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Written Answers

Volume 405: debated on Thursday 15 May 2003

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Written Answers To Questions

Thursday 15 May 2003

Defence

Counselling Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arrangements are made in his Department to allow staff to access counselling services. [111939]

The Ministry of Defence has an Occupational Welfare Service, whose role is to help keep people effective at work through the provision of

May 2000May 2001
OfficerSoldierTotalOfficerSoldierTotal
RSIGNALSLiability9917,6688,6599917,6688,659
Strength9087,3438,2518777,1988,075
REMELiability8709,85010,7208709,85010,720
Strength8178,4509,2678038,3619,164
RACLiability8665,0235,8898665,0235,889
Strength8004,8125,6128254,8535,678
May 2002April 2003
OfficerSoldierTotalOfficerSoldierTotal
RSIGNALSLiability9917,6688,6599917,6688,659
Strength9087,2058,1139237,5638,486
REMELiability8709,85010,7208709,85010,720
Strength8278,4319,2588238,7419,564
RACLiability8665,0235,8898665,0235,889
Strength8354,9405,7758345,0345,868

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) establishment and (b) strength of the (i) Royal Engineers, (ii) Army Corps of Music, (iii) Adjutant General's Corps and (iv) QARANC was (A) in May 2000, (B) in May 2001, (C) in May 2002 and (D) on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [113242]

May 2000May 2001
OffrSldrTotalOffrSldrTotal
RELiability1,1868,0059,1911,1868,0059,191
Strength1,1057,2588,3631,1247,3978,521
CAMusLiability361,1181,154361,1181,154
Strength371,0111,048359871,022
AGCLiability1,0566,1507,2061,0566,1507,206
Strength1,0016,1087,1091,0385,9847,022
QARANCLiability3546511,0053546511,005
Strength272392664274391665
May 2002April 2003
OffrSldrTotalOffrSldrTotal
RELiability1,1868,0059,1911,1868,0059,191
Strength1,1167,4328,5481,1417,6038,744
CAMusLiability361,1181,154361,1181,154
Strength339911,024349881,022

support and advice to staff and managers. All civilian staff have access to this service and Welfare Officers are trained in counselling skills, which they use in discussions with individuals.

Army Strength

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) establishment and (b) strength of the (i) Royal Corps of Signals, (ii) Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and (iii) Royal Armoured Corps was (A) in May 2000, (B) in May 2001, (C) in May 2002 and (D) on the latest date for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [113240]

The following tables show the requirement and trained strength of Royal Corps of Signals, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and Royal Armoured Corps. Officer strengths exclude full Colonels and above.

The tables show the requirement and trained strength of the Royal Engineers (RE), Army Corps of Music (CAMus), Adjutant General's Corps (AGC) and QARANC. Officer strengths exclude full Colonels and above.

May 2002April 2003
OffrSldrTotalOffrSldrTotal
AGCLiability1,0566,1507,2061,0566,1507,206
Strength1,0355,8466,8811,0535,9697,022
QARANCLiability3546511,0053546511,005
Strength285409694280428708

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the targets were for the trained strength of the Royal Electrical and Military Engineers battalions in each year since 2000; and if he will make a statement. [113243]

REME Battalions as at April 2000
ARMPTELCPLCPLSGTSSGTWO2WO1LTCAPTMAJLTCOL
AGCS1711281471003600
APTC00060000000
E2163003000000
RAMC00730000000
REME30640543527811669233952256
RLC9681423311800400
RM00001000000
RSIG00060000000
00000000
Totals43550051234013887234262256
REME Battalions as at April 2001
ArmyPTELCPLCPLSGTSSGTWO2W01LTCAPTMAJLTCOL
AGCS2218351681307700
APTC00070000000
E2228001500000
RAMC001150000100
REME34545157327514071313482357
RLC92975942141130500
RSIG00025000000
Totals461594678347168100344195357
REME Battalions as at April 2002
ArmyPTELCPLCPLSGTSSGTW02W01LTCAPTMAJLTCOL
AGCS2219331571407700
APTC00070000000
E2034001600000
RAMC00860000100
REME34636848020411265283181347
RLC6579402813830500
RSIG00016000000
Totals43250056126119393313894347
REME Battalions as at April 2003
ArmyPTELCPLCPLSGTSSGTWO2W01LTCAPTMAJLTCOL
AGCS2215281571406700
APTC00070000000
E2024001600000
RAMC00630000100
REME2212383241457253232168297
RLC4551251911720300
RSIG00016000000
Totals2883283831909780252779297

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) are the specialist corps responsible for the technical maintenance of equipment within the Army. The tables below show the targets for trained strength for REME battalions in each year since 2000.

D-Day Anniversary

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans the Government has to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of D-Day; and if he will make a statement. [113602]

Although preparations have not been concluded, the intention is for the Government and armed forces to be represented at Ministerial and senior officer level at parades and services in Normandy being organised by the French Comite du Debarquement, and the Army will provide a band. Appropriate representation will also be provided at a service of remembrance and thanksgiving which will take place at St. Paul's Cathedral later in the year.

Defence Attachés

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the countries in which UK defence attachés are in place. [112298]

United Kingdom Defence Attachés/Advisors are currently serving in the following 82 locations.

CountryCity
AlbaniaTirana
AngolaLuanda
ArgentinaBuenos Aires
AustraliaCanberra
AustriaVeinna
BahrainManama
BarbadosBridgetown
BelgiumBrussels
BrazilBrasilia
BruneiBandar Seri Begawan
BulgariaSofia
CanadaOttawa
ChileSantiago
ChinaBeijing
ColombiaBogota
Congo DRCKinshasa
CroatiaZagreb
CyprusNicosia
Czech RepublicPrague
DenmarkCopenhagen
EgyptCairo
EthiopiaAddis Ababa (as from 1 June 2003)
FinlandHelsinki
FranceParis
GeorgiaTbilisi
GermanyBerlin
GhanaAccra
GreeceAthens
GuatemalaGuatemala City
HungaryBudapest
IndiaNew Delhi
IndonesiaJakarta
IrelandDublin
IsraelTel Aviv
ItalyRome
JamaicaKingston
JapanTokyo
JordanAmman
KazakhstanAlmaty
KenyaNairobi
KoreaSeoul
KuwaitKuwait City
LatviaRiga
LebanonBeirut
CountryCity
LithuaniaVilnius
MacedoniaSkopje
MalaysiaKuala Lumpur
MoroccoRabat
NepalKathmandu
NetherlandsThe Hague
New ZealandWellington
NigeriaAbuja
NorwayOslo
OmanMuscat
PakistanIslamabad
PhilippinesManila
PolandWarsaw
PortugalLisbon
QatarDoha
RomaniaBucharest
RussiaMoscow
Saudi ArabiaRiyadh
Serbia & MontenegroBelgrade
Sierra LeoneFreetown
SingaporeSingapore
Slovak RepublicBratislava
SloveniaLjubljana
South AfricaPretoria
SpainMadrid
Sri LankaColombo
SwedenStockholm
SwitzerlandBerne
SyriaDamascus
ThailandBangkok
TurkeyAnkara
UgandaKampala
UkraineKyiv
United Arab EmiratesAbu Dhabi
USAWashington
UzbekistanTashkent
VenezuelaCaracas
ZimbabweHarare

Document Classification

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many documents are held by his Department that are subject to security classification, broken down by category of classification. [107352]

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Minister of State, Cabinet Office on 7 May 2003, Official Report, column 695W. The position is the same for the Ministry of Defence.

Equipment And Maintenance Personnel

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) establishment and (b) strength of REME and RE trades relating to the maintenance of equipment is, stating in each case the (i) trade and (ii) percentage shortfall from establishment requirement; and if he will make a statement. [113241]

The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) are the specialist corps responsible for the technical maintenance of equipment within the Army and not the Royal Engineers (RE). The tables below show the requirement and trained strength of REME trade groups. Information on individual trades is not held centrally, and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

REME Trade Groups
Army/Corps Trade Group (REME)RequirementStrength±Percentages
Artificer
Aircraft861324653.5
Artificer
Avionics4655919.6
Artificer
Electronics18932713873.0
Artificer
Vehicles476520449.2
Artificer
Weapons801193948.8
Technician
Aircraft60060220.3
Technician
Avionics2592994015.4
Technical
Electronics905969647.1
Armourer679594-85-12.5
Metalsmith233229-4-1.7
Recovery
Mechanic591454-137-23.2
Shipwright2927-2-6.9
Technical
Storeman334300-200-36.2
Vehicle
Electrician553353-200-36.2
Vehicle
Mechanic4,1243,432-692-16.8
Total9.1848,412-772-8.4

Family Aftercare

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what guidance is available for commanders on how best to address family after-care and advice in cases of bereavement or serious training injury; what changes to guidance will be made following the review undertaken by the principal personnel officers; and if he will place copies of advice in the Library. [112631]

Each of the services has a well-defined and practised casualty reporting procedure with written guidance available to commanders and their staffs involved in bereavement aftercare. The guidance has recently been reviewed and new guidance issued where this was thought necessary. In addition, commanders and their visiting officers who are tasked with assisting bereaved families are able to draw upon the expertise and experience of unit welfare staffs (including service chaplains) and the Casualty Co-ordination Cell in each service. Aftercare guides and videos have been produced in order to help with the training of commanding officers, their personnel staffs and visiting officers.

