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Written Answers

Volume 455: debated on Monday 15 January 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 15 January 2007

Leader of the House

Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Leader of the House how many written parliamentary questions to the Leader of the House in the 2005-06 Session were not answered wholly or in part on grounds of disproportionate cost. (113277)

In the 2005-06 Session, three written parliamentary questions were not answered on grounds of disproportionate cost.

To ask the Leader of the House how many written parliamentary questions to him in the 2005-06 Session were answered with a reply that it had not been possible to reply before Prorogation, or similar wording. (113278)

To ask the Leader of the House on how many occasions he has circulated round robin guidance to Departments following the tabling of written parliamentary questions in the last 12 months. (113667)

To ask the Leader of the House how many parliamentary questions were tabled to his Office in 2006, broken down by (a) ordinary written and (b) named day; what percentage of ordinary written questions were answered within 10 working days; and what percentage of named day questions were answered by the specified date. (115281)

In the 2005-06 Session, the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons answered (a) 188 ordinary written parliamentary questions, 100 per cent. of which were answered within 10 sitting days; and (b) 71 named day questions, 100 per cent. of which were answered on the specified date.

Political Party Finance

To ask the Leader of the House what responsibilities he has for political party finance reform. (114078)

My responsibilities for political party reform were set out in the Prime Minister’s letter to me of 15 May 2006. They are to lead on the reform of party funding arrangements, taking account of Sir Hayden Phillips’ review, with a view to getting new arrangements in place before the next general election.

International Development

Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent on advertising with The Guardian newspaper, including online, in the last year for which figures are available. (114086)

DFID's spend on advertising in The Guardian newspaper in the last calendar year was £168,735. This figure includes the cost of inserting the leaflet "Eliminating World Poverty", recruitment advertising and advertorials.

Child Education

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate he has made of the number of school-aged children in the world who are not in education. (115112)

The primary source of global data on out of school children is the Education for All Global Monitoring Report. The 2007 Global Monitoring Report (GMR), launched on 26 October 2006, estimates that there are around 77 million primary-aged children who are not enrolled in primary or secondary school. The GMR helps track progress on the Universal Primary Education Millennium Development Goal to ensure that by 2015 children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling.

Given its emphasis on the enrolment statistics of primary-aged children, the GMR does not make a comparable estimate of secondary-aged children out of school. It does, however, estimate a global net enrolment ratio in secondary education of 58 per cent. Net enrolment ratio is enrolment of the official age group for a given level of education, expressed as a percentage of the population in that age group.

Clean Water Access

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department is providing to facilitate the creation of public partnership bodies in the water industry in developing countries to improve access to clean water. (114584)

In March 2006, the UN Secretary-General's Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation announced an action plan which included a call for a global mechanism to promote water operators partnerships. We intend to increase support to various partnership initiatives that support public utilities and we are currently considering how best to do this. We are discussing a number of proposals with potential partners. Previous experience has shown that twinning agreements and capacity-building arrangements in the sector can often be ineffective. Our approach to public partnerships should capitalise on this experience and be based on evidence of what works best. In particular, we want to be sure that any new partnerships are set up with the right incentives in place and do not duplicate or undermine the efforts of other established partnership approaches.

In addition, DFID has supported the International Benchmarking Network for water and sanitation utilities (IBNET) since 2002. This is an initiative of the multi-donor Water and Sanitation Programme (WSP) to compile and share performance indicators in order to help improve efficiency.

Forestry

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which countries have signed up to Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Partnership Agreements; and if he will make a statement. (114283)

The European Union has held preliminary discussions about Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade partnership agreements with a number of countries in Asia and Africa. In late 2006 Malaysia and Ghana announced their intentions to proceed with formal negotiations. Indonesia did so on 8 January of this year and it is anticipated that several more countries will confirm their intention to proceed with negotiations by the summer. The length of negotiations will vary from country to country but we expect the first partnership agreement to be signed by the end of 2007.

Indonesia

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the outcomes of the Multistakeholder Forestry Programme in Indonesia since 2000; and what plans there are to extend the programme beyond 2006. (114277)

The Multistakeholder Forestry Programme (MFP) has worked with civil society and government organisations to broker new relationships between citizens and the state in relation to forest policy-making. DFID has contributed £25 million to this work since 2000. The programme is transforming forest governance in Indonesia, promoting a citizens' voice and government accountability, and increasing transparency and participation in policy-making, which is having a strong impact on poverty and forest management.

The programme ended in December 2006. DFID commissioned a series of independent reviews of its outcomes. These showed considerable impact in reducing poverty and conflict, in securing access to state forest lands by local communities, in improving small enterprises, in reducing illegal logging, and in rebuilding trust and effective government in a fragile state. A portrait of the programme was also written by a British journalist and published in a book entitled "Aid That Works", highlighting many human interest stories and how lives have changed by the improvements in forest governance in Indonesia.

The programme has built a solid platform for taking forward the new DFID White Paper agenda—engaging in governance reforms in difficult environments, working across Whitehall, and addressing climate change. We are now preparing joint work with the FCO in Indonesia to carry forward this agenda, particularly in addressing the international trade in illegal timber, the stabilisation of local land rights to curb deforestation and illegal logging, and to raise the profile of climate change and the huge contribution to greenhouse gas emissions made by deforestation in Indonesia. Initially this will be supported as part of DFID's £24 million global Forest Governance and Trade programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what funding and resources his Department committed to combat illegal logging in Indonesia in each of the last three financial years; how much has been allocated for each of the next three financial years; how much of that funding and resources (a) was channelled and (b) will be channelled (i) bilaterally and (ii) multilaterally; and through which multilateral agencies aid (A) has been and (B) will be channelled. (114279)

DFID has a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Indonesia on combating illegal logging, and a wider forest governance reform programme, the Multistakeholder Forestry Programme (MFP). As part of the £25 million bilateral MFP, DFID has spent approximately £2 million per year, over the past three years, on research, advocacy, coordination, media communications, training and policy development to combat illegal logging. While the MFP has ended, DFID's bilateral commitment to combating illegal logging continues under a £24 million global programme on Forest Governance and Trade. We expect to spend over £1 million each year over the next three years from this global programme in Indonesia.

Through its contributions to the EU, DFID is also contributing to a number of EU-funded projects combating illegal logging in Indonesia. The EU-Illegal Logging Response Centre, the EC Tropical Forest Budget Line, and the EU support to the Asia Regional Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) process, have all contributed over £2 million per year, and the new EU Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT) Support Project will spend just under £2 million per year over the next three years.

Through its staff and contributions to the World Bank, DFID has also contributed to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-World Bank partnership against illegal logging in Indonesia, and leveraged US$1 million (2006-07) from a Dutch Trust Fund for a Forest Transparency Initiative. Through its contributions to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), DFID has contributed to the work of the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in supporting the Asia Forest Partnership.

These funds are backed up by the staff whom we have in our Policy Division, the DFID Indonesia country office, and seconded to the European Commission office responsible for global forestry support, as well as the work we do across Whitehall in providing a coherent response to this international problem from DFID, DEFRA and FCO.

Infrastructure Projects

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the amount of UK bilateral aid allocated to infrastructure projects in each year since 1997. (113934)

Estimated UK bilateral expenditure on infrastructure since 1997 is set out in the following table. These estimates are based on the expenditure allocated to sectors covering infrastructure which include transport and communication, energy, public- private partnerships/privatisation, construction, urban management, shelter and housing, water supply and water and sanitation. Some support to infrastructure, for example, expenditure on education facilities, will be allocated to an education sector, which means the infrastructure element cannot be identified separately and is therefore not included in the following figures.

UK bilateral expenditure on infrastructure (£ million)

1996-97

131.1

1997-98

125.6

1998-99

134.7

1999-2000

122.2

2000-01

113.7

2001-02

142.1

2002-03

121.5

2003-04

182.7

2004-05

148.8

2005-06

169.1

Outstanding Debt

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) how much debt is owed by (a) low and (b) lower-middle-income country governments to the UK through (i) the CDC group and (ii) his Department, broken down by country; (114483)

(2) how much debt relief and cancellation in terms of (a) flow relief and (b) stock cancellation has been granted by the Government since 2004 on debts of (i) low and (ii) lower middle income countries owed to (A) the CDC group and (B) his Department, broken down by country.

The following table shows the debts currently owed by Low Income and Lower Middle Income Countries to the UK through DFID, as well as debt relief and cancellation in terms of flow relief and stock cancellation for these countries. No debt is owed directly by any government to CDC Group plc, which only lends to commercial organisations. However, some loans by CDC to parastatal and quasi-governmental organisations were guaranteed by their governments. Income to CDC and debt relief on these loans are therefore included in the table.

