§ Mr. Hilary Benn
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how much local discretionary funding was allocated to each of the Learning and Skills Councils for 2001–02; and what proportion of total funding allocated to each Learning and Skills Council this amount represents. 
§ Mr. Wicks
There is no single definition of local discretionary funding. After the current transition period, local LSCs will have the decisive role in the allocation to providers of the vast bulk of the LSC's mainstream budgets, including those for further education and work-based training (although prices paid per individual learner will be determined by a national formula).
For a range of other activities which total 10 per cent. to 15 per cent. of LSC overall funds, and for which there will be no national formula, local LSCs will determine both the allocations and the prices paid. One element within that 10 per cent. to 15 per cent. category is the Local Initiatives Fund (LIF), offering maximum flexibility for the local LSC to support local projects which would not otherwise be funded through mainstream programme budgets. The total LIF budget for 2001–02 is 166W £90.3 million, of which almost 90 per cent. has so far been allocated. The table shows initial LIF allocations to local LSCs for 2001–02.
Decisions about the allocation of LSC overall funding to each local LSC have yet to be made by the national LSC. When they have been made, I shall write to my hon. Friend.
Local Initiatives Fund: LLSC initial allocation (December 2000) £ LLSC 2001–02 East Midlands Derbyshire 1,538,498 Nottinghamshire 1,848,478 Lincolnshire and Rutland 858,230 Leicestershire 1,383,212 Northamptonshire 890,796 Eastern Norfolk 1,157,665 Cambridgeshire 949,765 Suffolk 894,042 Bedfordshire 815,356 Hertfordshire 1,288,419 Essex 2,057,655 London London North 1,875,419 London West 2,279,819 London Central 4,257,799 London East 4,268,075 London South 1,718,457 North East Northumberland 520,986 Tyne and Wear 2,387,779 County Durham 801,459 Tees Valley 1,518,689 North West Cumbria 748,602 Lancashire 2,032,225 Greater Merseyside 3,433,319 Greater Manchester 4,276,348 Cheshire and Warrington 1,161,393 South East Oxford, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire 1,637,128 Bracknell Forest/West Berkshire 1,070,636 Hampshire and Isle of Wight 2,324,637 Surrey 1,143,987 Sussex 1,992,704 Kent and Medway 2,163,569 South West Devon and Cornwall 2,151,591 Somerset 605,899 Dorset 823,870 Avon 1,365,864 Wiltshire 743,296 Gloucestershire 764,412 West Midlands Shropshire 602,964 Staffordshire 1,572,865 Black Country 2,335,377 Birmingham and Solihull 2,990,819 Herefordshire and Worcestershire 935,019 Coventry and Warwickshire 1,246,575 Yorks and the Humber North Yorkshire 929,946 West Yorkshire 3,857,355 South Yorkshire 2,385,990 Humberside 1,693,012