Written Answers to Questions
Monday 16 October 2006
House of Commons Commission
Internet Access (Portcullis House)
An interim wireless solution has recently been installed in the atrium area of Portcullis House. This new service, which is currently being tested, will be publicised more widely in the next few weeks. The service will allow Members using centrally provided Dell laptops (running Windows XP) full access to the parliamentary network in the atrium area. We are planning a fuller solution to this requirement, which will extend wireless coverage to other suitable areas of the parliamentary estate and also provide "guest" access for users with non-centrally provided (Wintel) laptops.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) regards homophobic and transphobic crimes as particularly serious and is determined to prosecute all hate crime robustly and rigorously. After extensive consultation in 2002, the CPS issued a public policy statement and related guidance for crown prosecutors explaining how such cases would be handled.
Each CPS area has at least one homophobic crime co-ordinator. These co-ordinators provide guidance to crown prosecutors and agents; work closely with the local police and other agencies on casework and operational issues; ensure consistency of aims and approach; advise on victim and witness care issues; and make links with local LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) communities. Annual conferences for the CPS area homophobic crime co-ordinators are held and good practice promulgated. Each area's performance on prosecuting cases of homophobic crime is monitored and reviewed each quarter.
As part of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) response to Operation Pentameter, updated guidance has been issued to specialist crown prosecutors in each CPS Area. This guidance focuses on trafficking for sexual exploitation and has been informed in part by the experiences of those who have handled trafficking cases and supported trafficked victims. It has also been taken from best practice gleaned from research from other jurisdictions.
The guidance emphasises the importance of adhering to the standards set out in the CPS Public Policy Statement on the Delivery of Service to Victims, which places the needs of victims at the heart of the criminal justice system. This emphasises the importance of obtaining the best evidence from the victim. To do this crown prosecutors have been advised to view the case from a victim's perspective, and not purely from a lawyer's perspective.
Further specific guidance for trafficking cases “Dealing with the Victim” has been issued to assist crown prosecutors in understanding the varied and complex needs of trafficked victims and the support required. This guidance has been developed for the police by CENTREX (the Police Training Organisation) in partnership with REFLEX (the Government's multi-agency response to organised immigration crime).
NHS Staff (Assaults)
The Public Prosecution Service does not record the employment of victims of violent or abusive behaviour and so the information is not available. I am informed that the police, who continue to prosecute in those areas of Northern Ireland which are not yet covered by the PPS, do not record such information either.
The PPS takes any attack on staff carrying out public duties seriously. The Code for Prosecutors, published by the PPS, specifically draws the attention of prosecutors to any instance
“where the offence was committed against a person serving the public, for example a doctor, nurse, member of the ambulance service, member of the fire service or a member of the police service”
as an important feature of any offence.
In such circumstances, a member of the prosecution team, normally the police officer in the case, will contact the victim to assess the reasons why they wish to withdraw from the prosecution process. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the police will then consider using a range of measures to re-engage the victim in the prosecution process, such as the police installing a panic alarm, clearing the public gallery at the trial, using screens or giving evidence via a video link.
The prosecution team works to the achieving best evidence guidance issued in 2002 which deals with the care of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. The Office for Criminal Justice Reform is currently developing new guidance on witness intimidation and the CPS has participated in the development of this guidance.
The Government are working with Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and other countries to establish a policy framework for deforestation under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Ways of working towards sustainable forest management in the context of expansion of agriculture and illegal logging are the subject of debate in the United Nations Forum on Forests and elsewhere. Sustainable forest management will be one of the areas of collaboration under the UK-Brazil dialogue on sustainable development.
The British High Commission in Gaborone leads on economic policy issues in Botswana, and has regular discussions with the Government of Botswana, including on economic growth and development strategy. These discussions have included the Government's plans for economic diversification. This was discussed during the International Development Committee's visit to Botswana in February 2006, when committee members, including the right hon. Member, met the President and other senior Government officials.
The Government of Botswana has prioritised the broadening of its economic base. In its “Vision 2016” document, launched in 1997, the Government recognised that Botswana needs to diversify its economy within the next 20 years. For this to happen, mining, agriculture, industry, manufacturing services and tourism all need to make a substantial contribution to the economy.
DFID no longer has a bilateral programme in Botswana. DFID Southern Africa's regional programmes in health, trade, and infrastructure will support the Government's plans for economic diversification.
Research funded by the Government at the Hadley Centre suggests that climate change could lead to a drier climate in the Amazon basin. A less disturbed forest will better adapt to these conditions, a more fragmented one will be more vulnerable to fire and therefore less resilient. Most climate models agree that complete removal of the Amazonian forest would lead to a drying of the climate, because local rainfall depends on recycling of water via the forest. Removal of the Amazonian forest could also affect local climates in neighbouring regions through changes in atmospheric circulation. The effect on agriculture could be profound and research by Brazil's national meteorological service suggests that the rainfall in the La Plata basin (where much of Brazil's hydroelectric power is generated) depends on moisture transported via the atmosphere from Amazonia. In addition to these potential impacts on agricultural production and power generation, loss of forest as a result of climate change would result in significant reduction in biodiversity and access to forest products which contribute to local livelihoods. Conflicts related to access to natural resources would be exacerbated.
It is not possible to disaggregate costs for food and alcohol for staff working out of office, without incurring a disproportionate cost. We are able to provide figures for travel and subsistence costs, which reflect all domestic and overseas travel for Ministers, advisers and officials and include costs for all travel, accommodation and subsistence. The figures are shown as follows:
£000 2001-02 2,358 2002-03 2,645 2003-04 10,677 2004-05 13,337 2005-06 12,646
In 2003-04, DFID introduced new procedures to draw together administration costs, including those travel and subsistence costs which had previously been recorded on the programme budget. These changes have increased transparency and have enabled DFID to manage administration costs more effectively. Figures for 2003-04 onwards now include travel and subsistence costs that were previously funded by country programmes and as a result are not comparable with earlier years.
All travel and subsistence costs are made in accordance with published departmental guidance on financial procedures and propriety, based on principles set out in Government Accounting.
Doha Trade Talks
The Doha Development Agenda (DDA) negotiations were suspended in July by the director general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and WTO General Council. This was due to a failure by the G6 countries (US, EU, Japan, Brazil, India and Australia) to reach an agreement on the core triangle of issues at the heart of the talks: market opening in the agricultural sector; cuts in subsidies paid to farmers; and increased market opening for industrial goods. While this suspension is disappointing, we will continue to press for the negotiations to be restarted at the earliest opportunity and to seek an ambitious outcome to the DDA.
We are committed to seeking to ensure that the DDA negotiations achieve the best impact for sustainable development and poverty reduction, by unlocking the development potential of trade and giving developing countries the flexibility to sequence the opening of their markets in line with their own national development plans and poverty reduction strategies. To help achieve this, DFID has supported a number of activities to increase understanding of the impact of the DDA on development and poverty reduction and to inform negotiations. These have included a study on the impact on developing countries of the various scenarios of non-agricultural market access being discussed in the DDA negotiations, as well as a collection of expert papers on the impacts of the DDA on trade and poverty. DFID also supports a comprehensive research programme by the World Bank that covers a range of trade issues and is aimed at supporting developing countries in the context of trade negotiations.
Our assessment is that the DDA remains the best opportunity to make progress towards the UK's long-term vision: a world trading system that is fair as well as free, with greater prosperity for developing and developed countries, resulting in reduced levels of global poverty.
DFID responded rapidly to the needs of the flood-affected communities in South Omo, Dire Dawa and other lowland areas of Ethiopia, with an allocation of £1 million in August, even before an international appeal was launched. This money was channelled through the Humanitarian Response Fund, which is overseen by the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and managed by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and ensures that funds are available immediately as needed and in the event of further flooding.