Debts owed by countries to the World Bank on loans financed by the UK and other then-EEC donors in the 1970s are listed separately. DFID receives payments on these loans from the World Bank. The loans reverted to bilateral status in 2005 and those to Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) are being treated in accordance with the UK’s 100 per cent. debt relief policies. All payments by HIPCs to the UK since 2000 on these loans will be returned to them when they complete the HIPC Initiative. The balance of the loans will also be cancelled. Payments returned to HIPCs so far are listed as flow relief since 2004, with loans cancelled recorded as stock cancellation. DFID is in the process of returning payments and cancelling our share of these loans to Malawi and Sierra Leone, which recently completed the HIPC Initiative. We are also in the process of returning payments received from Mauritania.

Debts owed and debt relief given to Low Income and Lower Middle Income Countries

£000

Debt owed

Debt relief

World Bank Loans with DFID as a creditor

Flow relief 2003-04 to 2005-06

Stock cancellation 2003-04 to 2005-06

Reimbursements since 2004 on World Bank loans with DFID as a creditor

Stock cancellation since 2004 on World Bank loans with DFID as a creditor

Country

CDC

3DFID

CDC

3DFID

CDC

3DFID

Low Income Countries1

Bangladesh

4,701

Benin1

64

304

Burkina Faso1

168

813

Burundi2

121

Cameroon1

2,574

Central Africa N. Rep.2

49

Comoros2

71

Congo, Dem. Rep.2

1,568

Congo, Rep.2

489

Cote D’Ivoire2

12,976

1567

663

Ethiopia1

204

1,062

Gambia2

167

Ghana1

4506

1,632

9,050

1,104

121

630

Guinea2

381

Guinea-Bissau2

96

Haiti2

592

India

4,913

Kenya

292

1,450

Laos

274

Lesotho

217

Liberia2

134

Madagascar1

203

1,057

Malawi1

2,886

754

Mali1

211

1,019

Mauritania1

152

Mozambique1

68

Myanmar

1,062

Nepal2

1,105

Nicaragua1

3

Niger1

38

205

Nigeria

5,000

Pakistan

5,672

23,139

Rwanda1

34

175

Senegal1

49

87

413

Sierra Leone2

293

Somalia2

151

Sudan2

1,093

Tanzania1

524

2,302

Togo2

665

Uganda1

455

2017

Yemen

1,102

Zambia1

1,154

2,154

99

526

Zimbabwe

10,144

8,544

Total for low income countries

23,412

9,111

26,276

9,966

2,786

32,189

4,041

2,208

11,429

Lower middle income countries

Colombia

6

Ecuador

8,067

Egypt

3112

3,542

1,218

Guyana1

12,106

59

306

Honduras1

2,519

186

15,371

93

Indonesia

16,622

553

Jamaica

5,906

313,472

5,864

9,257

Jordon

37,072

5,716

Peru

32,958

1,550

Philippines

483

Samoa

29

Solomon Islands

734

Sri Lanka

873

Total for Lower Middle Income countries

22,528

32,170

4,997

2,519

186

21,235

30,674

59

306

1 Countries completed the HIPC Initiative and received 100 per cent. debt cancellation from the UK.

2 Countries progressing through HIPC and will receive 100 per cent. debt cancellation when they reach HIPC Completion Point. Those that have passed Decision Point of the HIPC Initiative receive 100 per cent. flow relief (they make no debt service payments).

3 Debt relief has been given on these debts under Retrospective Term Adjustment (RTA) and the Commonwealth Development Initiative (GDI)-payments are cancelled each year as they become due and the countries are not billed.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been received by the Government from (a) low and (b) lower middle income countries on debts owed to (i) the CDC group and (ii) his Department in 2005-06; and how much is expected to be received in each category in 2006-07. (114484)

No debt is owed directly by any government to CDC Group plc, which only lends to commercial organisations. Some loans by CDC to parastatal and quasi-governmental organisations were guaranteed by their governments, and income to CDC from these loans is recorded in the table. The only income received directly by DFID from a Low Income Country (LIC) in 2005-06 came from Zimbabwe, which has not met the standards of accountability, public financial management and commitment to poverty reduction needed to qualify for debt relief from the UK. No payments are expected from LICs in 2006-07.

Income to the Government from debts owed to DFID and CDC in 2005-06 and expected in 2006-07 is as follows:

£000

Received in 2005-06

Expected in 2006-07

DFID

CDC

DFID

CDC

Low Income Countries

89

28

0

30

Lower Middle Income Countries

3,298

191

1,117

1,985

In addition, £1.852 million was received by DFID in 2005-06, and £1.883 million is expected in 2006-07 from repayments by countries to the World Bank on loans that were originally funded by the UK and other then EEC creditors in the 1970s. The bulk of these loans were to Low Income Countries. Debts held by Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) are cancelled in full when they reach HIPC Completion Point, with any payments made to the UK since 2000 returned to them. The UK is not currently able to provide debt relief on our share of the loans to non-HIPC Low Income Countries as this requires the agreement of all eight creditors. We are continuing discussions and hope to be able to offer debt relief on these loans soon.

Somalia

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what steps he is taking to support the United Nations World Food Programme in Somalia to ensure that food reaches (a) Wajid, (b) lower Shabelle and (c) the Middle and Lower Juba regions; and what representations is he making on the resumption of the use of airdrops and helicopters in Somalia. (113843)

The UK is a major supporter of the World Food Programme (WFP) globally and in Somalia. WFP plans to distribute 114,000mt (metric tonnes) of food aid in Somalia this year, and a significant proportion of this will be in the worst affected areas in southern and central Somalia, such as Middle and Lower Juba. The UK is the second largest contributor after the US to the World Food Programme's protracted Relief and Recovery Operation 10191, which runs to 31 March 2007, with US$11.4 million.

WFP is currently preparing a food aid convoy from Mogadishu to Wajid. A distribution in Middle Shabelle was planned just before the recent fighting, but it remains stalled because of lack of clarity over the security situation in that region. In Middle and Lower Juba there has been some limited food aid distribution in Bualle. There are 1000mt on trucks at Afmadow in Lower Juba, which it is planned will be distributed soon. WFP also has teams in Wajid on standby for a return to Kismayo.

The recent conflict caused restrictions on access to Somalia for relief workers and supplies. However, for most agencies, including WFP, it is proving possible to resume operations, although there have been some problems related to the re-emergence of local militias. The UK continues to take all opportunities to press the authorities on the ground to allow for the re-establishment of humanitarian relief operations in all areas, including the deliveries of WFP food aid and the use of helicopters and aircraft. Much of this operation is funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund to which the UK is the largest single contributor. WFP has adequate supplies for the next five to six months for Somalia.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of the additional resources provided by the United States to Somalia on the situation in that country; and what steps his Department is taking to support development and peace-keeping efforts in Somalia. (114197)

I understand that the additional funds pledged by the US for Somalia at the International Contact Group meeting in Nairobi on 5 January— intended for humanitarian, capacity-building support and to help finance the proposed international peace support mission in Somalia—have yet to start disbursement.

DFID's programme has increased significantly, to a planned budget of £15.5 million in 2006-07 which is set to rise further to £21 million in 2007-08. Within these amounts we are providing significant amounts of humanitarian relief, assistance to building up the capacity of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs), and support to education and other services to the poor.

In recognition of the changing political situation on the ground, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is in the process of preparing a short-term response plan, which will include proposals for support to the TFIs in the coming critical weeks. This is likely to cover proposals for:

supporting the relocation of the TFIs to Mogadishu;

rehabilitation of government buildings in Mogadishu;

immediate technical assistance requirements;

a process for the re-establishment of regional and local authorities; and

revenue raising.

DFID will examine the response plan, once available, and work towards a joint approach to it with the EC and other donors.

We are also examining urgently, with donor partners, how existing donor support to restoring effective policing in parts of Somalia can be extended to southern and central Somalia. This support is being channelled primarily through the UNDP's Rule of Law and Security programme (RoLS), which has been supporting police strengthening in Somaliland, Puntland and Baidoa. The programme has already established police training centres in Armo and Baidoa.

Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development on how many occasions in the last five years the publication date of statistics produced by his Department has been changed; what the (a) subject of the statistics, (b) (i) original and (ii) final date of publication and (c) reason for the delay was in each case; and who took the decision to delay the publication in each case. (113672)

In accordance with the National Statistics Code of Practice (2002), the Head of Profession for Statistics in the Department for International Development has sole responsibility for determining, pre-announcing and, if necessary, altering the dates of publication of ‘National Statistics’ and other relevant statistics produced by the Department.