Halton Army Training Camp

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to sell the Halton Army Training Camp in Lancaster; and if he will make a statement. [112545]

There is no intention to dispose of Halton Camp. A proposal is under consideration to sell off part of the camp to finance a re-build of the retained part.Internal planning is at an early stage and no decisions have yet been taken.

Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans exist to release reservists serving in the Iraq theatre. [111357]

As the Secretary of State for Defence stated on 30 April 2003, Official Report, columns 15–16WS, we will continue to withdraw assets and personnel from the region where possible, but we will maintain an appropriate military presence for as long as is necessary. The requirement for Reservists will match this pattern. As at 12 May some 533 Reservists serving on Operation Telic had been demobilised.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what efforts are being made to return TA soldiers serving in the Gulf to their employers at the earliest opportunity. [112648]

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the reservists on duty in Iraq will be brought home. [112876]

As the my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence stated in his written ministerial statement on 30 April 2003, Official Report, columns 15–16WS, we will continue to withdraw assets and personnel from the region where possible, but we will maintain an appropriate military presence for as long as is necessary. The requirement for Reservists will match this pattern. As at 12 May 2003 some 533 Reservists serving on Op TELIC had been demobilised.

Mental Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many of his staff have taken sick leave due to mental health problems in the last year; [111989](2) how many sick days were lost over the last year by his Department through staff mental health problems. [112003]

In 2002, 106,081 sick days were due to mental health problems. This figure includes stress related and non-stress related mental illnesses. 2,559 staff took sick leave due to mental health problems. This figure includes civilian non-industrial staff but do not include industrial staff, Ministry of Defence trading funds and RFA's.MOD is committed to improving the health of its staff and managing sick absence more effectively. The department has a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for all our employees and have a commitment under the Government's Revitalising Health and Safety initiative to meet targets for reducing the number of working days lost generally due to work related injuries and illnesses.

Ministry Land

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) improvements to and (b) restrictions placed upon access to land owned by his Department since 1997. [112360]

Since 1997 improvements to public access to the defence estate include:

the continuing implementation of specific objectives published in the Estate Strategy 'In Trust and On Trust' (published in 2000), an important part of which related to the introduction of Environmental Management Systems and Integrated Rural Management Plans (IRMPs), which address public access;
the appointment of dedicated Access and Recreation Officers for the Army Training Estate (ATE) in general, and Otterburn Training Area in particular;
a programme of Public Access Studies which are identifying access opportunities at a number of Army Training areas;
improved provision of information, such as site specific leaflets and the revised Walks on Ministry of Defence Lands booklet (published in 2001), and the Defence Estates Access website.
Work is also being carried out on the development of methodology for path condition and visitor surveys; and also for disabled access provision.Public access to the defence estate is kept under continuous review but is, of course, subject to operational, safety and conservation requirements, as well as the interests of our tenants.MOD has an Access and Recreation Working Group which works closely with Statutory Bodies and Non Government Organisations through an Access and Recreation Focus Group.Access issues are included in the Environmental Law and Policy Course and the Conservation Course provided for MOD staff by the Department of Specialist Management Training (RAF Halton).

Reserves

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the call out notices issued by his Department, broken down by type of notice, for the call out of reserves in each year since 1997, stating in each case (a) the unit to be called up, (b) the units to which the reserves were attached, (c) the location of the deployment, (d) the numbers of reserves sought and (e) the number achieved; and if he will make a statement. [113251]

The information requested is not centrally held and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the (a) Territorial Army, (b) Royal Naval Reserve, (c) Royal Auxiliary Air Force, (d) Royal Marines Reserve and (e) Regular Reserve were (i) deployed and (ii) called up in connection with Operation Telic. [112085]

As at 2 May 2003, the information requested for Operation Telic was as follows.

Call-out notices servedAccepted into service
Royal Navy
Regular Reserve (RFR)00
Volunteer Reserve (RNR)354282
Royal Marines
Regular Reserve (RFR)00
Volunteer Reserve (RMR)136112
Army
Regular Reserve (RAR)1,288214
Volunteer Reserve (TA)5,2523,480
RAF
Regular Reserve (RAFR)526148
Volunteer Reserve (RAuxAF)1,150831
Total8,7065,067

Retention

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the retention rates were for (a) male and (b) female NCOs in each of the services in each of the last five years. [112622]

Retention may be measured by looking at either the Premature Voluntary Release (PVR) rate that shows the number leaving voluntarily before the end of their engagement during a financial year as a proportion of trained strength, or the outflow rate, the total number of NCOs leaving the service during a financial year as a proportion of trained strength.Figures for each service are as follows:1.

Naval Service NCO Retention

Percentage

NCO PVR rates

NCO outflow rates

Male

Female

Male

Female

1998–992.69.29.213.2
1999–20003.412.610.416.4
2000–013.37.39.511.4
2001–024.28.79.512.5
2002–032.95.78.310.1

Notes:

Data includes figures for Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

NCO is taken as leading rate and above.

2. Army NCO Retention

Percentage

NCO PVR rates

NCO outflow rates

Male

Female

Male

Female

1998–995.610.79.313.4
1999–20004.79.08.811.6
2000–014.98.08.910.8
2001–024.48.18.410.3
2002–034.17.68.411.4

Notes:

NCO is defined as lance corporal and above.

3. Royal Air Force NCO Retention

Percentage

NCO PVR rates

NCO outflow rates

Male

Female

Male

Female

1998–993.74.86.57.8
1999–20003.95.27.37.1
2000–013.55.47.38.1
2001–023.84.87.77.9
2002–033.75.77.99.0

Notes:

NCO is defined as corporal and above.

Service Medals

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Committee headed by General Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank will report on the review of the issuing of a Medal to those who served in the Suez Canal Zone between 1951 and 1954; and if he will make a statement. [113601]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 14 May Official Report, column 274W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Carlisle (Mr. Martlew).

Transport

Alconbury Airfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the proposed airfield at Alconbury would be suitable for use by 747 Jumbo aircraft. [112642]

With a runway length of over 2,700 metres aircraft up to Boeing 747 size could use Alconbury (but not at maximum loads).The option of a small-scale development at Alconbury, presented in "The Future Development of Air Transport in the United Kingdom: South East (second edition)" consultation document, allows for the use of a typical aircraft of the Boeing 737–700 type.

Aviation Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will press the Council of Ministers to refer proposals by the European Parliament for increased flying hours to the European Aviation Safety Agency. [112345]

The European Aviation Safety Agency, which was established in September 2002, currently has no powers in the fields of operator and personnel licensing. However the Commission is required to bring forward by October this year proposals to extend the scope of the Agency to cover these fields, which would include rules on flying hours.The European Parliament's proposals on flight time limitation rules take the form of a first reading amendment to a proposed Regulation which would adopt EC standards for commercial airline operations, based on Joint Aviation Authorities requirements. The Council has not yet discussed the Parliament's amendment and it is for the Presidency to decide whether and when such a discussion should take place. The timing and substance of any such discussion are likely to be influenced by the development of the Agency.

Central Railway

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what additional information he is awaiting before responding publicly to the report of the SRA on Central Railway; and from whom. [112858]

We have asked for further information from Central Railway on several matters before any decision can be taken on whether the Department should support its project.In particular, we need to be assured that all outstanding operational and financial issues have been resolved.

Crossrail

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his estimate is of the preparatory and planning costs incurred on the proposed crossrail link in London. [113201]

It is estimated that, from inception to the end of the 2002/2003 financial year, Cross London Rail Links (CLRL) had incurred total costs of around £32 million on preparation and planning for Crossrail.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects an announcement to be made on the future of Crossrail; and if he will make a statement. [113254]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the Secretary of State for Transport to my hon. Friends the Members for Kingston and Surbiton (Mr. Davey), and Ilford, South (Mike Gapes) on 13 May 2003, Official Report, column 149.

East London Line

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make a statement on the future of the East London line extension. [113202]

Honours

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many officials in his Department have received honours; and how many honours are held by his officials, broken down by category of honour. [111488]

Due to the machinery of Government changes over the past two years, these data are not held by my Department.

