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Written Answers

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 20 October 2006

House of Commons Commission

Roof Terrace

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will designate the Roof Terrace a drink-free area. (94577)

The Commission has not considered this and will await the assessment of remedial action required before the Terrace is re-opened.

Staff Salaries

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many employees of the House earned more than £59,000 in the last 12 months. [94574]

The House's payroll records show that, at the end of September 2006, 92 House of Commons employees had earned more than £59,000 over the previous 12 months. This includes overtime and allowances for evening work. The number of staff whose basic rate of salary exceeds £59,000 is 86.

Education and Skills

Draft Building Bulletin 100

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he will put into the public domain the responses to the public consultation on draft Building Bulletin 100, Designing and Managing Against Risk of Fire in Schools; if he will summarise the responses, indicating those which called for local authorities to be instructed either to install or evaluate the benefits of installing sprinkler systems in any new school buildings or within the plans for refurbishment of existing school buildings; when he will publish his response to the consultation; when he will publish the work commissioned by his Department from the Building Research Establishment on sprinklers in schools; and if he will make a statement. (95536)

There were 66 responses to the 12 questions asked in the public consultation on the draft of Building Bulletin 100 (BB 100) and a summary of these will be placed on the Department’s website early in November. 74 per cent. of respondents agreed with the proposal that sprinkler systems should be installed in a new school if the need for them was indicated by a risk assessment. However, 58 per cent. thought that there needed to be more guidance on sprinklers than was contained in the draft.

This finding reinforced the need for the cost benefit analysis study of sprinklers that we had already commissioned form the Building Research Establishment (BRE).

However, we have since asked BRE to carry our further work on developing a risk assessment tool. We also commissioned consultants to carry out a study to establish reliable figures for the costs of installing sprinklers in schools. Their survey covers a minimum of 20 primary and secondary schools, and is analysing both installation costs and maintenance costs.

Both these pieces of work commenced in July and should be complete by the end of October. Data from all of these studies, and substantive responses from the public consultation, will be incorporated into the final draft of BB 100. We expect to publish this early next year.

Higher Education Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the timetable is for the review of fees and capping in higher education; what the terms of reference of the review are; and if he will make a statement. (95609)

The then Secretary of State for Education and Skills my right hon. Friend, the Member for Norwich South, (Mr. Clarke) said in a written answer on 26 January 2004 that the independent review will look at all aspects of the new fee arrangements based on the first three years’ operation of the policy. Details of the timetable and arrangements for the Commission will be announced in due course.

The January 2004 statement proposed terms of the reference for the review which involved looking at three main areas. These are:

the impact of the new arrangements on higher education institutions;

the impact of the new arrangements on students and prospective students; and

recommendations on the future direction of the policy.

Physical Restraint

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) which local authorities have guidance policies on the use of physical restraint in accordance with circular 10/98; (95913)

(2) how many schools in each local authority have a policy on physical restraint;

(3) how many mainstream schools have received training in the use of physical restraint in each local authority according to (a) circular 10/98 and (b) DfES Guidance LEA/0242/2002, Guidance on the Use of Restrictive Physical Interventions for Staff Working with Children and Adults who Display Extreme Behaviour in Association with Learning Disability and/or Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Pupils (Language)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of each year of secondary school pupils have English as a second language in (a) Ruislip-Northwood constituency, (b) each London borough and (c) England. (92817)

Sports Coaching

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding is allocated through the Learning and Skills Council to support the training and accreditation of sports coaches with the UK Coaching Certificate Programme and the National Qualifications Framework; and if he will make a statement. (95500)

We have increased investment in further education by 48 per cent. in real terms between 1997 and 2005 and our investment in both young people and adults will increase by 7 per cent. in 2007-08 compared to 2006-07. Learning and Skills Council funding is not allocated to support specific qualifications although the qualifications being developed in line with the UK Coaching Certificate will be eligible for LSC funding once they are approved. ‘SkillsActive’ the Sector Skills Council (SSC) has conducted a thorough analysis of coaching needs, including for the 2012 Olympics, which will help develop their Sector Skills Agreement (SSA). My officials have arranged for this element of the SSA to be published in advance of the rest of the document, in order to enable the LSC to prioritise this area of funding at a national level. At the regional level SkillsActive are working closely with the LSC and Regional Skills Partnerships to identify these skills needs as priorities and support the use of funding by providers at local level.

Prime Minister

Political Memoirs

To ask the Prime Minister what advice and guidance is given to former senior civil servants who wish to challenge publicly the veracity of memoirs written by former Ministers with whom they served. (95477)

The requirements placed on former civil servants are set out in the Civil Service Code and the Civil Service Management Code.

To ask the Prime Minister pursuant to the answer of 12 October 2006, Official Report, column 862W, on political memoirs, whether amendments were sought to the manuscript of the Blunkett Tapes. (95690)

I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave my hon. Friend on 12 October 2006, Official Report, column 862W.

Transport

Airline Luggage Restrictions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many representations he has received from professional musicians, orchestras and bands who have lost engagements due to recent airline luggage restrictions; and what estimate he has made of lost revenue in such cases. (92977)

The Department has had a number of representations from musicians and musicians organisations concerning the carriage of musical instruments in the aircraft cabin following the enhanced security measures introduced in August. Several have referred to cancelled engagements, although specific details have not been given. No estimate is therefore possible.

Driving Licences

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of driving licence holders are under the age of 25 years. (95506)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many endorsements were issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to holders of foreign driving licences in each year from 2000 to 2006, broken down by the country of origin of the licence holder. (94918)

Flooding (Railways)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will take steps to insert a rock armoured toe at Dawlish Warren to reduce the impact of high water and flooding on the main Penzance to Paddington line. (95599)

This is an operational matter for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's chief executive at the address below for a response to his question.

John Armitt

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton Street

London NW1 2EE.

Melbourne Marine Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with (a) the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department and (b) the Scottish Executive Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department on the ship-to-ship oil transfer planning application by Melbourne Marine Service in the Firth of Forth. (95377)

The information is as follows.

(a) Shipping is a reserved matter. The Department is in frequent contact with the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department on a number of issues, including this one.

(b) The Department has had no such discussions with the Scottish Executive Enterprise Transport and Lifelong Learning Department.

Metropolitan Passenger Transport Authorities

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on his proposals to elect directly the six metropolitan passenger transport authorities. (94663)

MOT Computerisation Project

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) venue, (b) meal, (c) entertainment, (d) travel and subsistence and (e) other costs were of the launch celebrations of the MOT Computerisation project held on the SS Great Britain in Bristol; and from where the costs were provided. (94547)

The MOT Computerisation launch held at the SS Great Britain was hosted by Siemens Business Services. We do not, therefore, hold records in relation to the cost of the venue, meal, entertainment or other costs.

The travel and subsistence data held by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency indicate that claims of approximately £680.00 were submitted which mention the SS Great Britain event. These costs may not solely be attributed to the event, however, as staff may have needed travel or accommodation to attend other work related events at the time.

Rail Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received concerning the proposed franchises for rail services in Liverpool. (95498)

13 respondents to the New Cross Country franchise consultation mentioned Liverpool services in their replies out of a total of 302. Views expressed included support for improved Liverpool-Manchester services, improved links to Liverpool John Lennon Airport from Crewe and the re-instatement of Cross Country services to Liverpool.

34 respondents to the East Midlands franchise consultation mentioned Liverpool services in their replies out of a total of 1,305. Views expressed included support for the continued through operation of Liverpool-Norwich services, opposition to the continuation of these services from Liverpool beyond Nottingham and for services to call at Liverpool South Parkway station.

12 respondents to the West Midlands franchise consultation mentioned Liverpool services in their replies out of a total of 218. Views expressed included support for improved Birmingham-Liverpool services, calls in services at Liverpool South Parkway and support for the extension to Liverpool of the proposed hourly London-Crewe semi-fast services.

Road Asphalt Heat Generation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has assessed the effectiveness of projects utilising road asphalt heat generation. (95173)

The Highways Agency commissioned TRL to undertake a full scale trial of the feasibility of recovering solar heat from asphalt road surfaces in December 2004. A prototype system was installed on an access road adjacent to the M1 Motorway Services at Toddington and became operational at the end of August 2005.

A fluid-filled pipe array below the road surface recovers solar heat from the road surface in the summer and circulates it to an insulated heat store comprising a pipe array at shallow depth in the ground. This heat remains stored in the ground ready for its recovery in the winter to warm the road to prevent ice and snow formation.

Early indications showed that during last winter the road surface temperature was maintained above freezing on all but a few occasions. The findings during this coming winter, after a full summer of heat recovery, will enable the potential of the technique to be more rigorously assessed in terms of both performance and whole life costs.

Road Noise

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will instruct the Highways Agency to implement the installation of whisper-quiet surfacing adjacent to residential areas on the A47 trunk road in Peterborough constituency; and if he will make a statement. (95370)

It has been the Highways Agency’s policy since 1999 to use low-noise surfacing materials for new roads and for existing trunk roads requiring maintenance, to restore their surfaces to a safe condition. At present, the A47 in Peterborough does not need resurfacing. Regular inspections will identify if there is a need for resurfacing for safety reasons. Any carriageway found to be in need of replacement will be added to the programme of maintenance works and would receive low noise resurfacing as a matter of course.

Ministers have agreed that the resurfacing of roads ahead of maintenance need, for noise alleviation, would no longer be allocated funding. This is the position up to and including financial year 2007-08.

Road Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much central Government funding for road safety improvements has been allocated to (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk in each year since 1997. (95548)

The following tables show the funding allocated to the local authorities listed in the local transport capital settlements from 1997-98 to 2006-07. From 2000-01 to 2006-07 the figures shown are the total integrated transport block allocation. Typically about a quarter of this is spent on road safety schemes, but it is for local authorities to determine exactly how much in the light of local priorities for transport.