According to recent reports, the area is currently receiving sufficient assistance. A recent assessment indicates that flood waters are rapidly receding, in particular in the North Gonder zone of Amhara region. We await the results of needs assessments of other affected areas, including Somali and Gambela regions, which are currently being conducted by the Government of Ethiopia and partners. We will provide further support if necessary.
DFID does not collect figures on spend on family planning programmes per se. Our support to family planning programmes is captured within the broader category of reproductive health.
Figures for spending on reproductive health during 2005-06 are not available yet. They are being finalised and will be published in this year’s “Statistics for International Development” report at the end of this month; I will write to my hon. Friend once they are available.
DFID’s development programme in India is informed by assessments of poverty and inequality carried out by the Government of India and multilateral partners such as the World Bank. Individual DFID-funded programmes and projects also support poverty and inequality data gathering and analysis affecting smaller sections of the Indian population.
The Indian Government’s National Sample Survey provides the principal nationwide poverty data used to inform their activities and DFID’s programme. The last survey was undertaken during 2004-05, and its results are awaited. While previous surveys showed a rapid fall in the number of people below the poverty line, from 36 per cent. to 26 per cent. of the population, it is likely that the latest results will indicate a slower pace of poverty reduction.
DFID India’s Country Assistance Plan 2004-08 noted that inequality is widely accepted as “the most significant challenge for India” in eradicating poverty. Although the 2006 World Bank document, ‘Inclusive Growth and Service Delivery: Building on India’s Success’ notes India as having low inequality in income compared to other countries, India’s rapid economic growth since the early 1990s has brought with it increased inequality.
DFID's programme in India operates in support of Government of India initiatives to reduce poverty and inequality. The Indian Government's tenth five-year plan (2002 to 2007) is the basis for development co-operation between the Indian Government and DFID, and is reflected in DFID's India Country Assistance Plan 2004 to 2008.
The tenth plan identifies equitable growth and social justice as an area of concern to be addressed through faster agricultural growth, more employment opportunities, and special programmes for the poorest groups. For agriculture, the plan focuses on food productivity, agricultural reform, investment in rural infrastructure, and incentives for crop diversification. The plan also sets targets for slow-developing states and stresses Government assistance for the poorest districts.
DFID's support for the Government of India's efforts to reduce inequality includes:
Rural livelihoods projects in three of DFID India's four focus states—Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa—to improve and diversify agricultural incomes;
Support for governance reforms to improve the effectiveness of public expenditure management, leading to the allocation of further resources targeting the poorest;
Funding for the Poorest Areas Civil Society programme, targeting the 100 poorest districts in India;
Programmes to increase health and education outcomes, and livelihoods options, that particularly target women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes; and
Partnerships with the United Nations' Children's Fund (UNICEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to achieve sustainable and equitable human development.
DFID, through its India country office, has regular contact with the Government of India on progress in tackling the AIDS epidemic. DFID actively supports the Indian Government in its efforts to prevent HIV transmission and provide treatment and care for those infected.
India has an estimated 5.2 million people living with HIV, although prevalence is low at 0.91 per cent. The epidemic is concentrated in six high-prevalence states (Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Nagaland and Tamil Nadu) and is mainly transmitted through unprotected sexual behaviour or injecting drug use.
DFID in India has committed £123 million over seven years (to March 2007) in support of India's National AIDS Control Programme. DFID's support funds prevention activities in the India programme's four focal states of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissaand West Bengal, and in Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. These targeted interventions are designed to reach out to the most vulnerable groups among whom the prevalence of disease is highest (sex workers, men having sex with men, injecting drug users), through innovative programmes to contain the spread of the disease. DFID also invests in improving governmental capacity to tackle AIDS, and in mass media campaigns by the BBC World Service Trust.
DFID is currently in discussion with the Government of India on support for the next phase of the National AIDS Control Programme.
The cornerstone of preventing obstetric fistula is prompt access to good quality health care when needed. DFID is committed to helping countries expand access to health care, including family planning, safe abortion services, antenatal and obstetric services, all of which are vital for preventing fistula. Meeting the existing demand for family planning services would reduce maternal deaths and injuries by over 20 per cent. DFID is the only major bilateral donor to have a strategy focused on reducing maternal mortality. Copies of the first progress report on the strategy can be found in the Library of the House.
The effects of fistula can be devastating for the lives of girls and women, whose babies often die. Rendered incontinent they are often rejected by their husbands, thrown out of their homes and excluded from community life. DFID is therefore committed to promoting the rights of girls and women, particularly their sexual and reproductive rights, and to the elimination of harmful practices such as early marriage and female genital mutilation, which can significantly increase the risk of fistula.
DFID targets some funding through NGOs to tackle obstetric fistula. For example, DFID has provided a grant of £558,000 to the EngenderHealth and Women’s Dignity Project to combat obstetric fistula in Tanzania and Uganda, and £140,000 to the Obstetric Fistulae in Africa Project. To compliment our country level support, DFID channels funds through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). DFID provides £20 million a year core funding and in 2004 provided £10 million specifically for reproductive health supplies. DFID also provides an annual contribution of £19 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and £12.5 million to the World Health Organisation (WHO), whose programmes support work on women’s empowerment, maternal and reproductive health.
On 27 June 2006 the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched a high profile media campaign on obstetric fistula in the UK. DFID was engaged in discussions with UNFPA regarding the overall campaign and the UK was represented at the campaign launch press conference by Baroness Amos. UNFPA’s choice of the UK for the campaign was in recognition of the political commitment of the UK to addressing the Millennium Development Goal 5: ‘Improve maternal health’.
DFID draws on the analysis of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for data regarding obstetric fistula and does not conduct its own assessments. WHO estimates that more than two million women and girls are living with fistula in developing countries, with 50,000 to 100,000 new cases occurring each year. However, these figures are based on the number of women seeking treatment and are likely to be gross underestimates. The full extent of the problem has never been mapped and reliable data on obstetric fistula is scarce. In 2004 UNFPA and EngenderHealth conducted a groundbreaking needs assessment study in nine African countries to provide the basis of our understanding on obstetric fistula in sub-Saharan Africa.
DFID remains firmly committed to the development of air access to St. Helena, subject to rigorous environmental impact assessment and acceptable contracts. In July, all the short-listed consortia responded to the invitation to tender by indicating that, while they were keen to work on the project, they would not bid against the tender as it stood.
We have reviewed the concerns raised and will shortly issue a new notice in the Official Journal of the European Union. In doing so, we shall ensure that DFID's interest in achieving value for money is preserved.
Work on identifying an airline to operate scheduled flights is continuing in parallel with the procurement of the airport contractor.
UNICEF and the World Health Organisation are carrying out a nutritional survey which will provide an up to date estimate of death rates: preliminary results are due on 15 October. The best current estimates show that the average crude mortality rate in Darfur remains below the recognised emergency threshold of 1 death per 10,000 population per day.
No reliable figures exist for the total number of people killed across Darfur since the conflict began and estimates vary widely.
But every death, casualty or rape in Sudan is a tragedy. That is why we are pressing the Government of Sudan and the rebel groups to stop the fighting; to agree to the deployment of a UN force in Darfur; to co-operate in bolstering the AU in the interim; to commit to and implement the Darfur Peace Agreement; and to ensure full humanitarian access for the UN and NGOs in Darfur.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimates that the current displaced population in Darfur is 1.9 million. This includes those in established IDP camps and those living in informal gatherings.
The Sudan Government’s recent military offensive has caused civilian displacement, predominantly in North Darfur, with approximately 20,000 new arrivals having been registered in the camps for internally displaced people there. Localised displacement is assumed to have taken place further north in North Darfur, but aid agency assessments have been hampered due to the ongoing conflict.
The World Food Programme estimates that 224,000 registered beneficiaries in north Darfur could not be accessed in September due to the offensive and other inter-factional fighting. There could be a sharp rise in malnutrition rates early in 2007 if access for humanitarian agencies continues to be hampered, and fighting prevents the remaining population from harvesting their crops
Last month the Chancellor and I announced that we expect UK spending on aid for trade, including economic infrastructure, to increase to $750 million by 2010. A major proportion of this will flow to Africa, including funding for transport, energy, ports and communications, as well as capacity building for trade policy and trade facilitation.