London Underground

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what limitations have been placed on Infracos involved in the refurbishment of the London Underground in passing further work to third party contractors. [113206]

A significant proportion of London Underground's engineering work has always been delivered by approved contractors, where this is the most effective means. This will continue. The standards for approving contractors have not changed, and the PPP contracts require the Infrastructure Companies to continue to follow them.

Mental Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of his staff have taken sick leave due to mental health problems in the last year. [111975]

During 2002, 107 staff in the centre of the Department for Transport have taken sick leave for causes which may be considered as 'mental health problems'.Information from the Department's Agencies is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many sick days were lost over the last year by his Department through staff mental health problems. [112072]

During 2002, the centre of the Department for Transport recorded 4,067 days as sick absence for causes, which may be considered as 'mental health problems'.Information from the Department's Agencies is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Motorways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what measures will be taken by his Department to reduce noise levels emitted from the M5 for Hucclecote residents in the Gloucester constituency. [113574]

The Highways Agency has plans to lay a quieter road surface on both the northbound and southbound carriageways of the M5 motorway at Hucclecote for a length of 1.32km. This will be a continuation of the noise mitigation measures recently carried out at Upton St. Leonards.This work was recommended in a report on noise from the M5 at Hucclecote. I have asked the Highways Agency to send my hon. Friend a copy of the report and to keep him informed on future progress.

National Rail Card

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received covering the introduction of a national rail card to promote railway travel at off-peak times throughout the network. [113200]

Following the Strategic Rail Authority's public consultation on their Fares Review, they received around a dozen responses from organisations proposing or supporting a National Railcard. This included a response sponsored by the Friends of the Earth, which consisted of around 1,200 individual postcards from members of the public. In reaching conclusions on future fares policy, Ministers will take account of these representations together with all other responses to the consultation. An announcement on the outcome of the review on national fares policy will be made shortly.

Pay Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his Answer of 5 March 2003, Official Report, columns 1030–31W, on DVLA, what the total pay costs incurred by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency were in each year since 1997. [113381]

The information requested is as follows:

£000
YearTotal pay costs
199759,862
199861,068
199968,507
200075,845
200183,551
200295,634
Extra staff were required by the Agency over this period for major new initiatives, projects to implement policy changes and safeguard delivery of the core business and increased workload. The exceptional rise in pay costs for 2002, i.e. to a greater proportion than the staff employed, was due to the fundamental restructuring of the Agency's pay system as the first and most significant impact of a five year pay deal agreed with the Unions. The restructuring is designed to address a number of issues, including:

overcoming Equal Pay vulnerabilities
aligning with Modernising Government agenda on Civil Service pay
recruitment and retention of good quality staff and
support for the Agency in taking forward a substantial programme of change.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to his Answer of 3 February 2003, Official Report, column 46W to the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster), on railway staff, what the total pay costs incurred by the Office of the Rail Regulator were in each year since 1997. [113382]

The total pay costs incurred by the Office of the Rail Regulator since 1997 are as follows:

Year£000
1997–984,099
1998–994,558
1999–20005,285
2000–016,204
2001–024,982
2002–035,440

Port Developments

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will determine the applications for port developments at (a) Dibden Bay, (b) London Gateway (Shellhaven) and (c) Bathside Bay together. [113523]

These are separate applications running on individual timetables and there is no compelling reason why they should be determined together.

Public Service Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what EU legislation sets out a safety framework for public service vehicles, with particular reference to (a) non-fluorescent lighting and (b) low floor access. [113476]

EC Directive 2001/85/EC covering the harmonisation of construction standards for the interior and bodywork design and accessibility for PSVs, includes the requirements for low floor access. The same directive also sets out the requirements for the internal lighting of these vehicles in respect of passenger safety and also the avoidance of reflective lighting for the driver. No distinction is made between fluorescent and non-fluorescent lighting.Exterior lighting on public service vehicles is regulated under EC Directive 76/756/EC which relates to the installation of exterior lighting and light signalling devices. EC Directives 76/758/EC, 77/759/EEC, 76/760/EC, 76/761/EC, 76/762/EC, 77/538/EC, 77/539/EC, 77/540/EC and their corresponding UNECE Regulations set standards for the individual lighting components. For all lighting other than headlamps, no distinction is made between fluorescent and non-fluorescent sources.UNECE Regulations 98 and 99 set specific standards for gas discharge headlamps.

Rail Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the major infrastructure developments are expected on the Cheltenham to London rail line, with special reference to resignalling. [112488]

Network Rail advises that it is working with the Strategic Rail Authority to jointly develop schemes that will increase the flexibility of the network by improving the signalling system as well as undertaking a combination of life extension works and like for like renewals.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's policy is on station re-opening, with special reference to parkways. [112865]

The Strategic Rail Authority has a responsibility to promote and secure the development of the rail network. Where appropriate, this will includes appraising proposals for the re-opening of railway lines and the development of new infrastructure such as stations, including parkway stations. The SRA considers all such proposals for investment on their merits, and in accordance with its robust appraisal criteria.

Rail Strikes

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list payments made by the Strategic Rail Authority to train operating companies to compensate for income lost due to industrial action over the past year. [113237]

[holding answer 13 May 2003]: In the past year, the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has made payments of £12.65 million to National Express in respect of revenue loss by ScotRail arising from industrial action. This follows the introduction of a clause into all franchise agreements allowing the SRA, at its discretion, to compensate train operators for such losses. Payments will be made only where the SRA is satisfied that operators have done all they reasonably could to settle disputes and the cost must be accommodated from within the SRA's agreed budget.

Road Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents involving motor cycles there were resulting in (a) death and (b) serious injury in each of the last five years; and how many of those involved were (i) males and (ii) females under 2 5 years old. [113025]

The number of road traffic accidents in Great Britain involving motorcycles which resulted in (a) death and (b) serious injury in each of the last five years were as follows:

Fatal and serious accidents involving motorcycles:
Accidents
YearFatalSerious
19975386,085
19985236,102
19995696,479
20006496,910
20016186,888
And the number of (i) male and (ii) female casualties among motor cycle users under the age of 25 are shown in the following table:

Motorcycle driver or rider casualties aged 24 and under, by gender and severity of casualty:
Casualties
MaleFemale
YearKilledSeriousKilledSerious
19971381,69614229
19981141,58915235
19991321,70317185
20001291,90813226
20011361,9217204

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents caused by drivers under the age of 17 years resulted in (a) death and (b) serious injury in each of the last five years. [113030]

The table gives the number of fatal and serious accidents in Great Britain where at least one driver under the age of 17 was involved. We have no information on whether the accident was caused by a young driver.

Road accidents in which at least one driver under 17 was involved
Accidents
YearFatalSerious
1997691,503
1998521,353
1999561,408
2000561,275
2001601,264

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents there were in each of the last five years; and how many resulted in (a) death and (b) serious injury. [113031]

The number of road traffic accidents in Great Britain in the last five years; and the number which resulted in (a) death and (b) serious injury are shown in the table:

Accidents
YearTotalFatalSerious
1997240,2873,29836,330
1998238,9233,13734,633
1999235,0483,13833,267
2000233,7293,10832,499
2001229,0143,17631,588

Transport Statistics (London)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what figures he has collated on (a) average traffic speeds, (b) air pollution and (c) bus usage in central London since 17 February; and if he will make a statement. [113203]

The Department for Transport: does not hold the specific figures requested. It is for Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor to do detailed monitoring of the London congestion charging scheme which started on 17 February. TfL are undertaking a comprehensive monitoring programme, using standard surveying techniques, covering relevant modes of transport. They are also proposing to examine wider economic and other impacts, including air quality. They have pledged to make all results available.The Government will consider the evaluation of the scheme and if there are significant gaps in TfL's study programme then the Government will commission work to fill them.Information on traffic levels and bus services since the scheme came into operation can be found on the TfL website at the following links:

  • http://www.tfl. gov.uk/buses/press_666.shtml
  • http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/press_cc_news_latest.shtml

Warsaw Convention

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to amend the Warsaw Convention in light of recent court judgments in England and Australia. [112982]

At present there are no plans to amend international agreements on air carrier liability.

Trade And Industry

Anglian Water Group

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on her action to monitor the compliance of Anglian Water Group with consumer standards regulations; and what the results of her monitoring were. [112884]

I have been asked to reply.The Director General of Water Services (Ofwat) monitors the performance of water companies as part of his duty to ensure that the interests of water customers are protected.Each year the water companies in England and Wales provide information to Ofwat on their performance against various aspects of service. In 2001–02, Anglian Water Group were ranked sixth out of the ten water and sewerage companies, in their overall delivery of services to customers.Information on company performance is available in the Ofwat report, Levels of Service for the Water Industry in England and Wales 2001–02, available in the Library of the House and on Ofwat's website.

