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Written Answers

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 14 June 2006

Church Commissioners

Commissioners Chief Accounting Officer

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, (Sir Stuart Bell) representing the Church Commissioners what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the Commissioners’ chief accounting officer. (76818)

The Secretary, appointed by the Church Commissioners, is the principal officer responsible to the Commissioners for the conduct of all business in their name and on their behalf. The current Secretary is Andrew Brown BSc (Hons) FRICS. He qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1982 and after 13 years in private practice, the last three as a partner, he joined the Church Commissioners as their first chief surveyor. He was appointed Secretary in 2003.

Transport

A3 Hindhead Improvement Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects a decision to be made on the A3 Hindhead improvement scheme; and if he will make a statement. (77521)

We are continuing to consider the inspector’s report into this scheme alongside the advice from the south east region on the priority it attaches to the improvement of the A3 at Hindhead within the indicative funding allocation for major transport schemes in the south east. We hope to make an announcement on the way forward for this scheme before the summer recess.

Criminal Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the criminal offences created in legislation sponsored by his Department since April 2005, broken down by Act. (76906)

The question is taken to refer to criminal offences created directly in primary (rather than subordinate) legislation sponsored by the Department for Transport that received Royal Assent in the period 1 May 2005 to 9 June 2006.

No criminal offences have been created directly by such legislation during this period.

Departmental Pension Liability

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the pension liability of his Department over the next 30 years. (75273)

Pension liabilities are not estimated for individual Departments. They are estimated for individual pension schemes.

HM Treasury have produced a technical note which shows the breakdown in liabilities per pension scheme. This note was placed in the Library of the House on 2 March 2006 following an oral statement in Parliament by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

Government Car Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicles in the Government car service fleet were made by (a) Peugeot and (b) Citroen. (77141)

Highways Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many vehicles are operated by the Highways Agency, broken down by model. (77187)

Vehicles operated by Highways Agency employed staff as part of the traffic officer vehicle fleet are as follows:

Model

Number

Land Rover Range Rover TD6 SE Auto

7

Land Rover Discovery 2.7 TDV6 S Auto

32

Mitsubishi Shogun 3.2 DiD Classic Auto

50

Nissan Pathfinder 2.5 dci SE Auto

26

Toyota Land Cruiser 3.0 D4d Lc3 Auto

36

Total

151

Motor Traders

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will issue guidance to post offices to ensure that they permit motor traders to present the different names on insurance documents and registration certificates when applying for a tax disc. (77079)

There is no intention to accept motor trade policies as evidence of insurance for vehicles registered in different names, unless a satisfactory link between the policy and the keeper can be established.

When a vehicle is licensed, the law requires evidence that there is insurance in force in relation to the keeper’s use of the vehicle. Motor trade policies provide cover for vehicles in the policyholder’s possession, allowing the trader to drive a vehicle in the course of business. This cover does not extend to the re-licensing of vehicles except when a vehicle is registered in the policyholder’s name.

Road Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to complete his review of speed limits on roads; and if he will make a statement. (77701)

The Department’s revised guidance to local traffic authorities on setting local speed limits will be published in the coming weeks.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Badgers

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps he has taken to ensure that any badger cull in Shrewsbury and Atcham is not undermined by different procedures in Wales; (76185)

(2) whether he plans to start the cull of badgers on the same date in England as in Wales.

No decision has yet been made on whether to cull badgers. However, given the seriousness of the disease situation. We aim to proceed as quickly as possible while giving the issue the thorough consideration it requires. The decision is not a simple one and we are taking into account all the evidence.

In considering this decision we will liaise closely with the Welsh Assembly Government.

Coastal Access

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in which locations there is no access to the UK coastline; and for what reason in each case. (76656)

We do not hold information on the exact number of locations where the UK coastline is inaccessible, or the reasons for this. It would be at disproportionate cost to gather this information.

Commons Bill

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the judgment by the House of Lords in the Trap Grounds case; and what assessment he has made of its implications for the current drafting of the Commons Bill. (76324)

The Trap Grounds judgment has clarified rights and protections over greens, and reversed the earlier ruling that action taken on land after a registration application can affect the determination of the application.

The judgment has no significant implications for the current drafting of the Commons Bill, but we intend to clarify the term “local inhabitants” in clause 15 in the light of relevant remarks on the judgment.

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he will reply to the letter of 6 February 2006 from the hon. Member for Aylesbury on behalf of Weston Turville parish council, which was referred to his Department by the Home Office on 15 March 2006. (76341)

I apologise for the delay in replying to the hon. Member's letter. A response was issued on 9 June 2006.

Deceased Horses

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on proposals to recover microchips from deceased horses. (76073)

We have recently consulted on proposals to recover microchips from dead horses in line with Council Directives 90/426/EEC and 90/427/EEC. The consultation closed on 2 June and a response will be issued shortly.

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list the 10 non-public sector entities that have received the largest total sum of payments from his Department in each of the last five years. (71794)

The information requested is in the following tables.

FY 2001-02

Vendor name

Total (£)

Snowie

52,104,548.54

ADAS Consulting Ltd.

43,116,767.38

J D M Midlands Ltd.

32,422,787.45

Carillion Building

22,888,509.96

Cumbria Waste Management Ltd.

19,279,807.43

Greyhound Plant Services

18,547,297.02

Atos Origin IT Services UK Ltd.

17,713,023.32

Citex Property & Facilities

16,612,220.86

Sungard Sherwood Systems Ltd.

15,908,892.90

Barr Ltd.

15,037,846.27

FY 2002-03

Vendor name

Total (£)

T X U Warm Front Ltd.

51,076,421.84

Fujitsu Services Ltd.

25,701,067.05

ADAS Consulting Ltd.

20,509,113.40

Sema UK Ltd.

19,866,954.53

Sherwood International Group Ltd.

16,244,929.20

Ineos Fluor Ltd.

8,599,347.99

Prudential Prop Investment Managers Ltd.

8,072,617.52

Citex Professional Services Ltd.

7,640,578.10

L G C Limited

6,524,579.54

Walter Lilly & Co Ltd.

6,475,931.82

FY 2003-04

Vendor name

Total (£)

T X U Warm Front Ltd.

42,339,918.28

Atos Origin IT Services UK Ltd.

25,427,385.15

Fujitsu Services Ltd.

22,523,122.39

Shepherd Construction Ltd.

22,032,872.75

Sungard Sherwood Systems Ltd.

20,606,648.32

ADAS Consulting Ltd.

17,947,361.18

L G C Limited

11,869,607.39

Ineos Fluor Ltd.

8,599,347.99

Prudential Prop Investment Managers Ltd

8,322,218.23

P A Consulting Group

6,899,587.19

FY 2004-05

Vendor name

Total (£)

Powergen Warm Front Ltd.

45,608,787.33

Atos Origin IT Services UK Ltd.

38,972,053.09

IBM United Kingdom Ltd.

27,553,043.55

ADAS Consulting Ltd.

16,203,252.37

Fujitsu Services Ltd.

14,291,390.70

Sungard Sherwood Systems Ltd.

13,401,396.55

Shepherd Construction Ltd.

11,764,738.01

Overbury Plc.

11,559,685.86

Citex

11,433,165.67

Prudential Prop. Investment Managers Ltd.

10,065,515.29

FY 2005-06

Vendor name

Total (£)

IBM United Kingdom Ltd.

76,494,621.18

Carillion Services Ltd.

12,520,824.53

ADAS Consulting Ltd.

10,891,788.70

Walter Lilly & Co Ltd.

9,968,584.41

Shepherd Construction Ltd.

8,988,503.71

Prudential Prop Investment Managers Ltd.

8,435,480.73

Overbury Plc.

6,506,083.88

Atos Origin IT Services UK Ltd.

5,949,934.53

Barclaycard Business Issuing

5,751,629.76

Lombard North Central Plc.

5,099,360.68

Fisheries

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration he has given to the request from English Nature for him to close an area of 60 square miles off Lyme Regis to fishing; what consultations he has held with scallop fishermen on this request; if he will take into account the social and economic implications in his deliberations; when he expects to make a decision; and if he will commission research to determine density and location of scallop beds in relation to those of protected seabed fauna. (76702)

[holding answer 13 June 2006]: I regard the request from English Nature very seriously. I also recognise that Lyme Bay represents an extremely important fishery for the south west and the socio-economic impact of any action needs to be taken into account in reaching a decision. My officials have attended meetings with English Nature and Southern and Devon Sea fisheries Committees and, more recently, with the newly formed South West Scallopers Association. This dialogue is continuing.

I hope we can urgently broker a local solution to this issue which will be acceptable both for the marine environment and the livelihoods of fishermen. If this is not possible, or if individual scallopers choose not to respect any negotiated agreement, I will not hesitate to accede to English Nature’s request.

Fungaflor

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the (a) licensing and (b) availability of (i) the product fungaflor and (ii) a substitute for it in the last 12 months. (76748)

My Department has received representations from the Horticultural Development Council, the Cucumber Growers Association and a cucumber grower about both fungaflor and a possible substitute product.

GM Crops

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the policy of the European Commission is on co-existence of GM and non-GM crops. (76070)

The Commission’s general policy is that coexistence measures should be proportionate and science-based, and that they are best determined and implemented at member state level. This is confirmed in the recommended guidelines that the Commission has issued to help member states develop their national coexistence strategies. These are available at http://ec.europa.eu/comm/agriculture/publi/reports/coexistence2/guide_en.pdf. More up to date background on the Commission’s thinking in this area is contained in the report that it issued earlier this year on the implementation of national coexistence measures. This can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/comm/agriculture /coexistence/com104_en.pdf.

Ivory

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many Article 10 certificates for ivory have been granted under Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 since 2004; and what the nature was of the items under each certificate. (76085)

Since 2004, 174 Article 10 certificates for ivory have been granted under Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97. The certificates cover a range of products including jewellery, walking sticks, chess sets and carved figures. Items under each certificate are detailed in the following table.

Item

Number

Five items of carved ivory jewellery:

Ivory solid bangle

1

Ivory-beaded necklace

1

One ivory heart-shaped pendant

1

Two ivory drop earrings

2

Ivory tusk carved into a group of elephants.

1

Chess set with sixteen carved ivory pieces.

1

Carved ivory figure of a Japanese woman carrying a fan.

1

Ivory carving of a group of three rhinos.

1

Ivory carving of hippo.

1

Carved ivory head of a woman.

1

Ivory carving of a man carrying a pack.

1

Carved ivory pots with lids.

2

Decorated ivory vase.

1

Ivory carving of a man sitting on a decorative sphere.

1

Ivory carving of an African woman carrying a pot on her head.

1

Ivory carving of a crocodile.

1

Brooch with a carved ivory rose bud feature?circa 1950.

1

Gold mounted cello bow with an ivory face plate.