£000

Integrated transport block funding

Local authority area

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

Bedfordshire

450

396

400

2,400

3,900

Cambridgeshire

1,180

743

850

4,500

8,100

Essex

1,588

990

1,000

5,000

13,000

Hertfordshire1

1,042

909

1,000

5,000

12,500

Norfolk1

900

825

830

4,000

10,000

Suffolk

872

792

818

4,000

7,500

£000

Integrated transport block funding

Local authority area

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Bedfordshire

3,100

3,000

3,200

3,350

3,572

Cambridgeshire

8,050

9,300

11,814

8,200

8,662

Essex

13,000

13,966

14,250

13,800

13,327

Hertfordshire1

12,950

14,170

12,350

12,600

11,422

Norfolk1

10,550

11,119

13,213

9,700

11,073

Suffolk

8,150

8,250

7,745

7,350

7,578

1 Between financial years 2002-03 and 2006-07 Hertfordshire and Norfolk each also received a total of £1 million in specific road safety grants associated with the Mixed Priority Route Road Safety Demonstration Project. These allocations were awarded following a bidding competition.

Payments were also made to local authorities in respect of child pedestrian training schemes as part of the Kerbcraft child pedestrian training pilot project. All local authorities were invited to bid for schemes, which were awarded on the basis of high levels of deprivation and occurrence of child pedestrian casualties. Central Government funding for all these schemes has now ceased.

Kerbcraft funding

£

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Suffolk

6,566

26,913

23,429

21,356

Essex

6,738

29,998

27,788

25,476

Norfolk

1,504

21,727

25,703

18,830

Supply Chain Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the likely impact on British business of the proposed EU regulation on enhancing supply chain security. (93041)

These proposals are still under initial discussion by a presidency-chaired working group of member states. We are aware of UK industry concerns about the European Commission's cost benefit analysis and plan to conduct a full regulatory impact assessment to test its accuracy in the light of these discussions.

Thameslink

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to make a statement on (a) funding for and (b) the operational start date of Thameslink. (95493)

My hon. Friend the Minister of State for Transport, announced the decision to grant legal powers and planning consents to Network Rail in respect of the Thameslink Programme on the 18 October 2006.

Thameslink is an important scheme, and will offer real benefits in terms of increased capacity on busy commuter routes to the north and south of London. However, a funding decision cannot be considered in isolation and will be considered over the next few months in the light of the emerging conclusions of the cross-government Comprehensive Spending Review and the development of the new High Level Output Specification for Network Rail.

The timing of the implementation of the project will follow from the conclusion of a decision on project funding.

Transport Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of national income has been spent on public transport in each year since 1997. (92634)

Table 3.4 of Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses 2006 (Cm 6811) sets out total public expenditure on transport as a percentage of GDP for each year from 1987-88 to 2005-06; no separate identification is made of public transport spending. Table 3.6 of that publication provides a breakdown of total transport spending from 2000-01 to 2005-06 into various sub-functions, which include 'local public transport' and 'railways'.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) technical and (b) administrative staff posts the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) intends to cut as a result of the VOSA Testing Transformation Project, broken down by grade. (95444)

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) Testing Transformation Project will reduce the number of administrative posts by five. I refer my hon. Friend to my answer of 18 October 2006, Official Report, columns 1237-38W, with regard to the technical posts.

The specific grades are currently being analysed site by site.

Communities and Local Government

Business Rates

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 10 May 2006, Official Report, column 370W to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles), on business rates, how many (a) hotels, (b) hostels and (c) bed and breakfast establishments were on the 2005 Rating List for each local authority area in Wales. (94711)

I have been asked to reply.

The number of properties described as (a) hotels, (b) hostels and (c) bed and breakfasts, in the 2005 Rating List for Wales, for each local authority area, at April 2005, is shown in the following table.

Local authority

Hotels

Hostels

Guest and boarding houses (B and B)

Anglesey

21

12

24

Blaenau Gwent

?

3

4

Bridgend

16

3

17

Caerphilly

5

5

4

Cardiff

48

9

25

Carmarthenshire

19

12

60

Ceredigion

24

13

69

Conwy

143

49

166

Denbighshire

35

10

33

Flintshire

16

6

5

Gwynedd

88

118

93

Merthyr Tydfil

6

1

1

Monmouthshire

22

3

7

Neath Port Talbot

8

4

6

Newport

25

2

12

Pembrokeshire

86

18

143

Powys

52

42

50

Rhondda Cynon Taff

8

5

3

Swansea

23

16

49

Torfaen

2

?

2

Vale of Glamorgan

14

2

9

Wrexham

17

5

4

Land Use

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will (a) introduce a date by which all local authorities should be fully National Land Information Service-enabled and (b) ensure such a requirement follows the New Burdens principle. (94816)

There is no intention to introduce a date by which all local authorities should be fully National Land Information Service (NLIS) enabled, although progress is being monitored in line with the planned introduction of Home Information Packs on 1 June 2007. It should be noted that all local authorities in England and Wales can now process searches submitted through the NLIS network and 97 per cent. of them receive and return searches electronically. There are no new burden implications.

Planning

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 15 May 2006, Official Report, column 813W, on planning, if she will place in the Library a list of planning decisions approved and returned by the Secretary of State, and her predecessor, since June 2002 showing the name of the (a) applicant and (b) agent in each case. (91716)

Decision Letters, which provide details of the applicant (and agent where applicable), for planning cases that have been approved or refused by the Secretary of State, and her predecessor, from 1 April 2002 to 1 March 2006, can be found on the Department for Communities and Local Government website1. The details of cases from 1 March 2006 onwards are currently being uploaded onto that website, so information on these cases is being placed in the House Library.

1http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=l143333

Valuation Office Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many (a) hotels, (b) bed and breakfasts and (c) hostels are on Valuation Office Agency’s ratings list in each local authority in Wales in the most recent year for which figures are available. (94826)

I have been asked to reply.

The number of properties described as (a) hotels (b) bed and breakfasts and (c) hostels, in the 2005 Rating List for Wales, for each local authority area, at April 2006, is shown in the following table.

Local authority

Hotels

Hostels

Guest and boarding houses (B and B)

Anglesey

22

13

23

Blaenau Gwent

?

3

4

Bridgend

16

3

17

Caerphilly

3

5

4

Cardiff

50

10

26

Carmarthenshire

19

12

71

Ceredigion

28

13

86

Conwy

147

51

170

Denbighshire

36

10

35

Flintshire

17

6

6

Gwynedd

90

124

96

Merthyr Tydfil

6

1

1

Monmouthshire

22

3

9

Neath Port Talbot

8

4

8

Newport

25

3

13

Pembrokeshire

87

18

179

Powys

55

41

52

Rhondda Cynon Taff

8

5

3

Swansea

24

16

50

Torfaen

2

?

2

Vale of Glamorgan

16

3

9

Wrexham

18

5

4

Wheelie Bins

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has provided to local authorities on the use of microchips in wheelie bins. (94617)

I have been asked to reply.

The Government have not issued advice to local authorities concerning the use of microchips in wheelie bins. However, a report by The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a Defra-funded body, references technology associated with microchips in wheelie bins as an example of ways in which local authorities can measure the tonnage of household waste recycled. The report, entitled ‘Improving the Performance of Waste Diversion Schemes: A Good Practice Guide to Monitoring and Evaluation’, is available on the WRAP website at:

http://www.wrap.org.uk/document.rm?id=2646

Minister for Women

Redundancy

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what measures are in place to help women who have been made redundant to find alternative jobs. (95027)

Women who have been made redundant can, like men, benefit from the range of services provided by Jobcentre Plus, including access to jobs, help and support to find work. Advice is tailored to the individual needs of the people using the service.

Constitutional Affairs

Legal Aid

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many prisoners held at HMP Peterborough accessed legal aid in the 12 months to 30 September 2006; how much such aid has cost the public purse; and if she will make a statement. (95411)

The information is not available for the following reasons:

not all applicants give the prison’s postcode as their permanent address which would prevent identification in data extraction; and

it is also likely that many applicants will be represented by solicitors from outside the Peterborough area and identifying these cases would involve disproportionate costs.

Culture, Media and Sport

2012 Olympics

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) with which Muslim organisations she has had discussions in relation to accommodating the religious requirements of Muslims from abroad during the 2012 Olympics; and if she will make a statement; (94351)

(2) what discussions she has had with (a) the Mayor of London and (b) the London Development Agency on accommodating the religious requirements of Muslims from abroad during the 2012 Olympics; and if she will make a statement;

(3) what plans she has to accommodate the religious requirements of Muslims from abroad during the 2012 Olympics; and if she will make a statement.

The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, the Olympic Delivery Authority, the Mayor and his officials and my Department want to ensure that for the 2012 Games we understand the needs of all our communities including those of Muslim people, especially during Ramadan.

Throughout the bid, and in the 16 months since we won, much work has been done to understand both the requirements of faith communities, and their views of what would make a successful Games. This work continues. Specific discussions with the Muslim Council of Britain on Ramadan have taken place this year and discussions are ongoing. Dr. Bari, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain is a board member of the London 2012 Organising Committee. The Muslim Council of Britain supported the London bid for the Games.

We want to make sure we find the best possible solutions for athletes, volunteers, officials, workforce and spectators, and we will learn the lessons from other major sporting events held during Ramadan.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what criteria she applies to accepting sponsors of the Olympic Games in 2012; which companies are sponsoring the Games; who was responsible for selecting each company; and if she will make a statement. (95128)

The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has identified six categories from which domestic partners will be chosen–banking, insurance, utility services (electricity and natural gas), oil and gas, automotive, and telecommunications. LOCOG is in discussions with potential partners and it will shortly issue invitations for tender (ITTs) in the banking and insurance sectors, with other ITTs following in the coming months. LOCOG hopes to confirm its first sponsorship agreement in early 2007.