Broadband

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what percentage of households in (a) Birmingham, Erdington, (b) the West Midlands and (c) the UK have taken up broadband connectivity. [112996]

According to Oftel (Internet and Broadband Brief) 7 per cent, of households in the UK had broadband connections by the end of April 2003. These data are not available for Erdington and the West Midlands.

Construction Industry (Liability Insurance)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the work being carried out by Davis Langdon Consultants on insurance in relation to the construction industry; and when Davis Langdon Consultants will be reporting their findings to her Department. [112833]

[holding answer 12 May 2003]: Following representations received from the construction industry about the difficulties being experienced in obtaining insurance, as part of its sector sponsoring role within DTI, Construction Sector Unit (CSU) commissioned Davis Langdon Consultancy (DLC) to:

establish the nature and extent of the difficulties contractors face in obtaining a range of different types of insurance;
provide a clearer understanding of the reasons for the problems facing construction firms in terms of both insurance market aspects, operational practices and developments within construction itself, and;
suggest how the industry could better represent its approach to risk assessment, management and control to the insurance industry, in ways that would help insurers better assess premiums.

DLC was awarded the project following competitive tender. The project brief was designed as a 'scoping study' to provide a broad overview of the issues relatively quickly, rather than an in-depth analysis. Commenced in mid November 2002, DLC's report was submitted to the Department on 19 February 2003. The timing of the delivery of the report was in part dictated by the deadline for contributions to the DWP Review of Employers Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI). Copies were issued to study participants, and officials leading on insurance matters at the OFT, DWP and Treasury, and since then to inquirers on request. Some minor amendments on points of detail have since been made in response to requests from two study participants and an amended version will be lodged on the DTI website in the next few days.

The Department welcomes the report as providing a perspective on construction—specific aspects adding value to the work of the other studies in the area, and concurs with its general thrust. It is not intended, and should not be taken as pre-judging the outcome of the DWP and OFT reviews which are due to be completed shortly.

My officials are considering whether further focus on construction-specific aspects might be appropriate in conjunction with industry contacts. A secondee with specialist expertise in insurance risk management has been appointed for a six month period to help with this work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the number of businesses in the construction industry which are operating without employers' liability insurance cover. [113224]

Responsibility for the enforcement of Employers Liability (Compulsary Insurance) (ELCI) lies with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). I understand that non-compliance is monitored by means of checks undertaken by HSE's Workplace Contact Officers and Health and Safety Inspectors.Prosecutions for all employers, not just construction, under ELCI is low at less than 1 per cent. HSE's estimate for non-compliance is based on the level of Enforcement Notices to Produce served for evidence of ELCI certificates. During the period 1 April 2002 to 31 March 2003 there were two Notices to Produce served on construction companies and two prosecutions.

Domestic Energy (Mis-Selling)

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many cases of energy sales mis-selling there were in each local authority area in the last year for which figures are available; if she will list for each authority the total number of incidents; and if she will make a statement on energy sales mis-selling. [112983]

From April 2002 to March 2003, the Gas and Electricity Consumer Council (Energywatch) received 109,500 complaints, of which 12,954 were about mis-selling to domestic consumers. Energywatch does not collect figures on a local authority basis. The complaints received by its regional offices were:

Regional officeNumber of complaints
Central2,501
Southern1,324
London and South East3,367
North West2,007
North East2,015
Scotland897
Wales843
I have made it clear to the industry that it must address the continuing problems of mis-selling. Over the past year, it has made considerable efforts to do so, and has introduced the EnergySure staff training scheme and a Code of Practice on direct selling. The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), which regulates the sales activities of energy suppliers, may take investigative and enforcement action, including levying financial penalties, against any supplier that breaches the terms of its supply licence. In November 2002, Ofgem fined London Electricity £2 million for mis-selling under its own brand aid that of Virgin Energy.

Electricity Industry

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what compensatory measures to other electricity generators are contained within the British Energy restructuring package submitted by the Secretary of State to the European Commission on 7 March. [109527]

I refer the hon. Member to my answer to the hon. Member for Blaenau Gwent (Llew Smith) on 13 March 2003, Official Report, column 360W.In restructuring aid cases, the question of whether there should be compensatory measures is a matter for the Commission to assess based on a variety of factors including characteristics of the market and the extent of any distortion of competition.

Employment Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans her Department has to prevent foreign citizens who are not based in the UK from making a tribunal claim under the Employment Rights Act, following the repeal in 1999 of section 196 of the Act; and if she will make a statement. [113499]

None. The repeal of territorial limits in the 1996 Act ensured that the UK fulfils its EU obligations and removed an obstacle to fair treatment in a few cases. For the Act to apply to any particular case there must first be some proper connection with Great Britain.

End Of Life Vehicles Directive

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the End of Life Vehicles Directive. [113307]

Draft regulations to implement a number of provisions in the End of Life Vehicles Directive were published for consultation on 7 March. There will be further consultation in due course on draft regulations covering those provisions in the Directive which do not take effect until 2006 and beyond.

Lpg

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many liquefied petroleum gas outlets there were in the UK (a) in 1997, (b) in 2001 and (c) on the latest date for which figures are available. [113281]

The Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association (LPGA) informed the Department of the following figures on the LPG outlets:

End of 1997End of 20012003
1001,0001,260
The latest figure of 1,260 was taken from the LPGA website (last updated on 24 April 2003).

Nuclear Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the timetable is for the creation of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. [112896]

For planning purposes, the target date for establishing the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority on a fully operational basis is April 2005. This assumes that implementing legislation can be bought forward in the next Session of Parliament but this is subject to decisions on the Government's Legislative Programme. Draft legislation will be published shortly for comment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions she has had with (a) DEFRA, (b) the industry and (c) green groups on the storage of nuclear waste. [112897]

The Department has regular discussions with DEFRA and the nuclear industry on issues associated with the storage of radioactive waste. Environmental groups have also raised the issue with my officials in the context of discussions on implementation of the proposals set out in the White Paper on Managing the Nuclear Legacy (Cm5552) which was published last July.

Small Businesses

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the services to be funded by the resources allocated to the local network category in the small business section on page 96 of the DTI's Expenditure Plans 2002–03 to 2003–04, Cm 5416; how much funding is allocated to each service; and what the function of each service is. [112881]

The activities to be funded in 2003–04 under the local network category of the DTI Expenditure Plans report for 2002–03 to 2003–04 are: Business Link Core Services Budget—£140.5 million. This budget is allocated to 45 Regional Business Link Operators (BLOs) to deliver business support services for the benefit and the development of small and medium sized enterprises by increasing employment, productivity and helping to stimulate an increased level of business start-ups in the BLO's locality.Local Network Development—£3.7 million. This funding supports SBS head office and regional activities designed to enhance and develop the effectiveness of the BLO network and to support the SBS strategy.

Environment, Food And Rural Affairs

Food Imports (Animal Welfare)

6.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will take steps to encourage the inclusion of animal welfare considerations in bilateral agreements on food imports. [113304]

The Government have pressed hard for animal welfare considerations to be included in the WTO multilateral negotiations for a new Agreement on Agriculture. I am pleased to say that the first draft of the new Agreement contains proposals for specific measures on this issue.

Agriculture Discussions (Welsh Assembly)

14.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to visit Cardiff to discuss agricultural issues of mutual interest with the First Secretary and other relevant Secretaries of the Welsh Assembly Government. [113313]

I have no plans to visit Cardiff at present, but look forward to meeting the new Minister for Environment, Planning and Countryside at one of my regular meetings with Ministers representing the Devolved Administrations agriculture interests.

Genetically Modified Crops

17.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the consultation process for GM crops. [113316]

The consultation process on applications for approval to market GM crops in the European Union is carried out by the European Commission under Directive 2001/18. There are periods of public consultation on the initial application and on the assessment by the member state handling the application. Anyone can submit comments, which are circulated to all member states to inform their own scrutiny.

Common Agricultural Policy

18.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of progress in reforming the Common Agricultural Policy. [113317]

Commission proposals for reform of the CAP are under active discussion and we expect these to reach a critical stage at the June Council. We are working hard for a positive outcome.

Waste Incinerators (Essex)

19.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will visit Colchester to inspect sites put forward by Essex county council for waste incinerators. [113318]

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has no immediate plans to visit the sites put forward by Essex county council for waste incinerators. However, if the hon. Member wishes to send me an invitation, it will of course be considered.

15.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Environment Agency on smells affecting communities. [113314]

I meet frequently with the Environment Agency to discuss areas of concern about the operation of landfill sites and other waste facilities, including any odours that may be affecting local communities.