Any decision to change a pre-announced publication date will be based on a range of professional considerations such as the completeness of the underlying data, their fitness for purpose, the need for consistency and coherence, the need to promote widespread access and informed debate, or any earlier accidental or wrongful release. In reaching their decision, the Head of Profession will also take into consideration the detailed procedural guidance given in the ‘National Statistics Protocol on Release Practices’. The code and its 12 supporting protocols are available in the Library of the House, and can also be accessed using the following address:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/about/national_statistics/cop/default.asp

There have been no occasions in the last five years when the Head of Profession has changed a pre-announced publication date.

House of Commons Commission

British Overseas Territories

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission if he will reform the constitutional composition of the House of Lords to include formal representation from members of British Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies. (113656)

I have been asked to reply as I have ministerial responsibility for House of Lords reform.

The Government have no plans to introduce measures to include any formal representation of the Overseas Territories or Crown Dependencies in the House of Lords.

Catering Facilities

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, if the Commission will discontinue its policy of not releasing details of bookings made by individual hon. Members of catering facilities. (114786)

It has not been the practice of the House to release details of bookings made by individual hon. Members of catering facilities, whether made for private functions or on behalf of internal or external organisations. The Commission has no plans to change this practice while a complaint relating to this subject is being considered by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, how many dinner menus have been printed by the Refreshment Department for hon. Members’ private dinners in the last 12 months; and how many copies of such menus have been kept by the Refreshment Department. (114796)

The Refreshment Department has ordered printed menu cards on behalf of hon. Members for 106 private lunch and dinner events in 2006. No copies are retained by the Refreshment Department.

Transport

Airspace

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the implications for British national sovereignty arising from the EU proposal to treat all airspace above 25,000 feet over the EU as European airspace. (115236)

The EC initiative to establish a European Upper Flight Information Region encompassing all airspace above 28,500 feet is without prejudice to UK national sovereignty over its airspace.

Cycle Spaces

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost was of supplying 2,900 extra cycling spaces at stations, as referred to on page 132 of his Department's annual report 2006. (115293)

The total cost of this project delivered on behalf of the Department by the former Strategic Rail Authority was £309,240.00. The final count of extra parking spaces provided for cyclists was around 2,500.

DVLA

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many names and addresses of drivers the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency sold to non-governmental organisations in each of the last 12 months. (113995)

Information held on DVLA driver record is not released or sold without the consent of the individual.

DVLA does not sell vehicle keeper information. Information may be released where the law allows it. Regulations permit a fee to be levied to cover the cost of processing requests but prohibit any profit from being made.

The number of requests processed each month for the last year are as follows.

Number

January 2006

123,349

February 2006

121,757

March 2006

135,349

April 2006

97,449

May 2006

118,931

June 2006

116,456

July 2006

119,338

August 2006

124,467

September 2006

106,117

October 2006

121,725

November 2006

107,384

December 2006

77,099

Electric Vehicles: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what regulations govern the use of disabled person’s mobility scooters; and what recent representations he has received on the use of mobility scooters. (113523)

The use of mobility scooters is governed by the “Use of Invalid Carriages on Highways Regulations 1988”, statutory instrument 1988 No.2268.

Representations have been received from stakeholders on general use, but the vast majority were seeking advice on registration of their vehicles. As registration is the responsibility of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, such representations have been passed to it for advice and guidance.

Government Car Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether individual Departments are re-billed for the cost of their ministerial cars by the Government Car Agency. (113996)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) is an executive agency of the Department for Transport. Its framework document requires the agency to recover all its costs, including the cost of providing ministerial transport, through charges to its customers. Charges for ministerial transport are made to each Government Department where GCDA provides this service.

Highways Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what effects on costs does he expect as a result of the reorganisation of the Major Projects Division of the Highways Agency. (109249)

There will be no immediate effect on costs as a result of the reorganisation of the Major Projects Directorate of the Highways Agency.

The Highways Agency has redeployed resources within existing staff budgets and numbers to make more effective use of its staff and provide new skills to meet changing business needs.

Light Dues System

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he last met Irish Ministers to discuss the renegotiation of the 1985 Agreement on the funding arrangements for the Commissioners of Irish Lights; when he expects these negotiations to reach a conclusion; and if he will make a statement; (114218)

(2) if he will make a statement on progress on abolishing the Irish subsidy component of the light dues system.

On 27 July 2005, I discussed the 1985 Agreement with the Irish Marine Minister, who agreed to support a more equitable funding solution for the Commissioners of Irish Lights (CIL).

Consideration of the Irish Government’s role in part-funding CIL operations needs to reflect the increased reliance in the past year on joint support services for the three General Lighthouse Authorities, such as the fleet of ships, now reduced in size. A bilateral, official-level meeting this month will assess the scope for progress in the light of that trend, and take account of possible impacts on the institutional framework arising from the St. Andrews Agreement.

Liverpool: Transport Links

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of road and rail links to the port of Liverpool. (115540)

The existing trunk road access to the port of Liverpool at Seaforth is provided by the A5036. A study undertaken by the Highways Agency has concluded that journey times on the existing A5036 are not reliable and that this position will get progressively worse over time.

The North West Regional Planning Assessment (RPA) for the railway and the Network Rail route utilisation strategies for the North West and Freight assess the current provision and likely future needs for freight on the railways, including the Port of Liverpool. The North West RPA was published in October 2006 and consultation drafts of both route utilisation strategies have been issued.

However, even taking into account the potential of rail, the Highways Agency believe that the existing road network would be inadequate to cater for the expected growth of the port. It is now developing options for improving road access to the port. It is envisaged that any scheme identified will be funded from the regional funding allocation.

M1 Closure

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the incident which caused the closure of part of the M1 on Christmas Day. (115152)

Sections of the M1 were closed on Christmas Day due to two serious incidents. The first incident closed the M1 in both directions between Junction 29 and 30 in Derbyshire at approx 15.10hrs. The incident involved a man threatening to jump onto the motorway from an overbridge and it was necessary to close the motorway to ensure the safety of the individual and motorists. There were no casualties and the M1 re-opened at 18.00hrs.

The second incident closed the M1 northbound near Junction 38 in South Yorkshire at approx 18.15hrs. This incident involved a vehicle hitting a hard shoulder barrier, rolling and coming to rest at the central reserve barrier, resulting in a fatality. The M1 re-opened at 22.50hrs following a police investigation.

M3

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what (a) resurfacing and (b) noise reduction works are planned to be undertaken between junctions 5 and 7 of the M3 motorway; and if he will make a statement; (114445)

(2) whether the Highway Agency plans to undertake noise reduction works of each lane of the M3 between junctions 5 and 7; and if he will make a statement.

The Highways Agency resurfaced lane 1 Northbound of the M3 between junctions 5 and 6 with quieter surfacing in September 2001. It has a scheme within its current four year maintenance programme to resurface the remaining lanes of both carriageways in two phases between 2008 and 2010. A quieter surface will be used for this as a matter of course.

The road between junctions 6 and 7 is in a safe and serviceable condition and therefore there are no current plans for its resurfacing.

Noise reduction works, consisting of the construction of a 300 m acoustic barrier, are planned for the financial year 2007-08 for the northbound carriageway of the M3 between junctions 5 and 6 at Hatch.

M6

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what regard he will have to the Visioning and Backcasting for UK Transport Policy report published in 2005 in relation to his decision making for the M6 widening proposals between junctions 11A and 19, with particular reference to the policies that will be necessary to meet the Government’s targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. (114278)

The Visioning and Backcasting for UK Transport Policy (VIBAT) study examined a range of policy measures (technological and behavioural) and assessed how they could be effectively combined to achieve a reduction in emissions.

Whilst this study highlighted a potential range of options available for addressing carbon emissions from transport, it was intended to test a research methodology and to stimulate thinking, not to define Government policy. Its partial analysis did not consider either the costs of measures proposed nor the most cost-effective and practical savings across the whole of the economy. However, many of the policies identified in the report were considered as part of the Climate Change Programme Review, some of which are now being taken forward, such as the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation.

The proposed M6 widening scheme will be assessed—as with all major transport schemes—using the Department’s New Approach to Appraisal and Value for Money guidance. I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 11 December 2006, Official Report, column 735W.

Motorcycles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what traffic calming measures are available to tackle speeding by motorcycle traffic. (114169)

Traffic calming measures will have an effect on motorcycle traffic directly and also indirectly as a result of slowing the speed of the general flow of traffic, including motorcycles. Full-width road humps are likely to be the most effective in slowing motorcycles directly. I recognise that speed cushions and chicanes may be less effective in slowing motorcycles. It is for the relevant highway authority to determine the most appropriate form of traffic calming depending on local circumstances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the impact on road safety of permitting 16-year-olds to drive 50 cc motorcycles; (114170)

(2) if he will assess the merits of raising the age at which 50 cc motorcycles can be driven on the road to that for other motorised vehicles;

(3) how many accidents there have been in each of the last five years involving 16-year-olds driving 50 cc motorcycles.