To host and stage the Games, LOCOG has a £2 billion budget, almost all of which has to be raised from private sector. Around a third of this will be through sponsorship. Sponsors are, therefore, a vital part of delivering a successful Games. LOCOG will also receive a proportion of revenue from the sponsors in the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) The Olympic Partner Programme (TOP), within the contribution it will receive from the IOC towards the London 2012 Games.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much McDonalds agreed to pay towards its sponsorship of the Olympic Games in 2012; what recent representations she has received on sponsorship by McDonalds; and if she will make a statement. (95129)

McDonalds is an official TOP (The Olympic Partners Programme) sponsor of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It has been an official sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1976 and has a longstanding commitment to the Olympic movement. In 2004, McDonalds confirmed its TOP sponsorship for the Games until 2012. As part of the IOC's contribution to the Games, LOCOG will receive a proportion of revenue from all of the IOC's TOP sponsors but we do not yet know the exact amount.

My Department has not received any recent representations from McDonalds regarding the sponsorship of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. My right hon. Friend the Minister for Sport recently met McDonalds to discuss their sponsorship of coaching.

IT Projects

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which information technology projects are being undertaken by (a) her Department and (b) its agencies; what the (i) start date, (ii) original planned completion date, (iii) expected completion date, (iv) originally planned costs and (v) estimated costs are of each; and if she will make a statement. (95866)

My Department is currently taking forward an Information Management Programme which began in April 2005 and is due to complete in April 2008. The original planned costs were £3 million and current expenditure is in line with the planned estimates.

Local and Regional Media

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps her Department is taking to encourage greater diversity of ownership of local and regional media, with particular reference to newspapers. (94292)

I have been asked to reply.

Decisions about ownership of local and regional media and newspapers are a commercial matter for relevant parties in the industry. However, where mergers take place within the media, the Secretary of State does have certain powers to intervene to examine public interest issues that may be raised by such concentrations. Full details of the media mergers regime may be found in the Communications Act 2003 sections 373 to 389 (chapter 2 of part 5 of the Act) which amended the Enterprise Act 2002 so as to introduce the new regime. The Communications Act 2003 is published on the OPSI website at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts2003/ukpga_20030021_en.pdf. The explanatory notes to the Communications Act 2003 may be found at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/en2003/ukpgaen_20030021_ en.pdf. Separately, the DTI has published guidance on the operation of the media mergers regime explaining how public interest interventions in media mergers would work in practice. The guidance may be found on the DTI website at http://www.dti.gov.uk/files/file14331.pdf.

Sport England

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what role was played by the Minister for Sport in the appointment of the new Chair of Sport England. (95501)

As with all major public appointments, I consult the relevant junior Minister. As part of the process to identify the new Sport England Chair, I asked the Minister for Sport for his views on the role specification, the shortlist of candidates for interview and the choice of two candidates recommended for appointment by the interview panel. Both the Minister for Sport and I were asked by officials for suggestions for suitable individuals who might be approached and encouraged to apply for the post of Sport England Chair. Derek Mapp’s name was suggested by Officials.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister made representations to her Department on the appointment of the new Chair of Sport England. (95502)

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister did not make any representations to my Department on the appointment of the new Chair of Sport England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 16 October 2006, Official Report, column 981W, on Sport England, whether the interview panel indicated a preference for either of the two candidates. (95604)

The OCPA Code states that apart from exceptional circumstances, Ministers will be offered a choice of candidates and at least two should be put forward for each vacancy. In keeping with this guidance, the interview panel for the Chair of Sport England recommended two candidates for consideration. The interview panel concluded that both were clearly appointable, but each offered very different skills and experience and the final decision would depend on which qualities Ministers felt were more important to the needs of Sport England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 16 October 2006, Official Report, column 981W, on Sport England, who was responsible for drawing together the interview panel assembled to appoint the new Chair of Sport England. (95605)

The interview panel was drawn together by officials in my Department in accordance with the guidance issued by the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments. There was no involvement by me or other Ministers in drawing up the interview panel.

Home Department

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many anti-social behaviour orders have been (a) applied for and (b) granted in Warrington since their introduction; and, by whom the application was made in each case. (95215)

[holding answer 19 October 2006]: Antisocial Behaviour Orders (ASBOs), introduced under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998, were made available to the courts from 1 April 1999. Since 1 June 2000, from copies of orders received, as reported to the Home Office by the Court Service, we are able to determine the local government authority (lga) area in which prohibitions have been imposed in orders. From 1 June 2000 to 30 September 2005 (latest available) one order was issued on application in the Warrington borough council lga, the main applicant being the Cheshire police, and no applications were refused. Following conviction for a criminal offence 23 ASBOs were issued in addition to the sentence. Such orders may be issued at the court's discretion, under its own motion, or at the request of the prosecutor.

Asylum Screening Pilots

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the findings are of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate pilot schemes at Dover port and Croydon including social work intake teams in the asylum screening process; and if he will make a statement. (94602)

Local staff at Dover have developed excellent working relationships with the local social services team based in Dover. The UASC (Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children) Project, launched in February 2003, is a joint initiative between Kent social services and IND. It ensures that all unaccompanied asylum seeking minors, and minors identified as being at risk, are dealt with sensitively and are quickly referred to social services.

The screening process in Croydon for unaccompanied minors, and minors identified as being at risk, incorporates an initial needs assessment undertaken by social services. Social services have the opportunity to arrange placements or young people at the earliest juncture in the process, and the outcome is that the needs of children are better safeguarded.

Bruche Site

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what action is being taken (a) to ensure the security of the Bruche site and (b) to minimise problems for local residents following the ending of police training on the site. (95214)

[holding answer 19 October 2006]: Since May 2006, when foundation training for police officers ceased to be delivered at Bruche, Centrex has worked to ensure that ongoing security arrangements are sufficient both to protect the site and to reassure local residents. These measures include a continuing 24-hour security presence and the maintenance of on-site and boundary lighting. Where local concerns have been raised, Centrex has swiftly addressed these with their security contractor to ensure that the site is properly secured and monitored.

Community Support Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many community support officers (a) were recruited by and (b) retired from service with North Wales police in each of the last three years. (93598)

The available data is given in the table as follows.

Police community support officer for North Wales police force (FTE)1 from 2003-04 to 2005-06

Year2

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

PCSO Joiners

0

8

1.5

PCSO Retirements

0

0

0

1 Full-time equivalent. This figure includes those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

2 Financial year runs 1 April to 31 March inclusive.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers there were in each police authority area in each year since their introduction; and what the projected numbers are for the next three years. (93672)

The available data is given in the table. Police Community Support Officers were introduced as part of the Police Reform Act 2002 so data is only available from 2003 onwards.

We have increased the funding to support the increase in numbers of Police Community Support Officers this year in order to reach 16,000 by April 2007. Thereafter we will discuss with the police service the sort of numbers and flexibilities they need for delivering and maintaining a comprehensive programme of neighbourhood policing. It is for chief constables to determine deployment.

Community support officer strength1 (FTE)2 by police force area as at 31 March 2003 to 31 March 2006

31 March

Police force

2003

2004

2005

2006

Avon and Somerset

0

45

139

130

Bedfordshire

0

12

40

41

Cambridgeshire

6

57

86

101

Cheshire

2

50

52

75

Cleveland

37

77

75

100

Cumbria

0

0

17

17

Derbyshire

0

0

43

42

Devon and Cornwall

19

51

74

74

Dorset

6

8

47

61

Durham

10

28

69

67

Essex

10

86

179

192

Gloucestershire

0

54

72

72

Greater Manchester

160

173

269

251

Hampshire

0

0

26

30

Hertfordshire

14

46

98

139

Humberside

0

0

20

20

Kent

0

59

105

97

Lancashire

77

110

161

184

Leicestershire

28

41

103

136

Lincolnshire

29

38

75

78

London, City Of

0

0

14

11

Merseyside

40

72

170

196

Metropolitan

513

1,463

2,147

2,315

Norfolk

12

33

68

65

Northamptonshire

12

10

37

40

Northumbria

0

51

126

129

North Yorkshire

0

52

75

71

Nottinghamshire

10

56

108

112

South Yorkshire

14

59

124

121

Staffordshire

0

7

63

70

Suffolk

0

15

34

30

Surrey

21

56

115

126

Sussex

22

83

228

257

Thames Valley

0

7

98

130

Warwickshire

11

25

56

64

West Mercia

8

57

81

85

West Midlands

0

39

219

252

West Yorkshire

70

265

394

462

Wiltshire

15

23

41

57

Dyfed Powys

0

5

25

26

Gwent

30

45

77

76

North Wales

0

0

59

58

South Wales

0

59

107

111

Total 43 forces

1,176

3,418

6,214

6,769

1 This table contains full-time equivalent figures that have been rounded to the nearest whole number. Because of rounding, there may be an apparent discrepancy between totals and the sums of the constituent items.

2 Full-time equivalent includes those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police community support officers were employed by each police authority in Wales in each of the last four years for which figures are available. (93954)

The available data is given in the following table.

Police community support officers in Welsh police forces (FTE)1 as at 31 March 2003 to 31 March 2006

31 March

Dyfed Powys

Gwent

North Wales

South Wales

2003

0

30

0

0

2004

5

45

0

59

2005

25

77

59

107

2006

26

76

58

111

1 Full-time equivalent. This figure includes those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

Crime (Milton Keynes)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps are being taken to reduce the number of cases of violence against the person in Milton Keynes. (91663)

Violent crime of all types is addressed in the Milton Keynes Community Safety Partnership’s (CSP) overall strategy for crime reduction, which is supported by a detailed Basic Command Unit Crime Reduction Plan. The CSP continues to target violent crime through enforcement, prevention, intelligence and communication.

The CSP and police have put considerable resources into dealing with violent crime.

The CSP runs an effective Joint Tasking and Co-ordinating Group that ensures a multi-agency approach to tackling a range of crime problems. It has a delivery group charged specifically with reducing violence, and has secured funding to reduce racial harassment. The local Racial Equality Council is delivering this work on the CSP’s behalf.

The police have a dedicated Public Protection Unit dealing with domestic violence, predatory offenders and serious child abuse. With probation and other partners, they also participate in a multi-agency public protection arrangement to monitor the most dangerous offenders. The most serious violent crimes are investigated by the CID in the Basic Command Unit, and a detective will attend and deal with any robbery offence reported.

