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Written Answers

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 22 March 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 22 March 2007

Wales

Departments: Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales whether his Department and its agencies have made payments to (a) Solutions in Staffing and Software and (b) SThree in each year since 1997. (129330)

Defence

Ammunition

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much ammunition was allocated on all courses involved in the training of artillery personnel and forward observation officers to call in fire in each year since 2001; what the cost of this ammunition was; and if he will make a statement. (128190)

[holding answer 19 March 2007]: The quantity and cost of the 105 mm and 155 mm artillery ammunition allocated and fired at the Royal School of Artillery, Larkhill, and the number of personnel trained, in Support of Phase 3 training is as follows:

Year1

Quantity

Cost (£ million)

2001-02

35,887

23.2

2002-03

22,266

15.2

2003-04

20,541

16.5

2004-05

19,268

16.5

2005-06

19,169

16.1

2006-072

19,979

14.0

1 The year runs from 1 April to 31 March.

2 The 2006-07 figures include approximately 1,000 rounds remaining this financial year which will be fired before 1 April 2007 and 6,000 marker rounds which were at the end of their shelf life. These marker rounds were fired in lieu of being destroyed and as a result, £3.1 million was saved from the initial budget allocation of £17.1 million.

Armed Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people working in his Department previously served in the armed forces. (128325)

A total of 600 (rounded to the nearest 10) retired officers were working for the Department as at 1 January 2007. This figure is the best estimate available from centrally held records, but may not include all ex-service personnel working for the Department.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people working for his Department are members of the territorial forces. (128326)

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

Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which companies financed the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme in each of the last five financial years; and how much was contributed by each. (128643)

We are profoundly grateful to the sponsors of the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme (BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, AugustaWestland and their predecessors). Since 2002 each has contributed an average of £40,500 per year to the scheme. We are also grateful to Sir Neil Thorne for the very considerable moral and financial support he has lent the scheme since its inception in 1989.

Armed Forces: Cadets

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many cadets there were in (a) the Army Cadet Force and (b) the Air Training Corps in each year since 1999-2000. (128824)

The following table provides the number of cadets1 in the Army Cadet Force and Air Training Corps from 1 April 1999 to 1 April 2006.

1 Figures are for Army and Air Cadets only. Figures do not include officers/instructors or single service elements of the Combined Cadet Force.

As at 1 April each year

Army Cadet Force

Air Training Corps

1999

40,530

33,300

2000

42,760

34,280

2001

40,570

33,180

2002

40,700

34,050

2003

43,550

34,650

2004

44,240

33,190

2005

44,050

31,470

2006

44,390

30,170

Armed Forces: Complaints

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in setting up an independent complaints commissioner for the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. (128275)

The recruitment process for the position of Service Complaints Commissioner will begin shortly.

Armed Forces: Dogs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military dogs are in service in the (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy, (c) Royal Air Force and (d) Ministry of Defence Police; and what the annual cost is of feeding those dogs. (127983)

[holding answer 19 March 2007]: There are currently 998 operational military working dogs in the armed forces and military police, comprising 467 in the Army, 272 in the RAF, none in the Royal Navy, and 259 in the Ministry of Defence Police.

The annual cost of feeding the dogs is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Armed Forces: Fire Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what training members of the armed forces are receiving to use modern fire appliances in the event of a fire-fighter strike. (129240)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 1 March 2007, Official Report, column 1539W, to the hon. Member for Newark (Patrick Mercer).

Armed Forces: Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many senior (a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) Royal Air Force officers who attended the higher command staff course in each year from 2003 to 2006 remained in service 12 months later. (127717)

In each service, all the officers attending the higher command staff course in 2003, 2004 and 2005 remained in service 12 months later, with the exception of army officers attending in 2003, when fewer than five officers left within 12 months.

Of the attendees in 2006, all remain in service nine months later at 1 January 2007.

Armed Forces: South Africa

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel serving in the armed forces are UK-South African dual nationals. (128181)

[holding answer 19 March 2007]: On 6 October 2006 there were 35 UK regular naval service personnel with UK/South African dual nationality.

At 6 March 2006 there were five UK Regular RAF personnel with UK-South African dual nationality.

The number of Army personnel with UK-South African dual nationality is not known.

Armed Forces: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of his Department’s rules and regulations which govern the operation of the safety for joint service adventurous training scheme. (128811)

Yes. A copy of Joint Service Publication 419 will be placed in the Library of the House. The publication includes the rules and regulations for the safe operation of the joint service adventurous training scheme.

Departments: Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which postal companies handle mail dispatched by his Department and its agencies. (128245)

The MOD dispatches relatively little mail externally. Official mail within the Department is primarily distributed by the internal Defence Mail Service, provided by the British Forces Post Office, while mail for personnel serving overseas is usually distributed by RAF air transport. Most external mail is sent through the Royal Mail Group, or, exceptionally through other approved carriers. The names of these carriers are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Ex-servicemen

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what steps his Department takes to assist service personnel discharged from the three armed forces on medical grounds to (a) achieve the maximum fitness and mobility possible and (b) assist in securing alternative employment. (127363)

Health care for service personnel is provided by Defence Medical Services. Treatment aims to assist injured service personnel to recover the best level of fitness and mobility possible. If medical discharge is appropriate, it will only be used as a last resort. Once they leave the armed forces, responsibility for their health care passes to the NHS and there are processes in place to assist the smooth transition from DMS to NHS treatment. If a veteran is also a war pensioner, he or she will be entitled to priority NHS treatment for the accepted condition(s); priority is decided by the clinician in charge and is subject to clinical need.

Those who are medically discharged from the armed forces are entitled to the full resettlement programme (FRP) offered within the MOD's resettlement package, provided by the Career Transition Partnership (CTP), irrespective of their length of service1. The FRP includes briefings, workshops, individual counselling, coaching, CV preparation and analysis of transferable competences, job finding, and conversion and skills enhancement training. All discharged personnel remain on the CTP books for two years after discharge. Thereafter, the Regular Forces Employment Association (RFEA) and the Officers' Association (OA) offer ex-service personnel support for the rest of their working lives. The RFEA and OA are particularly concerned with job-finding activities, and are sub-contractors on the CTP contract.

To help achieve the Department's aim of a successful return to civilian life for ex-service personnel, whether medically discharged or not, the CTP offers at its resettlement training centre (RTC) at Aldershot around 40 job-related courses. Many courses result in recognised qualifications while others can lead to employment with companies which have established close links with the RTC. Such training is not mandatory for service leavers. Service leavers who do not choose the RTC route may make use of the individual resettlement training costs (IRTC) grant, currently a maximum of £534, for training courses not offered by the RTC but available in the wider training market.

1 The FRP is normally only available to those who have served at least five years with the armed forces.

Hilsea

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will take steps to require the selection of bids for the MOD site at Matapan Road, Hilsea to be based on best value criteria. (128355)

The selection of bids for the sale of the MOD site at Matapan road, Hilsea was made at formal tender held on 2 March 2007. At this formal tender Defence Estates (DE) accepted the highest compliant bid. This bid was received from a national house builder with a proven track record for delivering a wide range of residential development schemes on surplus Government sites.

Formal tender is an Office of Government Commerce recognised method of selling surplus public sector assets. DE and its agent Drivers Jonas are confident that best value was achieved in this sale through formal tender.

Land: Sales

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) under what circumstances Defence Estates does not follow the Treasury Guidelines (Green Book) when disposing of (a) sites and (b) contaminated sites; and if he will make a statement; (128353)

(2) at what level in his Department decisions are made about whether or not to apply the Treasury Guidelines (Green Book) to disposals of contaminated land.

In common with all other Government Departments, the MOD is bound by the Treasury Guidelines as set out in Government Accounting, the Green Book and the accompanying Guide for the Disposal of Surplus Property published by the Office of Government Commerce. These will always be followed unless there are exceptional circumstances, for example, when it has been decided to gift a property, which would require individual approval by an appropriate authority.

The Chief Executive of Defence Estates (DE), the Ministry of Defence (MOD) agency responsible for the defence estate, has full authority to act within the delegated authority from the MOD Accounting Officer in the disposal of land and buildings.

In the case of contaminated land, it is normal, unless the land is remediated by the Ministry of Defence, to sell with the benefit of a Land Quality Assessment (LQA) and therefore transfer the risk to the private sector. The LQA will usually include an evaluation of the potential types and level of contamination, together with a Collateral Warranty, which should allow prospective purchasers to make an informed bid.

Territorial Army: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the Territorial Army were employed and paid under the provision of section 29 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996 in each of the last three years; how many earned (a) under £5,000, (b) under £10,000 and (c) under £20,000; and how many have been exempted from paying maintenance for their children through the Child Support Agency as a consequence. (128194)

[holding answer 20 March 2007]: No members of the Territorial Army have been employed under section 29 of the Reserve Forces Act 1996, which can authorise, among other things, the High Readiness Reserve. Were any personnel to be employed in this manner they would be paid according to their rank, seniority and trade group. There are no exemptions for such personnel from existing CSA procedures.

