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Written Answers

Volume 456: debated on Friday 2 February 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 2 February 2007

Health

Accident and Emergency Departments

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the size of population a typical “super A&E” as defined by the National Director for Emergency Access on page 4 of his report Emergency access - clinical case for change, published 5 December 2006, should serve. (115021)

It is a matter for the local national health service to ensure the provision of appropriate services, including accident and emergency facilities, to meet people’s needs.

There is increasing consensus among professional bodies that a critical size of hospital is required to ensure that specialist facilities are available to treat all patients with emergency needs safely. While the actual populations hospitals will serve in the future will differ slightly across the country, in general it may be that they will need to serve larger populations than is currently the case. Different clinical specialties may also have different demands in terms of the number of cases required to maintain clinical expertise.

Air Fresheners

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent research her Department has conducted into the impact upon (a) indoor air quality and (b) human health of the use of air fresheners. (111520)

In 1997, the Department together with the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) commissioned a joint research programme on the effects on health of exposure to air pollutants and damp in the home. This programme focused on indoor air pollution and its effects on health. In particular, the health effects on sensitive individuals within the population and the interactions between indoor air pollutants and health effects of damp in the domestic environment. There were 13 projects in total, seven of which were funded directly by the Department. Further details of these projects can be found at table three of ‘Air Pollution Research Funded’ which is available on the Department's website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/assetRoot/04/07/06/08/04070608.pdf.

Copies have been placed in the Library.

Air freshening products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and in 1997, the Department's Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants (COMEAP) was asked to consider the health effects of exposure to VOCs in the home. As part of this, COMEAP considered data collected by the Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) on behalf of the DETR and had published a statement in their 1997-98 annual report which is available at:

www.advisorybodies.doh.gov.uk/comeap/pdfs/comeap9798.pdf.

Copies have been placed in the Library.

Barlborough Independent Sector Treatment Centre

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many post-operative excessive limb shortening complications have been dealt with by NHS hospitals involving patients initially treated at the Barlborough Independent Sector Treatment Centre in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006; (118403)

(2) what monitoring is undertaken of excessive limb shortening post-operative problems of patients from the Barlborough Independent Sector Treatment Centre.

This information is not held by the Department. Providers have a responsibility to report and investigate any incidents internally. The Department’s contract management unit monitors and, where appropriate, investigates the clinical performance of the providers. This is achieved through the scrutiny of clinical performance information, incident reports, patient satisfaction and patient complaint measures.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when an official from her Department last visited the Barlborough Independent Sector Treatment Centre. (118405)

David Nicholson, Chief Executive of the National Health Service, visited the Barlborough independent sector treatment centre on 15 September 2006. As part of the continued contract management, representatives from the Departments regularly visit the treatment centre, most recently on 16 January 2007.

Clostridium Difficile

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she plans to introduce markers of clinical severity into the mandatory surveillance system for clostridium difficile infection. (115024)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether she plans to review the guidance on the use of culture and typing within the system of mandatory surveillance for clostridium difficile infection. (115025)

Compulsory Community Treatment Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when she expects to publish the findings of the Institute of Psychiatry review of research on the use of compulsory community treatment orders for people with a mental disorder commissioned by her Department. (117577)

The Department has commissioned a literature review, which looks at international experiences of implementing community treatment order. We have not yet received the final report of the review from the independent researcher. We do however intend to publish the literature review as soon as we can after it is completed.

Departmental Statistics

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department spent on statistics relating to the work of her Department in each of the last five years. (107273)

There is no definition of the term statistics relating to the work of the Department and no centrally held information on either the volume or costs of statistics published each year on this basis.

Estimates for the annual costs of national statistics are contained in the relevant ‘National Statistics Annual Report and Accounts’, which are available in the Library and on the National Statistics website at:

www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=1051

The last year these were produced was 2004-05.

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what her Department's expenditure was on foreign travel, including accommodation, in (a) 1996-97 and (b) 2005-06. (114026)

The Department's expenditure on foreign travel, including accommodation from 1996-97 to 2003-04 is shown in the following table.

£

1996-97

521,861

1997-98

575,458

1998-99

590,089

1999-2000

553,386

2000-01

549,105

2001-02

608,814

2002-03

591,748

2003-04

702,055

Information in the requested form is not available as the Department is not required to report in such detail for the statutory accounts. Therefore, the information has not been collected centrally since April 2004. Although this information cannot currently be obtained without incurring disproportional costs, the Department is exploring with our contractors the provision of similar data on a regular basis in the future.

Elderly Irish Men

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the health needs of elderly Irish males living in England. (118201)

The Department has made no specific assessment of the health needs of elderly Irish males living in the United Kingdom. The most extensive survey on the health of minority ethnic groups ever carried out in England was published in April 2006. The 2004 “Health Survey for England” interviewed over 6,000 adults from black and minority ethnic communities including Irish communities. The report is available in the Library.

Insulin

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment she has made of the (a) safety, (b) clinical effectiveness and (c) cost effectiveness of (i) animal insulins, (ii) synthetic human insulins and (iii) analogue insulins; and whether she plans to ask the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to make an assessment of those treatments. (116458)

All licensed insulins have been fully assessed and found to satisfy the regulatory requirements for quality, safety and efficacy. The safety of human insulins in clinical practice is continually monitored by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and the European Medicines Agency.

Clinical guidelines produced by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) on the management of both type one and type two diabetes conclude that the majority of studies indicate that both human and animal insulins are equally effective and report no significant differences in hypoglycaemic episodes and glycaemic control between the insulin of human and animal chemical structures.

NICE produces guidance for the national health service and Wales on the clinical and cost-effectiveness of treatment and healthcare based on the latest available evidence.

London SHA

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much has been allocated from the budget of each London primary care trust to the London Strategic Health Authority in each year since 2005. (114173)

The table shows primary care trust (PCT) topslice to NHS London at quarter two, 2006-07. From 2006-07 we have abolished planned support and given strategic health authorities (SHAs) the ability to generate reserves from top slicing their PCT allocations. This topslicing did not occur in 2005-06.

Organisation name

PCT topslice (£000)

Havering Primary Care Trust

9,352

Kingston Primary Care Trust

5,924

Bromley Primary Care Trust

10,952

Greenwich Teaching Primary Care Trust

11,235

Barnet Primary Care Trust

12,816

Hillingdon Primary Care Trust

9,048

Enfield Primary Care Trust

10,294

Barking and Dagenham Primary Care Trust

6,345

City and Hackney Teaching Primary Care Trust

14,840

Tower Hamlets Primary Care Trust

12,268

Newham Primary Care Trust

11,376

Haringey Primary Care Trust

10,176

Hammersmith and Fulham Primary Care Trust

8,018

Ealing Primary Care Trust

13,068

Hounslow Primary Care Trust

8,763

Brent Teaching Primary Care Trust

11,981

Harrow Primary Care Trust

7,506

Camden Primary Care Trust

11,438

Islington Primary Care Trust

9,932

Croydon Primary Care Trust

12,462

Kensington and Chelsea Primary Care Trust

8,084

Westminster Primary Care Trust

10,783

Lambeth Primary Care Trust

13,755

Southwark Primary Care Trust

11,819

Lewisham Primary Care Trust

11,719

Wandsworth Primary Care Trust

11,376

Richmond and Twickenham Primary Care Trust

6,629

Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust

13,553

Redbridge Primary Care Trust

9,114

Waltham Forest Primary Care Trust

9,398

Bexley Care Primary Care Trust

7,552

Source:

Financial monitoring returns quarter two, 2006-07.

NHS Trust Managers

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many members of management within NHS Trusts were made redundant in 2005; what the total paid in redundancy payments was; and how many of those individuals have been subsequently re-employed within the NHS. (118417)

Official Cars

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cars run by her Department were manufactured (a) in the UK and (b) abroad. (104819)

The Department runs one car which was manufactured in the United Kingdom and one car manufactured abroad. All other cars are operated by the Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA)

Information on cars operated by the GCDA is available on page 14 of its annual report and accounts 2005-06, copies of which are available in the Library.

Public Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to the answer of 17 January 2007, Official Report, column 1230W, on public health, what the figures were in each of the previous three years; (110925)

(2) what percentage of the PCT programme budget was accounted for by category 21 expenditure on public health in (a) 2003-04, (b) 2004-05 and (c) 2005-06.

Estimates of primary care trust expenditure on public health are available from the healthy individuals category in the programme budgeting returns. Expenditure in this category covers immunisation, screening and general/routine health examinations. However, not all spend on public health will necessarily be picked up in this category.

The net spend on healthy individuals as a proportion of total net operating expenditure, for each primary care trust in England for the financial years 2003-04, the first year these data were collected, 2004-05 and 2005-06 has been placed in the Library.

