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Overview and Scutiny Committees

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 22 June 2006, Official Report, column 2106W, on overview and scrutiny committees, why hon. Members cannot be co-opted onto OSCs. [81316]

Ms Rosie Winterton: As stated in my previous reply, overview and scrutiny committees (OSCs) have powers set out in the Local Government Act 2000 to co-opt non-voting members onto OSCs. These co-opted members can be:

Therefore hon. Members cannot be co-opted onto an OSC.

Parliamentary Questions

Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many parliamentary questions tabled to her Department were awaiting a reply on 10 July 2006; which of those had been waiting longer than (a) two and (b) three weeks for a reply; and what the reason for the delay was in each case. [85206]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The available information is as follows:


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As at 17 July, 13,280 parliamentary questions have been tabled this session on Department of Health matters. 573 were awaiting answer, of which 21 were outstanding for more than two weeks but less than three weeks, and 68 for more than three weeks. We aim to ensure that Members receive a substantive response to their named day question on the named day and endeavour to answer ordinary written questions within a working week of being tabled. Unfortunately, this is not always possible but this Department makes every effort to achieve these time scales.

Pre-CSR Report

Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with (a) the Treasury and (b) the Cabinet Office regarding the pre-comprehensive spending review report; and if she will make a statement. [82840]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: My hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Health has had and will continue to have wide ranging and regular discussions with the Chief Secretary about preparations for the “2007 Comprehensive Spending Review”, as a matter of key importance to the Departments medium and long-term planning.

Smoking

Janet Anderson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what level of fine will be imposed on individual licensees in England and Wales for not enforcing the smoking ban in their public houses; and what research her Department has undertaken on the level of fines in other jurisdictions. [80921]

Caroline Flint: Penalties for offences within chapter one, part one of the Health Bill, smoke-free premises, places and vehicles, will be set out in regulations.

Through the passage of the Health Bill, Ministers have clearly set-out the Government's intentions for fine levels for offences under smoke-free legislation, and proposes that a person who is found guilty of an offence under clause 8 of the Health Bill (offence of failing to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place) will be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level four on the standard scale.

The levels of penalties for offences under chapter one, part one of the Health Bill were the subject of public consultation in 2005, as part of the Consultation on the Smoke-free Elements of the Health Improvement and Protection Bill published by the Department.

Proposals for levels of penalties reflect the feedback from this consultation process, as well as advice received from other bodies including the Home Office.

Proposed penalties for the offence of failing to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place are consistent with those in Scotland's smoke-free legislation, with the exception that a penalty notice for this offence can be issued by an authorised officer of an enforcement authority in Scotland.


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Social Care

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps she (a) is taking and (b) plans to take to ensure that people who have (i) multiple sclerosis and (ii) other long-term and fluctuating conditions receive access to social care at an early stage in the progression of their condition. [86235]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The national service framework for long-term conditions, published in March 2005, has as a key quality requirement the need to ensure people living with long-term conditions are offered a timely integrated assessment of their individual health and social care needs.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment she has made of the uniformity of access to social care in different parts of the country. [86238]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: The Department has not made any recent assessment of the uniformity of access to social care in different parts of the country. Fair access to care services (FACS) is designed to deliver uniformity of access within council areas, not between councils. Decisions about eligibility to services are made by individual councils in response to local need and according to criteria set out in the FACS guidance Fair Access to Care Services Guidance on Eligibility Criteria for Adult Social Care. The guidance is contained in local authority circular (2002)13 and available on the Department's website at: www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/01/96/41/04019641.pdf

A copy has been placed in the Library.

Andrew Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health if she will increase the amount spent on equipment used by social care workers to care for individuals with (a) multiple sclerosis and (b) other conditions resulting in mobility problems. [86239]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: It is for primary care trusts and councils to decide, locally, how best to allocate resources and provide appropriate mobility equipment for their population.

Speech Therapy

Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations she has received on speech and language therapy services in the London borough of Bexley; and if she will make a statement. [84876]

Mr. Ivan Lewis: No representations have been received by my hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health on speech and language therapy services in the London borough of Bexley.

Treasury

Demographics

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the population of Peterborough was in
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each year between 1997 and 2005; what the population is estimated to be in 2006; and what estimate has been made of future population trends. [85994]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 July 2006:

Mid-year population estimates and projections for Peterborough
Number

Population Estimates

1997

156,400

1998

155,900

1999

156,500

2000

156,600

2001

157,400

2002

157,600

2003

158,800

2004

159,100

Population Projections( 1)

2005

160,300

2006

161,000

2007

161,800

2008

162,600

2009

163,400

2010

164,300

2011

165,100

2012

166,000

2013

167,000

2014

167,900

2015

168,800

2016

169,800

2017

170,700

2018

171,600

2019

172,600

2020

173,500

2021

174,400

2022

175,300

2023

176,100

2024

176,900

2025

177,700

2026

178,500

2027

179,300

2028

180,000

(1) The population projections data shown are taken from the 2003-based subnational population projections, the latest set of projections currently available. Therefore they may not be consistent with the 2004 mid-year estimate. Note: Data are rounded to the nearest 100. Source: Office for National Statistics.

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Electronic Auctions

Martin Horwood: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what (a) procedure and (b) criteria were used to add suppliers to the list of electronic auction framework agreements by the Office of Government Commerce; and what recent assessment his Department has made of the developing market in intellectual copyright related to electronic auctions. [86020]

John Healey: The electronic reverse auctions framework agreements were awarded in accordance with the restricted procedure as set out in the EC procurement directives, using the “most economically advantageous tender” criterion.

No suppliers have been added to the list of those awarded electronic auction framework agreements. No recent assessments have been made of the market for intellectual property rights in the functionality of software that enables reverse auction services.

FSA Fines

Mr. Drew: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how the money collected by the Financial Services Authority in fines is allocated. [86561]

Ed Balls: The Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA) provides that penalties levied on firms are allocated to the fee-block or blocks to which the activities relate—fee blocks group fee payers conducting similar activities. This ensures that the costs of undertaking enforcement actions are matched, as far as possible, with any penalties they might generate.

FSMA sets out that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) must not take account of any sums it has received, or may receive, by way of penalties when fixing the level of its fees. This means that the FSA does not take financial penalties into account when calculating the level of its annual funding requirement and the fee rates resulting from the AFR. Neither does the FSA treat financial penalties as income—rather, they are a liability owed to fee payers.

The FSA’s rules in this area were set out in a policy statement in May (see annex 4 in particular): http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/policy/ps06_03.pdf

Household Incomes

Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the (a) median and (b) mean gross household income was in the last year for which information is available; and if he will make a statement; [85778]

(2) what the lower limit of the top decile for gross household earnings was in the last year for which information is available; and if he will make a statement. [85779]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 July 2006:

Life Expectancy

Mr. MacNeil: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what average life expectancy was in (a) 1994 and (b) 2004 in each country in the UK, broken down by (i) local authority and (ii) health board area; and what projections for average life expectancy are in each area in (A) 2024, (B) 2034 and (C) 2044. [86586]

John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 July 2006:

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what average life expectancy was in (a) 1994 and (b) 2004 in each country in the UK, broken down by (i) local authority and (ii) health board area; and what projections for average life expectancy are in each area in (A) 2024, (B) 2034 and (C) 2044. [86587]


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John Healey: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 July 2006:


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