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Written Answers

Volume 458: debated on Monday 26 March 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 26 March 2007

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Coastal Areas: Rights of Way

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government’s proposals for greater public access to the coast; and when he plans to undertake a public consultation on the issue. (128680)

The Government received Natural England’s report on 28 February in which they recommended that the Government should introduce new legislation to enable Natural England to align a “coastal access corridor” around the whole coast that people could enjoy with confidence and certainty. We are considering Natural England’s advice and intend to issue a public consultation document in the spring.

Common Agricultural Policy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the UK’s budget for the Common Agricultural Policy was paid to farmers; and if he will make a statement. (129478)

[holding answer 23 March 2007]: Total ‘Farm-based scheme’ expenditure, as reflected in the Rural Payment Agency’s (RPA) 2005-06 Resource Account, amounted to £2,293,579,000. Total ‘Trader-based’ expenditure amounted to £313,664,000.

The percentage of farm-based expenditure is, therefore, 87.97 per cent.1.

These figures are accruals-based and cover England only.

1Sourced from Notes 5,6 and 7 of RPA’s 2005-06 Resource Account.

Docking of Working Dogs Tails (England) Regulations 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why the draft Docking of Working Dogs' Tails (England) Regulations 2007 were withdrawn. (129281)

The draft Docking of Working Dogs' Tails (England) Regulations 2007 were not withdrawn.

The regulations were debated in Grand Committee of the House of Lords on 7 March (Hansard ref. GC13-GC20). An objection was raised on the regulations during the debate, which meant that the formal motion to consider the regulations was withdrawn. A new motion referring the regulations for debate on the Floor of the House was subsequently tabled. A debate on the Floor of the House has been arranged for Tuesday 27 March.

My noble Friend Lord Rooker and my officials have had constructive informal dialogue with peers since the debate on 7 March.

The regulations are expected to come into force on 6 April, at the same time as the main provisions of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Energy Protection: Lighting

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely environmental benefits of banning the sale of energy inefficient, incandescent light bulbs. (127198)

Our current assessment is that, by removing incandescent light bulbs from the UK market and encouraging sales of the most efficient alternatives, we could avoid up to 1.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year by 2011.

We welcome the European Commission’s intention to work introduce regulatory measures relating to domestic lighting by 2010, with a phase out over the following years, but, as recently announced by the Chancellor, we will take voluntary action in the UK in advance of this. To this end, we will work with retailers and manufacturers to phase out inefficient light bulbs in the UK between 2008 and 2011.

Genetically Modified Organisms: Potatoes

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what studies his Department has (a) carried out and (b) supported on the health impact on farm animals of feeding them the by-products of the starched-altered GM potato EHG92-527-1. (128151)

My Department has not commissioned or supported any studies on the health impacts on farm animals of feeding with by-products of GM potato EH92-527-1. An application for EU marketing consent to cover this proposed use has been made under the GM food and feed regulation 1829/2003. Within the UK this is the responsibility of the Food Standards Agency.

Institute for Public Policy Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding the Environment Agency provided to (a) the IPPR and (b) IPPR Trading Ltd in each year since May 1997; and for what purpose funding was provided. (124213)

The Environment Agency is required to keep finance records only for six years.

The value of payments made by the Environment Agency (EA) to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) or IPPR Trading Limited in each year since 2002 (excluding VAT) was as follows. For all items over £200, the Environment Agency has identified the purpose of the payment.

Year

Purpose of payment

Amount (£)

2002

n/a

200

2003

Report on sustainable development

5,000

2004

Sustainable development event

5,000

2005

Report on water efficiency

5,000

20051

Environmental behaviour change debate

2,000

2006

Supporting low carbon economy debate

5,000

20061

Environmental debate

2,500

1 The EA holds events either jointly or on its own to debate environmental issues on the fringes of each of the three main party political conferences. These invoices reflect such events.

Seals: Shetland Islands

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the reasons for recent trends in the population of common seals in the Shetland Islands. (129279)

House of Commons Commission

Air Pollution

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what the annual absolute carbon emissions of the parliamentary estate were in each of the last five years. (120553)

The annual absolute carbon emissions of the House of Commons estate in each of the last three years from gas and electricity are in the following table.

Absolute carbon emissions in tonnes

Gas

Electricity

Total

2003-04

1,158.9

2,257.6

3,416.5

2004-05

1,078.8

2,270.3

3,349.0

2005-06

1,163.1

2,302.7

3,465.8

Gas consumption reduced in 2004-05 and then increased in 2005-06; due to fluctuations in heating energy consumption caused by variations in outside temperatures measured in degree days. The following table shows the degree days for the Thames Valley region which includes London. From these figures a higher emission would have been expected in 2005-06. That it was not so is due to the installation of more efficient Palace boilers in 2004.

Degree Days

Number

2003-04

1,740

2004-05

1,703

2005-06

1,869

The steady increase in carbon emissions from electricity was due to an increase in electricity consumption in the Palace and 7 Millbank. This was due mainly to the installation and usage of more air conditioning units.

The figures have been calculated from gas and electricity invoices and not meter readings taken by estate staff, but estimated invoices were amended using actual meter readings where possible. Natural gas invoices list several multiplying factors used to calculate each month's consumption and the existing monitoring and targeting system used on the parliamentary estate, based on staff meter readings, is not as sophisticated and therefore not as accurate.

The figures for the years 2001-02 and 2002-03 have not been calculated since the energy invoices for those two years are not readily available.

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what estimate the House authorities have made of the volume of (a) carbon dioxide, (b) methane, (c) perfluorocarbons, (d) nitrous oxide and (e) carbon equivalent released by the incineration of waste from the House of Commons estate when calculating the estate's carbon footprint.

Nick Harvey [pursuant to the reply, 21 March 2007, Official Report, c. 907W]: I regret that my previous answer was not published in full. The complete answer is set out as follows:

Only residual waste after recycling has taken place is sent for incineration with energy recovery. In 2006 residual waste collected from the parliamentary estate amounted to 1,299 tonnes. This material was combusted at an energy recovery facility regulated by the Environment Agency, generating 725,000 kilowatt hours of electricity. The recovered energy is classed as renewable energy by the UK Government, in line with directive 2001/77/EC on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable energy sources in the internal electricity market.

Recovering energy from waste is acknowledged in the Stern Review as an effective weapon in combating climate change, displacing carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power generation sources.

The carbon footprint associated with the combustion of this waste is made up of a number of components:

(1) Direct emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), expressed as carbon equivalents

(2) "Avoided" emissions of GHG (that is, emissions displaced from an equivalent amount of fossil fuel power generating capacity)

(3) GHG emissions (additional or saved) from waste transportation

(4) Net GHG emissions, taking account of direct, avoided and transport-related emissions.

Direct emissions of GHG

GHG emissions from waste combustion are calculated in two steps. First, an estimate is made of the percentage of fossil and non-fossil carbon in the waste. Second, the emissions from the combustion of the fossil carbon within the waste are calculated. Emissions of non-fossil carbon do not contribute to global warming and are therefore not taken into account.

Methane is not produced in combustion plants. The remaining greenhouse gases are released in trace quantities relative to emissions of carbon dioxide. Because their concentrations in the emission gases vary according to the composition of the waste, the total GHG effect expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (Teq) is estimated using emission factors developed by Defra, based on measured emissions averaged across UK energy recovery facilities.

Direct GHG emissions following the combustion of residual waste from parliamentary estates amounts to 415 Teq, of which 295 Teq is carbon dioxide.

“Avoided” emissions of GHG

Combustion of parliamentary estates waste in an energy recovery facility also results in avoided carbon dioxide emissions. The electricity produced by the facility displaces electricity that would otherwise be provided by an electricity utility power plant. Because most utility power plants burn fossil fuels and thus emit carbon dioxide, the electricity produced by waste combustion reduces utility carbon dioxide emissions. These avoided GHG emissions must be subtracted from the GHG emissions associated with combustion of the waste.

