and I have regular discussions with Assembly Ministers about matters affecting Wales.

The Assembly and the Crime Reduction Unit for Wales have key roles in promoting community safety.

We have seen a period of intense activity which has resulted in the local partnership approach making a real impact, backed by funding of #22 million from the Government and the National Assembly.

Proportional Representation

29. Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the consequences of the use of proportional representation in Assembly elections. [76086]

Peter Hain: The electoral system is a matter reserved to Parliament under the devolution settlement and the Government have no plans to bring forward legislation to change it.

Redundant Steelworkers

Julie Morgan : To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to work with the National Assembly to help the steelmakers made redundant at Allied Steel and Wire in Cardiff. [76066]

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Peter Hain: My predecessor the right hon. Member for Torfaen maintained regular contact with the National Assembly for Wales and the First Minister on the plight of Allied Steel and Wire and of its workers.

He recently met South Wales representatives of the National Association of British Steel Pensioners together with my right hon. Friend, the member for Aberavon, to listen to their concerns about law reform.


Benefit Fraud

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many referrals for suspected benefit fraud were generated by his most recent television advertising campaign; and what proportion of these resulted in (a) a full investigation and (b) successful prosecution or other penalty. [74848]

Malcolm Wicks: Referrals come to the Department from many sources and it is not possible to identify separately those generated by the television advertising campaign. The primary objectives of the Targeting Fraud campaign are to positively reinforce honest behaviour, to create a climate of intolerance to benefit fraud and to undermine its social acceptability, rather than specifically to invite fraud referrals. Evaluation shows that public attitudes are moving in a positive direction as a result of the campaign.

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much is paid to a postmaster who reports a case of suspected benefit fraud; and what plans he has to increase this amount. [74845]

Malcolm Wicks: The amount of the award which may currently be paid to a postmaster who reports a case of suspected instrument of payment fraud is #10.00. In cases where Post Office staff show exceptional diligence, a reward of #25.00 may be considered. There are no current plans to increase these amounts.

Child Benefit Claims

Brian White: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has for allowing claims to child benefit to be made electronically. [78859]

Malcolm Wicks: The draft Order to enable claims for child benefit to be made was approved by both Houses inJuly. From October 28 2002 our customers are able to make a claim or report a change of circumstances electronically via the internet.



Starter Homes Initiative

Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will list the successful bidders for the second round of the Starter Home Initiative and indicate how much each one will receive. [75967]

Mr. McNulty: The list of successful bidders for Starter Home Initiative Round 2 funding and the allocations made to each one are set out in the table below. Some of the bidders are assisting key workers across a number of local authority areas.

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BidderFunding allocation #s
Boleyn and Forest Housing Society1,705,650
Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association1,291,500
Metropolitan Home Ownership735,000
Moat Home Ownership3,486,000
Aldwyck Housing Association840,000
Swaythling Housing Society2,142,000
Apex Housing Group188,100
Midsummer Housing Association103,000
Northcote Housing Association1,055,750
Oakfern Housing105,000
Sovereign Housing493,500
Southern Housing Home Ownership1,921,500
Airways Home Ownership882,000
Soha Housing287,000
Thames Valley Housing Association1,218,000
Signpost Housing Association945,000
Western Challenge Housing Association420,000
Sarsen Housing Association472,500
Knightstone Housing Society220,500
Devon and Cornwall Housing Association105,000
Touchstone Housing Association262,500
Angevin Specialist Homes100,000

Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what definition of key workers her department is using in the Starter Homes Initiative.[76589]

Mr. McNulty: I have been asked to reply.

The Starter Home Initiative is assisting primarily teachers in schools, police, nurses and other health workers to buy their first home. Bids for Starter Home Initiative funding were also invited to assist other key workers, and as a result some social workers, care workers, occupational therapists, fire fighters and transport workers are also being assisted. Huw

Rural Planning

Mr. Drew: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what discussions he has had with rural organisations on the subject of developing the capacity of parish and town councils to handle more of the planning process. [76992]

Mr. McNulty: The Deputy Prime Minister has had a number of discussions with rural organisations, including the Countryside Agency, where he has discussed the role of parish councils in the planning process.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's officials have also had discussions with the Countryside Agency and the National Association of Local Councils on the role of parish and town councils more generally.

Affordable Housing, Salisbury

Mr. Key: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many units of affordable housing have been built in Salisbury constituency in each year since 1997. [77231]

Mr. McNulty: Figures for the actual provision of affordable housing in Salisbury constituency including all new affordable housing as at 1st April for each year for the period 1997–2002, are as follows:

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Domestic Hedges

Laurence Robertson: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has to introduce legislation to limit the height of domestic hedges; and if he will make a statement. [77048]

Mr. McNulty: I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon Member for Ceredigion (Mr. Simon Thomas) on 22 October 2002, Official Report, column 290W. Huw

Urban Summit

Llew Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on (a) events organised for, (b) planned release of documents at and (c) number of registrants for the Urban Simmit in Birmingham at the end of October. [77234]

Mr. McNulty: The Urban Summit will be held on 31 October and 1 November at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. The Summit will include plenary sessions with keynote speakers and panel sessions, as well as 28 Themed Sessions, nine site visits and over 20 fringe events. All announcements regarding documents to be published at the Summit will take place shortly. The Urban Summit is for 1500 delegates and all places have been allocated.

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