Leader of the House

Members: Age

To ask the Leader of the House (1) what percentage of hon. Members were under 45 years of age in (a) 1985, (b) 1997 and (c) 2006; (127507)

(2) what the average age of hon. Members was in (a) 1985, (b) 1997 and (c) 2006.

The House of Commons Library Members database indicates the following:

Percentage of hon. Members under 45 years of age

Average age of hon. Members (Years)

1985

33.2

50.1

1997

32.6

49.3

2006

23.5

51.8

House of Commons Commission

1 Parliament Street: Lifts

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the cost has been of the modernisation of the lift system within the 1 Parliament Street building; how long this work has been running; and when he expects work to be completed. (128778)

The modernisation of the lifts in 1 Parliament Street has cost £337,000.

The work commenced in August 2006 and is due for completion in September 2007.

The lifts have been upgraded to accommodate an evacuation lift to comply with the Disability Discrimination Acts and refurbished in line with the lift refurbishment programme. This project was planned over two summer recesses to ensure continual availability of lifts during the refurbishment programme.

Energy Usage

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to his answer of 30 January 2007, Official Report, column 147W, on energy usage, what the energy consumption of each building on the parliamentary estate was in each of the last three years. (120472)

The energy consumption of each building on the parliamentary estate in each of the past three years is given in the following table. Please note that 2 Millbank is heated from boilers located in 1 Millbank and its heating energy consumption is not metered separately.

Energy consumptions from in invoices

Estimated energy consumptions corrected where possible using actual readings (MWh)

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Building

Gas

Electricity

Total

Gas

Electricity

Total

Gas

Electricity

Total

Palace of Westminster

19,526.4

15,182.3

34,708.7

18,040.3

15,440.3

33,480.6

19,482.7

15,440.3

35,043.6

Portcullis House

3,616.7

4,044.5

7,661.2

3,328.8

3,932.3

7,261.1

3,493.9

3,942.2

7,436.1

Norman Shaw North and South

3,117.1

1,880.2

4,997.3

2,692.8

1,867.4

4,560.3

3,112.4

1,945.4

5,057.9

1 Canon Row

858.3

858.3

830.9

830.9

819.0

819.0

1 Parliament Street

2,007.8

2,296.6

4,304.4

1,971.7

2,299.7

4,271.4

2,162.6

2,305.4

4,468.0

Parliamentary Bookshop

29.7

29.7

33.4

33.4

35.5

35.5

Millbank House

778.5

778.5

778.3

778.3

728.4

728.4

7 Millbank

1,924.0

3,171.7

5,095.7

2,018.4

3,295.9

5,314.2

2,082.2

3,475.3

5,557.6

Fielden House

131.2

131.2

383.9

383.9

6 and 7 Old Palace Yard

309.0

202.7

511.8

176.9

217.3

394.2

214.0

231.7

445.7

1 Abbey Gardens

110.6

46.0

156.6

107.7

36.0

143.7

1151.5

39.6

151.1

2 Abbey Gardens

135.2

67.6

202.8

106.8

56.4

163.2

107.1

56.4

163.5

Underground Car Park

382.4

382.4

412.9

421.9

361.2

361.2

22 John Islip Street

64.4

68.2

132.7

63.6

24.4

88.0

14.0

48.9

62.9

Total

30,811.3

29,008.6

59,819.9

28,506.9

29,356.5

57,863.4

30,780.6

29,933.8

60,714.4

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Birds: Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many of the individuals and organisations consulted in the current review of Schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 are (a) bird keepers, (b) bird watchers, (c) bird keeping clubs, (d) bird watching clubs, (e) falconry centres or zoos, (f) raptor study groups (field ornithologists), (g) bird keeping magazines, (h) bird watching magazines and (i) conservation organisations. (126924)

It is impossible to state with any accuracy the percentages of individuals and organisations consulted. In accordance with best practice for such public consultations, my officials aimed the distribution at the major organisations which represented all of the groups of bird watching, bird conservation, rescue centres, bird keepers, zoos and enforcement authorities. These in turn were able to use their membership lists to circulate the details of the consultation more widely. The consultation document was also available via the DEFRA website.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of (a) the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) controls and (b) bird registration under section 7 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in tracing and reliably identifying the provenance of individual birds. (126925)

The convention on international trade in endangered species (CITES) controls and bird registration controls relate to different activities and species. Where the controls are duplicated, as is the case with many species of diurnal birds of prey, assessing their relative effectiveness in tracing and identifying the provenance of individual birds is very difficult.

In general terms, bird registration achieves nothing in identifying the provenance of individual birds as there are no legal powers to assess the captive bred status under section 7 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It does however give powers to trace where individual birds are kept.

CITES controls provide the powers needed to inquire into breeding status, but do not enable the tracing of individual birds, unless there is a specific conservation reason to do so and an element of commercial activity is involved.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria and methodology are used to assess the sustainability of wild bird species levels. (126926)

In England, the principal method used to assess wild bird population levels is the analysis of trends for the wild bird indicators compiled for the England biodiversity strategy (EBS) and the farmland bird public service agreement (PSA).

Indices for individual bird species are based on the annual field counts of breeding birds compiled by the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO), Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC). These individual indices are then compiled to show the average population trends with separate indicators compiled for farmland, woodland, wetland and sea birds. The EBS indicator compiles indices for 96 species, 19 of which are used in the farmland bird PSA indicator.

The assessment for the EBS indicator is based on the percentage change in the combined index since 2000 (and is currently assessed as stable). The assessment for the PSA indicator is based on the annual rate of change in the long-term trend—to which is applied a statistical technique that removes short-term peaks and troughs due to weather or gaps in the data. The farmland birds target will be met when the annual percentage change in the 'smoothed' long-term trend is positive. As with the EBS indicator, the trend was assessed as stable in 2006.

Further information on the methodology and criteria used in the assessment for farmland bird PSA targets can be found in the following report: “Freeman, S.F., Baillie, S.R. and Gregory, R.D. 2001. Statistical Analyses of an Indicator of Population Trends in Farmland Birds”.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of bird rings used by keepers of birds listed on Schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 were supplied by (a) keepers and (b) his Department. (126931)

There are 9,584 registered birds, of which 280 are registered with rings not supplied by my Department. The latter figure includes birds which have had rings fitted in other countries before they were imported into the UK. Under current regulations, only keepers in Wales may supply their own rings. There are approximately 60 birds registered in this way.

Carbon Dioxide: Aviation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what his estimate is of the proportion of carbon emissions in the UK which is due to aircraft taking off and landing at UK airports; and what his estimate is of the likely change in this proportion over the next (a) 10 and (b) 50 years. (127980)

Carbon dioxide emissions from UK domestic aviation (which includes emissions from the UK Crown Dependencies, and excludes emissions from the Overseas Territories) were 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2), and for international aviation were 35.0 MtCO2 in 2005. Greenhouse gas emissions from international flights do not currently count in the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory because there is no internationally agreed way in which to allocate those emissions. UK CO2 emissions (excluding international aviation and shipping) were 554.2 MtCO2 in 2005.

Emissions from domestic aviation were around 0.4 per cent. of total UK CO2 emissions in 2005. If international aviation CO2 emissions are included, aviation contributed around 6.4 per cent. of total UK CO2 emissions in 2005. The proportion in 2030 and 2050 would be around 15 and 21 per cent. of UK CO2 emissions (including international aviation) respectively. These are based on the assumptions of continued strong growth in aviation using central projections in ‘Aviation and Global Warming’ (2004), and the assumption of attainment of the 60 per cent. CO2 emissions reduction target in the rest of the economy as outlined in the 2003 Energy White Paper.

Common Agricultural Policy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the £305 million claim on the reserve to cover provision for disallowance arising from Common Agricultural Policy schemes; and when he was informed of the amount of the claim required. (128048)

DEFRA Ministers and officials discuss a wide range of issues with their colleagues in the Treasury as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such discussions.

Energy: EC Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what further consultation his Department plans to undertake with stakeholders on the Energy Services Directive and its timetable for implementation. (128706)

DEFRA continues to make progress towards implementing the Energy End-Use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive by 17 May 2008. We have already consulted on aspects of the directive which impact on the wider public. The Department's consultation on billing and metering provisions ended on 6 February.

DEFRA expects to consult stakeholders further on our implementation plans in summer. We will also use the opportunity provided by the forthcoming energy White Paper, and June's energy efficiency action plan—itself a requirement of the directive—to keep stakeholders informed of progress.

Falcons: Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what account he has taken of the examples of captive Eleanora’s falcons appearing in the UK following the delisting in 1994 of the species from Schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 in his review of wild bird registration under section 7 of the Act. (126923)

The public consultation exercise on Schedule 4 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 closed on 16 February 2007. Over the coming weeks we will consider the situation of both captive and wild population changes of all species delisted in 1994.

Flood Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Environment Agency’s capital programme is for flood defence works in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08, broken down by region. (128236)

The Environment Agency’s capital programme for flood defence works in 2006-07 and 2007-08, by region, are set out in the following tables.