The convention is to assume that the electricity displaced arises from so-called “marginal” power generators, which in the UK is assumed to be gas-fired power stations. As with direct GHG emissions, emission factors are used to estimate the tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents avoided when waste is combusted.

GHG emissions avoided following the combustion of residual waste from parliamentary estates amounts to 435 Teq, of which 405 Teq is carbon dioxide.

GHG emissions from waste transportation

A saving in GHG emissions is realized when residual waste from the parliamentary estates is combusted, since the energy recovery facility is just 12 miles from the House. Previously the waste was being transported to landfill further away from the estate.

The GHG emission factor developed by Defra for waste transportation varies between 0.37 and 0.49 kg carbon dioxide equivalents per tonne of waste transported, depending on distance travelled. For transportation of 1,299 tonnes of parliamentary estates waste, this amounts to a GHG emission of between 0.48-0.65 Teq. Since this is less than 1 per cent. of the emissions of direct or avoided emissions, the GHG saving in transporting the waste a shorter distance will be omitted when presenting net emissions.

Net GHG emissions

The carbon footprint associated with the combustion of waste from the parliamentary estates is obtained by subtracting avoided emissions from direct emissions.

This equates to a net GHG saving of 20 Teq. Therefore 20 Teq should be subtracted when determining the total carbon footprint of parliamentary estates. (120729)

Leader of the House

Written Statements

To ask the Leader of the House if he will take steps to ensure that an electronic version of each written ministerial statement is provided to the Library on the day it is made. (129415)

Following a recommendation from the Librarian, Government Departments now supply the Library with an electronic version of each written ministerial statement on the day it is made. I understand the system is working well, but if the hon. Gentleman is aware of any failings in this respect he should please let the Librarian and me know.

International Development

Afghanistan: Reconstruction

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what large scale reconstruction projects have been completed in Afghanistan since 2002. (127151)

Developing Countries: AIDS

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will seek a reduction in the price of the essential medicines for AIDS treatment at the forthcoming G8 Development Ministers meeting; and if he will raise the issue of patent barriers at the meeting. (129633)

We welcome the German G8 Presidency's continued focus on HIV/AIDS including universal access to prevention, treatment and care, and essential medicines for AIDS treatment for all that need it. Development Ministers will include reducing the price of first and second line anti-retrovirals, and intellectual property issues, in their discussions. They will also consider related factors, such as research and development funding and propose a UN stock-take to review countries' universal access plans. A rapid review would strengthen efforts to deliver universal access and help realise our commitment to ensuring that “costed, inclusive, sustainable, credible and evidence-based national HIV/AIDS plans are funded” as agreed at the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV and AIDS in June 2006.

We are working to encourage G8 partners to support and subscribe to mechanisms to help reduce medicine prices, for example as the UK and France have done by joining the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNITAID), the drug purchase facility. One of the first actions of UNITAID, which started work in September 2006, was to negotiate lower prices for paediatric HIV/AIDS treatment expected to benefit 100,000 children. Through its long-term and predictable funding, UNITAID has an explicit aim to help lower drug prices. We are also working closely with the United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) initiative to make paediatric AIDS treatments more widely available.

Palestinians: EC Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much has been paid to HSBC to transfer social welfare payments to Palestinian (a) workers, (b) pensioners and (c) welfare recipients; and who has paid the costs of transferring these funds. (128993)

The total fees paid so far to HSBC are €2,931,028. Of this €158,823 was for payments to pensioners; €1,910,125 for payments to workers; and €862,080 for payments to social hardship cases. Costs have been paid by each donor contributing to the TIM, proportionate to their contribution. So far the TIM has disbursed a total of €181 million in direct assistance and to support basic services for the Palestinian people.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many European Commission staff are involved in administering the Temporary International Mechanism. (128998)

There are six European Commission staff working in the Temporary International Mechanism Management Unit in Jerusalem.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment the European Commission has undertaken of the operation of the Temporary International Mechanism; how Palestinians were included in this process; and what the conclusions were. (129097)

The European Commission and the World Bank have begun work on a review of the Temporary International Mechanism (TIM). This will assess the impact of each of the TIM’s three windows as well as its overall impact. Consultation with Palestinians and the international community is expected to take place from April 2007.

So far the TIM has provided €181 million in direct support to the Palestinian people, including financial assistance benefiting an estimated 900,000 people and supplies to keep basic services going, including over 4.6 million litres of fuel for power supplies in Gaza. Increased EU and other donor funding is assessed as the main reason that the decline in the Palestinian economy over the last year has been much less than feared. The TIM has made an important contribution in this regard.

United Nations

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate his Department has made of the annual recurrent costs of maintaining a high level of preparedness among UN agencies. (128997)

United Nations’ agencies ensure, with support from DFID and others, that they are prepared to lead the humanitarian response to natural disasters and longer term crises caused by conflict. DFID provides institutional and operational funding (which can often include preparedness activities) to UN humanitarian agencies, including the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the UN Children's Fund, the World Health Organisation, the World Food Programme and the UN High Commission for Refugees. The UN agencies do not have an agreed definition of preparedness and do not budget for this on a consistent basis. It is not therefore possible to estimate the annual recurrent costs of maintaining a high level of preparedness for UN agencies.

Whales

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what discussions he has had with his foreign counterparts on whaling in the last 12 months. (128647)

The Secretary of State has had no discussions on whaling with his foreign counterparts. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) are the Government lead on national and international issues related to whaling.

Zimbabwe

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. (129608)

I am extremely concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. About 1 million Zimbabweans are reliant on international food aid as the next harvest approaches. There has been confirmation of almost total crop failure in the southern part of the country. Many Zimbabweans face difficulty buying food because of the terrible economic situation resulting from the appalling policies of their Government. AIDS is also contributing to high mortality rates resulting in over 1.3 million orphans; approximately one in four children.

DFID has spent £33 million in the last financial year to tackle food insecurity and HIV/AIDS. All of our funding in Zimbabwe goes through UN agencies and NGOs. DFID has provided £3 million to support World Food Programmes. We have also provided £30 million for a three year programme to help over a million vulnerable people in rural and urban areas through NGO initiatives. DFID is also providing £5 million to the International Organisation for Migration to help internally displaced people.

Scotland

Advocate-General for Scotland

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the cost was of travel by train by staff in the Office of the Advocate-General in each year since 1997. (128147)

The Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland was established on 20 May 1999. The Scotland Office provides corporate services, such as paying invoices and travel claims, to the Office of the Advocate-General. Separate figures are, however, not available for 1999-2000 and 2000-01; thereafter, the figures for the Office of the Advocate-General are:

£

2001-02

16,097.50

2002-03

21,277.30

2003-04

15,614.55

2004-05

16,944.15

2005-06

21,445.60

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff were employed to work in the Office of the Advocate-General in each year since 1997. (128148)

The Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland was established on 20 May 1999. Staffing figures are published in the Office’s Departmental and Annual Reports, copies of which are lodged in the House Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what his estimate is of the expenditure by the Advocate-General’s Office on newspapers, magazines and periodicals in each year since 1997. (128149)

The Office of the Advocate-General for Scotland was established on 20 May 1999. The Scotland Office provides corporate services, such as the payment of invoices, to the Office of the Advocate-General. Separate figures for newspapers and magazines for each Office are not recorded; and the cost of periodicals is subsumed within the overall library costs, such as the purchase of books. Expenditure by both Offices on newspapers and magazines was:

£

1999-2000

9,096

2000-01

13,639

2001-02

12,968

2002-03

12,990

2003-04

12,556

2004-05

11,546

2005-06

9,318

Work and Pensions

Departments: Equal Opportunities

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what guidance (a) his Department, (b) its agencies and (c) its sponsored public bodies has produced on making the award of public contracts conditional on the bidding private sector firms meeting equality or diversity criteria or targets. (128669)

The Department its agencies and sponsored public bodies (The Health and Safety Executive and The Rent Service) will continue to take account of the guidance issued by the Office for Government Commerce (OGC) in relation to awarding of public contracts. OGC has published the guidance note Social Issues in Purchasing which outlines the scope to take account of social considerations such as equality and diversity issues in the procurement process in line with the European procurement rules and the Government’s procurement policy based on value for money.