Royal Mail

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much her Department spent using Royal Mail in each of the last five years. (115248)

The Department spent the following amounts using Royal Mail in each of the last five years:

£

2001-02

491,108

2002-03

479,751

2003-04

344,915

2004-05

356,959

2005-06

252,278

Social Enterprise Pathfinders

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what criteria were used by strategic health authorities in determining social enterprise pathfinder programmes. (115820)

The assessment criteria used by the strategic health authorities and regional partners are as follows:

is there a clear sense of vision and purpose in the proposal?

do the services proposed meet a gap in current provision?

do the services proposed improve on current provision?

is there a sense of innovation in the proposal?

do the services proposed fit strategically with the local health and social care economy?

have clients been involved, or will be involved, in contributing to the design of services?

have staff been involved, or will be involved, in contributing to the design of services?

are there plans to involve stakeholders?

does the proposal demonstrate a vision for the service's social objectives and how these will be realised?

are robust governance arrangements planned or in place?

is there a sense that there is sufficient management capability in the organisation?

is there explicit commissioner support for the application, or a clear demonstration that the scheme will be financially viable?

Prime Minister

Interview Clearance

To ask the Prime Minister whether his office cleared in advance the interview given by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to the New Statesman for publication in its issue of 22 January; and if he will make a statement. (118265)

I refer the hon. Member to the press briefing given by my official spokesman on 18 January 2007. A transcript of this is available on the No. 10 website and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.

Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Prime Minister when he expects to reply to question 116965, on Tanzania, tabled by the hon. Member for Sutton Coldfield for answer on 19 January. (118188)

I replied to the hon. Member on 19 January 2007. I understand that because of a printing error my answer did not appear in the Official Report for that day, although it has now done so.

Defence

EU and NATO Missions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost was to the UK of (a) EU military operations and (b) NATO military operations in each year between 2003 and 2006. (117242)

The cost of UK contributions to EU and NATO operations are not borne by the Defence budget. Costs are charged either against the HM Treasury Reserve or the conflict prevention pools.

The MOD records centrally costs of regional operations as a whole and does not apportion operational cost to the specific command authority at the time. Consequently, it is not possible to distinguish between the EU and NATO costs in all cases

Total cost (£ million)Notes

Afghanistan

2003-2004

46

NATO led operation

2004-2005

67

NATO led operation

2005-2006

199

NATO led operation

The Balkans

2003-2004

103

NATO led operations

2004-2005

87

EU1/NATO

2005-2006

63

EU/NATO

DR Congo

2003-2004

1

EU led2

2006-2007

Negligible3

EU

Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

2003-2004

1

EU4

1 FOR ALTHEA (Bosnia and Herzegovina) commenced 12 December 2004. 2 Operation ARTEMIS: June to September 2003. 3 Operation EUFOR RD Congo: April to November 2006.The UK contribution to this operation consisted of one staff officer in Potsdam and one officer in Kinshasa—hence the operational cost to the UK was negligible 4 Operation CONCORDIA: March to December 2003

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on negotiations towards agreement pursuant to article 6 of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty, on nuclear disarmament measures; and what assessment he has made of the key obstacles to such negotiations. (117839)

The UK is committed to progress in multilateral disarmament and plays a strong role in all the relevant international fora. We continue to press for multilateral negotiations towards mutual, balanced and verifiable reductions in nuclear weapons. The forum responsible for nuclear disarmament is the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva, whose achievements include the Comprehensive Test Ban treaty, ratified by the UK in 1998. Our current priority is the early start of negotiations, without preconditions, on a Fissile Material Cut-Off treaty (FMCT). The US tabled a draft treaty text in 2006. The start of such negotiations is subject to the agreement by consensus of all states represented at the conference. While there has been no agreement on a programme of work for the Conference on Disarmament, significant progress was made last year by the conference’s presidency, and the UK is committed to building on this momentum.

Preserved Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate his Department has made of the cost of backdating armed forces preserved pensions before 1975; and if he will make a statement. (112117)

No specific estimate has been made of the cost of backdating armed forces preserved pensions before 1975. However, in view of the fact that this issue is common to other public service schemes, not just the armed forces, the cost, whether to the armed forces or more widely, would be considerable and could run into billions of pounds.

Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many recruits joined the armed forces in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. (112235)

In 2005, intake from civilian life to the UK regular forces was 17,5601.

Between 1 January and 30 November 2006, intake from Civilian Life to the UK regular forces was 19,2502.

The number of recruits joining the armed forces can be found in Tri-Service Publication (TSP) 1—“Strength, Intake and Outflow of UK Regular Forces”. TSP 1 is published monthly. The most recent publication shows figures for the 12 months to 1 December 2006 and can be found at http://www.dasa.mod.uk/natstats/tspl/gender.html. Copies of TSP 1 are also available in the Library of the House.

1 Revised. Army officer inflow figures were revised in the 1 June 2006 TSP 1 publication.

2 Provisional. Due to the introduction of a new personnel administration system for RAF and Naval Service, data are provisional and subject to review.

Royal Navy: Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s total expenditure was on the Royal Navy in each year since 1990; what the projected spend is on the Royal Navy in each of the next 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (118462)

Defence spending is not broken down by service. Instead, the MOD operates a system of delegated authority to top level budget (TLB) holders. Some are single service but several, for example, Defence Estates and the Chief of Joint Operations support all three services and their budgets are not broken down by service.

Information about spending by TLBs can be found in the Government’s expenditure plans (GEP) 2006-07 to 2007-08, Ministry of Defence (Cmd 6822), as well as in the Ministry of Defence’s 2005-06 annual report and accounts. This includes the fleet top level budget, which covers the main operating and personnel costs of the Royal Navy.

Spending plans for future years are being reviewed in the current departmental planning round, and will also be shaped by the outcome of the comprehensive spending review, which will set the defence budget from 2008-09 to 2010-11.

The Royal Navy will continue to be funded across a broad spectrum of capabilities that will enable the fleet to meet its operational and standing commitments.

Service Personnel Injuries

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel injured in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan have (i) lost both legs and both arms, (ii) lost both legs at or above the knee, (iii) lost both legs below the knee, (iv) lost one leg at or above the knee, (v) lost one leg below the knee, (vi) lost both arms at or above the elbow, (vii) lost both arms below the elbow, (viii) lost one arm at or above the elbow, (ix) lost one arm below the elbow, (x) received deep second degree or third degree burns to more than 70 per cent. of the body, (xi) been blinded in both eyes and (xii) been made deaf. (116661)

[holding answer 22 January 2007]: Information on casualties sustained in Iraq and Afghanistan is recorded in terms of clinical severity, so as to aid medical staff in providing the appropriate levels of care at each stage of treatment and in planning for future operations. Casualties are recorded as Very Seriously Injured (VSI), Seriously Injured (SI) or Un-Listed (UL).

Information on the number of military personnel who have lost limbs due to combat, have received serious burns, or had sensory deprivation is not recorded. To find this number would require the examination of the individual medical records of each patient who has been classified as VSI or SI in Iraq and Afghanistan. These records can only be viewed for non-clinical reasons with the express consent of the individual concerned, to protect patient confidentiality.

The Ministry of Defence publishes data on battle and non-battle casualties that have resulted from our operations in Iraq from March 2003 and Afghanistan since January 2006. The best centrally available casualty statistics can be found on the Ministry of Defence website at:

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/Operations Factsheets

Between March 2003 and 31 December 2005, 40 UK military and civilian personnel were categorised by the Notification of Casualty (NOTICAS) system as VSI from all causes and 70 personnel have been categorised as SI from all causes in Iraq. These figures will include those who lost limbs due to combat, but also include other VSIs and Sis sustained as a result of combat and non-combat injuries.

Between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2006, 11 UK personnel were categorised as VSI and 19 as SI from all causes excluding disease. As aforementioned, these figures will include those who lost limbs due to combat, but also include other VSI and SIs from combat and non-combat causes.

Between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2006, 17 UK personnel were categorised as VSI and 13 as SI from all causes excluding disease. As aforementioned, these figures will include those who lost limbs due to combat, but also include other VSI and SIs from combat and non-combat causes.

Those classified as VSI have sustained illness or injury of such severity that life or reason is imminently endangered. SI covers those who’s condition is of such severity that there is cause for immediate concern, but there is no imminent danger to life or reason.

It is likely that those who received deep second or third degree burns to 70 per cent. of the body would be included in either the VSI or SI figures, but this would depend on the severity of their injury. It is not possible to say whether all those blinded in both eyes or made deaf would be included.

Snow and Ice

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate the Meteorological Office has made of the number of days of snow fall in (a) London, (b) Edinburgh, (c) Bristol and (d) Inverness in (i) 2010, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2030 and (iv) 2050. (108964)

Climate models are not yet sufficiently finely resolved to make predictions of the number of days of snowfall for individual towns or cities.

During the 21st century, a trend towards reduced snowfall is expected over the UK due to climate change. The predicted changes vary with location, and some parts of the UK could experience periods of increased snowfall, due to the influence of natural climate variability. However, by 2050 a reduction in snowfall can be predicted with some confidence.

With future investment in supercomputing capacity the Met Office expects to increase the resolution of its climate models and provide more local scale predictions with reduced uncertainty.

