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Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps she has taken to discourage the use of private cars to transport pupils to and from school; and if she will make a statement. 
30 Jan 2002 : Column 408W
Mr. Timms: The Department for Education and Skills continues to work closely with the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions, the Department of Health and other members of the School Travel Advisory Group to promote alternatives to the car for the journey to school. We have also produced practical guides and software to assist local authorities and schools in introducing school travel plans and encouraging more sustainable school travel.
Ann Keen: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will (a) set out the criteria for allocation of special grant to authorities most affected by the transfer of funding for sixth form provision to the Learning and Skills Council and (b) list the amount of special grant to be made available to each local education authority. 
Mr. Timms: The special grant will be paid to local education authorities: (a) whose post-16 SSA (after their Learning and Skills Council allocation for sixth form provision has been deducted) is less than 7.5 per cent. of their original post-16 SSA, and the grant will be such as would make up the post 16-SSA to 7.5 per cent. of the original post-16 SSA; or (b) who have less than 85 per cent. of their increase in education SSA (before the LSC transfer) available for purposes other than the increase in sixth form funding compared with the total of 200203 real terms guarantees for the authority, and the grant will be such as would make 85 per cent. of that increase available. The table sets out the allocations of special grant by LEA.
|Kensington and Chelsea||0.075|
|Kingston upon Thames||0.137|
|Bath and North East Somerset||0.426|
|East Riding of Yorkshire||0.575|
30 Jan 2002 : Column 409W
Malcolm Wicks: There are many factors involved in the effective administration of housing benefit. There is therefore no single objective measure by which to judge local authorities' achievements as best or worst overall.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many incorrect income support and family credit awards there were in each of the past 10 years, as a percentage of the total; and what the total cost to the Department was. 
Malcolm Wicks: Our reforms to bereavement benefits introduced in April 2001 concentrate the help available where and when it is needed moston immediate needs and on families with children. For the first time these benefits are available equally to both men and women.
Immediate help with costs arising on bereavement is provided by a lump sum bereavement payment of £2,000double the old widow's payment of £1,000. There is a weekly benefit for widowed parents who satisfy the qualifying conditions. A bereavement allowance is also available for 12 months, to give widows and widowers aged 45 or over without dependants time to adjust to their new circumstances.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners had no private income by region, expressed as (a) a percentage and (b) the total number, ranked in descending order according to percentage figures for the latest year for which figures are available. 
|Government office region||Percentage||Number|
|North-west and Merseyside||18||150,000|
|Yorks and Humber||16||90,000|
1. Private income has been assumed to mean any income other than that provided by state benefits. The estimates have been given for all pensioner units and are from the Family Resources Survey 19992000.
2. Pensioner units are defined as single (non-cohabiting) people over state pension age (65 and over for men, 60 and over for women) and couples (married or cohabiting) where the man is over state pension age.
3. Proportions have been rounded to the nearest 1 per cent. and numbers to the nearest 10,000. Due to small sample sizes some figures are uncertain.
4. The FRS relies on self-reporting of private income and hence estimates are subject to error.
30 Jan 2002 : Column 410W
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many children were living in households below 60 per cent. of median income by region, expressed as (a) percentage of population and (b) total number, in descending order according to percentage figure in 2000; 
Malcolm Wicks: Such information as is available can be found in the publication "Households Below Average Income 1994/51999/00", a copy of which is held in the Library. Results for 200001 will be published in April.
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people spent at least two out of three years on a low income, broken down by region, expressed as (a) a percentage of population and (b) a total number, in descending order according to percentage figures in 2000. 
Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households were without a bank or building society account, broken down by region, expressed as (a) a percentage and (b) the total number, ranked in descending order according to percentage figures for the latest year in which figures are available. 
30 Jan 2002 : Column 411W
|Region||Number without account (thousand)||Percentage without account|
|Yorks and Humberside||230||10|
1. Post office accounts, TESSAs and ISAs are included as bank or building society accounts.
2. The estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors that control for tenure, council tax band and a number of demographic variables. Estimates are subject to sampling error and to variability in non-response.
3. Estimates of numbers in each region are subject to greater uncertainty, as FRS-based results are not reconciled to regional-level population estimates, except for London.
4. The numbers are rounded to the nearest 10,000.
Family Resources Survey 200001
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