|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has to implement EU Council directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000 on age discrimination; and if he will make a statement. 
11 Jul 2001 : Column: 568W
The Government intend, in line with the European employment directive (2000/78/EC), to introduce legislation to outlaw age discrimination in employment and training and will start public consultations later this year.
Mrs. Roche: The Government are committed to getting services online by 2005 to ensure that the country, its citizens and its businesses derive maximum benefit from the knowledge economy. The e-envoy makes a valuable contribution towards this commitment, among others, through ensuring that the momentum in meeting it is maintained by working with Departments on developing their e-business plans.
11 Jul 2001 : Column: 569W
Mrs. Roche: Brent is benefiting from a variety of Government initiatives to tackle social exclusion including New Deal for Communities funding of £50 million over 10 years, a Neighbourhood Renewal Fund allocation of more than £5 million over the next three years, a Sure Start programme in central Brent since 2000, and another shortly in south Kilburn.
Mr. Leslie: The Government Information and Communication Service is a network of communication specialists working in Departments and agencies. Their role, as outlined in the guidance on the work of the GIS, is to ensure that the policies and actions of the Government of the day are fully explained and presented.
Mrs. Roche: In 1998, there were approximately 1,850 people rough sleeping in England. In June 2000, published figures indicated that approximately 1,180 people were sleeping rough. This represents a 36 per cent. reduction. The Rough Sleepers Unit will publish updated figures in due course in relation to counts carried out this year.
Mr. Leslie: UK Online strategy is the Government's comprehensive programme for success in the information age, delivered in partnership with other central Government Departments, local government, agencies, and the private and voluntary sectors.
Important elements of the UK Online strategy include the ukonline.gov.uk, the Citizen's Portal, the Government Gateway, which deliver round the clock, customer- focused government services, and UK online for business, which offers expert advice to SMEs on how best to take advantage of the benefits of e-commerce.
11 Jul 2001 : Column: 570W
Mr. Leslie: The unit has been set up to help ensure the Government achieve our key objectives in the areas of health, education, law and order and transport. It is currently establishing its future work programme.
Mr. Leslie: The Delivery Unit, led by Michael Barber, reports to the Prime Minister under the day-to-day supervision of Lord Macdonald. It will help ensure that the Government achieves key objectives in the areas of health, education, law and order and transport, so that their ambitious programme of public service reform is translated into real improvements on the ground.
In addition, our manifesto for business contains a commitment to require Departments and agencies to review the impact and working of major pieces of regulation within three years of implementation. We are currently considering the best way to take this commitment forward.
Mrs. Roche: The Government have been consistent in promoting a cross-departmental approach to improving public services across the whole of the public sector. Increasingly, Government Departments are working together to improve services with overall needs of citizens at the forefront of their thinking. The Chancellor of the Exchequer announced on 25 June 2001 a new series of
11 Jul 2001 : Column: 571W
cross-cutting reviews, building on the initiatives addressed in the previous spending round, and local service delivery has received particular attention. Best Value performance plans will set out how local authorities will approach joined-up community planning. Local strategic partnerships continue to be a key contribution to cross- cutting delivery. The extension of Local Public Service Agreements will provide further opportunities for improving services.
Mr. Leslie: The Cabinet Office has no separate rules which govern our involvement in monitoring delivery of public services. The Chancellor of the Exchequer chairs the Committee on Public Services and Public Expenditure (PSX) which has overall responsibility for monitoring delivery. The Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for the Cabinet Office are members of that Committee and my officials work closely with Treasury officials to support and inform the Committee's considerations.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|