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Written Answers

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 15 June 2006

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 15 June 2006

Transport

A127/A13

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which 10 locations on (a) the A127 and (b) the A13 between the M25 and Southend have had the highest incidence of traffic accidents in each of the last five years. (77502)

Air Miles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many free air miles have been earned by senior civil servants in his Department in each of the last three years; and how they were used. (72874)

The Department for Transport and its agencies do not record air miles accrued by staff. Civil servants must conform to policy which states that benefits such as air miles arising from official travel may not be used for private journeys, but may be offset against further official travel.

Aircraft Corridors

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) current and (b) proposed aircraft corridors are across (i) Ribble Valley and (ii) Lancashire. (74826)

At present, all UK airspace is controlled above approximately 24,500 ft above mean sea level up to 66,000 ft. This will change in July next year when, in order to comply with European legislation, the lower limit of this Upper Airspace Control Area will be reduced to 19,500 ft. In the Upper Airspace Control Area, air routes UN615, UN57, UN601 and UL46 currently cross the Ribble Valley constituency. In addition, air route UY99 overflies Lancashire.

In lower airspace, above the Ribble Valley and the adjacent areas of Lancashire, controlled airspace exists in the form of airways with stepped lower limits to accommodate the climb and descent profiles of aircraft operations associated with airports at Manchester and Liverpool. From west to east the routes are N615, lowest limit 6,500 ft; N57, lowest limit 5,500 ft; and N601, lowest limit 9,500 ft.

I have arranged for a chart to be placed in the Libraries of the House indicating these routes as they pass over the Ribble Valley and northern Lancashire, together with the associated lower vertical limits.

South of a line, which approximately joins Barnoldswick and Woodfold Hall (south of Mellor Brook), the airways are in the Manchester terminal area. The lower limit of controlled airspace immediately to the south of this line is 4,500 ft. Below these specified levels/altitude the airspace is uncontrolled.

The Civil Aviation Authority is not aware of any proposals to change the dimensions of controlled airspace over the Ribble Valley and Lancashire.

Aircraft Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether aircraft operators are required to show (a) crews and (b) passengers the Material Safety Data Sheets of the products they have been exposed to after a contaminated air event. (74817)

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has advised that there are no certification or operational requirements related to Material Safety Data Sheets. Aircraft operators are not therefore required by civil aviation safety regulations to show them to crews or passengers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which aircraft types have reported the highest number of contaminated air events in the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (74818)

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has advised that there have been 373 reportable occurrences involving contaminated air during the 10 year period from 1 May 1996 to 30 April 2006, during which there were 13.8 million flights carried out by UK operators worldwide in public transport operations.

Seven aircraft types had 10 or more reportable occurrences of contaminated air, representing 75 per cent. of the total number of contaminated air occurrences in the 10 year period.

1 May 1996 to 30 April 2006

Aircraft type

Reported occurrences involving contaminated air

Percentage of total reported occurrences

Boeing 757

94

25

British Aerospace BAe146

67

18

EmbraerEMB145

38

10

Boeing 737

29

8

De Havilland DHC8

22

6

Airbus A320

16

4

Airbus A319

14

4

Various other aircraft

93

25

Total

373

100

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Civil Aviation Authority has suspended the medical clearance of a pilot due to possible exposure to contaminated air or organophosphates in the last 30 years. (74819)

It has not been possible to establish from the Civil Aviation Authority’s medical records prior to1999 that any pilot attributed his/her symptoms to exposure to contaminated cabin air. During the past six years symptoms that have been reported by licence holders and attributed by them to exposure to contaminated cabin air have resulted in the suspension of medical fitness of 10 airline transport pilot licence holders. The periods of suspension varied according to the type of symptoms reported. However, the symptoms that have been reported by these pilots have been very varied and it has not been possible to attribute the symptoms reported to definite chemical exposures.

Antisocial Behaviour (Trains)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many passengers were ejected from trains for antisocial behaviour in the last 12 months, broken down by region. (77779)

Figures for the ejection of passengers from trains are not recorded by the British Transport Police.

Aviation Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to (a) complete and (b) report on his review of airport policing and the system of designation under section 25 of the Aviation Security Act 1982. (75216)

The Secretary of State anticipates receipt of a report from the independent review team on airport policing before the summer parliamentary recess.

Biological Diversity

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which Minister in his Department is responsible for monitoring his Department’s compliance with its duty under section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 to have regard to the purpose of conserving biological diversity in carrying out its functions; and if he will make a statement. (73937)

Under Section 74 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, Ministers and Government Departments have a duty to have regard to the purpose of conserving biological diversity. This has been replaced by a similar provision under Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act which comes into effect on 1 October 2006. There is no statutory duty to monitor compliance with this duty.

The Department for Transport has taken a number of steps to benefit biodiversity. The Highways Agency has in place a comprehensive biodiversity action plan (HABAP) that ensures all habitats and species likely to be affected by its roads or form part of the roads estate are restored or enhanced as appropriate.

The UK through the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has been very active in the development of the NW Europe Ballast Water Management Strategy and the International Maritime Organisation’s convention for the control management of ships ballast water and sediments, which aims to control non-indigenous species invading through the medium of ballast water and therefore protect maritime, coastal, and estuarine environments.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department plans to take to monitor the extent to which public bodies which report to him comply, from October, with their duty to conserve biodiversity in exercising their functions under section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. (74395)

Under Section 40 of the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006, all public bodies have a duty to have regard to the conservation of biodiversity in the exercising of their functions. There is no statutory obligation on Departments to monitor the extent to which public bodies comply with this duty. However, we understand the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is working with a wide range of partners to develop guidance for public bodies to support the implementation of this duty and will involve all relevant Departments on the development of guidance.

Black/Asian Employees

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) black and Asian and (b) other people are employed in his Department's press office. (74359)

Information on ethnicity is collected on a voluntary basis, and not all members of staff wish to declare their ethnic origin. Our existing database does not identify any staff working in the press office who have declared that they are from an ethnic minority.

Bus Delivery Plan

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place (a) on the Department’s website and (b) in the Library a copy of the Department’s bus delivery plan. (73809)

The Department does not intend to publish the delivery plan for its public service agreement target to increase bus and light rail patronage. It is a working document intended for internal planning purposes that is used for the formulation of Government policy.

Information on the detail and delivery of the public transport PSA target is available in the Department’s Annual Reports and Autumn Performance Reports on PSA targets. These can be found on the DfT website and in the Library of the House.

Bus Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many posts are available to each traffic commissioner to monitor the reliability of bus services; and what the occupancy rate for each of these posts has been in each quarter in each of the last five years. (73857)

The information requested is in the following table.

Region

Eastern

North East/ North West

Scotland

South East and Met.

Wales

Western

West Midlands

Agreed number of posts for 2006

1

4

6

2

3

2

1

2001-02

1st quarter

1

4

2

2

1

2

1

2nd quarter

1

4

2

2

1

2

1

3rd quarter

1

4

2

2

1

2

1

4th quarter

1

4

2

2

1

2

1

2002-03

1st quarter

1

4

2

2

1

2

1

2nd quarter

1

4

2

2

1

2

1

3rd quarter

1

3

2

2

1

2

1

4th quarter

1

4

2

2

1

2

1

2003-04

1st quarter

1

4

2

2

1

2

1

2nd quarter

1

4

2

2

3

2

1

3rd quarter

1

3

2

2

3

2

1

4th quarter

1

4

2

2

3

2

1

2004-05

1st quarter

1

4

2

2

3

2

1

2nd quarter

1

4

3

2

3

2

1

3rd quarter

1

3

4

1

3

2

1

4th quarter

1

4

4

1

3

2

1

2005-06

1st quarter

1

4

3

2

3

2

1

2nd quarter

1

3

4

2

3

2

1

2nd quarter

1

4

3

2

3

2

1

3rd quarter

1

4

6

2

3

2

1

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what total public spending (a) per head of population and (b) in total was on bus services in (i) County Durham, (ii) Tyne and Wear, (iii) Northumberland and (iv) the North East of England in each of the last 10 years. (75290)

The majority of financial support for bus services is provided by local authorities in line with policy choices made at a local level, from their Revenue Support Grant supplemented by Rural Bus Subsidy Grant paid to authorities by the Department. The figures requested are shown in the following tables and include re-imbursement of concessionary fares on local buses, (consistent figures are available only from 1998-99).

Bus support per head of population

£ per head

Durham

Tyne and Wear

Northumberland

All North East

1998-99

9.4

29.7

6.0

18.0

1999-2000

9.9

28.6

6.9

17.7

2000-01

10.6

28.7

6,7

17.7

2001-02

12.1

28.9

7.5

18.2

2002-03

12.7

29.7

9.0

19.2

2003-04

14.1

25.4

10.3

18.1

2004-05

13.6

25.1

12.3

18.6

Bus Support

£000

Durham

Tyne and Wear

Northumberland

All North East

1998-99

4,681

32,750

1,839

46,116

1999-2000

4,907

31,377

2,129

45,101

2000-01

5,268

31,280

2,071

45,115

2001-02

5,994

31,375

2,309

46,254

2002-03

6,272

32,236

2,773

48,770

2003-04

6,972

27,480

3,177

46,007

2004-05

6,740

27,204

3,814

47,328

Note: The figures for Tyne and Wear contain some inconsistencies which are currently being checked by the passenger transport executive. Source: Local authority returns to DCLG, revenue outturn (RO2).

