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Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been spent to date on (a) research, (b) preparation and (c) planning for the new charges for the collection of household waste. 
Powers provided by the Climate Change Act would allow up to five local authorities to pilot incentive schemes which help to reduce the levels of waste produced and to enhance the success of recycling programmes. These powers were requested by local authorities. However, no local authority has brought forward a proposal to use the powers.
In preparing for the clauses in the Climate Change Act, DEFRAs research costs were £41,614.83. DEFRA also purchased data, used to inform the impact assessment, on the distributional impacts of waste charging in Flanders, at a cost of £2,166.40.
Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what information his Department holds on the number of apprenticeships which have been interrupted by redundancy in the current economic situation; and what steps he is taking to (a) reduce that number and (b) mitigate the effects of redundancy on individual apprentices. 
We do not currently hold data centrally about the total number of apprentices made redundant. Working with ConstructionSkills and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) we have established a matching service to help apprentices in the construction sector at risk of redundancy to find alternative employment and to complete their apprenticeship. More generally, providers and the LSC have procedures to advise and relocate apprentices, in cases where providers or employers fail, to help ensure that they are able to continue in work and complete their apprenticeship. The £140 million package announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister
last week for an additional 35,000 apprenticeship places will help fund new provision in both the public sector and private sector, and will extend the opportunities available to people facing redundancy. This package will further boost the number of people starting an apprenticeship which has increased from 65,000 in 1996/97 to 225,000 last year and further improve the completion rate which rose to an all-time high of 64 per cent. in 2007/08.
We do have some information on redundancies in the construction sector where 295 redundant apprentices have been subsequently re-employed. We are continuing to help 1,040 redundant apprentices in the construction sector. We also estimate that around 150 apprentices were employed by Woolworths. We are working to establish how many of these apprentices have been found alternative employment.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department spent on works and refurbishment to offices allocated to Ministers in his Department's buildings in the last 12 months. 
Mr. Philip Hammond: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many full-time equivalent staff in his Department assist special advisers; and what the cost of employing such staff has been since his Department was established. 
Mr. Hands: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills with reference to the answer of 25 November 2008, Official Report, column 1406W, on departmental training, what personal training courses at public expense other Ministers in his Department have undertaken since 1 January 2008. 
Foreign language lessons;
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills which external organisations his Department has engaged to provide training for fast stream civil service staff in the last three years; and how many civil servants in his Department have participated in provision of training for external organisations in that period. 
|(1) From 28 June 2007|
The number of civil servants who have participated in training for external organisations since the Department's creation is not collected centrally and could only be obtained at disproportionate cost.
Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills with reference to the answer of 15 September 2008, Official Report, column 2047W, on economic and monetary union, whether the review and update of his Department's euro changeover plan has been completed; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the most recent version. 
Mr. Simon: The Department has relied on the euro changeover plans of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and the Department for Children, Schools and Families until now. These arrangements will remain in place until 31 March 2010, when the Department will transfer to a new shared service operator.
As part of the Department's work to establish and agree the delivery of corporate systems with a new shared service operator this issue will be addressed. A copy of the completed document will be placed in the Library when this work is completed.
The National Weights and Measures Laboratory provided information to the former Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in October 2004 and this formed part of their euro preparations. A more detailed plan was performed in March 2000 which formed part of HM Treasury euro changeover plan.
The UK Intellectual Property Office last updated its euro conversion plan in September 2004 and it formed part of the former DTI overall plan. The plan has not been published, given the time that has lapsed, while the principles are still relevant the legislation, IT systems and costs referred to are significantly out of date and publication would be of little value.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made since December 2008 of incidents of intimidation of Jewish and Israeli students on university campuses; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: This Government deplores acts of racial or religious intolerance and we are committed to tackling anti-Semitism and any form of racial intolerance. Higher education institutions have the primary responsibility for ensuring that their students are not subject to threatening or abusive behaviour on campus and addressing any complaints received. The Department does not collect this type of data.
