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Written Answers

Volume 456: debated on Tuesday 6 February 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 6 February 2007

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Access Management Grant Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to provide funding for the Access Management Grant Scheme in the next two financial years. (117593)

Natural England’s core funding level for the next financial year (2007-08) has been set at £169.53 million, an increase of £6.4 million (4 per cent.) on the equivalent core funding level in the current year. This increase will enable Natural England to strengthen the delivery of its strategic direction and reflects the importance which the Government attach to this area. Natural England also receives further Government funding in addition to this core funding amount.

However, it must be for Natural England to consider any extension to the Access Management Grant Scheme, and the priority that should be allocated to this work as part of its overall corporate planning process.

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many letters his Department received from hon. Members in each week of the last 12 months; and what the target time for written response is. (118719)

DEFRA received an average of 265 letters from hon. Members and noble Lords in each week of the last 12 months. The target time for responding is 15 working days.

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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. (116756)

2004-05 is the latest year for which an analysis of expenditure outturn by region has been published by the Treasury. Total programme expenditure for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is listed in the following table:

Programme expenditure for DEFRA managed by government offices for 2004-05

Government office

Programme

Total (£)

East

Sustainable Development Publicity

40,000

Waste Regional Support Fund

50,000

East Midlands

Sustainable Food and Farming

40,000

Waste Implementation Programme

11,750

Leader +

325,353

North East

Leader +

179,914

North West

Leader +

1,203,880

Sustainable Development Publicity

40,003

Sustainable Food and Farming

15,000

Waste Regional Support Fund

112,567

South East

Leader +

4,594,420

Sustainable Development Publicity

61,614

South West

Leader +

2,008,719

Sustainable Development Publicity

39,934

West Midlands

Leader +

701,816

Sustainable Food and Farming

20,000

Waste Regional Support Fund

30,000

Yorkshire and Humber

Leader +

1,200,000

Sustainable Food and Farming

35,000

Sustainable Development Fund

57,000

Waste Regional Support Fund

60,000

London

Sustainable Development Publicity Budget

54,800

Sustainable Food and Farming

10,000

Waste Regional Support Fund

56,700

Departmental Fixed Assets

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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. (110789)

The fixed assets sold by the core-Department and its agencies in 2004-05 and 2005-06 for more than £10,000 including dates of sale and sale values are listed in the following table. Information about the purchaser of each asset is not held centrally and obtaining this information would incur disproportionate costs for the Department.

Date of sale

Organisation

Type of asset

Description

Sale value (£000)

1 April 2004

Core Defra

Property

Rocks Farm, Kent

150

24 July 2004

Core Defra

Property

Tattenhall Buffer Depot, Cheshire

361

24 January 2005

Core Defra

Property

4a Efford, Lymington, Hampshire

43

4 March 2005

Core Defra

Property

196 Willington Road Kirton, Lincolnshire

69

4 March 2005

Core Defra

Property

8 Farm Close Boxworth, Cambridgeshire

161

31 March 2005

Core Defra

Property

Boxworth Land Cambridgeshire

20

18 July 2005

Core Defra

Property

Efford Lots 1 and 1a, Lymington, Hampshire

1,403

2 September 2005

Core Defra

Property

Efford Lot 4, Lymington, Hampshire

151

23 September 2005

Core Defra

Property

Harpenden Lab, Hertfordshire

4,119

30 September 2005

Core Defra

Property

No 4 Lower House Farm Barns, Throckmorton , Worcestershire

245

7 November 2005

Core Defra

Property

Efford Lot 5, Lymington, Hampshire

65

11 November 2005

Core Defra

Property

Boxworth Woodside, Cambridgeshire

400

25 November 2005

Core Defra

Property

2 Newbridge Drive Cottages, Efford, Lymington, Hampshire

152

31 January 2006

Core Defra

Property

Efford Main site Lot 2, Lymington, Hampshire

296

31 January 2006

Core Defra

Property

Efford Main site Lot 3, Lymington, Hampshire

198

31 January 2006

Core Defra

Property

1 Newbridge Drive Cottages, Efford, Lymington, Hampshire

152

5 April 2005

Core Defra

Vehicle

Volkswagen Golf

10

1 October 2004

Core Defra (1)

IT

Equipment in block

17,982

31 January 2006

CEFAS

Research Vessel

Marine Vessel Corystes

969

28 June 2004

RPA

Land and Buildings

Grain Store Lochabriggs

1,431

28 June 2004

RPA

Plant and Machinery

Cold Store (part of the above Grain Store)

25

30 June 2004

RPA

Plant and Machinery

VOLVO (part of the above Grain Store)

11

23 August 2004

RPA

Plant and Machinery

VOLVO (part of the above Grain Store )

11

17 June 2005

RPA

Land and Buildings

Grain Stores—Hemswell

661

17 June 2005

RPA

Plant and Machinery

Cold Store (part of the above Grain Store)

1,526

31 October 2005

RPA

Plant and Machinery

VOLVO (part of the above Grain Store)

22

31 October 2005

RPA

Plant and Machinery

Grain Elevator

12

23 December 2005

RPA

Land and Buildings

Grain Stores—19683-Clifton

5,475

31 December 2005

RPA

Plant and Machinery

Loading Shovel

10

31 December 2005

RPA

Plant and Machinery

Loading Shovel

10

31 December 2005

RPA

Plant and Machinery

Grain Elevator

18

Note:

This reflects the transfer of the ownership of IT equipment in block to IBM as part of core Defra’s IT outsourcing contract with IBM.

Entry-Level Stewardship Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to review the effectiveness of the entry-level stewardship scheme, with particular reference to progress towards the target to reverse the decline in farmland bird numbers by 2020. (118268)

[holding answer 2 February 2007]: Entry-level stewardship (ELS) is one of a number of measures aimed at helping to meet our target of reversing the decline in farmland birds by 2020. ELS agreements are intended to run for five years, and the first agreements only began in August 2005. We are planning to look at progress in the course of this year. Work has already been commissioned on evaluating evidence to date and a report is due this spring. Plans for taking the review forward are still under consideration and will need to take account of this.

Executive Agencies

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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. (116668)

A breakdown of expenditure by Government office regions for each of the Department's executive agencies is not available.

Flowers: Imports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total (a) volume and (b) value of flowers imported into the UK was in each year since 1997, broken down by country of origin. (118701)

The following tables show the volume and value of flowers imported into the UK each year since 1997 broken down by country of origin as recorded in the Official Trade Statistics. Data for 2006 are included up to November.

The Netherlands has consistently been the largest supplier of flowers imported into the UK over this period of time.

PQ 1320: UK imports of cut flowers1 for 1997 to November 2006—Volume

Tonnes

Country

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Jan-Nov 2006

Netherlands

52,669

69,630

69,706

73,991

75,790

155,018

176,699

155,585

114,056

94,066

Kenya

5,223

4,871

6,735

8,129

10,183

11,221

11,792

16,989

18,650

16,509

Colombia

9,614

9,110

8,525

9,192

8,017

7,667

10,271

9,212

9,037

9,453

Spain

6,947

8,422

11,769

9,589

11,341

10,813

9,333

9,416

6,289

5,264

Turkey

3,542

3,899

3,899

2,772

3,146

3,145

3,097

3,430

2,441

2,081

USA

956

1,058

1,180

893

704

1,103

783

597

875

237

Israel

1,620

1,100

1,280

963

537

464

576

372

605

577

Belgium

1,767

643

1,289

876

814

1,043

701

278

Italy

1,541

1,313

794

724

638

568

478

479

417

251

Morocco

1,025

713

788

835

840

664

524

494

374

380

South Africa

159

103

113

85

145

138

201

805

1,318

508

Ecuador

60

83

170

280

222

271

434

500

528

449

Germany

292

242

162

86

242

427

307

542

247

244

France

1,209

553

518

22

39

42

40

38

36

85

Denmark

208

57

51

58

316

462

539

578

136

57

Belgium- Luxembourg

717

1,499

Zimbabwe

456

208

209

176

216

274

280

179

24

Costa Rica

20

34

57

122

218

187

248

171

258

401

Austria

136

2

6

233

636

680

Irish Republic

112

140

37

11

18

432

347

217

334

29

India

232

106

57

70

77

111

209

147

255

207

Thailand

191

151

121

101

101

99

100

88

126

110

Zambia

39'

108

39

31

1

94

206

102

83

Uganda

8

24

21

13

101

71

112

142

134

27

China

4

8

14

39

31

69

61

126

149

28

Poland

74

60

25

72

18

41

16

16

1

Ethiopia

13

11

2

1

17

49

130

Philippines

8

14

11

2

27

4

105

34

Taiwan

0

1

0

0

2

6

113

Sri Lanka

0

3

4

8

7

32

39

23

Peru

1

1

4

3

6

1

3

17

21

25

Brazil

7

4

16

5

9

22

14

4

All other countries

199

95

111

100

104

105

162

58

76

62

1Cut flowers and flower buds of a kind suitable for bouquets or for ornamental purposes, fresh, dried, dyed, bleached, impregnated or otherwise prepared.