Capital programme budget—flood defence grant in aid

Region

2006-07 budget (£ million)

2007-08 budget (£)

Anglian

53.9

Midlands

26.5

North East

21.4

North West

15.2

Southern

22.9

South West

20.9

Thames

23.6

Wales

14.8

Head Office

5.8

Total

205

1206.1

1 The 2007-08 capital allocation by region is being finalised during the next two weeks. I will arrange for the information requested to be placed in the Library of the House.

Capital programme size—levy funding

Region

2006-07 funding (£ million)

2007-08 funding (£ million)

Anglian

9.8

4.7

Midlands

3.2

3.1

North East

2.2

2.5

North West

3.2

3.4

Southern

2.0

5.8

South West

5.5

2.1

Thames

5.3

10.0

Wales

0

0

Head Office

0

0

Total

31.2

31.6

Fuel Poverty

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the number of (a) people and (b) households in fuel poverty in each year since 1995; and what Government target on fuel poverty applied in each such year. (128113)

Fuel poverty is a factor of three elements—a home’s energy efficiency, household income and the cost of fuel. As such, fuel poverty is measured by household and not by individual.

Fuel poverty figures were first calculated in 1996 and are based on information provided in the English House Condition Survey (EHCS). Fuel poverty figures in England from 1996 for each year a survey was completed are set out in the following table. The collation of the EHCS has a time lag so the latest available figures are for 2004.

Million

Number of households in fuel poverty in England

Number of vulnerable households in fuel poverty in England

1996

5.1

4.0

1998

3.4

2.8

2001

1.7

1.4

2002

1.4

1.2

2003

1.2

1.0

2004

1.2

1.0

A vulnerable fuel-poor household is defined as one containing an elderly person, a family with young children, a disabled person or someone suffering a long term illness.

The Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 mandated the Government to produce a strategy and set targets to ensure that no household should live in fuel poverty. The UK Fuel Poverty Strategy, published in November 2001, sets out the Government’s targets for the eradication of fuel poverty in England:

to eradicate fuel poverty, as far as reasonably practicable, in vulnerable households by 2010

that no household will remain in fuel poverty, as far as reasonably practicable, by 2016

Similar targets exist in the devolved administrations.

Home Energy Efficiency Scheme: Peterborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many homes in the Peterborough constituency used the Warm Front scheme in each year since 2001. (128199)

In the first phase of the Warm Front Scheme, from June 2000 to June 2005, 2,562 households were assisted in the Peterborough constituency.

In the current phase of Warm Front, for Peterborough, 121 households were assisted between June 2005 and March 2006, and 404 households were assisted between April and December 2006.

Insulation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what the average installation charge levied on householders for (a) cavity wall insulation and (b) full loft insulation was by councils participating in a British Gas council tax discount scheme for energy-saving measures; (128658)

(2) what the average payment made to householders participating in a British Gas council tax discount scheme for energy-saving measures was in 2005-06; and whether such payments (a) reflect the council tax banding of the property, (b) are one-off or repeated payments and (c) are paid by cheque or by council tax bill credit.

On the basis of the British Gas press release on 12 March, I understand that the average installation charge levied on householders participating in the British Gas council tax discount scheme for insulation measures is £250 for cavity wall insulation and £274 for full loft insulation.

The average payment to householders participating in the scheme for insulation measures across the 44 current participating local authorities in 2005-06 was between £50 and £100, averaging £61.

British Gas or the appropriate local authority can provide further information on the further details of the scheme.

Metals: Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to protect the trading interests of metal recycling companies from the requirements to disclose commercially confidential information under the revised Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations, to be introduced in July 2007. (127961)

[holding answer 20 March 2007]: The revised EC Waste Shipments Regulation (EC No. 1013/2006) introduces certain requirements for shipments of ‘Green List’ waste for recovery (recycling). These include an obligation on anyone shipping such waste to complete certain information on a form (Annex VII to the Regulation), and to ensure that this information accompanies the waste from the start of the shipment until it reaches its destination. The information on the form includes details of the producer of the waste and the broker or dealer involved in the shipment, when these are involved. This information is passed on to the facility receiving the waste when the waste is delivered.

The UK has raised with the European Commission the issue of the potential commercial confidentiality of some of the information on the form. The Commission is currently working to establish whether it is possible, while ensuring compliance with the legal requirements of the revised EC Waste Shipments Regulation (WSR), for any of the information that should accompany shipments of ‘Green List’ waste to be withheld or partially withheld.

My officials are in contact with representatives of the metal recycling companies in the UK about this issue and will keep them informed of developments.

Pesticides

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the objectives are of the Pesticides Safety Directorate’s voluntary pilot scheme underway in the Midlands on the disclosure of information on pesticides being sprayed; when it is expected to report; and if he will make a statement. (128416)

The objective of this pilot study is to run a small scale trial of a system for public disclosure of farmers’ spray records with a view to:

investigating the practicalities of handling ‘third party’ requests, including locating farms and identifying and contacting the individuals responsible for pesticide spraying in each case;

determining the probable level of public interest and hence establishing whether there is a significant need for Government to act in a ‘third party’ role if it is not feasible for members of the public to get this information directly from farmers;

determining the practical implications and estimating the likely cost of setting up and running a Government scheme on a national basis.

The study is expected to run from 1 March to 31 August 2007. There will then need to be a period of analysis which may include some follow-up survey work involving inquirers and farmers from the study area. Officials aim to report the outcome of the study to Ministers by the end of the year. Once Ministers have considered all the relevant information a decision will be made on the way forward and a public announcement will be made.

Transport

Aviation: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what responsibilities for aircraft safety are under the remit of the Civil Aviation Authority. (128798)

The CAA’s functions in relation to aircraft safety are the registration of aircraft, the safety of air navigation and aircraft (including airworthiness), the certification of operators of aircraft and the licensing of aircrews and aerodromes.

Car Sharing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many kilometres of high occupancy vehicle lanes have been built or designated since 1997. (125972)

A total of 4,715 lane kilometres of high occupancy vehicle lanes have been built or designated since 1997.

Departments: Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost to his Department was of the Act on CO2 website. (128591)

The cost of the design and production of the Department’s Act On CO2 micro-site was £110,270. The site is an integral part of the Act On CO2 campaign and all the advertising directs consumers to the site.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much his Department spent on its revised website launched in February 2007. (128593)

The new DFT website was launched on 26 January this year. A new Content Management System has been implemented and the project costs are £1.5 million.

These costs include accessibility and usability testing; design of a new information architecture based on user feedback and testing; development of a new visual design; the design and build of the system; migration of content; and the purchase of an enterprise software licence. The enterprise software licence allows the Department to migrate other DFT sites to the same Content Management System without incurring further licence costs. This will help to reduce hosting and maintenance costs across the Department.

Departments: Trade Unions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many meetings (a) he and (b) his Department’s Ministers held with trade union representatives in 2006. (128766)

Ministers and civil servants meet many people as part of the process of policy development and advice. It is not normal practice to disclose details of such meetings.

Driving Offences: Cellular Phones

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the number of (a) deaths, (b) serious incidents and (c) other accidents caused by persons driving while using hand-held mobile telephones in each police force area in 2006. (128889)

Gatwick Airport: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the Civil Aviation Authority’s decision to allow a fifth ground handler on the operation and safety of Gatwick Airport. (128800)

The responsibility for determining any limits on the number of companies permitted to provided ground handling services at a UK airport rests with the Civil Aviation Authority under the Airports (Groundhandling) Regulations 1997. The CAA’s assessment of the impact of revoking the limit on the number of ground handling service providers at Gatwick airport is set out in the CAA Official Record Series 2, number 1786, which was published on 20 February 2007.

In-flight Refuelling: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment his Department has made of the safety implications of increasing the amount of in-flight refuelling in the aviation industry. (129021)

In-flight refuelling is not undertaken within any UK public transport aircraft operation, and the Civil Aviation Authority is not aware of any such activity within the wider civil aviation community. The authority has not received any proposition for civil aircraft to engage in in-flight refuelling, and no safety assessment has been made.

Public Transport: Rural Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his policy is on improving public transport in rural areas; and if he will make a statement. (125973)

Local and central Government support for local bus services is now around £2½ billion a year. This total includes rural bus subsidy grant (RBSG) specifically to support rural bus services. Since RBSG's introduction in 1998, a total of over £440 million has now been allocated to authorities by means of this grant.

In addition, a total of £110 million has been awarded to authorities successful in rural bus challenge (RBC) competitions held from 1998 to 2003 to encourage innovative solutions to meeting rural transport needs. Many of the 300 projects initially supported by RBC funding are now continuing with mainstream funding from local authorities and other sources.

We have also changed the route registration rules to encourage flexibly routed, demand-responsive bus services and made these services eligible for bus service operators grant (BSOG) from the Department.

Our bus policy document ‘Putting Passengers First’, published in December, includes a range of proposals which we are now taking forward to improve bus and community transport services in rural and urban areas.