In addition, operators of local bus services receive Bus Service Operators Grant from this Department. This is paid direct to operators and is not attributed to a specific area.

Confederation of Passenger Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many employees of the Confederation of Passenger Transport are seconded to his Department; and what the length of each secondment is. (73808)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many of his Department’s employees have been seconded to the Confederation of Passenger Transport in each of the last five years, broken down by grade; and how long each secondment lasted. (73853)

There has been one pay band 6 (grade 7) secondment to the Confederation of Passenger Transport since the Department for Transport was formed in May 2002. The secondment lasted three years and 10 months from May 2002.

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will reply to the letter of 6 March (reference DT/007188/06) from the hon. Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Lidington), on railway services, on behalf of Mr M. M. of Aylesbury. (76343)

Departmental Credit Card

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what facility is available for senior civil servants in his Department to use credit cards supplied by the Department. (72873)

The Department does not issue official credit cards. The Department uses charge cards which are issued to officials, including some senior civil servants, to meet specific business needs.

The Department has adopted the Government Procurement Card for purchasing low-value goods and services, and Corporate Cards for some official travel and related expenditure, issued under the umbrella of the OGCbuying.solutions pre-tendered National Framework contract.

At the end of April 2006, six Government Procurement Cards and 21 Corporate Cards were held by senior civil servants.

Departmental Staff

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of the staff in his Department is (a) male, (b) female and (c) disabled, broken down by grade. (69088)

The gender split of staff employed by the Department for Transport at 31 December 2005 along with the percentage of those reporting to be disabled are set out in the following table.

Percentage

Responsibility level

Male

Female

Department declaring being disabled

SCS Level

78.34

21.66

1.38

Grade 6/7

78.33

21.67

3.41

SEO/HEO

69.79

30.21

4.72

EO

65.30

34.70

4.69

AO/AA

39.74

60.26

6.93

Others1

85.02

14.98

1.15

Total

56.62

43.38

5.39

1 Others relate to staff in HA, GCDA and VOSA whose grades do not fit into the general clerical grade structure.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many and what percentage of staff in his Department are making additional voluntary contributions to their pension. (73118)

Members of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS) can pay additional contributions to top up their pension either through the Civil Service Additional Voluntary Contributions Scheme (CSAVCS), a money purchase arrangement, or by buying added years of service in the PCSPS. As an alternative to membership of the PCSPS recruits from 1 October 2002 have been able to join a stakeholder arrangement, the partnership pension account.

The number and percentage of staff in the department (including the Agencies) who are making additional voluntary contributions to their pension as at 26 May 2006 are shown in the following table.

Number

Percentage

CSAVCS

300

1.56

Added Years

523

2.72

Partnership

327

1.70

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what incentives are available to encourage members of his staff to use public transport for travelling to and from work. (75102)

The Department for Transport provides the following incentives to encourage staff to use public transport for travelling to and from work:

Salary advances for the purchase of season tickets

Desktop journey planning tools

Promotion of public transport and local and national transport information via intranets, internal newsletters and other communication routes.

Deputy Prime Minister (Government Car)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the cost of the Deputy Prime Minister’s Government car in each of the last 10 years. (70672)

Guidance on the use and provision of Government cars is set out in Travel by Ministers and the Ministerial Code. It is for individual Ministers to account for their travel arrangements.

Discounted Oil

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the potential impact on the transport infrastructure of the proposed supply of discounted oil to London from Venezuela. (73649)

The supply of oil or oil products at discounted rates to the UK is a commercial decision for Venezuela. The Department is not at present aware of any firm commitment by the Government of Venezuela to do so. It is therefore not possible to speculate on the potential implications for UK’s transport infrastructure.

Gershon Report

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many civil servants were employed in his Department before the Gershon Report; what net reductions are proposed in the Gershon Report; how many reductions have been made; and how many civil servants are expected to be employed in his Department in the Gershon target month of April 2008. (74285)

The Department’s 2006 annual report records 16,338 full-time equivalent (FTE) civil servants in the Department for Transport, including its six agencies, for 31 March 2004 and 18,005 FTE for 31 March 2008. The Gershon Report proposed a reduction of 700-500 from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and 200 from the Centre of the Department by 31 March 2008. On 31 March 2006, DVLA and the centre had exceeded their trajectories for 2005-06 and are making good progress towards meeting the 2007-08 target. Further detail will be available in the Department’s Autumn Performance Report. The Department’s headcount reflects the 700 reductions in back office areas and necessary increases in front-line service areas—transport security, accident prevention, driving test provision, and traffic officer services—in order to meet customer demand. The Department has also taken on the Strategic Rail Authority’s responsibilities.

Greater Western Franchise

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will publish the mandatory High Return Alternative Tender for the Greater Western Franchise. (72450)

The High Return Alternative Tender (HRAT) formed part of the Invitation to Tender (ITT) for the Greater Western Franchise issued by the Strategic Rail Authority in June 2005. The Department intends to make this public once the franchise agreement has been placed on the public register, and is working to do this as soon as possible.

The Department did not require bidders to submit an HRAT in its Invitation to Tender for the South Western franchise, nor does it intend to require bidders to submit HRATs with future ITTs.

Information Technology

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on information technology (IT) sourced from outside his Department in each of the last five years; who is responsible for such projects in his Department; and what IT (a) expertise and (b) qualifications they possess. (71810)

The total spend for the Department for Transport and its agencies on IT sourced from outside the Department in each of the last five years is as follows:-

£ million

2001-02

70.2

2002-03

158.8

2003-04

151.3

2004-05

167.3

2005-06

244.5

The accounting officer is the person ultimately responsible for IT projects in DfT. This will normally be agency chief executives (who are also the agency accounting officers) or the permanent secretary (the departmental accounting officer). There are two additional accounting officers in Department for Transport (one for the Driver, Vehicle and Operator Group and one for rail).

Accounting officers will in turn be advised by their head of IT or equivalent, or the project manager for the relevant project.

Bearing in mind disproportionate costs, it is not feasible to identify and list all those involved in DfT with their expertise and qualifications. However, some 400 DfT staff have been trained in programme and project management as part of the Professional Skills for Government initiative. Of these, some 47 in the senior civil service and some 150 below the SCS have so far obtained related qualifications.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) originally estimated, (b) most recently estimated and (c) outturn cost was in each of the five largest information technology contracts agreed with outside suppliers over the last five years. (71811)

The Department was formed in May 2002. A table showing the five largest information technology contracts agreed by the Department since that date has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

International Car Free Day

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to promote International Car Free Day on 21 September. (76276)

The Department for Transport sponsors the UK Co-ordinator of the “In Town, Without My Car!” Campaign who oversees the process by which local authorities in England and Wales register to participate in International Car Free Day, which is on 22 September.

Each local authority has been sent a newsletter and information about European Mobility Week, which will take place between 16 to 22 September, and they have been invited to register to participate in the event. A new Good Practice Guide has recently been published and is available free of charge to members of the public.

This year, “In Town, Without My Car!” Good Practice Guides and an information sheet “European Mobility Week—You Control Climate Change” were distributed to local authorities in England, Northern Ireland, the Welsh Assembly and the Scottish Executive.

An advertisement to promote “In Town, Without My Car!” will shortly appear in an edition of “Local Transport Today” and a copy of the Good Practice Guide will be enclosed in each copy.

Regional workshops are being held and information linked to the campaign disseminated via the DfT website.

Additionally, the results of the campaign are registered on the website of www.22september.org and are used to monitor progress and the effectiveness of individual initiatives.

Local Authority Roads

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the evidential basis was for the conclusion in the annual road maintenance condition survey that there had been a marked improvement in local authority roads; and what evidence was found in relation to roads in the (a) Essex county council and (b) Colchester borough council area. (76463)

The local roads defects index in the national road maintenance condition survey is based on a sample survey of assessment sites throughout England and Wales. As the survey is not designed to provide statistically valid estimates below regional level, results for Essex county council and Colchester borough council are not available.

The conclusions on the visual condition of local roads in England as a whole are set out in Chapters 2 and 3 of the national road maintenance condition survey report, with further details of the statistical process provided in Annexe 3 of the report. The report for 2005 was published on 20 April 2006 and a copy placed in the House of Commons Library.

Milton Keynes and South Midlands Spatial Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what provisions have been made to improve transport links between Wellingborough and the surrounding area and London in the context of the implementation of the Milton Keynes and South Midlands spatial strategy. (76635)

Specific funding is already being made available to support transport schemes around the Wellingborough area.

This includes growth area funding of £4.4 million to improve services and infrastructure on the X4 bus route linking Wellingborough with Northampton, Kettering, Corby, Oundle, Milton Keynes and Peterborough and £2.5 million for the Rushden Town Centre link road.

Northamptonshire have commissioned a series of transportation studies to inform the development of a specific transport strategy for growth.