Milton Keynes has a vibrant night-time economy, with large numbers of people attracted to the city by its entertainment and leisure facilities. There are a number of initiatives designed to make the city centre a safer place.

The police’s Operation Debus ensures that resources are deployed to provide a visible presence in hotspot areas and at the times when offences are most likely to occur. The police use Fixed Penalty Notices to intervene at an early stage and prevent escalation of violence. The police issued 378 Fixed Penalty Notices for Public Order Act offences between April 2006 and September 2006.

Operation Hangover brings together the resources of Milton Keynes’s Licensing and Trading Standards departments and the police to tackle the antisocial behaviour associated with excessive alcohol consumption. To support this both the council and the Thames Valley police have put a lot of effort into communication with license holders about their new responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003.

At a national level, the Home Office introduced the Respect Action Plan in January 2006 to reduce antisocial behaviour. The Violent Crime Bill is currently before Parliament. It contains measures to tackle binge-drinking and tackle the harm caused by weapons. Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, a new range of tougher sentences became available for offences committed after 5 April 2005: special ‘public protection’

sentences are available for those convicted of violent offences and assessed as dangerous.

Departmental Legal Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what policies and procedures are applicable to his Department's legal advisers (a) to ensure that work which is outside their expertise and experience is not undertaken by them and (b) for monitoring and assessing the performance of their work. (94421)

Home Office Legal Adviser's Branch advises the Home Office on legal issues arising in all aspects of its work. The Branch consists of some 50 lawyers organised into teams of varying sizes, each specialising in different areas of law and policy. In the course of their career in the Home Office, lawyers will usually work in several teams and gain experience in areas of law relevant to the Home Office's work (as well as experience of other areas of public law if they move on temporary secondment or loan to other Government Departments).

Each team in the Legal Adviser's Branch is headed by a senior lawyer, part of whose task is to guide and supervise the work of more junior members of his or her team. From time to time, where appropriate having regard to the sensitivity, complexity or novelty of an issue, specialist legal advice is obtained from members of the bar (who are selected from a panel appointed by the Attorney-General), from solicitors in private practice (drawn from a list of firms approved by the Treasury Solicitor) or from lawyers in other Government Departments.

All lawyers employed in the Home Office Legal Adviser's Branch hold current professional legal qualifications, and must continue to satisfy the post-qualifying and continuing legal education requirements of their branch of the legal profession. Training courses are available to them through the Government Legal Service as well as through commercial training providers. The Legal Adviser's Branch also runs a series of in- house seminars and training events on matters of current interest.

In addition, as civil servants, members of Home Office Legal Adviser's Branch receive regular reports and assessments on their professional competence and development, in accordance with Cabinet Office and Home Office guidance. Formal reports take place annually and semi- annually, and less formal mentoring and training takes place on a continuing basis.

The Home Office Legal Adviser's Branch is part of the Government Legal Service. The arrangements described above reflect those in place in other major departments in Whitehall.

Firearms (Amendment) Act

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will bring forward legislation to exempt from the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 those Olympic participants in pistol shooting events to enable them to practise for the events in the UK; what recent representations he has received (a) supporting and (b) opposing amending the Firearms (Amendment) Act 1997 for this purpose; and if he will make a statement. (95123)

We have received representations from various shooting organisations in favour of allowing British target pistol shooters to practise in this country in the build-up to the London Olympics and a small amount of correspondence both for and against such a move. Our view is that pistol shooting events can take place at the Olympics without the need to change the legislation, using the Home Secretary's existing powers under section five of the Firearms Act 1968. These powers can also be used to allow a small number of potential medal winners to practise ahead of the Games and we have agreed in principle to explore how this might be achieved without endangering public safety. I have no current intention of amending the legislation.

Illegal Immigration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the cost to public funds of establishing 24-hour security at UK ports to tackle illegal immigration. (18755)

There are 35 air, sea and rail points of entry in the UK and in juxtaposed locations, which, by virtue of the nature and frequency of traffic and the numbers of passengers requiring leave to enter, have an immigration official presence 24 hours a day or during operating hours. All other ports of entry are attended to cover scheduled services, or on a risk assessed basis, or in response to specific intelligence.

Initial indicative costings for the staffing of all UK ports, including small ports, 24 hours a day suggest that the additional cost could be in excess of £104 million.

Islam Roadshow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who the participants have been in the roadshow on Islam established after the 7 July bombings; what costs have been incurred by the roadshow; how many visits it has carried out; and what locations it has visited. (94359)

I have been asked to reply.

The list of participants and locations of the roadshows, that were established as a result of the “Preventing Extremism Together” working groups after the attacks of 7 July, is available on the roadshow website at: www.radicalmiddleway.co.uk The roadshow has incurred total costs of £350,000.

Parliament Square Demonstration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate he has made of the number of people who attended the demonstration in Parliament square on 9 October 2006; how many police officers were present; how many (a) women and (b) men were arrested; whether permission was granted beforehand for the demonstration to take place in Parliament square; what the cost was of policing the demonstration; and if he will make a statement. (95124)

The information requested is not yet available. I will write to the hon. Gentleman when it has been collated by the Metropolitan police.

Police

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the total cost was of the recent opinion poll undertaken by Market Research UK and commissioned by Humberside police; how many other forces have commissioned similar opinion polls; and how much has been spent by the police in England and Wales on such polling in the last 12 months. (94365)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with Cambridgeshire Police Authority on refunding from central budgets costs associated with the aborted merger proposals between Cambridgeshire Constabulary with (a) Norfolk and (b) Suffolk Constabulary in (i) 2005-06 and (ii) 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. (95385)

On 24 July the Home Office invited Cambridgeshire constabulary and Cambridgeshire police authority, along with all the other police forces and authorities in England and Wales, to submit claims for assistance with the additional costs they had incurred on the preparations for mergers. Neither the terms of this invitation nor the detailed claim which Cambridgeshire constabulary and police authority submitted on 31 August distinguish between specific merger options or the year in which particular costs were incurred. We expect to make an announcement shortly on how much of the claims will be reimbursed.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many full-time equivalent civilian employees of North Wales police there were on the last day of each of the last five financial years. (93655)

The available data is given in the following table.

Police staff1 strength for North Wales police force (FTE)2 as at 31 March 2002 to 31 March 2006

Year ending 31 March:

Number

2002

645

2003

703

2004

849

2005

867

2006

882

1 Police staff exclude police community support officers and traffic wardens. 2 Full-time equivalent. This figure includes those on career breaks or maternity/paternity leave.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria Thames Valley police uses for the setting of the total resource allocation formula. (91451)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police stations in (a) Welwyn Hatfield constituency and (b) the Eastern region closed in the latest period for which figures are available. (91473)

The management of the police estate and allocation of resources are matters for each police authority and the chief officer, who are responsible for assessing local needs.

Police stations opened and closed in the Welwyn Hatfield constituency and ACPO Eastern region between March 2005 and March 2006

Number

Opened

Closed

Total

(a) Welwyn Hatfield Constituency

0

0

2

(b) Eastern Region

3

7

182

Note: Eastern region includes: BedfordshireCambridgeshireEssexHertfordshireNorfolkSuffolk.

Probation Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many current trainee probation officers will be offered full-time contracts in 2006-07. (89881)

Of the 713 trainees who have or are about to qualify this year, all who are eligible have been already offered employment with areas. There are three in North Wales where firm offers of employment remain under discussion.

Rape

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what research his Department has undertaken into the reasons for the levels of conviction rates in rape cases. (90117)

The Home Office commissioned a research study which aimed to explore the factors associated with attrition in rape cases. The findings from the research have been published and a copy of the report can be found online on the Home Office Science, Research and Statistics publication website. The report is called: Gap or Chasm? Attrition in reported rape cases (2005). Kelly, L., Lovett, J. and Regan, L. Home Office Research Study 293.

The Home Office has also undertaken a research project which aims to gain a deeper insight into police investigative practices and levels of detection in relation to sexual violence. This research is planned to be published in early 2007.

Sonic Teenager Deterrent

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether his Department has ever recommended the use of the sonic teenager deterrent to (a) police forces and (b) local authorities as a method of controlling the assembly of young people; (94979)

(2) what guidance his Department has produced for (a) police forces and (b) local authorities on the use of the sonic teenager deterrent;

(3) how many (a) police forces and (b) local authorities use the sonic teenager deterrent as a method of controlling the assembly of young people in certain areas;

(4) what assessment he has made of the potential implications of the Human Rights Act 1998 for the use of the Sonic Teenager Deterrent by police forces and local authorities.

[holding answers 18 and 19 October 2006]: We encourage local agencies to consider the full range of innovations, schemes and practices intended to reduce crime, the fear of crime and antisocial behaviour. It is for local agencies like the police and local authorities to decide on the most appropriate interventions to tackle antisocial behaviour based on their knowledge of what works best locally.

We do encourage agencies to adopt a tiered approach with a blend of measures to provide a proportionate response. The Home Office does not promote or recommend any particular commercial product or venture above this.

The Home Office has not produced guidance for police and local authorities on the use of the sonic teenager deterrent.

The use of any device like the sonic teenager deterrent which claims to disperse groups of young people should be treated with caution and if used should form part of an overall strategy to tackle the drivers of that antisocial behaviour and to encourage more constructive behaviour.

Terrorism

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many of those detained without charge under anti-terrorist legislation and subsequently released have later been charged with terrorist offences. (95206)

[holding answer 19 October 2006]: The Home Office does not routinely collate this information and accordingly the information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Wildlife Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps he is taking to improve the recording of wildlife crime. (89365)

Non-notifiable wildlife crime and wildlife incidents are recorded under the National Standard for Incident Recording (NSIR), which is being implemented by police forces during 2006-07. This is in addition to notifiable wildlife crimes, which continue to be recorded under the National Crime Recording Standard. This standard recording of all wildlife crime and incidents represents a significant step forward as previously only the recording of a limited number of notifiable wildlife crimes was nationally mandated and defined.

