§ Mr. Coleman
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many lone parents in the unit of delivery covering Hammersmith and Fulham(a) are currently in receipt of benefit, (b) have been requested to attend interviews with respect to the New Deal, (c) have undergone such interviews and (d) have secured employment as a consequence. 
§ Mr. Andrew Smith
Responsibility for the subject of this question has been delegated to the Employment Service Agency under its Chief Executive. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Richard Foster to Mr. lain Coleman, dated 23 March 1999:As the Employment Service is an Executive Agency, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment has asked Leigh Lewis to reply to your question on lone parents in the unit of delivery covering Hammersmith and Fulham. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to Mr. Lewis as Chief Executive of the Agency. I am replying in his absence.The New Deal for Lone Parents is targeted at those parents on Income Support whose children are of school age. It is open also to those with younger children who put themselves forward. The number of lone parents in receipt of Income Support for Hammersmith and Fulham stood at 4,000 in August 1998. This information is based on the Local Authority boundaries.I am unable to provide the information you sought on the number of lone parents requested to attend interviews for the New Deal. This is because information on the volume of letters issued is currently only available nationally. I should point out that the contact letter sent to lone parents under the New Deal for Lone Parents is not a request for them to attend an interview. Participation is voluntary and lone parents may choose to get in touch with a New Deal Personal Adviser when it suits their circumstances. The letter aims to make lone parents aware of the New Deal and to encourage them to contact an adviser if they want support in returning to work.Unfortunately, New Deal for Lone Parents figures are not formally available at this stage from Employment Service Districts. I, therefore, asked for a special exercise to be carried out to produce these figures. In February the number of lone parents that had initial interviews in Hammersmith and Fulham Jobcentres was 177. The number of lone parents who have secured employment in that period as a result of New Deal for Lone Parents was 46.I hope this is helpful.