DFID supports efforts to improve regional integration—key to facilitating African trade—at both pan-African (support to African Union—New Partnership for Africa’s Development and African Development Bank) and sub-regional levels. For example in southern Africa, DFID supports a regional trade facilitation programme and is also initiating two new programmes to facilitate trade: one to implement one stop border posts to make cross border trade easier, and a Regional Standards Programme to increase capacity of the region to produce goods of export quality. DFID is also developing an extensive programme to improve the state of transport infrastructure in southern Africa, to reduce transport costs and improve the logistics of moving freight across long distances.
DFID also provides support at national level. For example, DFID assists Lesotho’s labour-intensive garment sector to retain and build its market share in a time of global upheaval. DFID also funds large-scale programmes to help countries like Mozambique, Tanzania, Malawi and Rwanda reform their customs and facilitate trade.
DFID also supports regular meetings of the Boksburg Group, an informal group of experts, government officials and business representatives of developing countries coming together to discuss how best to achieve trade facilitation reform, including in the negotiations in the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Finally, we continue to work hard towards an ambitious global, multilateral trade deal that will bring maximum benefits for Africa.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Air Quality (Milton Keynes)
Local authorities (LAs) have a duty under Part IV of the Environment Act 1995 to review and assess the current, and likely future air quality in their areas. The first step of the review and assessment process is an updating and screening assessment (USA), which is to be undertaken by all LAs, every three years, to identify those matters that have changed since the last round was completed. Where LAs consider that one or more of the nationally prescribed air quality objectives for each of the seven pollutants is unlikely to be met by the relevant deadline, they must declare an air quality management area (AQMA), covering the area where the problem is expected. These LAs must then take action, along with other agencies and organisations, to work towards meeting the air quality objectives.
When the local air quality management system was first introduced in December 1997, LAs were advised to complete the review and assessment process by December 1999. My Department assessed Milton Keynes' air quality report in December 1999. The report concluded that further investigation was needed in respect of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter (PM10). Following monitoring and modelling, Milton Keynes concluded from the additional work that they did not need to declare an AQMA.
The second round of reviews and assessments started in 2003 and LAs had to submit USAs by the end of May 2003, and were expected to submit either a detailed assessment or a progress report by April 2004 and April 2005 respectively. Milton Keynes submitted their USA in July 2003 and a Progress Report in both July 2004 and July 2005. They concluded that there was no need to proceed to a detailed assessment or declare an AQMA.
The third round of review and assessments has now started and local authorities were asked to submit new USAs by the end of April 2006. We received Milton Keynes' report in May 2006. Our consultants have assessed the report and agreed that there is no need for Milton Keynes to carry out further work in respect of any of the pollutants.
Since 1 February 2006, cattle compensation for bovine tuberculosis in England has been determined primarily using table valuations, based on average market prices for 47 pre-determined cattle categories. These are based on the animal's age, gender, type (dairy or beef) and status (for example, pedigree or non-pedigree). The table valuations are determined by using real sales prices achieved, at a large number and wide range of sources, for same category (but healthy) animals.
A complete list of monthly table valuations since February 2006 is available on the Defra website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/tb/control/tablevaluations.htm.
This is an operational matter for British Waterways, which is consulting both users and trade unions. Its plans to change the operation of the locks and bridges on the Gloucester-Sharpness canal were in hand before any reduction in the 2006-07 grant was made.
(2) if he will instruct the Environment Agency to update its technical guidance WM2 to include all compounds listed as hazardous in version 8 of the Health and Safety Executive's Approved Supply List.
The Environment Agency (EA) has already published its intention to revise the technical guidance on hazardous waste definition.
Guidance on the classification of hazardous waste is available from the EA's website and this also sets out its position regarding Approved Supply List 8. The advice can be found at: http://www.environment-agency.gov .uk/subjects/waste/1019330/1217981/1384307/1470188/?lang= e.
The advice states that the EA will not normally enforce the use of ASL version 8, in conjunction with WM2, until 1 November 2006. The EA intends to release a revised WM2 leading up to the 1 November 2006 deadline.
The EA has also produced a shorter guide to the classification of hazardous waste: “HWR01 What is a hazardous waste”. This document refers to ASL version 8 and is available from the EA's website at: http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/pdf/GEHO0506BKTR-e-e.pdf.
The South Downs national park designation process is on hold, following the High Court judgment made last November on a challenge by Meyrick Estate Management Ltd. to the New Forest National Park Designation Order.
The judgment has implications for the proposed South Downs national park, as it potentially changes the way in which the statutory criteria for national park status have generally been understood and interpreted since the 1950s.
DEFRA’s appeal against the judgment is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal on 1-2 November. Only when that is resolved will the Secretary of State be able to decide how to re-start the South Downs process, including whether or not to invite further representations.
National Water Grid
The Environment Agency report “Do we need large-scale water transfers for south east England?” was published in September. It estimated that to build five pipelines carrying 1,100 megalitres of water per day from the northern Pennines to London would cost up to £15 billion, with a unit cost of £8-14 million per megalitre per day of supply capacity. This is at least four times the unit cost of building new reservoirs to increase supplies locally.
The report found no evidence for the need for such large scale transfers. These were considered to be more expensive and environmentally damaging than the measures already in the south east water companies' water resources plans.
Last year the Government launched the Courtauld commitment, a voluntary agreement between 13 major retailers and the waste and resources action programme (WRAP), to reduce packaging waste. There are three broad objectives to meet, which are:
i. to design out packaging waste growth by 2008;
ii. to deliver absolute reductions in packaging waste by March 2010; and
iii. to identify ways to tackle the problem of food waste.
I will shortly be meeting with the retailers and WRAP to assess progress against these objectives, and to agree next steps. I am also meeting retailers on 12 October to discuss ways in which we can take action to reduce the amount of plastic bags offered at the point of sale and encourage their reuse.
There are also two sets of regulations in place which address the environmental impact of packaging in the UK; both of which encourage producers (including retailers) to minimise packaging. The Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2005 are intended to increase the recovery and recycling of packaging waste. The amount of packaging waste producers have to recover and recycle, and the cost of doing so, is determined, in part, by the amount of packaging they handle. Therefore businesses can save money if they reduce the amount of packaging they deal with.
The Packaging (Essential Requirements) Regulations 2003 (as amended) place a number of requirements on all packaging placed on the market in the UK, including a requirement that packaging should be manufactured so that the volume and weight are limited to the minimum adequate amount to maintain the necessary level of safety, hygiene and acceptance for the packed product and for the consumer.
Both regulations have led to decreases in packaging used around products. However, more still needs to be done to reduce the amount of packaging that is produced. We have asked the Advisory Committee on Packaging to work with industry to find solutions to this problem and recommend ways of encouraging businesses to further reduce the amount of packaging they use.
According to the British Plastics Federation, an estimated 19-21 per cent. of the total plastics consumed in the UK in 2005-06 were recycled. The Government are taking action to support the reduction of plastic packaging in the waste stream and the recycling of plastics more generally.
There are numerous different types of plastics in use, which would require separate collection (or separation after collection) and treatment facilities to recycle. It inevitably takes time for that capacity to develop. Local authorities have understandably tended to focus their attention on waste streams that make a greater contribution to their targets and for which recycling infrastructure and markets are more developed. However, with targets for household waste recycling and composting becoming ever more demanding, all local authorities will have to start tackling the more difficult waste streams like plastics.
The waste and resources action programme (WRAP) is working to further develop efficient markets for recycled materials. WRAP'S targets for 2004-06 are to work with the plastics industry to increase the acceptance of recycled plastic throughout the supply chain, to deliver an additional 20,000 tonnes of domestic plastic bottle recycling capacity, and to ensure that an additional 11,000 tonnes of non-bottle plastics are recycled.
