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Chris Grayling: 102 organisations, Special Purpose Vehicles or consortiums submitted bids in respect of the DWP Framework for the Provision of Employment Related Support Services. Bidders were not asked to indicate whether they were disability-specific organisations in their bid. A list of organisations that submitted bids can be found on the Supplying DWP website at:
Those organisations that have been accepted onto the Framework will be notified at the end of November and a list will also be published on the Supplying DWP website. Only those organisations that are successful in being admitted to the Framework as Prime Contractors will be invited to tender for Work programme contracts.
Naomi Long: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the likely effects on those in receipt of carer's allowance of the implementation of his proposal for a universal credit. 
The Government are currently considering whether changes to carer's allowance will be necessary to take account of the introduction of universal credit and provide clearer, more effective support for carers.
Most carers of working age want to maintain contact with the labour market, not only for their financial well-being, but also to enhance their own lives and the lives of those for whom they care. The Government intend, as part of their reforms, to provide support for carers and improve their opportunities to maintain links with the world of work.
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Livingston constituency (a) are in receipt of carer's allowance and (b) were in receipt of carer's allowance in each of the last five years. 
|Livingston parliamentary constituency( 1)|
|(1) Constituencies used for May 2010 are for the Westminster Parliament 2010. Prior to this, the constituencies used are for May 2005. Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Caseloads for CA show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended, for example if they are in hospital. 3. These figures are published at: http://220.127.116.11/100pc/tabtool.html Source: DWP Information Directorate Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data.|
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which services of his Department have been the subject of a contract awarded in a tender process in which Post Office Ltd submitted a bid since 1997-98. 
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what services provided by his Department were the subject of a contract with Post Office Ltd in 1997-98 and have subsequently become the subject of a contract with another supplier; and what the monetary value was of each such contract in (a) 1997-98 and (b) the latest period for which figures are available. 
Brandon Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the monetary value was of contracts between his Department and (a) Post Office Ltd and (b) Royal Mail in (i) 1997-98 and (ii) each year since 2004-05. 
The POca contract began in April 2003. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs, the Northern Ireland Social Security Agency and the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency also pay pensions and tax credits into POcas. The figures above relate to DWP expenditure only.
The ADC contract has been in force since 1 February 2005 to provide contingency arrangements for the distribution of customers' cheque payments in the event of Royal Mail industrial action. The contract was invoked during 2007-08, resulting in increased expenditure for that period.
Chris Grayling: Expenditure on overseas visits by senior civil servants in the Department is not separately recorded and could be identified only at disproportionate cost. However, total expenditure on overseas travel by the Department's staff (over 100,000 in total) for the period from 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010 was £498,525; a fall of 29% compared with the period from 1 October 2008 to 30 September 2009. It is reasonable to assume that the majority of this expenditure was incurred by members of the senior civil service.
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consultation he undertook with (a) charities, (b) third sector organisations and (c) other disability organisations prior to his decision to propose the removal of the mobility component of disability living allowance for those who live in residential care homes. 
Maria Miller: Local authorities have a statutory duty to ensure that contracts with care homes cover services to meet a resident's assessed needs. These will cover activities of daily living which may include providing access to doctors, dentists and local services such as libraries and banks. Local authorities should also take into account the resident's emotional and social needs as part of the assessment.
As part of the spending review all organisations are given the opportunity to contribute to the priorities of the spending review. Across Government, consultation on specific spending review measures was not undertaken. All measures are subject to the parliamentary process, and we are committed to the involvement of charities, third sector organisations and other disability organisations in the ongoing development of policy in these areas.
Graeme Morrice: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of people resident in Livingston constituency with a learning disability who will be affected by the implementation of proposals to remove the mobility component of disability living allowance for those who live in residential care homes; and if he will make a statement. 
Maria Miller: Data concerning the disabling conditions of those receiving DLA are not available broken down by place of residence on a constituency basis. We estimate approximately 60,000 people who claim DLA and live in residential care will be affected by this measure in Great Britain.
Cathy Jamieson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) Kilmarnock and Loudoun constituency, (b) Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency and (c) Scotland have been in receipt of employment and support allowance payments for more than one year. 
|Employment and support allowance claimants as of May 2010|
|Total number of employment and support allowance claimants||Claimants in receipt of employment and support allowance for over one year|
| Notes: 1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Figures are compiled using 2010 parliamentary constituency boundaries. 3. Employment and support allowance (ESA) replaced incapacity benefit and income support paid on the grounds of incapacity for new claims from 27 October 2008. 4. Data include those receiving "credits only". Source: DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study 100% data.|
Chris Grayling: I would firstly like to acknowledge the excellent work achieved by my hon. Friend in pioneering the development of Job Clubs to help unemployed people find work, and in particular the continued success of the Banbury and Bicester clubs in his Oxfordshire constituency.
The Work Programme will give our providers the freedom to design support based on the needs of individuals and target the right support at the right time-not waste time delivering centrally specified support that will not provide the help a person needs.
For the Work Programme to be successful we expect that prime providers will need to work with a broad range of sub-contractors and local partners in order to deliver the personalised and localised services required in today's labour market.
We are actively encouraging local partners to work with potential Work Programme providers in their areas, in the development of bids that are responsive to local circumstances, and have designed the policy of the Work Programme in order to ensure its flexibility and allow it to integrate closely with the services available in each lot.
The commercial process for the Work Programme is on track. The Invitation to Tender for the Framework for Employment Related Support Services was published on the 23 August, and we are currently evaluating tenders. We expect to be able to announce who has been successful before the end of the year.
Gregg McClymont: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will assess the effects of reductions in bus subsidies and the local government transport grant on the mobility of individuals seeking work. 
Chris Grayling: There are no plans to introduce Flexible New Deal in County Durham. The Government have taken a decision to terminate all existing Flexible New Deal contracts and replace them with the Work Programme by summer 2011.
The Work Programme will supersede many of the national employment programmes currently on offer, and the confusing array of current programmes will be phased out up to the launch of the Work Programme.