DWP procurement guidance states that potential suppliers should be precluded from bidding for contracts if they are in breach of UK law, this includes equality legislation and unique legislation on disability issues for example sheltered workshops. Contracts require suppliers to meet statutory legal requirements including those in respect of equality and diversity issues and our contracts require suppliers not to discriminate in employment practice.

Departments: Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which postal companies handle mail dispatched by his Department and its agencies. (128250)

The DWP and its agencies use four postal companies to handle mail.

Royal Mail collect, sort and deliver mail from majority of DWP sites including the collection of first class mail from a DWP supplier who produces mail on behalf of the Department.

UK Mail handle approximately 80 million items of DWP second class mail collected from two regional distribution centres and passed into the Royal Mail delivery office network for final mile delivery under down stream access.

Spring is responsible for the collection, sort and onward dispatch for final delivery of departmental international mail.

TNT is responsible for the courier service for the Department’s internal mail. This also includes the distribution of internal mail and stationery from our print suppliers.

Homelessness: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much was allocated to training for homeless people in London from resources received from the European Social Fund in each quarter of 2007; and if he will make a statement. (127924)

The European Social Fund (ESF) supports employment and training activities. It is increasingly being focused on improving the employment prospects and skills of people who are at a disadvantage in the labour market. However, the England ESF programme and the London regional ESF plan do not break down ESF funds into financial allocations for specific groups such as homeless people. The target for ESF spending in London in 2007 is £77,450,422.

Housing Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) which local authorities he has consulted on his plans to change the housing benefit subsidy for homeless households in temporary accommodation; (126485)

(2) if he will publish the responses to his consultation on his plans to change the housing benefit subsidy for homeless households in temporary accommodation;

(3) if he will place in the Library a copy of his consultation paper on his plans to change the housing benefit subsidy for homeless households in temporary accommodation.

Consultation on any aspect of housing benefit (HB) is not undertaken with individual local authorities but via their representative associations—the Local Government Association, the Association of London Councils, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and the Welsh Local Government Association.

The large increase in HB expenditure in temporary accommodation was first discussed at a meeting with the Local Authority Associations in August 2006 and there were further discussions with representatives of the associations in November and December 2006 and January 2007.

Three DWP discussion papers were issued and both verbal and written responses were received from the representative associations. Copies of the discussion papers have been placed in the Library and will be published on the DWP website. Subject to third party approval, which we are in the process of obtaining, copies of responses will also be placed in the House of Commons Library and on the DWP website as soon as possible.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost was of non-housing revenue account expenditure on homeless households in temporary accommodation in each year since 2002-03. (126488)

The available information is in the following tables.

Non-housing revenue account expenditure on homeless households in temporary accommodation (nominal terms)

£ million

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Estimated GB temporary housing expenditure

307

374

501

599

Subsidised

244

308

456

551

Unsubsidised

62

66

45

48

Non-housing revenue account expenditure on homeless households in temporary accommodation (real terms 2006-07 prices)

£ million

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Estimated GB temporary Housing expenditure

339

402

524

615

Subsidised

271

331

477

566

Unsubsidised

69

71

47

49

Notes:

1. Expenditure data is taken from local authorities’ subsidy returns.

2. All figures are final audited data with the exception of 2005-06 which is provisional (pre-audited) data.

3. GDP deflator is the latest available as at 5 pm on 12 March 2007, last updated 21 December 2006, and is taken from www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/economic_data_and_tools/gdp_deflators/data_gdp_fig_cfm

4. Due to historical differences in the treatment of Scottish rent rebate expenditure, it is not possible from local authority subsidy returns to identify all expenditure on temporary accommodation in Scotland. These figures may therefore slightly understate temporary accommodation expenditure. From an assessment of the England and Wales data, we estimate that this understatement would be of the order of £1-2 million.

Income Support

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of children lived in households in receipt of income support in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (129600)

The information is not available in the format requested. The available information is in the following table.

Numbers of children living in households in receipt of income support (IS) in Great Britain; as at April each year

Number of dependent children in IS households

Percentage of dependent children

2004

1,978,650

17.6

2005

1,865,720

16.7

2006

1,828,275

16.4

Notes:

1. Figures have been rounded the nearest five.

2. Figures exclude a very small number of cases that are held clerically.

3. Figures are for children dependent on a parent/guardian claiming income support.

4. Due to the introduction of child tax credits in April 2003, information on child dependents held on the benefit computer system is not reliable; therefore children data have been merged onto income support claims from child benefit records with permission of HMRC.

Source:

DWP and HMRC data

IT Projects

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many information technology projects within the responsibility of his Department, its agencies and their predecessors have been cancelled since 1997; what the total cost was of each project at cancellation; and if he will make a statement. (105474)

The Department for Work and Pensions was created in June 2001.

The Department undertakes a large number of projects which deliver business change and policy initiatives. IT changes are an enabling component of many projects. The number of projects in train at any one time will vary and the duration of the project lifecycle is often more than one calendar year. The following table includes only those projects that have been formally closed where the IT element is such that non-delivery of the IT would significantly damage the project’s ability to deliver its intended results and the investment in the project has exceeded £1 million.

Project name

Investment expenditure (£ million)

Document Management (closed 2006-07)

1.4

Retirement Planner (closed 2004-05)

11.2

E-enabled Retirement Pension (closed 2006-07)

1.8

Benefits Processing Replacement Programme (BPRP) (closed 2006-07)

1135

Customer Accounting and Payment Strategy (closed 1999-2000)

127

Debt Accounting and Management System (closed 1999-2000)

13

1 Including future commitments

A significant amount of the investment in BPRP is of future value to the Department. We estimate that at least half of the sum invested (around £73 million) is of future value to the Department. Similarly the benefits realised by the Debt Accounting and Management System project exceeded the costs incurred of £13 million and thus no actual loss occurred.

The costs of the Customer Accounting and Payment System are the estimated costs for that project at the time of closure.

Means-Tested Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were in receipt of each means-tested benefit administered by his Department in each year since 1990-91. (121840)

The available information is in the following tables.

Income support (IS) and minimum income guarantee (MIG) recipients in Great Britain each year, 1990 to 2006

AIMS

MIG

Non-MIG

IS for the unemployed

May 1990

4,180,000

1,675,000

1,442,000

1,063,000

May 1991

4,487,000

1,575,000

1,577,000

1,335,000

May 1992

5,088,000

1,643,000

1,783,000

1,662,000

May 1993

5,643,000

1,736,000

1,987,000

1,920,000

August 1994

5,702,000

1,785,000

2,109,000

1,887,000

August 1995

3,931,000

1,737,000

2,193,000

1,681,000

August 1996

4,007,000

1,727,000

2,278,000

1,502,000

August 1997

3,991,000

1,687,000

2,305,000

n/a

August 1998

3,863,000

1,624,000

2,239,000

n/a

August 1999

3,849,000

1,598,000

2,251,000

n/a

August 2000

3,892,000

1,637,000

2,254,000

n/a

August 2001

3,998,000

1,724,000

2,275,000

n/a

August 2002

3,998,000

1,740,000

2,259,000

n/a

August 2003

4,041,000

1,800,000

2,241,000

n/a

August 2004

2,202,000

11,000

2,191,000

n/a

August 2005

2,148,000

10,000

2,138,000

n/a

August 2006

2,138,000

10,000

2,129,000

n/a

Pension credit recipients in Great Britain as at August each year, 2004 to 2006

Number

August 2004

2,593,000

August 2005

2,697,000

August 2006

2,728,000

Income-based jobseeker’s allowance recipients in Great Britain as at August each year, 1997 to 2006

Number

1997

1,182,000

1998

1,031,000

1999

928,000

2000

800,000

2001

695,000

2002

664,000

2003

635,000

2004

588,000

2005

634,000

2006

708,000

n/a = Not applicable

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest 1,000.