16-year-olds are entitled to ride mopeds, which have an engine capacity of under 50 cc and are limited to a maximum speed of around 50 mph. Anyone wanting to ride a moped, even with a provisional licence, must first of all successfully complete a Compulsory Basic Training course. This is a legal requirement, which is designed to provide riders with the necessary skills before riding unaccompanied on the road. In this way, those who need independence and mobility at a younger age are given the opportunity to gain it.

The number of personal injury road accidents reported to the police, in each of the last five years, involving a 16-year-old rider on a motorcycle of 50 cc and under (whether or not the rider was themselves injured) are:

Number

2001

1,698

2002

1,798

2003

1,876

2004

1,997

2005

1,953

In 2005, 1,882 16-year-old riders of mopeds were injured in road accidents, of whom four were killed and 318 were seriously injured. A further 38 pillion passengers of 16-year-old moped riders were injured, of whom none was killed and five were seriously injured. In addition, another 71 road users were injured in accidents involving 16-year-old moped riders, of whom none was killed and 12 were seriously injured.

Accidents involving 16-year-old moped riders accounted for 8 per cent. of all accidents involving motorcycles and 8 per cent. of all casualties to motorcycle riders and passengers but only accounted for less than 1 per cent. of fatal accidents and casualties. We have not made any other assessment of the impact on road safety of permitting 16-year-olds to drive mopeds.

We have no plans to consider raising the minimum age for riding a moped. Moped riders of all ages will benefit from the range of measures for improving the safety of all motorcycle users, as set out in “The Government’s Motorcycling Strategy”.

In addition, last year the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) produced a DVD on moped safety “Get the Message: Act Your Age”, which is aimed at young moped riders. Manufacturers provide a free copy with all new mopeds. It has also been distributed to all secondary schools and local authority road safety officers, as part of MCIA’s educational resource “Links: connecting citizenship and Road User Education”.

National Ports Council: Pension Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the future of the National Ports Council pension scheme. (114774)

The Department is looking to wind up the National Ports Council pension scheme as soon as possible given the intention of the Office of the Official Solicitor and Public Trustee (OSPT) to withdraw as administrator in March this year. We are pursuing options, in close consultation with the Trustees, in a way which will safeguard the scheme members' interests.

Network Rail: Debts

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the total levels of Network Rail’s debt guaranteed by the Government are; what the annual interest charge on that debt is; and what proportion of that debt has been repaid in the past 12 months. (108969)

The credit support arrangements for Network Rail’s Medium Term Note programme are capped at £10 billion principal, while the unused long-term contingency buffer is capped at £4 billion principal. There is no similar limit on the financial indemnity to support Network Rail’s Debt Issuance Programme (DIP). However, the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) has included in Network Rail’s licence a condition that limits NR’s borrowing under the DIP to 90 per cent. of its regulatory asset base (RAB). If DIP debt reaches 85 per cent. of the RAB, Network Rail have to provide ORR with an action plan of how to reduce debt below this level. The most recent public reporting of this ratio was contained in the ORR’s “Q2 06-07 Network Rail Monitor”, published on 13 November 2006, in which NR’s total debt was reported as being equal to 74.6 per cent. of the RAB. This, and a number of other controls, limit the Secretary of State’s exposure under the financial indemnity.

Network Rail’s interim financial statements for the six months ended 30 September 2006 reported the company’s net debt as £17.929 billion, compared with £16.750 billion at 30 September 2005.

Network Rail advises that the information requested on the annual interest charge on the net debt is not readily available. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail’s chief executive at the following address for a response to this part of his question.

John Armitt

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton Street

London NW1 2EE

Operating Licences

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what account is taken of whether a company is trading on green belt land when the traffic commissioners consider its application for renewal of its operating licence; (115258)

(2) in what circumstances the traffic commissioners can refuse to renew an operating licence.

Goods vehicle operator licences are continuous but traffic commissioners review individual operating centres every five years. At these reviews, traffic commissioners consider the continued suitability of the operating centre and take account of any representations made by persons who own or occupy land in the vicinity of the centre within the preceding five-year period.

Following a review, a traffic commissioner may impose conditions relating to the use of a centre, vary existing conditions or direct that a centre may no longer be used. Failure to comply with a condition may lead to revocation of the licence.

Parking Regimes

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has held with local authorities about the timetable for introducing new parking regulations by October 2007; what estimate he has made of the costs to local authorities of the purchase of new hardware and software to prepare for the changeover; and what targets he has set for replying to parking authorities who submit queries on the new traffic management arrangements. (112732)

The timetable has been discussed with the group advising the Department, which includes representatives from local authorities and the local authority associations, and it is on their advice that there is a long period of time between the regulations completing their passage through Parliament and coming into force in late 2007. The Department’s draft regulatory impact assessment, as amended following consultation in July 2006, makes clear that there may be some up-front costs for the transition from decriminalised (DPE) to civil parking enforcement (CPE). These costs include training and IT costs. The amount will depend on the contract that the local authority has with its IT supplier. The Department’s target for replying to letters is 15 working days for those from MPs and 20 working days for those from other correspondents.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what timetable has been agreed for the establishment of a transitional regime for local authorities to migrate their existing parking regulations from the Road Traffic Acts to the Traffic Management Act 2004; what template has been established to enable local authorities to issue identical parking documents; and what consultation he has held with local authorities on the proposed changes in their parking procedures. (112737)

The Department consulted a range of groups and individuals, including local authorities, in July 2006 about draft regulations and statutory guidance to implement the parking provisions in part 6 of the Traffic Management Act 2004. The responses to that consultation are under consideration and we plan to lay the regulations in Parliament early this year and bring them into force in late 2007. The regulations and guidance will make clear to local authorities the information that their parking documents must contain and the information that the Secretary of State recommends they contain.

Passenger Transport Authorities

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 14 December 2006, Official Report, column 1269W, on passenger transport authorities, if he will provide the details of each of the applications he is considering. (113927)

60 appeals were lodged with the Secretary of State against the reimbursement arrangements set up by the travel concession authority in respect of concessionary travel schemes introduced on 1 April 2006. Determinations have been made for 16 of these, and 15 appeals were withdrawn. Subsequently, a further three appeals have been made following variations to local schemes during the 2006-07 financial year.

It would not be appropriate to give full details of each of the applications while they are under consideration. However, for those where a decision is pending, a list of the schemes appealed against, and the applicants for each, are listed in the following table:

Scheme

Operator

Bristol area Diamond Travelcard Scheme

First Bristol jointly with First Somerset and Avon

Centra Passenger Transport Executive (PTE)

Birmingham Coach Company

Centra PTE

Midland Red South

Centra PTE

West Midlands Travel

Devon Countywide

First Devon and Cornwall

Devon Countywide

Stagecoach Devon

Dorset Countywide

Stagecoach Devon

East Sussex (Sussex Countywide)

Stagecoach South

Greater Manchester PTE

First Manchester

Greater Manchester PTE

GM Buses Ltd

Greater Manchester PTE

Green Triangle Buses

Greater Manchester PTE

Stagecoach Manchester

Greater Manchester PTE

Stagecoach North West

Greater Manchester PTE

Vales Coaches

Gloucestershire Countywide

Red and White Services Ltd

Gloucestershire Countywide

Stagecoach West

Hampshire Countywide

First Hampshire and Dorset

Hampshire Countywide

Wilts and Dorset Bus

Harrogate (for York UA)

First York

Merseytravel

First PMT

Norfolk Countywide

Anglian Bus

Norfolk Countywide

First Eastern Counties

Norfolk Countywide

Norfolk Green

Redditch Borough

First Midland Red

Suffolk Countywide

Anglian Bus

Suffolk Countywide

First Eastern Counties

South Yorkshire PTE

First South Yorkshire

South Yorkshire PTE

Yorkshire Traction with Yorkshire Terrier and Barnsley and District

West Yorkshire PTE

First West Yorkshire jointly with First Manchester and First South Yorkshire

Appeals from October 2006 (deferred pending further local negotiations)

Oxford City Council

Oxford Bus Company

Oxford City Council

Stagecoach in Oxfordshire

Appeals from January 2007 (the validity of this appeal is being assessed)

Bristol area Diamond Travelcard Scheme

First Bristol Ltd jointly with First Somerset and Avon Ltd

Permit Regulations

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he will bring forward secondary legislation on permit regulations under the Traffic Management Act 2004. (114400)

Secondary legislation on permit regulations under the Traffic Management Act 2004 is planned to come into force in late 2007.

Railway Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much capital spending Network Rail has allocated to each of its mainline stations over the past 10 years; and what its plans are for future such spending in each station. (115367)

These are operational matters for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's chief executive at the following address for a response to her question.