Work and Pensions

Carers Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what entitlement people receiving state pensions have to carers' allowance; and if he will make a statement. (93564)

[holding answer 16 October 2006]: People receiving a state pension are entitled to carer's allowance if they satisfy the usual conditions of entitlement. However, since both benefits serve the same purpose of providing a measure of income replacement, they cannot both be paid in full. In practice, the state pension takes precedence as the contributory benefit and is paid in full while only the balance of any carer's allowance is paid if it exceeds the state pension.

Although this often means that carer's allowance is not paid at all, since 2002 the underlying entitlement to the benefit gives access to the carer's additional amount of £26.35 a week in pension credit and to the carer premium of the same amount in income support, housing benefit and council tax benefit.

Departmental Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many vehicles are operated by his Department, broken down by make and model. (92612)

The Department currently operates 2,449 vehicles and the breakdown by make and model is shown in the following table.

These vehicles are purchased under a competitively led DWP framework agreement to ensure value for money. The Department has recently led a procurement for a new Government-wide framework that will commence in December.

DWP Vehicles Operated by Make and Model— October 2006

Vehicle Make

Vehicle Model

Number

Citroen

Berlingo

1

Citroen

C3

33

Citroen

C4

18

Citroen

C5

29

Citroen

Dispatch

1

Citroen

Relay

3

Citroen

Saxo

7

Citroen

Xantia

1

Citroen

Xsara

40

Fiat

Brava

3

Fiat

Ducato

22

Fiat

Marea

1

Fiat

Multipla

1

Fiat

Punto

5

Fiat

Scudo

3

Ford

Stilo

3

Ford

Escort

3

Ford

Fiesta

22

Ford

Focus

162

Ford

Galaxy

6

Ford

Iveco

4

Ford

Mondeo

107

Ford

Transit

9

Honda

CBR

4

Honda

VFR

5

Mercedes

Sprinter

7

Mercedes

814 Chassis

1

Mercedes

Vito

1

Mobile unit

Mobile unit

2

Nissan

Almera

5

Nissan

Primera

16

Peugeot

106

2

Peugeot

205

1

Peugeot

206

59

Peugeot

306

5

Peugeot

307

292

Peugeot

406

30

Peugeot

407

60

Peugeot

Boxer

18

Peugeot

Expert

6

Peugeot

Partner

4

Renault

Kangoo

1

Suzuki

Carry

1

Suzuki

GSX

1

Taxi

Black cab

3

Toyota

Avensis

208

Toyota

Corolla

88

Toyota

Hiace

2

Toyota

Prius

28

Toyota

RAV4

1

Vauxhall

Astra

644

Vauxhall

Astramax

1

Vauxhall

Combo

3

Vauxhall

Corsa

71

Vauxhall

Meriva

17

Vauxhall

Movano

6

Vauxhall

Signum

1

Vauxhall

Vectra

201

Vauxhall

Vivaro

5

Vauxhall

Zafira

37

Volkswagen

Bora

10

Volkswagen

Golf

19

Volkswagen

Transporter

3

Volvo

S40

58

Volvo

V40

10

Volvo

V50

28

Ford

Fiesta

22

Ford

Focus

162

Ford

Galaxy

6

Ford

Iveco

4

Ford

Mondeo

107

Ford

Transit

9

Honda

CBR

4

Honda

VFR

5

Mercedes

Sprinter

7

Mercedes

814 Chassis

1

Mercedes

Vito

1

Mobile unit

Mobile unit

2

Nissan

Almera

5

Nissan

Primera

16

Peugeot

106

2

Peugeot

205

1

Peugeot

206

59

Peugeot

306

5

Peugeot

307

292

Peugeot

406

30

Peugeot

407

60

Peugeot

Boxer

18

Peugeot

Expert

6

Peugeot

Partner

4

Renault

Kangoo

1

Suzuki

Carry

1

Suzuki

GSX

1

Taxi

Black cab

3

Toyota

Avensis

208

Toyota

Corolla

88

Toyota

Hiace

2

Toyota

Prius

28

Toyota

RAV4

1

Vauxhall

Astra

644

Vauxhall

Astramax

1

Vauxhall

Combo

3

Vauxhall

Corsa

71

Vauxhall

Meriva

17

Vauxhall

Movano

6

Vauxhall

Signum

1

Vauxhall

Vectra

201

Vauxhall

Vivaro

5

Vauxhall

Zafira

37

Volkswagen

Bora

10

Volkswagen

Golf

19

Volkswagen

Transporter

3

Volvo

S40

58

Volvo

V40

10

Volvo

V50

28

Total

2,449

Health and Safety Executive

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what European infraction proceedings have been initiated against the Health and Safety Executive in relation to alleged non-compliance with directives. (93149)

There are current infraction proceedings against the UK Government, for late or defective implementation of European legislation, in relation to the following occupational safety and health directives:

Directive 89/391/EEC on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work, "The Framework Directive,"—defective implementation of Articles 5(1) and 5(4).

Directive 98/8/EC concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market—defective implementation of Articles 7(6), 7(8), 8(5), 8(9), 11, 12(1)(c), 16 and 22.

Directive 2002/44/EC on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (vibration)—late transposition (by Gibraltar).

Directive 2003/10 on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from physical agents (noise)—late transposition (by Gibraltar).

Directive 2003/18/EC on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to asbestos at work—late transposition.

Directive 2003/105/EC on the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances—defective implementation of Article 11.

Of these only the infraction proceedings on Directive 89/391/EEC have been referred to the European Court of Justice. The oral hearing took place on 13 September 2006 and judgement of the Court is expected in Spring 2007. The UK has robustly defended the case.

It is unlikely that any of the other cases will be referred to the European Court of Justice.

Lone Parents

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of providing lone parents with a work related activity premium for each year from 2006-07 to 2008-09; what the reason is for paying lone parents for engaging in work related activity; and if he will make a statement. (95281)

Helping lone parents develop and maintain their attachment to the labour market not only helps them meet their parental responsibilities, which has positive impacts on their children's health, schooling and prospects in later life, but is also an effective way of moving them and their children out of poverty and ensuring their social inclusion. This is why we are introducing the Work Related Activity Premium (WRAP).

Lone parents in pilot areas who have been on certain qualifying benefits for at least six months, whose youngest child is aged 11 or over, will be eligible for the WRAP if they agree to take formal steps to return to the labour market. Participants will be paid a £20 a week premium for six months, which will be paid on top of their ordinary Income Support entitlement. If the lone parent stops doing work related activity, or enters work, payment of the premium will end.

The WRAP will be piloted in seven Jobcentre Plus districts from April 2007. The costs of providing WRAP in the pilot areas will be dependent on the number of lone parents who choose to participate in this voluntary initiative, and undertake work related activity. The pilot areas cover approximately 10 per cent. of the lone parent population and will inform us on the level of take up we can expect if the premium is rolled out nationally at a later date. As the pilot doesn't start until April 2007, any costs in 2006-07 will be pilot start-up costs only.

The cost of providing the WRAP to each lone parent who volunteers to take part in the pilot will be £520 if they receive the premium for the full 26 weeks. Lone parents moving off benefit and into work will result in savings to Government benefit expenditure.

Duchy of Lancaster

Compact Commissioner

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what powers the Compact Commissioner will have to ensure that local government meets the principles of the Compact. (95762)

The Commissioner for the Compact will oversee the operation of the relationship between government at all levels and the voluntary and community sector through the Compact. The Compact is voluntarily agreed between Government and the voluntary and community sector. The role of the Commissioner is to champion implementation of voluntary agreements, and therefore he does not have statutory powers.

The Commissioner’s remit includes:

Promoting effective ways of working in partnership, including the development of a set of core Compact commitments backed by an accreditation or kitemark scheme

Promoting best practice, and making recommendations and reporting on investigations

Looking at specific issues and concerns, acting as an honest broker between partners, intervening where effective and efficient to do so.

93 per cent. of local authority areas now have a published Local Compact, and there are a further 6 per cent. where development is under way. The Commissioner for the Compact will strategically build on and support local work as well as the national framework.

Departmental Carbon Emissions

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate she has made of the total carbon emission from the Prime Minister’s offices in each year since 1997. (89452)

The Prime Minister’s Office forms an integral part of the Cabinet Office estate and figures for individual parts of the estate cannot be disaggregated. The available information on the amount of total carbon emissions for the Cabinet Office is shown in the following table. Figures prior to 1999-2000 are not available.

Total carbon emissions (tonnes)

1999-2000

1,890

2000-01

1,927

2001-02

2,136

2002-03

2,207

2003-04

1,937

2004-05

2,208

2005-06

2,031

The Cabinet Office aims to reduce its carbon emissions, improve its energy management practices and identify likely areas for potential energy savings. As part of this, the Cabinet Office has recently signed up to the Carbon Trust’s Carbon Management Programme.

Islam and Muslim Affairs

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many (a) mosques and (b) Muslim schools were investigated by the Charity Commission in each of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. (94354)

This is a matter for the Charity Commission as the Government Department responsible for the regulation of charities in England and Wales. I will ask the chief executive of the Charity Commission to write to the hon. Member and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library for the reference of Members.

Key Workers

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether any of her staff in the Cabinet Office are classed as key workers for the purposes of the low-cost home ownership or shared ownership schemes. (96390)

There are currently no staff in the Cabinet Office who are classed as key workers for the purposes of the low-cost home ownership or shared ownership schemes.

Scottish Statutory Instruments

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many (a) UK and (b) Scottish statutory instruments were made in each year since 1979 to 2005. (89227)

[holding answer 9 October 2006]: Between 1979 and 2005 the number of UK statutory instruments (Sis) made in each year is shown in the following table. Scottish Statutory Instruments are included in the statistics up to 1999. After 1999 the number of Scottish Statutory Instruments is a devolved matter which is the responsibility of the Scottish Executive and the Scottish Parliament. Scottish Statutory Instrument Statistics are, however, available on the Office of the Queen’s Printer for Scotland’s website at: http://www.oqps.gov.uk/scotlegislation/ssi_statistics.htm

Total number of statutory instruments

1979

1,770

1980

2,051

1981

1,892

1982

1,900

1983

1,965

1984

2,061

1985

2,082

1986

2,350

1987

2,278

1988

2,311

1989

2,503

1990

2,664

1991

2,951

1992

3,359

1993

3,279

1994

3,334

1995

3,345

1996

3,291

1997

3,114

1998

3,319

1999

3,488

2000

3,424

2001

14,147

2002

3,271

2003

3,354

2004

3,452

2005

3,599

1 It is important to note that the number of Sis registered during 2001 included 597 UK Government Sis and 36 National Assembly for Wales Sis which related directly to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease.