UK Armed Forces Veterans Lapel Badge

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people have (a) applied for and (b) received the UK armed forces veterans lapel badge. (109079)

Since the inception of the veterans lapel badge scheme in May 2004, approximately 365,900 applications have been received. As result of these applications approximately 355,500 applicants have been issued with badges.

The remaining 10,400 were found not to be eligible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the waiting time is from application to receive a UK armed forces veterans lapel badge. (109080)

The current waiting time, from receipt of the application form to despatch of the veterans lapel badge, is an average of five working days.

Communities and Local Government

Comprehensive Area Assessments

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if comprehensive area assessments will have (a) value for money measures, (b) annual league tables and (c) star or numerically graded ratings. (114827)

The new comprehensive area assessment will include a scored judgment on the use of resources drawn from the annual audit of local authorities, which will include a judgment on value for money. A scored judgment on the direction of travel, which assesses the effectiveness of each local authority in driving continuous improvement will continue to be published. Both of these scored judgments will enable comparability between areas, as will the annual publication of performance against the single set of national indicators.

Disability Facilities Grant

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she plans to introduce the proposed changes to the Disability Facilities Grant. (111045)

The Government’s proposal to improve the Disabled Facilities Grant programme went out for consultation on 18 January, for comments to be returned by 13 April. We plan to issue a response in July.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has (a) to make the Disability Facilities Grant more flexible and (b) to reduce the operation of the ring fence in relation to the grant. (111046)

The Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) consultation paper published on 18 January 2007 contains two proposals to make the DFG funding more flexible, by widening the ring fence or by removing the ring fence around the funding.

In 2007-08 we will run a small trial widening the ring fence for some authorities. Following an evaluation of the responses to the consultation and the new procedures operating in the pilot areas, a decision about which option to use for national roll-out will be made.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how she plans to increase the role of Home Improvement Agencies in relation to the Disability Facilities Grant. (111047)

The Disabled Facilities Grant consultation contains two proposals to develop a stronger role for Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) in the delivery of housing adaptations:

1. HIAs to provide a rapid response for the prevention of accidents and promote early release from hospital;

2. HIAs to provide a full agency service for housing adaptations in county areas.

The Government will consider the best way to proceed following the consultation and subject to funding negotiations.

Domestic Violence

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what safeguards she is putting in place in establishing the proposed local area agreement under the Local Government Bill to ensure continued delivery of specialist support for victims of domestic violence. (117682)

The Government are committed to ensuring that victims of domestic violence are adequately protected and supported. We will want to ensure that where local area agreements can contribute to the delivery of the government's and local areas' response to domestic violence they do so. Many local areas have already chosen to include stretch targets relating to domestic violence in their local area agreements. The duties on local authorities and their local partners proposed in the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill will facilitate joint working, including by making local area agreements the single mechanism for central and local government to agree targets to reflect the key priorities for improvement in each local area.

Firefighting

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the (a) typical or average hourly call handling capacity and (b) maximum hourly call handling capacity is expected to be of each of the regional control centres proposed under the FiReControl project. (111173)

The regional control centres are designed to meet or exceed the current Chief Fire Officer's Association (CFOA) performance targets for call handling. These are:

85 per cent. of calls answered within 7 seconds;

95 per cent. of calls answered within 10 seconds;

98 per cent. of calls answered within 20 seconds.

The capacity of each RCC depends on the number of staff and the shift pattern at any given time. Based on the current indicative staffing numbers and shift patterns, the call handling capacity of each RCC is shown in the following table:

Call capacity of regional control centres

08:00-16:00

16:00-20:00

20:00-23:00

23:00-08:00

24 hours

Annual

London

Hourly

240

300

210

150

Period total

1,920

1,200

630

1,350

5,100

1938150

South East

Hourly

150

195

150

105

Period total

1,200

780

450

945

3,375

1,286,625

South West

Hourly

135

165

135

105

Period total

1,080

660

405

945

6,090

1,127,850

East of England

Hourly

135

165

135

105

Period total

1,080

660

405

945

3,090

1,127,850

East Midlands

Hourly

135

165

135

105

Period total

1,080

660

405

945

3,090

1,127,850

West Midlands

Hourly

150

195

165

120

Period total

1,200

780

495

1,080

3,555

1,297,575

Yorks and Humber

Hourly

150

195

165

120

Period total

1,200

780

495

1,080

3,555

1,97,575

North East

Hourly

120

150

135

105

Period total

960

600

405

945

2,910

1,062,150

North West

Hourly

225

285

195

135

Period total

1,800

1,140

585

1,215

4,740

1,730,100

Network

Hourly

1,440

1,815

1,425

1,050

Period total

11,520

7,260

4,275

9,450

32,505

11,864,325

Notes:

1. These figures do not represent the projected requirement.

2. Assumes that a person working a 12 hour shift has the capacity to answer calls for nine of 12 hours.

3. Assumes an average call handling time of three minutes per call (taking account of all call types—emergency, administrative and additional assistance calls).

Local Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to suspend the district council elections in England planned for May 2007. (117000)

Milton Keynes Tariff

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) whether planning gain supplement will be introduced in parallel to the Milton Keynes tariff in Milton Keynes; (112212)

(2) when she expects the planning gain supplement to replace the Milton Keynes tariff.

I have been asked to reply.

The Government announced at the 2006 pre-Budget report that a workable and effective PGS would not be introduced earlier than 2009. Further announcements on PGS will be made after the current consultation is completed. The Government are considering the interaction of PGS with existing tariff schemes.

Treasury

Advertising

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent on advertising with The Guardian newspaper, including online advertorials and advertising features, in the latest year for which figures are available. (114168)

There has been no expenditure recorded on advertising with The Guardian newspaper in 2005-06 by HM Treasury.

Aggregates Levy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many prosecutions have taken place in Scotland for breaches of the law relating to the aggregates levy since its inception. (110896)

There have been no prosecutions in Scotland for breaches of the law since the aggregates levy was introduced.

Air Passenger Duty

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment his Department has made of the likely impact of the increase in Air Passenger Duty on the development of the aviation industry in the UK. (111253)

[holding answer 25 January 2007]: Econometric analysis of the effects of an Air Passenger Duty increase on passenger numbers and flights was conducted to calculate that increases would deliver carbon savings of O.3 MtC a year by 2010-11. When the effect of non-carbon dioxide emissions are taken into account this has a climate change impact equivalent to saving around 0.75 MtC per year by 2010-11.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what basis it was calculated that a doubling of Air Passenger Duty would save between 0.2 MtC and 0.5 MtC per annum by 2010-11; and whether this methodology has been validated by market experience. (115265)

The Chancellor’s 2006 pre-Budget report announced that increases in Air Passenger Duty would deliver carbon savings of 0.3 million tonnes of carbon (MtC) a year by 2010-11. This is a central estimate, based on a projected range of 0.2 to O.5 MtC a year by 2010-11.

This assessment was based on econometric analysis of the effects of an Air Passenger Duty increase on passenger numbers and flights, which is underpinned by and takes account of market experience.

Christmas Cards

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many staff hours were spent on preparation of departmental Christmas cards in 2005; how many departmental staff have responsibility for preparing Christmas cards in 2006; what the cost of postage was for official departmental Christmas cards in (a) 2004 and (b) 2005; what the cost was of purchasing official departmental Christmas cards in each such year; and how many official Christmas cards were sent out by his Department in each year. (106543)

Preparing Christmas cards accounts for only a very small proportion of the time of any Treasury official. For information on Treasury Christmas cards in 2004 and 2005, I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Hammersmith and Fulham (Mr. Hands) on 31 January 2006, Official Report, column 398W, and the answer the former Financial Secretary my right hon. Friend the Member for East Ham (Mr. Timms) gave to the right hon. Member for Haltemprice and Howden (David Davis) on 20 December 2004, Official Report, column 1403W.

Christmas Trees

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Christmas trees were purchased by his Department and its agencies in each of the last five years; what the cost was of those trees in each year; from where the trees were sourced; what account was taken of the sustainability of the sources of the trees; and by what process the trees were disposed of. (106560)

One Christmas tree is bought by the Treasury from a sustainable source. It is then recycled.

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent on internal media trainers in each year since 1997, broken down by supplier. (110779)

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much programme expenditure sponsored by his Department was spent via each of the Government offices for the regions in the most recent year for which figures are available. (116764)

None of the Treasury’s programme expenditure for 2004-05 or 2005-06 was spent via the Government offices for the regions.

Departmental Fixed Assets

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which fixed assets his Department sold for more than £10,000 in (a) 2004-05 and (b) 2005-06; and what the (i) sale value, (ii) purchaser and (iii) date of sale was of each asset. (110794)

During 2004-05, the Treasury sold the land and buildings at 100 Parliament street, including antique fixtures and fittings, to HM Revenue and Customs. Proceeds of £22,412,000 were received on 16 March 2005.

Between 12 January 2005 and 16 February 2005, all of the Treasury's residual post-privatisation shares were sold, via a broker, for £1,706,000.

There were no disposals of any fixed assets for more than £10,000 during 2005-06.