PQ 1320: UK imports of cut flowers1 for 1997 to November 2006—Value

£000

Country

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Jan-Nov 2006

Netherlands

191,930

225,936

239,762

263,408

306,544

433,622

437,683

408,719

402,759

381,944

Kenya

13,825

14,069

19,773

22,889

31,859

35,171

35,078

46,112

51,842

49,038

Colombia

31,597

31,332

28,645

29,898

27,719

25,298

28,716

23,349

27,272

31,236

Spain

20,614

21,006

17,833

17,125

23,565

26,998

25,019

22,658

13,038

16,714

Turkey

6,595

6,761

6,019

3,376

3,797

4,374

4,121

5,076

4,180

3,775

Israel

7,240

3,991

3,913

3,713

2,180

1,885

2,309

1,465

2,571

2,519

Italy

7,289

4,357

2,714

2,606

2,591

2,692

2,327

2,377

2,111

1,642

Belgium

2,376

3,774

5,487

4,744

3,889

4,651

3,299

1,359

USA

3,614

3,938

4,165

3,206

2,965

3,870

2,644

1,762

2,640

687

Morocco

1,755

1,298

1,395

1,460

1,284

688

598

832

742

775

Ecuador

197

212

321

754

705

866

1,278

1,411

1,504

1,459

Denmark

99

75

202

180

115

3,139

2,145

1,841

520

259

South Africa

434

255

203

188

303

287

507

1,991

2,899

1,353

Germany

456

696

519

200

916

1,306

1,126

1,463

862

704

Belgium- Luxembourg

3,088

4,493

Zimbabwe

1,755

866

936

710

846

952

357

301

47

Thailand

2,584

825

470

431

435

393

389

290

422

410

Irish Republic

408

355

159

65

132

900

1,193

845

1,283

96

Costa Rica

34

64

111

307

597

467

507

298

510

861

India

563

259

114

113

131

239

508

344

617

541

France

739

1,004

123

94

132

240

259

239

162

134

Austria

363

7

26

166

805

656

Uganda

45

94

61

53

333

241

365

367

374

78

Zambia

150

406

129

63

4

255

553

232

212

China

14

25

41

119

184

96

134

447

389

108

Taiwan

2

7

1

8

13

38

383

Ethiopia

20

15

4

6

82

187

444

Philippines

43

31

28

5

48

10

260

103

Poland

128

36

24

76

27

152

34

13

2

Sri Lanka

2

15

16

26

30

131

164

84

Brazil

57

13

23

44

65

97

31

11

Peru

2

5

20

16

27

3

9

55

71

86

All other countries

519

289

334

313

374

341

433

213

278

258

© Crown Copyright 1Cut flowers and flower buds of a kind suitable for bouquets or for ornamental purposes, fresh, dried, dyed, bleached, impregnated or otherwise prepared.

Note: 2006 data are subject to amendments. Source: H M Revenue and Customs Data prepared by Trade Statistics, Agricultural Statistics and Analysis Division, DEFRA.

Government Auctions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 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. (117420)

DEFRA came into being in June 2001. From information held centrally, the Department has not held any such auctions and is, currently, unaware of any plans to do so.

The policy of the Department is to use the Disposal Services Agency (DSA) to facilitate the sale and/or auctioning of any surplus equipment. Details of DSA’s activities can be found on its website www.edisposals.com or at the OGC buying solutions website at www.ogcbuyingsolutions.co.uk

Hedgehogs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the reasons for recent trends in the hedgehog population. (110993)

The hedgehog is currently under no conservation threat. In 1999, English Nature (now Natural England) stated that the UK’s total pre-breeding hedgehog population stood at about 1,555,000: 1,100,000 in England, 310,000 in Scotland and 145,000 in Wales.

There is little historical knowledge about changes in numbers, though numbers on the mainland are thought to have declined substantially since the early 20th century. By contrast, introduced populations on islands have increased.

Some data are available from a number of surveys, such as the National Game Census, the Breeding Bird Survey, the Wetland Breeding Birds Survey and the Mammals on Roads Survey. However, none of these has yet been running long enough to give a clear picture of changes in hedgehog numbers.

Inland Waterways: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what planned winter maintenance work and repairs British Waterways has (a) cancelled and (b) postponed in the winter of 2007 as a result of reductions to its grant in aid; and what the locations and value of these works were. (118277)

British Waterways has made savings in the order of £5.6 million in its capital projects as a result of the reduction in its grant in aid. Details of these savings are provided in the following table:

Project

Saving details (£)

Rowington Embankment, Grand Union Canal

250,000 reduced investment: Reduced investment into refurbishment—there will still be a winter stoppage

Shenton Embankment, Ashby Canal

540,000 deferred: Piling works to embankment deferred

Long Horse Bridge, River Trent

544,000 deferred: Construction of a new pedestrian bridge deferred to 2007-08

Ribble Link

464,000 reduced investment: Temporary stability works to bywash—there will still be a winter stoppage

Trub Farm, Rochdale Canal

586,000 reduced investment: Installation of a bridge and associated approach road—will go ahead, however it will be funded with alternative money—there is a winter stoppage currently in place

Cloughside Farm, Peak Forest Canal

75,000 reduced investment: Rebuilding of a section of towpath wall—there will still be a winter stoppage

Coates Lane Retaining Wall, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

208,000 deferred: Rebuilding a collapsed section of wall deferred to 2007-08 with a revised, cheaper solution

Roddlesworth Embankment, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

300,000 deferred: Stemming of leakage through embankment and raising the height of the wash wall both deferred

Bridge 177a, Grand Union Canal

174,000 deferred: Refurbishment of a footbridge deferred to 2007-08

Stop gates, in the London area

278,000 deferred: Projects deferred and requirements being reviewed

Denham Culvert, Grand Union Canal

174,000 deferred: In-depth investigation into the integrity of the structure deferred

Milton Keynes Culvert, Grand Union Canal

176,000 deferred: Repairs to two culverts deferred

River Severn Dredging

150,000 deferred: Dredging the Upper Partings to Haw Bridge deferred

Burghfield Lock Refurbishment, Kennet and Avon Canal

158,000 reduced investment: Refurbishment of lock - reduced scope of works—there will still be a winter stoppage

Aston Locks 9 and 11, Birmingham and Fazeley Canal

252,000 deferred: Refurbishment deferred

Tividale Aqueduct, Old Main Line

133,000 deferred: Aqueduct repairs deferred

Vale Royal Lock, Weaver Navigation

592,000 deferred: Refurbishment deferred

Calverley Wood Embankment, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

485,000 deferred: Embankment refurbishment deferred—reduced scheme planned for 2007-08

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the cost to British Waterways of repairing the breach on the Brecon and Abergavenny Canal that occurred on 17 January. (118278)

British Waterways’ engineers have confirmed that the failure of a culvert brought about the breach in this canal. Estimates for the repair costs are in the order of £500,000 and British Waterways aims to complete the work before Easter.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the likely cost to British Waterways is of repairing damage to its waterways caused by the January 2007 storms; and what additional financial assistance is planned to be provided by the Government to enable this work to be carried out. (118279)

British Waterways has assessed the cost to be over £100,000 and makes provision for these types of events within its budget. The Government provide grant in aid which reflects a range of eventualities and look to British Waterways to manage its priorities within its overall budget.

Mental Illness: Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures he is taking actively to promote 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. (117082)

Under the disability equality duty introduced by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, my Department and the public sector bodies for which I am responsible are required to publish and implement disability equality schemes. These are plans setting out how we will carry out the disability equality duty, monitor, and report on progress. In particular this includes our arrangements for gathering information on the effect of our policies and practices on the recruitment, development and retention of our disabled employees, including those with mental health conditions, and making use of that information.