John Armitt

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton Street

London

NW1 2EE

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the adequacy of Network Rail's proposals for development at Lime Street station, Liverpool. (115539)

The development work at Liverpool Lime Street station is a high priority in the Liverpool City Region Development Plan (LCDP) and is being carried out by Network Rail, Merseytravel, Liverpool Vision and Liverpool city council. This development work at the station has been specified by these parties and it is their responsibility.

Road Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road accidents were caused by drivers failing to use headlights when road and weather conditions required their use in each of the last five years. (114963)

In 2005, there were 133 personal injury road accidents where a contributory factor reported by the attending police officer was a driver ‘not displaying lights at night or in poor visibility’. Data prior to 2005 are not available.

Road Congestion

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to reduce congestion on the roads serving (a) Nottingham East Midlands and (b) Birmingham airports. (114260)

Schemes to reduce congestion on roads serving Nottingham East Midlands and Birmingham International Airports are as follows:

(a) Nottingham East Midlands Airport

The Highways Agency has two schemes in the Targeted Programme of Improvements adjacent to Nottingham East Midlands Airport.

The widening of the M1 to four lanes between Junctions 21 and 30 is currently planned for the period 2007 to 2014-15. The section between Junctions 21 and 25, adjacent to the airport, together with the improvement of Junctions 23A, 24 and 24A and construction of the A6 Kegworth Bypass, is currently planned for the period 2010 to 2014-15.

The widening of the A453 between M1 Junction 24 and the A52 at Nottingham is currently planned for 2008-09, with completion in 2011-12. The A453 proposals would assist in the provision of reliable access between the proposed Parkway railway station and the Airport.

(b) Birmingham International Airport

Active Traffic Management (ATM) with hard shoulder running was implemented on M42 Junctions 3A-7 on 12 September 2006. The full widening of this section of motorway will be considered following an assessment of the impact of the ATM pilot project. The Highways Agency expects this work to be completed in 2008. One of the factors to be taken into account in this assessment will be the need to provide adequate strategic access to cater for any future expansion of Birmingham International Airport.

Roads

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much of the Highways Agency's (a) capital and (b) revenue budget was spent on roads which fall completely within (i) the boundary of a single local authority and (ii) the boundary of a single regional development agency in each year from 2001-02 to 2005-06. (114878)

The reporting systems of the Highways Agency do not provide information on a local authority or regional basis.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many new roads were built in Essex in each of the last five years. (115882)

Roads can be built by the Highways Agency, the local transport authority (Essex county council), or private developers; the Secretary of State does not have access to a complete or central record. The following information is sourced from “Essex Traffic Monitoring Report 2005”, published by Essex county council in April 2006, and includes significant schemes built both by the authority and the Highways Agency.

Date

Route

Location

January 2002

A130

Northern Section (A12-A132)

July 2002

A136

Parkeston Bypass Stage 2

September 2002

A131

Great Leighs Bypass

December 2002

M11

Stansted Slip Roads

February 2003

A130

Southern Section (A132-A127)

June 2003

A134

Northern Approach, Colchester

December 2003

A120

M11-Dunmow West

July 2004

A120

Dunmow West-Braintree

Notes:

1. 2005—no significant routes opened.

2. 2006—data unavailable.

Roadworks

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on overstay charges for utility companies in relation to works undertaken on minor roads. (114419)

The Government have recently consulted on proposed changes to the level and structure of charges for unreasonably prolonged occupation of the highway by statutory undertakers, including those for works on minor roads. The results are currently being analysed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consultations he has undertaken with local authorities on future fee levels for permit schemes for streetworks; and if he will make a statement. (114420)

In developing the proposals for future fee levels for permit schemes, a series of workshops were held with representatives from local highway authorities during summer 2006. Discussions were also held with representatives from utility companies. A twelve-week consultation on this issue and other proposals for permit schemes is currently taking place, with responses invited by 26 February 2007.

Royal National Lifeboat Institute

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the additional cost to the Royal National Lifeboat Institute arising out of (a) health and safety, (b) working time and (c) equal rights legislation since May 1997. (115701)

The Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) is an independent, charitable organisation that does not operate under the sponsorship of the Department for Transport, therefore, I am not in a position to make an estimate of the RNLI’s costs.

Safety Cameras

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many fixed speed cameras there are in each local authority area in England and Wales. (115797)

The Department does not hold this information at a local authority level. The information is held for each of the 38 Safety Camera Partnership areas and this is shown in the following table.

Partnership

Total number of fixed speed cameras

Avon and Somerset

67

Bedfordshire

44

Cambridgeshire

57

Cheshire

45

Cleveland

3

Cumbria

4

Derbyshire

47

Devon and Cornwall

75

Dorset

51

Essex

82

Gloucestershire

27

Greater Manchester

124

Hampshire

31

Hertfordshire

56

Humberside

5

Kent and Medway

73

Lancashire

274

Leicestershire

17

Lincolnshire

45

London

436

Merseyside

31

Mid and South Wales

113

Norfolk

32

North Wales

15

Northamptonshire

42

Northumbria

43

Nottinghamshire

31

South Yorkshire

56

Staffordshire

65

Suffolk

8

Surrey

19

Sussex

52

Thames Valley

216

Warwickshire

21

West Mercia

20

West Midlands

139

West Yorkshire

55

Wiltshire

12

Total

2,522

Severn Bridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions his Department has had with the Severn Bridge Toll Company to facilitate the introduction of credit and debit card payment for toll crossings on the Severn Bridge crossings. (113751)

The issue of card payments is reviewed regularly by the Highways Agency, the Concessionaire (Severn River Crossing plc) and the Government’s representative.

The last discussions were held on the 22 November 2006, at the quarterly review meeting for the concession. The Government’s representative provided a summary briefing to the Highways Agency on 27 November. No decisions have been taken.

Speed Cameras

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much revenue was generated from fines resulting from speed camera convictions in Cambridgeshire in the latest year for which figures are available; and what sums were passed to (a) the Consolidated Fund and (b) the Cambridgeshire Safety Camera Partnership. (114842)

The audit certificate for the Cambridgeshire Safety Camera Partnership for the financial year shows that fines from the conditional offer of fixed penalties for offences detected by speed cameras during 2004-05 was £1,196,460. The amount returned to the partnership to improve road safety within the Cambridgeshire area for the same period via the netting-off process was £1,021,261 (85.4 percent).

In accordance with the handbook of rules and guidance for the national safety camera programme the surplus of £175,199 is retained by the consolidated fund.

The audit certificates for 2005-06 will be available on the DfT website very shortly.

The ‘netting-off’ funding arrangement for safety cameras is being ended after 2006-07 and from 2007-08 safety cameras and their funding are to be integrated into the Local Transport Plan system (in England outside London) alongside other road safety measures.

This will give greater flexibility to local authorities, the police and the other agencies to pursue whichever locally agreed mix of road safety measures will make the greatest contribution to reducing road casualties in their area. It will also provide greater financial stability and facilitate long-term planning.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Biofuels

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his Swedish counterpart on the use of (a) biofuels and (b) biofuel-powered vehicles. (114119)

Transport biofuels have been discussed at an EU Environment Council meeting attended by DEFRA’s Secretary of State and the Swedish Environment Minister. Sweden shares our aim to ensure biofuels are produced sustainably.

Bovine TB

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria were used to determine matters to be referred to the Independent Scientific Group investigating bovine TB; and for what reason gamma interferon was not referred to the group for study. (113320)

The terms of reference of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) enable them to advise, if requested, on any issue related to their work. In addition, the ISG will investigate any topic they consider to be appropriate. Officials attend ISG meetings and refer relevant matters to the group for consideration; all requests for matters to be referred to them are cleared with the Chairman and Secretary in advance.

Discussions were held with the ISG to help inform the development of new arrangements for the increased use of the gamma interferon test for bovine TB. The resulting new policy, which was launched in October last year, was endorsed by the ISG.

British Waterways

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the original grant allocation from his Department was for British Waterways in advance of subsequent in year reductions for each year between 2000-01 and 2006-07; and what the grant allocation is for 2007-08. (115165)

The following table shows the grant allocated and the grant actually paid to British Waterways in each year from 2000-01 to 2006-07.

£ million

Original allocation

Revised following (in year changes)

2000-01

58.9

64.9

2001-02

52.5

61.4

2002-03

71.6

71.6

2003-04

76.6

76.6

2004-05

59.1

59.1

2005-06

61.6

62.6

2006-07

59.4

55.5

The grant allocation for 2007-08 is the same as 2006-7 after revision.

Cattle Stocks

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the relative values of organic and non-organic cattle stocks; and if he will consider proposals to pay enhanced compensation for organic reactors to tuberculosis tests. (114022)

The Government recognise that the current table-based cattle compensation system (for tuberculosis, enzootic bovine leukosis, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and brucellosis) is a cause of concern to farmers of organic cattle, and officials are considering representations made.