Chris Grayling: The number of staff employed in each of the Department's offices on the Fylde coast at 30 June 2010 is shown in the following table. For comparison purposes the figures represent both headcount and full-time equivalent staff.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in receipt of housing benefit in (a) Newcastle Upon Tyne North constituency, (b) the North East and (c) England have been in receipt of jobseeker's allowance for more than 12 months. 
Information is collected on the number of claimants in receipt of a passported benefit, which includes income-based jobseeker's allowance. However neither the total number of jobseeker's allowance claimants receiving housing benefit nor the duration of such claims is available.
Mr Sanders: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what criteria he plans to use to determine the distribution of additional discretionary housing benefit funding between local authorities. 
Steve Webb: We are discussing the 2011-12 allocation of the additional Discretionary Housing Payment funding with the local authority associations. Our discussions will be informed by our detailed analysis of the impact of the changes to Local Housing Allowance rates which we published on 23 July 2010. A copy of that document 'Impacts of Housing Benefit proposals: Changes to the Local Housing Allowance to be introduced in 2011-12' has been placed in the Library.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the number of
people in (a) North West Durham constituency, (b) the North East and (c) England likely to have to find alternative accommodation as a result of implementation of proposed reforms to housing benefit. 
Steve Webb: The Department published a document on the 'Impacts of Housing Benefit proposals: Changes to the Local Housing Allowance to be introduced in 2011-12' on 23 July. This gives details of the impacts at local authority level. A copy of the document has been placed in the Library. However, we are unable to provide an estimate of the number of households that may move as a consequence of the proposed reforms because it is not possible to assess behavioural effects among tenants and landlords.
We are working closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government and the devolved Administrations to assist tenants through the transition. For example we have trebled the Discretionary Housing Payment funding to local authorities. We are working with local authorities and providing them with a communications tool kit which will help them raise awareness so tenants can consider their options before they are affected.
Catherine McKinnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of those in receipt of housing benefit in (a) Newcastle Upon Tyne North constituency, (b) the North East and (c) England are female. 
|Females without partner||Couples|
|Total HB recipients||Number||Percentage||Number||Percentage|
1. The figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.
2. Gender information is not recorded in approximately 10,000 cases in England and just over 1,000 cases in the North East.
Single Housing Benefit Extract for July 2010.
Mrs Glindon: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in (a) North Tyneside constituency, (b) the North East and (c) England are in receipt of housing benefit and have been unemployed for 12 months or more. 
The economic status of HB claimants is not available. However information is available on the passported status of the claim: that is, whether the claimant receives either income support, jobseeker's allowance (income-based), employment and support allowance (income-based), or pension credit (guaranteed credit).
Dr Thérèse Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effects on people aged between 25 and 35 in sparsely populated rural areas of the proposed changes to housing benefit. 
Dr Whiteford: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he made of the proportion of housing benefit recipients in Scotland who were (a) pensioners, (b) carers and (c) disabled in the latest period for which figures are available. 
At August 2010, there were 172,020 housing benefit recipients in Scotland where the claimant
or their partner was 60 years old or older. This amounts to 37% of the total housing benefit case load in Scotland. Information on carers and disabled people is not available.
Paul Maynard: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of Jobcentre Plus districts in each region of England have a mental health co-ordinator as part of the mental health co-ordinator network programme. 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what proportion of Jobcentre Plus Districts in each region in England has a mental health co-ordinator. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
All Jobcentre Plus Districts have a mental health coordinator in post. Their role is to raise awareness of mental health issues, building practical links between health and employment services at a local level. This includes ensuring that advisers receive support and training to identify customers who may have a mental health condition and to be able to signpost them to appropriate sources of help.
Julian Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what recent estimate he has made of the average contact time with a jobs adviser for a jobseeker's allowance claimant in the first (a) four weeks, (b) three months and (c) six months of the claimant's search for a job; 
The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your questions asking:
1. how frequently must a Jobseeker's Allowance claimant report to a job centre in the first (a) four weeks, (b) three months and (c) six months unemployment; and
2. what recent estimate has been made of the average contact time with a jobs adviser with a jobseeker's allowance claimant in the first (a) four weeks, (b) three months and (c) six months of the claimant's search for a job.
This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
In answer to your first question, most people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance are required to attend their nearest Jobcentre Plus office every fortnight during the first 13 weeks of their claim. Thereafter and for a period of six weeks they are required to attend weekly before returning to fortnightly attendance. These jobsearch reviews take on average about six or seven minutes. Where additional support is required and that cannot be provided within the confines of a jobsearch review, customers are referred to an adviser.
Turning to your second question, no recent estimate has been made of the average contact with an adviser during various stages of the claim. However, adviser support is provided on the following basis:
everyone has an interview with a personal adviser at the outset of their claim to discuss and agree some realistic job goals and jobsearch plans. We allow an average of 35 minutes for this interview, but the actual time taken will vary to take into account individual customer needs;
people who are particularly disadvantaged within the labour market are fast-tracked from the new claim interview to an adviser caseload. We allow an average of 40 minutes for the an initial interview, followed by an average of three hours contact time used flexibly by advisers to suit individual customer need;
for those people who are not fast-tracked and do not find work quickly, a review is undertaken at or around 13 weeks. We allow an average of 20 minutes for these reviews, but the method of delivery and duration of contact will vary to take into account individual needs; and
all customers reaching six months unemployment are allocated a personal adviser. This involves an initial interview averaged at 40 minutes, followed by an average of three hours contact time used flexibly by advisers to suit individual customer circumstances and needs.
The above framework of regular jobsearch reviews, supplemented by more in-depth adviser support at key stages has proved very successful in helping people into work more quickly than would otherwise have been the case. However, building upon what we know works well, we are, from April 2011, introducing a new framework of advisory support in Jobcentre Plus, giving greater flexibility for Personal Advisers to focus on the individual needs of customers and tailor support accordingly.