Farming (Upland Areas)

20.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the prospects for farming businesses in upland areas. [113319]

The Government recognise the importance of farming business in upland areas, and the contribution they can make to the upland environment, economy and community. I am aware of the anxiety about CAP reform and its impact on the uplands, but economic analysis undertaken by the Department suggests there will be an improvement in prospects for UK agriculture overall. These and other factors will be taken into account in our current review of Hill Farm Allowance, on which public consultation is under way.

Steel Industry (Carbon Dioxide Emissions)

21.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of carbon dioxide emissions was attributable to the steel industry in each of the last three years. [113321]

Emissions from the UK iron and steel industry accounted for some 5.9, 5.4 and 4.5 per cent, of UK carbon dioxide emissions in the years 1999, 2000 and 2001 respectively. The corresponding figure in 2002 was provisionally 3.8 per cent.

Common Fisheries Policy

22.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations she has received regarding the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy. [113322]

A considerable amount of correspondence has been received about the measures agreed at the December Council on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy from a range of stakeholders.

Animal By-Product Waste

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with retailers about proposals to classify uncooked meat and fish as animal by-product waste. [113320]

The Animal By-Products Regulation 1774/2002 maintains the same principle as the previous Council Directive 90/667/EEC (the Animal Waste Directive) which classified uncooked meat and fish as an animal by-product. This has already been transposed into domestic legislation (Animal By-Products Order 1999).Defra has worked closely with industry representatives and enforcement bodies during the negotiations on the EU Animal By-Products Regulation to identify practical difficulties, and where possible to secure transitional measures to give industry time to make the changes necessary to comply with the new requirements.Officials held meetings with food manufacturers and animal by-product disposal companies on the 11 April and again on the 29 April with retailers and the disposal industry to discuss the implementation of the new rules.We will continue to meet with the affected sectors to discuss the progress being made and problems that arise.

Darwin Mounds

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she will take to protect the Darwin Mounds. [113315]

Regulations transposing that Directive are currently being prepared. I expect these to be the subject of a public consultation exercise shortly. As soon as they are in place the site will be formally proposed by the UK to the European Commission. In parallel, the UK is actively discussing emergency fisheries measures with the European Commission aimed at protecting the site.

Farm Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average income of farming families in Shrewsbury and Atcham was in the last year for which figures are available. [109679]

No information is available on the personal incomes of farming families. Estimates of farm business income are obtainable from a sample survey, but results are not available at constituency level because the size of the sample is too small.Net farm income for full-time farms in the West Midlands Government Office Region in 2001–02, excluding farms involved in the compulsory FMD cull, was £12,200/farm. This compares with £13,600/farm for England as a whole.Net farm income is the return to the principle farmer and spouse for their manual and managerial labour and to the tenant-type capital of the business.

Fishing Industry

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the Parliamentary Secretary for Fisheries, Water and Nature Protection will visit Brixham to discuss with fishermen the future of the fishing industry. [R] [113128]

I hope to meet with representatives from the leading fishermen's organisations in the south west in early July.

Gm Field Trials

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list the Ministers who will be involved in deciding the Government's response to the results of the GM field trials. [110378]

The Government's response to the results of the GM field trials will be decided through the SCI(BIO) Cabinet Sub-Committee and in consultation with the devolved Administrations.

Harbinson Agreement

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her policy is on the Harbinson draft framework agreement on agriculture recently published by the WTO. [111872]

[holding answer 13 May 2003]: The Government welcome the level of ambition in the Harbinson proposals and the ideas to help developing countries. However the Government are concerned at a lack of balance, which requires far more from the EU than from some of our other major trading partners, including the USA. Nevertheless the Harbinson paper provides a negotiating basis on which we can build. The Government will continue to work hard within the EU and with other trading partners to achieve an agreement acceptable to all parties as part of the outcome to the 5th Meeting of the WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Cancun, Mexico, this September.

Landfill

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many co-disposal hazardous waste sites will close as a result of the United Kingdom's implementation of the EU Landfill Directive of 1999; and what volume of waste is involved in such closures. [111795]

Under the Landfill (England and Wales) Regulations 2002, co-disposal of waste will end in July 2004. While it is unlikely that many landfill sites will close as a result of this provision, it is expected that a large number will change classification from hazardous to non-hazardous landfill sites at that time.What this constitutes in terms of waste cannot at present be estimated, but all waste generated has to be either re-used, recycled, recovered or disposed of regardless of the number of landfill sites available. It is Government policy to move waste up the hierarchy and thereby move towards more sustainable ways of dealing with waste than is achieved by disposal to landfill.

Ofwat

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has to review the penalties that Ofwat may impose on water companies to improve customer service and satisfaction. [112878]

The Water Bill, which was published on 20 February, brings forward proposals to impose penalties of up to 10 per cent, of companies' turnover where they contravene the conditions of their licences or other statutory requirements. The Bill, once it becomes law, will require Ofwat to consult on and publish a statement of its policies with regard to the imposition of such penalties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what powers Ofwat has to insist that water companies should backdate refunds or rebates to 1 April 2000. [112879]

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State supports the provision of rebates for customers whose surface water does not flow into public sewers. This involves a reallocation of charges between non-connected customers and other customers, which is taken into account on a year-by-year basis. Neither Ofwat nor the Government can require companies to offer retrospective rebates, or periods with no charge in lieu of past payments. Such a scheme would imply retrospective increases for other customers, which is against the Government's policy of stable and predictable charging.

Packaging Regulations

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will list those European Union measures, pursuant to Directive 94/62/EC on Packaging and Packaging Waste, which are under discussion at European Union level, which have an impact on produce packaging by the food industry. [112500]

I have been asked to reply.The current revision to the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive primarily relates to increased targets for recovery and recycling of all packaging, irrespective of type. Produce packaging is not specifically mentioned.

Pay Review

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 8 April 2003, Official Report, column 133W, on the pay review, if she will place a copy of her Department's action plan in the Library. [112324]

Defra has completed an Equal Pay Review in line with guidance from the Cabinet Office. A draft action plan has been submitted to the Cabinet Office by the deadline of the 30 April. Defra senior management are considering the review's conclusions and the ways in which the action plan can be implemented. Once these discussions have been concluded, a copy of the Defra action plan will be placed in the House of Commons Library.

Salmon

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has made to the Scottish Executive on preventing the crossbreeding, disease and pollution of wild salmon in the rivers of north east England from farmed salmon in Scotland. [113070]

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps have been taken with the Scottish Executive to jointly manage the Tweed and its tributaries to protect wild salmon from pollution, disease and crossbreeding with farmed salmon. [113071]

Management responsibilities for the River Tweed and its tributaries lie with the River Tweed Commissioners, and the River Tweed Council which acts on their behalf. The Scottish Executive maintains dialogue with the Commissioners on a range of issues. Freshwater aquaculture units are subject to inspection by the Fish Health Inspectorate. Defra and the Scottish Executive operate surveillance programmes with a view to maintaining freedom from serious fish diseases.

Education And Skills

Schools (Barnet)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received from headteachers in Barnet on their ability (a) to set a standstill budget this year and (b) to fund the work/life balance reforms due this autumn; and if he will make a statement. [109187]

[holding answer 14 April 2003]: The Department has received a number of representations from headteachers and governors of schools in Barnet expressing concern regarding the budget allocations they have received from their local education authority. Among these, some have raised related issues such as the lack of sufficient funding to enable other school staff to support teachers. I understand that although the London borough of Barnet has increased its schools budget by 11 per cent, or £17 million the individual schools budget has only been increased by 7.8 per cent, or £10.5 million. Schools that followed earlier advice on freeing teachers from administrative duties should find that implementing the commitments on school workforce reform this autumn makes no additional demand on their resources. Other schools, working where necessary with fellow schools and their LEA, should aim to follow their example.

Counselling Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what arrangements are made in his Department to allow staff to access counselling services. [111937]

My Department recognises the importance of offering support to staff to help them manage difficulties that may arise from their work or home lives and has a contract with Care First Welfare to provide counselling services.The contract provides all members of staff with access to confidential counselling 24 hours a day, every day of the year via a free phone number. In addition, there is face to face counselling, debt management advice, a legal help line, and an information service on a wide range of issues including national and local helping agencies.