1

Pair of ivory salad servers (two in total) acquired approx. 1958

1

Thorn walking stick with horn knob handle and ivory spacer.

1

Ox horn walking stick with silver cap handle and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with ebony dog handle with ivory eyes and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with carved walnut lion head handle on Malacca with ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with ebony crook with ivory insets and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with walnut pear cap and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with snake wood crook and large ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with ebony crutch and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with rosewood crutch and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with rosewood crosshead and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with carved ebony dog handle and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with snake wood crutch and ivory spacer.

1

Certificates, each for one walking stick with violet wood trumpet top and ivory spacer.

2

Walking stick with walnut pistol butt on rosewood and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with ebony crutch and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with rosewood greyhound and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with ox horn knob and ebony and ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with buffalo horn, ducks head and ivory washer and spacer.

1

Certificates, each for one walking stick with walnut boars head, ivory washer and tusks with ivory spacer.

2

Walking stick with carved sheep head on hazel, ivory washer with ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with carved staghorn, ivory washer with ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with buffalo shepherds crook, ivory washer with ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with carved wood boar, ivory tusks with ivory spacer

1

Walking stick with carved ivory dog head on ebony with gilt collar.

1

Walking stick with carved ivory skull on ebony.

1

Walking stick with carved ivory elephant on ebony.

1

Walking stick with carved ivory deer on Palmyra, gilt collar.

1

Walking stick with carved ivory bulldog head on snakewood, silver collar.

1

Walking stick with ivory and hardwood spacer stick.

1

Walking stick with rosewood, walrus ivory handle with elephant ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with ebony, walrus ivory handle with elephant ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with lancewood, walrus ivory handle with elephant ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with ebony, with elephant ivory handle and spacer.

1

Certificates, each for one walking stick with rosewood, walrus ivory handle with elephant ivory spacer.

2

Walking stick ebony, elephant ivory handle and walrus ivory spacer.

1

Walking stick with ebony, ivory handle and spacer.

1

Silver mounted viola bow by J. Finkel with ivory head plate circa 1960

1

Silver mounted viola bow by R. Grunke with ivory head plate circa 1950.

1

Ivory carving representing four standing revolutionary figures .circa 1966-70.

1

Carved wood boars head with ivory tusks, on rosewood stick.

1

Horn thimble cap on ebony stick with ivory spacer.

1

Certificates, each for one carved horn hoof on hazel stick with ivory spacer.

2

Carved wood boars head with ivory tusks on hazel stick, with ivory spacer.

1

Carved wood ox head with ivory horns on hazel stick, with ivory spacer.

1

Carved horn toad on log, on a blackthorn stick, with ivory spacer.

1

Carved wood hares head, on a Palmyra stick, with ivory spacer.

1

Gents maple crook stick, inlay ivory pattern on nose.

1

Ladies maple crook stick, inlay ivory pattern on nose.

1

Gents acacia crook stick, ivory slipper cap on nose.

1

Ladies acacia crook stick, ivory slipper cap on nose.

1

Gents rosewood crutch handle on maple stick with ivory spacer.

1

Gents olive wood crutch handle on maple stick with ivory spacer.

1

Certificates, each for one carved wood duck head umbrella with ivory spacer

2

Certificates, each for one carved ivory whistle

3

Carved ivory figures representing men holding ritual objects.

8

Ivory and silver paper knife.

1

Ivory tusk carved with the figure of a woman with a headdress.

1

Silver and ivory mounted violin bow by Louis Gillet.

1

Gold and ivory mounted violin bow by Marcel Lapierre.

1

Gold and ivory mounted violin bow by Johanned Finkel.

1

Silver and ivory mounted violin bow by Percival Wilfred Bryant

1

Silver and ivory mounted violin bow by H.R Pfreteschner

1

Silver coloured metal and ivory ewer.

1

Silver coloured metal and ivory peppermill.

1

Gold and ivory mounted viola bow, by Malcolm Taylor. Circa 1975.

1

Certificates, each for one ivory bracelet polished and worked into torus shape with roughly square profile.

12

Certificates, each for one ivory bracelet polished and worked into torus shape with d profile.

2

Ivory bracelet polished and worked into torus shape with triangular profile.

1

Certificates, each for one ivory bracelet polished and worked into torus shape with flattened u profile.

2

Silver mounted violin bow with an ivory head plate, W.E. Hill and Sons, circa 1948.

1

Silver and ivory mounted violin bow. Circa 1950.

1

Carved ivory magic ball and one carved ivory base of three horses.

1

Carved hollow tusk depicting three giraffes.

1

Silver mounted violin bow by Jacques Audinot. Circa 1960.

1

Gold mounted violin, the bow has an ivory head plate.

1

Ivory carving of a male head, with cracks in base and on side of head.

1

Carved ivory horse, circa 1957.one carved Hindu goddess, circa 1957.

1

Carved ivory horses, purchased in United Arab Emirates circa 1971.

7

Certificates, each for one ivory tusk carved with people.

2

Ivory tusk carved with elephants.

1

Walking stick with carved buffalo horn and elephants head mounted on ebony.

1

Elephant tusk with carved animals.

1

Ivory thermometer acquired circa, 1947

1

A metal tea set comprising teapot, sugar bowl and milk jug. Teapot contains ivory, circa 1957

Silver jug with rosewood and ivory handle, circa 1957

1

A metal tea set comprising coffee pot and cover, sugar bowl and milk jug. Coffee pot contains ivory.

Necklace containing ivory, moonstone and pewter, circa 1972-1973

1

Ivory and silver necklace by Caroline Broadhead with matching earrings, circa 1973

1

Gold and ivory mounted violin bow by Garner Wilson, circa 1970.

1

Nickel mounted child’s violin bow with ivory head plate by Morizot Freres. Circa 1950.

1

Silver mounted cello bow with ivory head plate by Albert Nurnberger

1

Silver mounted cello bow with ivory head plate by Roger Francois Lotte. Circa 1950.

1

Ivory walking stick acquired pre-1972

1

Certificates, each for one carved ivory knife acquired pre-1972

2

Certificates, each for one carved ivory crocodile acquired pre-1972

5

Carved ivory figure of a woman acquired pre-1972

1

Carved ivory tusk with a number of figures acquired pre-1972

1

Carved ivory head acquired pre-1972

1

Carved ivory ornament acquired pre-1972

1

Certificates, each for one small elephant tusk with small leaves carved at the lip end.

2

A thirty two piece ivory chess set, circa 1960.

Ivory pieces.

Certificates, each for one ivory tusk.

2

Certificates, each for one juvenile elephant tusk.

2

Certificates, each for one elephant tusk

17

Worked ivory tusk depicting five elephants moving through bush.

1

Certificates, each for one silver mounted ivory tusk.

2

Certificates, each for two uncarved ivory tusks mounted on a wooden plinth with a gong.

2

Portions of elephant tusks in stands.

2

Carved elephant tusk.

1

Unworked elephant tusk with branded markings.

1

Ministerial Visits (Accommodation)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total cost was of overnight accommodation for (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department staying overnight in (i) mainland Great Britain, (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) the Republic of Ireland and (iv) other countries in each of the last three years. (69093)

The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The Department records expenditure as either for the UK or other countries. The core Department and most of its agencies differentiate between overnight accommodation costs and other travel expenses.

£000

(a) Civil Servants

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

UK

345

326

513

Abroad

474

570

603

(b) Special Advisers

UK

1,220

2,044

2,487

Abroad

698

702

910

Note: These figures exclude the Rural Payments Agency and the Central Science Laboratory.

Payment Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many claims for the Single Payment Scheme were submitted by 31 May; and what proportion this represents of claims for entitlements made in 2005. (76360)

[holding answer 12 June 2006]: The information is as follows:

103,005 applications were received by 31 May.

120,367 applications were received for 2005 (this is up to the final deadline on 10 June 2005).

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what budget sum he has allocated for payments under (a) Entry Level Stewardship, (b) Higher Level Stewardship, (c) Hill Farm Allowance and (d) all other environmental and rural development policies for 2006-07. (76362)

[holding answer 12 June 2006]: The current planned budget sum to cover payments for these schemes, which form part of the England Rural Development Programme (including domestic and European funds) during 2006-07, is:

£ million

Entry Level Stewardship (includes Organic Entry Level Stewardship)

66

Higher Level Stewardship

3

Other environmental and rural development policies which come under the umbrella of the England Rural Development Programme

1342.7

1 Includes Countryside Stewardship Scheme, Environmentally Sensitive Areas Scheme, Energy Crops Scheme, Organic Farming Scheme, Woodland Grant Scheme, Farm Woodland and Farm Woodland Premium Scheme Rural Enterprise Scheme, Vocational Training Scheme and Processing and Marketing Grant.

Due to the nature of Entry and Higher Level Stewardship, payments commence some time after agreements are entered into. Consequently, the value of payments shown above for 2006-07 reflects scheme uptake activity from the previous financial year (2005-06).

Arrangements for the Hill Farm Allowance for this financial year are currently being considered, in light of the recently closed public consultation on support for upland areas.

The transition between the current and new England Rural Development Programme takes place on 1 January 2007. Funding arrangements from 2007 onwards are currently being discussed within government. The above figures should be seen as indicative only until these discussions have concluded.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many claimants have received interim payments of less than 80 per cent. under the Single Farm Payment arrangements since April 2005. (76605)

All partial payments under the Single Payment scheme have been calculated at a rate of 80 per cent. However, the calculation took account of data held in RPA's validation system at a specific point in time, which in some cases meant payment was reduced to reflect late claim penalties.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1311W, to the hon. Member for North-East Milton Keynes (Mr. Lancaster), on single farm payments, (a) on what basis and (b) in what form data on regional farm payments is held. (77043)

Details of payments made in England up to 30 June 2006, including by constituency and county, will be published in due course.

Poultry Culling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the agreed levels of poultry culling capability are; when these levels were agreed; what methods of poultry culling have been agreed; and what the poultry culling capacity was in each month since January 2001. (76338)

There are no formally agreed levels of poultry culling capability. However, there are a range of culling methods available to the state veterinary service. These include maceration (for day old chicks only), lethal injection, neck dislocation, percussion killers, gassing in containers, whole-house gassing and, as a last resort when no other method is practicable, ventilation shutdown.

Killing capacity has been progressively increased over the last two years through the establishment of contingency contracts with catchers and equipment suppliers. Capacity has been further increased since January 2006 through the development of a system based on the gassing of poultry in containers using a mixture of argon and carbon dioxide; the Department has commissioned 50 of these units, each capable of killing 2,000 chickens per hour. In addition, we have purchased a number of percussion killers for use on larger birds and plan to further increase our capability to gas poultry in their sheds.

However, it is not possible to state the total killing capacity per month because this figure depends on a variety of factors. These include the age and species of poultry, the housing system, the size, location, quantity and geographic spread of the affected holdings, and the availability of catchers, gas and resources.