I hope this assures you of our intent to provide people with the best possible service.
Alun Cairns: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effects on small businesses of automatic enrolment into workplace pensions; and what steps he plans to take to minimise the administrative requirements placed on small businesses by automatic enrolment. 
Steve Webb: The effect on small businesses of the workplace pension reform regulations is set out in the 2010 Impact Assessment. The impact assessment looks at the impact on employers by employer size, looking specifically at small employers (defined as those with fewer than 50 workers) and micro employers (defined as those with fewer than five workers). Annex A presents the detailed assessment, as well as elements of the reforms that are designed to help small and micro employers.
An independent review of the workplace pension reforms "Making automatic enrolment work" was published on 27 October 2010. One of the things the review team examined was the impact of the reforms on business. David Yeandle, of the Engineering Employers' Federation, was part of the review team to ensure that business interests were well represented in the review process.
The review team recognised that easing burdens on business was important. So a number of their recommendations are aimed specifically at making things more straightforward for employers and we have accepted these recommendations in full. This includes:
Increasing the threshold at which an individual is automatically enrolled (currently £5,035 at 2006-07 prices) to align it with the PAYE tax threshold (£7,475 in 2011-12) and aligning the threshold at which contributions become payable (currently £5,035) with the national insurance contributions threshold (currently £5,715).
A simpler way for employers to check that their defined contribution schemes meet the required standards.
An optional waiting period of up to three months before an employee needs to be automatically enrolled.
Such recommendations will give employers greater flexibility in how they implement the new requirements and will mean that there is a much more proportionate impact on employers. The increased earnings threshold and waiting period are particularly beneficial for smaller employers, as they tend to have more lower earners and higher staff turnover.
Ensuring that micro employers are aware that the design of the national employment savings trust specifically takes account of their needs.
Providing the maximum possible comfort to small employers that they will not be held liable for their scheme choice, particularly if they opt for NEST or a stakeholder pension scheme.
In addition, smaller businesses will not be required to do anything until 2014, once larger employers have been fully brought in. This gives them more time to prepare and more time for us to ensure that the processes work well. Even then they will not be required to contribute the full 3% minimum contribution until October 2017. New businesses will be given further protection by being brought into the reforms last. Any new businesses set up after April 2012 will not have to automatically enrol until March 2016 at the earliest.
The Government are taking forward the recommendations from the review as part of the forthcoming Pensions and Savings Bill, which is scheduled for introduction to Parliament in January 2011. The accompanying impact assessment will set out in detail how the changes affect smaller employers.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 4 November 2010, Official Report, columns 941-42W, on private rented housing, what the evidential basis is for the estimate that 30% of properties will be affordable under the local housing allowance arrangements in 2012. 
Steve Webb: The local housing allowance rates are set within each broad rental market area based on a list of rents maintained by rent officers as prescribed in legislation. From April 2011 the rates would be calculated as the value at the thirtieth percentile, meaning it will be set at the level of rent for which 30% of the rents in the area fall below that level.
Kelvin Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of council tax benefit claimants are disabled people; what assessment his Department has made of the effect on disabled people of the proposed reduction in council tax benefit; and if he will make a statement. 
Design details of the proposed reduction are being developed by officials and have not yet been announced. An impact assessment on the proposed changes to council tax benefit announced in the spending review would be published, in the normal way, accompanying the relevant legislation when introduced in Parliament.
Bill Esterson: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether his Department has made an estimate of the (a) average and (b) total difference between eligible mortgage interest outgoings and benefit awards for people in receipt of support for mortgage interest since 1 October 2010; and what plans he has to provide support for people unable to maintain their mortgage repayments after the implementation of changes to support for mortgage interest rates. 
Steve Webb: The Department does not collect administrative data on the actual mortgage rates paid by support for mortgage interest customers, or information on the average or total difference between eligible mortgage interest outgoings and benefit awards for people in receipt of support for mortgage interest.
In November 2009, we received a sample of data on almost 6,000 support for mortgage interest claimants (around 3% of the total case load) from 16 different mortgage lenders, collected on our behalf by Council of Mortgage Lenders and HM Treasury. While the data are not a statistically robust sample and any results should be considered illustrative, and it is likely that the distribution of mortgage rates will have changed since the data were collected, they can provide a useful insight into the mortgages of support for mortgage interest customers.
Based on this sample, we have made estimates on the proportion of eligible mortgage interest that would be covered under a standard interest rate of 3.67% (the Bank of England published mortgage rate for April 2010), and these are available in table 3 of the equality impact assessment published on the departmental website.
It was necessary for the Government to put support for mortgage interest on a more sustainable footing, and to better reflect mortgage costs, which is why we set the standard interest rate at a level equal to the Bank of England's published monthly average mortgage rate from 1 October. The rate is currently 3.63%. The previous rate of 6.08% was too generous and resulted in the vast majority of people getting more than their eligible mortgage interest liability, which was unfair to taxpayers. The plans of the previous Government would have meant that the standard interest rate would have reverted to a formula-the Bank of England base rate plus 1.58%-which, at present, would produce a rate of 2.08% from January 2011.
Although arrears levels may increase for those few borrowers whose new payments do not cover their mortgage, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has advised that that does not translate into an immediate possession risk, and that lenders will continue to exercise forbearance where it is fair to do so for the borrower, and the borrower has a chance of rehabilitation.
Although there are no current plans to change the standard interest rate, we do intend to carefully monitor the impact of the policy. The Government will also continue to explore with mortgage lenders the scope for them to "freeze" benefit claimants' mortgage accounts and apply a standard interest rate for a fixed period.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what percentage of the population in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Cumbria and (d) Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency are registered with an NHS dentist. 
Mr Simon Burns: Under the dental contractual arrangements, introduced by the previous government on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with a national health service dentist to receive NHS care. The closest equivalent measure to 'registration' is the number of patients receiving NHS dental services ('patients seen') over a 24 month period. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.