DEFRA is committed to providing equal opportunities for all candidates during the selection process, to enable us to select staff from a diverse pool of talent. Part of that commitment is that we guarantee an interview to any candidate who has declared a disability, as defined by the Act, provided they meet the minimum (essential eligibility) criteria for the post in question, as set out in the job advertisement. This is referred to as the two ticks scheme. There are also duties under the employment provisions in Part 2 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 not to discriminate against, and to make reasonable adjustments for, disabled job applicants and employees. Online guidance is provided to managers and disabled employees on how these requirements are to be met.

The public sector bodies sponsored by my Department that are subject to these requirements are responsible for publishing and implementing their own disability equality schemes.

Parliamentary Scrutiny Override Mechanism

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many times his Department has used the parliamentary scrutiny override mechanism in each year since 2001; for what reasons it was used in each case; and if he will make a statement. (117664)

Since 2003, the Government have submitted a report to Parliament every six months on parliamentary scrutiny overrides, following the recommendation contained in the report from the House of Lords European Committee (1st report, 2002-03), with which the Government agreed. These reports identify those occasions in each six-month period when the Government were unable to comply fully with the terms of the Scrutiny Reserve Resolutions in one or both Houses and record correspondence that Ministers have had with the Scrutiny Committees. The parliamentary scrutiny override mechanism is only used as a last resort and in each case, Ministers must give the Scrutiny Committees a proper account of the circumstances of the override.

In 2003, DEFRA Ministers used the parliamentary scrutiny override mechanism in the House of Commons 11 times; in 2004 it was used nine times; in 2005 it was used 16 times; and in 2006 it was used seven times.

Leader of the House

Constituencies

To ask the Leader of the House if he will ensure that the debates on the draft order implementing the Boundary Commission's recommendations on new parliamentary boundaries take place in April 2007. (117880)

Subject to the progress of business, I hope the debate will take place before the end of April.

International Development

Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will reply to the letter from the hon. member for West Worcestershire of 19 December 2006, on indoor air pollution in the developing world. (112140)

There is no record in DFID of having previously received the letter of 19 December from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire, on indoor air pollution in the developing world; however, having now received a copy, I will reply as soon as possible.

Developing Countries

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether his Department has any role in animal (a) health and (b) welfare in developing countries. (118212)

In recent years DFID has supported a range of livestock initiatives, recognising that disease and poor animal welfare threaten the potentially important role that productive use of livestock can play in poverty reduction. Guided by our 2005 agriculture policy paper “Growth and poverty reduction: the role of agriculture”, DFID's efforts include improving veterinary service delivery, developing vaccines, and ensuring that international livestock trading standards—including for health and welfare—are fair. DFID provides annual funding to support the work of others, including the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research. DFID, working with other international agencies and affected developing countries, also provided £30 million over the past two years specifically to support global efforts to control avian influenza.

Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development which public affairs firms have been given contracts by (a) his Department and (b) public bodies sponsored by his Department in the last five years; and what the purpose was of each contract. (118454)

DFID uses consultants to provide a range of activities. However, in the past five years the only public affairs firm that we have used was Corporate Communications whose role was to provide DFID with a corporate communications strategy that would help to achieve DFID's organisational objectives.

DFID is responsible for financial sponsorship of the CDC. Contracts have been issued to the following to help to promote their mission and objectives: LM, Financial Dynamics, Cubitt Consulting, Bell Pottinger, Merlin.

Transport

A303: Stonehenge

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) whether the A344 between Airmans Corner and Stonehenge Bottom is planned to be closed whether or not the proposed A303(T) bored tunnel is constructed; (119119)

(2) what work his Department has commissioned on the options for upgrading the A303(T) near Stonehenge in the event of a decision not to proceed with a bored road tunnel;

(3) what work (a) his Department and (b) English Heritage has commissioned on the future of the Stonehenge Visitors Centre project in the event of a decision by the Secretary of State for Transport not to proceed with the proposed A303(T) bored tunnel and associated roadworks near Stonehenge; and if he will make a statement.

We are currently considering the inter-departmental review group's report on the proposed improvements to the A303 running past Stonehenge and will be making an announcement in due course. The issues raised by the hon. Member will be addressed as part of that announcement.

Bus Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the impact of section 10 of the Transport Act 2000 on the co-operation of bus operators on fare-setting and timetabling. (118643)

[holding answer 5 February 2007]: The competition test in schedule 10 to the Transport Act 2000 currently applies to the exercise of functions by local authorities in relation to quality partnership schemes and ticketing schemes made under that Act, and inviting and accepting tenders for bus services under the Transport Act 1985. This test is the yardstick for judging whether those functions are carried out with due regard to competition. It recognises that a balance may need to be struck between competition and other socially desirable objectives. The schedule 10 test does not currently apply to voluntary agreements and does not directly impact on the co-operation of bus operators with local authorities or with each other.

Bus operators are, like businesses generally, prohibited by chapter 1 of part 1 of the Competition Act 1998 from entering into mutual agreements which prevent, restrict or distort competition. There are various exceptions: in particular a block exemption Order permits the marketing of various types of multi-operator ticket at a mutually agreed price.

The policy document “Putting Passengers First” proposes a new legal test to facilitate voluntary arrangements between local authorities and more than one bus operator, based on the competition criteria in schedule 10. Detailed proposals are currently under discussion with the Office of Fair Trading.

Driving: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how his Department enforces the rules covering drivers from non-EC/EEA on the 12 months validity of their driving licence in the United Kingdom. (118298)

Finsbury Park Station: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with Network Rail on the refurbishment of the interior of Finsbury Park station; and if he will make a statement. (119193)

The overground part of Finsbury Park station is owned by Network Rail and operated by First Capital Connect. Any matters relating to interior refurbishment will be agreed between these two parties and Transport for London.

Freight: Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport in how many (a) airports, (b) airfields, (c) ports, (d) harbours and (e) landing points on tidal rivers the unloading of goods was possible in each region and country of the UK in 2006. (118043)

[holding answer 5 February 2007]: The terms used in the question do not reflect classifications used in legislation. The following table shows the nearest available equivalents.

Aerodromes and ports by Government Office region

Licensed aerodromes (airports, airfields and heliports)

Airports reporting ‘freight set-down’ to CAA in 2005

Ports listed in Focus on Ports 2006

Commercially active ports supplying traffic returns to DFT in 2005

Government Office Region

North East

2

2

20

6

North West

8

2

28

10

Yorkshire and the Humber

8

2

23

20

East Midlands

10

1

4

2

West Midlands

7

2

0

0

East of England

22

5

26

13

London

4

2

8

1

South East

20

3

42

14

South West

20

7

77

23

England

101

26

228

89

Wales

8

1

45

15

Scotland

29

14

108

29

Northern Ireland

4

2

37

8

UK

142

43

418

141

Notes: 1. Focus on Ports 2006 (DFT, 2006) stated that there were more than 650 harbours where statutory harbour powers had been granted. Of these 418 were listed in detail—this list included all commercially significant ports, as well as a number of smaller ports and harbours. Some very small wharfs, terminals and harbours were not included. 2. Forty-three airports in the UK reported to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) that they set down freight in 2005. Not all 142 licensed aerodromes would be able to handle freight.

Great Western Trains

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his estimate is of the change in freight train capacity and use on the south Wales line since 1997; and what steps his Department is taking to increase such capacity and use. (118365)

These are operational matters for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. My hon. Friend should contact Network Rail’s Chief Executive for a response to her question:

John Armitt

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton Street

London NW1 2EE

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans First Great Western has to dispose of Adelante rolling stock; and what plans they have to acquire new rolling stock. (118371)

As part of its franchise proposal First Great Western identified that the Adelante rolling stock would be returned to the lessor in December 2007. To replace this rolling stock First Great Western has taken on lease additional high speed train (HST) sets which have a higher seating capacity. The HST sets are going through a programme of major overhaul and refurbishment which includes re-engineering and reliability improvements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) locomotives and (b) carriages operated by First Great Western were built before 1980. (118372)

The following number of locomotives and carriages operated by First Great Western were built before 1980.