Rural Payments Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with (a) the Rural Payments Agency, (b) farmers' unions and (c) the European Commission on the use of partial payments to farmers in England for the Single Payment Scheme for 2006. (71531)

Arrangements for the 2006 Single Payment Scheme, including the possible use of partial payments, are discussed regularly at the fortnightly meetings that my noble Friend Lord Rooker, and the Interim Chief Executive of the Rural Payments Agency have with industry leaders. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has also had a useful discussion on the issue with the Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) permanent staff and (b) temporary staff were employed by the Rural Payments Agency in each month since October 2001 expressed in terms of (i) actual staff numbers and (ii) full-time equivalent staff; and if he will make a statement. (71536)

The following tables show the staff numbers, broken down as requested.

Staff Employed by RPA in each month since October 2001

2001-02

October

November

December

January

February

March

Permanent

2,940

2,950

2,915

2,904

2,934

2,954

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

70

77

93

110

126

149

Casuals

231

252

278

290

270

248

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,241

3,279

3,286

3,304

3,330

3,351

Permanent

2,845.28

2,839.25

2,801.31

2,788.97

2,816.02

2,834.72

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

70.27

76.81

92.55

108.91

124.91

146.88

Casuals

230.81

249.73

275.27

287.00

268.00

246.05

Total (Full-time equivalent)

3,146.36

3,165.79

3,169.13

3,184.88

3,208.93

3,227.66

Note:

During this period the Intervention Board (IBEA) amalgamated with the Rural Development Service (RDS)

2002-03

April

May

June

July

August

September

Permanent

2,935

2,902

2,868

2,830

2,828

2,811

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

187

208

213

212

213

211

Casuals

265

255

278

358

364

399

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,387

3,365

3,359

3,400

3,405

3,421

Permanent

2,816.39

2,782.36

2,759.32

2,719.02

2,715.03

2,699.59

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

184.30

204.78

210.54

209.54

209.78

209.78

Casuals

263.22

252.82

276.20

355.42

361.23

397.09

Total (Full-time equivalent)

3,263.91

3,239.97

3,246.06

3,283.98

3,286.05

3,306.46

October

November

December

January

February

March

Permanent

2,796

2,782

2,761

2,757

2,752

2,741

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

250

282

311

311

348

379

Casuals

334

393

373

363

359

339

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,380

3,457

3,445

3,431

3,459

3,459

Permanent

2,683.14

2,675.05

2,649.30

2,645.26

2,638.22

2,627.69

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

247.05

278.67

307.48

307.48

344.48

375.29

Casuals

331.59

390.49

370.55

359.55

354.90

335.99

Total (Full-time equivalent)

3,261.79

3,344.21

3,327.33

3,312.29

3,337.60

3,338.97

2003-04

April

May

June

July

August

September

Permanent

2,717

2,680

2,677

2,637

2,611

3,076

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

379

382

387

454

467

495

Casuals

303

280

291

314

310

318

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,399

3,342

3,355

3,405

3,388

3,889

Permanent

2,605.16

2,567.80

2,565.33

2,524.84

2,499.17

2,948.51

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

374.90

377.90

382.44

449.25

462.17

489.96

Casuals

300.25

277.60

286.70

310.89

307.08

315.21

Total (Full-time equivalent)

3,280.31

3,223.30

3,234.47

3,284.98

3,268.42

3,753.68

October

November

December

January

February

March

Permanent

3,058

3,025

3,003

2,982

2,972

2,962

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

499

490

492

488

516

507

Casuals

274

276

304

315

312

321

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,831

3,791

3,799

3,785

3,800

3,790

Permanent

2,925.31

2,890.04

2,868.36

2,847.48

2,835.56

2,819.40

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

494.42

485.78

488.17

483.85

511.70

502.12

Casuals

271.60

274.06

300.20

311.20

307.25

316.28

Total (Full-time equivalent)

3,691.33

3,649.88

3,656.73

3,642.53

3,654.51

3,637.80

Note:

The large rise in staff numbers between August and September is due to the amalgamation of BCMS into RPA

2004-05

April

May

June

July

August

September

Permanent

2,944

2,916

2,900

2,894

2,889

2,874

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

501

467

464

479

482

465

Casuals

323

323

339

380

424

436

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,768

3,706

3,703

3,753

3,795

3,775

Permanent

2,802.82

2,776.96

2,764.02

2,758.97

2,753.95

2,738.76

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

496.19

460.75

457.35

470.55

473.71

455.65

Casuals

317.82

318.21

334.22

375.93

420.19

431.78

Total (Full-time equivalent)

3,616.83

3,555.92

3,555.58

3,605.45

3,647.85

3,626.20

October

November

December

January

February

March

Permanent

2,838

2,824

2,791

2,751

2,718

2,695

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

437

426

422

417

403

399

Casuals

449

458

486

502

509

512

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,724

3,708

3,699

3,670

3,630

3,606

Permanent

2,700.93

2,685.32

2,651.86

2,611.94

2,581.54

2,560.12

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

427.36

416.53

411.98

406.73

393.67

389.62

Casuals

443.86

451.57

479.57

495.57

502.62

505.24

Total (Full-time equivalent)

3,572.15

3,553.41

3,543.40

3,514.24

3,477.83

3,454.98

2005-06

April

May

June

July

August

September

Permanent

2,654

2,579

2,527

2,524

2,325

2,290

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

376

357

345

340

295

292

Casuals

515

539

531

576

526

505

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,545

3,475

3,403

3,440

3,146

3,087

Permanent

2,521.10

2,449.90

2,399.95

2,396.33

2,209.98

2,174.03

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

367.61

349.37

337.77

333.69

289.20

286.20

Casuals

508.91

534.42

525.92

567.84

521.04

501.32

Total (Full-time equivalent)

3,397.62

3,333.69

3,263.63

3,297.86

3,020.21

2,961.55

October

November

December

January

February

March

Permanent

2,278

2,262

2,250

2,230

2,235

2,312

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

286

281

280

277

307

314

Casuals

489

571

592

588

591

591

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,053

3,114

3,122

3,095

3,133

3,217

Permanent

2,160.84

2,142.79

2,129.95

2,110.66

2,112.26

2,187.72

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

280.09

275.13

273.29

270.24

300.01

307.01

Casuals

480.69

548.84

559.80

557.78

561.04

563.18

Total (Full-time equivalent)

2,921.62

2,966.76

2,963.03

2,938.68

2,973.31

3,057.90

2006-07

April

May

Permanent

2,301

2,348

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

295

322

Casuals

577

565

Total (Actual Staff numbers)

3,173

3,235

Permanent

2,174.85

2,219.31

FTA (Fixed Term Appointments)

287.41

314.41

Casuals

550.19

538.61

Total (Full-time equivalent)

3,012.44

3,072.33

Note:

The rise in staff numbers between April and May is due to the amalgamation of Horticultural Marketing Inspectorate (HMI) and Defra's Investigation Branch (IB) into RPA

Single Farm Payments

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the impact of the delay in single farm payments upon feed merchants; and if he will make a statement. (73410)

Feed merchants are, to varying effects, likely to be affected by the cash-flow issues faced by farming business waiting for receipt of payments under the 2005 Single Payment Scheme (SPS). Over £1.3 billion, representing 89 per cent. of the total value of such payments, has been disbursed and the Rural Payments Agency remains focused on paying the outstanding sums as soon as possible for the benefit of all concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment the Rural Payments Agency made of the efficiency of the (a) historic system and (b) regional average area system of calculation for the Single Payment Scheme prior to the implementation of the Single Payment Scheme; and what such assessment the Agency has undertaken since undertaking the implementation of the Single Payment Scheme. (66707)

The Rural Payments Agency contributed to the advice supplied to Ministers before the decision was taken to adopt the flat rate model of the Single Payment Scheme. That advice pointed to a greater degree of challenge in implementing a flat rate, as opposed to a historical, model of the SPS, but at no point was any suggestion made that the chosen model was undeliverable. Given that EU regulations required member states implementing the SPS in 2005 to notify the Commission of their chosen models by 1 August 2004, subsequent assessment of different models would not serve any practical purpose.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average Single Farm Payment is for England; and if he will make a statement. (76026)

As at 6 June 2006 the number of full and partial payments made under the Single Payment Scheme was 96,000, with a total value of £1.33 billion.

The average payment based on the above values is £14,000.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many recipients of single farm payments have yet to receive any payment, broken down by county area. (76044)

The total number of single payment scheme customers is approximately 120,000. As at 6 June 2006, 24,000 customers had not received either a full or partial payment.

Details of payments made in England up to 30 June 2006, including by constituency and county, will be published in due course.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects all single farm payments will have been made in full. (76181)

The payment window for the 2006 Single Payment Scheme opens on 1 December 2006 and runs until 30 June 2007.

The Rural Payments Agency is working hard to ensure that payments are made as soon as possible within this time frame. Staff have already started basic validation checks on a proportion of the 2006 application forms.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to ensure that farmers who have now received their single farm payments will receive interest due on the delayed payments. (76183)

The question of interest arises only in respect of payments made after the legal deadline of 30 June. We have not reached that point yet and I do not want to deflect the Rural Payments Agency in the interim period from concentrating on its main priority, which is to ensure that outstanding payments are made as soon as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received from the European Commission on the UK Government’s implementation of the Single Farm Payment Scheme. (76186)

The Department and the European Commission are in regular contact in order to help further our common interest in ensuring that the Single Payment Scheme is implemented as smoothly as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the extent to which the dynamic hybrid system has contributed to the delays in the Single Payment Scheme. (66709)

Experience among member states implementing the Single Payment Scheme in 2005 has indicated that there is a greater degree of challenge in implementing flat rate models. However, the precise timing of payments in each member state will have been dependent on a range of factors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by what processes and for what reasons the decision was reached to use a dynamic hybrid system of calculation for the single payment scheme. (66713)

The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Derby, South explained her reasons for adopting the flat rate model of the Single Payment Scheme when she announced that decision on 12 February 2004, Official Report, column 1585. This followed analysis of advice and supporting data from officials, responses to a public consultation document and discussions with stakeholders.

Tendring Hundred Water Company

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the extent to which Tendring Hundred Water Co. is conserving water during the present drought. (76205)

The Environment Agency's report, “Drought Prospects 2006—Spring Update”, explains the likely consequences of a continuing rainfall deficit and recommends action by water companies. The report recommends that water companies in Norfolk and Suffolk should monitor their water resources carefully and be prepared to take further steps to manage supply and demand if the drought intensifies. This report is available from the Agency's website:

www.environment-agency.gov.uk.