Executive Agencies

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how much was spent by each of his Department’s executive agencies in each Government Office region in the most recent year for which figures are available; (116673)

(2) which of the executive agencies of his Department have regional offices outside London;

(3) what estimate he has made of expenditure by his Department in each of the Government Office regions in the most recent year for which figures are available;

(4) which executive agencies are the responsibility of his Department; what the function is of each agency; and what the budget was of each agency in the most recent year for which figures are available.

The Treasury’s Executive agency is the Debt Management Office. The functions of the DMO and its budget are described in the Treasury’s 2006 departmental report, available from http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/about/departmental_reports/dept_ report2006.cfm and in the DMO’s own annual report, available from http://www.dmo.gov.uk/documentview.aspx ?docname=publications/annualreports/dmorep2006 .pdf&page=Annual_Report The DMO has no offices outside London. Chapter 7 of the annual Treasury publication “Public Expenditure Statistical Analyses” details expenditure on services in the regions and countries of the United Kingdom. Identifiable spending in each region of England by Government departmental group for 2004-05 (the latest available data) is contained within table 7.19 of the 2006 edition of PESA. The DMO’s expenditure was not identifiable to a specific region or regions.

Expenditure: Brunswick

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what payments have been made by his Department and its agencies to (a) Brunswick Arts International and (b) the Brunswick Group in each of the last five years. (104697)

[holding answer 5 December 2006]: There are no records of any payments having been made by the Treasury to either Brunswick Arts International or Brunswick Group or by any of its agencies in the last five years.

Gender Equality

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what progress he has made in preparations for his Department's implementation of the gender equality duty in April; and if he will make a statement. (116257)

The Treasury's progress in preparation for the implementation of the gender equality duty includes, as an employer, having in place effective monitoring systems to ensure employment processes and practices meet the gender equality duty. In issuing guidance to Departments, on the CSR process and PSAs the Treasury has underlined the statutory responsibilities under the equality duties, and refers Departments to the detailed information on implementing the gender equality duty published by the Equal Opportunities Commission.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he is taking to raise awareness of the gender equality duty across his Department and its agencies and non-departmental public bodies. (116258)

Work is under way in the Treasury to ensure the requirements of the forthcoming duty on gender equality are met. The Treasury has in place, and is implementing, a plan to enhance diversity in the Department. As part of this, an internal equalities seminar has been organised and will take place in February 2007. The seminar will raise awareness about all the equality duties and be addressed by speakers from the Equal Opportunities Commission, the Disability Rights Commission and the Commission for Racial Equality.

Treasury officials are also in contact with the non-departmental public bodies and Executive agencies for which the Chancellor of the Exchequer is responsible to ensure they are taking the necessary steps to meet the requirements of the forthcoming duty on public bodies and raise awareness. All have confirmed that this work is under way.

Gross Value Added

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the change was in gross value added (GVA) per capita in each region and county in each year since 1990; and what the trend growth was of GVA per capita in each region and county between 1990 and 2002. (116688)

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

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 2 February 2007:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question about gross value added (GVA) per capita in each region and county in each year since 1990; and what the trend growth was of GVA per capita in each region and county between 1990 and 2002. I am replying in her absence. (116688)

The Office for National Statistics publishes regional GVA using official statistical geographies known as Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS)1. The NUTS classification does not fully correspond to counties of the United Kingdom. Table 1 shows annual percentage changes in GVA per capita for each NUTS1 (regions and countries) of the UK; Table 2 shows annual percentage changes in GVA per capita for each NUTS2 (groups of counties and unitary authorities) area. Consistent estimates below the NUTS1 level are only available from 1995 onwards. These estimates are expressed at current basic prices, and do not allow for changes in prices over time (inflation) or differences in regional price levels (purchasing power). They do not, therefore, show growth in real or volume terms. ONS does not currently publish such estimates, but they are being developed for NUTS 1 regions as part of the Allsopp programme.

Table 3 shows average growth, at current prices, for each NUTS1 region for the period 1990-2002. Table 4 shows average growth, at current prices, for each NUTS2 area for the period 1995-2002.

1 The Nomenclature of Units for Territorial Statistics (NUTS) provides a single uniform breakdown for the production of regional statistics for the European Union. There are three levels of NUTS in the UK. These are:

NUTS1: Government Office Regions and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

NUTS2: 37 areas—individual and groups of counties and unitary authorities.

NUTS3: 133 areas—generally groups of unitary authorities or districts, also known as local areas.

The full range of published regional GVA estimates are available on the ONS website:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/Productasp?vlnk=14650

Table 1: NUTS 1 gross value added1 per capita annual change

Percentage

GVA per head annual change

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

1997

United Kingdom

8.4

4.1

4.1

4.9

5.4

5.0

6.2

5.4

North East

8.0

5.0

4.6

4.1

4.7

4.5

4.3

4.3

North West

8.3

3.7

4.2

4.6

5.3

4.7

5.0

5.1

Yorkshire and the Humber

8.0

4.3

3.5

3.9

5.1

5.6

6.0

5.6

East Midlands

7.5

4.0

3.7

4.0

5.6

5.2

5.7

5.5

West Midlands

8.3

3.5

4.2

5.0

6.2

5.4

5.4

6.0

East of England

8.4

3.7

4.3

4.9

5.6

5.0

5.5

5.2

London

8.4

3.9

4.2

5.2

4.4

3.5

6.5

7.2

South East

8.6

5.0

4.6

5.5

5.7

5.1

6.3

6.7

South West

8.4

4.3

3.5

5.0

5.1

5.1

7.0

5.8

Wales

7.6

3.1

4.2

4.4

5.4

5.4

4.3

4.0

Scotland

9.1

5.9

4.7

4.5

5.3

4.8

4.8

4.7

Northern Ireland

9.4

6.3

5.5

6.7

5.7

6.6

6.5

5.2

Percentage

GVA per head annual change

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

United Kingdom

5.7

4.5

4.7

4.6

5.0

5.5

5.5

3.4

North East

4.4

3.3

3.5

5.0

4.7

5.5

5.9

3.9

North West

5.4

4.3

3.5

4.9

4.5

5.1

5.4

3.4

Yorkshire and the Humber

5.2

3.3

3.5

4.8

5.1

5.6

5.1

3.2

East Midlands

4.7

3.1

3.3

5.2

5.0

6.4

6.0

3.7

West Midlands

5.4

3.7

3.7

4.4

4.0

4.9

5.2

3.2

East of England

5.9

3.9

3.7

5.1

5.3

6.1

6.0

3.0

London

8.1

5.1

3.5

3.8

6.3

6.1

5.8

3.1

South East

8.1

5.5

4.7

5.5

5.2

5.3

5.1

2.6

South West

5.9

4.3

3.9

5.4

5.5

6.0

5.7

3.4

Wales

3.8

3.0

3.5

5.1

4.3

5.5

5.4

3.7

Scotland

4.0

3.2

3.4

4.3

5.7

5.9

5.5

3.7

Northern Ireland

5.8

5.3

4.1

4.6

3.9

5.7

5.6

3.0

1 GVA at current basic prices.

Table 2: NUTS 2 gross value added1 per capita annual change

Percentage

GVA per head annual change

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Tees Valley and Durham

3.5

3.3

3.0

2.4

2.0

3.0

2.9

4.8

5.9

Northumberland and Tyne and Wear

5.0

5.2

5.5

4.0

4.6

6.4

6.0

6.1

5.9

Cumbria

3.6

2.0

1.6

0.5

0.2

3.0

4.5

6.1

5.5

Cheshire

5.2

5.8

5.1

4.3

3.1

4.5

4.0

3.7

4.5

Greater Manchester

5.4

6.0

6.4

4.9

3.7

4.9

4.4

5.4

5.8

Lancashire

3.9

3.2

4.1

4.2

3.9

5.2

4.1

4.6

5.2

Merseyside

5.7

5.9

6.5

4.7

4.2

5.6

5.8

5.8

5.5

East Riding and North Lincolnshire

5.5

3.4

1.7

0.1

2.5

4.8

5.4

5.5

5.0

North Yorkshire

6.0

4.7

4.6

3.2

4.1

5.4

5.8

6.0

5.2

South Yorkshire

6.3

6.2

6.2

3.4

3.9

5.2

5.8

6.1

5.6

West Yorkshire

6.1

6.4

6.3

4.5

3.5

4.3

4.4

5.2

4.9

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

5.6

5.6

4.4

3.6

3.9

5.6

4.8

6.1

6.0

Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire

6.4

6.5

6.3

3.3

2.8

4.3

4.9

6.7

6.4

Lincolnshire

4.3

2.0

1.0

0.7

2.6

6.7

6.2

6.4

4.8

Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire

5.1

5.2

6.2

5.4

4.4

4.2

3.0

4.4

4.9

Shropshire and Staffordshire

5.9

5.4

4.6

2.2

2.6

3.6

5.2

5.7

5.8

West Midlands

5.3

6.6

5.4

3.7

4.0

4.9

3.9

4.7

5.1

East Anglia

4.2

3.1

4.0

2.9

3.3

5.8

5.9

6.2

5.8

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

6.7

7.4

8.6

5.2

4.6

4.6

4.0

5.1

5.8

Essex

5.9

5.5

5.4

3.5

2.9

5.0

6.2

7.4

6.6

Inner London

7.0

7.4

8.0

5.0

3.2

4.4

8.1

6.7

5.8

Outer London

5.7

6.8

8.0

4.6

3.2

2.2

2.8

4.9

5.3

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

6.6

8.2

11.4

7.4

5.2

5.1

5.0

5.8

5.8

Surrey, East and West Sussex

6.8

6.1

6.7

5.2

5.4

6.5

5.3

4.6

4.4

Hampshire and Isle of Wight

6.1

6.6

6.9

3.8

3.9

5.3

5.5

5.4

5.3

Kent

5.1

4.9

5.7

4.1

3.3

4.7

5.2

5.4

5.0

Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Somerset

8.1

7.2

7.2

4.0.