Pupil Spending

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the per pupil spending figure was in (a) South Tyneside, (b) the North East and (c) England in each year since 1997. [108737]

The information requested is contained in the following table:

South Tyneside LEA and the North East of England: Average expenditure per pupil
Pre-primary and primarySecondaryPre-primary, primary and secondary
South Tyneside
1997–981,9602,6502,230
1998–992,1202,7602,370
1999–002,3002,7802,500
2000–012,6202,9702,770
2001–022,9103,4303,130
North East
1997–982,0702,7202,350
1998–992,1902,7802,440
1999–002,3602,8702,580
2000–012,5503,0702,780
2001–022,8103,3303,050
England
1997–982,1502,9002,420
1998–992,2702,9402,520
1999–002,4102,9802,650
2000–012,6103,1402,830
2001–022,8503,4003,090

Notes:

1. Net Current Expenditure (NCE) includes expenditure within schools and also that incurred centrally by LEAs. The spend per pupil figures for pre-primary/primary relate the gross current expenditure (after recharges) in the pre-primary sector and maintained primary schools to the total number of financial year pupils who are educated in the maintained nursery and primary schools sector.

2. Real Terms figures are adjusted to 2001–02 prices using the March 2003 GDP deflators.

3. Pre-primary, primary and secondary column contains the per pupil costs across all three phases of education. The figure is not a 'sum' but a weighted average of the previous two columns figures.

4. Figures rounded to the nearest 10.

5. Financial data are drawn from the RO1 forms up to 1998–99 and from the DfES Section 52 outturn statements from 1999–2000.

6. Pupil data are drawn from the Annual Schools Census adjusted to be on a financial year basis.

7. SEN Schools expenditure not included because it distorts the unit costs and can make meaningful comparison difficult.

Schools Assessment Criteria

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria are used to assess the gap between the best and worst performing (a) secondary and (b) primary schools; whether this gap is widening or narrowing; and at what rate. [106506]

The Department uses a range of Key Stage and GCSE/GNVQ performance measures to report publicly on the attainment of pupils in their schools. Achievement information for individual schools is published in Performance Tables, and the Department's autumn package of pupil performance contains several school level attainment distributions for groups of schools categorised by different proportions of pupils 'known to be eligible for free school meals', and by different levels of aggregate pupil prior attainment.The following tables show two changes in the national distributions of school performances:

(a) Percentage of pupils achieving 5 + A* -C at GCSE/ GNVQ.

Year

Percentile

1997

2002

Percentage point Change

95th89934
Upper quartile55627
60th46537
Median41487
40th36437
Lower quartile27347
5th14184

(b) Percentage of pupils achieving Level 4 + at Key Stage 2 English.

Source:

DfES Autumn Package

Year

Percentile

1997

2002

Percentage Point Change

95th93974
Upper quartile78879
60th718211
Median677811
40th617312
Lower quartile526614
5th324614

Source:

DfES Autumn Package

These show that since 1997 the range of performance at Key Stage 2 has decreased with the performance of schools in the lowest quartile increasing faster than the national average. Improvement in school performance for the GCSE/GNVQ measure has been broadly the same across the attainment distribution.

Skills Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what figures he collated for annual expenditure on skills development for persons over 16 (a) by publicly-financed and (b) by private sector providers in the last three years. [112202]

Latest figures for expenditure and training by my Department on education and training over the last three years will be contained in the Departmental Report which was published on Wednesday 14 May 2003. Information is not available on expenditure on skills development by all private sector providers. A survey conducted in 2000 estimated that the cost of providing off-the-job training for employers with 10 or more employees is £9 billion per year, excluding trainee wages, and that employers with 10 or more employees incur total costs on training of £23.5 billion per year, including trainee wages and on-the job training.

Supply Teachers

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what percentage supply teachers represent of the total number of teachers in (a)Jarrow, (b) South Tyneside, (c) Tyne and Wear and (d) England; [108739](2) how many supply teachers have worked in

(a) Jarrow, (b) South Tyneside, (c) Tyne and Wear and (d) England in each year since 1997; [108740]

(3) how many supply teachers are working in (a) Jarrow, (b) South Tyneside, (c) Tyne and Wear and (d) England. [108741]

The information is not available at constituency level.Table 1 shows occasional teachers as a percentage of the full-time equivalent teachers in the maintained sector at January 2002

1 .

Table 1

South Tyneside

Tyne and Wear2

England
Regular teachers31,4609,710419,620
Occasional teachers410045017,470
All teachers1,56010,170437,100
Occasional teachers as percentage of all teachers6.44.44.0

Table 2 shows occasional4 teacher numbers in the maintained schools sector in January of each of the years shown.

Table 2

South Tyneside

Tyen and Wear2

England
199750229013,610
19983033013,150
19996036014,120
20006040016,660
20017050019,590
2002110045017,470

1 January 2002 is the most recent information currently available.

2 Tyne and Wear includes Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland authorities.

3 All teachers (FTE) on contracts of a month or more in service on the survey date (17 January 2002).

4 Teachers on contracts of less than one month in service for the whole of the day on the survey date.

Source:

DfES annual 618G survey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of the total number of teachers in (a) the Bury St. Edmunds constituency, (b) Suffolk, (c) Norfolk, (d) Essex, (e) Cambridgeshire and (f) England supply teachers represent. [109340]

SuffolkNorfolkEssexCambridgeshireEngland
Regular teachers25,6606,15010,9204,060419,620
Occasional teachers328034039011017,470
All teachers5,9406,49011,3004,170437,100
Occasional teachers as percentage of all teachers4.75.23.42.74.0
1 January 2002 is the most recent information currently available.
2 All teachers (FTE) on contracts of a month or more in service on the survey date (17 January 2002).
3 Teachers on contracts of less than one month in service for the whole of the day on the survey date.

Note:

Teacher numbers are rounded to the nearest 10.

Source:

DIES annual 618G survey.

Standards Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money has been provided through the Raising Standards Fund in each year since the fund began for each maintained school in the East Riding of Yorkshire. [108288]

The Standards Fund is paid to local education authorities and most is then devolved to schools. The amount of grant each school receives will depend on decisions made by the authority in consultation with its schools. The following table shows the Standards Fund grant for East Riding of Yorkshire since the Council became a local education authority in 1996–1997. The figures for 2003–04 are the grant allocated to date.

Standards Fund Grant allowed to East Riding of Yorkshire
£
YearRevenue GrantCapital GrantTotal Grant
1996–971,046,70001,046,700
1997–981,459,76701,459,767
1998–992,341,53485,0002,426,534
1999–20004,217,0821,297,2755,514,357
2000–016,824,0414,151,20010,975,241
2001–028,555,3726,423,44214,978,814
2002–038,685,7489,083,49817,769,246
2003–045,872,77910,846,81116,719,590
The figures include Government grant only, they do not include local authority contributions to the Standards Fund.The recurrent figure for 2002–03 includes class size grant of £1.7 million. The funding for class size grant is now distributed via the Education Formula Spending Shares (EFSS). East Riding of Yorkshire received an increase in EFSS per pupil of 4.9 per cent, on alike for like basis.

The information is not available at constituency level.The table shows occasional teachers as a percentage of the full-time equivalent teachers in the maintained sector in schools on the 17 January 2002

1 .

Culture, Media And Sport

Antiquities Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the (a) United Nations, (b) the United States and (c) others regarding the effect on trade in antiquities of the lifting of sanctions on Iraq; and if she will make a statement. [113415]

I and my officials, have had discussions with the US State Department, UNESCO, and others on the effect on trade in antiquities of the lifting of sanctions on Iraq. We support UNESCO's aim to ensure that restrictions remain on the import of Iraqi cultural property once UN sanctions are lifted and we are discussing this in the Security Council.

Departmental Staff

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of regional variations in staff turnover in her Department. [112754]

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has no Regional Offices and all staff are based in London.

Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to her Answer of 7 May 2003, Official Report, column 730W, on Iraq (Cultural Heritage), what progress has been made on implementing recommendation 6 of the Report of the Ministerial Advisory Panel on Illicit Trade; and if she will make a statement. [113004]

The Government have been active in pursuing a permanent, single, widely accessible database of stolen and unlawfully removed cultural objects and is currently finalising an outline business case for this. Such a database is considered by the art trade and museums to be an important part of the package of measures designed to curb the illicit trade. We welcome the announcement made by UNESCO on 29 April that it intends to establish a database of items believed to have been stolen from Iraq and we will be working closely with them to ensure that this database is as comprehensive as possible.

Kpmg

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many contracts her Department has awarded to KPMG since 1997. [113680]

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has awarded one contract to KPMG since 1997:

KPMG
Advice on Risk Management Systems1999£23,000
This answer includes the Royal Parks Agency.

National Lottery

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many organisations in the Birmingham, Erdington constituency have (a) applied for and (b) claimed awards from the Arts Council in each year since the National Lottery began. [112993]

According to figures supplied to us by Arts Council England, the total funding awarded to arts organisations in the Birmingham, Erdington constituency since the inception of the National Lottery is £445,998 (26 projects) against a total of £1,214,734 applied for (35 projects).