Nitrogen Dioxide

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what use is being made of diffusion tube data in his Department’s work assessing nitrogen dioxide levels in the Heathrow area. (77650)

Diffusion tube data have not been used by the Department in assessing the air quality in the Heathrow area as part of the Project for the Sustainable Development of Heathrow. Diffusion tube data may be useful for trend analysis but are not deemed appropriate for the purpose of monitoring compliance. The EC Directive and UK air quality objectives require the use of automatic analysers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which methods of measuring concentrations of nitrogen dioxide are considered acceptable by the European Commission in order to demonstrate compliance with the relevant air quality directives. (77651)

The reference method for assessing the concentration of nitrogen dioxide to demonstrate compliance with EU air quality legislation is given in Directive 1999/30/EC as that defined in ISO 7996: 1985 “Ambient air—determination of the mass concentration of nitrogen oxides—chemiluminescence method”. A member state may however use any other method which it can demonstrate gives equivalent results. Data from the Automatic Urban and Rural Network (AURN) are used to fulfil the UK’s obligations to monitor nitrogen dioxide concentrations in air and to report the results to the European Commission. The AURN has 94 urban and 16 rural nitrogen dioxide monitoring stations, all of which use the chemiluminescence method.

Northern Way Initiative

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what role his Department plays in the delivery of the Northern Way initiative. (74040)

The Northern Way is a pan-regional growth strategy being taken forward by the three northern regional development agencies and their partners. Its work has potential to play an important role in delivering the Government’s Regional Economic Performance PSA. The Department for Communities and Local Government co-ordinates Government involvement with the Northern Way.

The DCLG, Her Majesty’s Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry are currently working with the Northern Way to reinvigorate its work and focus more clearly on a smaller number of key priorities to deliver its strategy. As part of this process, the three Departments have recently been discussing with the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Education and Skills, DfES and the DfT their engagement with the Northern Way and how this might be strengthened. The DfT is represented on both the Northern Way’s strategic policy group and the transport compact.

Promotion Boards

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what promotion boards have been held in his Department in each of the last five years. (72870)

Promotion in the DfT is achieved by way of promotion board panels, often for particular posts, and through assessment centres for certain grades within and below the senior civil service.

Information on the number of boards held is not collected centrally.

Racial Abuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints of racial abuse have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in his Department in each of the last 5 years. (72871)

There have been a total of four complaints of racial abuse across the Department and its Executive Agencies over the past five years. None of these complaints has been upheld.

Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he plans to take to encourage the streamlining of rail fares. (76587)

[holding answer 14 June 2006]: The Department do regulate some rail fares but many are a commercial matter for the operator concerned. We are discussing with train operators what might be done to simplify passengers’ choice of fares. We are also discussing with National Rail Enquiries how fares information might be better presented.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1280W, on rail services, if he will place in the Library a copy of his Department’s specifications for the construction of the timetable from Paddington to the West Country. (74390)

[holding answer 5 June 2006]: The timetable specification formed part of the invitation to tender (ITT) for the Greater Western franchise, issued by the Strategic Rail Authority in June 2005. The Department intends to make this public once the franchise agreement has been placed on the public register, and is working to do this as soon as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 641W, on railways, what discussions his Department has had with Network Rail on (a) the funding of and (b) the likely timetable for the installation of enhanced CCTV at Network Rail railway stations. (71741)

[holding answer 17 May 2006]: Network Rail and the train operators are taking forward the installation of CCTV at stations as part of an ongoing programme of work. Franchise agreements already include funding to make improvements to station facilities and this would include the installation of CCTV where appropriate. About a third of the 2,500 stations on the national network already have CCTV in place.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what bonuses have been paid as a result of the publication of Network Rail’s preliminary results for the year to 31 March; and to whom. (76020)

Network Rail is a private sector company, so decisions on bonuses paid to its directors and other employees are a matter for it. Network Rail’s preliminary results for the year to 31 March 2006 and accompanying press notice provide information on bonuses and are available on the company’s website, www.networkrail.co.uk.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when his Department and Network Rail expect to take a decision on the upgrading of Reading Station. (76957)

Reading borough council has submitted to the Department a local transport plan major scheme bid for Reading Station. Decisions on major scheme bids will need to take account of the advice from regions on their priorities within regional funding allocations, which we are currently considering.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions his Department has had with Network Rail concerning the upgrading of Reading Station. (76958)

The Department is a member, alongside Network Rail and the Government office for the South East, of the Reading Station Partnership Board which is led by the local authority. Departmental officials last attended the board when the finalised business case for the enhanced capacity elements of the project was presented.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with other agencies concerning a rail link to Heathrow from Reading Station. (76964)

The Department continues to discuss the project with relevant parties, especially with regard to the funding of the capital element of the project. In the invitation to tender for the South Western franchise, bidders have been invited to include indicative proposals for the costs of operating AirTrack services, assuming the necessary infrastructure is in place.

Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much (a) his Department and (b) its agencies spent on recruitment, search and selection agencies in each of the last five years. (68336)

The Department for Transport and its agencies have spent the following amount on recruitment, search and selection agencies in each of the last five years:

£

2001-02

141,000

2002-03

263,000

2003-04

416,000

2004-05

1,152,000

2005-06

634,000

Note: The figures have been rounded to the nearest thousand.

Redhill Aerodrome

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is towards developing Redhill Aerodrome as a commercial passenger airport; and if he will make a statement. (75911)

The Government’s policy on airport capacity is set out in “The Future of Air Transport” White Paper. The White Paper did not support major commercial development at Redhill Aerodrome because of its close proximity to Gatwick Airport and the associated airspace conflicts.

Road Improvements (Suffolk)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much central Government funding has been allocated to (a) Suffolk county council and (b) each local authority for road improvements in each year since 1997. (75383)

The information is as follows:

(a) The following table shows the funding allocated to Suffolk county council in the local transport capital settlements between 1997-98 and 2005-06. The integrated transport block allocations are available for local authorities to use on road and public transport improvements, according to their local priorities.

Suffolk county council

£000

Nature of funding

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Highways Capital Maintenance

4,472

13,467

11 ,808

12,316

14,485

15,274

Integrated Transport

4,000

7,500

8,150

8,250

7,745

7,350

Total allocation

4,939

4,636

5,554

8,472

20,967

19,958

20,566

22,230

22,624

In addition Suffolk county council is receiving £30.5 million for the South Lowestoft Relief Road that will remove the major traffic flows from the old A12 allowing significant bus, safety and environmental improvements.

(b) Information relating to central funding for each local authority for road improvements since 1997 was placed in the Libraries of the House on 18 January 2006 and is also available on the DFT website.

Royal Flight

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 May 2006, Official Report, column 1285W, on the Royal Flight, on which occasions since 1 January 2003 the BAe 146 and HS125 aircraft of 32 Squadron have been used by members of the Royal Family for private purposes; and what amount was reimbursed for each journey. (74296)

Since 1 January 2003, the BAe 146 and HS125 aircraft of 32 Squadron have been used for private purposes on four occasions. The details are as follows:

27 March 2004 - HRH the Duke of Edinburgh

Northolt - Stuttgart - Northolt (HS125) Reimbursement cost £6,375.

8 June 2004 - HM the Queen

Deauville - Northolt (BAe 146) Reimbursement cost £2,150.

5-7 November 2004 - HM the Queen

Northolt - Manchester - Northolt (HS125) Reimbursement cost £3,547.

11 November 2005 - HM the Queen

Blackpool - Northolt (BAe 146) Reimbursement cost £4,054.

Smoking

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment has been made of the prevalence of smoking on buses where a no-smoking policy is in place. (76150)

Where general legislation on smoking is not in force it is for local bus operators to determine and enforce their own policies on passengers smoking on their vehicles, ultimately with recourse through the courts.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether it is legal to smoke while driving a car. (78340)

There is no specific prohibition on smoking while driving a vehicle. Road traffic legislation places responsibility on all drivers to have proper control of their vehicles. Any motorist who fails to do so, for whatever reason, such as smoking, or eating and drinking, is liable to prosecution.

Taxi Drivers

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what restrictions apply to the amount of time a taxi driver is allowed to drive in one shift. (75406)

The majority of taxi drivers are self-employed and there are no restrictions on the amount of time such drivers are allowed to drive in one shift.

Thames Crossing (Greater Reading Area)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what recent discussions his Department has had with local authorities about a third Thames crossing in the Greater Reading area; (76956)

(2) what progress his Department has made on bringing local authorities together to execute a plan for a third Thames crossing in the Greater Reading area.

Although officials in the Government office for the South East have regular meetings with the authorities in the Thames Valley area, they have not been party to any recent meetings to specifically discuss a third Thames crossing in the Greater Reading area.

Transport Acts

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list Acts which received Royal Assent between 1976 and 2006 and for which his Department has policy responsibility which remains in force. (69604)

The provision of a definitive list would require extensive consultation with other Government Departments and incur disproportionate costs. The following are the general Acts passed during the relevant period which remain in force and which appear to the Department for Transport to be those for which it has primary policy responsibility.