We are committed to encouraging higher education institutions to ensure that discrimination has no place in any of their policies or practices and to act swiftly when incidents or complaints are brought to their attention. The Department is setting up a dedicated sub-group to the Cross-Government Working Group against anti-Semitism to facilitate discussions between the Jewish community and higher education stakeholders.
Mr. Willis: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many students whose places were co-funded with employers have been admitted to English universities in each of the past three years. 
Mr. Lammy: The development and delivery of higher education (HE) courses designed and co-funded with employers is achieving good sustained growth in employer-based student places, as well as introducing the principle of employer demand-led funding. To date, employer co-funded projects have delivered some 989 places in 2006/07 and 3,840 places in 2007/08. The latest period for which we have confirmed data tells us growth is continuing against our target of 5,000 new co-funded places for this academic year (2008/09), with around 10,700 places allocated.
Mr. Simon: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) was created by machinery of government changes at the end of June 2007. Information on legal costs before that date is available from the predecessor departments of DIUSthe Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.
Bob Spink: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what information his Department holds on the financial performance of the London Metropolitan University; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Lammy: Like other universities, London Metropolitan university receives grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) under a financial memorandum which sets out how it should properly account for its public funding. It is for the Funding Council to keep the financial health of the institutions it funds under review to protect the public interest, including ensuring that public funds are properly spent. Following the discovery that the university had received grant based on incorrect returns, discussions about the way forward are continuing between HEFCE and London Metropolitan university.
Mr. Lammy: As of 31 March 2008, 89,971 borrowers with income-contingent student loans had overpaid a total amount of £47,913,611 since the scheme began. This represents an average of £533 per borrower. These amounts were refunded with interest by the Student Loans Company (SLC) when borrowers accounts were reconciled following the end of each financial year.
The SLC is putting a number of measures in place to help customers avoid overpayment. Later this year, all borrowers who are reaching the end of repayment will be given the option to make final repayments outside the tax system, via direct debit, to ensure they do not overpay. SLC have also introduced new guidance and tools, including an online calculator, to help customers work out their loan balance, and therefore when they are likely to pay their loan in full.
Anne Main: To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether his Department has undertaken research into the efficacy of Government funding to businesses to move staff on to part-time working and providing training part-time. 
Mr. Simon [holding answer 19 January 2009 ]: The Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills has not conducted research specifically on the issue of Government funding to businesses to move on to part-time working and provide training part-time.
The Government recognises the importance of part-time study in higher-education. We were the first to introduce statutory financial support for part-time students. For 2008/09 the maximum course grant is £255 and maximum fee grant is £1,180.
Mr. Pickles: To ask the Leader of the House whether hon. Members whose constituency offices are located within the Nottingham City Council workplace parking charging zone will be able to claim the costs of workplace parking charges from their allowances. 
Mr. Olner: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate his Department has made of the average annual cost to small and medium-sized enterprises of applying for and proving competence in multiple health and safety pre-qualification questionnaires. 
Mr. Brady: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what assessment he has made of the financial and administrative effects on small and medium-sized enterprises of applying for and proving competence in multiple health and safety pre-qualification questionnaires. 
Procurers should ensure that, where they rely on a particular accreditation scheme or standard as part of the process of prequalification or contract award, that they take a flexible approach. Businesses should be given the opportunity to provide evidence that they can meet the contract requirements by reference to other similar equivalent accreditations or standards they may already holdespecially where these have been recognised or required by other public sector procurers.
Mrs. Maria Miller: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many small businesses have ceased trading permanently in each quarter of the last five years. 
As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question concerning how many small businesses have ceased trading permanently in each quarter of the last five years (250971).
Quarterly statistics on businesses that have ceased trading are not available. Annual estimates on births, deaths and survivals of businesses are available from the ONS Business Demography publication. The table below contains the latest annual estimates.
|Business deaths (Thousand)|
|(1) The figures for 2006 and 2007 are provisional.|
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