Information on patients seen by an NHS dentist in the previous 24 months as a percentage of the population, in England, is available in table D2 of annex 3 of the "NHS Dental Statistics for England 2010/11" report. Information is available at quarterly intervals, from 31 March 2006 to 30 September 2010 and is provided by primary care trust and by strategic health authority but is not available by constituency.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the population in (a) England, (b) the North West, (c) Cumbria and (d) Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency (i) do not have access to an NHS dentist and (ii) are on waiting lists for NHS dentists. 
Information on patients able to get a dental appointment in the last two years is available in table 1 of the "GP patient survey: dental statistics; April to June 2010, England" and is provided by primary care trust and by strategic health authority but is not available by constituency.
Tim Farron: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients diagnosed with manic depression have committed suicide in (a) each NHS trust in the North West and (b) in England in each of the last 10 years; and how many times lack of access to carers, family and friends was recorded as a contributory factor in such cases. 
Paul Burstow: The information requested is not available centrally. Such information as is available is in the following tables. The first table gives a breakdown by year of the number of patients with a primary diagnosis of bipolar disorder who died by suicide in the most recent 10 years for which data are available. The second gives the number of these patients for whom clinicians, when asked whether there was anything that might have made the suicide less likely said that closer contact with the patient's family may have been helpful.
|Number of patient( 1) suicide cases with bipolar disorder , England, 1999 to 2008|
|1 An individual that had been in receipt of mental health care from secondary mental health services in the 12 months prior to suicide.|
(2) 2008 = Not complete prior to suicide.
|Number of clinicians who mentioned closer contact with patient's family may have made suicide less likely in those with bipolar disorder , England, 1999 to 2008|
|(1) 2008 = Not complete, final figure may differ.|
Mr Simon Burns: The Department does not hold this information. Hemofil T was a commercial product, so the clinical trials would have been conducted by the manufacturer Hyland-Travenol (now Baxter Healthcare).
Paul Burstow: The information is not collected in the format requested. However, data are collected by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by people with Mental Illness (NCU/NCISH) which shows that there has been a fall of 46% in the number of psychiatric in-patients who have died by suicide over the last 10-year period for which figures are available.
Local health-care organisations know the health-care needs and priorities of their local populations. They are best placed to determine the work force required to deliver safe patient care within their available resources.
Anne Milton: The National Health Service Hospital and Community Health Service monthly work force statistics show that the number of qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff joining the national health service in England between September 2009 and August 2010 was 24,507.
Mr Simon Burns: Our NHS White Paper 'Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS' makes clear we want pharmacists, working with doctors and other health professionals, to have an important and expanding role in optimising the use of medicines and supporting better health.
Subject to available funding and ensuring we strike the right balance between incentivising uptake and demonstrating positive patient outcomes, We support moves, currently being discussed between NHS Employers and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, to better focus resources on patients who can benefit most. This includes better targeting of medicines use review services and supporting patients with a long-term condition who are newly prescribed a medicine to derive the maximum benefit from their treatment.
Our forthcoming public health White Paper will set out our commitment to further developing the contribution of community pharmacies, a valuable and trusted public health resource, to improve health and well-being and reduce health inequalities. The Department's Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Dr Keith Ridge, will be working with the public health community to realise pharmacy's potential.
In addition, primary care trusts are to publish their final pharmaceutical needs assessment (PNA) by 1 February 2011 following local consultation. PNAs, closely aligned to joint strategic needs assessments, are to be a strategic planning tool on which future commissioning decisions for effective community pharmacy services which demonstrate good patient outcomes are to be taken.
Mike Weatherley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many hospital admissions there were for (a) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and (b) all respiratory diseases in (i) the Hove primary care trust area and (ii) each other primary care trust area in each year since 2007; 
(2) how many hospital bed days there were for (a) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and (b) all respiratory diseases in (i) the Hove primary care trust area and (ii) each other primary care trust area in (A) 2007, (B) 2008 and (C) 2009. 
Jackie Doyle-Price: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations he has received on the level of expenditure at South West Essex primary care trust; and if he will make a statement. 
However, the Department has received a small number of correspondence to do with the PCT's funding and commissioning decisions and the effect of the turnaround plan which the PCT has put in place in order to meet its statutory duty to break even at the end of the financial year.
Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when Ministers in his Department last met the European Commissioner for Health and Consumers; whether the matters of the effects of the setting of maximum permitted levels for vitamins and minerals under the provisions of article 5 of the EU food supplements directive was discussed; when Ministers in his Department next plan to meet the Commissioner; and whether the agenda for that meeting will include the setting of such levels. 
Anne Milton: I wrote to European Commissioner John Dalli in October to raise industry concerns and I met with him on 19 November to discuss this issue. The Commissioner recognises the concerns raised and has provided reassurance that the levels will be set based on risk assessment and potential harm and take account the concerns expressed by all interested parties. No further meetings are planned at this stage.
The Department works closely with the United Kingdom Permanent Representation to secure the UK's objectives in negotiations. However, the European Commission has yet to publish its proposal for maximum levels and discussions are not expected to resume until spring 2011.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education to what projects and programmes he plans to allocate funds saved as a result of spending reductions in respect of Building Schools for the Future. 
Mr Gibb: Savings from the cancellation of the wasteful Building Schools for the Future programme will not be separately allocated, but will contribute to allocation to real need when the capital spending review is completed.
On 5 July the Government launched a review of all areas of the Department for Education's capital spending. Its purpose is to ensure that schools capital is spent efficiently and in ways that meet real need. Future investment will be focused on ensuring that there are sufficient school places and to addressing the condition need of the educational estate. The capital review team will complete its work by the end of the calendar year.
Mr Gibb [holding answer 16 November 2010]: No specific additional funding is currently provided by the Department for Education for the children of service personnel. We are considering the responses to the consultation on school funding which ended on 18 October, which included proposals to extend the pupil premium to the children of service personnel and provide additional support to schools who experience a high turnover of children from service families.