Road Traffic (Drivers’ Ages and Hours of Work) Act 1976 (1976 c 3)

Transport Act 1978 (1978 c 55)

Carriage by Air and Road Act 1979 (1979 c 28)

British Aerospace Act 1980 (1980 c 26)

Civil Aviation Act 1980 (1980 c 60)

Highways Act 1980 (1980 c 66)

Transport Act 1980 (1980 c 34)

Ports (Financial Assistance) Act 1981 (1981 c 21)

Public Passenger Vehicles Act 1981 (1981 c 14)

Transport Act 1981 (1981 c 56)

Aviation Security Act 1982 (1982 c 36)

Civil Aviation Act 1982 (1982 c 16)

Merchant Shipping (Liner Conferences) Act 1982 (1982 c 37)

Transport (Finance) Act 1982 (1982 c 6)

Transport Act 1982 (1982 c 49)

Civil Aviation (Eurocontrol) Act 1983 (1983 c 11)

International Transport Conventions Act 1983 (1983 c 14)

Level Crossings Act 1983 (1983 c 16)

Ports (Reduction of Debt) Act 1983 (1983 c 22)

Transport Act 1983 (1983 c 10)

Cycle Tracks Act 1984 (1984 c 38)

Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (1984 c 27)

Dangerous Vessels Act 1985 (1985 c 22)

London Regional Transport (Amendment) Act 1985 (1985 c 10)

Ports (Finance) Act 1985 (1985 c 30)

Transport Act 1985 (1985 c 67)

Airports Act 1986 (1986 c 31)

Dockyard Services Act 1986 (1986 c 52)

Highways (Amendment) Act 1986 (1986 c 13)

Road Traffic Regulation (Parking) Act 1986 (1986 c 27)

Channel Tunnel Act 1987 (1987 c 53)

Motor Cycle Noise Act 1987 (1987 c 34)

Pilotage Act 1987 (1987 c 21)

Dartford-Thurrock Crossing Act 1988 (1988 c 20)

Merchant Shipping Act 1988 (1988 c 12)

Motor Vehicles (Wearing of Rear Seat Belts by Children) Act 1988 (1988 c 23)

Road Traffic (Consequential Provisions) Act 1988 (1988 c 54)

Road Traffic Act 1988 (1988 c 52)

Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 (1988 c 53)

Parking Act 1989 (1989 c 16)

Road Traffic (Driver Licensing and Information Systems) Act 1989 (1989 c 22)

Aviation and Maritime Security Act 1990 (1990 c 31)

Civil Aviation Authority (Borrowing Powers) Act 1990 (1990 c 2)

Horses (Protective Headgear for Young Riders) Act 1990 (1990 c 25)

British Railways Board (Finance) Act 1991 (1991 c 63)

Motor Vehicles (Safety Equipment for Children) Act 1991 (1991 c 14)

New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (1991 c 22)

Ports Act 1991 (1991 c 52)

Radioactive Material (Road Transport) Act 1991 (1991 c 27)

Road Traffic (Temporary Restrictions) Act 1991 (1991 c 26)

Road Traffic Act 1991 (1991 c 40)

Traffic Calming Act 1992 (1992 c 30)

Transport and Works Act 1992 (1992 c 42)

Railways Act 1993 (1993 c 43)

Road Traffic (Driving Instruction by Disabled Persons) Act 1993 (1993 c 31)

Road Traffic Regulation (Special Events) Act 1994 (1994 c 11)

Transport Police (Jurisdiction) Act 1994 (1994 c 8)

Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 (1994 c 22)

Goods Vehicles (Licensing of Operators) Act 1995 (1995 c 23)

Merchant Shipping Act 1995 (1995 c 21)

Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 (1995 c 13)

Shipping and Trading Interests (Protection) Act 1995 (1995 c 22)

Channel Tunnel Rail Link Act 1996 (1996 c 61)

Civil Aviation (Amendment) Act 1996 (1996 c 39)

London Regional Transport Act 1996 (1996 c 21)

Railway Heritage Act 1996 (1996 c 42)

Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997 (1997 c 28)

Road Traffic Reduction Act 1997 (1997 c 54)

Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 (1998 c 34)

Road Traffic Reduction (National Targets) Act 1998 (1998 c 24)

Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999 (1999 c 3)

Road Traffic (Vehicle Testing) Act 1999 (1999 c 12)

Transport Act 2000 (2000 c 38)

Vehicles (Crime) Act 2001 (2001 c 3)

Private Hire Vehicles (Carriage of Guide Dogs etc.) Act 2002 (2002 c 37)

Travel Concessions (Eligibility) Act 2002 (2002 c 4)

Aviation (Offences) Act 2003 (2003 c 19)

Marine Safety Act 2003 (2003 c 16)

Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 (2003 c 20)

Highways (Obstruction by Body Corporate) Act 2004 (2004 c 29)

Traffic Management Act 2004 (2004 c 18)

Railways Act 2005 (2005 c 14)

Merchant Shipping (Pollution) Act 2006 (2006 c 8)

Transport Infrastructure Schemes (Thames Valley)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funds he has made available for transport infrastructure schemes in the Thames Valley in the last eight years, broken down by local authority area. (76966)

Since the Local Transport Settlement in December 1998 the Thames Valley area has received £370 million for local transport improvements and maintenance schemes. This figure is broken down in the following table. In addition Buckinghamshire county council is receiving £32.5 million for the A4146 Stoke Hammond and Linslade Western Bypass.

The Highways Agency has also made available £44 million in funding for the A41 Aston Clinton Bypass as well as £72 million for the A34 Chieveley/M4 Junction 13 improvement since 1998.

Funding for integrated transport block and capital highways maintenance

£ million

1999-00

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Bracknell Forest

0.839

0.780

1.580

1.756

1.654

2.804

2.479

1.651

Reading

2.562

2.902

7.350

6.294

6.951

9.367

6.747

7.121

Slough

0.863

0.884

1.312

1.500

1.434

1.467

1.536

1.532

West Berkshire

1.850

1.732

2.885

3.130

3.233

3.970

3.969

3.738

Windsor

1.392

1.581

2.725

2.791

3.075

3.353

3.268

3.002

Wokingham

1.118

1.471

2.319

2.372

2.797

2.648

2.644

2.538

Oxfordshire

6.764

10.557

18.545

18.613

19.927

23.957

27.283

22.851

Buckinghamshire

4.377

5.879

13.027

12.340

12.435

13.807

10.773

11.469

Total

19.765

25.786

49.743

48.796

51.506

61.373

58.699

53.902

In addition, the Government are providing record levels of funding for railways infrastructure through the passenger franchises and by direct grant to Network Rail. This funding is not classified by local authority area, but the Thames Valley local authority areas have benefited from work by Network Rail to address the rail infrastructure renewals backlog. Particular local authorities have benefited from rail enhancement projects, including Buckinghamshire from improvements to the Chiltern Line and Berkshire authorities from replacement of “slam door” rolling stock on the Reading/Windsor—Waterloo route.

Prime Minister

Civil Service Bill

To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to be in a position to bring forward a Civil Service Bill; and if he will make a statement. (75866)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Secretary for the Cabinet Office (Mr. Murphy) to my hon. Friend the Member for Cannock Chase (Dr. Wright) on 8 November 2005, Official Report, column 159.

Correspondence

To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to reply to the letters from the hon. Member for Colchester of 1 March 2006 and 10 April 2006 on the centenary of the scout movement. (76467)

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Avian Influenza

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 9 March 2006, Official Report, column 942, on avian influenza, what steps the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State has taken to hold discussions with the Association of Local Government Ecologists. (68066)

At the request of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, DEFRA officials held discussions with Mr. Steve Moon, Chair of the Association of Local Government Ecologists. An offer was extended to Mr. Moon, or another representative of the association, to participate in the DEFRA avian influenza stakeholder group. This offer was declined.

Coastal Access

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what legislation would be required to implement the Countryside Agency’s coastal access proposals; (76652)

(2) what the estimated cost is of implementing the coastal access proposals of the Countryside Agency;

(3) what areas of the country would be exempt from the Countryside Agency’s coastal access proposals;

(4) how many people were involved in the consultation by the Countryside Agency on coastal access; what the cost of the consultation is; which areas are involved in the consultation; what questions are being asked; and when he expects (a) the consultation to be completed and (b) the findings to be passed to him;

(5) what assistance his Department will provide (a) to landowners and (b) to prevent damage to the coastline if the Countryside Agency’s coastal access proposals are implemented.

In line with DEFRA’s five-year strategy we are looking at ways to improve access to the English coast. We have asked the Countryside Agency, working together with its Natural England partners, English Nature and the Rural Development Service, to undertake additional research and analysis to identify a range of options.

As part of this work, the Natural England partnership has taken forward an information- gathering exercise to collect data on a national basis to develop a comprehensive picture of the coast and existing access provision. Advice will be submitted to DEFRA at the end of July, and will serve to inform a full public consultation paper in October. The consultation will discuss the best ways to improve access to the English coast, including costs and any legislative changes needed to support their implementation. It will be supported by a partial Regulatory Impact Assessment. The results of the consultation exercise will be published.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions the Countryside Agency has had with (a) the relevant authorities in (i) Wales and (ii) Scotland, (b) local authorities, (c) non-governmental organisations and (d) non-statutory bodies on its coastal access proposals. (76654)

The Countryside Agency, along with its Natural England partners English Nature and the Rural Development Service, is represented on DEFRA’s Coastal Land Advisory Group. Meetings of the Group have provided a forum for coastal access issues to be discussed with the National Trust, Local Government Association, Ministry of Defence, Environment Agency, English Heritage, Welsh Assembly Government and the Forestry Commission.