Each water company has specific plans to manage short-term water shortages depending on the severity of a drought. These drought plans are a statutory requirement, and also subject to public consultation. A consultation on Tendring Hundred Water services draft drought plan is currently in progress. This can be viewed on the company's website at:

http://www.thws.co.uk/

Water Shortages

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to meet water companies to discuss the issue of leaks; and what guidance his Department has issued to water companies on leakages. (74783)

The Secretary of State and I met with representatives of the water industry, including water companies, on 1 June. Leakage reduction was discussed and a commitment was reached to keep leakage targets—set by the Economic Regulator—under review, taking account of costs, technology and best practice. All parties are set to meet again before the end of the year.

Ofwat is responsible for leakage target setting and enforcement. A Leakage Study commissioned jointly by Ofwat, the Environment Agency and Defra was published in March 2003, and all water companies were asked by Ofwat to update their appraisals of leakage in line with best practice identified in the study. Ofwat assesses the leakage appraisals to ensure that water companies meet the best practice principles identified in the report.

The study is available at: http://www.ofwat.gov.uk/aptrix/ofwat/publish.nsf/Content/tripartitestudycon tents.

Water Supplies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the leakage of water in each water supply company region in each financial year since 1997. (76452)

Water company leakage figures are published annually by the water services regulation authority (publicly known as Ofwat) in the ‘Security of supply, leakage and the efficient use of water’ reports. Total water company leakage for each year since 1996-97, in megalitres per day, was reported as follows:

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

Anglian

242

240

206

190

194

224

192

216

214

Bournemouth and W Hants

29

26

26

23

23

22

22

22

22

Bristol

65

59

56

54

55

55

53

53

53

Cambridge

16

14

13

13

13

14

14

14

14

Dee Valley

13

12

12

13

12

11

11

10

11

Dwr Cymru

357

329

306

288

260

224

192

216

214

Folkestone and Dover

12

9

9

8

9

8

8

8

8

Mid Kent

38

36

30

29

29

29

28

30

29

Northumbrian North

192

184

171

168

164

161

153

160

155

Northumbrian South

85

82

76

73

72

73

67

70

67

Portsmouth

31

32

31

30

30

30

30

30

30

Severn Trent1

479

399

344

340

340

340

514

512

502

South East

99

108

98

97

85

75

72

69

69

South Staffordshire

90

82

77

76

72

71

71

71

74

South West

129

101

92

84

84

83

84

84

83

Southern

113

99

95

93

92

92

92

92

92

Sutton and East Surrey

27

26

25

24

24

24

24

24

24

Tendring

6

6

6

5

6

5

5

5

5

Thames

108

906

770

662

688

865

943

946

915

Three Valleys

199

172

157

145

140

157

152

152

149

United Utilities

666

579

510

487

463

452

465

479

500

Wessex

129

110

100

88

84

79

75

75

73

Yorkshire

430

377

342

317

304

297

296

295

293

1 In spring 2003, Severn Trent Water revised its water balance data. The company attributed most of the increase in leakage to methodological changes.

Education and Skills

Building Bulletin 100

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on progress with the Building Bulletin 100 review. (77455)

Public consultation on Building Bulletin (BB) 100, “Designing and Managing Against the Risk of Fire in Schools”, concluded in November last year. There were 66 responses to the 12 questions asked and many included additional comments, some extensive. An analysis of these responses has been completed and will shortly be published on the Department’s website.

This feedback has now been incorporated into a new draft of BB 100, which is being internally reviewed. We hope to publish the final, agreed version before the end of this year.

Class Sizes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on class sizes in the London borough of Havering. (75443)

Information on class sizes in Havering local authority area is given in the table. This shows that the average size of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes has decreased since 2002. The average size of classes in secondary schools has remained the same.

Classes taught by one teacher in maintained primary schools (by Key Stage 1 and 2) and secondary schools1,2,3—position in January each year: 2002 to 2006 (provisional)—Havering local authority area

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006 (provisional)

Key Stage 1 classes4

Average class size

26.6

26.7

26.6

26.1

26.2

Number of classes

294

291

273

284

277

Percentage of classes with:

1-30 pupils

99.3

100.0

100.0

100.0

98.9

31 or more pupils

0.7

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.1

Number of pupils

7,823

7,762

7,268

7,416

7,249

Percentage of pupils in classes with:

1-30 pupils

99.2

100.0

100.0

100.0

98.7

31 or more pupils5

0.8

0.0

0.0

0.0

1.3

Key Stage 2 classes

Average class size

27.5

27.5

27.6

27.3

26.8

Number of classes

402

392

368

384

390

Percentage of classes with:

1-30 pupils

71.9

77.6

80.2

81.8

87.2

31 or more pupils

28.1

22.4

19.8

18.2

12.8

Number of pupils

11,058

10,764

10,159

10,501

10,434

Percentage of pupils in classes with:

1-30 pupils

67.2

73.7

77.3

78.4

84.7

31 or more pupils

32.8

26.3

22.7

21.6

15.3

Classes in primary schools

Average class size

27.1

27.1

27.1

26.7

26.5

Number of classes

719

706

686

692

686

Percentage of classes with:

1-30 pupils

83.2

87.0

88.0

89.2

91.7

31 or more pupils

16.8

13.0

12.0

10.8

8.3

Number of pupils

19,506

19,137

18,613

18,509

18,181

Percentage of pupils in classes with:

1-30 pupils

79.9

84.4

85.8

86.8

89.9

31 or more pupils

20.1

15.6

14.2

13.2

10.1

Classes in secondary schools

Average class size

21.8

21.7

22.0

21.9

21.8

Number of classes

709

731

732

724

708

Percentage of classes with:

1-30 pupils

94.6

94.1

94.4

93.2

92.5

31 or more pupils

5.4

5.9

5.6

6.8

7.5

Number of pupils

15,457

15,878

16,087

15,846

15,399

Percentage of pupils in classes with:

1-30 pupils

92.2

91.4

91.9

90.2

89.2

31 or more pupils

7.8

8.6

8.1

9.8

10.8

1 Classes as taught during a single selected period in each school on the day of the census in January. 2 Includes middle schools as deemed. 3 For secondary schools, excludes sixth form colleges. 4 Includes reception classes. 5 Key Stage 1 classes of 31 or more may contain pupils who have been admitted as exceptions. Source: Schools’ Census

Education Act 1996 (Prosecutions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many prosecutions were brought under section 7 of the Education Act 1996 in the last year for which figures are available; and how many such prosecutions involved children with cerebral palsy. (76949)

Home Office data for 2004, the latest year for which figures are available, show 8,140 prosecutions in England and Wales under the Education Act 1996. These include:

3,393 prosecutions for truancy under section 444(1);

1,091 prosecutions for truancy under section 444(1A) (the aggravated offence);

3,654 prosecutions for various offences under the Education Act. These are likely to include some prosecutions under sections 444(1) and (1A); and

two prosecutions for child employment offences.

Prosecutions related to section 7 for truancy are brought under section 444 of the Act. Information is not collected on the characteristics of pupils or their families.

Examinations

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which organisations are permitted to submit (a) GCSE and (b) A-level examinations for approval by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority. (76235)

The awarding bodies AQA, Edexcel and OCR are the only organisations that currently submit GCSE and A-level specifications to the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), which regulates qualifications in England. Any other organisations that wished to submit such a specification would have to show that it could abide by the relevant regulations.

Information and Communication Technology

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what progress the e-Strategy Programme Board is making on integrating the use of IT in education; and if he will make a statement. (76124)

The Department established a high level Technology Group in October 2005 to oversee the system wide implementation of the e-Strategy in England. The Department is supported in this role by the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta), and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)—lead delivery partners for the e-Strategy.

The e-Strategy is being delivered through four interlinked transformational programmes:

Strategic Technologies—strategic and cost effective deployment of technological infrastructure.

E-Maturity—building people and institutional capacity for effective use of technology.

Personalised Content—multimedia resources adaptable to learners’ needs and learning styles.

Knowledge Architecture—improving the way in which information is shared and managed to support more personalised learning.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much was allocated to schools for the purchase of information community technology equipment in each year since 1997. (76161)

There was no specific funding allocated for the purchase of ICT equipment in 1997. ICT funding allocations for schools in England in each year from 1998 to 2006 are detailed in ‘Funding for ICT in Schools in England’ which is available in the House Library.

From 2006-07 we have moved to a new method of funding for ICT equipment and there is no specific amount for ICT. The amounts previously allocated specifically for ICT have been included in allocations for Devolved Formula Capital and School Development Grant. Schools may use their overall resources, including their Devolved Formula Capital grant and their Schools Development Grant, to purchase ICT equipment and services. This supports schools in their financial management and provides greater flexibility on how they spend funding to target their priorities.

Maintained Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many maintained schools in England offered (a) general and (b) vocational qualifications at level 3 or above in the national qualifications framework to pupils in the fourth key stage in the latest year for which figures are available. (76493)

The Department does not hold information on whether schools offer level 3 qualifications to pupils in Key Stage 4.

School Fires

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the annual cost of fires in schools was in each year since 1995. (77454)

The earliest figures we have from the Department for Communities and Local Government are for 2000 and the latest are for 2004. These cover school fires in England and Wales.

Number—fires

Total costs (£ million)

2000

1,275

45

2001

1,529

67

2002

1,332

67

2003

1,313

61

2004

1,291

52

The costs are rounded to the nearest million and are derived from the (then) ODPM publication “Economic Cost of Fire, estimates for 2004”. They cover property damage and the costs of the fire and rescue services attending the fires.

School Sprinkler Systems

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the average additional cost of sprinkler systems in new school buildings built by local authorities; and if he will make a statement. (77456)

Last autumn, the Department commissioned the Building Research Establishment to carry out a cost benefit analysis study of installing sprinklers in schools. This will include a quantitative assessment of the costs and benefits of fitting automatic fire suppression systems in new schools, based on actual system costs and proposed system costs. It should therefore provide reliable figures for the costs of installing sprinklers in schools.

The study is continuing and we expect to receive the final report within two months.

School Uniform Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills which local authorities do not provide school uniform grants. (76723)

Science Laboratories

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the recall of funding promised for science laboratories. (62969)

Capital investment underpins the Government's drive to raise standards of education and we are fully committed to taking forward our programme to renew and improve all schools. Funding for investment in schools is £6.8 billion this year and it will rise to over £8 billion by 2010-11. This compares to under £700 million in 1996-97.

Our aims include rebuilding or renewing all secondary schools through the Building Schools for the Future programme, including their science laboratories, in fifteen waves of investment which started last year. Already about 350 schools have been prioritised in the first three waves, and we aim to include up to a further 600 schools in the next three waves. We also aim to have 200 Academies open or in the pipeline by 2010. In all, by 2010 almost a third of all secondary schools will be funded to improve their science teaching facilities.

Building Schools for the Future is only one of our capital programmes, and is allocated just over a third of the total capital funding for schools. All schools and authorities get additional funding for their priorities. This includes the funding which schools get directly—a typical secondary school will get over £100,000 of its own money this year, which can be rolled over to allow larger projects such as science facilities to be addressed.

