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Written Answers

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 23 October 2006

Defence

Afghanistan

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the size of the Polish military commitment to Afghanistan is. (92316)

Poland currently has around 100 troops committed to Afghanistan. On 14 September they announced their intention to increase their current commitment to a strength of around 1,000, the bulk of whom are planned to deploy to Afghanistan in February 2007. Poland also plan to deploy a small contingent (approximately 20 personnel) to the Swedish-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Mazar-e-Sharif in October 2006, rising to 30-40 from April 2007.

Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much money has been spent in each year since 2002-03 on maintenance of the Nimrod MR2 fleet; and what is proposed to be spent each year until the fleet goes out of service expressed as the cost per aircraft. (92622)

A number of areas within the Department incur expenditure on the RAF's Nimrod MR2 fleet. The financial information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost. The figures provided in the following table are the logistic support costs of the Defence Logistics Organisation that can be directly attributed to the Nimrod fleet and are for the maintenance, repair and modification costs of both the Nimrod MR2 and the Nimrod Rl airframes.

Financial Year

Average cost per aircraft (£ million)

2002-03

2

2003-04

2

2004-05

2

2005-06

3

2006-07

3

2007-08

3

2008-09

3

2009-10

3

2010-11

4

Notes: 1. Staff costs are not included. 2. Costs have not been adjusted to account for the recent loss of Nimrod MR2 XV230. 3. Costs rounded to the nearest million.

Arms Sales

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what arms sales were made from British-based companies to the state of Israel in 2005. (94304)

I have been asked to reply.

Details of all arms export licences from the UK to Israel in 2005 are available in the Annual Report on Strategic Export Controls 2005 which was published in July this year. We also publish quarterly reports of all export licences issued. These, along with the annual reports, can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1153388110489

Defence Airfields

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects the review of defence airfields to conclude; and when he expects to publish those conclusions. (94456)

[holding answer 16 October 2006]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced to the House in July 2004 during his statement on the White Paper on Delivering Security in a Changing World, that we would be undertaking an extensive review of our future requirements for airfields. There will not be a single report on the outcome of the defence airfield review. The work is being taken forward through a series of business cases assessing the best configuration of airfields both operationally and in value for money terms, for a number of future aircraft types.

I announced the conclusions of the studies into the basing of Joint Combat aircraft and Nimrod MRA4 aircraft to the House in my statement on 17 November 2005. I will announce the results of the remaining individual studies in due course.

Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest assessment is of (a) the movement of (i) terrorists and (ii) weapons across the Iran-Iraq border and (b) the impact of such movements on the security situation in Iraq. (91294)

We continuously monitor and assess the security situation on the Iran/Iraq border. We assess that there is some movement of terrorists and weapons across the border and that this contributes to the violence and instability in Iraq.

We continue to press Iran to cut its links with armed groups and to do more to improve border security and fight terrorism.

There can be no justification for any country encouraging violence against our forces in Iraq, who are there at the request of the democratically elected Iraqi Government under a UN mandate.

Medical Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the future of the Military Service Medical Corps and supporting nursing services. (94484)

[holding answer 17 October 2006]: I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the Defence Medical Services (DMS). Their two key outputs are medical support to deployed operations, and the provision of healthcare to the armed forces to ensure that the maximum possible numbers of armed forces personnel are fit for duty. The DMS will continue to deliver both outputs, working where appropriate with coalition partners, the NHS, private healthcare providers and the charity sector, enhancing the high level of service to military patients that we already provide.

Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many countries offer the reason of ultimate guarantor of national security for the maintenance of a nuclear weapons capability. (95216)

The Government's position has long been that Trident is the ultimate guarantor of the UK's national security while we press for multilateral negotiations towards mutual, balanced and verifiable reductions in nuclear weapons. The UK is committed to working towards a safer world, free from nuclear weapons. The reasons why other countries maintain a nuclear weapons capability are a matter for them.

UK Defence Facilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent discussions he has held with Halliburton and KBR; and if he will seek the assurances of the two companies on their continued commitment to its UK defence facilities, with particular reference to (a) Devonport dockyard and (b) Appledore shipyard. (92743)

My noble Friend the Minister for Defence Procurement (Lord Drayson) met representatives of the company on 11 July to discuss a range of issues including the developing maritime industrial strategy.

Halliburton-KBR is, currently, a single commercial entity which through its majority (51 per cent.) shareholding in Devonport Management Ltd (DML) owns and operates Devonport Royal Dockyard and is a prime support contractor to the Royal Navy providing comprehensive through-life support for submarines, surface ships and equipments. Officials maintain regular contact with both DML and its parent company Halliburton-KBR on all aspects of our joint business interests. The Appledore yard is not normally used for defence purposes.

Recently Halliburton has stated its intention to spin off KBR as a separate entity, and officials have sought assurances that the UK's strategic interests, which are protected by conditions in the dockyard sale agreement, will be preserved. Halliburton have indicated readiness to provide these, but they remain to be negotiated.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many American Predator B unmanned aerial vehicles are planned to be purchased and at what (a) unit and (b) total cost. (92149)

We intend to procure two American Predator B unmanned air vehicles. The total acquisition cost is expected to be in the region of $80 million. US Congress is still to approve the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) Case. Definitive costs, including unit cost, will not be known until the US Air Force has replied to the UK MOD Letter of Request, which is expected by the end of the year.

Wounded Soldiers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors were taken into account when deciding that injured soldiers being treated in Selly Oak Hospital in the West Midlands should be treated in general wards rather than military wards; and if he will make a statement. (92711)

No wards at Selly Oak Hospital are specifically reserved for military patients. Although Service patients are nursed with other Service patients when this is clinically feasible, the over-riding factor in the treatment of any patient must be their clinical condition and need. The patient must be placed in the most appropriate specialist environment, with associated equipment and trained personnel who have the necessary skill sets. Furthermore, the current requirement for hospital in-patient beds for military patients is relatively low. For example, a total of only 13 military patients were overnight inpatients at all the Birmingham hospitals on the night of 19-20 October.

Nevertheless, steps are being taken to ensure that military patients do not feel “cut off” from the military community. There is a significant military medical staff presence at Selly Oak, involved in the care of Service patients. They are assisted by the staff of the Aeromedical Evacuation Cell, the Military Patient Administration Cell and the Defence Medical Welfare Services. The military chain of command also works to maintain links between the individual patient and their parent single Service unit.

As my right hon. Friend the Defence Secretary told the House on 10 October, we have increased the number of military nurses in Selly Oak; we are establishing a military managed ward in partnership with Selly Oak Hospital that we plan to have operational by the end of the year; and we are improving the welfare package for our injured troops at Selly Oak and in hospitals elsewhere—including a daily allowance to meet extra costs while they are inpatients and improved allowances for their families.

Culture, Media and Sport

2012 Olympics

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport who is responsible for appointments to the Olympic Delivery Authority; whether posts are advertised; how many persons applied for each existing post; how many were shortlisted for interview; what criteria were adopted for (a) accepting and (b) rejecting a candidate; and if she will make a statement. (95130)

Under Schedule 1, section 6(1) of the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006, I am responsible for appointing the first Chief Executive, after consulting the Chairman, and the Mayor of London. The post was advertised. Thirty four applications for the post were received of which six were short listed. All candidates were assessed against the following criteria:

Proven track record of success in:

a. leading the delivery of complex high profile, multi-billion pound, innovative projects on time and to budget;

b. setting and shaping successful large-scale delivery focused organisations that can adapt to evolving priorities and responsibilities;

c. motivational leadership, harnessing and developing high performing delivery focused teams;

d. successfully managing hugely complex procurement arrangements, including public and private funding streams;

e. rigorous financial management with commercial acumen, a strong record in cost control and managing complex financial budgets to high standards of probity;

f. leading, managing, and developing complex high profile public/private sector partnerships;

g. working with local communities and interest groups on major projects at this level to ensure public support for them;

h. motivating people and brokering collaborative working relationships with a very wide range of key stakeholders;

i. maintaining a positive personal and organisational profile, a high level of political awareness and an understanding of how to respond effectively to parliamentary, public and media scrutiny.

Evidence of a well-developed knowledge and sophisticated appreciation of the strategic issues and challenges facing both the public and private sectors in delivering projects of this nature.

All other appointments are the responsibility of the Olympic Delivery Authority. In accordance with normal public sector best practice the Olympic Delivery Authority's rules for recruitment provide for this to be done by open competition and for appointment on merit.

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much her Department has spent on organising and hosting conferences in the last 12 months. (93086)

The total cost of conferences organised and hosted by DCMS in the last 12 months was approximately £685,317.

Gambling

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many provisions are in the general codes proposed by the Gambling Commission for licensed (a) bingo clubs, (b) betting shops and (c) casinos. (95723)

The Gambling Commission is still considering responses to its consultation document Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice, (published in March 2006), so the number of provisions to be included in the Commission’s general codes for each type of licensed operator is still to be finalised. The Commission is aiming to publish its response to the consultation document and the final codes of practice and licence conditions by the end of November 2006.

Government Social Research Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the cost was of the Government Social Research Service in her Department in each of the last five years; how many projects have been completed by the Service in that period; and how many people are employed in the Service in her Department. (95847)

The estimated costs set out in the table are based on salary costs for members of the GSR employed by DCMS. They are estimates based on 2005-06 capitation rates and take account of the fact that one GSR staff member is also a member of the Government Economic Service.

Number of staff employed in DCMS who are GSR members

Estimated annual salary costs

Number of completed projects

2002-03

1

35,944

n/a

2003-04

2

89,912

5

2004-05

2

89,912

6

2005-06

4

181,349

7

2006-07

4

181,349

5

n/a = not available

1 The number of completed projects relates to projects funded from the DCMS central research budget.

Living Landmarks Competition

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what basis the Big Lottery Fund’s Living Landmarks competition was set up; which six projects are competing; and if she will make a statement. (95796)

Living Landmarks is the programme set up by the Big Lottery Fund in response to the Government’s transformational grants Order. The programme will fund a small number of large scale projects of national and regional significance across the UK, which will transform, revitalise and regenerate communities.

The six projects short listed for the People’s Millions element of the programme are:

Nottinghamshire county council, Sherwood Forest: The Living Legend

Sustrans Ltd. Connect2 (people—places—pride)

National Museum of Science and Industry, NMSI Collections Centre

Eden Project Ltd., Dry Tropics Biome

Somerset county council, WATERLINKS

Black County Consortium Ltd., A Million People—the Black Country as Urban Park

Public Libraries

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding has been allocated to public libraries in Derbyshire in the last five years. (96106)

This information is not held centrally. As with the other 148 library authorities in England, core Government funding for libraries in Derbyshire is paid as part of the Local Government Financial Settlement.