The National Countryside Access Forum, chaired by the Countryside Agency, considered coastal access issues at its meeting on 17 May 2006. The Forum’s membership includes the British Horse Society, British Mountaineering Council, Central Council for Physical Recreation, Country Land and Business Association, Cyclists Touring Club, Local Government Association, Moorland Association, National Farmers’ Union, National Trust, Ramblers Association and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Representatives from local access forums, the Countryside Council for Wales and Scottish Natural Heritage also attended the meeting on 17 May 2006.

In addition, the Natural England partnership held a series of stakeholder events in each of four study areas in which they have been doing detailed work on options to improve access to the English coast. At these events they sought the views and expertise of a wide range of local organisations, including the local authorities for each of the areas concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions the Countryside Agency has had with those administering Crown interests on its coastal access proposals; and when they took place. (76655)

The Countryside Agency held initial discussions with the Crown Estate in 2005. My officials also met representatives from the Crown Estate on 6 December 2005.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) research has been commissioned and (b) surveys have been carried out by the Countryside Agency on coastal access in the last five years. (76657)

The Countryside Agency, along with its Natural England partners English Nature and the Rural Development Service, has carried out a detailed data-gathering exercise to support a comprehensive picture of the English coast and existing access provision. This work includes in-depth investigation, testing and costing of a number of possible ways to improve access, and ways to maximise landscape, historic environment and wildlife benefits.

In 2005 the Countryside Agency carried out short studies of six different parts of the English coast to gain an understanding of different coastal environments. In January 2006 the Natural England Partnership selected four study areas in which they are exploring coastal access issues in greater depth. These areas, selected to reflect the diversity of the English coast, are the Suffolk Coast, Southern Cumbrian Coast and Morecambe Bay, County Durham and Hartlepool Coast, North Devon, Exmoor and the West Somerset Coast.

The Countryside Agency has also commissioned a study to examine how coastal access works in other European countries and what might be learnt from their experience. Further survey work is being done to assess current public knowledge about the demand for and use of coastal access, along with research into the costs of possible options to improve coastal access.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consultations on coastal access the Department has conducted in the last five years. (76659)

The Department has not carried out any public consultations on coastal access in the last five years.

Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to discuss the recommendations of the Affordable Rural Housing Commission Report with his colleagues in (a) the Department for Communities and Local Government and (b) other Government Departments; and whether he has set a timetable for the development of a Government (i) response to the report and (ii) plan to implement the agreed recommendations. (74237)

The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Minister for Housing and Planning, my hon. Friend the Member for Pontefract and Castleford (Yvette Cooper) and I all took part in discussions of the Affordable Rural Housing Commission report on the day of its launch. Affordable rural housing will continue to be one of the subjects covered in the regular dialogue between the two Departments and across Government.

The Government are currently considering the report and will use a range of channels and mechanisms to respond in a constructive way to the agenda set by the Commission, including in the forthcoming Spending Review.

Payment Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many applications for the Entry Level Stewardship scheme have been made; and how much had been paid to applicants at the latest date for which figures are available. (76361)

By 7 June 2006, 22,500 applications for Entry Level Stewardship had been received, and a total of £17.4 million paid to agreement holders.

Rural Development Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost was of compiling, printing and posting the leaflet Celebrating the Rural Development Service; and whether there are plans to issue further Rural Development Service leaflets prior to the service’s replacement in October. (76650)

Single Farm Payments

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures are in place to ensure the next round of single farm payments is made on time. (76188)

We are determined that the right lessons are learned from our experience this year with the Single Payment Scheme, first to prepare for the undoubted challenges that will exist in the delivery of the 2006 scheme, and secondly to move to a more stable position for the 2007 scheme year. Work has already started to this end with the measures set out on 29 March 2006, Official Report, column 305WH, by my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw) and the subsequent appointment of Mr. Tony Cooper as interim chief executive of the Rural Payments Agency. But this is a long-term project with no quick or easy solutions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has taken to ensure all maps used for the calculation of single farm payments are accurate. (76189)

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is responsible for the maintenance of the Rural Land Register (RLR), and information from the RLR is used to support claims to the Single Payment Scheme. The process of digitising land and amending existing land registrations has been amended recently, with activity brought back on to RPA's main computer system. This followed a period when an outsourced provider was used to digitise land during a period of exceptionally high demand.

The digitisation process itself includes a number of quality checks to ensure that the correct land parcel and area are digitised. Where errors are found they are corrected before maps are issued to customers. Further amendments are made where customers identify issues with the maps they receive. RPA is aware of a number of cases where there have been issues with maps sent to customers. The re-establishment of an in-house process will aid the cross-check of new and amended land areas to customer details.

Single Payment Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average cost is of processing a Single Payment Scheme claim; and if he will make a statement. (73468)

[holding answer 25 May 2006]: The gross running costs of the Rural Payment Agency (RPA) for 2005-06 were £236.5 million, of which £55.1 million related to one-off costs associated with the RPA change programme and common agricultural policy reform implementation. The balance of £181.4 million represented the costs of RPA’s normal operations, of which the administration of the Single Payment Scheme (SPS) forms part.

For the 2005 SPS scheme year, there were 120,000 claims with an expected value of £1.5 million (net of modulation).

Subsidies (Rossendale)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action his Department is taking to recoup overpayments of subsidies paid to farmers in Rossendale. (68598)

We have identified one farmer in the Rossendale area who has an existing debt with the Rural Payments Agency (RPA). The matter has been referred to the RPA Legal Division for a decision on whether legal proceedings should be issued to recover the debt. RPA is not aware of any other existing or potential overpayments in the Rossendale area.

Timber

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what monitoring systems are in place to ensure that all Government purchased timber and timber products are procured in accordance with the Government’s timber procurement policy; and what evidence is required to prove that timber purchased is derived from legally harvested trees. (76284)

The model conditions of contract that Departments are advised to use in respect of their timber purchases require contractors to obtain documentary evidence that the timber and wood derived products supplied are legal timber. The conditions further require the contractor to identify a chain of custody from the forest source through to delivery of the final product and to obtain independent verification if requested by the contracting authority.

Leader of the House

Departmental Hospitality

To ask the Leader of the House if he will keep a separate record of the amount spent annually by his office on alcohol for hospitality purposes. (77322)

My Office already keeps records on alcohol and hospitality costs. It spent approximately £1,150.00 on alcohol in the financial year 2005-06.

Wales

Departmental Chief Accounting Officer

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the (a) name, (b) professional and academic qualifications and (c) relevant experience are of the chief accounting officer of his Department. (76837)

As set out in the annual report (Col. 6385, published 25 May 2006), the Wales Office pays grant to the National Assembly for Wales, accounting directly within the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) for its own expenditure of some £5 million a year. Its director is appointed as an additional accounting officer to the DCA permanent secretary. The director combines these duties with responsibility for the overall organisation, management, staffing and procedures of the Wales Office.

The director is Alan Cogbill, a graduate entrant to the civil service. He has no professional accountancy qualification. He has experience as finance director of the DCA, and has undertaken civil service training in Government finance and accounting. He is assisted by professionally qualified accountants in DCA as need be.

Treasury

World Poverty

2. To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what contribution his Department is making to meeting the 2015 targets for reducing world poverty. (77540)

The Treasury works closely with DFID to deliver a substantial and high quality UK aid programme, and also with the international community to make progress towards the 2015 Millennium Development Goals. DFID’s budget is increasing from £3.8 billion in 2004-05 to £5.3 billion in 2007-08—making a real terms increase of 140 per cent. since 1997. I have announced a timetable to reach the UN target of 0.7 per cent. ODA/GNI in 2013.

The MDGs and global poverty were at the heart of the UK Presidencies of the EU and the G7/8 in 2005. The international community committed to raise an additional $50 billion of aid by 2010, to cancel 100 per cent. of the multilateral debts of the world’s poorest countries, and to launch the International Finance Facility for Immunisation. G8 leaders also agreed to achieve universal access to AIDS treatment for all those who need it by 2010, and work on Advance Market Commitments for vaccines against malaria, HIV/AIDS and other priority diseases.

These are the sorts of measures needed to get progress towards the MDGs back on track. The key challenge now is for donors to fully implement their commitments and for developing countries to develop 10-year plans to meet the MDGs.

Competitiveness

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent assessment he has made of the principal factors affecting the competitiveness of UK businesses. (77555)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has had made of the principal factors affecting the competitiveness of UK businesses and industry. (77561)

I refer the hon. Members to what I said on the Floor of the House earlier today in reply to the hon. Member for Bromsgrove (Miss Kirkbride).

Biodiesel

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the merits of changes to taxation on biodiesel. (77617)

Biodiesel attracts a favourable duty differential of 20 pence per litre less than that for the main road fuels. In line with the alternative fuels framework, we have guaranteed that this differential will continue until 2008-09. Changes to duty rates, including that for biodiesel, are made by the Chancellor in the light of a range of social, environmental and economic factors.

Bonuses

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 24 May 2006, Official Report, column 1842W, on bonuses, why (a) the total amount awarded in bonuses to staff rose and (b) the total number of awards dropped between 2003-04 and 2005-06. (77200)

The payment of end-year bonuses is linked to an individual’s overall performance mark in their annual performance appraisal for the previous year. Prior to 2004-05 HMT operated a system for staff below Senior Civil Servant (SCS) with the following categories:

Top 5 per cent.