Number

(a) Locomotives

Class 43

117

Class 57

4

(b) Mark 3 High Speed Train (HST) carriages

426

However, it should be noted that although the HST sets are now around 30 years old they are subject to major investment committed through the franchise agreement to extend the life of the vehicles and locomotives. This will include re-engineering the locomotives and incorporating a reliability package which will improve the service to customers and the impact on the environment as the new engines are more environmentally friendly. The carriages are currently going through a programme of enhancement to improve the internal customer environment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average age is of Mark III carriages used by First Great Western. (118373)

The average age of Mark III carriages used by First Great Western is around 29 years. However taking this in context it should be noted that significant refurbishment has taken place throughout the life of the high speed train (HST) sets. As part of the commitment in the First Great Western franchise agreement, First Great Western is committed to life extension work which includes replacing the locomotive engines with ones which emit less smoke and toxic gases and are more fuel efficient, as well as investment in a reliability package. In terms of the carriages, they are currently undergoing a programme of major enhancement to improve the environment of the interior for passengers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what minimum number of services west of Swansea is stipulated by the First Greater Western franchise; and what consideration his Department has given to increasing the number of west Wales services. (118391)

The service level commitment 2 (‘SLC2’) for the First Great Western franchise is available in the House of Commons Library.

The services to be included in the Greater Western franchise were considered in the ‘Greater Western Franchise—Stakeholder Consultation Document’ published by the Strategic Rail Authority in June 2005.

Immobilisation of Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the operation of the Private Security Industry Act 2001 in relation to the activities and charges of private clamping companies; and if he will make a statement. (118306)

I have been asked to reply.

The Private Security Industry Act 2001 provides for the Security Industry Authority to license individuals who carry out licensable vehicle immobilising activities as defined by the Act and to ensure that they comply with the licensing requirements. It does not provide for the regulation of fees or other commercial matters.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on the regulation of private clamping companies operating on private land; and if he will make a statement. (118307)

I have been asked to reply.

In January 2004 the Home Office published a full Regulatory Impact Assessment entitled “Regulations to implement the Private Security Industry Act 2001 (the 2001 Act) in respect of Door Supervisors and Vehicle Immobilisers”. This publication is available on the Security Industry Authority’s (SIA) website at:

http://www.the-sia.org.uk/NR/rdonlyres/2AE9A564-0443-4E47-AFCF-95BF8820A2B7/0/sia_ds_vi_ria.pdf.

This covered individual vehicle immobilisers operating on private land where wheel-clamping is not governed by the Road Traffic Acts 1988 and 1991, as this was the scope defined by the 2001 Act. Licensing for these vehicle immobilisers has been required since February 2005. The 2001 Act does not regulate companies or their trading practices.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the activities of private clamping companies; and if he will make a statement. (118308)

I have been asked to reply.

During the second half of 2006 the Home Office received about 50 items of ministerial correspondence and three written parliamentary questions about the regulation of vehicle immobilisers. These included correspondence accepted on behalf of the Department for Transport and the Department of Trade and Industry. Most correspondence related to business practices, such as signage and fees, that are not governed by the Private Security Industry Act 2001 or the Road and Traffic Acts.

Leeds Traffic Area Office

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what legal advice was obtained by the Vehicle and Operating Services Agency in advance of centralising licensing work to the Leeds Traffic Area Office; from whom the legal advice was obtained; when it was obtained; at what cost; and if he will make a statement. (111806)

It is not the Department’s policy to comment on the legal advice which it obtains or what, if any, legal advice may have been obtained in a particular case.

Mayor of London: Powers

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport on what date the consultation closed on his proposals to extend the powers of the London Mayor beyond the London boundary; and when he expects to announce a decision. (118917)

[holding answer 5 February 2007]: The consultation closed on May 31 2006. An announcement on the decision is expected shortly.

Milton Keynes Station: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the platforms at Milton Keynes Central train station were last extended; to what length they were extended; and why the platforms were extended. (119293)

This is a matter for Network Rail, as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail’s Chief Executive at the following address for a response to his question.

John Armitt

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton Street

London NW1 2EE

North London Railway Line

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans there are to electrify the North London railway line between Barking and Gospel Oak; and if he will make a statement. (119192)

The Department has no plans to electrify the North London railway between Barking and Gospel Oak.

Pendolino Trains

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what he plans the maximum permitted length of Virgin Pendolino trains to be. (118969)

The practical limit on the present west coast main line for the length of Pendolino trains is 11 cars, or 253 metres. Longer trains would require significant work at a number of stations along the route.

Rail Franchises

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his Department has to encourage public transport franchises to give customers the option of buying carnet tickets. (118341)

While the Department is supportive of carnet, this is a commercial matter for rail franchise operators.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much subsidy he expects to be paid to Virgin West Coast in each year until the end of the franchise. (118946)

This information was published in the Department's press release of 13 December 2006. A copy of this release is available on the DfT website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/.

Rail Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Virgin trains stop to drop off passengers but do not allow them to get on at Milton Keynes Central Station each day, broken down by time of arrival. (118982)

There are currently two Virgin West Coast trains that stop at Milton Keynes Central to set down passengers but do not pick up traffic. These are the morning 0756 train originating from Wolverhampton and the late night 0014 train, also from Wolverhampton, both to London Euston.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of spare capacity on Virgin trains heading south through, but not stopping at, Milton Keynes Central during peak hours in the morning. (118983)

In mid-2006, standard class traffic on Virgin West Coast trains heading south through, but not calling at, Milton Keynes Central during peak hours in the morning filled over 90 per cent. of seating capacity. First class traffic filled around 60 per cent. of available seats. Passenger demand has continued to grow further since then.

Railway Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when the platforms at Milton Keynes Central train station were last extended; and for what reasons they were extended. (118970)

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

John Armitt

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton Street

London

NW1 2EE

Railways: Freight

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to improve rail freight capacity (a) along the east coast main line, with particular reference to the line north of Newcastle, and elsewhere in England. (118546)

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

John Armitt

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton Street

London

NW1 2EE

Railways: Portsmouth

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the most recent commissioning date is for the Portsmouth railway re-signalling project; and what the reasons are for the delay. (119104)

These are operational matters for Network Rail, the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail's Chief Executive at the address below for a response to his question:

Mr John Armitt

Chief Executive

Network Rail

40 Melton Street

London NW12EE

Road Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic (a) accidents and (b) fatalities there were on the A14 in Suffolk involving drivers under the age of 21 in each year since 1997. (118667)

The number of reported personal injury road accidents involving drivers under the age of 21 and the resulting number of fatalities on the A14 in Suffolk, in each year since 1997 is given in the table.

Accidents involving drivers under the age of 21 and the resulting fatalities on the A14 in Suffolk, 1997 to 2005

Number

Accidents

Fatalities

1997

21

1

1998

26

1

1999

21

1

2000

22

0

2001

26

1

2002

27

1

2003

29

0

2004

28

0

2005

28

0

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many road traffic (a) accidents and (b) fatalities there were involving drivers under the age of 21 in (i) the Bury St. Edmunds constituency and (ii) Suffolk in each year since 1997; (118668)

(2) how many road traffic (a) accidents and (b) fatalities there have been in (i) Bury St. Edmunds constituency and (ii) Suffolk in each year since 1997.

The information requested is given in the following tables.

Accidents involving drivers under the age of 21 and the resulting fatalities in Suffolk and the parliamentary constituency of Bury St. Edmunds, 1997 to 2005

Suffolk

Bury St. Edmunds1

(a) Accidents

(b) Fatalities

(a) Accidents

(b) Fatalities

1997

665

12

105

3

1998

746

3

107

1

1999

712

9

90

1

2000

677

16

109

4

2001

686

11

104

0

2002

659

8

91

1

2003

711

15

112

0

2004

678

9

84

1

2005

727

9

99

1

Accidents and fatalities in Suffolk and the parliamentary constituency of Bury St. Edmunds, 1997 to 2005

Suffolk

Bury St. Edmunds1

(a) Accidents

(b) Fatalities

(a) Accidents

(b) Fatalities

1997

2,224

43

332

8

1998

2,251

23

326

3

1999

2,298

48

285

8

2000

2,312

56

352

10

2001

2,356

53

321

6

2002

2,300

43

299

7

2003

2,341

60

333

8

2004

2,220

42

301

5

2005

2,237

36

296

7

1 The constituency figures are based on the 2004 boundary for Bury St. Edmunds constituency.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic (a) accidents and (b) fatalities there were on the A14 in Suffolk in each year since 1997. (118669)

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 23 October 2006, Official Report, column 1530W. The requested information is updated on an annual basis. 2006 data will be published in summer 2007.

Road Traffic: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will commission and subsequently publish research on the relationship between vehicle flows and accident rates; and if he will make a statement. (118637)

The Department has commissioned research into the link between congestion and accident risk. The results have been published in Road Safety Research Report N44, published by DfT and available on our website. Copies are already available in the Libraries of the House.