We have set up the Cattle Compensation Advisory Group (CCAG) to work with the industry to monitor the introduction of the new compensation system. One of the issues the CCAG has considered is the impact of the new arrangements on the organic sector.

Defra and the CCAG are discussing a range of ideas the group has suggested for enhancing the current compensation arrangements. While DEFRA has not ruled out the possibility of changes to the compensation system, they are not inevitable. Any changes would need to be justified and fair to farmers and the taxpayer. They would also need to take account of the extensive evidence about the level of over valuation experienced under the previous system based on individual valuations.

I will write to the hon. Member when I am in a position to provide an update on developments.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2006, Official Report, column 579W, on the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, which tier of local authority is empowered under section 3 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to issue a fixed penalty notice or prosecute for the offence of selling cars on verges. (112878)

Section 9 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 defines a ‘local authority’ as:

(a) a district council in England;

(b) a county council in England for an area for which there is no district council;

(c) a London borough council;

(d) the common council of the City of London;

(e) the council of the Isles of Scilly;

(f) a county or county borough council in Wales;

An ‘authorised officer’, in relation to a local authority, means an employee of the authority who is authorised in writing by the authority for the purposes of giving notices under section 6 of the Act.

Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what total Government funding was for climate change research in each of the last five years; who the recipients were; how much funding was allocated to each; and what assessment has been made of the comparative value for money of each recipient’s work. (110412)

A sound basis of research to understand the implications of a changing climate is essential to drawing a climate change perspective into decision-making across the whole range of DEFRA’s responsibilities. DEFRA’s climate change research programme analyses the risk of human-induced climate change. It also assesses the potential impacts of climate change and our means of adaptation and mitigation.

DEFRA’s committed spend to those research projects which have some relevance to climate change is given in the following table.

£ million

Financial year

DEFRA spending

2002-03

22.8

2003-04

28.2

2004-05

33.4

2005-06

35.2

2006-07

137.2

1 Provisional.

In addition to spending on projects relating directly to climate change, the figures given in the table also include spending on projects of a cross-cutting nature where climate change may be of secondary importance but still has some relevance.

Details on all the climate change research funded by DEFRA can be found on the DEFRA website at:

http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/project_data/projects.asp?M=KWS&V==climate+change&SUBMIT1=Search&SCOPE=0

Research on climate change funded by DEFRA is assessed through peer-review where relevant both prior to commissioning and after completion. DEFRA staff routinely review the progress and outcome of projects, often with the assistance of independent steering committees. As part of these processes, value for money is evaluated throughout the lifetime of a research project and its translation into policy.

DEFRA also commissions periodic reviews of its research contracts. A technical and scientific review of the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) was carried out in 2005 to assess its performance and identify its priorities for the next five years. The review concluded that UKCIP is performing very effectively with the resources available and therefore represents good value for the current level of investment.

DEFRA’s research budget includes support for the Hadley Centre, which it co-funds with MOD) (contributions of £12.5 million and £3.5 million respectively in 2005-06).

DEFRA and the Ministry of Defence have commissioned a major independent review of the activities of the Hadley Centre. This review is concerned with the scientific output and quality of the Hadley Centre’s activities, as well as structure and engagement with external stakeholders. A final report is due to be published by the end of this month.

The UK Research Councils support a considerable amount of research that is both directly about climate change or is relevant to climate change. Taken together this is of the order of £400 million over the five years. They have also invested over £190 million over the same period into sustainable and future energy.

Research work of relevance to climate change is also undertaken and funded by the Department for International Development and the Department for Transport. In addition, the Department of Trade and Industry funds research into emerging low carbon technologies.

Council Environmental Programmes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to help (a) county councils, (b) district and borough councils and (c) parish and town councils become carbon neutral. (112819)

The 2006 UK Climate Change Programme (CCP) stated that local authorities (LAs) are likely to have a critical role in achieving our climate change objectives. The CCP included detailed measures, which are intended to help LAs deliver cuts in emissions.

To help LAs reduce their emissions, Carbon Management (from the Carbon Trust) provides a strategic view on how carbon impacts public sector organisations by identifying the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. There is a specialist tailored programme for LAs.

Salix, which is a not-for-profit company set up by the Carbon Trust in 2004, uses government funding of around £20 million to set up ring-fenced recycled loan funds in public sector organisations. Funding is matched by the organisation and used to invest in cost-effective, long-term energy saving projects such as insulation, heating and lighting.

Electric Shock Collars

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on the banning of electric shock collars for dogs. (112882)

I have had no discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government on this issue. However, discussions have taken place at official level.

Environmental Liability Directive

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will clarify the definition of liable body set out in the consultation document on the Environmental Liability Directive. (112881)

Under the Environmental Liability Directive either the operator of an occupational activity, or a third party, is liable for preventing or remediating environmental damage. “Operator” is defined as:

“any natural or legal, private or public person who operates or controls the occupational activity or, where this is provided for in national legislation, to whom decisive economic power over the technical functioning of such an activity has been delegated, including the holder of a permit or authorisation for such an activity or the person registering or notifying such an activity”

“Occupational activity” is defined as:

“any activity carried out in the course of an economic activity, a business or an undertaking, irrespectively of its private or public, profit or non-profit character”

A third party could be a private individual whose actions have given rise to a threat of or actual environmental damage from an occupational activity despite safety precautions taken by the legitimate operator of that occupational activity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria were used in deciding which species to include as protected under the terms of the proposals in relation to the Environmental Liability Directive. (113183)

The Environmental Liability Directive defines, in Article 2.3(a), the species which fall within its scope. These are species protected under European legislation.

The Directive further provides for member states to decide whether or not to bring within its scope species designated for protection under national legislation.

Envirowise

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the relationship is between his Department and Envirowise. (113537)

Envirowise is a Government funded programme offering businesses free, independent, confidential advice and support on practical ways to increase profits, minimise waste and reduce environmental impact.

Envirowise has, since its inception in 1994, been jointly funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and DFRGTS. However, the financial year 2006-07 sees the last year of financial involvement from the DTI. The programme is currently sponsored by DEFRA with the vast majority of the funding in England, since the financial year 2005-06, coming through recycled landfill tax revenues under the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Programme.

EU Directives

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many EU directives have been transposed by his Department and its predecessor Departments since 1997; and how many of them were transposed beyond the minimum requirements of the original directive. (112690)

DEFRA was formed in June 2001. Information relating to DEFRA's predecessor Departments is not held centrally. Between 8 June 2001 and 31 December 2006, 203 EU directives for which DEFRA has responsibility for implementation were adopted. The Department has transposed 153 of these.

Details of all directives in force can be found on the Eur-Lex database available on the European Union's website at:

http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex

Fisheries

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely impact of ECJ Case C-184/06 on (a) UK total allowable catch and (b) fish stocks. (108292)

Fox Hunting

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the numbers of foxes (a) hunted by dogs then shot and (b) hunted using a bird of prey since the introduction of the Hunting Act 2004; and if he will make a statement. (114320)

The Government have not made any assessment of the number of wild mammals being hunted within the law.

Gasplasma Process

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of gasplasma process technology in treating domestic waste; and if he will make a statement. (110361)

No assessment of gasplasma process technology as a mechanism to treat domestic waste has been made by this Department.

However, the Department is aware of the technology and my officials have recently attended a demonstration of its use.

Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) mobile telephones, (b) printer cartridges and (c) MP3 and other music players he estimates were (i) recycled, (ii) reused overseas and (iii) disposed of within the England and Wales waste stream in each year since 2000. (113365)

This Department does not collect information specifically on the recycling or reuse of mobile phones, printer cartridges or music players. The mobile phone industry estimates that around 18 million handsets are replaced every year and that in 2003 and 2004, about 5 million handsets were collected by mobile phone recycling and refurbishment companies in the UK. The industry estimates that about 60 per cent. of these were refurbished and the remaining 40 per cent. were sent for materials recycling.

Accurate information regarding materials collected for recycling and exported overseas is not available. All exported waste must be of a certain quality and be for recycling or reuse. It is for producers, local authorities and their waste management contractors to ensure that their waste is properly managed through all the steps in the recycling chain, including its final destination.

The Environment Agency detects and prevents the illegal export of waste at major UK ports through intelligence-led, targeted inspections. Enforcement action is taken where evidence of illegal activity is found.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research has been conducted (a) by and (b) for his Department on the recycling and reuse of (i) mobile telephones and (ii) printer cartridges.[113366]

No research has been conducted by or for DEFRA specifically on the recycling and reuse of mobile phones and printer cartridges. We are, however, aware of a number of businesses and charitable organisations that currently collect mobile phones and printer cartridges for reuse and recycling.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations, which transpose the EU WEEE Directive, will make producers financially responsible for the treatment and recycling of electronic equipment, including mobile phones, when it becomes waste from 1 July. DEFRA is responsible for the regulations transposing the treatment and permitting requirements of the directive, which are intended to improve the environmental performance of operators directly involved in the treatment of WEEE.