3.9

5.6

6.7

6.6

6.1

Dorset and Somerset

6.1

5.4

6.4

5.9

4.0

4.0

3.6

4.7

5.3

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

6.5

4.1

4.5

4.8

5.8

7.4

6.5

6.8

5.9

Devon

5.1

3.0

2.1

3.2

3.2

5.6

4.1

5.5

4.7

West Wales and the Valleys

4.1

2.8

2.2

1.5

2.9

4.5

4.4

5.3

5.4

East Wales

4.5

5.4

5.7

4.8

4.1

5.9

4.2

5.6

5.4

North Eastern Scotland

4.4

4.9

4.6

2.6

4.3

3.9

3.4

3.6

4.6

Eastern Scotland

4.8

4.2

3.4

2.4

2.4

4.0

6.7

6.4

5.4

South Western Scotland

5.2

5.4

4.5

4.0

3.9

4.8

5.6

6.1

5.8

Highlands and Islands

2.6

2.8

3.8

4.4

4.5

4.9

6.1

7.1

5.6

Northern Ireland

5.8

5.8

6.1

4.3

3.8

4.8

5.2

5.7

5.5

1 GVA at current basic prices.

Table 3: Average gross value added1 growth per capita for NUTS1 regions, 1990-2002

Average GVA growth per capita 1990-2002

Percentage

United Kingdom

5.0

North East

4.4

North West

4.6

Yorkshire and the Humber

4.7

East Midlands

4.6

West Midlands

4.7

East of England

4.8

London

5.1

South East

5.7

South West

5.1

Wales

4.2

Scotland

4.6

Northern Ireland

5.5

1 GVA at current basic prices.

Table 4: Average gross value added1 growth per capita for NUTS2 regions, 1995-2002

Average GVA growth per capita 1995-2002

Percentage

Tees Valley and Durham

2.9

Northumberland and Tyne and Wear

5.3

Cumbria

2.2

Cheshire

4.6

Greater Manchester

5.1

Lancashire

4.1

Merseyside

5.5

East Riding and North Lincolnshire

3.3

North Yorkshire

4.8

South Yorkshire

5.3

West Yorkshire

5.1

Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire

4.8

Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire

4.9

Lincolnshire

3.3

Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire

4.8

Shropshire and Staffordshire

4.2

West Midlands

4.8

East Anglia

4.2

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

5.9

Essex

4.9

Inner London

6.1

Outer London

4.7

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

7.0

Surrey, East and West Sussex

6.0

Hampshire and Isle of Wight

5.4

Kent

4.7

Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and North Somerset

6.1

Dorset and Somerset

5.0

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly

5.7

Devon

3.8

West Wales and the Valleys

3.2

East Wales

4.9

North Eastern Scotland

4.0

Eastern Scotland

4.0

South Western Scotland

4.8

Highlands and Islands

4.2

Northern Ireland

5.1

1 GVA at current basic prices.

Hobsbawn Media and Marketing Communications

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what payments have been made by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies to Hobsbawn Media and Marketing Communications Ltd. under that or any of the other names by which the company has been known in each year since 1997. (104694)

[holding answer 5 December 2006]: There are no records of any payments having been made by the Treasury to Hobsbawn Media and Marketing Communications Ltd. or by any of its agencies.

Hospital Births

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many births there were in 2005-06 at (a) the West Cumberland hospital, Whitehaven and (b) the Cumberland infirmary, Carlisle. (114638)

[pursuant to the reply, 15 January 2007, Official Report, c. 844W]: There was an error in the table given in the letter from the National Statistician and Registrar General which accompanied my written answer. A corrected version of the table is contained in the accompanying letter. The National Statistician and I very much regret this inadvertent error.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 2 February 2007:

It has been brought to my attention that the figures in the table that appeared with the answer to your question (114638) on births in 2005 at West Cumberland hospital, Whitehaven and the Cumberland infirmary, Carlisle, were accidentally transposed.

In the table, the number of live births in West Cumberland hospital, Whitehaven in 2005 should have been 1,261 and stillbirths 8. The number of live births in The Cumberland infirmary, Carlisle, in 2005 should have been 1,624 and stillbirths 11. The correct version of the table is attached below. I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

Live births and stillbirths occurring in West Cumberland Hospital, Whitehaven and the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle in 2005

Year 2005

Live births

Stillbirths

West Cumberland hospital, Whitehaven

1,261

8

The Cumberland infirmary, Carlisle

1,624

11

Inflation Figures

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department’s estimate is of the rate of (a) household inflation, (b) single pensioner household inflation and (c) pensioner household inflation. (116944)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 2 February 2007:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking for an estimate of the rate of (a) household inflation, (b) single pensioner household inflation and (c) pensioner household inflation. (116944)

Retail Prices Index (RPI) is defined as an average measure of change in the prices of goods and services bought for the purpose of consumption by the vast majority of households in the UK. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recently published the RPI for December 2006 as 202.7, giving a percentage change over 12 months of 4.4%.

The weights for the RPI explicitly exclude data on households where the head of the household is retired (at least 65 years of age for men and 60 years or more for women) and economically inactive, and where at least three quarters of the household’s income is from state benefits. Although no general “pensioner household” index exists, separate indices are produced for one-pensioner and for two-pensioner households whose expenditure is excluded from the RPI weights, i.e. those who rely on state pensions and benefit for at least 75% of their income. This roughly relates to around 20% of all pensioners (there are very few private households consisting solely of three or more pensioners): These indices use the same price data as the RPI and are only published for quarters, rather than months. They make no allowance for the fact that pensioners may shop in different outlets and therefore experience different prices.

The one-person pensioner households index for the fourth quarter of 2006 stands at 176.6, a change of 5.7% over 12 months.

The two-person pensioner households index for the fourth quarter of 2006 stands at 179.2, a change of 4.4% over 12 months.

The corresponding value for the RPI for the fourth quarter of 2006, stands at 201.4, a change of 4.0% over 12 months.

The main differences from the RPI in the construction of the pensioner indices are as follows:

section weights are derived from information on expenditure by one-pensioner and two-pensioner households respectively;

canteen meals (including state school meals) and all housing sections are excluded;

Other items are also excluded, including NHS prescription, dental and eyesight test charges which are not paid by pensioners. For rail and bus fares, special pensioners' rail and bus fare indices are substituted for the normal index household indices to allow for fare concessions available in some areas.

The exclusion of housing sections was made on the grounds that the price indicators used in the all items RPI would not be appropriate and would overstate the price increases experienced by these pensioners as they would mostly be cushioned against some rises by rebates. Also, it would be technically difficult to compile separate house price indicator items for these households.

Jon Symonds

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what position Jon Symonds holds in (a) his Department and (b) HM Revenue and Customs. (110847)

Jonathan Symonds, the chief financial officer of AstraZeneca plc, holds no position in HM Treasury nor in HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Alongside other business representatives, he is a member of HMRC's Business Tax Forum, which acts as a mechanism for business to raise operational tax issues with HMRC.

Mental Health

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what measures he is taking to promote actively the employment within (a) his Department and (b) public sector bodies for whom he has responsibility of people with mental illnesses in line with the advice and codes of practice produced by the Disability Rights Commission. (117089)

The Treasury’s arrangements, to promote actively the employment, within (a) the Treasury and (b) public sector bodies for whom it has responsibility of people with mental illnesses in line with the advice and codes of practice produced by the Disability Rights Commission, are set out in the Treasury’s published Disability Equality Scheme available on the Treasury’s external website.

Ministerial Policy Instructions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his Department’s mechanism is for recording policy instructions given by Ministers to civil servants. (103979)

Treasury Ministers are in continuous dialogue with officials as part of the policy process and instruct civil servants as part of this dialogue.

Ministerial Visits

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what dates Ministers in his Department made official visits to Coventry in each year since 1997. (116074)

[holding answer 18 January 2007]: Treasury Ministers' official duties entail visits throughout the United Kingdom.

