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My hon. Friend is absolutely right about the importance of the Treasury and all the Departments affected working together, and we are doing so through the National Economic Council and the regional economic councils, and by enabling Departments to look at such issues in the round, exactly as she says.
Let me pick up the issues raised by the hon. Member for Twickenham in the motion and in his speech. First, there simply is no freeze on the capital funding programme for further education colleges. Investment in college capital projects will amount to £2.3 billion between 2007-8 and 2010-11. That programme is steaming ahead. Incidentally, the equivalent programme in 1997 was zero—there was no capital investment at all in FE in 1997. More than 250 projects are under way, funded by the Learning and Skills Council, helped by the recent decision to accelerate £110 million in the current year from future budgets to help beat the downturn; 154 of those projects are due for completion this year. There has been some disappointment that a number of projects have not gone ahead as quickly as was hoped, but the programme is proceeding on precisely the scale that we said that it would, with a very large number of colleges benefiting as a result.
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