Updated statistics in relation to Statutory Instruments are also available on the OPSI website at: http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si-statistics.htm

Health

Alimta

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which strategic health authorities prescribe the drug Alimta. (92685)

During 2005 pemetrexed (Alimta) was used in hospitals in the following strategic health authorities (SHAs):

Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire

Birmingham and the Black Country

Cheshire and Merseyside

County Durham and Tees Valley

Essex

Greater Manchester

Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Kent and Medway

Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland

North and East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire

Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

North Central London

North East London

North West London

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear

Shropshire and Staffordshire

Somerset and Dorset

South West Peninsula

Surrey and Sussex

Thames Valley

Trent

West Yorkshire

Use of pemetrexed in hospitals in other SHAs may not be captured in available data.

Broomfield Private Finance Initiative

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to her statement of 11 October 2006, Official Report, column 409, on the NHS, what plans she has to look into the Broomfield private finance initiative scheme; and when she expects to conclude her investigations. (95082)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 13 September 2006, Official Report, column 2271W. Work on the proposal for the Broomfield hospital is being taken forward by the Mid-Essex NHS trust and the strategic health authority.

Carers

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the commitment contained in the White Paper, “Our health, Our care, Our say”, for training all staff who look after people at the end of their lives, will incorporate staff working in care homes. (92270)

The programme of action outlined in “Our Health, Our Care, Our Say” sets out a clear direction for end of life care, which will deliver increased choice to all patients, regardless of their age or condition, about where they live and die, and provide them with the support to make this possible. The continuation of the current end of life care programme is a key part of this wider plan of action. The end of life care programme is providing training to staff in all settings, including care homes, in the principles of palliative and end of life care.

Cervical Screening

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to speed up the results of cervical screening; and if she will make a statement. (93806)

The Government are committed to reducing waiting times for the results of cervical screening. In order to inform a way forward, national health service cancer screening programmes commissioned a formal options appraisal from the School of Health and Related Research in Sheffield.

Officials are now considering the findings of the report with key stakeholders, including the advisory committee on cervical screening. A series of possible actions to speed up the results of cervical screening are being developed, and advice will be sent to the national health service in due course.

Community/Cottage Hospitals

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which community hospitals and cottage hospitals which have closed since 1997. (95401)

Continuing Health Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what estimate she has made of the number of people who will meet the eligibility criteria for NHS continuing health care which are set out in the Government’s proposals for a new national framework for NHS continuing health care; (92277)

(2) what additional resources are being made available to finance the Government’s proposals for a national framework for NHS continuing health care.

The public consultation on the national framework for national health service continuing health care closed on 22 September and participants’ comments are currently being collated.

Until this process is completed, it will not be possible to make a decision about funding levels and no estimate of the number of individuals eligible for NHS funding can be made. However, the national framework will not change the existing legal basis for the provision of NHS continuing health care. Fully funded NHS continuing health care will continue to be provided for all those individuals whose primary need is a health need.

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she will reply to the hon. Member for West Worcestershire’s letter of 11 July about the closure of the residential side of Osborne Court community unit. (95697)

Health Act

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the timetable is for the publication of regulations made under the Health Act 2006; and if she will make a statement. (95499)

The Health Act 2006 contains a wide range of regulation-making powers, covering issues such as smoke-free premises, pharmaceutical services, ophthalmic services, the Appointments Commission and the national health service cost recovery scheme. The timetable for publication of regulations also varies considerably, depending on the circumstances in each case. The following regulations have already been published:

draft regulations, “Smoke-free premises and vehicles”, were published for consultation on 17 July. The consultation finished on 9 October 2006 and Ministers are considering the responses before publishing final regulations; and

regulations in respect of the Appointments Commission were made on 4 September and came into force on 1 October 2006 (SI2006/2380).

Other regulations will be published in due course.

Health Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what was the total unified financial allocation to each primary care trust (PCT) for 2006-07; and what was the allocation per head of population for each PCT. (92813)

Revenue allocations were made to 303 primary care trusts (PCTs) for 2006-07. The information placed in the Library shows these and the allocation per head of population.

The number of PCTs was reduced from 303 to 152 on 1 October 2006.

Isoft

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what risks there are for the National Health Service posed by the financial losses of isoft. (91976)

The national health service currently uses iSOFT products extensively outside the national programme for information technology (IT) in the NHS. In light of the financial statements made by iSOFT, Connecting for Health reminded all NHS trusts that it was normal best practice to ensure that copies of the software they use is held in escrow allowed within their own locally owned contracts.

Connecting for Health, the agency delivering the national programme for IT, does not contract directly with iSOFT. iSOFT is contracted to deliver clinical software to local service providers in three of the five clusters. One of the local service providers, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), has agreed with iSOFT additional rights to step in and undertake the management of development of iSOFT’s Lorenzo software in the event that iSOFT fails to meet its agreed delivery targets.

This additional right by CSC adds greater certainty to the delivery of the Lorenzo product for the NHS in England.

Lyme Disease

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate her Department has made of the number of people with Lyme disease who are not receiving treatment for their illness. (93458)

Missed Hospital Appointments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the percentage of missed appointments was in each hospital in London in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and what the financial costs were for each hospital. (95692)

The information has been placed in the Library. The Department has not made an estimate on the cost of missed appointments.

National Tariff

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what market forces factor variation from the national tariff presently applies to each provider NHS trust. (92807)

The following table shows the market forces factor applicable under payment by results in 2006-07.

Table showing market forces factor applied to national tariff for NHS providers in England in 2006-07

Organisation name

MFF for use in PBR

Aintree Hospitals NHS Trust

1.06

Airedale NHS Trust

1.06

Amber Valley PCT

1.04

Ashfield PCT

1.04

Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust

1.25

Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust

1.17

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust

1.22

Barnsley PCT

1.05

Barts and The London NHS Trust

1.34

Bath and North East Somerset PCT

1.12

Bedford Hospitals NHS Trust

1.14

Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Trust

1.13

Birmingham Women’s Healthcare NHS Trust

1.13

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Hospitals NHS Trust

103

Blackwater Valley and Hart PCT

1.19

Bolton Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust

1.14

Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust

1.20

Buckinghamshire Hospitals NHS Trust

1.20

Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth PCT

1.06

Burton Hospitals NHS Trust

1.07

Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust

1.07

Camden PCT

1.35

Central Manchester/ Manchester Children’s NHS Trust

1.12

Charnwood and North West Leicestershire PCT

1.08

Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust

1.40

Chesterfield PCT

1.03

Chorley and South Ribble PCT

1.05

Christie Hospital NHS Trust

1.13

Clatterbridge Centre for Oncology NHS Trust

1.09

Cotswold and Vale PCT

1.11

County Durham and Darlington Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust

1.14

Dudley Beacon and Castle PCT

1.05

Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust

1.06

Ealing Hospital NHS Trust

1.23

East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust

1.18

East Cambridgeshire and Fenland PCT

1.09

East Cheshire NHS Trust

1.10

East Hampshire PCT

1.12

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust

1.09

East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust

1.04

East Somerset NHS Trust

1.05

East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust

1.06

Eastleigh and Test Valley South PCT

1.13

Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust

1.23

Erewash PCT

1.06

Essex Rivers Healthcare NHS Trust

1.09

George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust

1.10

Good Hope Hospital NHS Trust

1.09

Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust

1.42

Guildford and Waverley PCT

1.22

Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust

1.30

Haringey PCT

1.25

Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT

1.12

Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals NHS Trust

1.23

Hereford Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

Herefordshire PCT

1.05

Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust

1.19

High Peak and Dales PCT

1.06

Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust

1.12

Hinckley and Bosworth PCT

1.08

Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

Huntingdonshire PCT

1.12

Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust

1.10

Isle of Wight Healthcare NHS Trust

1.07

James Paget Healthcare NHS Trust

1.04

Kennet and North Wiltshire PCT

1.13

Kettering General Hospital NHS Trust

1.10

King’s College Hospital NHS Trust

1.29

Kings Lynn and Wisbech Hospitals NHS Trust

1.06

Kingston Hospital NHS Trust

1.26

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

1.09

Luton and Dunstable Hospital NHS Trust

1.16

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust

1.13

Mansfield District PCT

1.02

Mayday Healthcare NHS Trust

1.22

Medway NHS Trust

1.12

Melton, Rutland and Harborough PCT

1.08

Mid Essex Hospital Services NHS Trust

1.11

Mid Staffordshire General Hospitals NHS Trust

1.06

Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust

1.07

Mid-Hampshire PCT

1.14

Milton Keynes General Hospital NHS Trust

1.15

Morecambe Bay Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

New Forest PCT

1.11

Newbury and Community PCT

1.18

Newcastle PCT

1.07

Newham PCT

1.22

Newham Healthcare NHS Trust

1.24

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

North Bristol NHS Trust

1.13

North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust

1.09

North Cumbria Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

North Eastern Derbyshire PCT

1.03

North Hampshire PCT

1.19

North Hampshire Hospitals NHS Trust

1.19

North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust

1.19

North Stoke PCT

1.02

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust

1.06

North West London Hospitals NHS Trust

1.24

Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust

1.12

Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Trust

1.12

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

1.02

North Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust

1.05

Nottingham City Hospital NHS Trust

1.07

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust

1.18

Oxford Radcliffe Hospital NHS Trust

1.17

Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

1.07

Plymouth PCT

1.05

Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

Poole Hospitals NHS Trust

1,10

Portsmouth City PCT

1.13

Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

1.12

Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Trust

1.20

Queen Mary’s, Sidcup NHS Trust

1.14

Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust

1.08

Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic and District Hospital NHS Trust