The annual public library statistics, published by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), contain information relating to total revenue income per 1,000 population, total revenue expenditure per 1,000 population and population data, from which can be inferred the amount of core funding allocated by Derbyshire county council for its public libraries. The House of Commons Library holds the most up to date statistics (2004-05) and those for the preceding four years.

Tablighi Jammaat

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether (a) Ministers and (b) others in her Department have met representatives of Tablighi Jammaat during the last three years; and if she will make a statement. (94343)

There have been no meetings with representatives of Tablighi Jammaat in the last three years.

Transport

A14

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents have been recorded on the A14 between junctions 47 and 49 in each year since 1997. (95448)

The number of road traffic accidents on the A14 between junctions 47 and 49, recorded for each of the years from 1997 to date is as follows:

Number of accidents

1997

16

1998

11

1999

16

2000

10

2001

10

2002

9

2003

12

2004

6

2005

8

2006 (To June)

4

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic (a) accidents and (b) fatalities there have been on the A14 in Suffolk in each year since 1997. (95449)

On the A14 in Suffolk in 2005, there were 150 personal injury road accidents reported to the police resulting in four fatalities. With regards to figures for previous years, I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 9 November 2005, Official Report, column 517W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of the A14 in Suffolk is lit by overhead lighting. (95539)

There is approximately 0.9km of overhead street lighting on the A14 in Suffolk, equating to 1.3 per cent. of 70.073km, which is the length of the A14 mainline carriageway measured from Felixstowe to Newmarket.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what road safety improvement schemes are planned for the A14; and when each scheme will be completed. (95540)

The following road safety improvement schemes are planned for the section of the A14 trunk road running from Newmarket to Felixstowe:

The A14 Haughley New Street to Stowmarket Improvement is a road safety improvement scheme which will see the realignment of the A14 at Haughley. It is currently at public inquiry stage, with anticipated start of works in summer 2007 and completion in January 2009, subject to funding and completion of statutory procedures.

On a smaller scale the following improvement schemes are planned over the next four years, subject to funding and changing priorities following the route's annual safety report:

A14 Stowmarket Filter Drain Hardening

Hardening of material within the verge to prevent vehicles getting stuck and subsequent stone scatter onto the main carriageway and for use in setting out mobile lane closures. Due to be completed by the end of October 2006.

A14 Port of Felixstowe Bus Lay-by Closure

Converting existing bus lay-by to mobile variable message sign (VMS) hardstanding. Due to be completed by end of 2006.

A14 Higham Westbound off slip

Signing improvements. Due to be completed by end of 2006.

A14 Risby Eastbound off slip

Road marking and signing improvements. Due to be completed by end of 2006.

A14 Orwell Bridge Service Station

Road marking and signing improvements. Due to be completed by end of 2006.

A14 Stowmarket VMS Lay-by

Provides for a hardstanding for a mobile VMS to allow rapid deployment of these units which provide up-to-date information to road users in the event of an incident. Due to be completed by end of the financial year 2006-07.

This is part of a wider programme of mobile VMS hardstandings to tackle the Government's congestion busting targets.

A14 Lay-by Strategy

This is an on-going programme of lay-by improvements covering all lay-bys on the A14 between Cambridge and Felixstowe. Phase 3 is currently considering improvements to westbound lay-bys at Baylham and Newmarket and eastbound at Copdock. Work programmed for 2007-08. Subsequent phases will continue to deliver a rolling programme year on year.

A14 Signing Review Phase 1

Provision of renewal of all road signs at Wherstead and Nacton Interchanges. Work programmed for 2007-08.

A14 Bury St. Edmunds Road/Rail containment

Provision of concrete barrier between road and rail. Works programmed for 2008-09.

A14/A11 Newmarket Bypass Road/Rail containment

Provision of concrete barrier between road and rail. Works programmed beyond 2008-09.

A14 St. Saviours Interchange

Anti-skid surfacing application, road markings and signing. Programmed for financial year 2010-11.

A14 Nacton Service Station eastbound off slip

Road markings and signing. Programmed for financial year 2010-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the junctions on the A14 in order of the volume of traffic that uses each one. (95542)

The Highways Agency does not hold records of volumes of traffic that use each junction. The table shows the 2005 traffic flows on each section of the A14 between Newmarket and Felixstowe.

A14 Newmarket to Felixstowe traffic flows-2005

Vehicles per day

Description

Eastbound

Westbound

J36 (A11) to J37 (A142)

36,516

38,844

J37 (A142) to J38 (A11)

18,984

39,793

J38 (A11) to J42 (A1302)

21,156

20,659

J42 (A1302) to J43 (A143)

20,561

20,389

J43 (A143) to J44 (A134)

20,561

20,389

J44 (A134) to J47 (A1088)

19,979

20,131

J47 (A1088) to J49 (A1308)

19,979

20,131

J49 (A1308) to J50 (A1120)

19,979

20,131

J50 (A1120) to J51 (A140)

19,979

20,131

J51 (A140) to J53 (A1156)

23,886

24,034

J53 (A1156) to J55 (A12)

24,322

22,604

J55 (A12) to J56 (A137)

27,254

25,881

J56 (A1137) to J57 (A1189)

27,254

25,881

J57 (A1189) to J58 (A12)

27,254

25,881

J58 (A12) J60 (A154)

16,680

17,263

J60 (A14) to J61 (A154)

17,263

16,680

J61 (A154) to J62 (A154)

16,680

17,263

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents have occurred on the A14 in (a) Suffolk and (b) in total in each year since 1997, broken down by the junction number closest to where the accident occurred. (95544)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the financial cost has been of closing or repairing the A14 after road accidents in each year since 1997. (95545)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road accidents have occurred on the A14 where a reported contributory factor was (a) road environment, (b) vehicle defects, (c) injudicious action, (d) driver/rider error, (e) impairment or distraction, (f) behaviour or inexperience, (g) impaired vision, (h) pedestrian action and (i) other factors in each year since 1997. (95547)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how often (a) one carriageway and (b) two carriageways have been closed (i) for routine maintenance or upgrade and (ii) due to a road traffic accident on the (A) eastbound A14 and (B) westbound A14 in each year since 1997. (95549)

Record keeping for carriageway closures on the section of road, A14 between Newmarket and Felixstowe, started in the year 2000. Between 2000 and 2006 there has been more than one change in the way data is recorded. It is not possible to provide year-by-year statistics due to those changes.

The most accurate information the Agency is able to provide is given in the table as follows:

Closures 2000-06

Number

Routine maintenance and other work

Eastbound lane closures

1,339

Westbound lane closures

1,290

Eastbound total carriageway closures

50

Westbound total carriageway closures

61

Incidents

Eastbound lane closures

130

Westbound lane closures

124

Eastbound total carriageway closures

21

Westbound total carriageway closures

15

Aviation Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his latest estimate is of greenhouse gas emissions from aeroplane contrails in flights over the (a) UK and (b) EU; and what the levels were (i) five years and (ii) 10 years ago. (95769)

The Government do not produce data specifically relating to contrails. Information on aviation emissions is contained in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Statistical Release ‘UK Emissions of Greenhouse Gases’ at the following web link:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/statistics/globatmos/gagccukem.htm.

Congestion Charging

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has held with local authorities and passenger transport executive groups on congestion charging. (95558)

Last November the Department awarded pump priming money to seven areas to take forward innovative ways to tackle congestion. Ministers and officials continue to discuss with the relevant local authorities and passenger transport authorities, Cardiff Council and Transport for London, what role road pricing could play in tackling congestion. We are working closely with authorities to ensure that any schemes developed are consistent and easily understood by motorists. Pilots will provide valuable experience that will inform decisions about moving towards a national scheme.

Cyclists

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the proportion of cyclists aged under 16 wearing helmets in each of the last five years. (96299)

Surveys of cycle helmet wearing rates are carried out for the Department about every two years. These show that cycle helmets were worn by 15 per cent. of children in 1999 and in 2002 and 14 per cent. in 2004. The 2006 survey of cycle helmet wearing rates is currently under way and will report next year.

There is a significant difference in cycle helmet wearing rates between boys and girls. In the 2004 survey, 11 per cent. of boys wore helmets and 26 per cent. of girls.

Driving Standards Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for Driving Standards Agency supercentres in South Yorkshire and the East Midlands. (95584)

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) plans to create multi-purpose test centres (MPTC) at Rotherham, Leicester (south), Lincoln, Nottingham (east) and Burton-on-Trent.

Driving Test Centres (Worksop)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will retain Worksop as a driving test centre. (95471)

The Driving Standards Agency intends to retain a driving test centre (DTC) in Worksop. Worksop DTC is currently situated in premises owned by the Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA). The DCA have served notice which terminates our tenancy agreement on the 31 March 2007. A potential replacement property has been identified in Worksop.

DSA should be in a position to relocate to its new premises in time for the expiry of the occupancy agreement at the end of March 2007.

M25

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport why resurfacing of concrete sections is not being undertaken during the repairs to the M25 between Leatherhead and Reigate. (95314)

The current repairs to the M25 between Leatherhead and Reigate are to replace defective carriageway around drains and manholes at isolated locations.

Generally the concrete carriageway on this stretch of the M25 is in good condition and will not require resurfacing for maintenance needs within the period of the Highways Agency’s current five year forward programme. However when it does need to be resurfaced a quieter surfacing will be used as a matter of course.

M6

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what public consultations he plans to hold on the widening of the M6 motorway between junctions 11a and 19. (96306)

An extensive M6 widening public consultation is scheduled for the end of autumn 2007 supported by exhibitions at a number of locations along the route of the scheme. Exhibitions will be staffed by Highways Agency officers and their consultants.

Plans will be used to illustrate the widening proposals and any alternatives. A wide range of supporting information will also be available at each exhibition.

A detailed consultation plan will be developed and placed on the Highways Agency’s M6 J11A-19 website well in advance of consultation taking place. An outline consultation plan is scheduled to be available at the time of TPI Entry scheduled for spring 2007. The route and design detail shown in the consultation will be indicative only and subject to the outcome of the consultation.

Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contingency plans are in place to ensure continuity of service on rail services in the event of franchise business failure. (96324)

Contingency plans to ensure continuity of service on rail services exist within DfT and are kept under constant review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria were used to determine the outcome of the South West trains franchise; and what the cost difference is between the new and old contracts. (93374)

The process used to evaluate bids was the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) evaluation model applicable to suppliers to the public sector. This approach utilised a scoring methodology assessing the bidder's approach, deployment, assessment and review, results/evidence (RADAR) to the contribution of 22 operational criteria to the achievement of the three principal delivery plans of performance, revenues and costs.