We are providing the resources to improve school laboratories where this is the priority. What is now important is to ensure that the new laboratories are designed not just to teach the curriculum, but that they have 21st century facilities and are inspiring places to teach and to learn. Our aim is to enthuse pupils with an interest in science, both as a subject and a possible career. Therefore we are planning shortly to launch a “School Science Labs of the Future” project which will bring together teams of leading designers and bodies with specialist interest in, and practical knowledge of, the teaching and learning of science to develop a range of exemplar designs. The most exciting of these will be built in schools around the country so that there is a range of practical examples to act as benchmarks and to disseminate the learning.

Although this is over a longer timescale, we believe that this is the best way of ensuring comprehensively that all young people have the opportunity to learn in high quality facilities which inspire them to pursue their dreams and achieve their potential, and not be turned off by science.

Standards Fund Grant

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the value was of Standards Fund Grant 31a in each year of its existence, broken down by local education authority. (76160)

Standards Fund Grant 31a existed in 2004-05 and 2005-06. The following table shows the allocations to local authorities in those years (including local authority matched funding).

Grant 31a

£

LEA name

DfES grant

LA

Total

Corporation of London

25,369

23,289

48,659

Camden

638,246

323,313

961,558

Greenwich

929,030

478,680

1,407,709

Hackney

741,338

377,522

1,118,860

Hammersmith and Fulham

514,969

257,240

772,209

Islington

636,481

339,437

975,919

Kensington and Chelsea

318,385

165,495

483,879

Lambeth

762,731

413,268

1,175,999

Lewisham

938,417

496,180

1,434,597

Southwark

945,383

508,762

1,454,144

Tower Hamlets

1,034,421

523,747

1,558,168

Wandsworth

785,307

412,339

1,197,646

Westminster

552,410

286,569

838,979

Barking

706,361

380,404

1,086,764

Barnet

1,264,921

667,714

1,932,634

Bexley

974,821

517,191

1,492,012

Brent

964,198

511,352

1,475,550

Bromley

1,185,425

629,196

1,814,622

Croydon

1,333,569

691,847

2,025,416

Ealing

1,015,701

538,310

1,554,011

Enfield

1,194,542

611,064

1,805,606

Haringey

867,567

457,988

1,325,554

Harrow

735,539

394,189

1,129,727

Havering

926,259

509,400

1,435,658

Hillingdon

1,014,820

544,709

1,559,530

Hounslow

890,057

478,190

1,368,248

Kingston upon Thames

520,790

284,070

804,860

Merton

565,146

309,081

874,228

Newham

1,155,307

593,878

1,749,184

Redbridge

1,022,492

528,252

1,550,744

Richmond upon Thames

521,472

278,096

799,569

Sutton

710,360

387,731

1,098,091

Waltham Forest

887,501

488,531

1,376,031

Birmingham

4,638,095

2,451,247

7,089,342

Coventry

1,300,932

687,708

1,988,640

Dudley

1,272,967

673,680

1,946,647

Sandwell

1,270,530

697,660

1,968,190

Solihull

964,300

515,823

1,480,124

Walsall

1,216,430

665,402

1,881,832

Wolverhampton

1,087,966

576,668

1,664,633

Knowsley

728,071

402,322

1,130,392

Liverpool

2,018,060

1,094,479

3,112,539

St. Helens

749,709

408,775

1,158,483

Sefton

1,229,079

655,585

1,884,665

Wirral

1,416,085

752,729

2,168,814

Bolton

1,215,699

667,167

1,882,866

Bury

752,860

425,238

1,178,099

Manchester

1,784,035

966,541

2,750,576

Oldham

1,089,744

607,776

1,697,519

Rochdale

926,326

509,051

1,435,377

Salford

942,423

521,403

1,463,826

Stockport

1,136,873

623,703

1,760,575

Tameside

956,565

537,417

1,493,982

Trafford

929,567

513,540

1,443,108

Wigan

1,308,022

733,488

2,041,510

Barnsley

878,071

505,103

1,383,174

Doncaster

1,362,660

782,926

2,145,586

Rotherham

1,235,495

690,499

1,925,993

Sheffield

1,950,661

1,044,345

2,995,006

Bradford

2,159,533

1,183,949

3,343,483

Calderdale

937,365

540,475

1,477,841

Kirklees

1,702,939

974,683

2,677,622

Leeds

2,922,458

1,609,268

4,531,726

Wakefield

1,355,390

767,751

2,123,141

Gateshead

821,693

449,973

1,271,666

Newcastle upon Tyne

1,022,205

539,405

1,561,610

North Tyneside

837,885

437,251

1,275,136

South Tyneside

680,295

368,275

1,048,571

Sunderland

1,222,967

650,513

1,873,481

Isles of Scilly

35,655

31,495

67,150

Bath and North East Somerset

716,583

414,963

1,131,545

Bristol

1,348,544

733,240

2,081,785

North Somerset

742,045

432,521

1,174,567

South Gloucestershire

1,089,066

619,371

1,708,437

Hartlepool

404,872

222,860

627,733

Middlesborough

592,233

313,079

905,312

Redcar and Cleveland

642,454

365,796

1,008,249

Stockton-on-Tees

838,411

450,049

1,288,460

Kingston-upon-Hull

1,029,032

557,049

1,586,080

East Riding of Yorkshire

1,402,450

846,846

2,249,296

North East Lincolnshire

701,278

401,114

1,102,392

North Lincolnshire

724,524

430,809

1,155,333

North Yorkshire

2,882,150

1,805,887

4,688,036

York

678,009

370,565

1,048,574

Bedfordshire

1,797,038

1,079,807

2,876,845

Luton

874,341

436,264

1,310,606

Buckinghamshire

2,052,075

1,216,068

3,268,142

Milton Keynes

919,597

536,020

1,455,617

Derbyshire

3,205,782

1,946,675

5,152,456

Derby City

939,661

532,578

1,472,239

Dorset

1,563,515

945,506

2,509,022

Poole

485,524

260,453

745,976

Bournemouth

515,095

270,055

785,150

Durham

2,288,822

1,341,944

3,630,767

Darlington

404,870

232,427

637,296

East Sussex

1,825,665

1,045,406

2,871,071

Brighton and Hove

790,827

418,483

1,209,309

Hampshire

4,779,980

2,777,432

7,557,412

Portsmouth

707,634

375,228

1,082,862

Southampton

803,848

436,288

1,240,136

Leicestershire

2,598,077

1,521,606

4,119,683

Leicester City

1,260,350

654,614

1,914,963

Rutland

149,431

91,187

240,618

Staffordshire

3,549,366

2,067,269

5,616,635

Stoke-on-Trent

958,068

533,096

1,491,163

Wiltshire

1,942,709

1,222,358

3,165,067

Swindon

750,976

438,539

1,189,516

Bracknell Forest

379,752

213,549

593,301

Windsor and Maidenhead

523,443

307,317

830,760

West Berkshire

706,540

423,433

1,129,973

Reading

478,401

250,418

728,820

Slough

522,917

274,341

797,258

Wokingham

628,608

353,822

982,431

Cambridgeshire

2,157,879

1,316,880

3,474,759

Peterborough

767,752

435,346

1,203,098

Cheshire

2,928,886

1,726,983

4,655,869

Halton

558,327

308,711

867,037

Warrington

821,924

461,644

1,283,569

Devon

2,904,378

1,798,577

4,702,954

Plymouth

1,065,968

570,687

1,636,654

Torbay

475,486

261,024

736,509

Essex

5,424,368

3,123,529

8,547,896

Southend-on-Sea

664,733

361,449

1,026,182

Thurrock

584,031

330,670

914,701

Herefordshire

780,095

492,828

1,272,922

Worcestershire

2,247,542

1,328,330

3,575,872

Kent

5,731,717

3,274,868

9,006,586

Medway

1,104,758

624,246

1,729,003

Lancashire

5,036,448

2,943,831

7,980,280

Blackburn with Darwen

660,125

370,570

1,030,695

Blackpool

523,934

275,150

799,085

Nottinghamshire

3,162,661

1,864,656

5,027,318

Nottingham City

1,060,407

588,632

1,649,040

Shropshire

1,238,181

781,591

2,019,773

Telford and Wrekin

1,284,034

972,846

2,256,880

Cornwall

2,169,031

1,332,816

3,501,847

Cumbria

2,418,583

1,518,508

3,937,091

Gloucestershire

2,516,819

1,517,105

4,033,923

Hertfordshire

4,605,862

2,701,081

7,306,942

Isle of Wight

590,765

349,885

940,649

Lincolnshire

2,977,721

1,833,022

4,810,743

Norfolk

3,425,700

2,125,199

5,550,898

Northamptonshire

2,865,912

1,721,213

4,587,125

Northumberland

1,542,598

954,543

2,497,141

Oxfordshire

2,470,822

1,462,164

3,932,987

Somerset

2,154,983

1,307,743

3,462,727

Suffolk

2,964,114

1,769,284

4,733,397

Surrey

3,689,521

2,114,442

5,803,964

Warwickshire

2,149,805

1,263,875

3,413,681

West Sussex

2,851,475

1,629,395

4,480,871

Total

208,110,851

118,650,000

326,760,851

Student Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what the total value of payments made by people repaying student loans via the income contingent repayment model but not allocated to student loan accounts has been for each year since 2002; (75322)

(2) what total amount of payments collected via the income contingent model was not allocated to student loan accounts in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Student Income and Expenditure Survey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether he plans to repeat the Student Income and Expenditure Survey 2002-03. (75229)

The most current Student Income and Expenditure Survey was carried out in the 2004-05 academic year and was published on the 30 March. It can be found on the internet at: www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR725.pdf. The Department plans to repeat the survey in the 2007-08 academic year.

Culture, Media and Sport

2012 Olympics

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what funding she estimates will be spent on improving hotel facilities for the 2012 London Olympics. (76941)

Improving the quality of the UK’s hotels, and other visitor accommodation, is a key aim for my Department and its partners in the tourism sector. The grading schemes operated in England, Scotland, and Wales are central to that process of improvement, and to consumer certainty in the quality of the British tourism product.

VisitBritain’s net expenditure on accommodation quality grading work in 2005-06 was £2,374,600 (after Value Added Tax). This figure represents payments to the Quality in Tourism division of GSL, which operates VisitBritain’s quality scheme under contract, less participation fees received. These figures will change over time, but it is likely that a net minimum of £12.5 million will be spent on the quality scheme by VisitBritain from its grant in aid resources over the life of the 5 year contract, to 2010. VisitScotland and the Wales Tourist Board additionally invest significant amounts in their own quality schemes, which have been fully standardised with those of VisitBritain and the Automobile Association since May 2005.

My Department will shortly start a major consultation of the tourism sector, to inform a comprehensive strategy for making the most of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games of 2012. Funding for any new work on accommodation quality, which may arise as a result of that consultation, will be considered before the tourism strategy is issued.