2. Pension credit was introduced on 6 October 2003 and replaced minimum income guarantee (income support for people aged 60 or over). The vast majority of people who were previously in receipt of the minimum income guarantee transferred to pension credit in October 2003 however some residual cases remain on the income support statistics.

3. income support for the unemployed was replaced by income-based jobseeker’s allowance in October 1996.

4. IS figures for August 1994 to August 1998 and all JSA (IB) figures have been derived by applying 5per cent. proportions to 100 per cent. WPLS totals.

5. Some income-based JSA claimants may also be entitled to benefit via the contributory route.

Source:

DWP 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study (WPLS), DWP Information Directorate 5 per cent. samples and IS ASE 5 per cent. data

National Insurance Numbers

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions on how many occasions his Department checked the immigration status of applicants for national insurance numbers in each year since 1997; and how many applications were refused as a result. (116599)

The information is not available in the format requested.

Prior to July 2006, individuals entering the UK from abroad who required a National Insurance number (NINO) had to attend Jobcentre Plus for an evidence of identity interview. The interviewing process was primarily designed to guard against identity fraud. If Jobcentre Plus became aware of immigration or right to work irregularities it advised the Home Office Immigration and Nationality Directorate of this so that appropriate action could be taken.

From July 2006 a “right to work” pre-condition for all employment-related NINO applications was introduced. This prevents anyone who does not have the right to work from being allocated a NINO for employment purposes. From July 2006 to 30 November 2006 a total of 1,529 NINO applications were refused on the basis of not satisfying the right to work test.

New Deal

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost to his Department of each new deal programme has been in each year since 2001. (105899)

The information is in the following table.

New deal costs since 2001

£ million

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

New deal for young people

308

314

264

254

198

New deal 25 plus

213

238

189

179

125

New deal 50 plus

87

87

41

3

1

New deal for lone parents

46

62

20

24

26

New deal for disabled people

10

31

28

65

68

New deal for partners

8

6

0

1

1

Admin

n/a

n/a

111

113

121

Notes:

1. Figures include all new deal costs including administrative expenditure up to 2002-03. Information on administrative expenditure by individual new deal is not available for 2003-04 and later years.

2. Spend data also includes allowances paid to participants apart from the 50 plus element of the working tax credit which is the responsibility of HMRC. As this is not included, new deal 50 plus costs reduce after 2002-03.

3. Spend on new deal for partners in 2003-04 was less than £0.5 million and is thus not recorded as figures are rounded to the nearest £ million.

4. Start dates for each programme are: new deal for young people: January 1998; new deal 25 plus: July 1998; new deal for lone parents: October 1998; new deal 50 plus: April 2000; new deal for disabled people: July 2001; new deal for partners: April 1999.

Source:

Department for Work and Pensions Financial Control Division

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate his Department has made of the cost per job placement of (a) the New Deal for Young People and (b) New Deal 25 plus. (111233)

We estimate that the average cost of helping someone into work through new deal for young people is £2,789 and through new deal 25 plus is £3,471. This data is for the period ending March 2006 and excludes administration costs.

Pensioners: Tees Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners live in (a) Hartlepool borough council and (b) Tees Valley sub-region areas; how many are in receipt of council tax benefit; and what percentage this represents of the total number of pensioners living in each area. (129789)

The available information is in the following table.

Council tax benefit recipients by age and local authority, August 2006

Local authority

Council tax benefit recipients aged 60 and over1

Population aged 60 and over

Percentage of population aged 60 and over in receipt of council tax benefit

Darlington

5,090

22,200

23.0

Hartlepool

6,390

19,200

33.3

Middlesbrough

7,880

27,000

29.2

Redcar and Cleveland

8,270

32,800

25.2

Stockton on Tees

8,910

37,100

24.0

1 Council tax benefit figures exclude any second adult rebate cases.

Notes:

1. The data refer to benefit units, which may be a single person or a couple.

2. Council tax benefit caseloads are rounded to the nearest 10 and percentages to one decimal place.

3. Population figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

4. Figures for any non-responding authorities have been estimated.

5. “Aged 60 and over” is defined as benefit units where the claimant and/or partner are aged 60 and over. Therefore figures will contain some claimants aged under60 where there is a partner aged over 60 years.

Source:

Housing benefit and council tax benefit management information system. Quarterly 100 per cent. caseload stock-count taken in August 2006; and mid-2005 ONS population estimates

Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's policy is on paying (a) social security benefits and (b) job seeker's allowance to people who live with a partner who works more than 24 hours per week; and if he will make a statement. (129601)

Income support and income-based jobseeker's allowance are non-contributory benefits. The full basis for entitlement is set out in regulations. The principal rule in relation to remunerative work is that, where the claimant works 16 hours or more a week or the claimant's partner works 24 hours or more a week the claimant does not satisfy the conditions of entitlement. For those cases where the couple is obliged to make a joint claim for JSA, the 16-hour rule applies to both partners because both are claimants.

In cases other than joint claim JSA cases, where the claimant's partner is working between 16 and 24 hours a week, it may be possible for the couple to claim both working tax credit and either income support or income-based jobseeker's allowance. In such cases, there is an automatic entitlement to maximum working tax credit, but the claimant's entitlement to income support and income-based jobseeker's allowance will be reduced pound for pound by the working tax credit that is paid.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his Department's policy is on paying (a) social security benefits and (b) job seeker's allowance to people who live with a parent who works more than 24 hours per week; and if he will make a statement. (129602)

Both Income Support and income-based jobseeker's allowance are available to those who satisfy the qualifying criteria. The fact that a non-dependent young person may choose to continue to live in their parents' household does not in any way affect their entitlement to these benefits.

Transport

Departments: Ministers

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether Ministers in his Department have had meetings with former Ministers of the Department in the last three months. (129826)

Department for Transport Ministers meet with ministerial colleagues and former ministerial colleagues in the course of performing their ministerial duties.

Departments: Official Engagements

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who has had access to the diaries of his Department’s (a) Ministers and (b) officials in the last three months. (129827)

The Department for Transport employs some 19,000 officials. Identification of who would have access to each official’s diary could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Access to ministerial diaries is limited to those who support the Minister in their ministerial duties

Departments: Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2007, Official Report, column 18W, if he will break down by commercial and industrial sector the 4711 passes issued to contractors and consultants by his Department. (129078)

[holding answer 22 March 2007]: The Department's access control systems used to calculate the number of passes previously advised in the answer of 12 March 2007, Official Report, column 18W, do not contain any further information to provide a meaningful breakdown of those passes issued to commercial and industrial sectors.

Exhaust Emissions: Pollution Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the progress of motor manufacturers towards meeting the targets for new car emission levels set out in the 1998 agreement between the European Automobile Manufacturers Association and the European Commission. (129740)

For 2004 (the last year for which EU figures are available), the average new car efficiency for the EU was 163g/km (grams carbon dioxide emitted for every kilometre travelled). The agreement between the European Commission and the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) was for ACEA members to meet an efficiency target of 140g/km by 2008.

While the 2004 figure shows a 12 per cent. gain in efficiency since 1995 (the first year of the EU-manufacturer emissions agreements), it is also clear that the 2008 target is unlikely to be met. Because of this, the Commission recently announced its intention to legislate on emissions: by mid-2008, it will propose legislation requiring manufacturers to reach an emissions level of 130g/km by 2012 (with other measures taking the overall target to the equivalent of 120g/km). While details around the target level are still being considered, we welcome in principle the Commission's intention to bring forward mandatory proposals.

Galileo Satellite Navigation System

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his latest estimate is of the date when the Galileo satellite navigation system will be fully functional. (129919)

The latest information provided by the European Commission gives 2012 as the date for full operational capability to be achieved. This is subject to the successful conclusion of negotiations with the consortium bidding for the public private partnership (PPP) contract.