The current franchise subsidy committed for the last year of the franchise (which expires in February 2007) is £120 million. The new franchise will provide, over its 10 year term, a net premium of £1,191 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what plans he has to ensure that the £1.3 billion payment required to be made to the Treasury as part of the East Coast Main Line rail franchise agreement is safeguarded; (95360)

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure continuation of the East Coast Main Line rail service following GNER's parent company's default on its bond payment in the United States and filing of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection; and if he will make a statement.

GNER has met all its contractual obligations, including the making of premium payments. The Department continues to monitor the Sea Containers position closely. The Secretary of State has legal powers to ensure the continued delivery of rail services on any franchise.

Road Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what response he has made to the report commissioned by his Department from TRL on the risks resulting from drivers’ vision being obstructed by A-pillars. (95507)

The research undertaken by the Department on A-pillar obscuration established that while the A-pillar may have had an influence on an accident, other confounding issues such as junction layout, street furniture and driver behaviour may also have played a part. I am concerned that we address, where practicable, issues that affect road safety but also recognise that any such actions must be supported by sound evidence. I have therefore instructed officials that we should continue to collect evidence on this issue and keep it under review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the proportion of serious road traffic accidents that have involved a speed limit breach in each year since 1994. (95513)

The percentage of serious personal injury road traffic accidents that have ‘exceeding the speed limit’ as a contributory factor in 2005 is available in the article “Contributory factors to road accidents” published on 28 September 2006. These data are not available for personal injury road accidents prior to 2005.

A copy of the article “Contributory factors to road accidents” is available in the Libraries of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to encourage riders of powered two-wheelers to make sure that they have adequate lighting on their bikes. (95654)

The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended (RVLR) govern the use of lights on vehicles. The RVLR require that headlights are used at night and when visibility is seriously reduced, which is generally when the driver can not see for more than 100 metres. These requirements are also explained in the Highway Code.

Enforcement of road traffic law is an operational matter for individual Chief Police Officers; their officers can issue verbal warnings, fixed penalty notices or report the motorcyclist for formal prosecution.

Through the THINK! campaign we also provide advice to motorcyclists to help them to remain safe on the roads, including the line: ‘dipped headlights, even in good daylight, can help you to be seen.'

Motorcyclists are aware of the benefits of increased conspicuity and often voluntarily make themselves more visible in daytime by using dipped beam headlamps. Since 2003 motorcycle manufacturers have voluntarily fitted devices to activate the headlamps automatically when the ignition is on, both in daytime and at night.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of serious road traffic accidents involving speed limit excession in the last period for which figures are available also involved (a) unlicensed drivers, (b) unregistered drivers, (c) uninsured drivers, (d) drunk drivers and (e) stolen vehicles. (95615)

The information requested on unlicensed drivers, unregistered drivers and uninsured drivers is not available.

Of accidents which had ‘exceeding the speed limit’ as a contributory factor 12 per cent. also involved at least one driver who failed or failed to provide a breath test and 4 per cent. also involved at least one ‘stolen vehicle’, reported as a contributory factor. A serious accident is defined as an accident in which at least one person is seriously injured but no person is killed.

Roads

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of new (a) motorway and (b) trunk road have been built in each year since 1997. (95688)

I refer the right hon. Member to my answers of 19 December 2005, Official Report, column 2321W, and 27 June 2005, Official Report, columns 1263-66W, for the information between 1997 and 2005. Between 19 December 2005 and 12 October 2006 19.7 miles of trunk motorway and 9.9 miles of all-purpose trunk road schemes were completed.

Safety Cameras

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the fourth year report into speed camera effectiveness took account of reduced traffic volumes at camera sites. (95508)

Data on traffic volumes are not routinely collected at camera sites. Traffic volumes can increase or reduce on a particular road for many reasons. Any significant changes to the traffic volumes at camera sites are likely to be reflected in the regular vehicle speeds surveys that are undertaken by partnerships.

The independent four year evaluation of the national safety camera programme analyses both 85th percentile and average speeds at over 3,800 camera sites. The report concludes that fixed cameras, which are permanently in place, have been particularly effective at reducing vehicle speeds at camera sites. These sites show a 70 per cent. reduction in the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit, and a 91 per cent. reduction in the percentage of vehicles exceeding the speed limit by more than 15 mph.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made to the contribution to road safety made by speed cameras; and whether he has made an estimate of the number of road traffic fatalities avoided by the use of road traffic cameras. (95510)

The independent four-year evaluation report of the National Safety Camera Programme assessed the effectiveness of cameras and found that after allowing for the long term trend, there was a 42 per cent. reduction in death and injury at camera sites, including a reduction of over 100 fatalities per year. The report, published on 15 December 2005, is available in the Library of the House, and on the Department’s website.

Transport Innovation Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what criteria will be used to judge the next round of bidding for Transport Innovation Fund grants; and if he will make a statement. (95559)

The January 2006 Transport Innovation Fund guidance (http://www.dft.gov.uk/stellent/groups/dft_about/documents/pdf/dft_about_ pdf_611056.pdf) set out the requirements bidders would need to satisfy to reach TIF programme entry. Schemes will be judged by their performance against five main criteria:

a. Fit with national, regional and local strategy.

b. Economic appraisal and value for money—based on the DfT's New Approach to Appraisal ("NATA");

c. Deliverability—based on the methodology for the development of a Major Scheme Business Case;

d. Financial—Funding sources, financial risk and financial sustainability;

e. Commercial—the strategy for procurement and management of commercial risks.

Further detailed guidance on business case requirements will be published shortly.

House of Commons Commission

Roof Terrace

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many recorded accidents there have been which resulted in (a) minor injury and (b) serious injury on the Roof Terrace of the House in each of the last five years; and what the primary cause of each accident was. (94638)

There have been no recorded accidents. The recent closure of the Roof Terrace on health and safety grounds is a preventative measure. This follows evidence that due to insufficient preventative measures, people visiting the Roof Terrace have strayed beyond the secure area and could be in danger. Plans are being worked up to install temporary fencing to enable part of the Roof Terrace to reopen while a permanent solution is sought.

International Development

Afghanistan

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps the Government have taken to improve the functioning of the banking system in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (95330)

Much of the banking sector in Iraq is state owned and in a very poor financial condition. The range of financial services available is very limited. Restructuring of the banking system is widely identified as a high priority in creating the conditions for non-oil economic growth. The United States (US) has led on banking sector reform in partnership with the Iraqi authorities. This will remain a priority for the Government of Iraq in the coming years. DFID works with the Ministry of Finance in Iraq to take forward other essential reforms including reform of state subsidies, promoting public investment and reforming the oil sector.

In Afghanistan the situation is similar. Despite some progress in recent years the banking sector remains extremely weak. As with Iraq, the sector is dominated by the state owned banks but in Afghanistan financial services, such as money transfers, are often carried out under the informal Hawala system. The US has also led on banking sector reform in Afghanistan. At the request of the Government of Afghanistan, DFID has focused on assisting budget planning and execution and on support to tax reform, where we are the lead donor.

Angola

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the effect on Angola of ending World Food Programme operations there. (95342)

Since 2002, when the conflict ended, the World Food Programme (WFP) has provided humanitarian support to Angola. This has covered a range of activities, including feeding operations, re-building infrastructure to enable access to remote regions with populations in need, and providing passenger air transport service for the humanitarian community. Last year, DFID provided over £1 million to WFP to support these activities in Angola.

The food security situation in Angola has improved significantly since 2002. WFP’s operations are scheduled to end by early 2007, with WFP retaining a residual presence for capacity building and monitoring for the remainder of the year.

DFID’s assessment is that Angola’s short-term humanitarian needs are much less significant than the levels of chronic poverty that make hunger a long-term problem in the country. Mortality rates in Angola are driven more by inadequate water, sanitation and health care than by food supply shortages. This is the situation for many countries in the region.

DFID is already providing substantial support in these areas through a £3.5 million grant to UNICEF’s operation in Angola.

Over the next three years, DFID will provide at least £7.5 million to support WFP’s preparedness for, and ability to respond, to humanitarian crises. This is over and above any contribution we will make to individual WFP appeals. This will complement the work we are already doing in the Southern African region to improve food security information systems, so that we can respond quickly and appropriately to hunger needs.

DFID will continue to carefully monitor the food security situation in Angola.

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on organising and hosting conferences in the last 12 months. (93097)

Conferences are organised and paid for (through a combination of sole and joint funding arrangements) by divisions throughout the Department. The information relating to each conference could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Direct Budget Support

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the number of staff required to carry out the political analysis necessary to deliver Direct Budget Support programmes. (92776)

Political analysis is one of a range of tasks involved in the delivery of Direct Budget Support, and is generally carried out by DFID governance advisers, working with other professional colleagues (such as livelihoods and social development advisers), the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, experts from other donors and developing country partners.

DFID's regional divisions make their own assessments of the balance of different professional disciplines required to deliver their programmes, within overall staffing ceilings set corporately. We use a strategic workforce planning process to ensure that DFID recruits and retains the right mix of staff to meet operational needs.

To meet the growing demand for governance work DFID has increased the number of governance advisers. There are currently over 120 in post, the majority of them on operational programmes. 19 are currently in African countries in receipt of budget support.

Iraq

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department gives to orphans in Iraq; and if he will make a statement. (95323)

Although there are no reliable statistics for the number of orphans in the country, USAID report that there are 5,000 orphans in Baghdad alone.

DFID support to orphans has been through our Civil Society Service Fund (CSF), worth £5 million over two years, which focuses on strengthening the capacity of Iraqi civil society organisations to better address the needs of poor and vulnerable groups, especially women and young people. We have, for example, funded a project which provides support to widow-headed households and orphans in central Iraq.

In addition, DFID has made a £30 million contribution to the United Nations trust fund, part of which supports the activities carried out by UNICEF to help children and vulnerable groups including orphans. Examples of UNICEFs work in Iraq include:

Supporting the Iraqi Ministry of Health to carry out measles/mumps/rubella and polio campaigns, this has reached 95 per cent. of targeted children and ensures that Iraq’s polio-free status is maintained.

In collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF continues to implement the Targeted Nutrition Programme, with operates in 36 districts (population 7.2 million) with high levels of malnutrition and poverty.

UNICEF supports the promotion of rights and participation of children, with efforts to build and strengthen a protective environment for children through community-based strategic approaches.

UNICEF funds effective mine risk education programmes.

Further information on DFID’s Iraq programme can be found at:

http://www.dfid.gov.uk/countries/asia/iraq.asp

Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the role is of the Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit; how much funding the unit has received in each of the last three financial years; what funding is planned for the unit in each of the next three financial years; in which countries it has been operational since its inception; and if he will make a statement. (94473)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply the International Development Secretary gave on the role of the Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit (PCRU) on 20 July 2006, Official Report, column 577W.