The Packaging Regulations set targets for recovery and recycling of packaging waste to be met by obligated businesses each year so that the UK can meet the relevant EU directive targets by the specified deadline. The directive requires the UK to recycle 22.5 per cent. of the plastic packaging waste entering the UK waste stream by 2008. Currently around 20 per cent. of plastic packaging is recycled in the UK.
Defra is working closely with the devolved administrations, WRAP, SWAG (Scottish Waste Awareness Group) and businesses to promote reusable bags and reduce the number of plastic bags entering the waste stream. More information is available on the Defra website at:
As a consequence of the Agricultural Waste Regulations coming into force, which ban agricultural plastics from being burnt or buried on farms, the Government are developing producer responsibility regulations for the collection and recovery of non-packaging farm plastics. It is envisaged that any collection scheme developed will collect both packaging and non-packaging farm plastics. The Secretary of State has allocated £1 million of the business resource efficiency and waste (BREW) funding to research this and other issues; provide recommendations on the most economical way to collect plastic waste from farms; and how best to implement producer responsibility for non-packaging farm plastics.
Waste is a devolved matter and, in Wales, it is dealt with by the National Assembly. However, recycling by UK businesses, according to the most recent Environment Agency report, showed waste recovery rates were at record levels in 2002, with 45 per cent. of all business waste recycled or re-used.
The landfill tax escalator gives businesses a strong financial incentive to re-use or recycle their waste. Revenue from the landfill tax escalator is recycled to businesses through the business resource efficiency and waste (BREW) programme, which provides funding to organisations who can offer support and advice to businesses who wish to improve their resource efficiency.
The revised Waste Strategy for England, which we will publish this winter, will outline what steps are being taken, and what more needs to be done, to reduce the amount of waste that is sent to landfill. The public, businesses and Government all have roles to play in following more sustainable waste management practices.
The Government have no plans to reorganise refuse disposal in Greater Manchester. The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority is responsible for waste disposal in the area. The authority is currently undertaking a procurement process for a new waste contract that will help them increase recycling and meet their landfill allowance trading scheme obligations.
The Government have already assessed the viability of a policy of open access to rivers and waterways in England. We have no plans to provide a statutory right of access to water since research has shown that overall supply is roughly in balance with demand.
However, we recognise that there is some unmet demand for white water canoeing and canoe touring. Therefore, we are supporting the Environment Agency in its work with other stakeholders to develop regional strategies for water-related sport and recreation with the aim of identifying exactly what is needed and where. Plans for two pilot regions will be in place in 2007-08.
In addition, Defra commissioned the Environment Agency to pilot four demonstration projects to develop best practice access agreements for canoeists on key stretches of English water. This not only improves access in the areas in question but also provides a template that can be used elsewhere.
Promoting recreation, including access to rivers, is a devolved matter and, in Wales, is the responsibility of the National Assembly.
Rural Enterprise Scheme
The following table shows the number of applications received and approved in each month from April 2005 to September 2006, and the value of payments made under the Rural Enterprise Scheme for the same period.
It is important to note that there is no direct correlation between the number of applications received and approved in a particular month, due to the detailed appraisal process. Furthermore, as claims can be spread over months or years, the payments do not relate specifically to the applications listed in previous columns.
The total value of payments made over the life of the Rural Enterprise Scheme is £20,129,666.76.
Applications received Applications approved Value of payments made (£) 2005 April 14 5 561,661.73 May 12 3 385,611.87 June 8 5 769,115.20 July 20 13 733,939.84 August 17 6 421,322.20 September 24 11 431,185.14 October 20 4 457,161.12 November 16 15 846,693.23 December 21 16 338,624.10 2006 January 18 3 669,925.35 February 17 17 549,341.05 March 33 13 828,194.06 April 24 7 743,530.08 May 26 0 641,962.35 June 21 0 896,142.54 July n/a 31 569,050.55 August n/a 1 672,517.04 September n/a 0 755,665.22
Value of payments made (£)
[holding answer 12 October 2006]: The waste implementation programme's new technologies workstream has a budget of £42 million over five years. To date, the expenditure has been £6.74 million.
It is expected that nine technology plants will be built under the Demonstrator programme.
In October 2005, KPMG was appointed to deliver reports on options analysis for waste management and waste planning in London, contracts and assets relating to waste management and an overarching report. Defra contributed a total of £165,844.50 including value added tax (VAT) and expenses. The Department for Communities and Local Government contributed a further £23,500 including VAT, and the Government Office for London contributed £13,806.25 including VAT.
In February 2006, SLR was appointed to undertake an analysis of responses, concerning waste, to the consultation on “The Greater London Authority: The Government's proposals for additional powers and responsibilities for the Mayor and Assembly”. Defra contributed £36,953.75 including VAT and expenses.
In early 2005, Mott MacDonald was jointly commissioned by Defra and the Greater London Authority to undertake a report on “Opportunities for efficiency gains in waste management services; London Pilot Study”. Defra contributed a total of £190,556.45 excluding VAT plus expenses.
The waste infrastructure development programme (WIDP) was announced in May 2006 and will work nationally with local authorities and the regions to accelerate the building of new waste diversion infrastructure. The Mayor of London and the Government will work together closely on the London component of the programme.
The WIDP is not an additional allocation of funding to a region, but an opportunity to provide extra specialist support to London authorities. The purpose of the WIDP is to ensure that where major infrastructure is required, additional expertise will be targeted at key points in the planning and procurement process, including operational reviews, to help authorities deliver that infrastructure. This will be a welcome additional resource nationally, where specialist skills are often lacking in this sector, as identified in the recent Second Kelly Market Review. The WIDP will dedicate a senior and experienced member of its team to develop and expedite projects in London, with specialist support available from the national team when required.
The Government announced, on 13 July, a package of measures on waste that will help London improve its performance without change to current structures.
A number of broad proposals on the future powers and responsibilities of the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority (GLA) were put forward in the public consultation carried out by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) between November 2005 and February 2006. These included an option where the current structure for waste management would remain the same. Consultees were also asked whether there were any additional powers that could be given to the GLA that would enable the current structure to work better.
A summary of consultation responses is available from the DCLG's website at http://www.communities. gov.uk/index.asp?id=1501733.
[holding answer 12 October 2006]: The package of measures set out by the Government provides the Mayor with increased powers and responsibility to deliver his municipal waste management strategy and spatial development strategy for London. The Mayor sets out policies relating to new technologies and renewable energy, which may include hydrogen production, in his municipal waste management strategy. The enhancement of his powers to require waste authorities to deliver services in general conformity with his strategy, along with his existing power of direction, will help ensure the strategic vision the Mayor sets out for London is delivered on the ground.
The waste and recycling forum announced as part of the package will be led by the Mayor to co-ordinate activity across different sectors and address the key strategic issues facing London. The waste and recycling fund is associated with this and should be used to link waste with other London priorities such as transport and climate change. The Mayor leads on the London Hydrogen Partnership, which has just released a report on hydrogen as the bus fuel of the future, where he is working to introduce 70 hydrogen vehicles. I will be interested to see how he takes this forward and links it with waste.
In addition, there will be a dedicated London element to the waste infrastructure development programme (WIDP), which was announced in May 2006, providing a strong role for the Mayor in working with local authorities and the regions to accelerate the building of new waste diversion infrastructure. These revised arrangements should enable the Mayor, boroughs and central Government together to consider more strategically the role of new technologies for treating London's waste, including the scope for hydrogen generation.
[holding answer 12 October 2006]: The relevant reports by KPMG have been published on the Defra website at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/waste/localauth/.
The Government intend to publish shortly the SLR report on the analysis of responses concerning waste to the consultation on “The Greater London Authority: The Government's proposals for additional powers and responsibilities for the Mayor and Assembly”. This report will also be made available on the Defra website.