We have also implemented the community rail policy on many rural routes, particularly branch lines. In recent years, some lines have seen patronage increase by over 150 per cent. as community rail principles are implemented.

Roads: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road accidents resulting in (a) fatalities and (b) serious injury for (i) drivers, (ii) passengers and (iii) pedestrians there were in each police authority in each of the last five years. (128920)

Tables showing the number of reported personal injury road accidents resulting in (a) fatalities and (b) serious injury for (i) drivers/riders, (ii) passengers and (iii) pedestrians in Great Britain: 2001-05 (the latest year for which figures are available), broken down by police force, have been placed in the Libraries of the House.

Tolls: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) speeding fines, (b) London congestion charge fines and (c) parking fines were incurred by the Government Car and Despatch Agency in each year since 1997; what the value was of fines incurred in each category; and if he will make a statement. (126915)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) has paid the following fines:

Total parking fines (£)

Congestion charge fines (£)

1999-2000

2,610

n/a

2000-01

1,820

n/a

2001-02

2,760

n/a

2002-03

4,900

n/a

2003-04

7,570

n/a

2004-05

5,610

205.00

2005-06

7,470

350.00

n/a = Not applicable.

Figures prior to 1999 could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost.

The Agency has paid no speeding fines.

Parking restrictions within central London may make it impossible sometimes to deliver secure or sensitive documents to buildings or allow people with a high public profile to attend or leave buildings without putting themselves or secure documents at risk. In these cases, GCDA will pay the fine and recharge these costs to the customer as appropriate.

Tolls: Scotland

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions he has had with the Scottish Executive on ensuring that Scottish stakeholders participate in discussions on a national system of road pricing. (128345)

Department for Transport officials and I are working very closely with the Scottish Executive as proposals for local road pricing schemes are being developed and as we take forward the debate on national road pricing.

The Secretary of State met the Scottish Minister for Transport in October to discuss road pricing, and they have exchanged correspondence since.

The Scottish Executive have a standing invitation to the Department’s road pricing local liaison group through which we work with local authorities that are considering introducing local road pricing schemes.

Transport: Southern Region

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much funding the local transport authority in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk received (i) in total, (ii) per mile of road and (iii) per head of population in each year since 1997. (128015)

Tables 1 to 6 show the total local transport funding allocated to the aforementioned authorities for each year since 1997 (i) in total, (ii) per mile of road and (iii) per head of population.

Total local transport funding, as included in the tables, comprises

capital for the delivery of local transport plans (and for up to 1999-2000, the Transport Policies and Programmes submissions that preceded them), including for major local authority schemes, (which can vary substantially from year to year and between authorities);

specific grants to local authorities for bus services;

the Community Infrastructure Fund.

Bedfordshire

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Total Funding (£000)

3,692

3,513

5,045

4,660

9,229

11,262

10,468

9,918

10,645

10,850

Funds per mile (£000)

2.17

2.07

2.97

2.74

5.43

6.62

6.15

5.83

6.26

6.38

Funds (£ per head)

6.41

6.10

8.76

8.09

16.02

19.55

18.17

17.21

18.47

18.83

Cambridgeshire

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Total Funding (£000)

8,542

5,113

8,596

8,357

16,076

17,119

20,163

30,377

27,916

27110

Funds per mile (£000)

2.96

1.77

2.97

2.89

5.56

5.92

6.98

10.51

9.66

9.38

Funds (£ per head)

14.76

8.83

14.85

14.44

27.77

29.58

34.84

52.48

48.23

46.84

Essex

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Total Funding (£000)

6,615

6,474

10,116

13,510

35,878

36,674

28,953

29,544

35,685

36,441

Funds per mile (£000)

1.31

1.28

2.00

2.67

7.09

7.25

5.72

5.84

7.05

7.20

Funds (£ per head)

4.97

4.87

7.60

10.15

26.97

27.57

21.76

22.21

26.82

27.39

Hertfordshire

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Total Funding (£000)

6,550

5,035

7,382

10,837

23,237

26,705

24,564

41,035

36,120

28133

Funds per mile (£000)

2.16

1.66

2.44

3.58

7.67

8.82

8.11

13.55

11.92

9.29

Funds (£ per head)

6.29

4.84

7.09

10.41

22.32

25.65

23.59

39.41

34.69

27.02

Norfolk

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Total Funding (£000)

7,713

7,130

9,906

11,128

36,904

33,925

41,211

46,190

32,254

34,267

Funds per mile (£000)

1.24

1.14

1.59

1.79

5.92

5.44

6.61

7.41

5.17

5.50

Funds (£ per head)

9.45

8.73

12.13

13.63

45.20

41.55

50.47

56.57

39.50

41.97

Suffolk

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Total Funding (£000)

4,939

5,838

6,756

9,914

22,688

21,975

22,760

31,333

34,717

38,261

Funds per mile (£000)

1.16

1.37

1.59

2.33

5.34

5.18

5.36

7.38

8.18

9.01

Funds (£ per head)

7.22

8.54

9.88

14.50

33.18

32.14

33.29

45.83

50.78

55.96

The Government also support local transport authorities through the general revenue support grant, and councils spend some of this support on highways and transport services according to their own priorities.

Transport: Transpennine Corridor

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent estimate he has made of the levels of (a) road transport and (b) rail transport in the Transpennine corridor. (125776)

The current levels of road traffic on the Transpennine routes at their busiest sections taken from the 2005 Traffic Monitoring-Data Analysis Report are:

M62 Junction 25 (Huddersfield) and J27 (Leeds)—134,500 Annual Average Daily Traffic flow (17 per cent. of which is heavy goods vehicles)

A66—15,000 AADT (28 per cent. HGV)

A69—47,000 AADT (24 per cent. HGV)

M67/A628/A616 (at M67 Jet 0-1)—52,100 AADT (13 per cent. HGV).

The current level of rail traffic between Manchester and Leeds, using Huddersfield as a central measurement point, is an average of 104 trains in each direction on any weekday. Capacity on the core Leeds-Manchester section of the north Transpennine route was stepped up in December 2004 from three trains per hour to four trains per hour.

The current level of rail traffic between Manchester and Sheffield, using Edale as a central measurement point, is an average of 44 trains in each direction on any weekday.

West Coast Railway Line

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce a decision on the procurement of extra carriages for the Pendolino trains operating on the West Coast Main Line; and if he will make a statement. (129039)

Negotiations continue to take place with Virgin Trains and their partners over the provision of additional cars for the Pendolino trains. I cannot give any specific time scales at this stage.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps he is taking to assist in the procurement of extra carriages for the Pendolino trains operating on the West Coast Main Line; and if he will make a statement. (129040)

Officials from the Department for Transport are actively working with Virgin Trains and their partners over the commercial and operational issues relating to the provision of additional accommodation on the Pendolino trains.

Solicitor-General

Trooper Williams

To ask the Solicitor-General what the cost was of the (a) defence teams, (b) prosecution teams and (c) other costs related to the prosecution of Trooper Williams for alleged crimes in Iraq in 2005. (129154)

The total prosecution costs in this case were £28,195.24. I have been told by the Legal Services Commission that the total Crown court legal aid costs were £151,526. I am not aware of other costs. The costs of the investigation are not kept by my Department.

Culture, Media and Sport

Budget and Revenues Sub-Group

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will list attendees of the Budget and Revenues Sub-Group between February to July 2004. (127977)

The Budgets and Revenue Sub-Group included representatives from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, HM Treasury, the Greater London Authority (GLA), London 2012 Ltd., Government Office for London, the London Development Agency and the British Olympic Association.

Casino Advisory Panel

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what evidence the Casino Advisory Panel received on the economic multiplier effect of situating a regional casino licence (a) in a large city and (b) elsewhere. (128464)

[holding answer 19 March 2007]: In its call for proposals published on 31 January 2006, the Casino Advisory Panel asked all local authorities as part of their proposals to explain how and why they expected that the “multiplier effect” of the additional economic activity to be created by the proposal would outweigh the potential leakage of money from the local economy.

When relevant evidence was received it was taken into account by the panel and published on its website. The panel was also able to draw on its own extensive expertise in similar economic impact assessments.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will make the transcripts of the evidence in public sessions held by the Casino Advisory Panel available to the public. (128821)

Transcripts of the recordings made of all seven of the Casino Advisory Panel’s examinations in public are currently being prepared, and will be published shortly.

Gambling: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has held with the Responsibility in Gambling Trust on industry funding and the implications for a statutory levy under section 123 of the Gambling Act 2005. (128748)

My Department has met representatives of the gambling industry and the Responsibility in Gambling Trust on many occasions, and discussed industry contributions to problem gambling research, education and treatment. If more is needed, and not delivered by the industry, the Act has powers to impose a statutory levy. We will use those powers if necessary.

Gaming Clubs

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the differences are in (a) scale and (b) nature of operation between regional casinos, large casinos and small casinos under the 2005 legislation. (128847)

The following table sets out the scale and nature of the operation of the three new categories of casinos permitted under the Gambling Act 2005.