Speed Limits

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations he has received on the methodology for the calculation of the optimum speed limit for a particular road; and if he will make a statement. (118639)

The Department published its new guidance to traffic authorities on the setting of local speed limits on 8 August 2006. The Department received only one written representation, which concerned the use of the mean vehicle speeds being travelled on the road as one of the determining factors to be taken into consideration.

Thameslink

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library the figures for population growth in St. Albans and the surrounding area that the Government are using to assess the need to fund the Thameslink programme; and if he will make a statement. (118984)

A copy of the population growth projections that were used in the assessment of the Thameslink project has been placed in the Libraries of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans other than the Thameslink programme his Department is considering to increase rail capacity from St. Albans to London during morning and evening peak hours. (118985)

The Department is not actively considering any schemes to increase peak time capacity between St. Albans and London other than the Thameslink programme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the roles of (a) Network Rail, (b) train operators and (c) his Department are in determining the frequency and stopping patterns of train services operating on (i) the present and (ii) a future Thameslink route. (118986)

The frequency and stopping pattern that operates on the current Thameslink route was specified by DfT, and was detailed in the franchise competition for this route which took place in 2005-06. The franchise was awarded to First Capital Connect, who took over the operation of the service in April 2006.

The future train service pattern on this route will also be specified by DfT, although the actual timetable to be operated will remain a matter for the train operator and Network Rail.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the powers granted to Network Rail for the Thameslink programme would enable any part of the scheme to proceed without the assurance from Government that the necessary funding will be in place for the full scheme to be completed. (118987)

The Department is currently considering the investment case for the whole Thameslink project, consistent with the TWA powers that were granted to Network Rail in October last year.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 75, on Thameslink, in which year the decision will be made in the context of the high level output specification. (118988)

A decision on the Thameslink project will be taken during 2007. High level output specification covers the control period 2009-14.

Toll Roads

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent on the analysis by consultants of the impact of tolls on the traffic flow at the Dartford River Crossing; what assumptions were used in the analysis; and if he will make a statement. (117724)

Two reports have considered the implications of tolls on safety and traffic levels. In 2001 Brown and Root Consulting prepared a report on the “Short Term Study of Extension of Dartford Tolls”. In 2004 Jacobs Babtie produced a report on “Getting the Most out of the Dartford Crossing”. Both reports are available in the House Library and on the DfT website. Information about the costs of the studies is not available.

Transport: Peterborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans his officials have to meet (a) Opportunity Peterborough, (b) East of England Development Agency and (c) Peterborough city council to discuss future transport infrastructure in the Greater Peterborough area; and if he will make a statement. (118517)

[holding answer 5 February 2007]: No meetings are planned between Department for Transport officials and the three named organisations specifically or solely to discuss future transport infrastructure in the Greater Peterborough area. Dialogue takes place routinely and regularly with these bodies on a range of transport and development topics, generally through or involving the Government Office for the East of England. Officials from GO East will be meeting those of Peterborough city council on 12 February to discuss the local transport settlement announced in December 2006 and the accompanying assessments of the authority's second local transport plan and delivery report.

Wales

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales which public affairs firms have been given contracts by (a) his Department and (b) public bodies sponsored by his Department in the last five years; and what the purpose was of each contract. (118511)

Radioactive Wastes

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether any of the potential locations for the final disposal of radioactive waste being screened by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are in Wales. (118459)

I am advised that there is no consideration or screening of potential sites under way at the present time. The Government will be consulting on both the technical aspects of designing and developing a geological disposal facility and the process and criteria for identifying the siting of that facility later this year.

Electoral Commission Committee

Local Government Boundary Commissioners

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, (1) what the (a) salary scale and (b) term of appointment is for a local government boundary commissioner for England; (111790)

(2) what experience and qualifications are required for candidates for appointment as local government boundary commissioners for England;

(3) how many and what percentage of local government boundary commissioners for England are qualified lawyers.

There is no specific office of ‘local government boundary commissioner for England’. The functions of the Local Government Commission for England (LGCE) were transferred to the Boundary Committee for England (BCE), a statutory committee of the Electoral Commission, on 1 April 2002.

The Electoral Commission appoints the members of BCE, which may comprise only electoral commissioners and deputy electoral commissioners, with an electoral commissioner appointed as chairman. The current membership consists of the electoral commissioner who chairs it, and four deputy electoral commissioners.

The chair of BCE has served in that capacity since its establishment, and was most recently reappointed as an electoral commissioner in January 2007. She also served on LGCE for four years. Her current rate of remuneration as a part-time electoral commissioner is £337 per day, plus reimbursement of reasonable travel and subsistence incurred on Commission business.

Deputy electoral commissioners, whose functions are limited to serving on boundary committees, are appointed by the Electoral Commission. I am asking the Commission to write to the hon. Member setting out details of the person specification used in their original recruitment, and of the terms for which the current deputy commissioners are appointed, and to place a copy of the letter in the Library of the House. The Commission informs me that it is currently reviewing the person specification in anticipation of the need to recruit new deputy electoral commissioners in the near future to replace existing appointees whose terms are coming to an end. Remuneration of deputy electoral commissioners is fixed by the Electoral Commission, and it informs me that the current rate is £296 per day, plus reimbursement of reasonable travel and subsistence incurred on BCE business.

The Electoral Commission informs me that none of the members of BCE is a qualified lawyer.

Communities and Local Government

Committees: Ministerial Attendance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on what occasions (a) she and (b) departmental Ministers have been requested to appear before committees of (i) devolved institutions and (ii) the European Parliament since 2004; on what topic in each case; how many and what proportion of such requests were accepted; and if she will make a statement. (111542)

Since 2004, there has been one such request. In December 2005 the Deputy Prime Minister was requested to update the Urban and Housing Intergroup of the European Parliament, about the EU Ministerial Informal on Sustainable Communities, which had been held in Bristol earlier that month. The Minister delegated the request to a senior official who addressed the meeting.

The Deputy Prime Minister visited the European Parliament in his capacity as the Prime Minister’s special political representative for the UK presidency on five occasions during this period.

No Ministers from the Department or its predecessor Department have appeared before committees of devolved institutions since 2004.

Communities England

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to ask Communities England to implement the recommendations of the Affordable Rural Housing Commission. (112240)

Communities England is broadly expected to assume the existing responsibilities currently carried out by the Housing Corporation. We are using a range of channels and mechanisms to respond to the report of the Affordable Rural Housing Commission, including the forthcoming Spending Review. We are separately considering the regulation of social housing in the independent review under Professor Martin Cave.

Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2006, Official Report, column 698W, on consultants, if she will place in the Library the report produced for her Department by McKinsey and Co. on communications. (114566)

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was spent by her Department on buying, operating and supporting (a) all commercial software products and (b) software products produced by Microsoft in each of the last three years. (112603)

The Department for Communities and Local Government was created in May 2006.

The following figures in respect of expenditure on software licences and maintenance for the last three complete financial years are for the Department’s predecessor, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Corporate IT services

£0001

Financial year

Total software (including Microsoft)

Identifiable as Microsoft

2003-04

993

230

2004-05

817

230

2005-06

333

60

1 These figures include the cost of licences, maintenance and upgrade protection and exclude VAT

Figures for software licences purchased by the ODPM for non-corporate IT services over the same period are as follows:

Financial year

Total software licences (£000)1

2003-04

3,188

2004-05

2,636

2005-06

1,828

1 Excluding VAT

Departmental Targets

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many targets set by her Department were met by Coventry city council in the last year for which figures are available. (108415)

Coventry’s reported progress in relation to Communities and Local Government targets is:

£8.751 million efficiency gains by the end of 2005-06, which compares to their target of £8.183 million.

The annual data produced by the Housing Corporation confirm that as at April 2006, 80 per cent. of Coventry’s 21,000 social housing dwellings were decent. Coventry is currently judged to be on track to achieve the 100 per cent. Decent Homes target by 2010.

The baseline in relation to the number of vulnerable households in the private sector that live in a decent home is currently being established. Progress on this target will be measured against this baseline.

Coventry exceeded the three targets for timely handling of major, minor and other applications in the year to September 2006.

The Local Strategic Partnership of which Coventry is a partner is in the process of agreeing with CLG the performance management assessment against their delivery of the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund floor targets for 2005-06.