Next 30-35 per cent.

Next 50-55 per cent.

Next 5-10 per cent.

with those in the top two categories being awarded a bonus.

The categories in appraisal year 2004-05 were changed to:

Top 20 per cent.

Next 60 per cent.

Bottom 20 per cent.

with only those in the top category being awarded a bonus, which were paid in 2005-06. As a result the average size of end-year bonuses increased significantly.

Child Pregnancies

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many girls aged 16 years and under (a) became pregnant, (b) had an abortion, (c) gave birth and gave the child up for adoption and (d) gave birth and kept the child in each year since 1985, broken down by (i) age and (ii) region. (75626)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 15 June 2006:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many girls aged 16 and under (a) became pregnant, (b) had an abortion, (c) gave birth and gave the child up for adoption and (d) gave birth and kept the child in each year since 1985, broken down by (i) age and (ii) region. I am replying in her absence. (75626)

Available figures are estimates of the number of pregnancies that resulted in a live birth, stillbirth or termination.

Number of conceptions to girls aged under 14, 14, 15 and 16 from 1987 to 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available) are shown in Table 1. Figures for 1985 and 1986 are not provided because ONS amended the method for calculating woman's age at conception and revised data are not available prior to 1987.

Conception figures are routinely published each year by region for all girls aged under 16. Conception to girls aged 16 years by region can only be made available at a disproportionate cost.

Number of conceptions to girls aged under 16 by region from 1992 to 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available) are shown in Table 2. There have been Government Office Regional boundary changes prior to 1992 and figures prior to then are not compatible with later years.

Number of abortions to girls aged 14 and under, 15 and 16 from 1987 to 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available) are shown in Table 3. Figures for girls for aged 14 and under are grouped to protect small numbers which may be revealed by previously published data.

Numbers of abortions to girls aged 16 and under, by regional offices in England from 1987 to 2004 are shown in Table 4.

Number of live births to girls aged under 12, 12 ,13, 14, 15 and 16 from 1985 to 2005 (the latest year for which figures are available) are shown in Table 5.

Figures on live births by region have been compiled on the same basis as conceptions and number of live births to girls aged under 16 by Government Office Region from 1992 to 2005 are shown in Table 6.

Information is not available on how many girls aged 16 years and under gave birth and gave the child up for adoption and gave birth and kept the child.

Table 1: Conceptions to women under 17 by age, 1987-2004, England and Wales

Age of mother

Under 14

14

15

16

All under 17

1987

312

1,777

6,538

16,112

24,739

1988

270

1,652

6,336

15,395

23,653

1989

223

1,650

6,077

14,703

22,653

1990

316

1,754

6,069

13,923

22,062

1991

318

1,686

5,476

12,623

20,103

1992

363

1,632

5,222

11,932

19,149

1993

368

1,774

5,125

11,031

18,298

1994

397

1,938

5,460

11,336

19,131

1995

382

1,834

5,835

12,382

20,433

1996

451

1,961

6,445

14,284

23,141

1997

365

1,964

5,942

14,058

22,329

1998

423

1,988

6,041

13,802

22,254

1999

406

1,866

5,673

13,334

21,279

2000

397

1,890

5,827

13,153

21,267

2001

400

1,890

5,613

13,103

21,006

2002

390

1,858

5,627

13,475

21,350

2003

334

1,888

5,802

13,303

21,327

20041

341

1,751

5,521

13,616

21,229

1 Provisional.

Source:

Office for National Statistics.

Table 2: Conceptions under 16 by Government office region, 1992-2004, England and Wales

North East

North West

Yorkshire and the Humber

East Midlands

West Midlands

East

London

South East

South West

Wales

England and Wales

1992

478

1,095

907

641

924

571

867

788

764

470

7,217

1993

560

1,140

825

634

917

563

867

794

502

465

7,267

1994

567

1,172

956

632

1,030

576

965

840

552

505

7,795

1995

627

1,165

894

702

998

608

1,019

890

581

567

8,051

1996

659

1,272

971

737

1,103

647

1,171

1,006

646

644

8,856

1997

621

1,106

971

655

1,012

631

1,141

972

598

564

8,271

1998

570

1,177

972

701

1,035

635

1,152

960

653

597

8,452

1999

499

1,178

919

616

890

627

1,058

963

658

537

7,945

2000

522

1,157

831

631

994

613

1,246

983

643

495

8,115

2001

460

1,068

861

610

934

642

1,252

977

603

496

7,903

2002

460

1,090

928

609

904

650

1,229

952

573

480

7,875

2003

498

1,180

876

606

925

636

1,247

984

606

466

8,024

20041

481

1,074

871

611

898

601

1,127

918

598

434

7,613

1 Provisional.

Source:

Office for National Statistics.

Table 3: Total abortions for girls age 16 and under by age, England, 1987-2004

Age of mother

14 and under

15

16

Total 16 and under

1987

859

2,702

5,623

9,184

1988

811

2,573

5,914

9,298

1989

776

2,449

5,365

8,590

1990

830

2,424

5,014

8,268

1991

839

2,155

4,435

7,429

1992

864

1,963

3,984

6,811

1993

913

2,001

3,401

6,315

1994

978

1,953

4,037

6,968

1995

889

2,177

4,097

7,163

1996

1,023

2,380

4,911

8,314

1997

967

2,279

4,952

8,198

1998

1,032

2,490

5,031

8,553

1999

1,002

2,387

5019

8,408

2000

990

2,559

5,162

8,711

2001

1,009

2,429

5,308

8,746

2002

1,021

2,498

5,357

8,876

2003

1,100

2,644

5,456

9,200

2004

983

2,591

5,433

9,007

Source:

Department of Health

Table 4: Total abortions for girls age 16 and under by region, England, 19871-2004

Northern and Yorkshire

Trent

Anglia and Oxford

North Thames

South Thames

South and West

West Midlands

North West

Total

1987

1,285

1,000

432

1,316

1,247

1,353

1,290

1,261

9,184

1988

1,328

988

402

1,339

1,203

1,360

1,258

1,420

9,298

1989

1,287

972

402

1,261

1,112

1,215

1,169

1,172

8,590

1990

1,258

858

361

1,206

1,058

1,272

1,087

1,168

8,268

1991

1,144

804

299

1,075

944

1,025

1,019

1,119

7,429

1992

1,043

726

252

1,029

901

948

899

1,013

6,811

1993

1,083

756

256

662

870

910

850

928

6,315

1994

1,047

760

516

951

956

835

905

998

6,968

1995

1,043

711

684

1,024

1,021

786

901

993

7,163

1996

1,164

906

752

1,187

1,154

922

1,043

1,186

8,314

1997

1,129

880

752

1,214

1,109

897

1,048

1,169

8,198

1998

1,181

917

805

1,213

1,183

980

1,091

1,183

8,553

1999

1,143

936

839

1,417

1,050

946

1,077

1,000

8,408

2000

1,140

880

929

1,424

1,086

1,039

1,131

1,082

8,711

2001

1,067

859

871

1,544

1,091

1,071

1,192

1,051

8,746

North East

North West

Yorkshire and Humber

East Midlands

West Midlands

East of England

London

South East

South West

Total

2002

491

1,264

975

646

1,050

762

1,830

1,169

689

8,876

2003

581

1,306

967

691

1,056

830

1,851

1,192

726

9,200

2004

542

1,328

954

690

1,014

761

1,681

1,286

751

9,007

1 Prior to 1987 there were boundary changes within regions.

Source:

Department of Health.

Table 5: Livebirths to females under 17 by age, 1985-2005, England and Wales

Age of mother

Under 12

12

13

14

15

16

All under 17

1985

0

2

21

216

1,163

4,431

5,833

1986

0

1

31

190

1,144

4,303

5,669

1987

2

3

20

177

1,103

4,398

5,703

1988

1

3

19

196

1,042

4,494

5,755

1989

0

6

22

180

1,109

4,239

5,556

1990

0

0

16

188

1,102

4,166

5,472

1991

0

2

27

216

1,181

4,140

5,566

1992

0

2

22

200

1,090

3,800

5,114

1993

1

1

26

226

1,149

3,900

5,303

1994

0

6

28

245

1,074

3,651

5,004

1995

1

2

34

248

1,216

4,043

5,544

1996

0

2

32

259

1,331

4,497

6,121

1997

1

3

26

258

1,313

4,500

6,101

1998

0

2

40

245

1,255

4,273

5,815

1999

0

4

35

228

1,204

4,103

5,574

2000

8

5

37

246

1,186

3,825

5,307

2001

8

9

37

241

1,138

3,699

5,132

2002

2

13

46

214

1,076

3,604

4,955

2003

2

7

26

186

1,025

3,621

4,867

2004

1

1

24

183

1,013

3,633

4,855

2005

4

4

15

189

977

3,514

4,703

Source:

Office for National Statistics.