Type of casino

Small

Medium

Large

Minimum area (sq m)

750

1500

5000

Minimum number of gaming tables

1

1

40

Category of gaming machines permitted

Up to B1

Up to B1

Up to A

Maximum number of gaming machines

80

150

1250

Machine table ratio

2:1

5:1

25:1

Bingo permitted

no

yes

yes

Betting permitted

yes

yes

yes

Gaming Clubs: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she expects to publish the detail of her Department's consideration of (a) the Casino Advisory Panel's (CAP) report on the location of the new casinos and (b) the representations she has received about the CAP's recommendations. (128280)

I made clear in my statement to the House on 30 January that I wanted to take time to consider the panel's report carefully. The outcome of this period of consideration is reflected in the draft order which I laid in the House on 1 March. I have concluded that the panel has taken its terms of reference seriously, has applied them in a balanced and consistent way and has tested its results back against the original terms of reference. I am satisfied that the panel has arrived at robust recommendations as a result.

As required by the Gambling Act 2005,1 have consulted Scottish Ministers and the Welsh Assembly on the draft order, and they were content that the draft order should reflect the panel's recommendations in full.

On 20 February I met a delegation of Members and Peers who were sympathetic to Blackpool's proposal to the panel, and have received written representations from members of this group. The Department has also received around 270 letters from members of the public.

Leasehold

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 26 January 2007, Official Report, column 2057W, on departmental fixed assets, what the length of any lease outstanding on those properties was. (125694)

Pursuant to my answer to the hon. Member on 26 January 2007, Official Report, column 2057W, on departmental fixed assets, the length of any lease outstanding on those properties at the point of sale was as follows:

Years

30 Park Street

71

31 Park Street

71

32 Park Street

72

National Lottery: Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much Big Lottery funding went to (a) statutory and (b) voluntary organisations in each year since the Big Lottery Fund’s establishment; and how she expects the balance of funding for such organisations to be affected as a result of the 15 March 2007 decision to divert lottery funding to the London Olympics. (129156)

The Community Fund and the New Opportunities Fund were administratively merged on 1 June 2004 to create the Big Lottery Fund, which became a legal entity on 1 December 2006. Since 2004-05, the total annual Community Fund budget and approximately 40 per cent. of the New Opportunities Fund budget were allocated to the voluntary and community sector. From 2006-07, the Big Lottery Fund made a new undertaking to allocate 60-70 per cent. of its total budget to the voluntary and community sector. It will be reporting on its performance against this target in its annual report.

The Big Lottery Fund does not expect the balance of funding, on current commitments, between statutory and voluntary and community sector organisations to be affected following the statement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 15 March 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will break down by lottery distributor the money transferred from the Lottery to fund the Olympics. (129188)

We will, subject to parliamentary approval, transfer £1,085 million from non-Olympic lottery proceeds to the Olympic funding package. Of this, approximately £638 million will be transferred from the Big Lottery Fund. The remainder will be shared between 11 of the other 12 non-Olympic lottery distributors in proportion to their fixed shares of income from the lottery. However, no transfer will be made from UK Sport.

The amounts to be transferred from each non-Olympic distributor to make up this amount, rounded to the nearest £0.1 million, are detailed in the following table.

In addition, £750 million will be raised from Olympic lottery products and the five sports lottery distributors will distribute a further £340 million to maximise the benefit to British sport of hosting the games.

£ million

Arts Council England

112.5

UK Film Council

21.8

Arts Council of Northern Ireland

4.5

Scottish Arts Council

12.5

Scottish Screen

1.8

Arts Council of Wales

8.1

Big Lottery Fund

638.1

Heritage Lottery Fund

161.2

Sport England

99.9

Sports Council for Northern Ireland

4.1

SportScotland

13.1

Sports Council for Wales

7.3

UK Sport

0

Total

1,085

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how the Government intends (a) to define and (b) to audit and report on the pledge that the voluntary sector will get the same level of resources from the Big Lottery Fund that it would otherwise have received. (129191)

The Big Lottery Fund will monitor its undertaking that 60-70 per cent. of its funding up to 2009 will go to the Voluntary Sector Scheme (VCS). It will report on progress towards this undertaking in its annual report. Following wide consultation, the Big Lottery Fund uses the HM Treasury definition of the “third sector”, which encompasses voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, mutuals and co-operatives in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. In Wales it used the definition adopted by the VCS and the Welsh Assembly Government as part of the Voluntary Sector Scheme.

Olympic Games: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps have been taken to audit the (a) tender and (b) construction phase of the Olympic build; and what further steps are planned. (126277)

There is an established framework for internal auditing within the ODA. This covers all aspects of procurement from process to specific contract audits. The National Audit Office is also about to start its review, which will include the procurement process.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what assessment she has made of the adequacy of procedures in place to audit the (a) tender and (b) construction phase of the Olympics build. (126278)

The ODA has a thorough internal audit system in place. The internal audit programme is reviewed monthly by the ODA’s Audit Committee. Both the DCMS and the National Audit Office attend the Audit Committee as observers and are able to raise any matters of concern.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of the Olympic Park is owned by or under the control of (a) the Love Lea Valley Park Authority, (b) the Olympic Delivery Authority, (c) the London Development Agency and (d) other public bodies. (126569)

[holding answer 9 March 2007]: Ninety-three per cent. of the freehold of land required for the Olympic Park is now in public sector control.

This 93 per cent. represents approximately 290 hectares of the 312 hectares of land required for the development of the Olympic Park. The vast majority of this land is either owned by the LDA or controlled through a series of agreements with other public sector bodies such as the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. The 312 hectares also includes 87 hectares of land comprising the Stratford city development that is controlled by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA).

The remaining land required for the Olympic Park will be acquired through negotiation or using the LDA’s approved compulsory purchase powers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the date was of the Cabinet meeting at which the London 2012 Olympic Budget as it appeared in the London 2012 Candidate File was agreed. (128152)

Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet committees is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2007, Official Report, column 99W, on Olympic Games: Greater London, what the date was of the meeting at which the London 2012 Olympic Budget was agreed by the Government; and who attended that meeting. (128153)

Information relating to the proceedings of Cabinet committees, including when they meet, is generally not disclosed as to do so could harm the frankness and candour of internal discussion.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will assess the feasibility of holding the Olympic shooting events at Southern Counties Shooting at Evershot. (128352)

The Royal Artillery barracks at Woolwich were agreed as the venue for the shooting events after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) gave feedback to the London bid organisers on the venue portfolio submitted for London as an Applicant City in 2004. The Royal Artillery barracks are, therefore, part of the Host City Contract agreement with the IOC. There are currently no plans to move the Olympic shooting events to an alternative venue.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what meetings her Department (a) had before and (b) has had since the Olympic Games 2012 budget was submitted to the International Olympic Committee with representatives of the Metropolitan Police on security (i) provision and (ii) costs; and whether HM Treasury representatives (A) were invited to and (B) attended such meetings. (128385)

Before and after submission of the London 2012 bid, there have been various meetings involving representatives of my Department and the Metropolitan Police, both about the security planning and potential costs. Treasury representatives have been invited and involved where appropriate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will estimate the cost of (a) demolishing and (b) rebuilding facilities for shooting sports for the 2012 Olympic games; and if she will make a statement. (128506)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) on 12 March 2007, Official Report, column 62W.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what steps she is taking to ensure that the 2012 Olympic games leave a positive legacy for shooting sports in the UK. (128510)

The Government are working hard with the London 2012 Organising Committee and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to ensure a lasting legacy for all Olympic sports, including shooting, for London and the UK as a whole. The ODA and the Organising Committee venues team are looking carefully at the post-games uses of all proposed facilities being developed for the shooting competitions at Woolwich.

The biggest legacy that we aim to achieve for shooting, working with the National Governing Body and International Federation, is for more people to have experienced the sport in person. Hosting the games in the UK gives us a unique opportunity to open up Olympic and Paralympic sports to new audiences and thus increase interest and participation in them.

Public Houses: Music

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what research her Department has carried out relating to the provision of live music in pubs and clubs. (128328)

In 2004, DCMS published a baseline survey of live music staged in England and Wales. This looked at premises, including pubs and clubs, where live music performances typically take place in addition to the main business of the establishment. This research is available in the Library of the House and on the DCMS website:

<http://www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Publications/archive_2004/livemusic_in_england_wales.htm>.

A follow-up to this survey will take place later this year.

Separate research, focusing on the experience of smaller establishments in applying for live music licences under the new licensing regime, was published in 2006. This is available in the Library of the House and on the DCMS website:

www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Research/research_by_dcms/live_music_exec_summary.htm

In 2006, the DCMS also commissioned a study to look at the feasibility of investigating the economic impact of live music in local areas. The results will be published on the Department's website and will be placed in the Library of the House shortly.

In addition, the independent Live Music Forum has been monitoring the early effects of the Act on the live music sector. I look forward to receiving its report in the spring.