DEFRA has also worked closely with the Department of Trade and Industry on the development of the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS) Directive from 1 July 2006, and has restricted the use of six hazardous substances in the manufacture of mobile phones and other electrical and electronic equipment, meaning that they will be easier to treat and recycle when they become waste.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the environmental and climate change implications of transporting large amounts of recovered paper to China. (114190)

No specific assessment has been made. However, the environmental impact of exporting waste paper to China for recovery is likely to be minimal since it is often transported on otherwise empty container ships which are returning to China after delivering manufactured goods to the UK.

Snares

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to review the legality of using snares. (115919)

When DEFRA published its code of good practice on the use of snares in fox and rabbit control in October 2005, it also published the DEFRA Snares Action Plan. A copy of the Action Plan can be found on the DEFRA website at:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-countryside/vertebrates/snares/pdf/snares-actionplan.pdf

The action plan clearly sets out DEFRA’s commitment for research to be undertaken to monitor the voluntary uptake of the code, its practical application and impact. A research project will be procured in the near future. DEFRA will aim to review the code of good practice by the end of 2008 in the light of research findings and of its impact on snaring practices and results. Following the review of the code, DEFRA will consider giving it a higher legal status if appropriate.

Waste Resources Action Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made by the Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP) in setting up a stand-alone organisation which will take over the management of the Real Nappy Programme when WRAP funding ends in April 2007. (115058)

The Waste and Resources Action Programme intends to hand over the work on real nappies to other interested parties during the course of this financial year. They are currently considering options for the future management of the Real Nappy Programme.

Defence

Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on consultants in each year since 1997. (114390)

Summaries of Ministry of Defence expenditure on external assistance, of which consultancy is a part, are available in the Library of the House for the years 1995-96 to 2005-06.

Flying Hours

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many flying hours on (a) aircraft and (b) simulators is required for each grade and type of RAF flying instructor; and what the equivalent required hours were in (i) 2000 and (ii) 1990. (114187)

[holding answer 11 January 2007]: The recommended minimum number of flying hours, on frontline aircraft types, to be considered for entry on to a Central Flying School (CFS) instructor training course is 500 hours. On passing the course pilots will be awarded a B2 (On Probation) Qualified Flying Instructor (QFI)/Qualified Helicopter Instructor (QHI) qualification.

Instructors can then progress to Bl, A2 and Al instructional categories as they gain experience. Recategorisation can take place when instructors complete the recommended minimum number of hours of instructional duties as set out in the following table.

QFI/QHI instructional category

Recommended minimum instructional hours1,2

Bl (capable instructor)

120

A2 (above average instructor)

250

Al (exceptional Instructor)

400

1 Instructors who gain a distinguished pass on a CFS Instructor course have reduced minimums.

2 At any time the Commandant Central Flying School may permit recategorization before the instructor has reached minimum instructional hours stated above based on written assessment of performance.

There is currently no minimum simulator hours requirement. These flying hours requirements have remained unchanged since 1990.

Gibraltar

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the reason was for the delay in holding the first Joint Consultative Committee meeting between the Gibraltar Services Police Staff Association and the Local Command. (113707)

[holding answer 10 January 2007]: The inaugural meeting of the Joint Consultative Committee, between representatives of the Gibraltar Services Police Staff Association (GSPSA) and MOD management in Gibraltar, was held on 11 December 2006; this was the earliest date that was agreeable to all interested parties.

Joint Strike Fighter

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will set out details of the assurances given by the United States in connection with the transfer of technology on the Joint Strike Fighter; and if he will place in the Library a copy of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Washington on 11 December. (113322)

[holding answer 8 January 2007]: I am withholding the details of the assurances obtained from the United States in connection with information access to Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) data as their release would, or would be, likely to prejudice international relations. I can assure the hon. Member that the assurances we have received fully meet the requirements we set out to deliver operational sovereignty on JSF. A copy of the unclassified Production, Sustainment and Follow-On-Development MOU is available in the Library of the House.

Letters of Condolence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 13 December 2006, Official Report, column 1096W, on letters of condolence, how many letters of condolence have been sent by his Department to the next of kin of personnel who died in service in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq in (i) 2001, (ii) 2002 and (iii) January to July 2003. (114393)

Letters of condolence have always been sent to the next of kin of deceased service personnel by commanders. Prior to the formation of the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre in April 2004, no central record was kept of all condolence letters sent by the Department and to collect this information retrospectively would incur disproportionate costs.

Ministry of Defence Police: Colchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the establishment of Ministry of Defence police is in Colchester; and whether he has any plans to reduce this establishment. (114374)

[holding answer 11 January 2007]: The official complement of Ministry of Defence police (MDP) at Colchester is one inspector, five sergeants and 16 constables.

A review of MOD policing requirements at Colchester, as part of a wider Army study, is currently under consideration but no decision has been taken.

Navy Vessels: State of Readiness

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which (a) Royal Navy and (b) Royal Fleet Auxiliary vessels are (i) being held in and (ii) under consideration for consignment to a reduced state of readiness; and what length of time would be required for the reactivation of each such ship to rejoin the fleet. (114286)

[holding answer 11 January 2007]: I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Nuclear Submarines

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans his Department has for ensuring an adequate supply of highly enriched uranium to fuel four replacement ballistic missile submarines; and what the projected cost is of these plans. (108860)

We are considering options to ensure the supply of highly enriched uranium to fuel replacement ballistic missile submarines. The broad-order cost of such a requirement is reflected in the overall estimate of £15 billion-20 billion indicated in the White Paper (CM 6994) published on 4 December. At this very early stage in the procurement process, we are not in a position to break down these estimates in the way requested.

Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what differences there are between the Trident warhead and the US W76 warhead. (114896)

I am withholding details of warhead design as the disclosure of such information would, or would be likely to, prejudice the security of the United Kingdom. I can, however, assure the hon. Member of the UK's independence in respect of our nuclear deterrent.

Official Cars

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cars run by his Department were manufactured (a) in the UK and (b) abroad. (104822)

The Ministry of Defence currently leases the majority of the cars it uses. The requirement for these vehicles is specified in output terms rather than by vehicle model and a breakdown by country of manufacture is not maintained.

Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will provide an answer to question (a) 105967, on helicopter pilot flying hours, (b) 103359, on ministerial visits and (c) (i) 101077 and (ii) 101069, on mental welfare of discharged personnel, tabled by the hon. Member for the Forest of Dean (Mr. Harper). (110300)

I replied to the hon. Member as follows:

(a) Question 105967—18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1476;

(b) Question 103359—8 January 2007, Official Report, columns 94-96W;

(c) Question 101077—18 December 2006, Official Report, columns 1478-83W;

(d) Question 101069—14 December 2006, Official Report, columns 1256-57W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he will answer question 101406, on Colombia, tabled by the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) on 20 November 2006. (115941)

I replied to the hon. Member on 23 November 2006, Official Report, column 169W.

Red Arrows

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether there are plans to change the colours of smoke used by the RAF's Red Arrows Display Team. (113703)

[holding answer10 January 2007]: There are currently no plans to change the colour of the smoke used during Royal Air Force Acrobatic Team (the Red Arrows) displays.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the budget is of the RAF's Red Arrows Display Team in 2006-07; and what the planned budget is for 2007-08. (113704)

[holding answer 10 January 2007]: The budget for the Royal Air Force Acrobatic Team (the Red Arrows) in financial year 2006-07 is £5.2 million and for financial year 2007-08 the planned budget is £5.5 million.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many performances in (a) the UK and (b) abroad the RAF's Red Arrows Display Team participated in during 2006. (113705)

[holding answer 10 January 2007]: The Royal Air Force Acrobatic Team (the Red Arrows) performed 59 display sequences in the UK and 16 display sequences abroad in 2006.

Trade Union Funding

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what funding his Department has given to individual trade unions in the last three years. (113983)

Transport Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times (a) C-17A Globemaster, (b) Hercules LC-130, (c) Tristar and (d) VC-10 aircraft have been cannibalised in the last 12 months. (110376)

The removal of serviceable parts from one aircraft for use on another is a routine and temporary measure to ensure that the maximum number of aircraft are available to the front line.

The number of these instances over the last 12 months (January to December 2006 unless otherwise annotated), by donor aircraft, is given in the following table.

Aircraft type

Number of cannibalisations

C17

49

C130J

1509

C130K

2529

TriStar

165

VC10

77

1 1 November 2005 to 31 October 2006. 2 30 November 2005 to 1 December 2006.