The Mott MacDonald report, jointly commissioned by Defra and the Greater London Authority (GLA), “Opportunities for efficiency gains in waste management services; London Pilot Study”, has been published on the GLA's website: http://www.london. gov.uk/mayor/environment/waste/lswa/index.isp
[holding answer 12 October 2006]: The Government do not have a formal role in commenting on the panel report, but we welcome its publication and have noted its conclusions. We await the Mayor's revised policies in his “Intend to Publish” version of the plan.
The Government published a summary of responses to their consultation on proposals for additional powers for the Greater London Authority on 13 July. A copy was placed in the Library of the House. That document gives details of the organisations and individuals who responded to the consultation exercise. The summary of consultation responses is also available on the Department for Communities and Local Government's website at the following address: http://www.communities.gov.uk/glapowers.
SLR were appointed to undertake an analysis of responses concerning waste to the consultation on “The Greater London Authority: The Government's proposals for additional powers and responsibilities for the Mayor and Assembly”. The SLR report provides a breakdown on the requested categories and will be published on the Defra website by 20 October.
It is estimated that London currently deals with approximately 60 per cent. of all its waste within its own administrative boundaries.
The Mayor has set a target for London to manage 85 per cent. of its total waste within its administrative boundaries by 2020 (80 per cent. for municipal solid waste).
Data on local authority household waste recycling and composting performance in 2005-06 should be available later this year.
Analysis based on un-audited data estimates that, in 2005-06, local authorities in England recycled and composted about 27 per cent. of household waste, thus provisionally exceeding our public service agreement target of 25 per cent.
The London-wide waste and recycling forum, which was announced in “The Government's Final Proposals for Additional Powers and Responsibilities for the Mayor and Assembly”, will bring together key interested parties, including London waste authorities, to improve waste minimisation and recycling. The waste and recycling fund is associated with this and should be used to link waste with other London priorities such as transport and climate change.
The London-wide waste and recycling forum, announced in “The Government’s Final Proposals for Additional Powers and Responsibilities for the Mayor and Assembly”, will bring together key interested parties, including London waste authorities, to improve waste minimisation and recycling, promote collaborative action and link waste with other London priorities around climate change, transport and employment.
In addition, there will be a dedicated London element to the waste infrastructure development programme (WIDP), announced in May 2006, providing a strong role for the Mayor in working with local authorities to accelerate the building of new waste diversion infrastructure, allowing London to manage more of its waste within the city.
The Mayor has also gained increased powers and responsibility to deliver his municipal waste management strategy and spatial development strategy for London. In his waste strategy, the Mayor sets out a number of policies and proposals relating to the transportation of waste, including the use of rivers and canals, which form part of the blue ribbon network. The enhancement of his powers to require waste authorities to deliver services in general conformity with his strategy, along with his existing power of direction, will help ensure the strategic vision the Mayor sets out for London is delivered on the ground.
Further information is available on the Department for Communities and Local Government’s website at http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1500896
(2) when his Department will publish the findings of the waste strategy review;
(3) when the waste strategy review will be published.
On 2 August this year, Defra published a summary of the responses to the consultation on the review of England's waste strategy. The summary can be viewed at the following website address: http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/consult/wastestratreview/index.htm
We are carefully considering all responses to the consultation while developing our policies for the revised strategy. We intend to publish the revised waste strategy for England in the new year.
The new technologies workstream of Defra's waste implementation programme focuses on the biodegradable element of municipal waste in England. It aims to overcome the barriers to the successful development and take-up of proven and near-market waste technologies by providing a comprehensive package of support to local authorities and other interested parties. This is being done through the following programmes:
(i) the Supporter Programme provides impartial information, advice and training to local authorities, including those in London, on a variety of aspects related to new and emerging waste management technologies;
(ii) the Education and Training Programme provides opportunities for those working in the waste industry to gain formal qualifications in sustainable waste management and new waste management technologies;
(iii) the Technology Research and Innovation Fund provides funding for Research and Development projects into innovative new technologies which will help England's obligations to reduce the amount of BMW going to landfill; and
(iv) the Demonstrator Programme provides £30 million of assistance to establish new waste treatment technology demonstration projects.
The waste and recycling forum was announced on 13 July as part of the package of measures which provides the Mayor with increased powers and responsibility to deliver his municipal waste management strategy and spatial development strategy for London. It will be led by the Mayor to co-ordinate activity across different sectors and address the key strategic issues facing London. The waste and recycling fund is associated with this and should be used to link waste with other London priorities such as transport and climate change. This is likely to include looking at the role of renewable energy and new technologies in treating London's waste.
On 13 July this year, the Government announced the outcome of their review of the powers and responsibilities of the Mayor of London and the Greater London Authority. As part of this, the Government announced a package of measures which provides the Mayor with increased powers and responsibility to deliver his municipal waste management strategy and spatial development strategy for London. The enhancement of his powers to require waste authorities to deliver services in general conformity with his strategy, along with his existing power of direction, will help ensure the strategic vision the Mayor sets out for London is delivered on the ground.
As part of the proposals, the Mayor will lead a London-wide waste and recycling forum to co-ordinate activity across different sectors and address the key strategic issues facing London. The waste and recycling fund is associated with this and should be used to link waste with other London priorities such as economic development, transport and climate change. Other improvements, such as providing stronger powers for the Mayor to determine strategic waste planning applications and the London component of the waste infrastructure development programme, will also help establish facilities and infrastructure necessary to co-ordinate the management of municipal and other waste streams within London.
The Mayor is producing a wider waste strategy for London that will be looking at non-municipal waste streams and I look forward to seeing this when it is released for consultation.
In April 2006, internal changes within DEFRA resulted in the work of the global wildlife division being divided between two new divisions: the wildlife habitats and biodiversity division and the wildlife species conservation division. These divisions hold numerous databases and share information with several different organisations as requested. All such requests meet our obligations under the Data Protection Act 1998.
A27 Cophall Roundabout
The information is as follows:
(a) A traffic impact assessment of the effect of the service area on the Cophall roundabout was carried out by the developer prior to planning consent being given. At that stage the roundabout had not been completed, surveys of actual traffic flows could not be carried out. The impact assessment relied on forecast traffic flows.
(b) The Highways Agency is currently undertaking a traffic count to collect ‘live’ traffic data in order to update and verify the impact assessment.
After the traffic lights were switched on in May 2006 a validation of the system was carried out and this identified a problem of a malfunctioning chip. The lights were switched off and the chip was replaced. It was decided not to switch the traffic lights back on until further traffic survey work is completed.
Once the further traffic count is complete, the Highways Agency needs to evaluate the findings and design any changes that are considered necessary. We expect this to be before December 2006. The traffic lights will only be switched back on if the new traffic survey data indicates a need for them at this stage.
A630 Sheffield (Subsidence)
Sections of the A630 Sheffield Parkway and A57 Mosborough Parkway have been affected by expansion of the material used to construct the sub-base layers of the road. This has produced surface deformation and characteristics not dissimilar to those caused by subsidence.
The Department has provided an additional £4.3 million to Sheffield city council for remedial work on both sections of road. Works on the A57 Mosborough Parkway are complete and works on the A630 Sheffield Parkway are due to start in the summer of 2007. The works involve removing the affected material and a total reconstruction of the carriageway, which will of course include resurfacing.
Transport Ministers have in recent weeks discussed aviation security issues, not confined to the question of inbound flights, with several of their European counterparts. These issues were also on the agenda of the Transport Council on 12 October, at which the Minister of State for Department for Transport represented the UK.
The boatmasters’ licence will become the national statutory qualification required for the operation of domestic commercial vessels in all inland waters and on limited coastal operations. Anyone holding a relevant BML will not ‘also’ be required to hold a locally issued licence for the same purpose.
The new regulations will therefore make the Watermans’ Acts obsolete, and we are discussing with the Gosport and Portsmouth Joint Board the revocation of those Acts.