Heathrow Airport: Air Traffic

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what percentage of flights were delayed from landing by having to circle or stack at Heathrow airport in (a) the last 12 months and (b) the last three years; if he will determine what effect this has on (i) fuel consumption and (ii) pollution; what action is being taken to reduce these delays; and if he will make a statement. (129611)

HGV Drivers

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what powers his Department has to ensure that foreign drivers unable to obtain HGV licences in the UK for medical reasons do not drive in the UK. (129861)

Driving unlicensed is an offence under the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988 and the penalty reflects the seriousness of that offence. On conviction the driver is liable to disqualification from driving all vehicles. The police will continue to enforce the law.

Motor Vehicles: Registration

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons estimates of the number of foreign registered vehicles on UK roads are not available, as referred to in the answer of 9 January 2006, Official Report, column 28W, on vehicle registration. (129293)

Estimates of the number of foreign registered vehicles on UK roads are not available because comprehensive data of this nature are not collected.

However, an estimate of the number of foreign registered heavy goods vehicles entering GB is available from an ad-hoc survey undertaken in 2003. The report entitled “Foreign Vehicle activity in GB in 2003” was placed in the House of Commons Library and is also available online at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/freight/foreignvehicle/coll_surveyofforeignvehicleactiv/surveyofforeignvehicleactivi5130.

Rapid Transit Systems

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many light rail projects his Department has considered since 1997. (125984)

18 schemes have been considered since 1997, some of which were considered more than once in different forms.

Road Charging

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 1 March 2007, Official Report, column 1456W, on tolls, whether the (a) London congestion charge and (b) Durham congestion charge are compliant with the requirements of EU Directive 2004/52/EC. (129865)

Article 1(2) of the EU Directive 2004/52, states that the directive does not apply to road toll systems:

for which no electronic means of toll collection exists.

which do not need the installation of on-board equipment.

which are small, strictly local road toll systems for which the costs of compliance with the requirements of this directive would be disproportionate to the benefits.

Both the London congestion charge and Durham congestion charge are therefore exempt from the EU Directive 2004/52 as they do not require vehicles to install on-board equipment and do not use electronic means to collect the charge.

Road Traffic

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles of the (a) motorway and (b) strategic trunk network have been widened to ease traffic bottlenecks since 1997. (125987)

The following table lists the schemes within the strategic roads programme which have been widened in order to ease traffic congestion since 1997.

Length of scheme (Miles)

Motorway schemes

A1 (M) Wetherby-Walshford

3.11

M5 Junctions 17-18a Northbound Climbing Lane (Hallen Hill)

1.30

M25J12-1 5 Widening

7.08

A1(M) Ferrybridge-Hook Moor

10.56

M60 J5-8 Widening

4.60

M5 Junctions 19-20 Southbound Climbing Lane (Naish Hill)

2.11

M5 Junctions 19-20 Northbound Climbing Lane (Tickenham Hill)

2.05

Total

30.82

Trunk road schemes

A1 1 Roudham Heath-Attleborough Improvement

6.21

A1 Willowburn-Denwick Improvement

2.49

A46 Newark-Lincoln Improvement

4.97

A1033 Hedon Road Improvement

4.16

A120 Stansted-Braintree Improvement

14.29

A2 Bean-Cobham Phase 1 Bean-Tollgate

2.55

A249 Iwade-Queenborough Improvement (DBFO)

3,1.1

A11 Attleborough Bypass

3.23

Total

41.01

Total motorways and trunk roads

71.83

Tolls: Greater Manchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department has selected Manchester as a location for a road user pricing pilot. (129094)

No decisions have been taken on areas to take forward local road pricing.

Greater Manchester is one of 10 areas to be awarded pump-priming funding to support the development of Transport Innovation Fund packages that address local congestion problems by combining demand management, including road pricing, with better public transport.

It is for the local authority to decide whether to propose such a scheme.

Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement on the timetable for the draft Transport Bill. (129095)

Vehicle Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by what date he expects to approve technology and testing standards for equipment that could be fitted to vehicles to abate emissions of nitrogen oxide in relation to the enforcement to Euro IV standards. (129855)

Euro IV standards are mandatory for all new cars, vans, lorries and buses registered in the United Kingdom, and indeed Europe. Test procedures are therefore already in place for type approval to these standards.

Diesel lorries and buses meeting earlier Euro standards are eligible for reduced road tax if they have been retrofitted to reduce their particulate emissions (but not NOx emissions) to Euro IV levels. Such retrofit emissions control devices are approved through the Reduced Pollution Certificate scheme.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer has recently announced that the Reduced Pollution Certificate scheme will be extended to offer reduced road tax to lorries and buses meeting the Euro V standards ahead of the date that this becomes mandatory (1 October 2009). Euro V differs from Euro IV solely in terms of the limits on oxides of nitrogen emissions. The exact details of the requirements for issuing Reduced Pollution Certificates to Euro V compliant vehicles, including any test procedures required, have not yet been decided.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departments: Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which postal companies handle mail dispatched by her Department and its agencies. (128246)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport uses the following postal companies: Royal Mail, IDS (Interdepartmental Dispatch Service), Parcelforce and City Sprint. Our executive agency, the Royal Parks, uses the following postal companies: Royal Mail and City Sprint.

Departments: Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much her Department spent on newsprint recruitment advertising in each of the last five years; and which newspapers it used for such purposes over that period. (129090)

The cost of newsprint advertising cannot be easily separated from other recruitment expenditure without disproportionate cost.

Senior posts are typically advertised in The Times or The Guardian, and, if appropriate, the specialist press. More junior positions are advertised in the London press.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many vacancies there are within her Department. (129091)

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much her Department has spent on recruitment in the last five years, broken down by (a) costs incurred directly by her Department, (b) costs incurred through the employment of recruitment agencies and agents and (c) other costs. (129092)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has paid the following amounts on the recruitment of permanent staff in the last five years:

£

2001-02

27,079

2002-03

115,369

2003-04

70,786

2004-05

34,931

2005-06

130,980

A breakdown of these amounts as requested could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Gaming Clubs

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether (a) the Chairman and (b) other members of the Casino Advisory Panel read the Joint Committee's Report on the Gambling Bill during their deliberations on the award of casino licences. (127179)

[holding answer 13 March 2007]: The Chairman and members of the Casino Advisory Panel read the report of the Joint Committee on the Draft Gambling Bill: Draft Gambling Bill Session 2003-2004 Volumes I to III and Joint Committee on the Draft Gambling Bill: Draft Gambling Bill (Regional Casinos) Volumes I and II and used this information to inform their conclusions.

Gaming Clubs: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many regional casinos must be licensed in the pilot scheme in order to comply with the EU legislation relating to freedom of enterprise. (129037)

The Government are satisfied that the Gambling Act 2005 complies with EU law. The Act provides for three new categories of casinos: one regional casino, eight large and eight small casinos.

National Lottery: Grants

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of funding provided by each lottery distributor went to voluntary and community sector organisations in each of the last five years. (129155)

[holding answer 22 March 2007]: This information is not available in detail for all lottery distributors. However, the information that we do have suggests that distributors channel a significant amount of their funding through the voluntary and community sector (VCS).

For example the Heritage Lottery Fund estimates that in 2005-06, 55 per cent. of its lottery awards were made to the third sector. Its estimates for the previous four years are 39 per cent. in 2004-05, 51 per cent. in 2003-04, 45 per cent. in 2002-03 and 50 per cent. in 2001-02.

The Arts Council England estimates that in 2005-06, it awarded approximately 60 per cent. of its budget to the VCS.

Sport England estimates that around 30 per cent. of its funding has gone to the VCS over the lifetime of the lottery.

Since 2004-05, the total annual Community Fund budget and approximately 40 per cent. of the New Opportunities Fund budget has been 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 and will be reporting on its performance against this target in its annual report.