Public Libraries: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether the Government plan to reduce the number of public library service standards that local authorities must report. (129239)

The Public Library Service Standards are currently under review. Consideration of the number of indicators in the replacement model, which will have a discretionary base, continues. The new model will be in place by April 2008.

Sports: Schools

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on what basis cities were selected to host the UK School Games which she announced on 7 March 2007. (128368)

The criteria issued by the Millennium Commission for applications from bidders wishing to host the UK School Games in 2007-11 were deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 14 November.

This guidance specified that selection of the successful bids would be made by Ministers on the basis of those criteria and the recommendations of the assessors. Following the winding up of the Millennium Commission on 30 November 2006, its responsibilities were transferred to the Big Lottery Fund.

Television: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what powers are available to (a) Ofcom and (b) the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services to take action against broadcasters found to have misled the public over their use of premium-rate phone-in lines. (129116)

Ofcom has a range of statutory sanctions that it may impose on broadcasters found in serious breach of its broadcasting code. Depending on the severity of the breach, these can include a direction to broadcast a summary of Ofcom’s adjudication, a financial penalty and, in the most serious of cases, the shortening or revocation of a licence. ICSTIS also has a range of powers to take action against premium rate service (PRS) providers found in serious breach of the ICSTIS code. These include the power to fine PRS providers up to £250,000, barring access to individual services and banning named individuals from operating services for set periods.

Terrorism: Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether it is intended that the charitable fund to help British citizens affected by terrorism abroad will cover the spouses of British service personnel killed by terrorist action. (128815)

Service personnel and their spouses currently receive compensation from the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, which offers financial support for personnel who have been killed or injured in the line of duty. Spouses of those who died in service are also entitled to receive payments from the Armed Forces Pension Scheme.

The charitable fund is primarily intended to assist UK residents who are travelling overseas or on holiday. Applications would not normally be accepted from victims who are in an affected area as part of their employment and for whom assistance packages are already in place.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when further details will be announced concerning the charitable fund to help British citizens affected by terrorism abroad that was announced in the March 2006 budget. (128816)

We will be announcing further details of the charitable fund for British victims of overseas terrorism shortly.

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what funding has been allocated to the Tackling Underage Sales of Alcohol campaign to be launched in May. (128217)

Total funding available for allocation to the Tackling Underage Sales of Alcohol Campaign is £1.2 million. Police basic command units that intend to participate (in partnership with Trading Standards) must complete a bid form to be entitled to funding, payable on proof of completion of the operations undertaken.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what performance measures he plans to use to assess the Tackling Underage Sales of Alcohol campaign. (128218)

The Tackling Underage Sales of Alcohol campaign is likely to result in the issuing of penalty notices for disorder and additionally licence reviews and prosecutions for the illegal sale of alcohol to minors. Details of these will be recorded and analysed centrally. Informal qualitative feedback will also be considered. Test purchase failure rates will not be used as an overall generic indicator of performance, as the campaign specifically aims to target problem premises, selected at the discretion of local enforcement agencies. Local police commanders and partnerships will use the results of the activity to focus their efforts and resources on key local hot spots.

Antisocial Behaviour

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 28 February 2007, Official Report, column 1351W, on anti-social behaviour; what criteria the Government plan to use to determine whether an area is eligible for respect zone funding. (128663)

(2) how much has been allocated to respect zones for 2006-07; and how much each participating Government Department contributed towards such funding.

Respect Areas were confirmed on 22 January 2007. The only additional funding which is currently available in return for securing Respect Area status, is access to up to £125,000 from the Department for Education and Skills to help improve parenting programmes linked to tackling antisocial behaviour. This funding is available for 2007-08 only.

Respect Areas have been identified from a longer list of 77 areas with significant challenges, based on an index of data covering rates of deprivation, public perceptions of antisocial behaviour, teenage pregnancy, truancy and use of antisocial behaviour orders. The 40 Respect Areas have been identified as having a track record in taking action to tackle antisocial behaviour and have demonstrated a commitment and capacity to do more.

Antisocial Behaviour Orders: Custodial Treatment

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many breaches of antisocial behaviour orders occurred in 2006; and how many of these ended in custodial detention. (122462)

[holding answer 22 February 2007]: ASBO breach data are currently available up to 31 December 2005 only. Data for 2006 are expected to be available later this year.

Asylum

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what his estimate is of the number of failed asylum seekers (a) living in the UK and (b) who were living in the UK in each of the last five years. (124070)

[holding answer 28 February 2007]: As the Home Secretary set out in his evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 23 May 2006, no Government have been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who are in the country illegally, and that remains the case.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time was between final refusal and deportation for asylum seekers who exhausted all avenues of appeal in the latest period for which figures are available. (110846)

Since the abolition of embarkation controls in 1994 we cannot assess with any certainty the numbers of people who remain in the UK. In this context it is very difficult to provide an accurate average time it may take to remove those who have no right to remain here.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many asylum seekers his Department has recorded as missing from their last registered address in each of the last five years. (111220)

The information could be provided only by individual examination of case records and the cost of obtaining it would therefore be disproportionate.

Asylum: Deportation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department to which countries failed asylum seekers were returned in 2006; and how many were returned in each case. (124854)

The following table shows provisional figures rounded to the nearest five of persons who had claimed asylum at some stage who were removed from the United Kingdom in 2006, by destination.

Information on asylum removals, including and excluding dependants, is published quarterly and annually. Copies of these publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office's Research, Development and Statistics website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

Removals and voluntary departures1 of asylumapplicants, by destination, 20062,3

Of whom:

Destination4

Total asylum seekers removed

Principle asylum applicants

Dependants of asylum applicants

Albania

1,345

1,250

95

Macedonia

25

20

5

Moldova

55

45

5

Romania

380

245

135

Russia

110

75

35

Serbia and Montenegro

855

770

85

Turkey

1,695

1,590

105

Ukraine

105

90

20

EU Accession States

175

165

10

Other Former USSR

220

175

45

Europe other

2,035

1,885

150

Europe total

7,005

6,310

690

Colombia

210

170

40

Ecuador

100

70

30

Jamaica

430

365

65

Americas other

200

145

55

Americas total

940

750

190

Algeria

300

210

90

Angola

125

95

30

Burundi

10

5

*

Cameroon

45

40

*

Congo

65

60

10

Democratic Republic of Congo

115

105

10

Eritrea

*

*

.

Ethiopia

85

80

5

Gambia

70

70

*

Ghana

170

155

15

Ivory Coast

35

30

5

Kenya

135

120

15

Liberia

20

15

5

Nigeria

690

635

55

Rwanda

15

15

*

Sierra Leone

90

90

5

Somalia

45

40

5

Sudan

75

75

*

Tanzania

60

50

10

Uganda

230

220

15

Zimbabwe

270

220

50

Africa other

325

265

60

Africa total

2,980

2,590

385

Iran

475

420

55

Iraq

1,775

1,725

50

Libya

45

35

15

Syria

55

40

15

Middle East other

330

250

80

Middle East total

2,680

2,470

210

Afghanistan

970

965

5

Bangladesh

250

240

10

China

270

270

5

India

550

510

40

Pakistan

1,190

870

320

Sri Lanka

695

655

40

Vietnam

140

130

10

Asia other

475

410

65

Asia total

4,540

4,045

495

Nationality not known/other

90

80

10

Grand total

18,235

16,250

1,985

1 Includes persons departing ‘voluntarily’ after enforcement action had been initiated against them, persons leaving under the Assisted Voluntary Return Programme run by the International Organisation for Migration, and those who it is established have left the UK without informing the immigration authorities.

2 Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5 with * = 1 or 2. Data may not sum due to rounding.

3. Provisional figures

4 Destination data as recorded on source database.

Azal Mohammed Ibrahim

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will take steps to deport Mr. Azal Mohammed Ibrahim, an Iraqi Kurd convicted of causing the death of a child by careless driving. (125472)

British Nationality

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people living in the United Kingdom were not UK citizens in each of the last five years. (124069)

[holding answer 28 February 2007]: The requested information is not available.

However, the labour force survey has been used to estimate take-up rates of British citizenship and these entail some estimates of the number of non-British citizens in the UK; these are published in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin “Persons Granted British Citizenship United Kingdom, 2005”, which may be obtained from the Library of the House and from the Home Office website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html

Burglary: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many people were convicted of (a) domestic burglary and (b) drug offences in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the north-east and (iv) England and Wales in each year since 1997; (126303)

(2) how many people were convicted of serious violent crime offences in (a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) England and Wales in each year since 1997;

(3) how many people were convicted of violent crime offences in (a) the Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the north-east and (d) England and Wales in each year since 1997.

Data from the court proceedings database held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform for the number of people convicted at all courts of burglary, drug, and violent crime offences in South Tyneside, the north-east and England and Wales, 2001 to 2005 can be found in the table.

From the court proceedings database it is not possible to identify those offenders in the Jarrow constituency, as the data are not collected at this level of detail.

