§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security how many single parents in Warrington, North have benefited from the New Deal programme to date. 676W
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
Modernising the Social Security system is a key priority of the Government. Our objective is to reduce poverty and welfare dependency and to promote work incentives. Our welfare to work programme will provide opportunities for lone parents to move into work.
The operational responsibility for the New Deal for Lone Parents is a matter for Peter Mathison, the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to my hon. Friend.
Letter from Peter Mathison to Helen Jones, dated 13 November 1997:The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking how many single parents in Warrington North have benefited from the New Deal programme to date.The information is not available in the format requested. Statistics are collated by each New Deal for Lone Parent service area and not by Parliamentary Constituencies. The Benefits Agency North Cheshire district, which comprises offices at Warrington and Widnes, is one such area.The New Deal for Lone Parent service offers advice and help with jobsearch, training, childcare and benefits, as part of the Welfare to Work programme, to create a package of back-to-work help for lone parents with school age children. Any lone parent whose youngest child is below school age can benefit from the service.The New Deal for Lone Parents service has been available in North Cheshire since 21 July 1997 and by 31 October 1997, staff in Warrington had interviewed 233 lone parents, of whom 214 had agreed to participate in the programme and 50 had found work.I hope you find this reply helpful.