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Poverty

Ms Squire: To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many (a) children, (b) families and (c) people, in each constituency in Scotland, were living in poverty in (i) 1997, (ii) 1998, (iii) 1999 and (iv) 2000. [152465]

Mr. Foulkes: Poverty and social exclusion are multi- faceted problems. Therefore, the Government do not use a single definition of poverty but instead use a range of indicators to monitor the progress of our strategy. Information relating to the indicators can be found in the

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second Government "Opportunity for all" report on tackling poverty and social exclusion "One year on: making a difference". The report also describes and monitors the impact of policies we have already introduced, and sets our plans for the future.

When tackling poverty in Scotland, the UK Government work in partnership with the Scottish Executive, through mechanisms such as the Joint Ministerial Committee on Poverty. The Scottish Executive produces a Social Justice Annual Report " . . . a Scotland where everyone matters".

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This report outlines measures taken by both the Executive and the UK Government to promote social inclusion in Scotland.

CULTURE, MEDIA AND SPORT

Leisure Facilities

Mr. Edwards: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what plans he has to meet the Fitness Industry Association to discuss competition from Lottery-funded leisure facilities. [152861]

Kate Hoey: The Fitness Industry Association has not asked for a meeting.

Former Coalfield Areas

Tony Wright: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps he has taken to ensure that former coalfield areas receive increased awards from the National Lottery distributors. [152997]

Kate Hoey: My Department and Lottery distributors commissioned research into the impact of the Lottery on the coalfields and is working with coalfields groups to take forward the report's recommendations. These include actively encouraging applications from areas of low take- up, producing flexible partnership funding requirements, making decision making more transparent, and better co-ordination with other organisations responsible for regenerating coalfields. We shall continue to monitor carefully applications and awards in coalfields areas.

Export Licences

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent representations he has made to the European Commission regarding the value thresholds applying to works of art for which export licences are required; and if he will make a statement. [152625]

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 6 March 2001]: The financial thresholds were most recently discussed on 2 March at a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Goods, at which my Department made representations about a current proposal to change the date for conversion from euro into sterling, which will effectively reduce the thresholds by 20 per cent. In addition, my Department also made representations about the need for a review of the financial thresholds to, at least, update them in line with inflation. As a result, the European Commission has agreed to consider a review next year, in order to give Her Majesty's Government an opportunity to explain our concerns in detail.

Palliative Care (Funding)

Mr. Field: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he will report on the outcome of the consultations into the proposed sum being made available through the New Opportunities Fund to provide palliative care for adults and children. [153290]

Kate Hoey: The Department announced the results of the public consultation on 10 March. On 1 March the Department laid an affirmative order in the House specifying the new initiatives to be funded by the New

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Opportunities Fund. Draft policy directions for these new initiatives and an analysis of responses to the consultation were placed in the Libraries of both Houses on 9 March.

Wembley Project

Mr. Hoyle: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what role he had in (a) discussions and (b) recommendations relating to the Chairman of the Wembley Holding Company; [152509]

Mr. Chris Smith [holding answer 6 March 2001]: Wembley National Stadium Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Football Association. The appointment of Sir Rodney Walker as Chairman of Wembley National Stadium Ltd., and the terms upon which the appointment was made, is entirely a matter for them.

Sir Rodney Walker informed me in December that he had been asked by the Football Association to take over as Chairman of Wembley National Stadium Ltd. and asked for my advice on whether the appointment would conflict with his position as Chairman of the United Kingdom Sports Council. I advised Sir Rodney that as the United Kingdom Sports Council were not directly involved with the Wembley project, in my view no such conflict arose.

TRADE AND INDUSTRY

Departmental Rules (Gifts)

Mr. Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what rules apply to officials within his Department relating to the receipt of gifts from (a) private companies and (b) individuals; and whether those rules continue to apply during the contractual period between end of employment and the date on which private sector employment may begin, where such gifts originate from the future employer. [153258]

Dr. Howells: The Department expects its staff to observe exceptionally high standards of personal honesty and integrity. Staff should not accept gifts which would or might appear to place them under any obligation to the donor, compromise impartiality or otherwise be improper.

After consultation with senior managers, staff may keep gifts with a retail value of less than £25. Gifts that have a value greater than £25 given by commercial or trade organisations or individuals must be surrendered. Alternatively, if it is considered appropriate to retain such gifts, staff must pay the Department the value in excess of £25. Any gift which has a value of £10 or more must be registered.

These rules apply to all employees of the Department; they do not apply after employment has ended.

Parental Leave

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how he will monitor the uptake of parental leave. [152849]

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Mr. Alan Johnson: A survey of working parents conducted in June 2000 by my Department asked parents whether they had taken up parental leave since December 1999. Initial analysis of the results suggests that 3 per cent. of working parents who had babies born since 15 December 1999 had taken parental leave. A full report of the survey findings is being prepared for publication.

In addition, we are piloting the monitoring of uptake of parental leave in the next Labour Force Survey.

Jackie Ballard: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the extent to which the uptake of parental leave is influenced by an individual's level of income. [152848]

Mr. Alan Johnson: A survey of working parents conducted in June 2000 by my Department asked parents whether they had taken up parental leave since December 1999. For the great majority of cases, the survey collected information on household income rather than individual income. We are currently analysing this information, which should allow analysis of take-up levels of parental leave across household income bands and provide an indication of whether potential take-up of parental leave is influenced by income levels. A full report of the survey findings is being prepared for publication, but no detailed results are yet available.

Regeneration Initiatives

Mr. Brake: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will list the criteria for assessing applications for financial support for economic and physical regeneration initiatives for funds administered by his Department; and what account they take of (a) the variation in the availability of previously developed land and buildings and (b) other considerations of environmental capacity. [152339]

Mr. Caborn: The aims of my Department's policies for economic and physical regeneration were summarised in the recent White Paper, "Opportunity for All in a World of Change". These are based on putting greater emphasis on growth within all regions, by assessing under- performance, putting in place the building-blocks for economic success and establishing strategies for sustaining this success. The exercise of these policies is based on equipping all regions with the means to build on their own distinctive cultures, know-how and competitive advantages. These will include factors relating to land, buildings and the environment, and criteria of this kind are being included in the corporate plans currently being agreed jointly between the regional development agencies, my Department and the DETR and DFEE.


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