Chevron markings were trialled on the M1 motorway in the early 1990s. A 15 per cent. reduction in the number of drivers following too close to the vehicle in front was observed in the lanes that were marked. Improvements in close-following were also observed in the unmarked, outside lane. Following the trial, advice and guidance about the use of chevron markings was published. Monitoring is continuing but no further assessment has been made of the effect of chevron markings on driving standards.
Local authorities already have the discretion to vary their concessionary fare schemes to include other modes. Some authorities choose to include dial-a-ride services in their local schemes, such decisions being based on their judgment of local need and their overall financial priorities.
European New Car Assessment Programme
In 2005 I spoke at the 10 year Anniversary Conference that celebrated the contribution Euro NCAP had made to improving the safety of new passenger cars. The conference also identified the continuing challenges for road safety and the role of the automotive industry in delivering new safety technologies.
Officials from the Department attend the Euro NCAP management meetings that take place three times each year in addition to routine technical level discussion on an ad-hoc basis.
The United Kingdom contributed £214,533 to Euro NCAP in 2004-05 and £130,430 in 2005-06. We anticipate a similar contribution as made in 2005-06 for this financial year.
These figures are broken down in the following table:
2004-05 2005-06 Euro NCAP Membership and Administration Fees 40,898 36,722 Euro NCAP Car Purchases 11,991 40,360 Euro NCAP Test Fees 161,644 53,348
Euro NCAP Membership and Administration Fees
Euro NCAP Car Purchases
Euro NCAP Test Fees
The Department has not conducted its own testing on the effectiveness of fuel additives. However, there is a substantial amount of evidence demonstrating the benefits of detergent additives. These reduce build-up of deposits within the fuel system, fuel injectors and cylinders and are effective at reducing deterioration in fuel economy over time. A 1995 automotive and fuel industry review suggested that use of detergent additives delivered fuel economy benefits of around 2 per cent. for diesel vehicles and 4 per cent. for petrol vehicles.
Practically all UK road fuel contains detergents, with some companies offering speciality fuels with particularly high doses of detergent additives marketed on their engine protection, power and fuel economy benefits.
Fewer data are available on other types of fuel additives.
Horse-drawn Public Transport
Horse-drawn omnibuses and horse-drawn hackney carriages are licensed by local authorities (district or borough councils or unitary authorities). Any byelaws made by local licensing authorities to regulate horse-drawn omnibuses or hackney carriages must be confirmed by the Secretary of State before they can come into force. It is for local authorities to enforce any byelaws which they make.
M18 (Pipe and Cable Laying)
Works to lay pipes alongside the northbound carriageway of the M18 motorway between junctions 3 and 4, is being carried out outside of the Highways Agency boundary by Yorkshire Water for the expansion of Nutwell waste water treatment plant.
There are no current proposals to widen the M18 motorway, however the position of the pipes, approximately 15 metres from the boundary, would not have an adverse impact should there be any future widening schemes.
The Highways Agency has no plans to carry out major resurfacing works on the M62 between junctions 35 and 34 in the near future. The following minor resurfacing works, to maintain the section in a safe condition, will be undertaken during November 2006:
Patching work to the westbound carriageway near Whitley Bridge requiring a lane 1, 2 and 3 closure with hard shoulder running. Work commencing 20 November.
Patching work to the westbound carriageway at Wynn Railway Bridge near Junction 35 Langham Interchange requiring a lane 1, 2 and 3 closure with hard shoulder running. Work commencing 6 November.
A 400-metre stretch of resurfacing in Lane 1 westbound, west of Junction 35 Langham Interchange requiring lane 1 and 2 closure. Work commencing 6 November.
All works will be carried out overnight between 8pm and 6am.
No assessment has been made of the effectiveness or cost of using titanium dioxide to reduce pollution in cities. We are watching with interest the trials of the technology, such as that under way in the City of Westminster. Minimising the impact of transport on the environment is a priority, and we will consider in what ways it would be appropriate to encourage local authorities to take up this technology when the overall costs and benefits are clear. In particular, we will want to ensure that the environmental costs of concrete manufacture do not nullify any prospective gains.
Statistics on passenger rail journeys are published by the Office of Rail Regulation in National Rail Trends. The 2005-06 yearbook edition covers passenger journeys on each train operator, including Virgin West Coast, but figures are not available for the whole of the west coast main line.
Statistics relating to the amount of rail freight moved in the years from 1986 to 2004 are published in the Transport Statistics Great Britain document which is available on the Department for Transport’s website (www.dft.gov.uk). The equivalent information for 2005 is available in the rail trends document that the Office of Rail Regulation publishes on its website: www.rail-reg.gov.uk. Copies of both documents are held in the House Library.
This is an operational matter for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Gentleman should contact Network Rail’s chief executive at the following address for a response to his question.
40 Melton Street
London NW1 2EE
Details of historic Government and private expenditure on rail are contained in National Rail Trends (NRT) copies of which are in the Library of the House. NRT is also available on the Office of Rail Regulation’s website at http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.129
Statistics on passenger rail journeys are published by the Office of Rail Regulation in National Rail Trends. Longer time series are available in the Department’s publication Transport Statistics Great Britain. Both publications are available in the House Library.
Details of historical Government expenditure on rail are contained in National Rail Trends (NRT) copies of which are in the Library of the House. NRT is also available on the Office of Rail Regulation's website at http://www.rail-reg.gov.uk/server/show/nav.129
The Secretary of State has responsibility for motorways and trunk roads in England only. I refer the hon. Member to my answers of 19 December 2005, Official Report, column 2321W and 27 June 2005, Official Report, columns 1263-66W, for the information between 1997 and 2005. The total length of schemes completed on the trunk road network in England between 19 December 2005 and 12 October 2006 was 29.6 miles.
Information for other roads is not available, except at a disproportionate cost.
No action has been taken on “rural proofing” the policy on reducing noise problems from the strategic road network. Where severe noise problems have been identified at locations alongside the existing network, resources have been targeted at addressing those locations where the noise levels are greatest and where greatest number of people would benefit from measures taken.
Safety Camera Partnerships
Safety camera partnerships, as part of their annual operational case, inform the Department of plans they have for communications, which includes, education, training and publicity. Three safety camera partnerships are involved in pre-driver programmes, which are compliant with the netting off rules and guidance. These are:
£ Warwickshire 62,700 North Wales 4,500 Nottinghamshire 20,000
Many if not all safety camera partnerships are involved in pre-driver training/education in an ad hoc way working with their partners, such as road safety officers within local authorities and the police as part of their communications strategy. The Department does not hold detailed information on this.
Safety camera partnerships are not a legal entity, but complement existing local authority and police statutory responsibilities and powers in respect of road safety. Communications activity is an important part of the safety camera programme and in order to help bring about a change in driver behaviour, Partnerships are encouraged to work with local agencies involved in road safety and to support wider road safety activities including driver education programmes. However, under the netting-off funding arrangements the Handbook of Rules and Guidance for the National Safety Camera Programme for England and Wales for 2006-07 permits only those costs directly linked to speed, red light running and/or safety camera enforcement to be reclaimed.
The Department has received no response from the police to its new guidance on setting local speed limits.
As explained in the Department's decision letter following public consultation, published in conjunction with the guidance, the Association of Chief Police Officers was represented on a stakeholder group which assisted the Department in compiling the new guidance. A summary of the police responses to the public consultation draft of the guidance is provided in section 8 of the Department’s decision letter.
Sussex Coastal Services
The DfT published a consultation document on 29 September 2006 which set out four options for implementation of the Brighton main line route utilisation strategy [RUS]. The principal focus of the RUS is on delivery of increased capacity to relieve crowding on peak London commuting services and improved operational performance. However, all the options are also expected to deliver an improvement in journey times between Sussex coast stations and London termini due to the provision of separate services to and from the east and west coastway routes in place of the present combined services. Elimination of the time penalty when trains split or join at Haywards Heath is expected to reduce the overall journey time of these trains by between three and seven minutes, though this is subject to confirmation as the details of the new timetable are developed.