Sir Peter Soulsby: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many young people at (a) Regent College and (b) Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College receive education maintenance allowance. 
Mr Gibb: It is not possible to provide information about the number of young people at Regent College or Wyggeston and Queen Elizabeth I College who receive an education maintenance allowance. Neither the Department for Education nor the Young People's Learning Agency holds information about EMA take-up by individual institution.
Mr Gibb: Between 20 October and 5 November 2010, the Department for Education has received a total of 76 letters and emails about the changes to the education maintenance allowance (EMA) scheme. Ministers have also recently met the Association of Colleges where this issue was raised.
The EMA scheme will close at the end of the current academic year. It will be replaced by an enhanced learner support fund, managed locally, which will target support more closely to those young people facing the most significant financial barriers to participation.
Mr Gibb: The education maintenance allowance scheme will close at the end of the 2010-11 academic year and no new applications will be processed from 1 January 2011. It will be replaced by an enhanced Discretionary Learner Support Fund. Decisions about which young people should receive financial support from the Discretionary Learner Support Fund will be made by schools, colleges and training providers, who are in a better position than Government to determine the needs of individual students. They will target support to those young people who most need it to continue in education.
Mr Gibb: This is a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener, the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Westminster North with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in Hansard and the House Libraries.
Mr Gibb [holding answer 11 November 2010]: This is a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener, the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Makerfield with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries.
Mr Gibb: This is a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener, the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Bolton North East with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mrs Ellman: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many students at schools and colleges in Liverpool have received education maintenance allowance payments in each of the last five years; and how much the average annual grant received by such students was in each such year. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 11 November 2010]: This is a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener, the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Liverpool Riverside with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in Hansard and the House Libraries.
Ian Lavery: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many students in (a) Wansbeck constituency and (b) Northumberland have received education maintenance allowance in the last 12 months. 
Mr Gibb: This is a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener, the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Wansbeck with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much his Department spent on education maintenance allowance in 2009-10; and what estimate he has made of his Department's expenditure on the replacement scheme for education maintenance allowance in 2014-15. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 25 October 2010]: £569 million was spent on education maintenance allowance in 2009-10. £26 million has been invested in 2010-11 in a discretionary learner support fund. With the ending of EMA, this fund will be increased. Further details will be announced in due course.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many students normally resident in Warrington North constituency receive education maintenance allowance; and what estimate he has made of the number who will receive this allowance following implementation of proposals in the comprehensive spending review. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 25 October 2010]: Figures on take-up of the education maintenance allowance (EMA) are a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the scheme for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Warrington North with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Libraries.
Stephen Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what recent estimate he has made of the number of young people in Wimbledon constituency in receipt of education maintenance allowance. 
Mr Gibb: This is a matter for the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) who operate the education maintenance allowance for the Department for Education. Peter Lauener, the YPLA's chief executive, will write to the hon. Member for Wimbledon with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in Hansard and the House Libraries.
Claire Perry: To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether his Department has made an assessment of the potential effects on the educational attainment of children of the undertaking by a parent of military service in Afghanistan. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 16 November 2010]: Research by the Department shows that service children who regularly move schools tend to underperform and several studies have found that children in military families face certain social and emotional challenges. But overall, a higher proportion of service children achieve expected levels in English and mathematics at key stage 1 and 2 than their peers; and a higher proportion achieve five A*-C GCSEs. However, it remains important that schools are aware of the challenges facing children of those who are on active service, or who have recently returned from active service, and are ready to offer appropriate support when necessary.
Andy Burnham: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what level of funding his Department has allocated to (a) the Dedicated Schools Grant, (b) the School Standards Grant and School Standards Grant (Personalisation), (c) the School Development Grant, (d) the Ethnic Minority Achievement Grant, (e) the Early Years: Extending and increasing the flexibility of the entitlement for three to four year olds grant, (f) the School Lunch grant, (g) Extended Schools grants within the Standards Fund, (h) the General Annual Grant for all academies, (i) resources devolved to schools for school improvement, (j) funding for one-to-one provision and (k) Every Child interventions in 2010-11. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 19 October 2010]: 2010-11 allocations through the Dedicated Schools Grant, School Standards Grant and Standards Fund (to which (c) to (k) relate) are available on the Department's website through the following link:
Mr Gibb [holding answer 19 October 2010]: As part of the announcement of the outcome of the spending review announced on 20 October 2010, we confirmed that the following grants/funding streams are protected and form the core budget for schools going forward:
Funds allocated for one-to-one tuition
Every Child programmes
School lunch grant
School standards grant
School development grant
Specialist schools grant
Ethnic minority achievement grant
National Strategies' budgets that were allocated to schools
Dedicated schools grant
Academies running costs.
Mr Iain Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much funding he plans to make available for the engineering diploma qualification in (a) 2010-11 and (b) 2011-12; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb: We anticipate funding local authorities with a total of £8.6 million of diploma formula grant for the engineering diploma in 2010-11 for 14 to 16-year-olds, based on the forecast key stage 4 diploma student numbers that they submitted to the Department in July 2010. This funding is in addition to mainstream funding for schools. Places for engineering diploma students aged 16 to 18 are fully funded by the Young People's Learning Agency, as with all accredited qualifications, but their allocations to institutions are not made on the basis of specific qualifications and as such we cannot say how much will fund the engineering diploma in 2010-11. Further details on funding for 2011-12 will be made clear when the Department for Communities and Local Government announces local authority allocations and on the publication of the statement of priorities for the Young People's Learning Agency.
Jon Trickett: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many proposals to establish a free school his Department has received from (a) individuals, (b) groups and (c) organisations to date; and how many such applications have been granted agreement to proceed to the next stage in each such category to date. 
Mr Gibb: The Department for Education has received over 130 Free School proposals since the launch of the policy, from individuals, groups and organisations. On 5 November, names of the first 25 Free School proposals approved to progress to business case and plan stage were published on the Department's website at:
Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how many expressions of interest in the free schools scheme he has received from groups based in (a) Birmingham local education authority area and (b) Birmingham Hall Green constituency. 