The PCRU spent £1.6 million in financial year (FY) 04/05, £3.7 million in FY 05/06, and has an allocation of £10.5 million for FY 06/07 and £10.5 million in FY 07/08. Funding for FY 08/09 and FY 09/10 will be determined next year following the outcome of Comprehensive Spending Review.

The unit has been operational in the following countries since its inception:

In Afghanistan, it facilitated an assessment and plan for all of the UK's involvement in Helmand Province including activities to help achieve security, promote economic development, to help reduce the production and trafficking of illicit drugs and to assist in the creation of a provincial government that is able to plan for, and deliver, basic services. It has then provided seven staff and consultants over the last eight months, prior to the establishment of longer-term staffing arrangements by DFID and FCO, to help design and implement specific programmes including establishing a Provincial Development Council to determine priorities for the province and enhancing coordination between the Afghan army and police. They have also helped deliver quick impact programmes such as better irrigation, more reliable power supply in a hospital, protection for police facilities and extending reception of the BBC World Service Pashto Service. PCRU has also provided the majority of the staff of the Strategic Delivery Unit in the British embassy in Kabul, which monitors the impact of all UK activities in Afghanistan and helps to ensure consistency in delivering UK's security, counter-narcotics and development objectives;

In Iraq, it is providing the team leader and key support staff for the UK-led Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Basra which coordinates and helps deliver UK, US and Danish assistance to the Iraqi government in the south, focusing on the Basra Province. The PRT has enabled the Basra Provincial Council identify its priorities and is helping the council turn these into specific projects in areas such as water supply and economic development, secure funding from central government and put in place the systems needed to ensure effective implementation. It has worked closely with the British military to ensure the complementarity of their quick impact projects with the priorities of the Council;

In Sudan, it is helping finance and manage a project to enable the Africa Union Mission in Sudan (AMIS) to promote the benefits of the Darfur Peace Agreement (DPA) to encourage non-signatories to join;

In Lebanon during the war, PCRU supported cross-government assessments of the emerging crisis and identification of options for the UK's involvement in Lebanon's recovery. Subsequently, it has helped the British embassy develop projects to contribute to peace building and reconstruction through seconding a member of staff, and contributed to developing proposals for British Government support to enhancing the Lebanese government's ability to bring stability to the south;

It has also provided advice on specific British security and justice sector programmes (including policing) in Yemen, Sri Lanka, the Balkans and the Occupied Territories.

Somaliland

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much multilateral aid the UK has given to Somaliland in each of the last five years; through which organisations it has been distributed; and if he will make a statement. (94041)

Much of the funding that DFID channels through multilaterals is not specific to Somaliland. However, we estimate that about 30-40 per cent. of the overall multilateral assistance to Somalia benefits Somaliland. The imputed UK multilateral share to Somalia is as follows:

£ million

EC

Other

UN

World Bank

Grand total

2000

3.5

0.0

1.0

0.0

4.5

2001

2.9

0.0

0.9

0.0

3.8

2002

1.9

0.0

0.9

0.0

2.8

2003

2.8

0.0

0.8

0.0

3.6

2004

3.6

0.0

0.6

0.0

4.2

Note:

Figures for 2005 have yet to be published.

DFID’s bilateral programme to Somalia also channels some aid through multilaterals. The following is a breakdown over the last five financial years:

£ million

Financial year

Other

UN

World Bank

Multilateral total

Bilateral total

Percentage of bilateral programme channelled to multilaterals

2001-02

0.1

0.4

0.0

0.5

1.7

27.2

2002-03

0.0

1.3

0.0

1.3

3.1

41.6

2003-04

0.0

2.5

0.0

2.5

4.0

62.5

2004-05

0.0

2.8

0.1

2.9

5.8

50.7

2005-06(Provisional)

0.0

10.3

0.1

10.4

18.8

55.7

The following are some examples of DFID’s current support to UN agencies working in Somaliland:

UNESCO Primary Textbooks Programme and a national education programme with UNICEF

UNDP’s Rule of Law and Security (RoLS) Programme

ILO’s Employment, Enterprise and Livelihoods Programme (EEL) contributing to economic growth and diversification in Somaliland

UN-Habitat’s activities to strengthen and expand urban planning and capacity building of local councils as part of the EC/UNDP-funded Somalia Urban Development Programme (SUDP)

Northern Ireland

A and E Departments

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of people attending accident and emergency departments in Northern Ireland have presented with (a) alcohol-related conditions and (b) injuries in which alcohol was a contributory cause in each of the last three years. (95394)

Information collected centrally on the number of people attending Accident and Emergency Departments records only the total number of first and follow up attendances at each A and E Department. No detail of the condition with which patients presented is held centrally.

Information is available on the number of emergency admissions1 to hospitals in Northern Ireland, where the primary or secondary diagnosis was an alcohol-related condition or a combination of an alcohol-related condition and an injury. The information is presented in the table, for 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 (the latest year for which data is available).

(a) The percentage of emergency admissions1 to hospitals in Northern Ireland, where the primary or secondary diagnosis was an alcohol-related condition.

1 Discharges and Deaths are used as an approximation to admissions. It is possible that any individual could be admitted to hospital more than once in any year and will thus be counted more than once as an admission.

Emergency admissions for alcohol related conditions

Percentage

2003-04

4.02

2004-05

4.36

2005-06

4.38

(b) The percentage of emergency admissions1 to hospitals in Northern Ireland, where the primary or secondary diagnosis was a combination of an alcohol-related condition and an injury.

Emergency admissions for alcohol related conditions and injuries

Percentage

2003-04

1.14

2004-05

1.09

2005-06

1.06

Source:

Hospital Inpatient System

Best Practice Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many staff in (a) each Government Department in Northern Ireland, including the Northern Ireland Office, and (b) the voluntary and community sectors have participated in the Northern Ireland best practice scheme in the last 12 months. (95014)

The following table shows the number of staff in each Northern Ireland Department and the community and voluntary sectors who have booked as delegates for events run as part of the Northern Ireland best practice scheme. A figure is also provided for the number of other public sector employees who booked places. The figures cover the period October 2005 to September 2006.

Department/organisation

Number of places booked

Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister

8

Department of Agriculture and Rural Development

19

Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

4

Department of Education

3

Department for Employment and Learning

13

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

6

Department of the Environment

28

Department of Finance and Personnel

72

Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety

16

Department for Regional Development

28

Department for Social Development

37

Northern Ireland Office

2

Voluntary and community organisations

43

Other public sector organisations

320

Church Schools (Admissions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether it is the policy of the Government that the proposed new local authorities in Northern Ireland should have the power to require new church schools to reserve up to a quarter of admissions places for pupils from other denominations or faiths; and if he will make a statement. (95614)

The Education and Inspections Bill 2006 does not apply to Northern Ireland which has its own education legislation. There is no provision in NI legislation for faith schools. All grant-aided schools in Northern Ireland are open to members of all faiths and none. The Government have no plans to introduce faith schools in Northern Ireland.

Devolution

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland by whom policy on academic selection in Northern Ireland will be decided following the St Andrews talks in Scotland. (96149)

While the Government's clear view is that abolishing academic selection would be in the best interests of education and the economy in Northern Ireland, it has accepted that the final decision on this matter should rest with local political parties provided there is an early restoration of the Assembly.

The Government have decided that, provided the Northern Ireland political parties have endorsed the St. Andrews agreement by 10 November, it will amend the Education (NI) Order 2006 to reflect the revised target date of 26 March 2007 for restoration of the Assembly in order to provide for a restored Assembly to vote on the issue of academic selection.

Ferry Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will discuss with the ferry operators between Belfast and Birkenhead ways of reducing embarkation and disembarkation times; and if he will make a statement. (95741)

No. This is essentially an operational issue between the shipping services, port users and the port authorities.

My officials have, however, drawn your question to the attention of officials at the port of Belfast.

Fire Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many fire officers in Northern Ireland have been hospitalised as a result of being assaulted while on duty in the last 12 months. (95522)

No firefighters have been hospitalised as a result of assaults while on duty in the last 12 months.

Freedom of Information Act

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what total sum has been received by his Department for the provision of information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 in its first year of operation. (48493)

The Freedom of Information Act allows for public authorities to determine when the cost of processing a request will exceed the appropriate limit, which for central Government is set at £600 and for the wider public sector £450. In this instance the public authority may decide to either approach the applicant to help them refine their request and where possible to bring it under the appropriate limit. Alternatively, public authorities may charge the applicant the cost of processing the request. There is, however, no obligation for departments to provide information if the cost of processing the request exceeds the appropriate limit. The total sum of monies received by the Northern Ireland Office in the first year of Freedom of Information, for a request that was over the fees limit, was £650.

Public authorities may also charge for disbursements when handling requests where it is deemed appropriate. The Northern Ireland Office has not charged for disbursements. Further information on the FOI fees regime can be found on the DC A web site at http://www.foi.gov.uk/practitioner/feesguidance.htm.

Homelessness

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many households in (a) Upper Bann, (b) Portadown, (c) Lurgan, (d) Banbridge and (e) Northern Ireland have presented to the Housing Executive as homeless in each of the last three years; and how many of them have been accepted as full duty cases in that time. (95602)

The information is not held by constituency and is not therefore available in the form requested. The number of applicants presenting, and accepted, as homeless for the Housing Executive district office areas of Portadown, Banbridge, Lurgan and Northern Ireland as a whole, for the last three financial years, is as follows:

Presenters

Acceptances

2003-04

Portadown

328

82

Lurgan

305

84

Banbridge

332

137

Northern Ireland

17,150

8,954

2004-05

Portadown

369

120

Lurgan

349

122

Banbridge

343

134

Northern Ireland

17,362

8,470

2005-06

Portadown

326

114

Lurgan

424

136

Banbridge

445

156

Northern Ireland

20,121

9,749

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many households in (a) Upper Bann, (b) Portadown, (c) Lurgan, (d) Banbridge and (e) Northern Ireland have been homeless for a minimum of (i) three months, (ii) six months, (iii) nine months and (iv) one year in each of the last three years. (95603)

The information is not held by parliamentary constituency and is not therefore available in the form requested. The most up to date available figures, by Housing Executive district office, is as follows:

As at 31 March

> 3 months1

> 6 months1

> 9 months1

> 1 year1

2004

Banbridge

42

30

25

21

Lurgan

41

27

17

11

Portadown

18

14

7

3

Northern Ireland

4,876

4,003

3,244

2,579

2005

Banbridge

58

49

39

29

Lurgan

53

37

29

21

Portadown

42

31

18

18

Northern Ireland

5,959

4,995

4,080

3,339

2006

Banbridge

108

86

72

59

Lurgan

65

48

33

25

Portadown

35

26

17

13

Northern Ireland

7,370

6,309

5,203

4,252

1 All figures are mutually inclusive.

Hospital Chaplains

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps have been taken by each Health and Social Services Trust in Northern Ireland to ensure that the (a) appointment and (b) representation of hospital chaplains complies with equality legislation. (95395)

All Health and Social Services Trusts are expected to comply with equality legislation when appointing any member of staff including hospital chaplains.