Coventry also has targets that are agreed through its local area agreement (LAA). These are three-year agreements, based on local community strategies, which set out the priorities for a local area. LAA outcomes and indicators are currently drawn from the outcomes framework in the LAA guidance. The guidance can be found at http://www.communities. gov.uk/index.asp?id=1164930

Departmental Travel

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mrs. Spelman) on 18 December 2006, Official Report, column 1613W, on departmental travel, if she will collect data recording the destination and purpose of all overseas travel by officials. (112087)

Data on the destination of all overseas travel by officials are already collected centrally and enhancements to our HR management information system will mean that the purpose of all trips will be recorded centrally from 1 April 2007.

Domestic Violence

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what steps she is taking to monitor compliance with the gender equality duty in respect of domestic violence. (117559)

The Equal Opportunities Commission (until October 2007) and the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (after October 2007) will be responsible for monitoring public authorities’ compliance with the gender equality duty from April 2007.

Equality Act 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to make further entries under part 1, section 10(2) of the Equality Act 2006. (117937)

European Regional Development Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will break down by programme the expenditure on the European Regional Development Fund initiative in the (a) East Midlands and (b) Eastern region in the most recent year for which figures are available. (112629)

East Midlands and the Eastern region both have two European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) programmes—Objective 2 and Community Initiative Urban II. The total ERDF expenditure by programme for 2005-06 is as follows:

Total ERDF programme spend by region—2005-06

Programme

Amount (£ million)

East Midlands Objective 2

28.9

East Midlands—Derby Urban II

1.1

Eastern Region Objective 2

16.1

Eastern Region—Peterborough Urban II

1.0

Total

47.1

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will break down by programme the expenditure from the European Regional Development Fund initiative in the (a) South West, (b) West Midlands, (c) Yorkshire and Humberside, (d) South East, (e) North West, (f) North East and (g) London regions in the most recent year for which figures are available. (118101)

The total European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) expenditure by programme for 2005-06 is as follows:

Total ERDF spend by programme: 2005-06

Programme

£ million

South West Objective 1

30.2

South West Objective 2

13.0

South West—Bristol Urban

1.3

West Midlands Objective 2

31.3

Yorkshire and Humberside Objective 1

72.0

Yorkshire and Humberside Objective 2

40.6

Yorkshire and Humberside—Halifax Urban

1.2

South East Objective 2

2.5

South East—Thames Gateway Urban

1.2

North West Objective 1—Merseyside

64.3

North West Objective 2

65.1

North West—Burnley Urban

1.4

North East Objective 2

49.9

North-East—Hetton and Murton Urban

1.0

London Objective 2

29.9

London—Stockwell Urban

1.0

Home Inspectors

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many home inspectors (a) are fully qualified, (b) are in training and (c) have withdrawn from training. (114493)

Figures on the number and status of candidates are reported regularly by the individual assessment centres on a voluntary basis.

As at 5 November 2006:

(a) there were 650 home inspectors who had completed their training, of whom 230 had been issued with their certificate

(b) there were 4,470 candidates still in training

(c) it is not currently possible to provide figures on numbers withdrawing from training as these are collated separately by centres. They are currently dealing with large changes in their candidate pool, with an increase in those joining, together with many wishing to transfer between the courses offered by new awarding bodies and also to the new Domestic Energy Assessor qualification.

Figures for December were not complete and figures for January are still being collated.

Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many vacant dwellings there were in West Lancashire in the latest period for which figures are available. (112215)

At October 2005 West Lancashire district council reported a total of 1,471 vacant homes. This includes properties which have been vacant for less than six months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will break down the Government’s objective for a 200,000 net increase in the number of homes by 2016 by (a) rural and (b) non-rural areas; and if she will make a statement. (118690)

In their response to Kate Barker’s review of housing supply, the Government outlined their ambition to increase housing supply to 200,000 homes per year by 2016.

How the ambition will be achieved across the country at regional, sub-regional and local level is determined through statutory planning processes.

Local Authority Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether (a) new and (b) higher taxes which increase the costs of providing local authority services will be compensated for by additional central Government funding under her Department's new-burdens principle. (114748)

The Government look at all pressures on local government, including any increased costs through tax changes, and the extent to which they can be managed, when setting the overall level of funding for local authorities. The specific new-burdens principle applies only to policies which impact solely or disproportionately on local government.

Milton Keynes Tariff

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what her plans are for the level of the contribution made under the Milton Keynes tariff. (118737)

The Milton Keynes Prospectus, commonly known as the “tariff”, is a planning obligation, under the Town and Country Planning Act and covers part of Milton Keynes. The final agreement has yet to be signed by all concerned parties, and until this has been completed the full details of the tariff will not be available.

The Milton Keynes Partnership’s Business Plan 2006-07 to 2010-11 explains that Communities and Local Government agreed to English Partnerships forward funding projects within the tariff to a maximum peak funding of £80 million. The business plan also sets out that it expects to raise £311 million from developers of the relevant expansion areas.

Minerva

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government which Minister in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister took the decision not to call in the planning application for the Minerva Park Place shopping development in Croydon. (111971)

Lord Rooker, the then Minister for Planning, Housing and Regeneration, took the decision not to call in the planning application for the Croydon Park Place retail development.

Privacy Impact Assessments

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what privacy impact assessments have been produced by her Department and its predecessors since 2002. (112083)

I am unaware of any privacy impact assessments having been produced by Communities and Local Government and its predecessors during this period.

Public Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on her Department's response to the Office of Fair Trading's report “The commercial use of public information”. (112014)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer by the Minister of State for Trade and Industry on 8 January 2007, Official Report, column 315W.

Regional Bodies

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much was allocated to (a) regional assemblies and (b) Government offices for the regions for 2006-07, broken down by budget heading. (117138)

The total estimated Communities and Local Government allocation to (a) regional assemblies and (b) Government offices for the regions for 2006-07 are tabled as follows:

(a) Regional assemblies

£

Regional assembly

Single pot

Planning delivery grant (PDG)

Total

East

1,618,000

735,000

2,353,000

East Midlands

1,426,000

771,000

2,197,000

North East

1,355,000

544,000

1,899,000

North West

1,588,000

1,049,000

2,637,000

South East

1,725,000

1,656,000

3,381,000

South West

1,496,500

793,000

2,289,500

West Midlands

1,505,210

713,000

2,218,210

Yorkshire and the Humber

1,490,000

574,000

2,064,000

English Regions Network

240,000

240,000

Total regional assemblies grant

12,443,710

6,835,000

19,278,710

(b) Government offices for the regions

£

Government office

Administration funding

Programme funding

Total

East

4,712,000

27,515,000

32,227,000

East Midlands

3,999,000

58,521,000

62,520,000

North East

3,944,000

91,453,000

95,397,000

North West

6,627,000

311,832,000

318,459,000

South East

5,613,000

38,106,000

43,719,000

South West

4,686,000

105,610,000

110,296.000

West Midlands

4,365,000

119,698,000

124,063,000

Yorkshire and the Humber

4,147,000

238,687,000

242,834,000

London

7,735,000

139,652,000

147,387,000

Total

45,828,000

1,131,074,000

1,176,902,000

Section 106 Agreements

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been generated within Essex in the last 10 years from agreements made under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990; and what percentage of this revenue has been used to fund community projects. (111822)

Information on individual section 106 agreements is held by local planning authorities and not collected centrally. The Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) (Amendment) (England) Order 2002 (Statutory Instrument 2002 No. 828), which came into effect on 1 July 2002, requires details of planning obligations to be recorded in both Parts I and II of the local planning authority’s planning register, which should be available for public reference.

Social Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many council houses are owned by (a) local authorities and (b) housing associations in England; and how many additional houses have been provided by (i) local authorities and (ii) housing associations in each of the last 10 years. (116497)

For information on social housing provision in Wales I refer the hon. Member to the Welsh Assembly Government Statistical Directorate.

In England on 1 April 2006 there were 1,891,980 self-contained units/bed spaces owned by registered social landlords and 2,087,456 dwellings owned by local authorities. These figures refer only to social rent housing units and are as reported by registered social landlords and local authorities.

The additional numbers of social rent dwellings provided by local authorities and registered social landlords in each of the last 10 years in England are given in the following table. A further 7,900 social rent housing units were provided over the period that were funded solely through section 106 agreements.

We have set the Housing Corporation a target to provide 21,000 social rent homes in 2006-07 and 28,000 in 2007-08 through its affordable housing programme. This combined with homes provided through other initiatives including local authorities will allow us to meet our target of providing 30,000 social rented homes a year by 2008.

