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Baroness Ashton of Upholland: Connexions partnerships will generally advertise the existence of the Connexions service within their locality. In addition, through the partnership agreement, partnerships will work with schools, colleges and other appropriate institutions to make the availability of the Connexions service known to parents and their sons and daughters; letting them know that it is available to young people both within their school or institution and via Connexions one stop shops in the high street. Connexions personal advisers also strongly encourage young people to discuss any Connexions support with their parents but respect the right of the young person not to do so.
Partnerships are not obliged to notify parents that their child is actively involved with Connexionseither in one-to-one sessions with a personal adviser or through more general group sessions. The exception to this may be if the personal adviser is working with a young person in a school where it has been agreed that the school's confidentiality policy is followed, which may give the parents the right to know this information.
Baroness Ashton of Upholland: Connexions personal advisers are drawn from a range of professional backgrounds. To be fully qualified they must possess an NVQ level 4 or equivalent in a relevant professional discipline (eg careers youth work, social work) and have attended a bespoke training programme, either Understanding Connexions or the Diploma for
Before being allowed any direct contact with young people, all personal advisers must, as a minimum, have been List 99 cleared (a DfES maintained list of people whose employment working with young people has been barred or restricted by the Secretary of State).
The financial memorandum of Connexions partnerships requires Connexions partnerships to take all reasonable precautions to avoid employing any person convicted of a criminal offence involving an offence against the person, or an offence involving sexual behaviour, except with the prior written consent of the Secretary of State. Where the CRB check reveals other such criminal convictions, it is up to the partnership to decide if it wishes to obtain this consent.
Further to the Written Answer by Mr McNulty, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, on 30 January (HC Deb, 791W), why improvements in relet times for registered social landlord dwellings between 199697 and 200102 have been achieved only by the South East region; why there has been an average increase in relet times across all local authorities in England of 24 per cent; and why there has been an average increase in relet times across all rural authorities of 38 per cent.[HL1507]
The Minister of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Lord Rooker): We are extremely gratified that local authorities in London have shown a marked improvement between 199394 and 200102 in the average time it takes to relet their dwellings; and that
The figures quoted for the average time taken to relet local authority housing stock should be treated with caution, however. These figures are based on estimates provided by local autorities as part of their annual housing investment programme returns and there are likely to be variations in the way local authorities maintain their lettings records and compile these estimates.
One factor contributing to the increase in average relet times is likely to be the impact of low demand on housing, since the largest increases are in the regions which are experiencing the most acute level of low demandNorth West, North East, Yorkshire and Humberside and West Midlands. In these regions we are tackling the problem head on through the establishment of nine sub-regional pathfinder projects to address the most acute problems of low demand. We have recently announced in Sustainable Communities: Building for the future an additional investment of £500 million in the next three years for these pathfinder projects. An important part of returning these areas to sustainability is ensuring that there is a better balance between supply and demand for housing across all tenures (including the social housing stock).
The Government are committed to the adoption by local authorities of customer-focused, choice-based lettings policies. We believe that this is the best way to ensure sustainable lettings and stable and viable communities. We are funding a pilot scheme to test different choice-based lettings approaches and are monitoring their effect on relet times as part of the evaluation of the pilot scheme.
Lord Rooker: The list of successful bidders for starter home initiative funding is set out below: Airways Housing Group Aldwyck Housing Association Angevin Specialist Homes Apex Housing Group Beacon Housing Association Bedfordshire Pilgrims Housing Association Boleyn & Forest Housing Association