Number of persons convicted in the North East region for certain offence types, 1997 to 20051, 2

North East

Offence type

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Violent crime3

2,929

3,145

3,104

2,885

2,993

3,109

2,968

2,908

3,107

Serious violent crime4

830

817

734

562

500

557

534

491

472

Burglary in a dwelling and aggravated burglary in a dwelling5

1,474

1,423

1,307

1,004

1,091

1,206

1,007

790

776

Drug offences

1,526

2,194

2,528

2,773

3,340

3,624

3,816

2,687

2,759

Total

6,759

7,579

7,673

7,224

7,924

8,496

8,325

6,876

7,114

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

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 inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Violent crime includes violence against the person, sexual offences and robbery.

4 Serious violent crime includes: murder, attempted murder, threat or conspiracy to murder, manslaughter, infanticide, causing death by dangerous driving, manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, causing death by dangerous driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, causing death by aggravated vehicle taking, wounding or other act endangering life, and endangering railway passengers.

5 Domestic burglary: burglary in a dwelling and aggravated burglary in a dwelling (including attempts).

Source:

RDS Office for Criminal Justice Reform

Number of persons convicted in England and Wales for certain offence types, 1997 to 20051, 2, 3

England and Wales

Offence type

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Violent crime4

44,674

47,159

45,630

45,104

46,163

49,803

49,694

51,415

52,820

Serious violent crime5

8771

8271

7729

7138

7178

7566

7013

6911

6510

Burglary in a dwelling and aggravated burglary in a dwelling6

17,870

17,306

16,387

14,471

13,684

14,622

14,540

13,503

12,820

Drug offences

40,666

48,821

48,711

44,621

45,621

49,036

51,162

39,197

39,090

Total

111,981

121,557

118/157

111,334

112,646

121,027

122,409

111,026

111,240

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

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 inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

3 Staffordshire police force were only able to supply a sample of data for magistrates courts proceedings covering one full week in each quarter for 2000. Estimates based on this sample are included in the figures, as they are considered sufficiently robust at this high level of analysis.

4 Violent crime includes violence against the person, sexual offences and robbery.

5 Serious violent crime includes: murder, attempted murder, threat or conspiracy to murder, manslaughter, infanticide, causing death by dangerous driving, manslaughter due to diminished responsibility, causing death by dangerous driving when under the influence of drink or drugs, causing death by aggravated vehicle taking, wounding or other act endangering life, and endangering railway passengers.

6 Domestic burglary: burglary in a dwelling and aggravated burglary in a dwelling (including attempts).

Source:

RDS Office for Criminal Justice Reform

Departments: Appeals

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many independent bodies existed to hear appeals on decisions made by his Department and its executive agencies in (a) 1997-98, (b) 2001-02 and (c) 2005-06; and how many there have been in 2006-07 to date. (121666)

The following independent bodies existed to hear appeals on decisions made by the Home Office or its executive agencies:

(a) in 1997-98, four:

(i) immigration adjudicators under the Immigration Appeals Act 1969

(ii) the Immigration Appeals Tribunal under the Immigration Appeals Act 1969

(iii) the Policy and Advisory Board for Forensic Pathology in relation to disciplinary proceedings against forensic pathologists on the Home Office register

(iv) persons appointed to hear representations against proposed decisions in relation to licences under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986

(b) in 2001-02, eight:

(i)-(iv) the four bodies mentioned above

(v) the Special Immigration Appeals Commission under the Special Immigration Appeals Commission Act 1997

(vi) Asylum Support Adjudicators under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

(vii) the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission under the Terrorism Act 2000

(viii) the Pathogens Access Appeal Commission, set up under the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001

(c) in 2005-06, seven:

(i) the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal under the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants etc) Act 2004

(ii) the Appeals Panel of the Home Office Forensic Pathology Council

(iii)-(vii) the five bodies mentioned at (iv) to (viii) above

(d) in 2006-07, the seven bodies mentioned under (c) above.

Departments: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many members of staff awarded special bonus scheme bonuses since 2003-04 worked on (a) foreign prisoner release, (b) prison building, (c) updating data from foreign police records, (d) identity card assessments, (e) the sex offenders' register and (f) police force mergers. (121397)

The information requested is not available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Deportation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of time was between (a) tribunal rejection of applications to remain by asylum seekers and (b) rejection of human rights appeals and deportation or departure. (118291)

Since the abolition of embarkation controls in 1994 we cannot assess with any certainty the numbers of people who remain in the UK. In this context it is very difficult to provide an accurate average time it may take to remove those who have no right to remain here.

Entry Clearances

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when George Barango, Ref: B401610, a constituent of the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Ladywood, will receive a notice of decision on his application made on 8 October 1999. (124764)

The Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to my hon. Friend on 6 March 2007 with the information requested.

Fraud: Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the procedure is for reporting cases of suspected fraudulent sales on the internet; how many investigations have taken place into allegations of such fraud; how many prosecutions in which all proceedings are complete have taken place; and what the outcome was of such prosecutions. (128733)

The National Crime Recording Standard (NCRS) and Home Office Counting Rules (HOCR) govern the recording of crime in England and Wales. These are publicly available documents and can be found at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/countrules.html

The police deal with reports of incidents in accordance with the General Principles of NCRS which state:

“All reports of incidents, whether from victims, witnesses or third parties and whether crime related or not, will result in the registration of an incident report by police”.

Following the initial registration, an incident will be recorded as a crime (Notifiable offence) if, on the balance of probability:

(a) the circumstances as reported amount to a crime defined by law (the police will determine this, based on their knowledge of the law and counting rules), and (b) there is no credible evidence to the contrary.

Once recorded, a crime would remain recorded unless there was additional verifiable information to disprove that a crime had occurred.”

The Counting Rules also include specific instructions that relate to the recording of crime in connection with goods ordered over the internet which are as follows:

Location of crime: Goods ordered over the internet:

If goods ordered over the internet (or by phone, mail etc.) do not arrive due to a fraudulent operation, then the following rules apply in order of priority:

If the location of the suspect(s) is either unknown or outside England and Wales, then the crime should be recorded in the force/BCD in whose area the victim is located when they place the order.

If the location of the suspect(s) becomes known and is within England and Wales, then record in the force/BCU area covering that location.

If payment is made electronically then the venue will be the address of the account holder into which the money is transferred or if no address then the address of the bank, provided this is not at headquarters or the site of a computer server.

With regard to the number of investigations, prosecutions and outcomes of frauds directly relating to the internet, this information is not available centrally.

Immigrants: Somalia

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many Somali nationals have been returned to Somalia from the UK over the last two years, broken down by (a) those who voluntarily returned to Somalia and (b) those who were forcibly removed to Somalia; (119890)

(2) what estimate he has made of the number of Somali nationals in the UK who do not have leave to remain.

No estimate has been made regarding the number of Somali nationals in the UK who have no leave to remain. As the Home Secretary set out in his evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on 23 May 2006, no Government have been able to produce an accurate figure for the number of people who are in the country illegally, and that remains the case.

The following table shows the number of Somali nationals removed from the UK in 2004 and 2005, broken down by type of applicant and type of removal.

The information provided comes from published statistics. Information on removals in 2006 will be published in the summer on the Home Office's research development and statistics website at:

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/immigration1.html.

Removals, voluntary departures and assisted returns1, 2 of Somalia to Somalia, 2004-053, 4

Number of persons

2004

2005

Total

Total persons removed1, 2

30

20

55

Of whom:

Principal asylum applicants5

25

15

40

Dependants of asylum applicants

5

5

15

Non-asylum cases

*

*

Persons removed and voluntary departures6, 7

15

5

20

Of whom:

Principal asylum applicants5

10

5

15

Dependants of asylum applicants

*

*

Non-asylum cases

*

*

Persons leaving under assisted voluntary return programmes8

15

15

35

Of whom:

Principal asylum applicants5

10

10

20

Dependants of asylum applicants

5

5

10

Non-asylum cases9

1 Includes enforced removals, persons departing ‘voluntarily’ after enforcement action had been initiated against them, persons leaving under assisted voluntary return programmes run by the International Organization for Migration and in 2005 those who it is established have left the UK without informing authorities.

2 Includes cases dealt with at juxtaposed controls.

3 Figures rounded to the nearest five, with — = 0, * = 1 or 2, and may not sum due to rounding.

4 Provisional figures.

5 Persons who had sought asylum at some stage, excluding dependants.

6 Includes persons departing ‘voluntarily’ after enforcement action had been initiated against them and in 2005 those who it is established have left the UK without informing the immigration authorities.

7 Excludes assisted voluntary returns.

8 Persons leaving under assisted voluntary return programmes run by the International Organization for Migration. May include some cases where enforcement action has been initiated.

9 Persons leaving under the assisted voluntary return for irregular migrants programme run by the International Organisation for Migration. May include some on-entry cases and some cases where enforcement action has been initiated. Removals under this scheme began in December 2004.

Immigration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many immigration officers are stationed permanently at the port of Holyhead. (125902)

[holding answer 7 March 2007]: All ferry services to Holyhead are from within the Common Travel Area. Controls are operated on an intelligence-led basis.

