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9 Jul 2003 : Column 794Wcontinued
Dr. Kumar: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans she has to assess the effectiveness of regional assistance schemes such as Regional Selective Assistance and Enterprise Grants; and if she will make a statement. 
Jacqui Smith: The Department routinely commissions a programme of independent evaluations of the impact of its business support programmes, including Regional Selective Assistance and the Enterprise Grant Scheme.
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The Enterprise Grant Scheme was created in 2000 and has not therefore existed long enough to result in meaningful independent evaluation. Recently funded Regional Selective Assistance projects were evaluated in 2000, and the results of the evaluation are available on www.dti.gov.uk/support/rsajf2512001.htm.
Regional Selective Assistance and the Enterprise Grant Scheme are being considered in the context of the Department's reassessment of the business support it provides. In future the effectiveness of these and all business support programmes will be monitored on an ongoing basis using a balanced scorecard approach.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the work of the North West Science Council; and what steps she is taking to ensure that the research taking place within the region's universities contributes to the Regional Development Agency's economic strategy. 
Jacqui Smith: The North West Science Council brings together business, academic and science partners to promote the north-west as a world-class region for science, attracting investment and talent and driving innovation. Its members have the expertise, authority and respect needed to implement the North West Science Strategy, a central feature of which is the need to maximise the exploitation of the knowledge base of the region. The North West Development Agency is represented on the council, and works closely with it and with the region's HEIs to deliver the Regional Economic Strategy.
Jacqui Smith [holding answer 3 July 2003]: The Government will shortly be publishing a consultation document on proposals to increase the threshold for mandatory company audit from its current level of £1 million turnover.
2. Business assistanceto assist 113,260 businesses in Merseyside.
3. Commercial/industrial floor space built or improvedto see 635,100 square meters of floor space built or improved.
4. People accessing further education or trainingwanted to open up further education or training to 72,700 people.
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Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in how many cases business assistance was provided by the first Merseyside Objective 1 Programme between 1994 and 1999. 
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many people accessed further education or training during the currency of the first Merseyside Objective 1 Programme. 
Jacqui Smith: Airlines will determine what level of demand there may be for supersonic travel. British Airways has taken the view that their existing fleet of Concorde need to be retired after almost 30 years of service. For the longer term, if sufficient demand is forecast for supersonic travel, I am sure airlines will work closely with aircraft manufacturers to understand the particular environmental, technical and cost challenges of developing and operating a new generation of supersonic passenger aircraft.
Mrs. Gillan: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether he will make the initiative announced on 11 June on improving access to affordable and quality child care available to parents in Chesham and Amersham; and if he will make a statement. 
Childcare Partnership Managers are now available in each Jobcentre Plus District.
Quality First is available for childminders who wish to develop their child care capabilities.
Care to Learn is available for all teenage parents who wish to take part in publicly funded education or training.
The Foundation Stage Information Packs will be available from EYDCPs after 18 July.
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Shona McIsaac: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will list the schools in (a) North Lincolnshire and (b) North East Lincolnshire which are running a deficit budget; and how much each deficit is. 
|Priory Lane Infant School||621|
|St. Bernadette's Catholic Primary School||9,457|
|St. Mary's Catholic Primary School||9,124|
|Frederick Gough School||54,910|
|St. Joseph's RC Primary||6,005|
|Welholme Infants' School||35,105|
|Healing Comprehensive School||5,841|
|Lindsey School and Community Arts College||81,554|
Alan Johnson: The question asks about West Derbyshire and Derbyshire. Further Education figures are available for the parliamentary constituency of West Derbyshire and for the two local education authorities (LEAs), City of Derby and Derbyshire, in the county of Derbyshire. Higher education figures are only available by LEA and not by parliamentary constituency.
In 200001, 5,000 people living in the West Derbyshire constituency and 73,000 people living in Derbyshire attended courses at Further Education (FE) sector colleges. In 200102, 24,000 people resident in Derbyshire were Higher Education Students.
Alan Johnson: The funding arrangements for higher education in England were set out in the White Paper, "The future of higher education" (Cm 5735) and in the grant letter to the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), both of which were published on 22 January 2003.
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