Pensions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent on stakeholder pensions in each of the last four years. (111017)

[holding answer 25 January 2007]: The Treasury makes employer's contributions in respect of Treasury staff participating in the partnerships pension scheme of the principal civil service pension scheme. The scheme began in 2002-03. The Treasury's employer's contributions payable for the last four completed financial years were as follows:

£000

2002-03

11

2003-04

125

2004-05

140

2005-06

115

Private Finance Initiative

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the performance against budget of (a) private finance initiative projects and (b) conventionally procured capital projects for (i) IT projects and (ii) buildings approved by the Office of Government Commerce. (107580)

[holding answer 4 December 2006]: The Office of Government Commerce does not have a projects approval role.

Progressive Beer Duty

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what assessment he has made of the market effects of the progressive beer duty on stimulating and encouraging growth for the brewery businesses of cask-conditioned beer; (109111)

(2) what response he has made to the representation made to him by a number of breweries enclosed in the letter to him from the right hon. Member for Witney dated 20 February on the impact of the progressive beer duty on their business.

I have replied to the right hon. Member's letter. Figures from the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) show that around 130 new breweries have opened since the introduction of small breweries relief, bringing with them over 1,000 new jobs, many in economically deprived rural communities.

A public consultation on the performance of the scheme was launched in July 2003, and led to the extension of relief to breweries producing between 30,000 and 60,000 per annum. The small breweries relief scheme, like all reliefs, is kept under constant review.

Public Sector Pensions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the cash equivalent transfer value is of the public sector pensions of the 10 highest paid members of staff in his Department and its executive agencies; and if he will make a statement. (113824)

Details of the cash equivalent transfer values of pensions for senior staff in HM Treasury and its agencies can be found in the relevant Resource Accounts:

HM Treasury and Office of Government Commerce HC 1344

Debt Management Office HC 1504

Royal Mint HC 1432

Office for National Statistics HC 1240

National Savings and Investments HC 1233

Government Actuary's Department HC 1209

HM Revenue and Customs HC 1159

Sir Nicholas Stern

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many times he has met Sir Nicholas Stern since the publication of his recent report; and if he will make a statement. (112939)

The Chancellor has met Sir Nicholas Stern on numerous occasions and Sir Nicholas accompanied the Chancellor on his recent trip to India.

Third Sector Advisory Panel

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what position Maeve Sherlock holds in his Department; and what remuneration she receives; (115390)

(2) who the members are of his Department's Third Sector Advisory Panel; what the date of appointment was of each; and what (a) remuneration and (b) expenses each has claimed.

Members of the independent Third Sector Advisory panel are from the sector representing young volunteers, third sector umbrella bodies and different faith communities. Annex C of the interim report on the Review of the Future Role of the Third Sector in Social and Economic Regeneration published in December 2006 lists the panel members. The panel chaired by Maeve Sherlock (who does not hold any position in the Treasury) has been constituted for 12 months as an ad hoc Government advisory panel. All current members were invited to join the group on a voluntary basis in September 2006. Members are not paid remuneration for attending meetings but all reasonable travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses are paid in line with Government guidance. To date, a total of £305 for travel has been claimed.

Translation Services

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what documents his Department and its agencies translate for people in the UK who do not speak English; into which languages such documents are translated; and what the cost was of producing such translations in each of the last five years, broken down by language of translation. (113874)

The following is a breakdown of the documents translated by the Treasury and it’s agencies over the last five years with costs shown where these are available without incurring disproportionate cost:

Literature Translated and Languages

Costs where available (£)

HMT

Welsh versions of:

Euro preparations leaflet

Spending Review, Budget and PBR leaflets

Budget and PBR regional leaflet—Wales

Costs unavailable

GAD

Nil

DMO

Nil

VOA

Provides translation services for all services provided on request

Costs unavailable

NS&I

All literature (brochures and after sales communications) including NS&I website into Welsh

2005-06

9,787

2004-05

19,255

2003-04

11696

2002-03

6,738

2001-02

12,583

Royal Mint

Translation of commercial documents and correspondence are provided on request for the Welsh language

Costs unavailable

OGC

PRINCE2 documentation into Dutch, Danish, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Chinese; IT Infrastructure Library Best Practice documentation into French, Japanese, Spanish, Brazilian-Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, German, Italian, Norwegian, Korean, Simplified Chinese

Products are self-financing and are produced at no cost to OGC

ONS

The Office for National Statistics and General Register Office produce translations of a number of different types of documents and forms relating to their statistical and registration business

Costs unavailable

Documents are translated into Welsh including: the Census of Population questionnaire, other Census documentation, Registration information leaflets, business survey questionnaires and responses to Welsh correspondence

The social survey generic information leaflet and generic advance letter are translated into: Welsh, Gujariti, Hindi, Greek, Bengali, Punjabi, Portuguese, Polish, Chinese, Turkish, Urdu, Somali, and Serbian (advance letter only)

The International Passenger Survey short self completion questionnaire is translated into: Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Japanese, Russian, Bulgarian, Romanian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, German, French and Polish

The 2001 Census of Population information leaflets and Census questions documents were translated: Albanian/Kosovan, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Croatian, Farsi/Persian, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Serbian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese

HMRC

The HMRC Translation Service has arranged translation of forms, leaflets and notices for internal customers to make available to people in the UK who do not speak English

Costs unavailable

The internal customers determine which language versions are required in accordance with their individual external customer requirements. Languages handled by the HM Revenue and Customs Translation Service have included: Albanian, Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, Estonian, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Gujerati, Hausa, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Ibo, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Lao, Latvian, Lingala, Lithuanian, Lugandan, Macedonian, Malay, Maltese, Moldovan, Mongolian, Norwegian, Papiamento, Philipino, Polish, Portuguese, Punjabi, Pushtu, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Sinhalese, Slovak, Slovenian, Somali, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tamil, Thai, Tigrinya, Turkish, Twi, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vietnamese and Yoruba

HMRC

The following literature is translated into Welsh:

Self Assessment, PAYE, End of Year, Employers, Statutory Maternity Pay, Statutory Sick Pay, Student Loans, Corporation Tax, Tax Credits, Child Benefit, Child Trust Fund, Construction Industry Scheme, National Insurance Contributions, on-line services for PAYE and Self Assessment

HMRC 2005-06

11,585.50

IR 2004-05

7,850.73

HMC&E 2004-05

34,891.81

IR 2003-04

19,801.16

HMC&E 2003-04

10,460.91

IR 2002-03

24,263.79

HMC&E 2002-03

11,357.50

Costs cover externally commissioned work and do not include internally translated materials

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer for what services provided by his Department and its related agencies translation services are provided. (113875)

The Treasury and its related agencies provide translation services on request for the services it provides. Welsh language versions of literature are provided under the Welsh Language Act 1993. Specific services providing translation are:

Valuation Office Agency

The VOA provides translation services for all the services it provides.

HM Revenue and Customs

The HMRC Translation Service arranges and provides translation services internally for the whole Department and the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office (RCPO). The principal customers are:

Criminal Investigation material;

Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office material relating to HMRC and SOCA investigations;

Tax Office company reports, pay statements, accounts, contracts;

HMRC Solicitor’s Office documentation relating to European Court of Justice cases;

Centre for Exchange Intelligence;

Mutual Assurance in Recovery of Debt;

VAT Information Exchange.

Trend Growth Assumption

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to paragraph A.34 of the pre-Budget report, what factors were taken into account in determining that the trend growth assumption remained at 2.75 per cent. of GDP. (110630)

Analysis underpinning the revision made to the trend growth assumption in the 2006 pre-Budget report is set out in the paper ‘Trend growth: new evidence and prospects’, published alongside the pre-Budget report. This paper is available on HM Treasury’s website:

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/53D/CE/pbr06_trend growth_345.pdf

Scotland

British Food

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what proportion of food served in buildings occupied by his Department was of British origin in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006. (111131)

The Scotland Office has no in-house catering facilities and the provision of food is generally limited to catering associated with official hospitality and supplied by external contractors. Information on the source of the food supplied is not held.

Freedom of Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2007, Official Report, columns 1768-69W, on freedom of information, where the information that was released by his Department between March to December 2006 and not published on his Department’s website is available elsewhere in the public domain. (118266)

Between March and December 2006 there were eight FoI releases published on the Scotland Office website. We publish all responses to requests where information is actually released but we do not publish our response to requests where we either do not hold the information, where it is available elsewhere in the public domain, or where the information is withheld because exemptions apply. The location of any relevant information held in the public domain will depend on the nature of the request.

Open Source Software

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what percentage of his Department’s computer systems use open source software; what percentage of the systems planned to be installed use such software; and whether he plans to increase the use of open source software in his Department. (111171)

The Scotland Office operates an information technology system through the Scottish Executive, which is responsible for the procurement, administration, support and maintenance of the system. Accordingly, the Executive is responsible for sourcing and introducing such software.

Culture, Media and Sport

Celebrity Big Brother

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when Ministers in her Department last met the (a) chairman and (b) chief executive of Channel 4; and when she last discussed race and diversity issues with each. (111102)

DCMS Ministers last met the chairman of Channel 4 on 7 June 2006 and the chief executive on 29 November 2006. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and I have had discussions with both on a wide range of topics relating to the broadcasting industry as a whole.