Mr Gibb: The Department does not hold, collect or receive expressions of interest about Free Schools. To date, there have been 11 Free School proposals from the Birmingham local authority area and six from the Birmingham Hall Green constituency.
Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education when he expects to complete his Department's performance review of the grant provided to the New Schools Network for the administration of the free schools programme; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Gibb [holding answer 8 November 2010]: Under its grant agreement with the Department, New Schools Network (NSN) provides advice to groups wishing to establish Free Schools. NSN does not administer the Free Schools programme.
As with any arrangement of this nature, regular monitoring and review will be carried out by the Department. An interim review of performance against the grant agreement is scheduled for February 2011.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education pursuant to the answer of 1 November 2011, Official Report, column 612W, on the New Schools Network, on what date he plans to reply to the request made by Mr Singer under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and how many days have elapsed since the date on which the response was due to be made. 
Mr Gibb: Our intention is that the pupil premium will be payable from 2011. The consultation on school funding that we launched on 26 July 2010 ended on 18 October 2010 and we are now considering over 700 responses that we have received. Exact details about how the grant will be paid and the exact date of its introduction have, therefore, not yet been determined. A statement of the outcome of the consultation will be made shortly.
John Cryer: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) whether he has plans to provide additional financial support to schools with a high number of deprived pupils after the introduction of the pupil premium; 
Mr Gibb: The Government have no plans to provide additional funding further to what we announced in the spending review for the pupil premium, in addition to the underlying schools budget. The pupil premium will rise progressively year on year to £2.5 billion in 2014-15.
We have publicly consulted on the methodology of the pupil premium and are currently considering responses. We will announce further information about the pupil premium-including details of criteria for the premium-in good time to give notice to schools and local authorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what estimate his Department has made of the number of children of school age in communities of (a) Gypsy
or Roma and (b) Travellers of Irish heritage who are not in full-time education; and whether his Department plans to ensure that full-time education is received by all children in such communities. 
Local authorities in England and Wales have had, since February 2007, a statutory duty to make arrangements to identify all children missing from education in their area. The duty applies in relation to children of compulsory school age who are not on a school roll, and who are not receiving a suitable education otherwise than being at school (for example, being educated at home, privately educated or in alternative provision).
It is important that schools and local authorities implement the systems and regulations and follow the guidance in place around keeping registers, excluding pupils and removing pupils from the school roll. Schools must fulfil their requirement to inform local authorities when pupils' names are deleted from the school roll or have "disappeared" following 10 days unauthorised absence from the school. Notifying the local authority is important because the local authority can then attempt to trace the children and ensure that any pupils whose names removed from the roll of a school are receiving a suitable education.
Mr Gibb: The annual PE and sport survey has collected data relating to PE and school sport since 2003. The 2009-10 survey showed that, after investment of £2.4 billion of Exchequer and lottery funding and seven years of work, only around two in every five pupils play competitive sport regularly within their own school, and only one in five plays regularly against other schools. The coalition Government are committed to creating an annual Olympic-style school sport event to encourage more competitive sport in schools. Our approach differs fundamentally from that of the last Government. While the network of school sport partnerships helped schools to increase participation rates in areas targeted by the previous Government, the proportion of pupils playing regular competitive sport has remained disappointingly low.
Lisa Nandy: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much and what proportion of school capital spending the Minister expects to allocate to (a) existing comprehensive schools, (b) existing academies, (c) new comprehensive schools and (d) new academies or free schools in each year of the comprehensive spending review period. 
The review of DfE capital led by Sebastian James has all aspects of DfE capital within scope, including capital for schools of all types as well as for
other children's services. It is due to report to Ministers by the end of the calendar year. In the light of its advice, and as soon as possible after it has reported, Ministers will take decisions on the allocation and management of DfE capital. As such, it is not yet possible to state what the proportions will be for schools of each type.
Ms Angela Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) if he will make an estimate of the number of redundancies likely to be made by schools as a result of the spending reductions proposed in the comprehensive spending review; 
Mr Gibb: We have made no estimate. Overall, funding for schools-including funding for the new pupil premium-will rise in real terms over the CSR period. We are providing maximum flexibility to schools in relation to how they spend the budgets allocated to them. It is for governors and head teachers to decide how best to use their budgets to ensure the best outcomes for their pupils. Due to the public sector pay freeze, increases in schools costs will be below real terms.
Mr Gibb: We recognise the importance of preserving access to a local school for rural communities. We, therefore, plan for the presumption against closure of rural schools to continue. The presumption does not mean that a rural school will never close, but the case for closure should be strong and in the best interests of educational provision in the area. As existing guidance makes clear, where schools are closing to be replaced by an academy there is a general presumption that closures will be approved.
Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Education how much capital spending he plans to allocate to schools in Warrington in the next four financial years; and which schools in Warrington will be (a) rebuilt and (b) refurbished under the Government's new capital programme. 
Capital allocations for the next four years for Warrington and other local authorities have yet to be determined. It is therefore not possible at this stage
to estimate how many schools will be rebuilt or refurbished. The review of all areas of Department for Education's capital spending will enable us to use capital more effectively and efficiently. We will focus capital where it is most needed: areas that need new places for rising pupil numbers and schools in the worst condition. Capital will be spent more efficiently than the bureaucratic and wasteful Building Schools for the Future programme.
Rosie Cooper: To ask the Secretary of State for Education what information local authorities are required to provide to parents of deaf children on (a) the number of teachers with a mandatory qualification in teaching deaf children, (b) specialist provision for deaf children and (c) outcomes of assessments of the standard and effectiveness of services for deaf children in their areas. 
Sarah Teather [holding answer 15 November 2010]: We do not routinely collect data regarding the number of teachers of the hearing impaired by region. Local authorities are responsible for ensuring that teachers of the hearing impaired possess the appropriate mandatory qualification to undertake the role. It is a matter for local authorities to ensure that they have enough qualified teachers to meet their statutory commitments.