British Slave Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which organisations have received Government funding for events relating to the 200th anniversary of the Act which abolished the British slave trade; and what events and activities are planned. (77449)

Among other support, my Department is contributing £250,000 per year to the new International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, due to open in 2007. In addition, museums in Hull, Bristol, Liverpool and London will, by 2008, have received £910,000 from my Department and DfES to encourage more informed and effective teaching about slavery as part of the Understanding Slavery Initiative education project, working with schools and communities. Many other museums, galleries, arts organisations, heritage sites, archives and libraries are currently planning their contribution and how best to involve their local communities. There are plans by faith leaders for a commemoration service in Westminster Abbey; and commemorative stamps and coins. The Heritage Lottery Fund has also funded the following community organisations:

Action Force Africa

African Caribbean Emancipation Trust

African Forum

Anti Slavery Arch group, Stroud

Anti Slavery International

Birmingham and District Local History Association

Birmingham City Archives

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (working with The Equiano Society)

Bristol City Council—Bristol Museums and Art Gallery

Diversity Arts Incubation programme

Durham University

Global Education Milton Keynes

Harewood House Trust

High Street Ltd.

Hull Museums and Art Gallery

Kender Primary School

Kingston upon Hull City Council (City Arts)

Lyric Theatre Hammersmith Ltd.

Merton Black Educational Forum

Milton Keynes Council

National Maritime Museum

National Museums Liverpool

Open Doors Forum

Rendezvous of Victory

St. Pauls Church, Mill Hill

Streetbase

Stroud Brunei Group

Trafford Youth Service

Watford African Caribbean Association

Windrush Foundation

Women in Jazz

Consultations

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the Answer of 17 May 2006, Official Report, column 979W, on consultations, why the cost of public consultations is not recorded and kept; and if she will now do so. (77196)

The costs and demands of a public consultation can vary considerably, and as such would be difficult to quantify. As an integral part of policy development, the costs associated with public consultations are met from divisional budgets. I have no plans to record or keep the costs of public consultations.

Criminal Offences Legislation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list the criminal offences created in legislation sponsored by her Department since April 2005, broken down by Act. (76908)

Criminal offences are created by the following provisions of the Gambling Act 2005:

s.33(1); s.37(1); s.41(1); s.42(1); s.43 (1); S.44(1); s.46(1); s.47(1), (4), (5), (6) and (7); s.48(1); s.49; s.50(1); s.51(1); s.52; s.53; s.54(1) and (2); s.55(1) and (4); s.56(l); s.57 (1); s.58; s.59(1); s.101(6); s.105(3); s.108(2); s.109(4); s.122(5); s.134(2); s.138(3); s.139(2); s.185(2); s.186(6); s.229(2); s.242(1) and (2); s.243(1) and (2); s.244(1); s.245(1); s.258(1); s.259(1); s.260(2); s.261(2); s.262; s.275(7); s.281(7); s.301(2); s.316(5); s.326(1); s.328(5); 5.330(1); s.331(1); s.337(5); 5.342(1); s.345(5); schedule 10 paragraph 20; schedule 12 paragraphs 13(1) and 15(6); schedule 13 paragraph 10(1); schedule 14 paragraph 20.

Members should consult the texts of the Gambling Act 2005 for full details of the offences.

Gaming Machines

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the impact on seaside economies of the freeze in gaming machine stake and prize levels. (77259)

There is no policy to freeze stake and prize limits. We announced in October 2004 that our policy has been to increase the maximum stake for amusement with prizes (AWP) machines from 30p to 50p, and for jackpot machines in bingo halls from 50p to £1. This would be on full implementation of the Gambling Act in September 2007. The Government made their position clear during the passage of the Gambling Bill through Parliament that these changes would need to be connected with measures to improve social responsibility.

The stake and prize limits are only one factor amongst many affecting seaside economies. The Government are conscious of the issues facing the machine manufacturing industry, and the pubs, clubs and entertainment centres to whom AWP machines, in particular, are so important.

Survey Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people have been interviewed by her Department as a result of (a) Taking Part: The National Survey of Culture, Leisure and Sport and (b) surveys undertaken by her Department since 1997. (76230)

The information is as follows.

(a) To date approximately 22,000 people have been interviewed as a result of Taking Part: The National Survey of Culture Leisure and Sport.

The total, annual sample size for this survey will be about 30,000. This large sample size is needed to measure changes of 2-3 percentage points in participation rates with a high degree of confidence (95 per cent.), in support of the Department’s Public service agreement target 3.

Until the launch of Taking Part: The National Survey of Culture, Leisure and Sport in 2005, several of our non-departmental public bodies commissioned their own surveys, for example the sport and leisure module within the General Household Survey. Taking Part is a collaborative cross-sectoral survey and in many cases replaces the need for our partner bodies to undertake additional surveys.

(b) Aside from Taking Part, the main quantitative surveys of members of the public to which the Department has contributed funding comprise:

the International Passenger Survey of 250,000 people a year from 2000-01. This is run by the Office for National Statistics and funded mainly by a consortium of Departments. These data are required to meet requirements of the European Union directive on tourism statistics.

the General Household Survey of 20,000 people a year between 2000-01 and 2004-05, also run by the Office for National Statistics. This provided the Department with data on specific issues such as digital television; and our funding enabled our non-departmental public bodies to commission a more substantial module of questions on sport and leisure; and

several smaller surveys of 7,500 or fewer, which in total amount to about 50,000 interviews since 1997.

Tourism Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what (a) assessment she has made of and (b) research she has commissioned on the potential impact that a bed tax on tourist accommodation would have on the tourism industry. (77531)

I have commissioned neither an assessment nor research on the potential impact of a bed tax. Sir Michael Lyons is considering a wide range of local government role and funding issues, including the potential for local taxes and charges. The Government will not take any decisions on changes to local government finance, until it has had the chance to consider and reflect on Sir Michael’s report and recommendations, due at the end of 2006. I will fully assess the potential impact of Sir Michael’s recommendations once he has made them, as is appropriate in the case of an independent review, and respond accordingly.

TV Licences (Outlets)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make representations to the BBC in favour of the continued sale of (a) television licences and (b) television licence saving stamps at post offices. (77450)

Contractual arrangements for the sale of television licences are a matter for the BBC as licensing authority, taking into account both value for money and the convenience of licence fee payers. It would be inappropriate for the Government to intervene in such matters.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assumptions she has made about the future growth of the number of households in assessing the level of the new BBC licence fee. (77533)

The Government are considering this issue as part of the current review of the future funding of the BBC. Our conclusions will be announced in due course.

International Development

Budgetary Support (Developing World)

7. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what his policy is on providing direct budgetary support to Governments in the developing world; and if he will make a statement. (77026)

DFID provides budget support—either direct budget support or sector support—to countries where:

the partner Government's planned budget priorities support the reduction of poverty;

there is commitment to strengthening administrative, financial and technical systems so that UK funds help to reduce poverty effectively and where,

giving aid in this way produces benefits that would be unlikely to be achieved through other forms of aid delivery.

Currently, budget support counts for only 25 per cent. of the UK's bilateral aid programme.

HIV/AIDS

8. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the outcomes of the recent UN General Assembly special session on HIV/AIDS. (77027)

The United Nations General Assembly high level meeting agreed a political declaration which met virtually all of the UK's objectives, including: committing countries to develop, by the end of 2006, ambitious national plans to work towards universal access by 2010; drawing up comprehensive HIV prevention programmes, treatment, care and support, with interim targets for 2008; ensuring that no credible, sustainable national plan should go unfunded, recognising the need to provide from donor countries, national budgets and other sources $20-23 billion annually by 2010 for AIDS responses; and intensifying efforts to develop new technology, especially microbicides and vaccines.

Overseas Aid

9. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of UK aid delivered by his Department compared with that channelled via the European Union. (77028)

Evidence shows that the European Commission has improved its effectiveness substantially since 2000, when a major reform programme commenced. Today, delivery is faster, with implementation undertaken by strengthened field offices. The European Commission is also more active internationally, supporting the UK's push for increased aid volumes. However, there is still a case for further reform, with a focus on impact, quality and more devolution.

Climate Change

10. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to assist developing countries to tackle the impact of climate change. (77029)

DFID is working to improve the availability and use of climate risk information in Africa through the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), contributing £5 million over 5 years. We have launched a research programme, with Canada, which aims to improve African countries' capacity to adapt to climate change by building a body of knowledge and research skills which can be incorporated into planning processes, contributing £24 million over 5 years. We are contributing £20 million over 3 years through the United Nations to help countries develop national adaptation strategies. We have started to carry out climate risk assessments of DFID country programmes, starting with Bangladesh.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

11. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to support the forthcoming democratic elections in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (77030)

The UK is the largest bilateral donor to the electoral process in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), providing more than £23 million over 2 years. This is funding electoral operations through the Independent Electoral Commission, conflict prevention and mediation initiatives, international and national observation projects to ensure the equal participation of men and women, and training and equipping the police to provide security during the elections. The UK has also provided important and sustained political pressure to ensure that the transition remains on track and will continue to do so. I hope to visit the DRC after the electoral process is complete in the autumn.

Zimbabwe

12. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of the humanitarian impact of land clearances in Zimbabwe. (77031)

DFID liaises closely with UN agencies and NGOs that closely monitor ongoing vulnerability among the 700,000 people whose homes or livelihoods were destroyed by the Government of Zimbabwe during last year's Operation Murambatsvina (Drive out Rubbish). The UN is also investigating new episodes of evictions.

Last year, DFID committed £1.8 million to the humanitarian response, which reached some 200,000 people with food, blankets and other essentials. For many the situation remains difficult, especially regarding shelter. We recently contributed a further £1.1 million to provide practical assistance to vulnerable urban families. We continue to raise concerns through the UN.

Millennium Development Goals

13. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of progress in meeting the millennium development goals for beneficial health outcomes. (77032)

Improvements in health require progress against all MDGs. Progress is mixed; many countries have made significant gains but massive challenges persist in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. On current trends, many poor countries will not meet the goals. Without underestimating the challenges, the means to ensure that every country achieves the goals are available. The task is to live up to the commitments made by G8 leaders in 2005 to support countries efforts to ensure access to essential health services. DFID is currently revising its health strategy to meet this challenge.

Indonesian Earthquake

14. To ask the Secretary of State for International Development pursuant to his written statement of 5 June 2006, Official Report, column 11WS, on the Indonesian earthquake, what further humanitarian assistance his Department plans to provide. (77033)

Immediate relief needs during the emergency phase are largely being met, and we have no plans to commit further humanitarian assistance in addition to the £5 million already announced. The Government of Indonesia are now planning for longer term reconstruction. The UK is ready to support longer term reconstruction, and we will decide on the appropriate level of funding on the basis of an assessment of needs.