Cultural Olympiad

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she last discussed the location of the launch of the Cultural Olympiad; and if she will make a statement. (118189)

The start of the Cultural Olympiad, and indeed the whole of the London 2012 Olympiad, occurs at the moment of “handover” during the closing ceremony of the Beijing Games in 2008. It is likely that many groups and communities around London and the rest of the UK will want to mark this moment with celebrations. The formal launch event for the Cultural Olympiad is likely to take place shortly afterwards. Discussions are ongoing between my Department, London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games and the Greater London Authority on the details for the launch. This will be an important benchmark on our journey towards 2012, and we know that many organisations are keen to show their support for this event. In particular, we are in discussions with the organisers of the Liverpool 08 celebrations to explore the potential for collaboration with the plans for the Cultural Olympiad.

Television: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people in Warrington North received a free television licence in the latest year for which figures are available. (117993)

TV Licensing, who administer free television licences for people aged 75 or over as agents for the BBC, are not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued. However, the number of households with at least one person aged 75 or over claiming the winter fuel payment in the Warrington North constituency in 2005-06 was 4,970, according to Department for Work and Pensions records.

Duchy of Lancaster

Social Enterprise

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if she will place copies in the Library of the research she has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on social enterprise. (117519)

The Government published the Social Enterprise Action Plan on 16 November 2006. Chapter 1 (Why Social Enterprise Matters) contains references to the key government research on social enterprise. A copy of the plan is available in the Library for the reference of Members.

I am arranging for the following key research and evaluation documents to be placed in the Library for the reference of Members.

IFF Research (2005): A survey of social enterprise across the UK

GHK (2005): Review of the Social Enterprise Strategy

Annual Small Business Survey 2005 (published 2006)

SBS Household Survey of Entrepreneurship 2005 (published 2006)

Hull University has been commissioned to undertake a feasibility study developing a method for understanding the social and economic impact of social enterprise. In addition, the Office of the Third Sector, in partnership with the Department for Communities and Local Government, will soon be commissioning some short research papers to contribute to development of policy on social enterprise. I will write to the hon. Member when these have been completed.

Transport

A555

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has for completion of the A555 relief road; and if he will make a statement. (117974)

This scheme raises funding and affordability issues which have taken longer to resolve than anticipated. An announcement will be made once consideration of these issues has been completed.

Airports

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of when airport capacity would be reached if the rate of increase in flying continues at the present rate and airport capacity remained unchanged. (118191)

Pressure on airport capacity is greatest in the South East. Heathrow and Gatwick’s runways are already full for most of the day, and Stansted is close to capacity in peak hours. Outside the South East, there is greater scope for demand growth to be accommodated by existing capacity.

The Air Transport White Paper set out a measured and balanced approach to the development of UK air travel. Analysis for the White Paper showed that without additional runways, air passenger demand is likely to become constrained by capacity in the South East before 2010.

Bus Services: West Midlands

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much the Government spent on bus services in the West Midlands in (a) 2004, (b) 2005 and (c) 2006. (112263)

[holding answer 31 January 2007]: The majority of support for local bus services is provided by local authorities using the Government’s Revenue Support Grant (RSG), which is an unhypothecated block grant, and authorities’ own resources. It is for each authority to decide how much of their RSG allocation to devote to bus support.

The Department for Transport has also separately provided specific grant funding to local authorities for bus services through the Rural Bus Subsidy Grant (RBSG), the Rural and Urban Bus Challenge and the Kickstart schemes.

The following tables show the amounts provided under these grants to authorities in the West Midlands Government Office Region from 2003-04 to 2005-06; the amounts within that total provided to West Midlands Passenger Transport Authority are also shown:

West Midlands GO region

Total (£)

2003-04

7,557,407

2004-05

8,187,109

2005-06

7,523,749

Total

23,268,265

West Midlands PTA area

Total (£)

2003-04

761,236

2004-05

900,824

2005-06

676,577

Total

2,338,637

In addition, the Department pays Bus Service Operators Grant to operators of local bus services throughout the country but information on this expenditure is not collated on a geographical basis.

Local transport authorities also receive Local Transport Plan funding from the Department for capital expenditure on bus infrastructure.

Driving: Mobile Phones

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding his Department has allocated to the recently announced campaign to raise awareness of the change in penalties for using a mobile phone while driving. (112641)

I refer the hon. Member to my reply of 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 249W, to the hon. Member for Orkney and Shetland (Mr. Carmichael).

London Underground: Ministerial Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he last used the London Underground on official business; at what time and between which stations the journey took place; when he last used one of London’s buses on official business; at what time the journey took place; and where the journey (a) began and (b) ended. (117943)

[holding answer 1 February 2007]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State travelled on buses between Westminster and Victoria in January 2007. He travelled from Marble Arch to Westminster via London Underground on official business in November 2006.

Ministers use public transport wherever possible and practical to complete their journeys taking account of security considerations. All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the rules set out in “Travel by Ministers”.

Roadworks

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local authorities underspent on their road maintenance budgets in 2004-05; and by how much each authority overspent. (108926)

Speed Limits: Driving Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in which police force areas speed awareness courses are offered to speeding motorists as an alternative to a fine and endorsement. (117863)

To ensure consistency, the Association of Chief Police Officers has put in place arrangements for a national speed awareness course. 11 police forces in England are currently running the national model, offering it to drivers where it is judged to be an appropriate alternative to prosecution. The 11 police force areas are as follows:

Devon and Cornwall

Essex

Hertfordshire

Kent

Lancashire

Leicestershire

Norfolk

Staffordshire

Thames Valley

Warwickshire

Wiltshire

Additionally seven police force areas offer courses that do not conform to the national model.

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to publish the findings of Deloitte and Touche’s study into the possible outsourcing of work carried out by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. (112284)

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency study into the possible outsourcing of elements of its work, which includes input from Deloitte and Touche, is expected to be passed to Ministers in spring/summer 2007. The ministerial conclusion will be published after they have considered the recommendations.

International Development

Aid: Overseas Education

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much aid has been granted by the Government for educational programmes overseas in each year since 2003. (111909)

[holding answer 20 January 2007]: The following table details UK bilateral expenditure on programmes from 2002-03.

Gross public bilateral expenditure on education programmes

£000

2002-03

165,133

2003-04

221,887

2004-05

269,761

2005-06

249,799

These figures exclude expenditure through multilateral organisations.

Commonwealth Education Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much UK Government funding was allocated to educational facilities and activities in (a) Kenya, (b) Tanzania, (c) Ghana and (d) The Gambia by the Commonwealth Education Fund in each year since 1998. (111880)

The Commonwealth Education Fund (CEF) commenced in 2002 as part of an initiative launched by the Chancellor. The UK Government as well as other donors, including non-governmental organisations, have contributed to the CEF since its launch.

The following table shows the total funds allocated to educational facilities and activities in the four countries (figures provided by the CEF):

£

Kenya

Tanzania

Ghana

The Gambia

2002

166,408

1,989

14,511

6,002

2003

497,720

34,689

197,258

9,490

2004

675,553

120,783

340,075

86,937

2005

581,190

258,499

388,432

91,807

20061

686,651

484,036

356,654

147,703

2007-081

100,000

150,000

150,000

65,000

Total

2,704,522

1,049,996

1,446,930

433,939

1 Estimated expenditure

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on buying, operating and supporting (a) all commercial software products and (b) software products produced by Microsoft in each of the last three years. (112595)

DFID does not maintain central records of purchase, operating and support costs by software product, so to obtain the information would incur a disproportionate cost.

Constitutional Affairs

Act of Union

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what celebrations the Government have organised to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the Act of Union. (118510)

The anniversary has been marked by a £2 commemorative coin, launched by the Leader of the House and the Secretary of State for Scotland in an event in Whitehall on 16 January. The Government are supporting further commemorative events later in the year: a Treaty of Union debating competition organised by the English Speaking Union; an arts outreach project on the theme “Tales of the United Kingdom” organised by The Prince of Wales Arts and Kids Foundation; and the naming of a mainline train, “Treaty of Union”.

Electoral Register

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what additional funding is provided to local authorities with large numbers of houses in multiple occupation to compile the electoral register. (118015)

Funding is already allocated by the Government to local authorities to perform registration activities and additional funding has been provided to implement new measures introduced under the Electoral Administration Act, of which maintaining and compiling the electoral register is one.

£19.9 million has been transferred to English local authorities in 2006-07 and £1.2 million will be transferred to the National Assembly for Wales in 2006-07. The same sums will be transferred in 2007-08. In addition, up to £12.2 million for the new absent vote personal identifier arrangements will be provided over 2006-07 and 2007-08.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much each local authority in Lancashire spent per head of population on compiling the electoral register in each of the last five years. (118016)

While this information is not collected centrally, Section 67 of the EA Act 2006 has allowed the Electoral Commission to set and monitor performance standards for electoral services and to obtain information on expenditure, including the cost of registration functions by EROs. The Commission intends to devise a model for costing electoral registration services by 1 December 2007, which will help to establish the costs of registration activities in each local authority.