Trusts are only required to make remunerated appointments where there is a reasonable need for a particular faith group. Honorary appointments can be considered for the other smaller faith groups where a remunerated appointment is not considered necessary.

Hospital Staff (Assaults)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many accident and emergency hospital staff in Northern Ireland have been the victims of assault while on duty in each of the last three years, broken down by hospital. (95392)

Recorded figures for assault of accident and emergency hospital staff while on duty in each of the last three years are:

Number

2006

142

2005

112

2004

144

The figures broken down by hospital are as follows:

Trust

2006

2005

2004

Altnagelvin

9

10

18

Armagh and Dungannon

0

1

0

Belfast City

51

14

45

Causeway

4

0

17

Craigavon and Banbridge

0

0

0

Craigavon Area Hospital

5

5

9

Downe Hospital

1

1

1

Lagan Valley Hospital

2

1

1

Mater

17

19

20

Newry and Mourne

1

5

1

Royal Group of Hospitals

12

3

9

Erne Hospital

12

24

0

Tyrone County Hospital

3

13

0

Ulster

9

10

20

Antrim Hospital

11

3

2

Mid Ulster Hospital

4

1

1

Whiteabbey Hospital

1

2

0

Total

142

112

144

My Department is fully committed to improving health and safety protection for all Health and Personal Social Services (HPSS) staff. Measures have been put in place to minimise risks to staff by installing panic buttons in A and E units, toughened glass at reception areas and CCTV cameras. A Zero Tolerance Group has been established and is currently reviewing procedures in relation to risk assessment and management of violent incidents against staff to ensure the safety of employees while at work.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many hospital staff in Northern Ireland have been hospitalised as a result of assault while on duty in each of the last three years. (95393)

There have been no recorded instances of hospital staff having been hospitalised as a result of an attack while on duty in each of the last three years.

Measures have been put in place to minimise risks to staff including ‘the guardian angel personal security system’, personal alarms to reduce the risk to lone workers, installation of panic buttons in A and E units, toughened glass at reception areas and CCTV cameras. A Zero Tolerance Group has been established and is currently reviewing procedures in relation to risk assessment and management of violent incidents against staff to ensure the safety of all Health and Personal Social Services (HPSS) employees while at work.

Hospitals

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will assess standards of cleanliness in Northern Ireland’s acute hospitals. (96152)

The assessment of cleanliness standards in Northern Ireland Acute Hospitals was included in the first independent assessment of environmental cleanliness standards in HSS Trusts which was published on 10 October 2006.

Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 9 October 2006, Official Report, columns 329-30W, on parliamentary questions, which answers to parliamentary questions have (a) been drafted by the North/South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat and (b) received input from the North/South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat. (95067)

The following table provides details of those parliamentary questions in respect of which Northern Ireland Civil Service officials in the North/South Ministerial Council Joint Secretariat provided either draft answers, or input to parliamentary questions from Members of the House of Commons in the 12 months up to the 30 September 2006.

Official Report date of response

Official Report column number

14 December 2005

2094W

17 March 2006

2518W

20 March 2006

42W

22 March 2006

414W

27 March 2006

686W

27 March 2006

686W

18 April 2006

492W

18 April 2006

493W

18 April 2006

494W

Official Report date of response where part-input provided

Official Report column number

6 March 2006

1127W

26 April 2006

1191W

23 May 2006

1605W

7 June 2006

700W

20 July 2006

693W

Roads

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the expected completion date is for the upgrading of the Belfast to Dublin Road; what sections are programmed to be upgraded; when the upgrading is scheduled; what sections have no dates for planned upgrading; and if he will make a statement. (95742)

The Chief Executive of Roads Service (Dr. Malcolm McKibbin) has been asked to write to my hon. Friend in response to this question.

Letter from Malcolm McKibbin, dated 23 October 2006:

You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question regarding what the expected completion date is for the upgrading of the Belfast to Dublin Road; what sections are programmed to be upgraded; when the upgrading is scheduled and what sections have no dates for planned upgrading.

As this issue falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Roads Service, I have been asked to reply.

The Belfast-Dublin link forms part of one of the 5 Key Transport Corridors at the upper tier of the region’s long distance routes. The Department for Regional Development’s Roads Service is committed to upgrade the northern part of this link, comprising the M1/A1 to at least dual carriageway standard by 2009.

The following table provides details of improvement schemes affecting this route that are included in Roads Service’s current Strategic Route Improvement Programme. These include:

schemes already under construction; and

high priority schemes in a preparation pool that are being processed through the statutory procedures that are expected to be implemented within the next 5 years or so subject to clearing the statutory procedures, having a satisfactory economic appraisal and the availability of funds at the time.

Scheme

Description

Status

Timetable

M1/Westlink Upgrade

Widen 2.6 km of motorway and 1.4 km of dual carriageway to 3+3 lanes including 2 underpass junctions.

Under construction

Work has commenced. Anticipated completion spring 2009

A1 Loughbrickland to Beech Hill

Upgrade 9.0 km of single carriageway to standard dual carriageway

Under construction

Work has commenced. Anticipate completion November 2006

A1 Newry to Dundalk Link Road (NI Section)

4.3 km of high standard dual carriageway with no central reserve crossings and 1 grade separated junction. (+10 km in ROI)

Under construction

Work has commenced. Anticipate completion end 2007

A1 Junction Improvement

Provide a flyover at A1/Cascum Road, Banbridge

Under construction

Ongoing private developer led works agreed for new shopping centre

A1 Beech Hill to Cloghogue

12.1 km of high standard dual carriageway with no central reserve crossings and 5 grade separated junctions

Included in Preparation Pool

Anticipated to commence in 2007 with completion in 2009

A1 Junction Improvements

Provide flyovers at 4 key junctions on Al

Included in Preparation Pool

Anticipated to commence in 2007 with completion in 2009

In August 2006, Minister Cairns unveiled a proposed additional 400 million package of major improvements to the trunk road network during the period up to 2015. The proposed package was issued for public consultation that concluded on 29 September 2006. Roads Service is currently considering responses with a view to finalising the extended programme.

The following table provides details of improvement schemes affecting this route that were included in the Consultation Document and that had performed well against the five key criteria of environment safety, economy, accessibility and integration and were included in the proposed package. (No decision has yet been made as to whether these schemes will be included in Roads Service’s Forward Planning Schedule, so no commencement date can be given for any of these schemes.)

Scheme

Description

M1 Slip Roads at Black’s Road

2 west facing on/off slips at the Ml/Black’s Road junction

M1/A1 Sprucefield Bypass

4Km of high standard dual carriageway from Ml to Al at Hillsborough including flyover

A1 Junction Improvements

Provide flyovers at 4 additional key junctions to upgrade Al between Sprucefield and Loughbrickland

The consultation document also included for information, a list of schemes that had performed less well against the key criteria but were not affordable within the funding envisaged to 2015. The following table provides details of one improvement scheme affecting this route that is included in this list. (No decision has yet been made as to whether these schemes will be included in Roads Service’s Forward Planning Schedule, so no commencement date can be given for this scheme.)

Scheme

Description

Ml widening Black's Road to Sprucefield

Provision of additional lane in both directions

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what studies he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the impact of improving motorway links between the Northern Ireland border and ports in the Irish Republic on (i) the ports industry and (ii) airports in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. (95745)

Improved motorway links make an important contribution to travel and transport, but I have not commissioned specific studies into their impact on ports or airports in Northern Ireland.

Sex Offenders

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many convicted sex offenders classified as Category 3 are under supervision while not being in prison in Northern Ireland. (96150)

On 19 October there were 10 sex offenders in the community in Northern Ireland who have been assessed as Category 3 and are subject to the multi-agency sex offender risk assessment and management (MASRAM) procedures.

Work and Pensions

Carers

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the carer's addition to pension credit ceases to be payable after the death of a cared-for-spouse. (96334)

The extra amount for carers in pension credit remains in payment for a period of eight weeks after the person who is being cared for dies, in order to provide additional support at what is often a difficult time.

Disability Living Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations he has received from (a) hon. Members and (b) others calling for the backdating of disability living allowance for people diagnosed with cancer. (91567)

The Department has no record of having received any representations to backdate disability living allowance for people diagnosed with cancer.

Employment Programme Centres

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much funding for employment programme centres in South Yorkshire was provided by the European Structural Fund under the terms of the county's objective one status in each year for which figures are available. (93895)

The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how much funding for employment programme centres in South Yorkshire was provided by the European Structural Fund under the terms of the county’s objective one status in each year for which figures are available. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

The European Structural Fund Objective 1 has not funded programme centres in South Yorkshire. Co-financed by Jobcentre Plus it has, however, funded a broader initiative known as “Ways to Work” in four main centres (Barnsley, Rotherham, Sheffield and Doncaster). The maximum contract value for this provision over its full period of operation, which runs from October 2005 until March 2007, is £1.09m.

I hope this is helpful.

Jobcentre Plus

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance his Department issues to Jobcentre Plus staff about advising couples that they would be better off financially if they separated; and if he will make a statement. (95396)

[holding answer 19 October 2006]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking what guidance is issued to Jobcentre Plus staff about advising couples they would be better off financially if they separated. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

I can confirm that guidance does not direct Jobcentre Plus staff to advise couples they would be better off financially if they separated.

Pension Credit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people are claiming pension credit in Tooting constituency. (95276)

3,460 households in the Tooting constituency were receiving pension credit as of May 2006.

Notes:

1. The figure provided is an early estimate. The preferred data source for figures supplied by DWP is the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS). However, the figure provided is the latest available figure which is taken from the CMS scan at 26 May 2006. These are adjusted using the historical relationship between WPLS and GMS data to give an estimate of the final WPLS figure.

2. Caseloads are rounded to the nearest 10.

3. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the relevant postcode directory and are therefore based on the 2005 parliamentary boundaries.

4. Households are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of a household.

Source:

DWP 100 per cent. data from the Generalised Matching Service (QMS) pension credit scan taken as at 26 May 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people took up pension credit in Tooting constituency in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. (95277)

The number of households in receipt of pension credit in the Tooting constituency at February in each of the years requested is in the following table.