The school work force census should from November 2011 collect data on what additional qualifications teachers have and this will allow us, for the first time, to ascertain the numbers of teachers who possess the mandatory qualification for teaching children with sensory impairments.
The Department does not require local authorities to provide specific information on deaf children. However, the Special Educational Needs (Provision of Information by Local Education Authorities) Regulations 2001 and the School Information Regulations 2008 require local authorities to publish their arrangements and policies on the provision available for children with special educational needs, which will include deaf children.
The Special Educational Needs Information Act 2008 requires the annual publication of information about children in England with special educational needs. The information published includes local authority data on outcomes for these children by SEN type, including hearing impairment, at key stages 2 and 4 in English, Maths and Science.
Sarah Teather [holding answer 15 November 2010]: We do not routinely collect data regarding the number of communication support workers for deaf children in mainstream schools either nationally or by region.
Mr Gibb: The Government are currently considering a wide range of issues around the future of teacher training and, in particular, what steps they should take to ensure that we have an adequate supply of high quality teachers, and how the best people can be attracted into the profession. The number of men teaching in primary schools is one of these issues.
Henry Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Education (1) with reference to his Department's press notice on the 2010 Spending Review of 20 October 2010, what mechanism he plans to adopt to divide between schools the funding previously allocated to the Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts programmes after this academic year; 
(2) whether funding previously allocated by his Department to the Every Child a Reader and Every Child Counts programmes will be divided between all schools when calculating the baseline budget for 2010-11. 
Mr Gibb: Funding for Every Child a Reader (ECAR) and Every Child Counts (ECC) is part of the schools budget announced in the spending review, which will increase by 0.1% in real terms each year. Details of school funding allocations for 2011-12 will be announced later in the autumn. It will be for local authorities, in consultation with their Schools Forum, to decide whether to take account of the previous level of this funding in each school when making their 2011-12 allocations to schools.
Sarah Teather [holding answer 28 October 2010]: This Government are committed to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and to its implementation in the UK. The education, health and well-being of children are vitally important for our society and the principles and standards defined in the convention are an important framework for our thinking.
The coalition Government are committed to specific policies that will progress the UN Committee's Concluding Observations. These include: ending the detention of
children for immigration purposes; eradicating child poverty; supporting children that are most vulnerable and improving child protection; encouraging and enabling young people to engage in decision-making at national level and in their communities and combating negative perceptions. We are also reviewing the role of the Children's Commissioner in the context of the Government's commitment to the UNCRC. A statement and evidence of compliance will be prepared as a platform for the next report to the UN Committee in 2014.
Anas Sarwar: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to which organisations his Department has (a) made grants in 2010-11 and (b) allocated grants for (i) 2010-11, (ii) 2011-12 and (iii) 2012-13; and what the monetary value of each such grant is. 
Gregory Barker [holding answer 23 November 2010]: Budgeted expenditure on grants in 2010-11 is £804.3 million. Budgets are set by programme rather than recipient organisation. The following breakdown represents amounts paid or committed so far in 2010-11. Some budgeted amounts are unallocated at this point in the year. The breakdown shows individual organisations or sectors receiving £l million or more:
Philip Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what information his Department holds on the proportion of people who (a) have switched energy tariffs, (b) find energy suppliers' tariffs confusing and (c) are able to identify potential savings from switching supplier since the completion of Ofgem's consumer engagement summary in 2008; and if he will make a statement. 
Since the publication of its consumer engagement survey in August 2008 Ofgem has, in an update report published in March 2010, found that switching levels have fallen slightly, with 17% of gas customers and 18% of electricity customers switching during 2009, down from 20% for electricity and 19% for gas during 2008. However, Ofgem point out that this was in the context of the more static pricing strategies seen during 2009.
This report also found that 8% of those who have never switched say they found the number of tariffs confusing. In addition, 67% of customers who had switched their electricity supplier and 64% who had switched their gas supplier believe they are now paying less as a result of their switch. This is a statistically significant improvement for electricity where, in 2008, 62% said they believed they were paying less than they would have without switching.
Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what funding his Department plans to allocate to assist UK companies working overseas to (a) increase the availability of energy supplies and (b) take advantage of business opportunities in that sector in each year of the spending review period. 
Charles Hendry: Funding is not allocated directly to UK companies working overseas, however, increasing global investment in essential oil and gas production and promoting low carbon growth while maximising opportunities for UK energy companies are priorities for the Department. We will continue to work closely in this area with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and UK Trade and Investment over the spending review period.
Charles Hendry: The Department of Energy and Climate Change is helping to develop the UK deep geothermal sector through its Deep Geothermal Challenge Fund (DGCF). The Government announced £1 million for the second round of the DGCF in July 2010, and the review of bids is currently under way.
The Government recognise the potential for deep geothermal energy to deliver low carbon, renewable and non-intermittent electricity and heat in the UK, contributing to our targets on climate change and energy security.
Charles Hendry: The Department for Energy and Climate Change does not publish energy price forecasts. It publishes oil, gas and coal price assumptions for the period till 2030, which are used in the Department's analytical work. These assumptions can be found on the Department's website at:
Justin Tomlinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what funding his Department plans to allocate to encourage (a) the development of renewable energy and (b) the efficient use of energy in the next three years. 
The RO supports large-scale generation of renewable electricity. Since its introduction in 2002, it has tripled the level of renewable electricity in the UK from 1.8% to 6.7%(1) in 2009, and is currently worth around £1.4 billion/year(2) in support to the renewable electricity industry. The spending review announced that this level of funding will continue, confirming the Government's commitment to the increase of renewable electricity. The Electricity Market Reform consultation document is due to be published next month and will set out proposals for changes to the existing market in order to meet our renewables and decarbonisation goals. But whatever the proposal, Government understands the need for investor certainty, and is not looking to make retrospective changes.