The majority of public sector investment for new social housing goes to housing associations as they can lever in around 40 per cent. independent borrowing and deliver more units than local authorities for a given amount of public subsidy. The Government are currently looking at ways for local authorities to play a greater role in building more homes.

Additional social rent units provided: England

Local authorities

Registered social landlords

1996-97

451

42,014

1997-98

323

35,457

1998-99

194

33,382

1999-2000

88

28,634

2000-01

179

26,141

2001-02

63

25,642

2002-03

199

23,007

2003-04

191

20,895

2004-05

100

19,527

2005-06

299

20,761

Notes:

1. Includes new build and acquisitions.

2. Excludes 7,900 dwellings funded solely through section 106 agreements.

Source:

Housing Corporation, Local Authorities (HSSA, P2)

Thames Gateway

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department has spent on external (a) communications, (b) branding and (c) marketing advice for the Thames Gateway project. (103854)

My Department has spent a total of £330,000 on communications including the development of the Thames Gateway section of the Department for Communities and Local Government website, information capture mechanisms, inward investment marketing and surveys of residents.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will break down by programme expenditure on the Thames Gateway initiative in the (a) London, (b) Eastern and (c) South East region in the most recent year for which figures are available. (117528)

Expenditure by the Department for Communities and Local Government as part of the Thames Gateway programme in the year ending 31 March 2006 was broken down as follows:

Amount (£ million)

London

60.2

Eastern

46.4

South East

57.1

This is in addition to cross-government investment in infrastructure in the Thames Gateway.

Defence

Civilian Prisoners: Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether the claims for compensation from (a) Ralph Armstrong, (b) Felix Carady and (c) Maisie Prendergast under the scheme for British civilian prisoners of the Japanese put to him by the Association of British Internees on 28th July 2006 have been paid. (112355)

It would not be appropriate to comment publicly on these individual cases. As at January 2007, 134 claims have been paid under the 20-year UK residence criterion introduced last year; 44 are under consideration; but 11 claims are being held following agreement with the association of British Civilian Internees Far East Region (ABCIFER) that claims would not be rejected until we had discussed with the association the way in which the 20-year residency criterion was working and investigated any concerns. When I met with the chairman of ABCIFER on 13 December 2006, he raised a number of concerns which we are investigating, including consulting other Government Departments where required. I expect this work to be resolved shortly and will then both respond to ABCIFER on the issues raised and advise the claimants of the decisions on their claims.

Departmental Vetting

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether information about individuals, other than their previous convictions, held on local police databases is accessible by the Defence Vetting Agency when undertaking clearance checks for his Department. (116655)

[holding answer 23 January 2007]: For national security clearances the Defence Vetting Agency in common with other vetting authorities in Government has routine access to data on the Police National Computer and carries out other checks, including checks with the Security Service, in accordance with the Prime Minister's Statement on vetting on 15 December 1994, Official Report, column 764 -766W. This does not include direct access to local police databases. Separately, the Defence Vetting Agency is the designated Defence authority for carrying out checks with the Criminal Records Bureau in order to meet statutory obligations in respect of staff who work with children and vulnerable adults.

EU Fundamental Rights Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect of the activities of the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency on his Department. (108096)

I do not envisage any significant impact by the European Union Fundamental Rights Agency upon the activities of the Department. The work of the Agency will focus on Community law.

Ex-servicemen: Medals

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps he is taking to promote awareness of the veterans badge and its availability. (118366)

The eligibility to apply for the HM armed forces veterans badge and UK merchant seafarers veterans badge is advertised on the Veterans Agency website (www.veteransagency.mod.uk). It has also been publicised through Government and ex-Service organisation publications, through local and national press articles featuring coverage of announcements of extensions of eligibility to apply for the badges and through badge-presentation ceremonies. We are also promoting badge-presentation ceremonies as a key part of this year's Veterans Day events. The position is kept under review, including considering opportunities to provide further publicity for the scheme.

Kuwait

(2) what support the Government of Kuwait give to the UK for the stationing of UK troops in that country.

As at 28 January, the UK had around 70 military personnel stationed in Kuwait. They are: a small defence section in the British embassy, a British military mission to the Kuwaiti armed forces, and a small number of logistics, movement and engineering staff.

The Government of Kuwait reimburse the British Government for the costs of the British military mission, and provide a small degree of support for our movements, logistics and engineering staff based in Kuwait.

Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what factors were taken into account in reaching the conclusion in the White Paper on the future of the UK's nuclear deterrent that the upper limit on the number of operationally available warheads should be 160; and what (a) methodology and (b) calculations were used in reaching that conclusion. (119285)

As we said in paragraph 4-9 of the White Paper ‘The Future of the United Kingdom's Nuclear Deterrent’, Official Report, column 6994, published on 4 December, in determining the scale of minimum nuclear deterrent,

“We need to make a judgment on the minimum destructive capability necessary to provide an effective deterrent posture. This judgment requires an assessment of the decision-making processes of future potential aggressors, and an analysis of the effectiveness of the defensive measures that they might employ.”

The new upper limit of less than 160 operationally available warheads reflects the results of that judgment, together with our NATO commitments, and the way in which we operate the deterrent submarines. I am withholding further details as their disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the defence of the United Kingdom.

Home Department

Animal Welfare

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 24 January 2007, Official Report, column 1822W, on animal welfare, in what ways animal welfare stakeholders will be actively involved in the development of the Animals Scientific Procedures Better Regulation Programme; and what effect the programme will have on (a) the procedures licensed under the 1986 Act and (b) the codes of practice for the housing and care of animals. (117529)

A steering group has been convened to advise on strategic and cross-cutting issues arising from the Animals Scientific Procedures Better Regulation Programme to ensure that any changes to the regulatory system do not compromise animal welfare. The steering group has representation from the Home Office and other Government Departments, industry, academia and organisations focused on animal protection and the reduction, refinement and replacement of animal procedures.

We are also currently setting up a working group of operational level practitioners to help identify and prioritise the key regulatory requirements and administrative processes to be improved, compliance costs to be reduced, and to help devise and test practical solutions. The maintenance of animal welfare standards will be a key consideration for the working group. In addition, aspects of the programme will be subject to a public consultation to which all stakeholders, including animal welfare groups, will be encouraged to contribute.

We have no intention of introducing measures that will weaken the protections afforded by the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 or harm animal welfare. The programme will not result in changes to procedures permitted under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, or to the housing and care of animals bred and used under the Act.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which of his Department's advisory non-departmental public bodies are directly or indirectly connected with animal health and welfare; whether an animal welfare specialist is represented on each; and if he will make a statement. (117675)

The Home Office has one advisory body concerned with animal health and welfare, the Animal Procedures Committee. The role of the Animal Procedures Committee is to advise the Home Secretary on matters concerned with the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 and his functions under it.

All members of the committee share a common concern for the welfare of the animals used in scientific procedures, and in considering any matter must have regard both to the legitimate requirements of science and industry and to the protection of animals against avoidable suffering and unnecessary use.

Under section 19 of the Act, excluding the chairman, there must be a minimum of 12 members, one must be a lawyer and at least two thirds must be medical practitioners, veterinary surgeons or have qualifications or experience in a biological subject. At least half of the members must not have held a licence to carry out procedures on animals within the last six years and animal welfare interests must be adequately represented.

Members are selected on personal merit, and not as nominees, delegates or representatives of any organisations or pressure groups.

Current membership includes one member employed by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and one employed by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research.

Bermuda Regiment

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether (a) United Kingdom police and (b) the Immigration and Nationality Directorate co-operate with the Bermuda Regiment in enforcing male conscription amongst Bermudians resident in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. (111634)

I have been asked to reply.

We understand that the Bermuda Regiment has never requested the assistance of the UK police or Immigration and Nationality Directorate to assist in enforcing conscription of Bermudians resident in the UK.

Biometric Data

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department with which foreign agencies his Department has shared biometric data in the last 12 months. (111239)

The need for sharing biometric data with foreign agencies is business specific and as such there is no central record detailing the specific agencies that the Home Office has shared biometric data with over the last 12 months.

The Home Office does share biometric information with foreign agencies on a case-by-case basis where this is necessary for the prevention or detection of crime, the apprehension or prosecution of offenders or for immigration purposes, and this includes:

immigration and law enforcement agencies within the 26 member states of the EU;

Australian, Canadian and US authorities;

any other foreign Government where it is necessary to secure the removal of a foreign individual.