Immigration Detention

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on how many days between 10 December 2006 and 10 January 2007 the male immigration detention estate in London was unable to admit new entrants; and if he will make a statement. (116163)

I am advised that during the period from 10 December 2006 to 10 January 2007, admission has been possible within the London male immigration detention estate. Harmondsworth, Colnbrook and Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centres).

Passports: Interviews

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the speech of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department in the Adjournment debate of 12 March 2007, Official Report, columns 131-4, on passport interview centres, what consultations he has undertaken with stakeholders from (a) Somerset and (b) Taunton in deciding the location of remote interview facilities for passport application interviews. (128871)

Consultation on the proposed location of passport remote interview facilities in sparsely populated parts of the UK, as defined by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), was undertaken with local and regional bodies in those areas. Somerset is not defined as a sparsely populated area in this context.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the speech of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department in the Adjournment debate of 12 March 2007, Official Report, columns 131-4, on passport interview centres, when the interview centres in (a) Barnstaple, (b) Bristol, (c) Exeter and (d) Yeovil will be fully operational; and for how many days per week each will be open. (128872)

The requirement to attend an interview will be introduced gradually, starting with interviews in a limited number of interview offices in the next few months, with further offices being added progressively through to the end of 2007.

The number of days per week each interview office will open are:

Interview centre

Number of days

(a) Barnstable

2

(b) Bristol

5

(c) Exeter

3

(d) Yeovil

3

Police: Vetting

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average time taken by the police force in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire, (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk was to respond to inquiries from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) as part of routine CRB checks in each year since 1997. (127870)

The following table illustrates the average number of days taken by the police forces in (a) Suffolk, (b) Bedfordshire (c) Cambridgeshire, (d) Essex, (e) Hertfordshire and (f) Norfolk to conduct checks against their local intelligence systems between the launch of the CRB disclosure service on 11 March 2002 and the end of February 2007.

Average turnaround times

Financial year

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Bedfordshire

2.1

1.9

4.9

2.5

3.7

Cambridgeshire

14.1

13.0

18.9

16.2

18.6

Essex

9.6

12.0

20.4

8.5

14.3

Hertfordshire

5.0

5.2

14.9

13.8

14.4

Norfolk

3.5

7.1

8.0

18.5

29.8

Suffolk

14.8

11.8

12.3

14.4

11.2

A revised service level agreement (SLA) came into effect in April 2006 between the CRB and the 43 police forces of England and Wales. This new agreement, which was agreed by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) places an additional focus on delivery and the responsibility of Chief Officers and ACPO to ensure that the obligations within the SLA are met. Monthly performance figures since April 2006 are now published on the CRB website at:

www.crb.gov.uk

Robbery: Cash Dispensing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were attacked while replenishing cash machines in 2007; and if he will make a statement. (128235)

These statistics are not collected centrally.

The Government recognise the seriousness of Cash and Valuables in Transit (CVIT) robbery and the impact these attacks have on both victims and witnesses. We are therefore working with stakeholders to establish a Government and cross-industry response to the problem.

Sherhan Yildrim

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the circumstances were of the release from prison of Mr. Sherhan Yildrim. (123684)

Work and Pensions

Businesses: Orders and Regulations

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the (a) one-off cost and (b) recurring costs of implementing the (i) Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and (ii) Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 to (A) businesses and (B) the regulators. (126646)

The information is as follows.

(i) The total costs of implementing the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 in the first year were estimated to be between £117.0 million and £202.6 million. Costs were estimated, in present value terms, to be between £477.6 million and £676.3 million over the first 10 years. Costs were estimated to be £1.13 billion to £1.94 billion over 40 years, in present value terms1.

The additional costs to health and safety regulators were not considered to be substantial. There were pre-existing regulations, implemented in 1989, and ensuring compliance with the new requirements would be subsumed into current inspection activities.

(ii) The first year costs of implementing the Control of Vibration at Work Regulations 2005 were estimated to be between £201 million and £358 million. Over the first 10 years, total costs were estimated, in present value terms, to be between £2,377 million and £4,300 million.

The initial costs to regulators were estimated to be around £65,000 for training inspectors (mainly HSE) and around £300,000 for conducting research into whole-body vibration exposures to assist industry by producing generic risk assessments for machines expected to cause higher exposures2.

Enforcing the regulations is unlikely to increase costs because enforcement action will be absorbed as part of the full range of inspection duties carried out by inspectors.

The information in this reply was drawn from the final regulatory impact assessment for the legislation that is available in the Library or on the HSE website at

http://www.hse.gov.uk/ria/index.htm.

The Government and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) are committed to meeting the Better Regulation challenge. The HSE is constantly reviewing what can be done better to ensure that people are protected at work while avoiding unnecessary burdens on business.

1 All costs are calculated in 2000-01 prices.

2 All costs are calculated in 2001-02 prices.

Carers: Learning Disability

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what Government-funded support is available for carers of people with profound and multiple learning difficulties. (127939)

Depending on their personal circumstances, carers have access to the full range of social security benefits, including carer’s allowance. To qualify for carer’s allowance, carers must satisfy a number of eligibility conditions, and the person for whom they provide care has to be receiving either the middle or highest rate care component of the disability living allowance, or attendance allowance.

Departmental Websites

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many user visits were recorded on the National Pensions Debate website in each month in 2006. (118771)

Activity throughout the national pension debate site from January 2006 to May 2006 resulted in 56,648 visits and 23,888 unique visitors.

Activity throughout the pension reform site from June to December 2006 resulted in 187,787 visits and 69,215 unique visitors.

The site received the following visits and unique visitors in each month in 2006.

Activity

Period

Visits

Unique visitors

www.dwp.gov.uk/pensionsreform/debate/1

January 2006

6,251

3,077

February 2006

7,508

3,658

March 2006

21,632

9,606

April 2006

8,456

3,763

May 2006

12,801

6,903

www.dwp.gov.uk/pensionsreform2

June 2006

22,675

11,017

July 2006

17,104

7,588

August 2006

21,779

9,042

September 2006

29,418

14,528

October 2006

30,516

13,906

November 2006

33,032

14,537

December 2006

33,263

12,906

1 The content of the national pensions debate site was restructured in June 2006. Background information was retained but main information was absorbed into the pension reform site.

2 To reflect change in site structure figures provided from June 2006, show visits to the pensions reform site.

Notes:

Visits—Number of times a visitor or visitors came to the site. Each visit is recorded separately for every visit more than thirty minutes apart.

Unique Visitors—Individuals who visited your site during the report period. If someone visits more than once, they are counted only the first time they visit

Departments: Renewable Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 8 February 2007, Official Report, column 1216W, on renewable energy, what plans he has to increase the amount of energy from renewable sources used by his Department. (127120)

The Department for Work and Pensions currently sources 53.5 per cent. of its total electricity from renewable sources. This is in excess of the original Government target to source 10 per cent. of electricity from renewable sources by 31 March 2008, which remains mandated within the new targets for Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate.

The Department’s estate partner Land Securities Trillium is required to source electricity using competitive tender. Bids are sought on the basis of maintaining current supplies for the Department, which ensures that the Department maintains its own performance while not compromising the ability of the market to supply to others.

In order to increase the volume of renewable energy available, the Department in partnership with Land Securities Trillium is exploring the potential for on-site renewable generation. There are a number of projects where this may be feasible and scoping work is under way. The Department’s annual Sustainable Development reports will provide details of progress.

Departments: Trade Unions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many meetings (a) he and (b) his Department's Ministers held with trade union representatives in 2006. (128764)

Ministers and civil servants meet many people as part of the process of policy development and advice. It is not normal practice to disclose details of such meeting.

Departments: Work Permits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many work permits were applied for by his Department and its agencies in each of the last five years. (127709)

This information is not collated in this Department and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Disability Living Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his estimate is of the cost to public funds of removing the age cut-off from eligibility for mobility allowance; and if he will make a statement. (128017)

The requested information is not available. Entitlement to the mobility component of disability living allowance can only be established when a claim is made and the actual mobility needs of the individual are assessed. There are no reliable data available on which estimates could be made of extending entitlement to the mobility component of disability living allowance beyond the age of 65 if people were to make a claim.

Financial Assistance Scheme: EC Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many individuals have been excluded from the Financial Assistance Scheme on the basis of their age; what assessment his Department’s legal advisers have made of the extent to which this policy complies with European Union law; and if he will make a statement. (121446)

We estimate that around 50-55,000 members are more than 15 years from scheme pension age and therefore do not qualify for assistance.

We consider that European Directive 2000/78, which includes non-discrimination on grounds of age, does not apply to FAS.

The Government are carefully studying the ruling by the European Court of Justice of 25 January 2007 relating to Article 8 of the European Directive 80/987/EEC, and in so doing we will have in mind compliance with community law generally.

Full Employment Agency: Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the (a) set-up and (b) annual running costs of the new Full Employment Agency in Scotland. (120312)