Table 6: Livebirths under 16 by Government office region, 1992-2005, England and Wales

Non residents

North East

North West

Yorkshire and the Humber

East Midlands

West Midlands

1992

0

119

213

166

128

157

1993

0

111

235

173

123

190

1994

0

104

219

137

127

200

1995

2

137

233

191

125

191

1996

1

139

215

170

145

223

1997

1

139

238

195

133

181

1998

2

132

214

197

133

173

1999

0

88

207

198

142

168

2000

1

97

221

183

120

170

2001

0

108

217

143

126

173

2002

0

72

179

159

115

169

2003

0

60

199

147

111

156

2004

1

74

199

139

124

147

2005

0

74

167

146

121

143

East

London

South East

South West

Wales

England and Wales

1992

84

161

125

88

73

1,314

1993

99

184

124

86

78

1,403

1994

100

153

130

81

102

1,353

1995

105

181

140

102

94

1,501

1996

106

206

162

116

141

1,624

1997

104

211

164

111

124

1,601

1998

95

211

165

107

113

1,542

1999

115

194

157

103

99

1,471

2000

107

177

182

118

106

1,482

2001

100

201

157

115

93

1,433

2002

99

195

160

106

97

1,351

2003

113

139

158

94

69

1,246

2004

79

151

138

103

67

1,222

2005

86

146

135

84

87

1,189

Source:

Office for National Statistics

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many girls under the age of 16 years in Salisbury constituency gave birth in each year since 1995. (76984)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 15 June 2006:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your question about how many girls under 16 years in Salisbury constituency gave birth in each year since 1995. I am replying in her absence. (76984).

Where constituencies are not co-terminous with local authority boundaries, ONS do not generally release figures based on recording of mother's age at birth registration. This is to protect against disclosure of information provided in confidence. Figures are provided for the relevant local authority instead. There were 14 girls resident in Salisbury county district who gave birth under the age of 16 during the period 1995 to 2005, too few to provide figures by year without breaching confidentiality.

Construction Industry (Registration Cards)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many construction industry services registration cards have been issued in each (a) year and (b) quarter since 1 April 2001; and if he will make a statement; (77067)

(2) how many construction industry services registration (CIS4) cards (a) have been issued and (b) are in use; and if he will make a statement.

There have been 2.4 million construction industry registration cards (CIS4) issued since the scheme began in 1999. Of these 1.9 million have been used.

Unused cards are attributable to: holders of recently issued cards having not yet been paid within CIS; holders that normally work within the domestic sector having applied for a card in case they become involved in CIS work; and where one or two partners in a company use their cards on behalf of the company (with those of the other partners being unused).

A quarterly breakdown of the number of CIS4 cards issued since 1 April 2001 is given in the following table. These figures include replacements for cards that have been lost, stolen or have expired (in the case of temporary cards).

Number of CIS 4 cards issued

Quarter

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

April to June

56,000

61,000

63,000

74,000

77,000

July to September

61,000

83,000

73,000

83,000

82,000

October to December

48,000

55,000

63,000

65,000

63,000

January to March

58,000

70,000

78,000

75,000

81,000

Total

223,000

269,000

277,000

297,000

303,000

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what checks are made of (a) immigration status and (b) nationality before issuing construction industry services registration cards; and if he will make a statement; (77068)

(2) what changes he plans to make to the construction industry services registration card system in 2007; what (a) identity checks and (b) immigration status checks will be put in place; and if he will make a statement.

Neither the legislation for the current construction industry scheme (CIS) nor the legislation for the new scheme empowers HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to question the immigration status or nationality of applicants for CIS registration cards. There is also no legal exchange of information gateway to allow such information that might be obtained by HMRC to be passed to the Home Office.

Under both the current and new schemes, HM Revenue and Customs must be satisfied about the applicants' identity and addresses. They may be required to produce appropriate documentation to evidence their identity, which might include a passport or driving licence. The new CIS scheme will also allow HMRC to require attendance in person to provide such information as satisfies HMRC on an applicant's identity and address.

Departmental Staff

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people over the age of 55 have been recruited into (a) the Treasury and (b) his private office in each of the last three years. (77203)

No staff over the age of 55 have been recruited to the Chancellor’s private office in the last three years. The number recruited to the Treasury can be found in the following table:

Department

2003-04

4

2004-05

5

2005-06

4

Exotic Animals (Smuggling)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people have been caught attempting illegally to bring exotic (a) animals and (b) birds into Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. (77426)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have interpreted exotic birds and animals to be live birds or animals of endangered species.

Details of seizures made by HMRC from January 1999 to December 2004 as a result of breaches in Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade herein are available on the UK CITES website at http://www.ukcites.gov.uk/news/tradestatistics.htm.

There have been no seizures of live animals or birds of endangered species in Northern Ireland from outside the EU in the period in question. Travellers arriving at Northern Ireland airports from outside the EU almost exclusively arrive via another airport either in Great Britain or Eire.

Fuel Smuggling (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people were caught smuggling fuel in Northern Ireland in each of the last five years. (77131)

In the last five years the following number of vehicles have been seized in Northern Ireland as a consequence of hydrocarbon oils offences, including smuggling:

Number of vehicles seized

2000

312

2001

684

2002

1,576

2003

901

2004

812

Gaming Machines

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the effects of the freeze on gaming machine stake and prize levels on tax revenues; (77156)

(2) what assessment he has made of the likely effects on tax revenues of an increase of category C and section 34 gaming machine stake and prize levels to 50 pence and £35, respectively.

No assessment has been made of the effects of the freeze on gaming machine stake and prize levels on tax revenues. Similarly no assessment has been made of the likely effect for tax revenues of an increase of category C stake and prize levels to 50p and £35, respectively. Decisions on the stake and prize limits which venues can offer are made by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for reasons unconnected to tax.

Male Longevity

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what average male longevity was at age 65 in each parliamentary constituency at the last date for which figures are available. (77139)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 15 June 2006:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question concerning what the average male longevity at 65 was in each parliamentary constituency at the last date for which figures are available. I am replying in her absence. (77139)

Figures on life expectancy at different ages are derived from the life tables, calculated using data in both mortality and populations. The figures requested cannot be provided for parliamentary constituencies as population estimates are not available. Results for local authorities in England and Wales can be provided however. A table containing these figures for male life expectancy at age 65 for 2002-04 (the most recent period available) has been placed in the House of Commons Library.

Tax Credits

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) on how many occasions he has met the Paymaster General to discuss tax credits since 1 June 2005; and if he will make a statement; (76943)

(2) how many meetings (a) he and (b) the Paymaster General have had on the subject of tax credit fraud since 1 January 2006; and if he will make a statement.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) when he last met the Paymaster General to discuss tax credits; (77817)

(2) when he last (a) received and (b) sent written correspondence to the Paymaster General regarding tax credits.

Treasury Ministers are in constant contact with each other in person, over the telephone and in writing about a wide range of issues, including tax credits.

Home Department

Endangered Species

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether revised sentencing guidelines have been issued to the judiciary regarding the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations. (76714)

HM Prison Belmarsh

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the number of inmates at HM Prison Belmarsh who report feeling unsafe; what action he is taking to reduce the incidence of such reports; and if he will make a statement. (73767)

Regular surveys into issues of prisoner personal safety are undertaken for Standards Audit and violence reduction purposes. The results assist in addressing and improving the quality of life experienced by prisoners. On arrival at Belmarsh, prisoners are advised how to report instances of bullying or feelings of self-harm. In addition information is displayed throughout the prison offering support and setting out what is readily available should support be required.

Human Trafficking

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what stage the Government have reached in preparing for (a) signing and (b) ratifying the Council of Europe Convention on trafficking. (76675)

The Home Office is currently assessing whether to sign the Council of Europe Convention. Whilst the UK supports the multiple aims of the Convention there are certain provisions which present concerns and which remain under consideration. The Home Office recently sought views on aspects of the Convention in the consultation paper ‘Tackling Human Trafficking-Consultation on Proposals for a UK Action Plan’. In reaching a decision on signature we will take into account the views expressed by respondents. A summary of responses to the consultation will be published shortly.

Illegal Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there have been for using illegal drugs on buses in each region in each year since 2001. (76151)

Lambert Report

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what date he (a) commissioned and (b) received the report by David Lambert into operational issues arising from the death of Joseph Scholes; what consultation was conducted with the family of the deceased; what the cost was of the report; what its principal conclusions were; what measures have been taken in response to its recommendations; and if he will place a copy in the Library. (75306)

David Lambert was asked to conduct a review of operational issues arising out of the death of Joseph Scholes. The review was formally commissioned on 21 September 2004. Mr. Lambert began work the following month. He sent his completed report to the Home Office on 12 October 2005. Home Office officials, in consultation with the Youth Justice Board and the Prison Service, have been considering the recommendations in the report, and the action that needs to be taken in response to them. The Government will set out their response, and give details of the action we are taking, in due course. We will also address the issue of disclosure.

I understand David Lambert offered in August 2005 to discuss with Mrs. Scholes the findings of the review, and repeated the offer the following month, but that Mrs. Scholes did not wish to take up the offer.

The cost of the report was £10,589.50.

Legislation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which (a) Acts and (b) parts of Acts which received Royal Assent between 1976 and 2006 which remain in force for which his Department has policy responsibility. (69148)

I have placed in the Libraries of the House a list of Acts which received Royal Assent between 1976 and 2006 for which the Home Office had policy responsibility at the time of Royal Assent. Some of these Acts have been amended or repealed in whole or part, so not all of their provisions remain in force. Nor are all of these Acts still within the policy responsibility of the Home Office. It is not however possible to provide a definitive list of the provisions which remain in force and which are within the policy responsibility of the Home Office without incurring disproportionate cost.