Legal Aid

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the outcome was of the Court of Appeal case Goodwill versus British Pregnancy Advisory Service (1996); which barrister acted for the claimant; and how much was spent on legal aid fees, including (a) the solicitors’ fees and (b) the barrister’s fee, broken down by (i) brief fee, (ii) daily refresher and (iii) rate. (118267)

The name of the barrister representing the plaintiff and the outcome of the case are both available in the “Weekly Law Report” [1996] 1 W.L.R. 1397. As to how much was spent on legal aid fees, I refer the hon. Member to my answer to his previous question 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 17W.

MMR Vaccine: Legal Aid

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what public interest was served by the legal aid funding of MMR/MR vaccine litigation. (118261)

The case involved allegations that, as a consequence of a national vaccination campaign, children were very seriously injured because the vaccine in question was defective. With the introduction of the Access to Justice Act 1999 ‘public interest’, as defined in the Funding Code, became an element of the grounds for funding. However, the MMR action began in the 1990s and therefore no formal assessment of ‘public interest’ was made.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Legal Services Commission plans to recover legal aid fees paid to barristers employed in the MMR/MR vaccine litigation. (118262)

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) has no plans to recover legal aid fees paid to barristers involved in the MMR/MR vaccine litigation. It is for the court to assess the costs to be paid in such cases and is not a decision for the LSC.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Legal Services Commission proposes to refer the barristers employed in the MMR/MR vaccine litigation to the Bar Council. (118263)

The Legal Services Commission has no plans to refer the barristers involved in the MMR/MR litigation to the Bar Council.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether the Legal Services Commission plans to recover fees paid for research funded by legal aid in connection with the MMR/MR vaccine litigation. (118264)

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) has no plans to recover legal aid fees paid to researchers involved in the MMR/MR vaccine litigation. It is for the court to assess the costs to be paid in such cases and is not a decision for the LSC.

Trade and Industry

Government Auctions

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry where his Department publishes information about Government auctions which it arranges or to which it contributes in (a) Blackpool, (b) Lancashire and (c) the North West; and when the next such auction will take place in each area. (117426)

Official Receivers use the services of local agents to secure, collect and realise assets. Each local agent would make its own arrangements for publishing these events. Details of the agents used by Official Receivers in the North West can be provided by the Regional Director, Robert Evison, at Boulton House, 17-21 Chorlton Street, Manchester Ml 3HY.

Regional Funding Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 22 January 2007, Official Report, column 1568W, on regional funding expenditure, if he will break down by main budget heading the expenditure of the South East Development Agency in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes during 2005-06. (117684)

The following table provides a breakdown of the South East England Development Agency’s expenditure in the area of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes during the 2005-06 financial year.

There is a variance of £2,138 between the figure provided in the response to the parliamentary question of 22 January 2007 and the total figure below due to programmes crossing administrative borders.

Programme name

Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes expenditure (£)

Enterprise Gateways

113,493.00

Enterprise Hubs

124,998.00

Incubation Physical Infrastructure

119,266.00

Research and Development Grants

128,191.00

Basic Skills—NHS

30,000.00

RURAL—Skills Programme

7,950.00

Area Programme—Milton Keynes

520,000.00

MKOBB Partnership Support

264,166.00

SRB—MKOBB

219,852.00

RURAL—Market Towns

22,500.00

Wired Region (formerly Broadband Capital)

13,000.00

RURAL—Transport and Services

46,386.00

RURAL—Land based Support

93,976.00

RURAL—Local Produce

15,664.11

SE Economic Partnerships

150,000.00

Total

1,869,442.11

UK Trade and Investment

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in which countries the number of UK Trade and Investment staff will be reduced in 2006-07. (110829)

Staff resources are being increased in the emerging markets in keeping with the commitment in UKTI’s strategy “Prosperity in a Changing World” published in July 2006, and reduced in 2006-07 in Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Senegal, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Uganda, USA, Uruguay and Zimbabwe.

As part of the process of resource redeployments, UKTI is introducing new and different ways of working, including hub and spoke arrangements, to provide a more efficient and effective service to customers in the developed markets.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether any UK Trade and Investment posts based in UK overseas missions are planned to be lost. (110856)

There are no plans to reduce the size of UK Trade and Investment’s overseas network as a whole. The commitment to increase resource in the emerging markets as set out in UKTI’s Strategy ‘Prosperity in a Changing World’, published in July 2006, has to be accomplished within UKTI’s existing resource envelope. Some UKTI posts are therefore being lost in the developed markets as resource is redeployed to the following emerging markets: Brazil, mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Dubai, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Vietnam and Russia.

Northern Ireland

Bus Services: Comber

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the punctuality record of Translink service number 11 to Comber was in each of the last three years. (117729)

When measured against Translink's customer charter standards for bus punctuality, service number 11 to Comber averaged 61 per cent. in 2006 and 81 per cent. in 2005 during peak traffic periods (figures specific to service number 11 are not available for 2004). Outside peak traffic periods, punctuality was 96 per cent. in 2006 and 97 per cent. in 2005.

Early Release

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether persons convicted of terrorist offences in Northern Ireland since 1998 will be eligible for an early release scheme. (118397)

Persons convicted since the signing on 10 April 1998 of the Belfast agreement for scheduled offences committed prior to that date who are given a sentence of imprisonment of five years or more are eligible to apply for early release under the provisions of the Northern Ireland (Sentences) Act 1998. Persons convicted of such offences committed subsequent to that date are not eligible to apply for early release under that legislation.

Fisheries

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how long the consultation period was on the Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries (Northern Ireland) Order 2007; in what media outlets notice of the consultation process was carried; and how many responses were received to the consultation. (117994)

The consultation period on the Foyle and Carlingford Fisheries (Northern Ireland) Order 2007 lasted eight weeks, commencing on 17 November 2006 and ending at noon on 15 January 2007. Notice of the consultation was advertised in the Belfast Telegraph, the Irish News and the Newsletter. The consultation documentation was also made available on the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's website. 63 responses were received in response to the consultation.

Neonatal Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many neonatal cots in hospitals in the Province there were on 1 January (a) 2002, (b) 1997 and (c) 1992. (112440)

The information requested is as follows:

Trust

(a) 1 January 2002

(b) 1 January 1997

(c) 1 January 1992

Altnagelvin Group

18

18

18

Craigavon Area Hospital Group

14

14

14

Newry and Mourne

6

6

6

Sperrin Lakeland1

6

6

0

Royal Group of Hospitals

31

21

21

Ulster Community and Hospitals

12

12

12

United Hospitals

16

16

10

1 Neonatal unit opened in Sperrin Lakeland Trust in 1993.

Note:

It has not been possible to confirm figures for Jubilee Maternity Hospital for 1997

or 1992.

Source:

Health and Social Service Trusts

Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether the staff of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as other public servants. (118513)

The staff of the Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland are bound by the same rules of confidentiality as other public servants.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to make provision for the next police ombudsman in Northern Ireland to be a person of judicial standing. (118514)

The next police ombudsman for Northern Ireland will be appointed following competition conducted under the public appointments process. The appointment will be made on merit, judged against a list of competences appropriate to the post.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what plans he has to appoint the next police ombudsman for Northern Ireland; what the timescale is for such an appointment; and whether it will be made under existing legislation. (118515)

The next police ombudsman for Northern Ireland will be appointed in accordance with the Commissioner For Public Appointments code of practice and in compliance with existing legislation. The appointment process will begin shortly.

Home Department

ASBOs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there were for antisocial behaviour in West Lancashire in the last period for which figures are available. (112303)

There is no specific criminal offence of antisocial behaviour so the information requested is therefore not available.

Asylum Decisions

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether applications made to Ministers by hon. Members to reconsider asylum decisions are dealt with by his (a) Ministers and (b) officials. (111895)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether foreign documents submitted to his (a) Ministers and (b) officials by hon. Members in respect of asylum cases are translated. (111896)

Policy on translations is governed by the Asylum Policy Instruction Translations, which is available on the website of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at:

http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/asylumpolicy instructions/

It is the claimant's responsibility to provide material in English or with an English translation. Exceptions may be made where there is a reasonable explanation for the failure to provide a translation, or where not awaiting a translation would adversely affect the decision making process.

Asylum Seekers

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what reasonable period has been fixed by law for execution of a removal order on failed asylum seekers; and how long this period was for the Bokhari family of Grimsby detained at Yarl's Wood Detention Centre. (110496)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his Department will introduce a grant for local authorities that would reimburse their costs for supporting asylum seekers who have exhausted all avenues of appeal waiting for deportation. (110844)

There are no plans to introduce an additional grant for local authorities for this purpose in addition to the money already provided by central Government towards the cost of revenue expenditure on social services and education.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the implications are of the findings of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate pilot schemes at Dover port and Croydon piloting the use of social work intake teams in the asylum process for the resolution of disputes about the age of children seeking asylum. (110956)