The FIT scheme was launched on 1 April of this year and supports small-scale low carbon electricity generation up to 5 MW (2 kW for microCHP) in capacity. Initial figures for the first six months of the scheme (taken from Ofgem's online database) indicate that 8,960 installations commissioned since the announcement of the scheme in July 2009 were supported. This amounts to a total installed capacity of 35.8 MW.
In addition, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is due to go ahead in June 2011 to support renewable heat. We expect to be in a position to announce the details of the scheme before the end of this year.
DECC will continue to fund a targeted Warm Front programme for the next two years to provide support for heating and insulation measures for the most vulnerable households. Warm Front and associated fuel poverty funding of £110 million in 2011-12 and £100 million in 2012-13 will be available.
In addition, to December 2012 energy companies are expected to invest more than £2 billion in the promotion of energy efficiency measures to householders to achieve their obligations under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target and Community Energy Saving Programme.
The Green Deal, which will be introduced in late 2012, will provide households and businesses energy efficiency improvements at no up-front cost, with consumers repaying through the savings they make on their energy bills.
(1) Department of Energy and Climate Change, June 2010 Energy Trends.
The Prime Minister: It is long-standing Government practice not to disclose information relating to ministerial meetings, including the proceedings of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees, as to do so would put at risk the public interest in the full and frank discussion of policy by Ministers.
Austin Mitchell: To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 17 November 2010, Official Report, column 782W, on the BBC, whether (a) he, (b) civil servants and (c) special advisers in his Office have had meetings with the Director-General of the BBC since 1 August 2010 which are not to be listed in the published list of official meetings between Ministers and external organisations. 
Michael Dugher: To ask the Prime Minister (1) whether the National Security Council has made a recent (a) estimate of the cumulative private finance initiative liabilities of the Ministry of Defence to 2020 and (b) impact assessment on the effects of those liabilities of that Department's capacity to fund the Trident successor programme; 
(2) whether the National Security Council has made a recent estimate of the level of unfunded liabilities in the long-term costings of the Ministry of Defence attributable to the Government's commitment to the Trident successor programme; and if he will make a statement. 
The Prime Minister: It is long-standing Government practice not to disclose information relating to ministerial meetings, including the proceedings of Cabinet and Cabinet Committees, as to do so would put at risk the public interest in the full and frank discussion of policy by Ministers.
Mr Brady: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the implications of the Office of Fair Trading's inquiry into barriers to entry, expansion and exit in the UK banking market on the timetable for divestment of branch assets by part-nationalised banks; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the implications of the Government's policy to bring forward proposals to create a more competitive banking market on the timetable for the divestment of branch assets by part-nationalised banks; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hoban: As a condition of European Commission approval for the state aid that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) have received, both banks have committed to divest branch-based retail assets by the end of 2013 at the latest. Subject to complying with the terms of the agreement with the Commission, the timing of the sales is a matter for the firms concerned.
In June the Chancellor announced the establishment of the Independent Commission on Banking, chaired by Sir John Vickers, which will make recommendations to Government on promoting competition in the banking sector.
Gordon Banks: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will bring forward proposals to increase representation by UK Financial Investments Ltd on the boards of banks in receipt of public funding. 
Mr Hoban: The Government's shareholdings in banks are managed on a commercial and arm's length basis by UK Financial Investments Ltd (UKFI). UKFI are required to do this in a way that is consistent with the Treasury's aim not to be a permanent investor in UK financial institutions-the Government are clear that British banks are best owned and managed commercially.
UKFI believes that Government investee banks need strong boards, and work with banks to achieve this. The appointments process to the boards of RBS and Lloyds are run by their nominations committee, and UKFI works with the banks' boards in line with the Framework Document remit to strengthen membership through the appointment of suitably qualified, independent non-executives.
Under UK company law, directors cannot represent individual shareholders' interests. Accordingly, while these directors have been appointed with the agreement of UKFI, they are not and cannot be UKFI's representatives and will not report directly to them.
Chris Evans: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what plans he has to lay before Parliament for approval a draft Legislative Reform (Industrial and Provident Societies and Credit Unions) Order; what discussions he has had on revisions to the draft order laid before Parliament on 8 March 2010; what revisions he plans to make in consequence; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr Hoban: The Government are committed to the mutuals sector, as set out in the coalition agreement. The proposed Legislative Reform Order (LRO) includes a number of measures designed to modernise the operation of industrial and provident societies and credit unions.
The Treasury is considering the reports of the House of Lords Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee and of the House of Commons Regulatory Reform Committee. I expect the LRO to be re-laid for final scrutiny shortly.
Siobhain McDonagh: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of progress in the implementation of the recommendations contained in the special report of the Parliamentary Ombudsman on Equitable Life, Injustice unremedied: the Government's response to Equitable Life, Session 2008-09, HC435. 
"implement the Parliamentary and Health Ombudsman's recommendation to make fair and transparent payments to Equitable Life policy holders, through an independent payment scheme, for their relative loss as a consequence of regulatory failure."
On 20 October 2010, Official Report, columns 949-65, as part of the spending review we announced that we have made up to £1.5 billion available to fund the scheme and that the first payments to policyholders would be made by the middle of next year.
Mr Hoban: Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions with a wide variety of organisations in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings and discussions.
Mr Jim Cunningham: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date he plans to make the first payments to Equitable Life policyholders affected by maladministration in the regulation of that society; what estimate he has made of the total sum to be paid to policyholders; and to how many policyholders he expects to make payment. 
Mr Hoban [holding answer 20 October 2010]: We are committed to making payments as quickly as is possible and our ambition is to make first payments in the middle of 2011. The Chancellor's spending review statement to the House on 20 October 2010, Official Report, columns 949-65, set out that in the region of £1.5 billion would be made available for the scheme.
The Government have established the Independent Commission on Equitable Life Payments, chaired by Brian Pomeroy, which will make recommendations on how to design the payments scheme including how to allocate payments between the policyholders who have suffered relative loss as a result of regulatory failure.
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