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the spending per capita for National Lottery grants was in (a) Birmingham, Erdington, (b) Birmingham and (c) the West Midlands in the last year for which figures are available. [112999]

According to the information supplied to us by the distributing bodies for the National Lottery awards database, the Birmingham, Erdington constituency has been awarded £2.60 per Capita between 1 May 2002 and 30 April 2003. As we do not hold population details for all Counties or Regions we are unable to provide per Capita data for these areas. However, Birmingham has been awarded £29,770,542 in Lottery funding and the West Midlands £89,922,749 between 1 May 2002 and 30 April 2003.

Sponsorship

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which of her Department's projects have received sponsorship in the last financial year; who the sponsor was in each case; what the nature of each project was; what time-period was covered by each project; what the total cost of each project was; how much money was involved in each sponsorship deal; and if she will make a statement. [112395]

Details of any individual amounts of sponsorship valued at more than £5,000 would be published in my Department's annual report, copies of which are made available in the Libraries of the House. There were no such instances during the last financial year.

Sport (Women)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what assessment she has made of the development by Sport England of women's participation in (a) football, (b) rugby and (c) cricket; [113665](2) if she will make a statement in her policy on

(a) increasing participation and (b) promoting excellence in (i) women's football, (ii) women's cricket and (iii) women's rugby. [113667]

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Strategy Unit Report "Game Plan" sets out Government's determination to improve opportunities for women at all levels in sport, whether as participants, competitors, coaches, or administrators. Sport England have published sports development framework documents through its Active Sports programme for girls' football, cricket and rugby. Women's cricket will receive nearly £2 million from 1/4/03 to 31/3/04, and women's rugby £1,188,000 from 1/8/02 to 31/7/03 through the World Class programmes to support elite athletes. Elite female football players are supported through the FA.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions she has had with the Football Association on developing a professional women's football league; and what support she is giving to developing the professionalisation of women's football. [113666]

Neither I nor my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have had discussions with the Football Association on the development of professional women's football.The development of the women's game is the responsibility of the FA. However, DCMS officials are working closely with the football authorities and other sporting organisations to raise the profile of the women's sport in this country.

Statutory Instruments

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the statutory instruments issued by her Department in the last 12 months, indicating (a) the purpose of each and (b) the cost of each to (i) public funds, (ii) businesses and (iii) individuals. [106330]

The Statutory Instruments issued by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport during the period 1 April 2002 and 31 March 2003 and their respective purposes are set out in the table. Also included are Instruments which have been originated in this Department but eventually made by the Privy Council. The information sought under (b)(i), (ii) and (iii) is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Serial numberFormal titlePurpose of Order
2002/10621The Regulatory Reform (Golden Jubilee) Order 2002Order relaxed alcohol licensing hours between 11 pm on 3 June 2002 and I am on 4 June 2002 to allow the public to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee. It removed the need for businesses to apply for permission from the magistrates to extend the permitted licensing hours, which would have ended at 11 pm on that night
2002/1130The Gaming Clubs (Bankers' Games) Amendment) Regulations 2002Allows casinos to introduce three new games: The Big Six, Sic Bo and Three Card to introduce three some of the game rules in Roulette, Dice. Blackjack, and Casino Stud Poker
2002/1398The European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production (Amendment) Order 20022Order adds Romania to the list of countries from which film producers would be eligible to co-produce cinema films with British film producers under the Council of Europe's European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production in order to obtain the fiscal benefits available in the UK for British films
2002/1407The Gaming Clubs (Bankers' Games)(Amendment)(No.2) Regulations 2002Amends a defect in the game rules for Three Card Poker introduced by SI 2002/1130
2002/1410The Lotteries (Variation of Monetary Limits) Order 2002Increases the price of a ticket in societies lottery from £1 to £2, the maximum value of tickets or chances which may be sold in one such lottery from, £2,000,000, and the maximum value of tickets or chances sold in all such lotteries held in any one year and promoted on behalf of the same society or local authority from £5,000,000, to £10,000,000
2002/1754The Safety of Sports Grounds (Designation) Order 2002Under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 the Secretary of State may designate sports grounds with accommodation fro more than 10,000 spectators, and football grounds occupied by Football League or FA Premiee League clubs with accommodation for more than 5,000 spectators, as requiring a safety certificate from a local authority. Safety certificates contain such terms and conditions as local authorities may consider necessary of expedient to secure reasonable safety at the ground. This Order designates the new Walker's Stadium occupied by a Premier League club Leicester City FC
2002/1755The Football Spectators (Seating) Order 2002Under the Football Spectators Act 1989, the Football Licensing Authority grants licences to allow spectators to be admitted to premises at which designated football matches are held, which include football matches played at the home ground of Football League and FA Premier League clubs. The Secretary of State may direct the FLA to include seating requirements in any licence. The Secretary of State's policy is that all football clubs in the top two divisions are required to have all-seater grounds. This Order therefore requires the FLA to include a condition in the licences in respect of the Burnley FC, Fulham FC, Leicester City FC and Reading FC's football grounds requiring that only seated accommodation shall be provided at designated matches at these grounds
2002/1858The Protection of Wrecks (Designation) Order 2002Order designates as a restricted area the site where the eighteenth century wreck of the Bonhomme Richard is believed to lie, under section 1(1) of the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973. Designation protects wreck sites of historic, archaeological or artistic importance by making it a criminal offence, in particular, for a person to tamper with, damage or remove part of the wreck or any objects formerly contained in the wreck or carrying out diving or salvage operations on the wreck unless a licence is obtained to do so from the Secretary of State
2002/19011The Gaming Clubs (Multiple Bingo) Amendment) Regulations 2002Increases the number of games of multiple bingo that can be played on licensed bingo club premises in a 24 hour period from three to five
2002/19021The Gaming Clubs (Charges) Amendment) Regulations 2002Increases the maximum admission charge to a bingo club from £10 to £20 and the maximum participation charge in a game of bingo from £5 to £10
2002/1903The Cinematography (Safety) Amendment) Regulations 2002Regulations lower the minimum age for employment in certain roles within a cinema from 21 to 18. The roles concerned are the person responsible for the premises when the public are present, the person responsible for the electrical installations and equipment in the projection room and the person in charge of the projection room when inflammable film is being projected
2002/19041The Gaming Act (Variation of Monetary Limits) Order 2002Increases the maximum weekly added prize money for bingo games in a club from 10,000 to 20,000; increases the aggregate weekly prize in linked bingo games played in any club from 55,000 to 500,000 and increases the total take and total prizes in prize bingo games from 1 20 to 500.
2002/19091The Gaming (Bingo) Act Variation of Monetary Limits) Order 2002Provides that the maximum amount to be paid as a prize in respect of a game of multiple bingo to be £2,000,000
2002/19101The Gaming Clubs licensing) Amendment) Regulations 2002Removes requirement that licensing authorities must impose a restriction on casino premises prohibiting the premises from being used for dancing, or live music or entertainment
2002/1930The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 (Schedule 4)(Amendment) Order 2002Removes the restrictions on the form of refreshments, other than alcohol, which may be sold in a licensed betting office
2002/2427The National Heritage (Territorial Waters Adjacent to England) Order 2002Specifies the boundaries of UK territorial waters adjacent to England and is required as part of the National Heritage Act 2002 in order to define English Heritage's area of operation with regards to underwater archaeology
Serial numberFormal titlePurpose of Order
2002/2635The European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production (Amendment)(No.2) Order 20022Order adds Greece to the list of countries from which film producers would be eligible to co-produce cinema films with British film producers under the Council of Europe's European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production in order to obtain the fiscal benefits available in the UK for British films
2002/2666The Treasure (Designation) Order 2002Extends the definition of Treasure under the 1996 Act to deposits of base metal objects (other than coins) of prehistoric date; and to objects of prehistoric date, any part of which is gold or silver
2002/2893The Safety of Sports Grounds (Designation) (No.2) Order 2002Under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 the Secretary of State may designate sports grounds with accommodation for more than 10,000 spectators, and football grounds occupied by Football League or FA Premier League clubs with accommodation for more than 5,000 spectators, as requiring a safety certificate from a local authority. Safety certificates contain such terms and conditions as local authorities consider necessary or expedient to secure reasonable safety at the ground. This Order designates Hull City FC's new ground, the Kingston Communications Stadium
2002/3123The Public Lending Right Scheme 1982 (Commencement of Variations) Order 2002Order increased the rate per loan paid to authors from 2.67 pence to 4.21 pence for 2002–03
2002/31241The National Lottery (Licence Fees) Amendment) Order 2002The 2001 Fees Order was amended to prescribe the fee payable on the grant of a licence under section 6 of the National Lottery Act, which authorises the promotion by the licensee of an unrestricted number of lotteries which fall within a description specified in the licence. It does not amend the fees payable on any other licences granted under sections 5 or 6 of the Act
2002/32051The Regulatory Reform (Special Occasions Licensing) Order 2002Order relaxed alcohol licensing hours throughout the night on all future new year's eves. It removed the need for businesses to apply for permission from the magistrates to extend the permitted licensing hours, which would have ended at 10.30 pm or 11 pm on those nights
2003/235The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (Increase of Endowment) Order 2003Order permits the Secretary of State to increase NESTA's endowment by £95 million. This sum is to be drawn from resources held in the National Lottery Distribution Fund for meeting expenditure on or connected with health, education and the environment. £50 million of these additional funds will be used to restore NESTA's annual endowment income to £10–12 million pa, and the remaining £45 million to fund new initiatives over the next three years
2003/5081The Gaming Act (Variation of Fees) England and Wales) Order 2003Increases gaming licence fees
2003/5091The Gaming Act (Variation of Fees) England and Wales and Scotland) Order 2003Increases gaming licence fees
2003/663The Wireless Telegraphy (Television Licence Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2003Regulations brought into effect certain increases in television licence fees and extended the scope of premises which qualify as accommodation for residential care under the Wireless Telegraphy (Television Licence Fees) Regulations 1997
2003/664The Awards for All (England) Joint Scheme (Authorisation) Order 2003To vary the proportions attributable to each of the participating Lottery distributors in the Awards for All (England) joint scheme to reflect revised grant budget contributions from the participating distributors for the second year of the scheme
2003/828The European Convention on Cinematographic Co-Production (Amendment) Order 20032Order adds Georgia and Poland to the list of countries from which film producers would be eligible to co-produce cinema films with British film producers under the Council of Europe's European Convention on Cinematographic Co-production in order to obtain the fiscal benefits available in the UK for British films
2003/829The Grants to the Churches Conservation Trust Order 2003Provides for Government grants to the Churches Conservation Trust in the next three financial years up to a maximum of £9 million
2003/839The Public Lending Right (Increase of Limit) Order 2003To allow the Government to increase the limit of the PLR Fund from £5.5 million to £14.252 million for 2003–04 financial year and £8 million for subsequent financial years
1 Denotes that Regulatory Impact Assessments have also been prepared for each of the Statutory Instruments. These are available in the House Libraries.
2 Denotes Orders in Council.