The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) operate a fleet of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras which are an integral part of the agency’s commitment to the reduction of vehicle excise duty (VED) evasion. These mobile systems can be used night or day to target potential unlicensed evaders. They are used in conjunction in combined operations with the police, and other agencies. Such operations can also contribute to road safety as many unlicensed vehicles have mechanical defects, which are identified, and the appropriate action taken against the driver.
The DVLA ANPR units also operate independently throughout the country and will continue to be used as a high visibility deterrent against unlicensed offenders for the foreseeable future.
In addition and of increasing benefit is the initiative to enforce VED collection through a data match of vehicles on our record with the record of VED paid. This “enforcement from the record” is backed up by penalty notices and wheel clamping and has made a significant contribution to our success in reducing evasion of VED to 3.6 per cent. by 2005.
The DVLA also undertake with their partners NCR wide ranging wheelclamping operations targeting unlicensed vehicles. DVLA have enforcement field officers based around the country who also target unlicensed vehicles.
Deputy Prime Minister
Education and Skills
(2) which schools in (a) Hull local education authority and (b) East Riding of Yorkshire local education authority have received funding for capital projects in each year since 1997; how much was allocated, and for what purpose, in each case; and if he will make a statement.
This information is not held centrally in the form requested. Much of the Department’s capital resources have been allocated to schools and local authorities by needs related formulae, so that investment decisions could be taken locally in accordance with locally prepared asset management plans. Capital allocations since 1997 for these local authorities and their schools are set out as follows:
Kingston-upon-Hull1 East Riding of Yorkshire1 1996-97 0.9 0.5 1997-98 25.4 1.3 1998-99 2.6 5.2 1999-2000 6.3 337.0 2000-01 9.5 16.2 2001-02 14.4 11.2 2002-03 13.6 16.2 2003-04 10.7 20.4 2004-05 10.9 21.6 2005-06 8.4 17.0 2006-07 6.5 26.3 2007-08 6.7 14.8 1 Annual fluctuations are largely due to some programmes, such as the Private Finance Initiative and the Targeted Capital Fund, recording the value of projects in the year the project began, while actual payments are phased over a longer period. 2 Includes PFI project of £3.9 million in 1997-98. 3 Includes PFI project of £26 million in 1999-2000.
East Riding of Yorkshire1
1 Annual fluctuations are largely due to some programmes, such as the Private Finance Initiative and the Targeted Capital Fund, recording the value of projects in the year the project began, while actual payments are phased over a longer period.
2 Includes PFI project of £3.9 million in 1997-98.
3 Includes PFI project of £26 million in 1999-2000.
In addition to the above investment, Kingston-upon-Hull local authority joined the Building Schools for the Future programme in wave two. East Riding of Yorkshire is currently due to join the programme in one of the waves seven, eight or nine. Building Schools for the Future aims to renew or remodel all secondary school provision over the lifetime of the programme. The programme is expected to have 15 waves, with wave one starting in 2005-06.
Academies are established with the involvement of sponsors from the voluntary, private or faith sectors. Sponsors must be able to show a commitment to providing the highest standard of education for all pupils and to provide £2 million towards the cost of each academy, or £1.5 million where they have sponsored three previous academies.
Independent consultants carry out a thorough due diligence check on all potential sponsors during the pre-feasibility stage, and Ministers apply a public interest test to sponsors on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the funding is from an appropriate source. We give preference to British or foreign sponsors with business interests in the UK; who are long standing UK residents; or who have businesses interests in jurisdictions with effective and open business governance where it is easier to assess risk against the guidance.
Sponsorship is purely philanthropic. Sponsors cannot make a profit and the schools cannot charge fees. Sponsors, like all academy trustees, are bound by charitable law to act in the best interests of their academies. Parents are consulted about academy projects and potential sponsors during feasibility.
Community Libraries (Buckinghamshire)
I have been asked to reply.
The community libraries programme was launched on 9 October 2006 and the family learning programme was launched on 19 September 2006. Both programmes are available throughout England.
Community Libraries is open to all local authority library services through a competitive application process.
Family learning grants will be awarded through a competitive application process which is open to statutory, voluntary and private sector organisations (statutory and private sector applicants must apply in partnership with a voluntary sector organisation).
The Big Lottery Fund expect to be in a position to make the first grant awards under the family learning programme in the first half of 2007 and under the community libraries programme in the second half of 2007.
Work began on the Curriculum Online website in May 2002. The site received its first hit in December 2002 when it was previewed by a controlled group of 50,000 users (teachers and suppliers) and was officially launched by my right hon. Friend the Member for Norwich, South (Mr. Charles Clarke) at the BETT show on January 9 2003.
Over 100 individual contracts have been awarded over the last four years to support all the different aspects of Curriculum Online such as website design, infrastructure, portal development, hosting and distribution, eLearning Credits payment system, metadata schema, tagging tool, vocabularies, application support, technical standards, helpdesks, evaluation, user testing, consultancy support, registration and compliance, legal services, marketing and communications, copywriting/pr/web, design/creative, print/production, advertising, sponsorship/promotion, display materials, promotional video, exhibitions/events and so on.
Due to the scope of the request, we are unable to reply on the grounds of costs. We estimate that the cost of processing the request exceeds the disproportionate cost threshold (DCT) of £700.
The following table gives a detailed breakdown of both set up and running costs for Curriculum Online and eLearning Credits (eLCs) from 2002 to the present.
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 eLCs 30 100 100 100 1100 Set up costs 5 over two years2 n/a n/a n/a Running costs n/a n/a 2.5 32.85 1.7 1 Of which £75 million ring fenced. 2 Includes running costs. 3 Includes £350,000 for independent product evaluations
Set up costs
5 over two years2
1 Of which £75 million ring fenced.
2 Includes running costs.
3 Includes £350,000 for independent product evaluations
Emotional and Behavioural Disorders
(2) what measures are in place to ensure children with emotional and behavioural disorders are taught in an environment suitable for their condition.
DfES guidance relating to children with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties (BESD) is directed to both local authorities and head teachers. This includes the SEN Code of Practice (2001), and Promoting Children's Mental Health within Early Years and School Settings (2001). With the Department's BESD Working Group, which includes head teachers, leaders of pupil referral units, educational psychologists, representatives from CAMHS and key voluntary and professional organisations, we are currently considering further, targeted guidance for schools.
In addition to guidance, specialist training materials and opportunities for accreditation have been made available for some 500 staff across the country who have particular responsibilities for BESD.
Our guidance on exclusion from school also makes it clear that schools must do their best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for pupils with special educational needs and that, other than in the most exceptional circumstances, schools should avoid permanently excluding pupils with statements. We will be revising our guidance on school behaviour policies to strengthen advice on making reasonable adjustments for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities.
On suitable environments for children with BESD, the SEN Code of Practice requires all local authorities to provide appropriate settings, either through mainstream schools, BESD special schools, or PRUs, with a flexible continuum of provision to meet the particular needs of children with BESD. Where a child has complex needs the statutory framework makes clear the need for children to be assessed individually and for authorities to take into consideration the views of parents.
Further details on the Government's programme for BESD will shortly be announced in our response to the House of Commons Education and Skills Committee SEN Third Report of Session 2005-06.
(2) how many places in each local education authority area were available for children with emotional and behaviour disorders in England in the last period for which figures are available.
Information on the number of places available for children with behaviour, emotional and social difficulties is not collected centrally.
Information was collected from schools on pupils who are supported at School Action Plus and those pupils with a statement of special educational needs (SEN) about their main or primary need and, if appropriate, their secondary need for the first time in 2004.
There are a number of sensitivities about categorising pupils in this way. It is important that anyone using the data should be aware of the concerns and also understand the limitations of the data’s reliability and validity. There are a range of factors which may affect the data recorded, including:
Local interpretation of definitions
Classification of children with multiple needs
Differences in diagnoses between education and health professionals
Availability of special school provisions in Authorities
A table showing information on the number of pupils being taught in a maintained mainstream school who have statements of special educational needs or are supported at School Action Plus and who have behaviour, emotional and social difficulties as their primary need has been placed in the House Library.