Bilateral Aid (Water and Sanitation)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on what basis the figures for the proportion of UK bilateral aid spent on water and sanitation are calculated. (76707)

DFID commissions an independent report on its expenditure on water and sanitation, including bilateral expenditure and all spend through other agencies. This report, ‘Financial Support to the Water Sector’, is produced by Atkins Consultants and is publicly available on the DFID website at http://www.dfid.gov.uk/pubs/files/water-sector-finance.pdf. Copies have also been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

The report provides detailed estimates of how much DFID spends on water and sanitation. It includes spending on programmes and projects for which water and sanitation improvement is the main objective. It also includes estimated proportions of spend for other programmes in education, health etc., where water and sanitation form part of the overall programme. It includes all themes covered by water and sanitation: water resource management, assessment and protection; urban and rural water supply and sanitation; humanitarian assistance; and water for food. It presents a breakdown of expenditure by region, country, theme and bilateral aid type. Sensitivity analysis of the necessary assumptions is also presented. An update of the report, with details of expenditure for 2004-05 and 2005-06 will be published in autumn 2006.

Burma

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Burma. (77025)

The humanitarian situation in Burma is very poor. Reliable data are scarce, but many of Burma’s 50 million people live in serious poverty—a situation exacerbated by the Government’s actions. There are reportedly half a million people internally displaced in Eastern Burma, with around 100,000 in hiding in conflict areas, and more than half a million refugees in neighbouring nations. Communicable disease is an acute problem. Over 70 per cent. of the population live in malaria risk areas and Burma has one of the most serious HIV epidemics in Asia.

Departmental Staff

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of his staff in each of the last three years; and at what total cost. (73005)

The following table gives the number of non-pensionable bonuses awarded to DFID staff over the last three years with total costs for each year.

Number of awards

Total cost (£)

Percentage of DFID’s total paybill

2003-04

711

475,101

0.77

2004-05

576

497,350

0.79

2005-06

1,171

892,965

1.27

Defence

Arms Trade Treaty

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he plans to take to increase his Department's efforts, resources and capacity to deliver an Arms Trade Treaty. (74443)

As part of a cross-Whitehall team the Ministry of Defence is fully committed to working together towards an international arms trade treaty.

We continue to play an active role and have committed Defence resource to support the delivery of this treaty.

Army Bases/Personnel (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Army personnel were stationed in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years; and if he will list the operational Army bases in Northern Ireland. (77132)

I refer the hon. member to the answer I gave to him on 18 July 2005, Official Report, columns 1320W-1322W. The number of armed forces personnel (Army, Navy and Air Force) stationed in Northern Ireland since then is set out in the following table:

Number of armed forces personnel

31 October 2005

9,490

31 May 2006

8,890

In addition, other troops can be made available to the General Officer Commanding Northern Ireland from Land Command if required, for example during the marching season.

A list of military sites (military bases and installations, joint PSNI/military bases, towers and observation posts) as at 31 January 2006 was given in the ninth report of the Independent Monitoring Commission. This was laid before Parliament by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, in a written ministerial statement, on 9 March 2006, Official Report, column 79WS.

Since 31 January 2006, three observation towers (R21, R13A and G40) have been closed. Work has been completed on R21 and R13A, and the land has been handed back to Defence Estates for disposal. Work is still ongoing on the G40 site.

Army Land Rovers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many working armoured land rovers the army has in (a) total, (b) Iraq and (c) Afghanistan. (75847)

For UK holdings, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 25 May 2006, Official Report, column 1992W. In respect of Iraq and Afghanistan I am withholding details of the military capability deployed on operations since its disclosure would reveal the strength and capability of UK forces operating in theatre, and could have a bearing on operational security.

Bonuses

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many non-pensionable bonuses were awarded to members of his staff in each of the last three years; and what the total cost was. (73094)

The number and value of annual appraisal related bonuses paid to members of the senior civil service (SCS), to fixed term appointees and to civil servants below the level of the SCS, over the past three years, are listed in the following tables one to three. In addition, the Ministry of Defence awards special bonuses to individuals and teams for exceptional performance in a specific task or for the achievement of professional qualifications which benefit MOD and the individual; these are shown in table four. The final table (five) shows the total value of all bonuses paid: in cash terms and as a percentage of the total civilian pay bill.

Table 1: Bonuses paid to senior civil servants

2005-06

2004-05

2003-04

Number of bonuses paid

184

136

134

Value of bonuses paid (£)

909,500

711,737

672,460

Table 2: Bonuses paid to fixed term appointees

2005-06

2004-05

2003-04

Number of bonuses paid

12

16

13

Value of bonuses paid (£)

80,478

119,668

80,347

Table 3: End of year bonuses paid to staff below the level of the SCS [excluding MOD Trading Fund Agencies]

2005-06

2004-05

2003-04

Number of bonuses paid

38,766

36,043

27,497

Value of bonuses paid (£)

37,962,800

29,312,275

20,203,875

Table 4: Special bonuses [excluding MOD Trading Fund Agencies]

2005-06

2004-05

2003-04

Number of staff who received bonus(es)

10,131

10,074

11,872

Value of bonuses paid (£)

4,364,400

3,962,482

3,909,531

Table 5: Summary of bonuses paid

2005-06

2004-05

2003-04

Value of all bonuses paid (£)

43,317,178

34,106,162

24,866,213

Percentage of total civilian pay bill

Accounts not yet published

1.15

1.01

Casualty Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether servicemen and women who lost a leg in action would be counted by his Department as wounded if treated by US doctors. (73740)

[holding answer 25 May 2006]: The Ministry of Defence publishes casualty information compiled from a number of sources. One of these sources is the UK's main (Role 3) Field hospital in Shaibah in Iraq. The current figure (around 240 personnel) cited for troops wounded as a result of hostile action on Operation Telic is based on the records of those treated at the Shaibah Field hospital. This figure does not therefore include UK forces treated only at US facilities.

To present a more complete picture and to capture UK military and civilian personnel injured in Iraq and not included in the Shaibah figure for those wounded as a result of hostile action, we have published figures on Telic casualties drawn from other sources. These are the Notification of Casualty (NOTICAS) reporting and Aeromed figures.

The Aeromed figure includes all UK military and civilian personnel medically evacuated from Iraq whatever the cause and from any location in Iraq, including Baghdad, to any destination outside that country. This reporting includes all UK service personnel who have lost a leg and have been treated at US medical facilities in Iraq.

The Notification of Casualty reporting is comprehensive from January 2005 onwards, when the Joint Compassionate Casualty Centre (JCCC) was set up, and includes all UK personnel treated at US facilities for serious injuries. But during the early phases of Operation Telic the tempo of operations meant that the paperwork associated with the NOTICAS process was not always completed properly. As a result we cannot be certain that all our NOTICAS records covering this early period are complete.

We are working to cross check historic information to improve our Telic casualty reporting, including records for RFA Argus and 202 Field hospital. Once this information has been verified, I will place a copy in the House of Commons Library.

Criminal Offences Legislation

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the criminal offences created in legislation sponsored by his Department since April 2005, broken down by Act. (76900)

The Ministry of Defence has sponsored no primary legislation since April 2005 and has, therefore, created no criminal offences.

Dartmoor National Park (Firing Ranges)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which dates were advertised in advance for live army firing in the Dartmoor National Park for the years ending (a) 31 December 2003, (b) 31 December 2004 and (c) 31 December 2005; on what dates firing actually took place on each of the firing ranges in the Dartmoor National Park in those years; and if he will make a statement. (76703)

I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible and a copy of my letter will be placed in the Library of the House.

Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel returned from Iraq in 2005 diagnosed with (a) mental health and (b) physical conditions which required (i) hospital and (ii) rehabilitation treatment in the UK. (72498)

Our records show that 732 armed forces personnel were aeromedically evacuated from Iraq in 2005. Of these, 666 were diagnosed with physical conditions, and 309 of them were treated at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Selly Oak, Birmingham, which is the Ministry of Defence's main receiving hospital for aeromedically evacuated personnel. The others were transferred to other NHS hospitals or referred to community-based care for ongoing treatment. We are unable to determine precisely how many of these patients required hospital treatment or were discharged at the airhead for ongoing care in the community as the relevant database does not contain this information. To provide this information, individual patient records would have to be consulted, and this could only be done at disproportionate cost and with the patient's permission.

Determining the number of personnel who returned from Iraq with a mental health condition is not straightforward. Sixty six personnel were aeromedically evacuated in 2005 specifically because they were diagnosed as suffering from a mental health condition, but the number who were diagnosed, after their return, with psychological problems as a result of their service in Iraq is greater than this. The Defence Analytical Services Agency (DASA) was notified of 727 personnel who were referred to the MOD's Departments of Community Mental Health in 2005 with possible mental health problems and subsequently identified as having a psychiatric disorder related to their service in Iraq at any date from 2003. It can also be difficult to determine the underlying causes of some mental health problems, some of which could be caused by a combination of other life events that occurred before or after service in Iraq.

MARS Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he plans to ensure that vessels in the Military Afloat Reach and Sustainability programme will be constructed by United Kingdom shipyards. (77390)

As indicated in the Defence Industrial Strategy, UK yards and other UK suppliers will be given every opportunity to compete for this shipbuilding work and should see it as a challenge and an opportunity to demonstrate world-class performance. With the high planned workload on CVF and Type 45, the complex warship design and integration capabilities that we intend to sustain in the UK will remain healthy for some years.

New Technologies (Research)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the Department's budget was spent researching new technologies in the last period for which figures are available. (76808)

The overall spend on research in relation to overall defence spending is available in the UK Defence Statistics 2005 publication. Table 1.1 ‘Defence Expenditure/Budget 2003-04’ of the publication displays the net Defence budget as some £31 billion. Table 1.7 ‘MOD Research and Development Expenditure 2003-04’ records the net budget spent on research as £574 million.

Parliamentary Ombudsman

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list those occasions when the recommendations of a report from the Parliamentary Ombudsman were (a) rejected and (b) partly rejected by his Department since 1997. (76257)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer which my noble Friend Lord Drayson, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, gave in another place on 3 May 2006, Official Report, House of Lords, column WA87.

Public Consultations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many public consultations his Department undertook in the last 12 months; and what the cost was (a) in total and (b) of each consultation. (70615)

The Ministry of Defence undertook 13 public consultations in the last year.

To obtain the cost of the 12 consultations carried out by Defence Estates (DE)—the Ministry of Defence agency with responsibility for the defence estates—would incur disproportionate costs, but it is likely to be in the thousands.

The thirteenth public consultation was carried out by the Met Office, which is a trading fund of the Ministry of Defence. The total estimated cost in terms of man hours for this consultation was £120,000.

In addition, the Ministry of Defence carried out 10 consultation meetings with local government elected representatives and officials relating to proposed RAF projects within local areas. The total cost of these consultation meetings, on a capitation rate basis, was less than £10,000.

