|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Menzies Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2002, Official Report, column 81819W, on stolen equipment, whether the computer equipment stolen from her Department was (a) new and unused and (b) used; and what was the nature of the data stored on such items in each case. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: Of the computer equipment stolen from the Department for Education and Skills since 1997, all but two were used. The remaining two new and unused were laptops stolen from a storeroom and were awaiting issue. None of the data on the computers was of a sensitive or personal nature.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when she expects to announce the schools which have been successful in their bids for specialist school status in the bidding round which involves bids being submitted before the 15 March deadline; and if she will make a statement. 
20 Mar 2002 : Column 342W
congestion charging on the recruitment of teachers in schools within the congestion charging zone in London. 
Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate she has made of the cost to a teacher over a year of the extra costs of congestion charging in London if they use a car to drive to work. 
Mr. Timms: The School Teachers' Pay and Conditions document already allows schools and LEAs to make payments to teachers for travel expenses incurred in connection with their journey to and from work.
Mr. Llwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what meetings she has had, and representations she has received from Members of the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Assembly Executive regarding the increased use of private sector funding in delivering public services, broken down by date and subject. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: My Department has not met with representations from the Welsh Assembly Executive or Members of the National Assembly for Wales regarding the increased use of private sector funding in delivering public services.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will list the Public Service Agreement targets which have been revised and those which have been introduced since the publication of the 2001 departmental report. 
Mr. Ivan Lewis: None of our Public Service Agreement targets have been revised, nor further ones introduced, since the publication of the 2001 departmental report. However, employment related targets have passed to the Department for Work and Pensions following machinery of Government changes last year.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the outcome was of the Employment and Social Policy Council held in Brussels on 7 March; what the Government's stance was on each issue discussed, including its voting record; and if she will make a statement. 
20 Mar 2002 : Column 343W
I represented the UK at the Employment and Social Policy Council in Brussels on 7 March, together with the Minister of State for Employment Relations and the regions, my hon. Friend, the Member for Hull, West and Hessle (Alan Johnson).
The main business of this council was a debate in preparation for the forthcoming European Council in Barcelona. The Spanish Presidency issued its own conclusions. The UK supported the key themes of improved co-ordination of economic and employment policy and the importance of aligning the new European employment strategy with the Lisbon goal of full employment. Member states recognised the need to integrate disadvantaged groups, particularly older workers, into the labour market to achieve this goal and acknowledged the vital role played by life long learning in achieving the Lisbon targets.
Council also held an open debate on violence against women which formed the basis of Presidency conclusions for Barcelona. There was consensus on the need for a multi-disciplinary approach to this issue with broad agreement on the use of good practice guides and annual awareness raising campaigns at a European level. The forthcoming Danish Presidency will take forward this work in the context of the council's annual follow-up of the member states' implementation of their commitments under the Beijing Platform for Action, including discussions on the necessity for, and potential scope of, indicators in this field.
The Presidency sought an outline position on the proposal for a directive updating the existing directive on the protection of workers from the risks of exposure to asbestos, pending the adoption by the European Parliament of its First Reading opinion. After a debate, which hinged on a proposal to include a general ban on asbestos within the directive, the dossier was remitted to COREPER for further work.
The Council also heard a progress report on negotiations for the draft directive supplementing the proposed regulation for a Statute on a European Co-operative Society in respect of employee involvement. Work will continue on this dossier in COREPER.
20 Mar 2002 : Column 344W
Transport, Local Government and the Regions when he will announce the results of the latest round of the gipsy site refurbishment grant. 
Ms Keeble: 86 bids were submitted by local authorities for round 2 of the gipsy site refurbishment grant. I can today announce approval for the 57 bids. Funding for the successful bids totals £6.1 million.
The existing network of local authority owned gipsy sites represents a valuable resource for gipsies. This injection of funding, following on from round 1 of the programme, will further help local authorities extend the useful life of sites, bring them into full use and improve the quality of life for residents.
Rev. Martin Smyth: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what plans he has to exempt disabled facilities grants for children from the test of resources. 
(3) what training is (a) available and (b) required for people wishing to convert their cars to run on liquid petroleum gas using LPG conversion kits. 
Mr. Jamieson: All vehicles converted to run on LPG must comply with the requirements of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986. Conversions which result in significantly reduced emissions are eligible for Government grants under the Powershift programme, which is administered by the Energy Saving Trust. To be eligible for a grant, conversions must be done by Powershift approved converters, whose competence is tested by the trust. The DTI has recently announced a new £1 million programme, called "LPG Boost", to further enhance the uptake of LPG, including grants to help additional conversion specialists undertake the technical training and meet the competencies for becoming Powershift approved converters, and so increase the network of approved converters.
DVLA statistics record 26,694 vehicles as running on gaseous fuels. DVLA statistics do not distinguish between liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas vehicles, but most of the vehicles are LPG-fuelled carsnatural gas is used mainly in heavy goods vehicles, and the numbers are smaller. The DVLA figure is also an underestimate, since not all motorists notify DVLA of
20 Mar 2002 : Column 345W
their vehicle's conversion. There are currently estimated to be around 65,000 LPG vehicles in the UK. Motorists are converting to LPG at an increasing rate, with the number expected to increase by about 35,000 for 2002 and 50,000 in 2003, prompted by the Government grants available, and the fact that low-cost LPG fuel is now available in all areas of the country.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|