As at February each year:

Household recipients

2004

3,440

2005

3,380

2006

3,010

Notes: 1. Case loads are rounded to the nearest 10. 2. Parliamentary constituencies are assigned by matching postcodes against the 2005 postcode directory and are therefore based on the 2005 parliamentary boundaries. 3. Household recipients are those people who claim pension credit either for themselves only or on behalf of a household. Source: DWP 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

Warm Front Team

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions he has held with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the warm front team; and whether the Department passes information to the warm front team on individuals benefit entitlements. (94427)

I refer the hon. Member to the response I gave on 27 July 2006, Official Report, columns 1591-92W.

Winter Fuel Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of a pensioner’s average energy bill was met by the winter fuel allowance in (a) 2003, (b) 2004 and (c) 2005; and what the estimated percentage is for 2006. (93776)

[holding answer 16 October 2006]: The winter fuel payment is intended to provide a contribution towards winter heating bills which account for around 60 per cent. of the total fuel bill. Winter fuel payments increased from £20 in 1997-98 to the current value of £200 for households with someone aged 60 to 79 years of age, and £300 for households with someone aged 80 or over. The information is in the table.

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Average amount spent on fuel

549

583

651

780

Average winter fuel payment

235

233

234

235

Percentage of total fuel bill met by winter fuel payment

43

40

36

30

Notes:

1. Pensioner expenditure on fuel is unavailable from the Family Expenditure Survey in 2005-06 and 2006-07. Expenditure for these years is forecast using 2004-05 fuel expenditure uprated by fuel price inflation in 2005-06 and 2006-07. It has been assumed that energy prices will stay at second quarter of 2006 levels for the remainder of 2006-07.

2. Average winter fuel payments have been calculated by dividing expenditure on winter fuel payments by the number of households in receipt of winter fuel payments.

Source:

Family Expenditure Survey 2003-04,2004-05; DWP Administrative data.

Between 1996-97 and 2004-05 (the latest year for which data are available) pensioner incomes increased by 25 per cent. in real terms, compared with a 15 per cent. real terms increase in utility bills between 1996-97 and 2006. It is important to note that while pensioner incomes tend to increase on a linear basis, with 4 per cent. real growth between 2003-04 and 2004-05 building on the growth in earlier years, utility prices tend to fluctuate.

Education and Skills

A-level Mathematics

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what research he has (a) undertaken and (b) evaluated to establish the reason for the fall in A-level mathematics entry between 2001 and 2002; and what conclusions were reached. (94472)

The review of AS mathematics by the regulatory authorities and the Post-14 Maths Inquiry, chaired by Professor Adrian Smith, established the reason for the fall in A level mathematics entry between 2001 and 2002 was due to the introduction of the Curriculum 2000 reforms. It identified that the content of the AS specification was too great to be taught and mastered in the first year of study.

Arson in Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many convictions there have been for arson in schools in each of the last 20 years, broken down by local authority area; (95116)

(2) how many schools have had fires started by arsonists in each of the last 20 years, broken down by local authority area;

(3) what estimate he has made of the cost of repairing deliberate fire damage at schools in each of the last 20 years, broken down by local authority area;

(4) what estimate he has made of the cost of introducing a sprinkler system in every school in England.

We do not have figures for school fires broken down by local authority areas. The data we have is provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which collects figures from the Fire and Rescue Service.

The earliest figures we have on school fires from DCLG are for 2000, and the most recent for 2004. These cover England and Wales. The costs are rounded to the nearest million and are derived from the (then) ODPM publication “Economic Cost of Fire, estimates for 2004”. They cover property damage and the costs of the fire and rescue services attending the fires.

Number of fires

Total costs (£ million)

2000

1,275

45

2001

1,529

67

2002

1,332

67

2003

1,313

61

2004

1,291

52

The available data do not differentiate between primary and secondary schools, or between the public and independent sectors.

For the years covered, just over 60 per cent. of the school fires were considered to be the result of deliberate fire setting. Neither this Department nor the DCLG have figures for the number of people convicted for committing arson in schools.

We do not have reliable figures for the cost of installing sprinklers in schools, and so we commissioned consultants to carry out a study to establish them. Their survey covers a minimum of 20 primary and secondary schools, and is analysing both installation costs and maintenance costs. It commenced in July and should be completed later this month. We will include data from the study in the final draft of our new guide on fire safety, Building Bulletin 100 (BB 100), “Designing and Managing Against the Risk of Fire in Schools”, which we expect to publish early next year.

Biometric Information Collection

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many representations his Department has received on the collection of biometric information by schools. (95097)

Since 1 January 2006 my Department has received 21 written communications which referred to the collection of biometric information by schools and nine phone calls on the subject.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what his Department’s policy is on whether schools should be allowed to collect biometric information on pupils without the consent of their parents. (95098)

The Department has not issued guidance to school governors on whether they should consult parents before implementing a policy of taking thumb prints for library issues. It is for each school to establish that it is acting lawfully in processing pupils’ personal data and, on a case-by-case basis, is acting in compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Data Protection Act 1998, and the common law of confidentiality. The British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) published guidance for schools in 2004 on their obligations and responsibilities under the Data Protection Act and other related legislation.

CAFCASS

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills in what ways Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service officers are held accountable for the content of their reports under the organisation's complaints policy. (94874)

[holding answer 17 October 2006]: This is a matter for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). Anthony Douglas, the CAFCASS chief executive has written to the hon. Member with this information and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Anthony Douglas, dated 18 October 2006:

I am writing to you in response to the parliamentary question that you tabled recently: PQ94874–In what ways Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service officers are held accountable for the content of their reports under the organisation's complaints policy?

The reports that CAFCASS practitioners submit in the range of Family Court proceedings are professional assessments made by practitioners to assist the court in reaching a conclusion in complex disputes concerning the best welfare interests of the children at the centre of those proceedings.

The individual practitioner is necessarily accountable to the court for the content of that report and the method that was used to compile that report, and the professional basis of the assessment that is made within it. The Court hearing offers parties to the court case the opportunity to challenge both the content of the report and the method used by the CAFCASS practitioner to produce their assessment.

CAFCASS complaints procedures allow for any factual errors in reports to be corrected prior to the court hearing where CAFCASS has been informed or becomes aware of such errors in advance of that hearing. This would not include any issues of disputed facts, which would be matters that the court itself would have to consider, weigh up and form a judgment about, in the light of all of the available evidence before it.

CAFCASS as an organisation holds the responsibility for ensuring that such reports are prepared to recognised standards and that the quality of work undertaken by practitioners on its behalf, in preparing and completing such reports, meets these standards. CAFCASS practitioners are directly accountable to their line managers or contract managers for their adherence to its Service Standards. Allegations that CAFCASS practitioners have breached CAFCASS Service Standards are specifically noted within CAFCASS complaints procedures as being matters that can properly be examined within those procedures.

Complaints about CAFCASS in particular cases, which are not resolved by its complaints procedure, can be referred to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

During the course of 2006 CAFCASS has introduced new quality assurance procedures in order to guarantee the quality of reports prepared on its behalf, prior to them being submitted to the Courts. CAFCASS is also currently consulting on new national standards to replace existing current Service Standards, for all its work including report writing, and is about to issue on 1st November a new Record Keeping Policy.

Children and Adoption Act

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what contact activities (a) courts will be able to order and (b) public funding will pay for when the Children and Adoption Act 2006 is fully operational. (95389)

Under provisions in part 1 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 courts will be able to order programmes, classes and counselling or guidance sessions that may assist with establishing, maintaining or improving contact with a child. Other possible activities are programmes designed to address a person’s violent behaviour and information sessions about mediation. Contact activities will not extend to include medical or psychiatric examination, assessment or treatment or taking part in mediation.

The Secretary of State may, by regulations, make provision on levels of financial assistance to be paid in respect of an individual as regards an activity in which s/he is required by a contact activity direction or condition to take part. Regulations in this regard will be laid in respect of all contact activities.

Citizenship Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what plans he has to encourage the recruitment of specialist trained citizenship teachers by schools; (94891)

(2) what assessment he has made of the Ofsted report “Towards Consensus—Citizenship in Secondary Schools”;

(3) what recent assessment he has made of the quality of teaching of citizenship in schools; and what steps he is taking to improve the standard of such teaching.

The DfES welcomes the Ofsted report “Towards Consensus–Citizenship in Secondary Schools” which recognises that much good work has taken place, that steady progress is being made in citizenship teaching and acknowledges that there is still much room for improvement. 200 initial teacher training places in citizenship education are being made available each year and the DfES is funding 1,200 Citizenship Continuing Professional Development (CPD) places over the next two years to enable citizenship teachers to broaden and deepen their subject knowledge. We have also published a CPD handbook and citizenship self-evaluation tools for both primary and secondary schools. We continue to support the Association of Citizenship Teachers and work with a range of organisations to provide resources and support for teachers.

Dyslexia

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children in independent schools in Somerset have received public money for help with dyslexia in the last five years. (93573)

No information is collected centrally on the number of children in independent schools who have received public money for help with dyslexia.

Excluded Pupils

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether it is his intention to prevent children excluded from school from attending a public library. (95239)

No. The proposed offence at clause 100 of the Education and Inspections Bill will require the parents of pupils who have been excluded from school to ensure that their child is not in a public place during school hours during the first five days of exclusion.

The proposed legislation is framed in such a way that such parents could avail themselves of the defence of “reasonable justification” where circumstances prevent compliance with the duty. In the case of a child being in a public place, such as a public library, at the relevant time, it would be for the parent to prove their presence was reasonable. For example, the parent would have to demonstrate why the library could not have been visited outside of school hours.

Ultimately it will be for the courts to decide whether reasonable justification has been proved.

Faith Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when he expects building to begin for the new Faith School in Everton, Liverpool; and if he will make a statement. (95497)

[holding answer 20 October 2006]: A scheme for the new Church of England and Roman Catholic Faith School has been agreed and the proposals have been approved by the local Schools Organisation Committee. The capital funding for the new build has been secured.

Liverpool Archdiocese has informed the Department that although the scheme has been agreed with all concerned, the promised pupil numbers have not materialised. Over the last two years the numbers have actually reduced and the number on roll currently stands at 70 pupils plus 11 in the nursery.

Both the Liverpool Archdiocese and the Church of England Diocese are anxious to see some movement on the new school build programme. However, they are conscious that a new school cannot be justified with the current numbers on roll. The Dioceses and the local authority are currently trying to establish a suitable way forward for this school in line with the wider regeneration programme in Liverpool.

Green Corns, Rochdale (Behavioural Problems)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what mechanisms are in place for the inspection of (a) curriculum, (b) hours of teaching, (c) examination entry, (d) attendance at lessons and (e) supervision in relation to children with behavioural problems placed in small homes, with particular reference to Green Corns in Rochdale. (94459)

Green Corns Ltd. operates a number of children's homes in the north west, some of which have been registered as independent schools. All independent schools must comply with standards set out in The Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2003 as amended. These set out the quality of education, welfare, health and safety arrangements for pupils that all registered independent schools must meet. Ofsted inspections of Green Corns schools examine the breadth of the curriculum, timetabled teaching hours, attendance, behaviour and supervision of pupils. Independent schools are not required to enter pupils for examinations.