The Home Office shares fingerprints with European member states through EuroDac, the European Asylum Fingerprint system.

Crime: Bus Services

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were committed on buses in each year since 1997. (118331)

The information requested is not available centrally. Offences on buses cannot be separately identified in the recorded crime series.

Crime: Nature Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers are employed in the investigation and prosecution of wildlife crime, broken down by constabulary. (119386)

Crime: Railway Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were committed at each railway station in England and Wales in each year since 1997. (118332)

The information requested is not available centrally. Offences at railway stations cannot be separately identified in the recorded crime series.

Crime: Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations he has received on the use of metal detector gloves by police forces to detect weapons on suspects; and if he will make a statement. (118638)

The Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB) has been made aware of metal detecting gloves by at least one UK supplier and they appear in the HOSDB ‘Manual of Search and Detection Equipment’ which goes out to all UK police forces each year. Other types of metal detector are also featured.

DNA Profiles

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 16 January 2006, Official Report, column 1111-12W, on DNA profiles, what progress has been made towards allowing more accurate and easier cross-referencing of the DNA Database and the Police National Computer. (110656)

In 2005, the National DNA Database (NDNAD) and the Police Information Technology Organisation (PITO) had discussions on the possibility of making a technical change to the electronic link between the Police National Computer (PNC) and the NDNAD to enable data on arrest histories to be transferred from the PNC to the NDNAD.

In early 2006, the NDNAD and PITO decided to consider other options for the provision of such data as an alternative to a change to the electronic link. Several meetings were held between the NDNAD, the Home Office and PITO in 2006 on this issue and discussions are still ongoing on the possibility of being able to provide such information from the NDNAD and PNC in the future on a quarterly basis.

Driving Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have received (a) one and (b) more than one fixed penalty notice for driving without insurance in each year since 2003. (118252)

A person cannot be offered more than one fixed penalty for uninsured driving in any one year. The offence carries obligatory endorsement of six to eight penalty points, so a second offence would render a person liable to disqualification under totting-up and a fixed penalty cannot be offered in such circumstances.

Available information taken from the Motoring Offences Fixed Penalty Notices collection held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform, from 2003 to 2004 (latest available) on the number of notices issued for the offence of driving without insurance is provided in the table.

2005 data will be available later in the year.

Total number of fixed penalty notices issued1,2 for the offence of using a motor vehicle uninsured against third party risks3, England and Wales, 2003-04

Number of offences

20031

458

2004

1,463

1 As from 1 June 2003, ‘driving a motor vehicle while uninsured against third party risks’ became a fixed penalty offence.

2 Only covers tickets paid where there is no further action.

3 An offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 s. 143 (2).

Notes:

1. It is known that for some police force areas, the reporting of court proceedings, in particular those relating to summary motoring offences, may be less than complete. Work is under way to ensure that the magistrates courts case management system currently being implemented by the Department for Constitutional Affairs reports all motoring offences to the Office for Criminal Justice Reform. This will enable more complete figures to be disseminated.

2. Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their limitations are taken into account when these data are used.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prosecutions there were in (a) Morecambe and Lunesdale and (b) Lancashire for driving without insurance in (i) 2003, (ii) 2004, (iii) 2005 and (iv) 2006. (118028)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave on 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 193W.

Drug-related Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drug-related offences were recorded by police forces in each county of the east of England in each year since 1997. (118652)

Data collected centrally do not identify whether offences (other than drug offences) are drug related. The recorded crime series does include numbers of drug offences which are given as follows.

Recorded drug offences for each police force in the eastern region

Force name

1997

Bedfordshire

223

Cambridgeshire

205

Essex

401

Hertfordshire

215

Norfolk

337

Suffolk

333

Note:

Prior to April 1998, ‘trafficking in controlled drugs’ was the only drug offence included in the recorded crime series.

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

Bedfordshire

1,141

1,081

896

1,009

Cambridgeshire

1,166

1,011

829

798

Essex

2,312

2,421

2,208

2,212

Hertfordshire

1,197

1,180

1,438

1,350

Norfolk

1,534

1,561

1,160

1,211

Suffolk

1,581

1,410

1,178

1,292

Note:

The introduction of the revised counting rules in April 1998 expanded offence coverage. This included the addition of ‘possession of controlled drugs’ and ‘other drug offences’. These data are not comparable with earlier years.

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Bedfordshire

1,069

1,130

1,131

1,228

Cambridgeshire

904

1,047

1,174

1,442

Essex

2,377

2,295

2,328

2,889

Hertfordshire

1,553

1,678

1,754

2,044

Norfolk

1,392

1,508

1,602

1,821

Suffolk

1,689

1,923

1,974

2,015

Note:

Numbers of recorded crime were affected by changes in reporting and recording following the introduction of the National Crime Recording Standard in April 2002. These data are not comparable with earlier years.

Extradition Requests: Russian Federation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the costs to the public purse were of extradition requests from the Russian Federation in the cases of (a) Arhmed Zachaeav, (b) Natalia Chernysheva, (c) Vladimir Maruev, (d) Alexandre Termerko, (e) Boris Berezovsky, (f) Ramal Boruganov and (g) Alexander Gorbachev, broken down by Government agency. (112497)

It is not feasible to provide a complete or accurate breakdown of costs incurred in individual extradition cases by each Government Department and its supporting agencies. In each agency involved, the cases were dealt with as part of its overall and larger caseload. However, there are known legal costs to the public purse in these seven cases amounting to £3,177,292.

Former German Prisoners of War

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what records of former German prisoners of war (POWs) from the Second World War were maintained in the UK; what assessment he has made of their accuracy; whether such records distinguish between POWs identified as Nazi Party members or active sympathisers and others; whether records are kept of which POWs in each category remained in the UK after the general repatriation of POWs; and if he will make a statement. (116974)

The Home Office was not responsible for Prisoners of War (POWs) during the Second World War. Personnel records maintained by the War Office’s Prisoner of War Information Bureau (PWIB) in London were transferred either to the German Red Cross in 1949 or to the Deutsche Dienstelle (WASt) in Berlin following a decision in 1960 to offer them to the German Federal Government. It is not feasible to make an assessment of the accuracy of these records or whether they contain the information sought. I understand that most other surviving records from the War Office and other Departments relating to German prisoners of war have already been released to the National Archives.

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether those who applied to the highly skilled migrant programme prior to September 2006 were warned of the potential for retrospectively-applied changes to the scheme. (112626)

The recent changes to the highly skilled migrant programme have no effect on existing grants of leave. We are therefore not applying them retrospectively. A grant of leave in a category of the immigration rules does not create the expectation of a further grant of leave in that category.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment the Government have made of the effect of changes to the highly skilled migrant programme on previously successful applicants. (112627)

All persons who were granted leave under the highly skilled migrant programme (HSMP) before the changes were implemented will be able to complete that period of leave.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effect of age discrimination legislation on the use of an age-related points system in the highly skilled migrant programme. (117782)

Age discrimination legislation is aimed at preventing employers from carrying out practices which discriminate on the basis of age. The immigration rules do not therefore fall directly within its scope as they govern the entry into and stay of people in the UK who are subject to immigration control. The points for age were introduced to avoid disadvantaging younger people, who may have had less time to build up their earnings, from being able to enter under the scheme.

Mosaic Data

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his Department and its agencies use Mosaic data. (111211)

Passports

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any changes have been made to the criteria for acceptability for passport photographs submitted to the Identity and Passport Service since the publication of the most recent version of information leaflet PLE/04, on passport photographs. (118316)

[holding answer 5 February 2007]: The photo standards information leaflet, PLE/04, was introduced in January 2006 in support of changes in the criteria introduced in late November 2005. There have been no subsequent changes to the criteria used by the Identity and Passport Service in accepting photographs. The guidance and leaflet are being reviewed and may be updated in response to feedback from customers and staff.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in Warrington, North have been issued with a free passport. (117992)

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) does not ask passport holders to keep their address up to date on our database. Therefore, the IPS cannot identify the number of current residents by geographical area who have taken advantage of the scheme to issue free passports to those applicants born on or before 2 September 1929.

However 398,615 people born on or before 2 September 1929 have in total had their entitlement to free British passports fulfilled by the IPS up until 31 December 2006. This includes passports issued on behalf of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to British residents overseas.

Rape Victims

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many reported rapes were wrongly recorded and dismissed in (a) Solihull and (b) England and Wales in each of the last five years. (118664)

Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what criteria are used by the police for determining whether to bring charges for an offence under section 132 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005. (118210)