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The Prime Minister: In August 2001, an assessment made in accordance with the recommendations of the National Beds Inquiry showed that Oxfordshire needed a further 151 beds to reach its recommended number. A more detailed assessment process is now being developed to ensure that the right capacity exists to meet the needs of patients in Oxfordshire. Action is already being taken to address the capacity problem, and current plans include an increase of 48 surgical beds at the John Radcliffe Hospital by spring 2003 and an increase of 18 beds in Bicester by autumn 2004.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Prime Minister what his policy is with regard to (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department giving evidence to (i) Scottish Parliament, (ii) Welsh Assembly and (iii) Northern Ireland Assembly Committees; and to what categories of document he gives (A) full access, (B) restricted access and (C) no access to (1) Scottish Parliament, (2) Welsh Assembly, (3) Northern Ireland Assembly and (4) House of Commons Select Committees. 
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The Labour Force Survey (LFS) can provide estimates of the total number of employees in the public sector due to reach state retirement age in the next five, 10 and 15 years. That is, men aged 6064, 5564, and 5064 and women aged 5559, 5059 and 4559 respectively. Estimates for the number of employees in the public sector for the age breakdowns and their proportions of the total number of employees of working age in the public sector are shown in the table.
(2) March to May
(3) Not seasonally adjusted
Percentages are based on the total number of public sector employees in the relevant age group as a percentage of all employees in the public sector
ONSLabour Force Survey
Dr. Cable: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what steps are being taken by the Treasury and the FSA to investigate (a) mis-selling and (b) financial solvency in respect of split level investment trusts; 
Ruth Kelly: I understand from the Financial Services Authority that they have been considering for some time the sale of 'exotic' products, including split capital investment trusts, to retail investors. It issued a Consumer Alert on 9 March 2001, entitled "Be wary of exotic ISAs, warns financial watchdog". In March 2001, it also issued specific guidance to financial advisers, reminding them of their responsibility to ensure that investors are aware of the risks involved in purchasing split capital investment trusts.
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Dawn Primarolo: Throughout 2001, I have met a wide range of interested groups and individuals, including representatives from carers' organisations and disability groups, to discuss all aspects of the new tax credits proposals.
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate total annual staff costs for his Department and its agencies by nation and region of the UK; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Salmond: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the total expenditure was on (a) advertising, (b) polling, (c) focus groups, (d) design consultants, (e) caterers, (f) production of departmental publications and (g) photographs/photographers by his Department for each year since 1995 in (i) cash and (ii) real terms; what was (A) the annual percentage increase in spending on each category and (B) spending on each category as a percentage of the total departmental running costs; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the maximum distance is that employees at Her Majesty's Customs and Excise office in Shrewsbury would be expected to travel if alternative work were found for them. 
Mr. Boateng: Staff could be moved to another office within reasonable daily travel, which is defined as within 90 minutes' travelling time each way from home, taking into account the personal and domestic circumstances of each member of staff.
Mr. Boateng: HM Customs and Excise are pursuing a number of initiatives to improve their service to business and achieve efficiency improvements. Reductions in personnel at Shrewsbury are related to the programme to concentrate the work of Debt Management Units from
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29 sites into 10. As a result HM Customs and Excise announced that the DMU at their Shrewsbury office will close on 31 March 2002, affecting 32 staff.
However, Customs have no plans to close the Shrewsbury office. Customs are also exploring options with other Government Departments and agencies. Their aim remains to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible.
Mr. Paul Marsden: To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will estimate the number of redundancies at Her Majesty's Customs and Excise office in Shrewsbury if replacement work is not found. 
Mr. Boateng: HM Customs and Excise's policy is to avoid compulsory redundancies wherever possible. They are not in a position to estimate whether or not there will be any redundancies at Shrewsbury until all the other options have been exhausted.
Mr. Boateng: HM Customs and Excise are undertaking a national review of Regional Business Services work that does not have to be based at a particular location. This may result in that work being pooled or concentrated in particular sites. Shrewsbury will be given equal consideration alongside similar locations as part of that review.
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