Heartlands Development, Haringey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost per bidder is of the three day consultancy offered to bidders for sponsorship of the new school to be built on the Heartlands development in Haringey; how much the Government have provided to Haringey council for that process; and if he will make a statement. (94136)

Since 1 September local authorities wanting to establish a new secondary school have been required under Section 66 of the Education Act 2005 to invite bids from potential promoters. Each potential promoter is entitled to receive three days' consultancy support funded by the Department to help them prepare their bids and we have allocated a budget of £1,500 to cover the cost of each support package.

As the Department is providing this consultancy support directly to potential promoters we have not transferred any funding to Haringey.

Heartsease High School, Norwich

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what stage the negotiations for the award of City Academy status for Heartsease High School, Norwich have reached; and how (a) parents, (b) members of the public and (c) other interested parties are being consulted on academy status for the school. (93953)

The Heartsease Academy project entered the feasibility phase of development on 7 September 2006. As with all academy projects consultations will now take place, providing opportunities for parents, members of the public and other interested parties to make their views known.

Consultations will also be put in hand soon by the local authority on the proposals it will publish for the closure of the Heartsease High School to enable its replacement by the Academy.

Home Schooling

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what funding is available for home schooling; and if he will make a statement. (94728)

[holding answer 17 October 2006]: Parents may choose to provide their children with a full-time education at home, but there is no central funding available to assist them. Local authorities may provide financial support to home schooling parents at their discretion, although there is no requirement for them to do so.

International GCSE

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will make a statement on the operation of The Coventry City Council and the North West Federation of Schools (International General Certificate in Secondary Education) Order 2005 (S.I., 2005, No. 1739). (95200)

The results for 2005/06 from the first cohort were up to expectations—all those anticipated achieved a pass at Grade C or above. The English course is a success and is now running for 2006/07.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will amend literacy and numeracy requirements for higher level teaching assistants to include the International GCSE at grade A*-C in English language, English literature or mathematics as acceptable literacy and numeracy qualifications. (95670)

The Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) Standards are a set of national, professional standards. They currently require nationally accredited qualifications for two reasons: firstly because they reflect national standards and criteria for subject content and robustness of assessment; and secondly because they are monitored by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to ensure that assessment is fit-for-purpose and that standards of attainment are maintained across time, across centres and across awarding bodies.

The HLTA Standards are, however, currently under review and we are consulting on a range of issues, including the literacy and numeracy requirements for candidates seeking to attain HLTA status. The case for the widening of the Standards to include non-accredited qualifications will, therefore, be discussed as part of this review.

Kent LEA

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) whether demographic statistics in Kent were taken into account when determining funding levels for Kent local education authority; (95142)

(2) what factors are taken into account when calculating funding levels for schools in Kent;

(3) what funding levels have been allocated for the local education authorities in (a) Gravesham, (b) Medway and (c) Kent.

Each local authority's total Dedicated Schools Grant for 2006-07 was calculated by multiplying their full-time equivalent pupils (aged 3 to 15) from the January 2006 pupil count by their Dedicated Schools Grant Guaranteed Unit of Funding (the Dedicated Schools Grant Guaranteed Unit of Funding is unchanged from that set in December 2005 and is available on Teachernet at www.teachernet. gov.uk/docbank/index.cfm?id=9405.)

The Dedicated Schools Grant Guaranteed Unit of Funding for 2006-07 was based on actual spend per pupil in 2005-06, with a basic increase of 5 per cent. per pupil (5.1 per cent. for London authorities) and headroom allocated to reflect five ministerial priorities (personalisation at key stage 3, personalisation in primary schools, more practical learning options at 14 to 16, workforce reform and early years expansion). £30 million was also distributed between authorities who spent below the level of undamped Schools Formula Spending Share in 2005-06.

Where authorities were below 90 per cent. participation for their three-year-olds in January 2006, the number of three-year-olds for funding purposes was brought up to 90 per cent. of the projected population.

Each authority also received a minimum cash increase of at least 4 per cent. over their 2005-06 Dedicated Schools Grant allocation to provide additional support for authorities with falling rolls.

The methodology for calculating the Dedicated Schools Grant in 2007-08 will be the same as for 2006-07. An overview to the 2007-08 Dedicated Schools Grant allocation process can be found at http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank/index.cfm?id==10356.

The 2006-07 Dedicated Schools Grant Allocations can be found at http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank /index.cfm?id=9405. The Dedicated Schools Grant in 2006-07 was £152.202 million in Medway (an increase per pupil of 6.8 per cent.) and £718.205 million in Kent (an increase per pupil of 6.9 per cent. which includes the Gravesham constituency).

Muslim Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many state-funded Muslim schools there were in England in each of the last five years. (94356)

The following table shows how many maintained Muslim schools were open in England as at September of each of the last five years:

Primary schools

Secondary Schools

Total

2002

2

2

4

2003

2

2

4

2004

3

2

5

2005

4

2

6

2006

5

3

8

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) how many private Muslim schools were inspected in each of the last five years; (94357)

(2) how many private Muslim schools there were in England in each of the last five years.

The information requested is given in the following table.

Academic year

Number of Independent Muslim schools inspected1

Number of registered Independent Muslim schools

2001-02

10

79

2002-03

23

108

2003-04

14

112

2004-05

48

110

2005-06

21

114

1 Includes seven schools which have since closed and excludes five schools inspected in academic year 2000-01.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much money was received from his Department by maintained Muslim faith schools in England in each of the past five years. (94436)

The total amount of recurrent funding received by maintained Muslim faith schools in each of the last five years was as follows:

The Education (Budget Statements) (England) Regulations, total budget share plus grants allocated to Muslim schools at the beginning of each financial year since 2001-02, cash terms figures as reported by local authorities as at 16 October 2006

Total budget share plus grants allocated to Muslim schools at the start of the financial year (£)

Number of Muslim schools reported on Section 52 Budget (Table 2)

2001-02

936,485

2

2002-03

3,029,248

4

2003-04

3,954,729

4

2004-05

5,731,667

5

2005-06

7,376,441

6

2006-07

9,505,805

7

Total

30,534,375

7

Notes: 1. Only includes those Muslim schools reported by the local authority on their Section 52 Budget Statements (Table 2). 2. Includes all revenue funding allocated to the schools via the LA's local funding formula at the beginning of each financial year. Also includes any grants reported on Section 52 and allocated to schools as at 1 April each year. 3. 2003-04 does not include any EIC grants allocated to schools as this was not recorded at a school level on Section 52 in that year. EIC grants account for £85,000 of the 2004-05 total.

In addition, in terms of capital funding, the following amounts were disbursed for approved capital projects at maintained Muslim schools as follows:

Amounts disbursed for approved capital projects (£)

2001-02

940,000

2002-03

1,000,000

2003-04

7,850,000

2004-05

6,750,000

2005-06

7,300,000

2006-07

11,900,000

Total

25,740,000

1 Paid out in grant so far within the financial year 2006-07 on committed capital projects.

Newcastle City Academy

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if he will place in the Library a copy of the deed of arrangement for Newcastle City academy; and whether the adjudicator has approved the next stages for the closure of Westgate college. (93939)

[holding answer 16 October 2006]: The schools adjudicator approved the closure of Westgate community college on 28 February 2006, subject to the making of a funding agreement to establish an academy and the granting of planning permission for an academy. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State entered into a funding agreement for the Excelsior academy, Newcastle on 1 August 2006 and planning permission has now been granted by the local authority. The academy will open in September 2008.

The funding agreement for the Excelsior academy, Newcastle is already publicly available on my Department’s website at www.dfes.gov.uk/foischeme under academy funding agreements.

Nursery Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what percentage of nursery schools is (a) state-funded, (b) voluntary and (c) private; and if he will make a statement. (94903)

Since April 2004 all three and four-year-olds have been entitled to a free, good quality, part-time early education place. As at January 2006 there were 37,500 providers delivering the free entitlement, of which, 43 per cent. were maintained nursery and primary schools, 52 per cent. were private or voluntary providers, 3 per cent. were registered independent schools and 1 per cent. were special schools.

Figures for January 2006 show that virtually all four-year-old children receive some form of free entitlement. The figure for three-year-olds is 96 per cent. As the free entitlement has been rolled out to all three and four-year-olds the greatest expansion of places has been in private, voluntary and independent settings. Of all children accessing the free entitlement in 2006, 39 per cent. did so in private, voluntary and independent settings, compared to just 12 per cent. in 2000.

The latest figures on early education places for three and four-year-olds in England were published in Statistical First Release 32/2006 “Provision for children under five years of age in England—January 2006 (final)” in September, which is available on my Department's website www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/.

Partial Selection

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 25 July 2006, Official Report, column 1458W, on partially selective schools, which schools operate the form of partial selection by ability or aptitude which it would not now be lawful to introduce. (95246)

Admission authorities may introduce selection by aptitude of up 10 per cent. of their intake by aptitude for prescribed subjects. As introduction of aptitude selection is determined locally, we do not hold information on the number of schools which have adopted it.

Provision in the Education and Inspections Bill reaffirms the prohibition on the introduction of any new selection by ability. But schools, which have operated partial selection by ability or aptitude continuously since 1997/98, may continue to do so as long as they do not change the proportion of children selected or the basis for their selection. Although we do not hold a definitive list, we are aware of 38 schools which operate partially selective arrangements which it would not now be lawful to introduce.

Pupil Behaviour

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what Government spending was on (a) all school attendance initiatives, (b) the Behaviour Improvement Programme, (c) the Behaviour and Attendance Strand of Key Stage 3 strategy, (d) national truancy sweeps, (e) collection of data for the national pupil absence tables, (f) assistant regional advisers for attendance, (g) the Education Welfare Service, (h) parenting contracts for truancy, (i) parenting orders for truancy, (j) penalty notices for truancy, (k) fast-track case management for truancy and (l) e-registration in (A) primary and (B) secondary schools in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (93531)

The information is as follows:

(a) All school attendance initiatives. The Department has funded a number of initiatives which had, as part of their overall objectives, the reduction of absence. These are listed in the following table below includes the requested information on (b) behaviour improvement programme; (c) behaviour and attendance strand of KS3 strategy; (f) assistant regional advisers for attendance; and (l) e-registration.