1.05

Rowley Regis and Tipton PCT

1.05

Royal Berkshire and Battle Hospitals NHS Trust

1.23

Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust

1.35

Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust

1.01

Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust

1.37

Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust

1.08

Royal Liverpool Children’s NHS Trust

1.08

Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

1.20

Royal Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Trust

1.13

Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Trust

1.22

Royal United Hospital, Bath NHS Trust

1.13

Royal West Sussex NHS Trust

1.12

Salford Royal Hospitals NHS Trust

1.09

Salisbury Healthcare NHS Trust

1.09

Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust

1.10

Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust

1.05

Sheffield Children’s NHS Trust

1.07

Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust

1.04

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

Shropshire County PCT

1.05

Slough PCT

1.24

South and East Dorset PCT

1.09

South Birmingham PCT

1.13

South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust

1.00

South East Sheffield PCT

1.05

South Manchester University Hospitals NHS Trust

1.13

South Tees Hospitals NHS Trust

1.08

South Warwickshire PCT

1.12

South Warwickshire General Hospitals NHS Trust

1.12

South Worcestershire PCT

1.07

Southampton City PCT

1.13

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust

1.13

Southend Hospital NHS Trust

1.08

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

1.04

St. George’s Healthcare NHS Trust

1.28

St. Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust

1.08

St. Mary’s NHS Trust

1.45

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

1.18

Swindon and Marlborough NHS Trust

1.15

Tameside and Glossop Acute Services NHS Trust

1.07

Taunton and Somerset NHS Trust

1.05

Taunton Deane PCT

1.04

Teignbridge PCT

1.01

Telford and Wrekin PCT

1.05

Cardiothoracic Centre—Liverpool NHS Trust

1.08

Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust

1.23

Lewisham Hospital NHS Trust

1.24

Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust

1.07

Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust

1.07

Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust

1.18

Royal Wolverhampton Hospital NHS Trust

1.07

Whittington Hospital NHS Trust

1.37

Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust

1.13

United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust

1.13

United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

1.04

North Staffordshire Hospital NHS Trust

1.03

University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

1.14

University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust

1.07

Walsall Hospitals NHS Trust

1.05

Walton centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery NHS Trust

1.06

Wandsworth PCT

1.28

West Dorset General Hospitals NHS Trust

1.04

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

1.22

West Middlesex University NHS Trust

1.27

West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust

1.09

West Wiltshire PCT

1.11

Western Sussex PCT

1.12

Weston Area Health NHS Trust

1.10

Whipps Cross University Hospitals NHS Trust

1.20

Winchester and Eastleigh Healthcare NHS Trust

1.14

Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead PCT

1.26

Wirral Hospital NHS Trust

1.07

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust

1.08

Worthing and Southlands Hospitals NHS Trust

1.10

Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Trust

1.06

York Health Services NHS Trust

1.08

Note:

List of providers, as determined by 2006-07 PbR baseline exercise

Patient and Public Involvement Forums

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of patient and public involvement forums and the level of public engagement achieved by each trust. (92800)

There has been no formal evaluation of the effectiveness of the patient and public involvement forums. However, each year the Commission for Patient and Public Involvement in Health (CPPIH) produces a report detailing their activities and achievements. A copy of their report is available in the Library and on their website at:www.cppih.org/documents/AnnualReport 2006_000.pdf

As part of the annual health check, the process by which the Healthcare Commission assesses trust performance, each trust’s performance is assessed against ‘Standards for Better Health’, a copy of which is also available in the Library. Core standard 17 of those standards requires public engagement and consultation by all trusts.

Pfizer Products

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the potential impact on the supply of medicines of Pfizer's decision to distribute their medicines using a single pharmaceutical wholesaler. (93841)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what guarantees Pfizer and Unichem have given the Department concerning the availability of Pfizer products to the NHS from early 2007; (94519)

(2) what assessment the Department has made of the impact on the NHS of the decision by Pfizer to sell its products through a single distribution channel from early 2007.

This is a commercial matter for Pfizer. Pfizer have assured the Department that it will make every effort to ensure that these new arrangements will not result in any disruptions in the supply of its United Kingdom-sourced branded medicines to national health service patients. The Department will monitor these new arrangements with a view to taking corrective action if appropriate.

Self-Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made in developing an accreditation scheme for information providers as set out in the Supporting People with Long Term Conditions to Self Care guide. (92285)

Departmental officials have been working with stakeholders to develop proposals for the information accreditation scheme (IAS). A decision on the implementation of the IAS will be taken later this year.

Wanless Review

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions she has had with HM Treasury on the proposals contained in the Wanless social care review; (92273)

(2) whether she plans to have a public consultation on the proposals contained in the Wanless social care review; and if she will make a statement;

(3) what progress her Department’s working group on social care funding has made; and if she will make a statement.

Departmental officials have regular discussions with their counterparts at HM Treasury about the broad range of policy and funding options for adult social care in preparation for the comprehensive spending review 2007. They draw upon the best range of available evidence to support these discussions.

The Wanless social care review, “Securing Good Care for Older People”, has been an important—but not exclusive—addition to the evidence base about the long term funding of adult social care. There are no current plans to consult the public on the proposals in the report.

The comprehensive spending review working group continues to have discussions about funding for adult social care. It is due to meet finally this autumn. The outcome of these discussions will be added to the wider evidence base required for the Department’s preparation for the 2007 comprehensive spending review.

Defence

Agency Staff

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what average hourly rate was paid by his Department to each employment agency for staff employed through agencies in 2005-06. (81499)

The Ministry of Defence currently uses a range of suppliers providing both local and national coverage for a wide range of grades and specialists. Information on hourly rates is not currently held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what average hourly rate his Department paid to employment agencies for agency staff in each year since 1999, broken down by agency. (89564)

This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Temporary staff are generally used as an interim measure to fill posts that cannot be filled conventionally in the required timescale or to cover short-term peaks in workload.

Aircraft Sales (Saudi Arabia)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what assessment he has made of the effect of the sale of 72 Eurofighter aircraft by BAE Systems to Saudi Arabia on political and military stability in (a) the region and (b) Saudi Arabia; and if he will make a statement; (92375)

(2) what assessment he has made of the financial effects on the UK of the recent sale of Eurofighter aircraft by BAE Systems to Saudi Arabia; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what the total costs to the UK incurred by the Defence Export Services Organisation and other Government Departments and individuals were in promoting the sale of Eurofighter aircraft by BAE Systems to Saudi Arabia; and if he will make a statement.

The sale of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft to Saudi Arabia is fully consistent with our policy of supporting the efforts of the Gulf Co-operation Council States, of which Saudi Arabia is the biggest, in promoting regional stability. It also meets the legitimate defence requirements of the Saudi armed forces. Negotiations on the commercial arrangements for the sale are continuing and a full assessment of the financial effects would not be possible until their conclusion. However, as the then Secretary of State for Defence stated in December last year, the deal represents good news for both UK and Saudi industry and will help sustain several thousand UK jobs over the next 10 years.

The negotiations on the Understanding Document signed last December, which set out the intention to establish greater partnership in modernising the Saudi armed forces, and on the subsequent commercial arrangements for the sale of Typhoon aircraft have been led by this Department. The costs associated with these activities have been recovered from a management fee received from the Saudi Arabian Government. No record has been kept of that element of the management fees used to cover the above costs and one could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Conspicuous Gallantry Cross

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many previous occasions, and to whom, the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross has been awarded. (93986)

[holding answer 16 October 2006]: Since its institution in February 1995 16 awards of the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross have been made to members of the armed forces. They were announced in the London Gazette at the time. The first recipient was a Corporal in the Balkans in May 1995. Since then there have been a further one in the Balkans, two in Sierra Leone, four in Afghanistan and eight in Iraq. With the recent award to the Royal Irish Regiment the number has increased to 17.

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on taxis in the last 12 months. (93119)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 227W.

Energy Consumption

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the Department’s annual consumption of (a) electricity, (b) gas, (c) oil and (d) vehicle fuel was in each of the last five years; and how much was spent on each in each year. (90318)

The Ministry of Defence’s annual expenditure on and consumption of electricity, gas, heating oil and vehicle fuel in each of the last five years are detailed in the following tables.

Expenditure

£ million

Description

Electricity

Gas

Heating oil

Vehicle fuel

Unites States forces—utilities consumption

2001-02

107

57

21

7

2002-03

92

56

26

8

2003-04

98

53

21

1

2004-05

114

69

25

2

2005-06

141

100

31

64

3

Consumption

kWh (weather corrected)

Electricity

Gas

Heating Oil

Vehicle Fuel

2001-02

1,894,069,084

3,653,202,681

1,305,509,870

2002-03

1,995,090,434

3,753,324,853

1,213,570,915

2003-04

2,056,585,715

3,920,001,868

1,127,825,674

67,367,116

2004-05

2,012,300,237

4,162,748,822

1,138,636,804

70,046,299

2005-06

68,315,579

Defence Fuels Group only holds financial information for vehicle fuel for the last financial year and does not hold consumption figures for 2001-02 and 2002-03.

The finalised 2005-06 consumption figures for electricity, gas and heating oil are not yet available. However, they will be published later this year in the Sustainable Development Commission’s Sustainable Development in Government Report, a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House.

Exertional Heat Illness

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what advice is given to (a) soldiers, (b) officers, (c) trainers and (d) medics regarding the prevention, recognition and treatment of exertional heat illness. (91726)

Joint Service Publication (JSP) 539 contains the advice given to Service personnel regarding the prevention, recognition and treatment of exertional heat illness (EHI). The JSP aims to educate all Service personnel in the prevention and treatment of cases of heat and cold injury in order to minimise the risks of morbidity or mortality associated with these preventable conditions. It also sets out the procedures to minimise the risk of developing heat and cold illness and describes the immediate management of anyone who develops a thermal injury.