Prime Minister

Iraq

To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the personal statement of 12 May 2003, Official Report, column 36 to the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Lady wood (Clare Short), if he will publish the advice of the Attorney General on the question of the post-war situation in Iraq to which she referred. [113489]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr. Duncan Smith) at Prime Minister's questions on 14 May 2003, Official Report, column 310.

Privy Council

Appointments Commission

To ask the President of the Council (1) how many times the House of Lords Appointments Commission has met in the last 12 months; [113590](2) what the annual cost is of running the House of Lords Appointments Commission. [113591]

The House of Lords Appointments Commission has met twice in the past year.The estimated cost in the financial year 2002–03 was approximately £120,000.

Departmental Report

To ask the President of the Council what the cost was of the publication of the 2001 Departmental Report. [112821]

The Privy Council Office 2001 Departmental Report was not published as a separate volume, but was included in the same volume as the Cabinet Office Departmental Report. No publishing costs were charged to the Department.

Honours

To ask the President of the Council how many officials in his Department have received honours; and how many honours are held by his officials, broken down by category of honour. [111492]

Advocate-General

Departmental Events

To ask the Advocate General if she will list the (a) conferences, (b) seminars, (c) workshops, (d) exhibitions and (e) press conferences which have been sponsored by her Department and which took place on non-departmental premises in the last 12 months, broken down by title, purpose, date and cost. [104283]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my right, hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Advocate General what progress has been made with the pay review in her Department, with particular reference to the gender pay gap; and if she will make a statement. [106746]

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given today by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Scotland

Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much the Department spent on advertising in Scotland in each year since 1999 on (a) television, (b) newspapers, (c) radio, (d) magazines, (e) billboards and (f) sporting events. [102332]

The Scotland Office was established in its present form on 1 July 1999.Since that date, expenditure on advertising and publicity has been as follows:

£
1999–200026,861
2000–01270,494
2001–02186,564
2002–03110,390
1 Estimated
Most of the expenditure related to electoral registration information. The breakdown of costs relating to television, newspapers, radio and magazines is not readily available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Department did not use billboard advertising or advertising at sporting events.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what his Department's total spending was on advertising and promotional campaigns between April 2002 and March 2003; and what the cost of each campaign was, broken down by costs relating to (a) television, (b) radio and (c) print media. [106436]

There has been no expenditure by my Department on advertising and promotional campaigns in 2002–03.

Age Discrimination

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps her Department is taking to address the issue of age discrimination. [109451]

My Department has taken steps to integrate age into its equal opportunity policies and remains committed to ensuring there is no unfair discrimination on the basis of age. Action on diversity has and will continue to tackle any negative attitudes towards older staff particularly through the training and development of managers and through the monitoring of recruitment, selection and appraisal statistics. Staff over 60 can remain in employment on a year to year basis, subject to certain criteria.

Commemorative Plaques

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland (1) what the average cost was of erecting a blue commemorative plaque in the last 12 months; [111621](2) who

(a) sets the criteria of selection and (b) is responsible for the erection of blue commemorative plaques; [111627]

(3) how many blue commemorative plaques were erected in each of the last five years; and, for each year, what the cost was to public funds; [111624]

(4) what the policy and criteria are for the erection of blue plaques to commemorate distinguished citizens in their native localities. [111630]

This is a devolved matter. There is no national scheme for erecting blue commemorative plaques in Scotland.

Departmental Establishment

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will provide a breakdown by formal job description of the total establishment at the Scotland Office. [104605]

[holding answer 24 March 2003]: My Department has 121 staff in post, of which 35 are in the Office of the Advocate General for Scotland.The job descriptions for staff in the Office of the Secretary of State cover the provision of advice to Ministers on the implementation and operation of the Scotland Act 1998 and a wide range of policy matters in reserved areas, under the broad headings of Economy, Industry, Home and Social Affairs and Parliamentary and Constitutional policy. A number of staff provide finance, personnel and administrative services across the Department as a whole.Staff in the Office of the Advocate General provide legal advice in relation to Scots Law; instructing United Kingdom legislation applying to Scotland, representing departments in litigation in the Scottish Courts and supporting the Advocate General in her role as a Law Officer and under the Scotland Act. They act in Scotland for most Whitehall Departments in any aspect of Scots Law within their particular responsibilities.

Departmental Events

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will list the (a) conferences, (b) seminars, (c) workshops, (d) exhibitions and (e) press conferences which have been sponsored by her Department and which took place on non-departmental premises in the last 12 months, broken down by title, purpose, date and cost. [104284]

The information is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress has been made with the pay review in her Department, agencies and non-departmental public bodies for which she is responsible., with particular reference to the gender pay gap; and if she will make a statement. [106747]

An equal pay review covering staff of the Scotland Office is expected to be completed shortly.

Departmental Report

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the 2002 annual report of the Department will be published. [107874]

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the Scotland Office Departmental Report will be published. [104019]

[holding answer 20 March 2003]: I expect the Scotland Office Departmental Report to be published on 16 May.

Departmental Website

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will make a statement on the (a) cost of and (b) number of visitors to each website operated by her Department and each agency and non-departmental public body for which her Department is responsible in each year since its establishment. [107630]

The Scotland Office website is www.scottishsecretary.gov.uk, which was set up in 1999 by departmental staff. Operating costs for the site are estimated at £300 per year. The numbers of page impressions recorded for the site in each year are as follows:

Number
1999–200026,092
2000–01194,981
2000–02356,122
2000–031454,482
1 Figures to end February
My Department is also responsible for the Friends of Scotland website (www.friendsofscotland.gov.uk), which was established in July 2002. The cost of developing the website was £95,804. Details of annual operating costs are not yet available but the network support and development costs to date are £12,435. The number of page impressions recorded between July 2002 and March 2003 was 479,242.The only non-departmental body for which my Department is responsible is the Boundary Commission. The Commission's website was established in June 2001 and came fully into operation in February 2002. Since that time the site has recorded approximately 10,000 page impressions. The cost of developing and maintaining the site was £5,125.

Employment Relations Act

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff in her Department have taken time off from work in order to attend to domestic incidents as provided for by the Employment Relations Act 1999. [108348]

The information is not held in the form requested and could be collected only at disproportionate cost.

Exhibitions

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if she will list events at which her Department and each agency and non-departmental public body for which her Department is responsible have exhibited in each of the last three years, stating for each (a) the purpose of exhibiting, (b) the cost of exhibiting and (c) the number of staff attending for the exhibition. [107625]

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