Public Transport (Incentives)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what incentives are available to encourage members of his staff to use public transport for travelling to and from work. (75104)

The Ministry of Defence (MOD) encourages the use of more sustainable travel as part its work on sustainable development. MOD offers staff interest free loans to purchase bicycles and public transport season tickets for commuting to and from their place of work. Subject to meeting our business needs the MoD also allows staff to stagger their working hours if that will assist them using public transport before or after the rush hour.

RAF Menwith Hill/Fylingdales

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) US military personnel, (b) US contractors, (c) US civilians, (d) UK military personnel, (e) Ministry of Defence Police Agency personnel, (f) GCHQ employees and (g) UK civilians work at (i) RAF Menwith Hill and (ii) RAF Fylingdales. (76294)

As at 1 June 2006 the figures for RAF Menwith Hill were: 484 US military personnel; 538 US contractors; 458 US civilians, of which 243 are US Department of Defence civillians; 11 UK military personnel; 161 Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency personnel; I am withholding the number of GCHQ employees in accordance with Government policy of not commenting on intelligence matters; and 231 UK civilian personnel work at the base.

As of 1 June 2006 the figures for RAF Fylingdales were: one US military personnel; 20 US contractors; nine US civilians; 85 RAF personnel; 104 Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency personnel; there are no GCHQ employees working at RAF Fylingdales; and 37 UK civilian personnel work at the base.

Redress of Grievance Cases

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many redress of grievance cases have been withdrawn in each of the armed forces over the last 12 months. (68516)

The number of redress of grievance cases that have been withdrawn1 having reached higher authority or service board level between 30 April 2005 and 1 May 2006 are shown in the following table. Records of grievances raised and withdrawn at unit level are not held centrally.

1 The term “withdrawn” describes a complaint that was neither settled nor rejected, but was withdrawn by the complainant before action was completed.

Armed force

Number

Royal Navy

6

Army

19

Royal Air Force

4

Sexual Relationships (Dismissals)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many officers in the armed forces were dismissed for having a sexual relationship with a subordinate in each of the last five years. (67965)

Officers would not be dismissed but may be required to resign their commissions or be administratively discharged.

No Royal Navy or Royal Air Force officers have been required to resign for having a sexual relationship with a subordinate in the last five years.

Information for the Army is only available for the last three years and is shown in the following table:

Number

2003

7

2004

5

2005

3

Submarines

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many decommissioned nuclear-powered submarines are awaiting disposal; where they are located; and what estimate he has made of the amount of (a) high, (b) intermediate and (c) low-level nuclear material present in each submarine. (76288)

There are 13 decommissioned and de-fuelled nuclear powered submarines awaiting disposal that are stored safely afloat—seven at Rosyth and four at Devonport (Plymouth). Two other submarines at Devonport are awaiting de-fuelling prior to being stored afloat pending disposal. The spent fuel is the only high-level radioactive material on these submarines.

On leaving naval service each submarine contains approximately 83 tonnes of intermediate-level waste (ILW) and 81 tonnes of low-level waste (LLW). A proportion of the ILW will decay over time to LLW. For example, after 30 years, the quantity of ILW would have reduced to approximately 19 tonnes and the LLW proportionally increased to 145 tonnes.

Typhoon Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the key spares shortages are for Typhoon aircraft. (76682)

The spares and support arrangements for Typhoon are being built up as the RAF aircraft fleet grows, and the availability of spares varies from day to day depending on the maintenance that is required.

Communities and Local Government

Best Value Surveys

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued to councils on the carrying out of Best Value surveys; and if she will make a statement. (75909)

The Department has published detailed guidance for authorities carrying out the Best Value user satisfaction surveys on a dedicated website established for the purpose of administering the surveys.

The website, www.survey.bvpi.gov.uk, serves as a single portal for authorities undertaking the surveys, hosting all materials required and enabling the upload of the data. The Department has been working very closely with the Audit Commission to provide the necessary support to local authorities undertaking the surveys. The Commission is administering the website and providing a helpdesk and the Department is running a series of seminars to field questions on the Best Value surveys.

The website and guidance went live in March 2006 and all authorities were contacted to ensure that they were aware of the publication. All local authorities have either registered on the website or are in communication with the Audit Commission about the surveys; a statement about the availability of the guidance is therefore felt to be unnecessary.

Citizen Information Project

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the written communication sent by the Citizen Information Project to her Department on 10 January 2005. (70641)

We have no record of any correspondence received from The Citizen Information Project on 10 January 2005.

Council Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many properties are (a) designated as second homes and eligible for a council tax discount and (b) claiming such a discount in each local authority in Wiltshire. (76983)

The number of properties in Wiltshire designated as second homes and claiming a discount in council tax as at 19 September 2005, the latest date for which figures are available, is shown in the following table.

Number of properties

Kennet

497

North Wiltshire

43

Salisbury

976

Swindon

79

West Wiltshire

467

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the merits of using the forthcoming council tax revaluation to encourage energy efficiency and waste reduction. (77035)

In September 2005 the Government announced the postponement of council tax revaluation in England, and have made it clear that they do not expect that revaluation will occur during the present Parliament. The Government await the final report of the independent inquiry into local government by Sir Michael Lyons, which is due to be submitted by the end of 2006, before deciding whether any reforms to the council tax system are required.

Debt Collectors

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) her Department or (b) its (i) Executive Agencies and (ii) non-Departmental public bodies use the services of private debt collectors. (71064)

The Department for Communities and Local Government and its Executive Agencies do not currently use the services of private debt collectors. One DCLG non-Departmental body uses a private debt collector.

Fire Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what use the fire service (a) has made and (b) makes of perfluorooctane sulphonate; and what advice and guidance the Department has issued on its use. (70019)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what use the fire services (a) have made and (b) make of perfluorooctane sulphonate; and what guidance her Department has issued on its use. (70589)

Perfluorooctane sulphonate, known as PFOS, is used in a number of industrial applications and was used as an ingredient in two particular firefighting foam concentrate ranges for petrochemical fires.

In October 2004 DEFRA consulted on a national action to restrict the use of PFOS following evidence to suggest that it could be harmful in certain circumstance to both the environment and humans. However, before consultations had been completed, the European Commission suspended our unilateral action and subsequently issued its own draft directive to restrict the marketing and use of PFOS. In this draft, all current PFOS uses, including firefighting foam, would be allowed to continue. This would not therefore allow the UK to set regulations to ban its use.

The stocks of foams based on PFOS are diminishing but it is likely that some fire and rescue services do still hold some stocks.

As a result DCLG, jointly with the Environment Agency, are proposing a voluntary phasing out of PFOS-based firefighting foams and will shortly be issuing guidance to the fire and rescue services requesting them to no longer use these foams and instead to consider the use of alternatives once they are satisfied the performance of these alternatives meets their needs. Some fire and rescue services have already voluntarily substituted their stocks of PFOS foams with alternatives, the old foam having been destroyed by incineration.

Home Information Packs (Denmark)

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the impact of the introduction of non-mandatory home information packs on the property market in Denmark. (65262)

I have been asked to reply.

The reforms to the Danish home buying and selling process have been widely welcomed by professionals and consumer representatives who assess that the reforms have improved the efficiency of the housing market. The latest figures show that there were 79,543 sales completed in 2004 as against 77,455 in 1996 (the year before the reforms were introduced). House prices have increased by 73 per cent. in Denmark during the period 1997 to 2005, compared to a 166 per cent. rise in Britain during the same period.

Local Strategic Partnerships

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to extend the scope and flexibility of local area agreements. (77108)

Since the launch of LAAs in July 2004, their scope, and the opportunities they offer to local areas, have grown with each round. We have, in particular, seen a significant increase in the number of funding streams capable of being pooled, the introduction of automatically pooled funding streams, the launch of a new economic development block and the trialling of an increasing number of single pot agreements.

LAAs are rapidly becoming key to the way central Government and local areas do business together. We will continue to refine the LAA framework in the light of experience and in the wider context of the local:vision agenda.

Ministerial Visits (Accommodation)

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the total cost was of overnight accommodation for (a) civil servants and (b) special advisers in his Department staying overnight in (i) mainland Great Britain, (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) the Republic of Ireland and (iv) other countries in each of the last three years. (69052)

I have been asked to reply.

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

New Deal for Communities

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the merits of introducing a successor funding regime to replace the New Deal for Communities programmes from 2010-11. (77179)

The Department is currently working with the NDC partnerships to support their planning in continuing progress after the NDC programme ends in 2010-11. This could involve the partnerships evolving into different succession organisations and encouraging partners to mainstream services.

The 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review will examine all DCLG programmes including regeneration and neighbourhood renewal.

Nuclear Rail Freight

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether local authorities along the rail routes taken by trains transporting nuclear material are required to prepare emergency plans to deal with an incident involving one of these trains. (73316)

I have been asked to reply.

Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 establishes a statutory framework for civil protection activity at the local level. Under this legislation all principal local authorities and other key partners are required to maintain emergency plans, informed by risk assessments, to ensure that they can mobilise an effective emergency response to a range of emergencies including transport accidents. The legislation also requires local authorities and other key partners to exercise these plans and ensure that relevant staff receive adequate training.

The transport of radioactive material, including nuclear materials, is governed by the stringent internationally agreed standards recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Parliamentary Ombudsman

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will list those occasions when the recommendations of a report from the Parliamentary Ombudsman were (a) rejected and (b) partly rejected by her Department since 1997. (76260)

Since 1997 the Department for Communities and Local Government and its Agencies have not refused or omitted to give effect to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, either concerning complaints about administrative practices, service delivery or complaints made under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

Information available for Department for Communities and Local Government on specific cases that concern Government offices shows that they have not refused or omitted to give effect to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Ombudsman, either concerning complaints about administrative practices, service delivery or complaints made under the Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.

The Department for Communities and Local Government holds no comprehensive central information on the status of all Ombudsman cases in other Government Departments involving, or partly involving, Government offices. That information would be available only at disproportionate cost.

Party Wall etc. Act 1996

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will introduce enforcement powers exercisable by local authorities for failure to serve a notice of proposed works under the Party Wall etc. Act 1996; and if she will make a statement. (72844)

Public Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions she has had with the Department for Transport on ensuring that improved public transport is an integral part of the community regeneration programmes. (77034)

The Government continues to consider all aspects of regeneration as part of the remit of the Domestic Affairs (Communities) cabinet committee.

The two Departments work together to ensure that the Government’s aims to deliver sustainable improvements in economic performance, and inclusive society, a better environment and better quality of life are achieved. Not only is this work carried forward inter-Departmentally across central Government, but it is undertaken on a day to day basis by the integrated Government offices in each region.

Trade and Industry

Arms Exports

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what measures are in place to ensure that arms exported from the UK to equip Iraqi security forces are not diverted to other users; and if he will make a statement. (75596)