Olympic Delivery Authority

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the (a) roles and (b) pay grades are of (i) Board and (ii) Committee members of the Olympic Delivery Authority. (129246)

The roles of the Board members and Committee members of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) are detailed in the Management Statement and the Standing Orders and Terms of Reference for each established Committee (Audit, Communications, Finance, Planning, Remuneration and Risk). These can be found on the ODA’s website at www.london2012.com. Remuneration for the chairman's post is set at £300,000 per annum pro rata and requires a two to three day per week time commitment. Other Board members and Committee members are remunerated at the rate of £500 per day for each whole day or half day that they spend on ODA business.

Olympic Games

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will estimate the likely effect on lottery resources available to voluntary and community bodies of national lottery funding for the 2012 Olympic Games. (125649)

The Government and the Big Lottery Fund have agreed that the fund's resources for the voluntary and community sector will be protected. They will continue to receive £2 billion, as they expect, from the Big Lottery Fund between now and 2012.

The voluntary and community sector also receives lottery funding from distributors for the other good causes, the arts, heritage and sport. At this stage it is not possible to estimate the effect on this funding of the recently revised Olympic budget. No decisions have been taken by Arts Council England or the Heritage Lottery Fund about possible adaptations to their lottery programmes. They intend to honour all existing commitments and they remain committed to supporting the voluntary and community sectors in their fields. Furthermore, a significant proportion of Sport England's investment is directed to the voluntary and community sector and I expect this to continue also. My Department will also be working closely with all distributors to ensure they are able to fully benefit from the many opportunities London 2012 will afford.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if she will break down by area of planned expenditure the £390 million allocated for sport in the public sector funding package for the 2012 Olympics. (129382)

[holding answer 23 March 2007]: The £388 million in the public sector funding package allocated for investment in non Olympic Delivery Authority provision comprises: £290 million from the Sports Lottery for investment in elite and community sport; a £66 million contribution to the Paralympics costs; and £32 million for other non Olympic Delivery Authority costs.

Olympic Games: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport whether her Department has benchmarked the expenditure on administrative costs accrued by the Olympic Delivery Authority in relation to the construction of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games against the administrative budgets for previous Olympic Games; and if she will make a statement. (128412)

Administration costs are specific to the particular state of the labour market in each country. We have not therefore benchmarked the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA’s) administration costs against those for previous Olympic Games. We will however, continue to press down on those costs to ensure that they are contained within the budget agreed.

The total cost of the ODA’s programme delivery budget represents around 10 per cent. Of the total costs of the ODA programme, which is consistent with industry norms for a project of this scale, complexity and concentration.

Sports: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much (a) the Government and (b) the Big Lottery Fund spent on elite sport, including facilities and major events, in each of the last five years; and how much is planned to be spent in each of the next five years. (129088)

UK Sport is the Government's lead agency for elite sport in the UK and a lottery distributor. The table provides details of the level of Government and national lottery funding to UK Sport over the last five years.

£

Exchequer funding

Lottery funding

Total

2002-03

5,100,000

22,100,000

27,200,000

2003-04

11,500,000

17,700,000

29,200,000

2004-05

16,400,000

14,300,000

30,700,000

2005-06

16,300,000

15,700,000

32,000,000

2006-07

35,400,000

40,500,000

75,900,000

Over the next five years UK Sport plans to invest approximately £508.6 million of Exchequer and lottery money in elite sport.

Sport England provides some funding for English non-Olympic sports at elite level and, prior to April 2006, also provided elite funding to English Olympic sports. This funding was wholly from the lottery and was made via Sport England's world class programmes. This ran between1997 and 2005 and a total of £236,679,512 was provided over this period.

Since 1 April 2005, Sport England's investment in national governing bodies (NGBs) has been made via whole sport or one stop plans. Between 2005 and 2009 Sport England estimates that £59 million will be distributed to support elite sport

On 9 March Sport England launched its proposals for NGB investment between 2009 and 2013. This will determine future funding for non-Olympic elite sports.

The plan is to have funding agreements in place by March 2008.

Figures from Sport England show that the following capital amounts have been spent to build or refurbish elite sports facilities (defined for this purpose as the English institutes of sport and the national sports centres) over the period 02-03 to 06-07:

£

Exchequer funding

Lottery funding

Total

2002-03

0

24,792,379

24,792,379

2003-04

100,000

3,525,565

3,625,565

2004-05

391,000

49,833,172

50,224,172

2005-06

1,117,000

0

1,117,000

2006-07

624,000

0

624,000

In addition, DCMS, Sport England and the London Development Agency have contributed £161 million (£120 million Lottery and £41 million Exchequer) towards the cost of the Wembley Stadium project which opened its doors for the first time on 17 March 2007; and Sport England and DCMS have contributed £11 million towards the cost of the Lee Valley athletics centre (£7 million lottery and £4 million Exchequer) which opened formally in January 2007.

Sport England anticipates spending an additional £3 million in the period up to 2007-08 on the national sports centres.

Funding on elite sports facilities beyond 2007-08 will be subject to the outcomes of the comprehensive spending review.

UK Sport distributes lottery funding each year, through the world class events programme, to support NGBs’ bidding and staging costs for major sporting events. Between 2002 and 2006 UK Sport invested £1.6 million a year in this programme. From 2007 it will be investing £3.3 million a year.

The big lottery fund money has not allocated any funding to support elite sport.

Northern Ireland

Casinos

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on casino development in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement. (129516)

None. The legislation governing gambling in Northern Ireland, the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, does not permit facilities for high stakes gaming such as are provided by commercial gaming clubs (casinos) in Great Britain. A casino cannot, therefore, operate lawfully in Northern Ireland. There are no plans at present to change the law to allow casinos to operate in Northern Ireland.

Departments: Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the Department's total spending was on advertising and promotional campaigns in each year since 1997; and what the cost of each campaign was, broken down by costs relating to (a) television, (b) radio and (c) print media. (128066)

Information on advertising campaign expenditure is not held centrally in the format requested. However the following tables show the information currently held on departmental advertising expenditure. This information is available for the past two financial years but is not broken down by campaign. A breakdown in relation to (a) television, (b) radio, (c) print media and (d) other is supplied in the following tables. Category (d) includes other forms of advertising, for example outdoor advertising, cinema and online. The new Advertising Shared Service Centre, which becomes operational on 1 April, is currently developing a management information system to collate information on campaign and classified expenditure.

2005-06

£

Television

Radio

Print

Other

Total

Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister

Agriculture and Rural Development

3,540

93,589

500

96,629

Culture, Arts and Leisure

4,422

4,422

Education

Employment and Learning

220,505

60,565

51,523

200,586

533,179

Enterprise, Trade and Investment

26,747

40

26,787

Environment

1,507,242

80,488

78,070

178,989

1,844,789

Finance and Personnel

234,797

234,797

Health, Social Services and Public Safety

157,521

73,430

21,624

39,862

292,437

Regional Development

Social Development

Northern Ireland Office

146,529

76,325

73,491

53,311

349,656

2004-05

£

Television

Radio

Print

Other

Total

Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister

157,900

40,421

305

43,114

241,740

Agriculture and Rural Development

141,317

36,600

177,917

Culture, Arts and Leisure

Education

11,660

4,548

16,208

Employment and Learning

230,848

69,997

81,844

205,062

587,751

Enterprise, Trade and Investment

36,000

11,394

47,394

Environment

1,433,926

79,556

58,815

67,303

1,639,600

Finance and Personnel

60,999

100,348

161,347

Health, Social Services and Public Safety

62,400

39,399

80,601

121,201

303,601

Regional Development

Social Development

2,919

2,919

Northern Ireland Office

46,849.00

30,380.00

156,052.05

34,443.00

267,724.05

Elderly People

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people aged 90 years or over were living in Northern Ireland in each year since 1995. (129781)

The following table gives the official estimates of the population of Northern Ireland of residents aged 90 years and over, from 1995 to 2005.