At 30 September 2005 there were 44,700 children who had been looked after continuously for at least 20 months by English local authorities. 34,800 of these children were of school age and of these 310 (or 1 per cent.) received a permanent exclusion.
Information on the number of these children who become prostitutes or go into prison is not collected centrally.
The available information is given in the table.
Maintained secondary schools, pupils of black ethnic origin 2, 3 Permanent exclusions1 Fixed period exclusions Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total 2000-01 490 150 640 ” ” ” 2001-024 370 140 510 ” ” ” 2002-034 370 110 470 ” ” ” 2003-044 430 120 550 9,780 4,140 13,920 2004-054 390 110 490 11,380 4,530 15,920 1 The number of permanent exclusions are known to have been under-reported by schools in each year since 2000-01. The numbers shown here for permanent exclusions are as reported by schools. The data are unconfirmed and known to be incomplete. 2 Includes pupils aged 5 and over. 3 Includes pupils of Black Caribbean, Black African and Black Other ethnic origin. 4 A new ethnic coding framework was introduced in the 2002 and 2003 Census'. The new ethnic coding frameworks included a new category for pupils of Mixed ethnic origin. In 2001-02 and 2002-03 both the old and the new ethnic codesets were used. This could have caused some disruption to timeseries data. .. Not available, 2003-04 is the first full year for which fixed period exclusions data are available Note: Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. There may be discrepancies between the sum of constituent items and totals as shown. Source: Schools’ Census and Termly Exclusions Survey
Maintained secondary schools, pupils of black ethnic origin 2, 3
Fixed period exclusions
1 The number of permanent exclusions are known to have been under-reported by schools in each year since 2000-01. The numbers shown here for permanent exclusions are as reported by schools. The data are unconfirmed and known to be incomplete.
2 Includes pupils aged 5 and over.
3 Includes pupils of Black Caribbean, Black African and Black Other ethnic origin.
4 A new ethnic coding framework was introduced in the 2002 and 2003 Census'. The new ethnic coding frameworks included a new category for pupils of Mixed ethnic origin. In 2001-02 and 2002-03 both the old and the new ethnic codesets were used. This could have caused some disruption to timeseries data.
.. Not available, 2003-04 is the first full year for which fixed period exclusions data are available Note: Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. There may be discrepancies between the sum of constituent items and totals as shown.
Source: Schools’ Census and Termly Exclusions Survey
Information on the number of foreign pupils in schools is not collected centrally.
A table showing the number of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English follows.
Pupils of compulsory school age and above2, 3 Primary schools Secondary schools Number of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English Percentage of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English4 Number of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English Percentage of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English4 England5 419,600 12.5 314,950 9.5 London5 189,890 39.1 141,780 33.5 Inner London5 90,780 52.3 60,540 47.4 202 Camden 5,039 57.8 4,120 41.4 201 City of London 117 65.4 n/a n/a 204 Hackney 7,282 53.7 3,359 48.1 205 Hammersmith and Fulham 3,188 44.0 2,529 36.9 309 Haringey 8,910 53.5 5,349 45.9 206 Islington 4,527 41.0 3,645 45.2 207 Kensington and Chelsea 2,830 51.7 1,512 43.0 208 Lambeth 7,052 46.5 3,174 39.4 209 Lewisham 4,985 29.6 2,737 24.9 316 Newham 16,346 71.0 11,488 62.9 210 Southwark 6,927 39.6 4,637 45.3 211 Tower Hamlets 12,627 75.5 9,461 65.9 212 Wandsworth 5,119 39.1 3,779 36.2 213 Westminster 5,835 69.3 4,751 56.6 Outer London5 99,100 31.8 81,240 27.5 301 Barking and Dagenham 3,366 24.0 2,358 18.7 302 Barnet 8,001 39.2 6,621 33.9 303 Bexley 1,385 8.4 1,491 8.1 304 Brent 10,441 58.2 9,019 54.9 305 Bromley 1,187 5.9 1,129 5.0 306 Croydon 5,320 22.6 3,414 18.3 307 Ealing 10,551 53.6 7,367 48.5 308 Enfield 8,538 39.5 7,783 35.1 203 Greenwich 4,819 30.1 3,777 26.0 310 Harrow 7,675 47.3 4,019 44.5 311 Havering 814 5.0 623 3.8 312 Hillingdon 5,264 28.8 4,319 25.3 313 Hounslow 7,058 49.1 8,587 51.8 314 Kingston upon Thames 2,111 23.4 1,935 20.2 315 Merton 3,290 30.4 2,053 23.9 317 Redbridge 9,409 50.5 9,196 44.5 318 Richmond upon Thames 1,579 15.3 976 13.6 319 Sutton 1,323 11.4 1,736 10.7 320 Waltham Forest 6,972 42.4 4,832 34.3 Ruislip-Northwood parliamentary constituency 789 13.9 693 12.5 n/a = not applicable–no schools of this type. 1 Includes middle schools as deemed. 2 Pupils aged 5 and over are classified according to whether their first language is known or believed to be English or other than English. 3 Excludes dually registered pupils4. 4 The number of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English expressed as a percentage of all pupils aged five and over. 5 National and regional totals have been rounded to the nearest 10. Source: Schools’ Census
Pupils of compulsory school age and above2, 3
Number of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English
Percentage of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English4
Number of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English
Percentage of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English4
City of London
Hammersmith and Fulham
Kensington and Chelsea
Barking and Dagenham
Kingston upon Thames
Richmond upon Thames
Ruislip-Northwood parliamentary constituency
n/a = not applicable–no schools of this type.
1 Includes middle schools as deemed.
2 Pupils aged 5 and over are classified according to whether their first language is known or believed to be English or other than English.
3 Excludes dually registered pupils4.
4 The number of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English expressed as a percentage of all pupils aged five and over.
5 National and regional totals have been rounded to the nearest 10.
Free Nursery Places
The single substantive change to the delivery of the free early education entitlement made in the 2006 code of practice was the extension of the free entitlement from 33 to 38 weeks. We conducted a full public consultation on the 2006 code from June to October 2005, to which 585 responses were received, the majority from private providers who were generally content with the proposed extension to 38 weeks. A summary of responses is available at:
Additional funding of £82 million in financial years 2006-07 and 2007-08 has been made available to local authorities to deliver the additional weeks and a number of measures were included in the code of practice to aid the transition, to support parental choice and to reflect provider circumstances. These included: allowing that the 38 weeks provision could be delivered by a single provider or by providers in cooperation; indicating that where a parent decided explicitly that they wanted to take their provision with a provider offering only 33 weeks they could do so and the provider would be paid for that period; and recommending that the transition be phased over a year.
We are committed to increasing the number of pupils achieving grade C or above at GCSE level. Over 365,000 pupils are achieving grade C or above in English, and nearly 329,000 are doing so in mathematics. Compared to 1997, around 52,000 more pupils are now achieving five or more A*-C GCSEs including English and mathematics. For the first time, in 2008, local authorities and schools will be required to set targets for the proportion of pupils achieving five A*-C GCSEs, including English and mathematics.
Throughout all key stages we have made efforts to ensure that standards of attainment in English and mathematics continue to rise. We know from experience that children who achieve level 4 (the expected level for their age) or above in English and mathematics at the end of key stage 2 tests are more likely to achieve grade C or above in their English and mathematics GCSEs. The reforms we are pushing through at primary level, particularly the renewed primary framework for literacy and mathematics, will play an important part in helping children achieve more at GCSE.
The secondary national strategy is improving the quality of teaching and learning in the classroom by providing a comprehensive professional development programme for teachers, including training, materials and support from local consultants who are experts in their field. Support is also available to help teachers deliver effective tailored interventions for pupils who have fallen behind, particularly in English and mathem