£ million

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Behaviour Grant1

10

11

Schools Inclusion: Pupil Support Grant1

29

69

86

85

Excellence in Cities: Learning Mentors/Learning Support Units: Primary

0

21

34

34

34

34

34

34

EiC: Learning Mentors/Learning Support Units: Secondary

17

48

66

78

83

82

82

82

EiC: Clusters1

3

9

17

26

39

40

e-registration2

11

Behaviour Improvement Programme1

30

85

95

121

3

KS3 Behaviour and Attendance Strategy1

24

24

24

44

44

1 Split between primary and secondary not available.

2 Secondary only.

3 Funding of £121 million has been subsumed in the School Development Grant.

4 Includes £0.8 million in 2005-06 and £1.9m in 2002-07 for assistant regional advisers for attendance.

(d) National Truancy Sweeps are resourced by local authorities and the police and my Department does not collect information on these costs.

(e) collection of data for the national pupil absence tables: the following figures represent the value of the contract let to the company which collects the annual absence data for the Department.

£000

1997-98

102.4

1998-99

97.2

1999-2000

89.0

2000-01

171.7

2001-02

167.3

2002-03

164.6

2003-04

172.8

2004-05

177.6

2005-06

145.5

2006-07

188.0

(g) the Education Welfare Service: the following figures represent planned spend by local authorities (England only) on education welfare services.

Planned spend on Education Welfare Service1 as reported by local authorities through their S52 budget statements as at 11 October 20062

£ million

Primary3

Secondary3

Special3

Gross

Income

Net

2000-01

38.2

43.5

5.5

87.2

1.2

86.0

2001-02

39.2

47.3

4.7

91.2

1.4

89.8

2002-03

40.0

49.2

5.0

94.2

1.9

92.2

2003-04

103.8

3.1

100.7

2004-05

111.7

4.0

107.7

2005-06

117.2

4.8

112.4

2006-07

119.4

5.5

113.9

Note:

Figures are not available for earlier years.

1 Expenditure listed under line 1.6.6 (to 2002-03), 2.4.8 (2003-04 and 2004-05) and 2.4.10 (2005-06 and 2006-07) of the Section 52 budget statements which includes education welfare service (and other expenditure arising from the LEA's school attendance functions). Excludes the costs of Education Welfare Officers directly involved in issues related to child protection which are recorded separately.

2 Data are subject to change by the local authority.

3 A split by school sector is only available until 2002-03.

(h) Parenting contracts for truancy, (i) parenting orders for truancy, (j) penalty notices for truancy, (k) fast-track to attendance case management are resourced by local authorities and my Department does not collect information on these costs.

Pupils (Language)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what proportion of (a) year 5, (b) year 6 and (c) year 7 pupils have English as a second language in (i) Ruislip-Northwood constituency, (ii) each London borough and (iii) England. (92818)

The information requested is shown in the table.

Maintained primary and secondary schools1: number and percentage of pupils in year groups 5, 6 and 7 whose first language is known or believed to be other than English2– all London local authorities, Ruislip-Northwood parliamentary constituency and England, January 2006

Maintained primary1

NC Year Group 5

NC Year Group 6

NC Year Group 7

Number

Percentage3

Number

Percentage3

Number

Percentage3

England4

67,330

12.4

65,360

11.9

1,200

12.9

Ruislip-Northwood parliamentary constituency

121

12.4

108

11.9

0

0.0

London4

30,960

38.8

30,340

38.2

980

52.9

Inner London4

15,040

52.9

14,580

52.1

5

50.0

Camden

809

56.5

764

55.4

6

6

City of London

19

63.3

20

71.4

0

0.0

Hackney

1,207

54.0

1,197

54.9

0

0.0

Hammersmith and Fulham

547

45.4

494

43.2

0

0.0

Haringey

1,484

54.1

1,412

52.9

0

0.0

Islington

760

41.9

741

40.8

0

0.0

Kensington and Chelsea

476

52.2

433

49.3

0

0.0

Lambeth

1,153

47.0

1,127

46.6

6

6

Lewisham

816

30.0

832

29.9

0

0.0

Newham

2,799

72.2

2,617

70.9

0

0.0

Southwark

1,128

39.7

1,192

41.1

6

6

Tower Hamlets

2,015

74.9

2,020

75.1

0

0.0

Wandsworth

859

40.1

773

36.9

0

0.0

Westminster

966

71.2

953

71.9

0

0.0

Outer London4

15,920

31.0

15,770

30.7

980

52.9

Barking and Dagenham

495

21.3

462

20.4

0

0.0

Barnet

1,320

39.4

1,288

38.0

4

57.1

Bexley

231

8.2

233

8.4

0

0.0

Brent

1,665

56.8

1,747

58.3

0

0.0

Bromley

212

6.2

215

6.3

0

0.0

Croydon

879

22.3

850

21.5

0

0.0

Ealing

1,752

53.8

1,696

53.4

0

0.0

Enfield

1,391

38.2

1,276

36.1

6

6

Greenwich

730

27.9

751

28.6

0

0.0

Harrow

1,135

46.7

1,132

46.6

974

53.0

Havering

129

4.7

131

4.6

0

0.0

Hillingdon

813

26.6

831

28.2

0

0.0

Hounslow

1,146

49.1

1,144

48.2

0

0.0

Kingston upon Thames

350

23.6

363

24.4

0

0.0

Merton

537

31.5

548

31.7

0

0.0

Redbridge

1,568

50.2

1,542

48.6

0

0.0

Richmond upon Thames

247

15.5

252

15.4

0

0.0

Sutton

201

10.4

223

11.3

0

0.0

Waltham Forest

1,121

41.7

1,083

40.3

0

0.0

Maintained secondary1

NC Year Group 5

NC Year Group 6

NC Year Group 7

Number

Percentage3

Number

Percentage3

Number

Percentage3

England4

700

2.9

890

3.3

54,310

9.7

Ruislip-Northwood parliamentary constituency

0

0.0

0

0.0

95

11.2

London4

5

22.2

10

26.3

23,650

33.3

Inner London4

5

22.2

10

27.8

10,750

48.1

Camden

0

0.0

0

0.0

594

38.9

City of London

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

Hackney

0

0.0

0

0.0

576

47.6

Hammersmith and Fulham

4

22.2

4

23.5

369

35.2

Haringey

0

0.0

0

0.0

1,036

50.7

Islington

0

0.0

0

0.0

686

44.4

Kensington and Chelsea

0

0.0

0

0.0

258

42.7

Lambeth

0

0.0

0

0.0

581

38.9

Lewisham

0

0.0

6

6

480

25.7

Newham

0

0.0

0

0.0

2,246

64.7

Southwark

0

0.0

0

0.0

857

46.6

Tower Hamlets

0

0.0

0

0.0

1,795

69.8

Wandsworth

0

0.0

0

0.0

571

33.0

Westminster

0

0.0

0

0.0

705

50.3

Outer London4

0

0.0

0

0.0

12,890

26.5

Barking and Dagenham

0

0.0

0

0.0

449

19.8

Barnet

0

0.0

0

0.0

1,022

32.6

Bexley

0

0.0

0

0.0

211

6.7

Brent

0

0.0

0

0.0

1,410

53.2

Bromley

0

0.0

0

0.0

153

4.3

Croydon

0

0.0

0

0.0

622

17.4

Ealing

0

0.0

0

0.0

1,301

48.8

Enfield

0

0.0

0

0.0

1,422

38.5

Greenwich

0

0.0

0

0.0

502

23.0

Harrow

0

0.0

0

0.0

24

8.0

Havering

0

0.0

0

0.0

107

3.4

Hillingdon

0

0.0

0

0.0

721

26.4

Hounslow

0

0.0

0

0.0

1,300

48.9

Kingston upon Thames

0

0.0

0

0.0

247

17.3

Merton

0

0.0

0

0.0

420

26.6

Redbridge

0

0.0

0

0.0

1,400

44.5

Richmond upon Thames

0

0.0

0

0.0

209

15.0

Sutton

0

0.0

0

0.0

270

10.1

Waltham Forest

0

0.0

0

0.0

1,104

41.0

1 Includes middle schools as deemed

2 Includes pupils aged five and over. Excludes dually registered pupils.

3 Number of pupils whose first language is known or believed to be other than English expressed as a percentage of all pupils in that year group.

4 National and regional totals have been rounded to the nearest 10. There may be discrepancies between totals and the sum of constituent parts.

5 Less than five (where the totals have been rounded to the nearest 10.

6 Less than three or a rate based on less than 3.

Source:

Schools’ Census

Red Box Website

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether his Department has issued any guidance on the use of the Government's Red Box website. (94470)

The Department for Education and Skills has not issued specific guidance on the use of the Red Box website. DfES has issued “Financial Capability through Personal Finance Education: Guidance for Schools” which complements the aims of the Red Box website to improve young people's understanding of finance.

SATs Results

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of primary school children have obtained basic (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills in each year since the introduction of SATs. (93759)

The number and proportion of pupils achieving level 4 (the target level) or above in the key stage 2 national curriculum tests in each year since 1995 are shown in the following table.

EnglishMathematics

Number of pupils achieving level 4 or above1 (Thousand)

Percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above2

Number of pupils achieving level 4 or above1 (Thousand)

Percentage of pupils achieving level 4 or above2

1995

242.9

49

210.0

45

1996

306.5

57

291.5

54

1997

373.4

63

366.0

62

1998

394.3

65

356.9

59

1999

443.4

71

434.0

69

2000

466.4

75

446.5

72

2001

474.9

75

447.0

71

2002

478.5

75

469.0

73

2003

479.5

75

462.1

73

2004

474.8

78

453.4

74

2005

481.3

79

457.8

75

20063

470.1

79

450.2

76

1 Figures are for England only, and are expressed in thousands rounded to the nearest hundred. 2 The denominator for the calculation of the percentage of pupils achieving the expected level in each subject is all pupils eligible for the test in that subject. This includes pupils who were absent from the test, working below the level of the test or disapplied from/unable to access the test. Eligible pupils in independent schools who opted to participate in the tests are also included. 3 2006 figures are provisional. Revised figures will be published in December 2006. Figures for all other years are based on final data.

School Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of schools which would be affected if the draft Code proposing changes to the admissions criteria in relation to the deletion of the siblings criterion is implemented in February 2007. (94971)

The draft Code proposes to rule out the use of the sibling oversubscription criterion at all 164 grammar schools and to restrict its use in the 40 schools that use selection by ability or aptitude for more than 10 per cent. of their intake under section 100 of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998, unless the school can show exceptional circumstances to justify it.

We do not have information on how many of these 204 schools currently use the sibling criterion, and therefore are unable to say how many will be affected by the proposed changes. The criterion is acceptable at all other schools, including those that admit 10 per cent. or less by selection on aptitude.

School Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what criteria are used by his Department to determine whether a school has adequately consulted parents on the nature and scope of health services available in the school; and if he will make a statement. (95063)