Northern Ireland mid-year population estimates for residents aged 90 years or over, 1995 to 2005

Registration year

Persons aged 90 and over

1995

6,500

1996

6,900

1997

7,000

1998

7,300

1999

7,300

2000

7,200

2001

7,300

2002

7,400

2003

7,500

2004

8,000

2005

8,300

Prisons: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many drugs treatment programmes were in operation in each Northern Ireland prison in each of the last six years. (128014)

The Prison Service has contracts with three voluntary support groups, one in each of the establishments, to provide counselling and education services to prisoners who have abused substances.

The number of drug and/or alcohol misuse programmes provided is as follows:

Number

2002-03

17

2003-04

32

2004-05

28

2005-06

35

2006-07 (to end February)

57

Total

169

In addition there are very many counselling sessions with individual prisoners.

Roads: Bangor

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) fatal and (b) non-fatal accidents occurred at Six Road Ends in Bangor in each of the past six years; and what assessment was made of the cause in each case. (129586)

I have been advised by the PSN1 that as there may be ongoing civil and criminal proceedings in respect of these collisions it is not possible to provide causation factors for each specific collision.

Please see the following table detailing history of injury road traffic collisions at the Six Road Ends junction, Bangor, covering the period from 1 January 2001 through to 31 December 2006.

1 January to 31 December

Fatal collisions

Serious collisions

Slight collisions

All collisions

Killed

Seriously injured

Slightly injured

All casualties

2001

1

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

2002

1

0

1

2

1

4

1

6

2003

0

0

1

1

0

0

2

2

2004

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

2005

0

0

1

1

0

0

1

1

2006

0

0

2

2

0

0

3

3

Notes: 1. 2006 figures are provisional and subject to amendment. 2. Please note that collisions that occur at or within 50 metres of this junction are included. 3. Due to ongoing validation, this information may be subject to change. Source: Central Statistics Unit, Police Service of Northern Ireland, Lisnasharragh.

Universities: Northern Ireland

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the total costs associated with building a new university on the Springvale site have been to date. (121663)

Springvale was to be a joint project, between the University of Ulster (UU) and the Belfast Institute, for a main campus, a community outreach centre and an applied research centre on a split site on the Springfield road. £9.2 million has been spent to date—£0.9 million from Government, £6 million from external sources and the remainder from the two institutions. The outreach centre has been built but, following the withdrawal of UU, the other two elements will not proceed. The Belfast Institute brought forward an alternative proposal for a workforce and economic development centre, to be located adjacent to the community outreach centre. This proposal received ministerial approval at April 2006 and, when delivered, will complete the regeneration of the south site.

Valuation and Lands Agency

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland for how long the Valuation and Lands Agency has used pictometry techniques for valuations of domestic property. (128638)

The Valuation and Lands Agency has never used pictometry techniques for valuations of domestic property.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland which councils in Northern Ireland are willing to engage in the Valuation and Land Agency or Land and Property Services Agency's building control project. (128632)

To date Belfast city council is the only council currently engaged in the Valuation and Lands Agency/Land and Property Services Agency's Building control project.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what advice the Valuation and Land Agency or Land and Property Services Agency has sought from (a) the Information Commission and (b) legal experts on the use of oblique aerial photography for valuation purposes. (128633)

Valuation and Lands Agency/Land and Property Services Agency has not sought advice from (a) the Information Commissioner and (b) has had preliminary discussions with legal advisers on the use of oblique aerial photographs for valuation purposes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what information Belfast city council is providing to the Valuation and Lands Agency or Land and Property Services Agency as part of the building control project; and whether this includes the provision of photographs. (128634)

As part of the building control project, Belfast city council provides the Valuation and Lands Agency/Land and Property Services with full survey details on new and altered properties. This generally includes a digital photograph of the front elevation of the property.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what use the (a) Valuation and Lands Agency and (b) Land and Property Services Agency is (i) making and (ii) planning to make of fee code segmentation data to determine value significance. (128640)

The Valuation and Lands Agency/Land and Property Services Agency are (i) not currently making use of fee code segmentation data to determine value significant alterations to properties for rating purposes, but (ii) may consider the use of these data in the future.

Victims Commissioner

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many applicants there were for the post of Victims Commissioner in Northern Ireland, broken down by (a) gender and (b) religious affiliation; and how many applicants were (i) shortlisted and (ii) interviewed in each category. (129778)

Out of the 46 applicants for the post of Commissioner for Victims and Survivors for Northern Ireland:

(a) There were 24 male and 22 female applicants.

(b) 29 were from a protestant community background, 21 from a Roman Catholic community background and six other.

14 were shortlisted for interview. One candidate (female and from a Roman Catholic community background) withdrew from the competition prior to the interviews being conducted, resulting in 13 candidates being interviewed.

Of those interviewed six were male and seven were female. Eight were from a Protestant community background, four from a Roman Catholic community background and there was one other.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Detainees

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations her Department has made to the US to ensure the safe return of former residents of (a) the UK and (b) UK overseas territories being held at the detention facility in Guantanamo Bay. (130216)

The Government are not in a position to provide consular or diplomatic protection to non-British nationals, including those detainees in Guantanamo Bay, who were formerly resident in the UK or UK overseas territories.

However, we agreed in March 2006 to make representations to the US government for the release of Mr. Bisher al-Rawi, an Iraqi national formerly resident in the UK, from Guantanamo Bay and his return to the UK. That decision was based on the particular circumstances in his case. On 6 April 2006, my right hon. Friend the then Foreign Secretary (Mr. Straw) wrote to the US Secretary of State to ask formally for Mr. al-Rawi’s release and return. Detailed discussions between our Governments have continued ever since. While these are sensitive and complicated issues that take time, we are fully committed to securing Mr. al-Rawi’s release from Guantanamo Bay and his return to the UK.

The Government continue to raise humanitarian concerns about detentions at Guantanamo Bay with the US authorities, including issues relating to detainees who were formerly resident in the UK.

Africa: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of action taken to stop the trafficking of narcotics across African borders. (129424)

East and west Africa is increasingly being used as a transit route for cocaine and heroin from Latin America and Asia to European and other western markets. We have supported counter narcotics capacity building projects with local law enforcement agencies in Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia and Senegal to improve interdiction through the provision of training and equipment.

While significant challenges remain, our assistance is starting to have some impact in the region. In 2006 the Kenyan authorities destroyed over one ton of cocaine from an earlier seizure. In Ghana, drugs interdiction training and equipment at Accra International airport (Operation Westbridge) has achieved some good success interdicting cocaine couriers, since the start of its operation in November 2006. As at 21 March 2007, 40 couriers destined for the UK or Europe had been interdicted with seizures of 130 kg of cocaine and 413 kg of cannabis, with an estimated UK street value of £8.5 million. This progress proves the importance of supporting good law enforcement co-operation coupled with training on interdiction techniques.

Ascension Island

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her assessment is of relations between Ascension Islanders and the Island administrator. (129822)

The administrator of Ascension Island has a good professional relationship with those living and working on the Island. That relationship is promoted through regular formal and informal meetings.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what provisions have been made to hold elections to replace the Ascension Island councillors who have recently resigned. (129871)

The Island Council (Ascension) Ordinance lays down the procedure for holding elections. Six out of a total of seven councillors have recently resigned just a little under half-way through a three year tenure. The acting governor of St. Helena and its Dependencies, as acting governor of Ascension, in consultation with the substantive governor and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, is currently considering urgently whether in these circumstances a by-election should be held or the council should be dissolved so that a general election should take place.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when Ministers from her Department visited Ascension Island in each year since 1997; and what the (a) duration and (b) purpose was of each visit. (129982)

My hon. Friend the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Bill Rammell) transited Ascension Island on 26 November 2003 en route to the Falkland Islands. During his visit, he had the opportunity to meet the Ascension Island councillors. My noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham, was prevented from visiting Ascension Island on 15 December 2006 by bad weather. He had scheduled meetings with the Ascension Island councillors.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in providing permanent rights of (a) abode and (b) property ownership to residents of Ascension Island. (129984)

After having weighed carefully the aspirations of those working and living on Ascension Island against the risk that a settled community might not be economically viable, the Government concluded that the UK would face unacceptable risks if the right of abode were granted and further development of property rights permitted. This decision was conveyed to the Ascension Island Council in my noble Friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Lord Triesman of Tottenham’s letter of 19 January 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has received from the United States government on providing (a) permanent rights of abode and (b) property ownership rights to residents of Ascension Island. (129985)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has received no representations from the US Administration on providing permanent right of abode and property ownership rights to residents of Ascension Island.