The Annexes to chapter 2 of the JSP provide detailed guidance on the assessment of risk of heat illness and the water requirements for personnel during exercise in the heat. They also provide guidance for medical staff on the treatment of heat illness and a detailed schedule for heat acclimatisation prior to and during deployment to hot climates.

I have placed a copy of JSP 539 in the Library of the House.

Joint Personnel Administration System

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many complaints he received from RAF personnel stationed in Afghanistan about the Joint Personnel Administration system in (a) April, (b) May, (c) June and (d) July. (91627)

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

MOD Estate

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his timetable is for (a) land disposals and (b) re-development positions relating to (i) Aldershot Urban Extension, (ii) Deepcut and (iii) Aborfield; and if he will make a statement. (93333)

In respect of the Aldershot Urban Extension, the Defence Estates Agency is promoting the site for a residential led mixed use development and are seeking to agree a Master Plan for the redevelopment with the local planning authority. It is possible that the land will be disposed of in phases as it becomes vacant.

On Deepcut and Arborfield, the disposal of these sites is subject to the outcome of the Defence Training Review Rationalisation Programme. An announcement about this Programme is anticipated later this year.

Open Prison (Dover)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what measures are being taken to separate Connaught Barracks, Dover from the Duke of York’s Military School prior to the barracks becoming an open prison; (92968)

(2) on what date Connaught Barracks, Dover changes its function to that of an open prison.

The future use of Connaught Barracks is still to be determined and an announcement will be made in due course.

Operational Bonus

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what payroll system will be used to calculate and pay the new operational bonus to personnel in the (a) Royal Air Force, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Army. (94582)

[holding answer 17 October 2006]: The Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) payroll system is already in place for the Royal Air Force, and will be used from November 2006 by the Royal Navy and from April 2007 by the Army. For Army personnel the existing legacy pay system will be used until JPA roll out.

Reservists

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what grounds the Ministry of Defence police may begin investigations into employers' financial assistance claims for mobilised reservists. (91485)

The Ministry of Defence police will act on the reasonable suspicions of anyone who alleges wrongdoing on the part of an employer making a claim for financial assistance in respect of a mobilised reservist. Criminal investigations are most likely to be instigated when the Service Adjudication Officer considering a particular claim suspects an incidence of fraud.

Service Families Accommodation

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to (a) reduce use of service families accommodation and (b) increase leasing of private sector accommodation. (91755)

There are currently no plans to reduce the use of UK Service Families Accommodation (SFA) in favour of leasing accommodation from the private sector.

The MOD only leases private sector accommodation in the UK when it has an individual housing requirement that it cannot satisfy with existing SFA or where personnel moves necessitate bulk hirings to meet a short-term need before families settle in the local communities. Where long-term demand exists in cases where there is currently no available SFA, cost-effective PFI schemes are often used to satisfy demand.

International Development

Afghanistan

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent assessment he has made of progress on reconstruction projects in Afghanistan; and if he will place in the Library copies of the relevant aid impact analysis reports. (95244)

Despite a legacy of more than 20 years of conflict, Afghanistan has made good progress in reconstruction over the last five years. In January 2005, the Government of Afghanistan launched the interim Afghanistan National Development Strategy and the Afghanistan Compact at the London Conference. This is a major step in setting the overall strategy for development policies including reconstruction. The international community fully supports this strategy and as a result pledged £10.5 billion towards implementation. There are now 60 per cent. more functioning health clinics, nearly 2,000 schools have been built or rehabilitated and 60,000 former combatants have been disarmed. Major road rehabilitation is connecting major urban centres and Afghanistan with its neighbours. Reliable electricity supply is being restored in urban centres and rural electrification programmes are under way. The telecommunications sector is growing fast, connecting businesses and people in Afghanistan.

DFID support for the National Rural Access Programme (£18 million) is helping to build essential infrastructure such as irrigation schemes, roads and bridges. Under this programme nearly 8,000 km of roads have been built or repaired, as well as schools, health clinics and water schemes. The programme has also generated over 13 million days of labour. DFID support for the National Solidarity Programme (£17 million) is helping local communities through elected Community Development Councils (CDCs) to identify what development is most needed in their areas and then receive grants to undertake their work. The programme has funded over 17,000 projects in the areas of agriculture, education, health, irrigation, power supply, transport and water supply.

None the less, the challenges remain great. While progress has been good there is a long way to go: DFID recognises this. DFID’s Interim Strategy for Afghanistan 2005-06 states that the highest immediate priority is to stabilise the country, to ensure the Government are able to deliver services nationwide and to establish the rule of law within a democratic political system that safeguards human rights.

DFID recently participated in a joint evaluation of Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance to Afghanistan, 2001-05, with Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden. This focused on assessing the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency impact and coherence of the assistance and identifies the lessons learned. It concluded that assistance to Afghanistan has produced important results to date, but for sustainable impact, long-term development and peace-keeping is needed. I will ensure copies of this are placed in the Library.

Millennium Development Goals

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent progress has been made on meeting the Millennium Development Goals; and if he will make a statement. (95064)

The world is on track to meet the poverty reduction and hunger goal. The most recent official data at global level show that between 1990 and 2002, the percentage of people living on less than $1 a day in the developing world dropped from 28 to 19 per cent. However, progress across regions varies. The proportion of people in Asia living on less than $1 a day dropped by nearly a quarter of a billion over that period. In sub-Saharan Africa, the goal is seriously off track, and although the poverty rate did not increase, the number of people living in extreme poverty increased by 140 million.

Progress towards the other seven Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is assessed using data up to between 2003 and 2005 depending on the goals. Progress towards these goals varies. For example, reducing child mortality is on track in Latin America, South East Asia and North Africa, and slightly off track in most other regions. There is less progress towards goal 6 (combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases), which is seriously off track for at least one of the targets in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Oceania and the Commonwealth of Independent States both in Europe and Asia. Progress towards environmental sustainability is mixed, with most regions off track for some targets and on track for others. On current rates of progress, sub-Saharan Africa will not meet any of the goals by 2015.

The recently published 2006 UN Millennium Development Goals Report, which can be found on http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mdg/default.aspx, gives a comprehensive account of progress to date on each of the goals, and how great an effort remains necessary if they are to be met. DFID's 2006 Departmental Report includes an annex on UK progress towards MDG8. A copy of the report is available in the House of Commons Library.

Because the situation worsened in Africa, the UK has placed Africa at the forefront of our campaign for more and better aid. Of the 25 key countries on which DFID focuses its work, 16 are in Africa. The recent White Paper indicates what DFID sets out to do with respect to governance, basic services, climate change and the international system, which would all help make further progress towards meeting the MDGs.

Palestine

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact on education in the Occupied Territories of Israel’s approach to the granting or refusal of permits for Palestinian foreign passport holders for entry, re-entry or continuous residence in the Occupied Territories. (95446)

Since spring 2006, the Israeli authorities have been more strictly enforcing entry procedures towards foreign nationals (including those of Palestinian origin) who wish to visit the Occupied Territories. This includes would-be teachers and students. As a result, we estimate that hundreds of foreign nationals have been refused entry. Our embassy in Tel Aviv raised our concerns with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 21 August.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of the availability of health facilities for Palestinian children in Gaza and the West Bank on the quality of care; and if he will make a statement. (95725)

DFID is providing support to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs to help in monitoring the state of health care services in Gaza and the West Bank. Most health facilities have remained open since the start of the year. However, recent reports indicate that the strike by Palestinian authority workers that began on 23 August has led to reduced services being offered in hospitals and health centres across the West Bank. Gaza hospitals remain relatively unaffected. The UN Relief Works Agency, which provides services for the refugee population, has reported that there is an increase in the number of non-refugee families using their immunisation service.

Sahel (Harvest Failure)

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance the UK is offering to (a) Nigeria, (b) Mali, (c) Mauritania and (d) Burkina Faso following the failure of the harvests in the Sahel; and if he will make a statement. (93444)

Extreme poverty, marginal livelihoods, and other chronic issues lie at the heart of the crisis which affected the Sahel in 2005, with inadequate rainfall, and locust infestation in 2004, adding to the problem. This situation led to deficits in the 2004 harvest, further antagonised by extreme food-price rises, and reductions in the poorest populations' access to food. In 2006, following adequate rainfall and with food production expected to be above the five-year average, the humanitarian situation remains relatively stable, but, owing to longer-term chronic vulnerabilities, the burden of acute childhood malnutrition remains high in some areas, and livelihoods remain precarious. DFID's response is as follows:

(a) Niger—In 2005 DFID was one of the first donors to respond to the crisis in Niger providing £3.25 million to the initial relief effort, and followed up with a further £2 million to aid the recovery process and ease further humanitarian stresses through into 2006. In 2006-07 DFID is providing an additional £1.5 million to continue the response to the high rates of childhood malnutrition that prevail, and to boost food-security through the on-going hungry season, since the legacy of the 2005 crisis persist.. This funding is being provided through United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) who are engaged in continuing relief operations in the country.

(b) Mali—In 2005-06 DFID provided £550,000 through the World Food Programme's (WFP) emergency feeding programme, which enabled 175,000 children under the age of five to receive vital support.

(c) Mauritania—Food aid needs remain high. In 2006-07 DFID has contributed £250,000 through the World Food Programme (WFP) to support feeding activities for 50,000 malnourished children and vulnerable mothers in the badly affected agro-pastoral zone in the south east of the country.

(d) Burkina Faso—In 2005-06 DFID provided £105,000 through Catholic Relief Services for their emergency food assistance and livelihood protection programme, enabling 57,000 vulnerable people to receive emergency support. DFID will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation in the Sahel closely, and will maintain its flexible humanitarian support to short-term emergency, recovery and mitigation needs over the coming year. Simultaneously, DFID is planning to allocate an additional £1.5 million over the next three years to tackle longer-term nutritional vulnerabilities in the Sahel region, and is exploring longer-term options for strengthening food-security.

Somali Refugees (Kenya)