§ Ian Stewart
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to work together in partnership to meet the Government's target for all services to be electronically enabled by 2005. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
We are keen to promote and support local authorities in developing local partnerships with each other, and across the public sector. Such partnerships will be crucial in building services around the needs of citizens and customers, and in realising the economies of scale in terms of the investment requirement to see the objectives of e-government realised.
As part of our commitment to spend £350 million over three years to support local government online, we have made provision for £75 million over the next two years to support the development of e-government partnerships. From this amount we intend to provide some £47 million over the next two years to 64 local partnerships that submitted proposals to my Department. Details of the individual allocations will be placed in the Library. 418W
Number of men and women leaving the Fire Service and Wales in England 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 Retained Men 1,375 1,357 1,376 Women 35 35 52 Total 1,410 1,392 1,428
For 2000–01 wholetime data are not available for two brigades and retained data for one brigade.
Number of white and ethnic minority firefighters leaving the Fire Service in England and Wales 1998–99 1999–2000 2000–01 Wholetime Men 1,327 1,305 1,356 Women 26 8 9 Total 1,353 1,313 1,365 Retained Men 1,385 1,383 1,423 Women 25 9 5 Total 1,410 1,392 1,428
For 2000–01 wholetime data are not available for two brigades and retained data for one brigade. One wholetime leaver was of undetermined ethnic origin
We will also provide a £2 million programme of practical support over the next two years, to ensure that these partnerships are successful in achieving their aims and that the lesson learned from them are disseminated.
It is our intention to make available the remaining funds (£26 million) for further partnership proposals later in the year.
We will accordingly lay a Special Grant report before the House setting out this intention, in the near future.