Type 45 Destroyers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects to decide whether to order the seventh and eighth Type 45 destroyers. (114288)

[holding answer 11 January 2007]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 7 June 2006, Official Report, column 627W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Type 45 destroyers will typically be available for deployment at any one time if six such ships are constructed. (114289)

[holding answer 11 January 2007]: No decision has been taken to reduce the number of Type 45s to be ordered. Six Type 45 destroyers are already under contract. Once they are in service, five will typically be available, at various states of readiness, for deployment.

Home Department

Cannabis

10. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to reclassify cannabis as a class B drug. (114684)

No. The Government’s decision to reclassify cannabis as a class C drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was taken in the light of the advice we received from the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs on the harmfulness of cannabis relative to that of other drugs in class B.

The Government’s decision last year to retain cannabis as a class C drug was taken in the light of further advice from the council following its consideration of all the relevant evidence about the effects of taking cannabis on mental health.

Police: Derbyshire

11. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funds his Department plans to provide to support policing in Derbyshire in addition to the Police Grant Settlement. (114685)

Under the terms of the provisional settlement announced on 28 November 2006, in 2007-08 Derbyshire will receive £105.8 million in general grants, an increase of 3.7 per cent. (£3.8 million) over 2006-07.

On top of general grants, Derbyshire will continue to benefit from an estimated £18 million from a range of other Government funding.

Community Support Officers

13. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences have been dealt with by community support officers in Halifax since 2005. (114687)

Although the Home Office does not collect data on offences dealt with at individual officer level, we do measure offences brought to justice and sanction detections through the Police Performance Assessment Framework. In the most recent assessment (for 2005-06), West Yorkshire police achieved an excellent rating for investigating crime.

Police community support officers (PCSOs) are important members of Neighbourhood Policing teams, providing reassurance through strong community engagement and high visibility policing. They deal with issues that the local community identify as their priority such as low level crime and antisocial behaviour.

Asylum Seekers

14. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of measures to deport failed asylum seekers. (114688)

The effectiveness of measures deployed to remove failed asylum seekers is assessed on an ongoing basis. These measures have ensured that the removal of failed asylum seekers has been steadily increasing over the past few years.

Prisons

15. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent research he has evaluated or commissioned on the effectiveness of prisons in reducing reoffending. (114689)

We are delivering a wide range of interventions in prisons which are consistent with international evidence on what is effective in reducing reoffending. We have some evidence on these interventions in England and Wales which the Home Office has published. As part of the ongoing National Offender Management Service research strategy we will be developing our understanding of what works in prisons.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many visitors were arrested for possession of contraband at each prison establishment in each of the last 12 months for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (113209)

[holding answer 11 January 2007]: Information on the number of visitors arrested for possession of contraband is not routinely collected. However an analysis of visitors arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle drugs indicates that in 2005-06 there were around 400 such arrests.

Probation Officers

16. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many vacant positions there are for probation officers. (114690)

Figures for 31 March 2006 show that there were a total of 8,262.50 full-time equivalent probation officers in post in England and Wales. On the same date there were 227.70 full-time equivalent vacancies that were actively being recruited to, which accounted for 2.68 per cent. of the total posts available at that time.

Road Policing

17. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent discussions he has had with the Association of Chief Police Officers' head of road policing on the impact on crime detection rates of registration of vehicles to false addresses. (114691)

This issue has been considered at various times over a significant period. The most recent ministerial discussion with ACPO took place on 5 July last year.

Anti social Behaviour

18. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation introduced in the last 10 years to combat antisocial behaviour. (114692)

The effectiveness of legislation and interventions introduced to combat anti social behaviour has been assessed in two major independent reports published last year. On 7 December 2006 the National Audit Office published the report titled “Tackling Anti-social Behaviour—Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General”. On 2 November 2006 the Youth Justice Board published a report titled “Anti-Social Behaviour Order Research”. Both of these reports confirm that our twin track approach of support and sanction is effective in providing communities respite from antisocial behaviour.

19. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of interventions to combat antisocial behaviour. (114693)

The effectiveness of legislation and interventions introduced to combat antisocial behaviour has been assessed in two major independent reports published last year. On 7 December 2006 the National Audit Office published the report titled “Tackling Anti-social Behaviour—Report by the Comptroller and Auditor General”. On 2 November 2006 the Youth Justice Board published a report titled “Anti-Social Behaviour Order Research”. Both of these reports confirm that our twin track approach of support and sanction is effective in providing communities respite from antisocial behaviour.

Police Cells

20. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners are being held in police cells. (114694)

The number of prisoners held in police cells will vary on a daily basis and is dependent on the management of regional prison population pressures.

Border Security

22. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the e-Borders scheme on the security of the UK's borders. (114696)

The e-Borders Programme will strengthen the security of the UK's borders by identifying individuals who present a risk through the universal collection and analysis of passenger information from carriers hi advance of travel. It will expedite the movement of legitimate passengers while helping to safeguard the UK against serious organised crime, terrorism and illegal immigration. The concepts have been proved and delivered through Project Semaphore, the de-risking pilot for e-Borders solution.

Immigration and Nationality Directorate

23. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he last visited the Immigration and Nationality Directorate in Croydon to assess the efficiency of the service. (114697)

As part of my ongoing programme of weekly regional visits to IND operations in Croydon and around the UK I discuss the services provided by managed migration, asylum and enforcement with both staff and stakeholders. I also regularly discuss the efficiency of the service with the Director General of IND, and other senior officials.

Neighbourhood Policing

24. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of the introduction of neighbourhood policing in (a) Avon and Somerset police force and (b) England and Wales. (114698)

Neighbourhood policing will be introduced to every area by April 2007, and every community will have a neighbourhood policing team by April 2008. Delivery of neighbourhood policing has now extended to more than 6,700 neighbourhoods.

Currently there are 47 dedicated neighbourhood policing teams in Avon and Somerset.

Drug Addiction and Crime

25. To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the inter-relationship between drug addiction and crime; and what steps he is taking to reduce drugs dependency among criminals. (114699)

The inter-relationships between drug misuse and crime are complex, but it is generally accepted that there is a strong relationship between addiction, especially to heroin and crack cocaine, and acquisitive crime. There has been record investment in tackling this problem, including the establishment of the Drug Interventions Programme, the provision of drug interventions in prisons and the expansion of drug treatment services.

Community Sentences

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent assessment he has made of (a) public awareness of unpaid work carried out by offenders complying with the terms of community sentences and (b) public engagement in selecting the work to be undertaken by offenders pursuant to community sentences. (114480)

The Home Office has not made any formal assessment of the public awareness of unpaid work carried out by offenders, however Community Payback (the name by which we promote unpaid work in the community) continues to receive significant amounts of local and national media coverage. Probation areas seek to make the public aware of this work and the positive contribution it makes to the community by means such as the use of plaques and signs at work sites, displays in public buildings, and by presentations to community groups. All probation areas have set up systems encouraging the public to suggest projects which they would like to see carried out.

In March 2006, probation areas completed a snapshot of their unpaid work provision. This showed the strong links to a wide variety of partners as sources of unpaid work of which the main ones were the voluntary sector (45 per cent.), local authorities (38 per cent.), education (15 per cent.), faith groups (12 per cent.) and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (10 per cent.). The overall numbers add up to more than 100 per cent. as some projects fit more than one category.

Conditional Cautions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on the trial to assess different models of conditional cautions in seven criminal justice areas. (114481)

Plans to establish new models for conditional cautioning were announced in the Respect Action Plan launched in January 2006. These new models involve the offender undertaking unpaid (reparative) work—to make good the damage they have caused to the local community that has suffered. In this way, offenders give something back to the community to repair the harm they have caused. The pilots are now starting in Durham, Lancashire, Merseyside, North Wales, South Yorkshire, Thames Valley and West Mercia, and will run until December 2007. A decision on whether to expand the scheme will be taken early next year.

Crime Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences of (a) violence against the person, (b) theft and (c) criminal damage were committed in Stockport in each year since 1998. (114294)

[holding answer 11 January 2007]: Data are for Stockport Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP).

Recorded crime data by CDRP were first collected centrally in 1999-2000, but for certain offences only. A full data collection followed in 2000-01. Therefore, data for violence against the person are available from 1999-2000 and for theft and criminal damage from 2000-01.

The available information is given in the table.

Stockport Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Violence against the person

3,218

3,470

3,543

3,809

4,313

4,427

4,409

Theft and handling

n/a

13,246

13,402

13,017

12,053

10,380

10,578

Criminal damage

n/a

7,021

7,468

6,831

7,304

6,722

7,387

Note:

The National Crime Recording Standard was introduced in April 2002 which means these figures are not directly comparable with those for earlier years.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many violent crimes took place in Peterborough city council area in each of the last five years. (114844)