Leyhill Open Prison (Absconded Prisoners)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate has been made by the Avon and Somerset constabulary of the volume of crime committed in the Avon and Somerset area since 1999 by prisoners who have absconded from Leyhill Open Prison; and if he will make a statement. (73423)

Mentally Ill Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the reoffending rate was for people who were identified as mentally ill while in prison in 2005-06. (76778)

Miscarriages of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what basis the Independent Assessor to the Home Secretary on Miscarriages of Justice makes recommendations for interim payments to claimants; and whether interim payments have been made on compassionate grounds. (76920)

Exceptionally, an interim payment of compensation in respect of a miscarriage of justice may be made by the Home Secretary, on the advice of the independent Assessor, before the final amount is determined. The amount of any interim payment will be paid on account and will be deducted from the final award. The Assessor’s consideration of whether, and how much, interim payment might be made in a particular case is based on the information available to him about the miscarriage of justice in respect of which compensation is being paid and the consequences which flowed from it, not simply on what the applicant’s financial needs are at the time. In very exceptional circumstances interim payments may be made on compassionate grounds depending on the circumstances and provided the payment is within the scope of compensation under the scheme.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what average time was taken for the office of the independent Assessor to the Home Secretary on miscarriages of justice to reply to correspondence in the last period for which figures are available; (76922)

(2) what the standard procedure of the independent Assessor to the Home Secretary on miscarriages of justice is in responding to correspondence from claimants’ legal representatives;

The independent Assessor for compensation for miscarriages of justice does not generally correspond directly with applicants or their legal representatives. All correspondence is handled by the Miscarriages of Justice Team in the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. They attempt to resolve any apparent discrepancies in the submissions from applicants or their representatives, to ensure that the Assessor has all the information he needs to make an assessment. Claims for compensation can amount to hundreds of thousands of pounds and some run into millions. Claims are complex and time consuming and often require investigation by forensic accountants, and, on occasion, high-level legal advice. In many cases an interim award is paid before a final assessment of compensation is made. All correspondence requiring a response should receive an interim or substantive response within the Home Office target of 20 working days. In the circumstances of these applications an interim reply is often unavoidable. Detailed statistics on performance against target for correspondence for this work are not immediately available and I will write to the hon. Member as soon as possible with performance figures for the last quarter.

Misuse of Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of (a) the number of people convicted of drugs offences as a result of the Drugs Act 2005 and (b) how many of them have received a prison sentence. (76976)

It is too early to see any impact of the provisions of the Drugs Act 2005 in the annually published conviction data.

Motoring Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the 10 most common motoring offences were for which men were (a) prosecuted, (b) convicted, (c) fined and (d) sent to prison in England and Wales in the last year for which figures are available, broken down by age group. (75536)

Available information taken from the Court Proceedings Database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform on the 10 most common motoring offences for which men were (a) prosecuted, (b) convicted, (c) fined and (d) sent to prison in 2004 (latest available) is given in the following tables.

Data for 2005 will be available early in 2007.

Ten most common motoring offences for which men aged 21 and over were prosecuted, found guilty, fined and given a custodial sentence, England and Wales, 2004

Rounded

Offence description

Total proceedings

Using motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks

311,900

Vehicle test offences

251,500

Driving, or causing or permitting another person to drive other than in accordance with licence

213,300

Motor vehicle licence - failing to pay appropriate duty

156,700

Speed limit offences

134,900

Other insurance offences (excluding fraud and forgery)

96,700

Other miscellaneous motoring offences

91300

Failing to produce driving licence

73,600

Driving with alcohol in the blood above the prescribed limit

65,300

Driving while disqualified

43,600

Rounded

Offence description

Total findings of guilt

Using motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks

222,500

Driving, or causing or permitting another person to drive other than in accordance with licence

135,900

Motor vehicle licence - failing to pay appropriate duty

133,500

Vehicle test offences

130,600

Speed limit offences

112,000

Driving with alcohol in the blood above the prescribed limit

62,000

Other miscellaneous motoring offences

59,400

Driving while disqualified

38,700

Failing to produce driving licence

30,800

Other insurance offences (excluding fraud and forgery)

28,300

Rounded

Offence description

Total fined

Using motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks

162,500

Motor vehicle licence - failing to pay appropriate duty

130,800

Speed limit offences

110,300

Driving, or causing or permitting another person to drive other than in accordance with licence

75,200

Vehicle test offences

61,100

Other miscellaneous motoring offences

54,800

Driving with alcohol in the blood above the prescribed limit

44,300

Other vehicle registration offences (excluding fraud & deception)

18,300

Driving without due care and attention

17,000

Failing to produce driving licence

8,300

Rounded

Offence description

Total immediate custody

Driving while disqualified

16,500

Driving with alcohol in the blood above the prescribed limit

3,800

Dangerous driving

2,100

Unauthorised taking of a motor vehicle etc

1,800

Driving and failing to provide specimen for analysis (breath, blood or urine)

900

Causing injury and damage by aggravated vehicle taking

800

Theft of a motor vehicle

500

Failing to stop after accident, etc

400

Causing criminal damage of £5,000 or under by aggravated vehicle taking

300

Unfit to drive through drink and drugs (impairment)

200

Note: A person appearing in court can be dealt with for more than one offence at that appearance. The tables show the number of offences dealt with and not the number of persons appearing in court.

Police

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what complaints to the Independent Police Complaints Commission have been upheld in each year since its inception; what (a) response was made and (b) action was taken by the relevant police force to implement the recommendations; and if he will make a statement. (77250)

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is responsible for the management of the police complaints system. I will ensure that the chairman receives a copy of the question and replies to you directly. Copies of the letter containing the IPCC’s response will be placed in the House Libraries.

Prisoners' Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 May 2006, Official Report, column 1049W to the hon. Member for Shipley (Philip Davies), on prisoners’ compensation, if he will break down the awards by the prison where the prisoner was being held. (73338)

Prisons

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners under the age of 18 years are in HMP Gloucester; and what plans he has to transfer those individuals to specialist youth institutions. (74500)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) maximum, (b) mean and (c) median amount of money is held in prisoners’ private cash accounts at each prison establishment; and if he will make a statement. (78194)

Prostitution

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the Prostitution Strategy announced in January 2006 has been implemented; and if he will make a statement. (76708)

Implementation of the prostitution strategy is currently under way. This involves working with a range of stakeholders from across Whitehall as well as with non-government organisations and voluntary sector groups.

Present activity includes:

Working up the proposed new rehabilitative penalty for the offence of loitering and soliciting.

Working with police training provider, Centrex, to design a training package for police, with a multi-agency focus, for tackling prostitution in local areas.

Expansion of the scheme to report “dodgy punters” through a national Crimestoppers campaign (Ugly Mugs scheme).

Working with the Suzy Lamplugh Trust to develop Personal, Social, Health Education guidance for schools—with a focus on prevention and safety.

Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many occasions restraint was used on trainees at Rainsbrook Secure Training Centre between July and October 2005. (76204)

In the four months July-October 2005, trainees at Rainsbrook were restrained on 194 occasions. This figure includes low-level interventions, such as a trainee being led away from a potential incident.

Safety Cameras

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the police in Wiltshire use the LTI 20.20 mobile speed cameras. (76705)

There are a number of speed meters type approved for police use, including the LTI 20.20. It is for individual police forces to decide which type approved to purchase and use. I understand that the Wiltshire constabulary do use the LTI 20.20.

Security Industry

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many meetings senior officials of the Security Industry Authority have held with officials of the National Security Inspectorate to discuss the implementation of the new approved contractor scheme. (75663)

Insight Certification (the parent organisation of the National Security Inspectorate) was one of eight assessing bodies appointed in August 2005 to carry out assessments for the Approved Contractor Scheme. Accordingly there has been regular and frequent contact between the SIA personnel responsible for the ACS and NSI personnel at all levels.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what checks are in place to ensure that applicants for a security licence from the security industry authority originating from (a) other EU countries, (b) sub-Saharan Africa and (c) South East Asia do not have a criminal record in their country of origin. (75664)

The SIA require that all applicants provide a complete five year address history preceding their application. If at any time during the past five years any applicant was abroad for six continuous months or more, they are required to provide an overseas criminality certificate (OCC) from the official competent issuing authority of the country concerned. This policy is uniform in its application and applies to all applicants irrespective of the country concerned.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what target has been set for processing applications for licences issued by the Security Industry Authority; and what the (a) mean and (b) modal period has been for processing applications since its inception. (71143)

[holding answer 18 May 2006]: The SIA do not calculate the mean or modal period processing times for applications. Some, such as those involving overseas criminal records checks, unavoidably take a considerable time. The SIA have a published target of processing 80 per cent. of all applications within six weeks, measured from the date that a properly completed application enters the processing system to the date that a licence is issued. From April 2004 until August 2005 the SIA processed 62 per cent. within six weeks and 88 per cent. within nine weeks. Since September 2005, there has been a backlog of applications that have been waiting to enter the syst