Cambodia: Administration of Justice

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the independence from the political process of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia trying suspects accused of serious crimes under the Khmer Rouge regime. (129560)

The Government support an independent, UN-supported tribunal that will help strengthen accountability, the rule of law and judicial reform in present day Cambodia as well as hold to account those suspected of being most responsible for the serious crimes committed during the Khmer Rouge period. We, and other interested states, continue to encourage all parties to work together to ensure the credibility and success of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. We are monitoring developments at the tribunal closely.

Cameroon

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations have been made by the High Commission in Yaoundé on the arrest and detention of Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor and other members of the Southern Cameroon National Council in Bamenda. (128874)

Our high commission in Yaounde has not made any representations to the Cameroon authorities regarding this incident. However, since learning of the arrest and detention of 11 Southern Cameroon National Council members, including Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor, the high commission in Yaounde has been in contact with the National Human Rights Commission and Freedoms representative in Bamenda. That representative has met with Dr. Nfor at the prison, who confirmed that their health situation was good and they were being detained under normal Cameroon prison conditions, including having access to their legal counsel and families.

Ten of the 11 detainees including, Dr. Nfor Ngala Nfor, were released on bail on 14 March. Hearings on preliminary investigation into the arrests have been scheduled for 17 April. The high commission will continue to follow the case.

China

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment she has made of the compliance by China, in respect of its occupation of Tibet, with Article 49 paragraph six of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. (129373)

[holding answer 23 March 2007]: The Government have not made any assessment of the situation in Tibet in relation to paragraph six, Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. Successive Governments have regarded Tibet as autonomous while recognising the special position of the Chinese authorities there. We encourage the Chinese Government to put history aside and move towards a solution to the present problems in Tibet, doing so most recently at the latest round of the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue in London on 5 February. We continue to urge China to engage in dialogue with representatives of the Dalai Lama, without preconditions.

Egypt: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what her Department’s assessment is of the democratic process in Egypt. (128868)

[holding answer 22 March 2007]: The Egyptian Government have committed to a process of political reform. In recent years some important reforms have taken place. The constitution was amended in 2005 to allow multi-candidate presidential elections to be held for the first time. Domestic monitors were allowed to observe parliamentary and presidential elections for the first time in 2005. In December 2006, President Mubarak announced further constitutional amendments; these will be voted on in a referendum today. The President has also committed to ending the state of emergency by May 2008.

There is scope for further progress in enhancing the transparency and independence of the electoral system, as well as increasing the participation of women in the political process. We will continue to monitor the implementation of the reforms and the constitutional amendments. We will also continue to work with Egypt to promote democracy and human rights.

Iraq: Peace Keeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made on the raids of 23 and 25 February 2007 by US and Iraqi forces on the head offices of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers; what reports she has received on the damage caused; and if she will make a statement. (129566)

We have made no representations on this matter. We are aware of the raids on the offices of the General Federation of Iraqi Workers. These were carried out by Iraqi security forces with the backing of multi-national forces as part of ongoing security operations—several other offices and institutions have also been subject to similar operations. We strongly support the Iraqi Government’s efforts to improve security, which are essential to improving the situation across the whole country.

Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what criteria the Government use when formulating policy of opposing or supporting development of nuclear capability by other states. (129555)

The Government are bound by their commitment under article IV of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty to be supportive of the development of peaceful nuclear technology by all states party to the treaty. The state party concerned must, of course, be in compliance with its treaty obligations, particularly those under articles I and II, but also under article III, to be the beneficiary of such support.

Policy towards those not in compliance with their treaty, or International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards, obligations is formulated case by case.

Pakistan: Entry Clearances

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether HM High Commission, Islamabad, has received the decision papers from the Immigration Appeals Tribunal in respect of cases VA/08797/2006, VA/08788/2006 and VA/08793/2006 concerning Mr F. A., Mrs R. B. and Miss M. M., relatives of Mrs N. S. of Aylesbury. (127745)

The determinations in respect of the cases of Mr. F A, Mrs. R. B. and Miss M. M. were received in our High Commission in Islamabad in October and November 2006. These cases were part of the backlog of allowed appeal cases, but the papers have now been linked with their files and passed to a casework officer for a brief review before the applicants are contacted and invited to submit their passports so that their visas can be issued.

The Visa Section in Islamabad aim for this to be done within the next week.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many refused immigration applications are awaiting review by entry clearance managers at HM High Commission, Islamabad. (127748)

Pakistan: Religious Persons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many imams were granted entry clearance from Pakistan to carry out religious duties in the UK in each year since 1995. (129064)

The information requested by my hon. Friend is listed as follows:

Visas granted to Imams from Pakistan 1995-2006

Number

1995-97

0

1998

33

1999

25

2000

31

2001

134

2002

46

2003

40

2004

68

2005

22

2006

23

Total

422

Paramjeet Singh

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has received on the case of Mr Paramjeet Singh, arrested in India on 23 December 2006; and what action she has taken following Paramjeet Singh's arrest. (129232)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has received a number of letters from hon. Members about Mr. Singh's case.

Officials from our High Commission in New Delhi sought consular access as soon as we were notified of his arrest. We visited Mr. Singh in prison on 30 December 2006 and again on 22 February. We will continue to provide Mr. Singh and his family with appropriate consular assistance.

Saudi Arabia

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when she last met her counterpart in Saudi Arabia. (129857)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary last met Prince Saud, her Saudi counterpart, in Paris on 25 January.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions she has had with her counterpart in Saudi Arabia. (129858)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary last spoke to Prince Saud, the Saudi Foreign Minister, on 21 March. They discussed regional issues related to the forthcoming Arab League Summit in Riyadh.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether she plans to visit Saudi Arabia in the near future. (129859)

My right hon. Friend, the Foreign Secretary had planned to visit Saudi Arabia from 21-22 March. However, because of preparations for the Arab League summit next week, it was agreed that the visit should be postponed. We hope that the visit will be reinstated soon.

Constitutional Affairs

Community Court Schemes

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment she has made of the Community Court schemes in Salford and Liverpool. (128166)

Both the Liverpool and Salford Community Justice schemes have been undergoing extensive quantative and qualitative evaluations. It is anticipated that the final reports will be published in May. Community justice makes a key contribution to the Government’s Respect Action Plan, which was published in January 2006. It aims to strengthen the links between the courts, the criminal justice system and the local community so that local people’s confidence in the work of the courts and the wider criminal justice system increases. As the Lord Chancellor said in his written ministerial statement of 27 November 2006, the Government are now establishing 10 further community justice initiatives. The aim of this next phase of community justice work is to provide further learning and best practice so that in the long term the principles of community justice are applied in the courts and the criminal justice system throughout England and Wales.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the most recent re-offending rates are in England and Wales; and what the re-offending rates have been from the Community Court schemes in Salford and Liverpool. (128167)

Figures from November 2006 from the Home Office put the most recent re-offending rate for England and Wales at 57.6 per cent. This is measured for adult offenders over two years following the date of release from prison or sentence to a community order. Since it is less than two years since the launch of both Liverpool and Salford, these figures are not yet available.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the most recent attendance rate by the accused at court is in England and Wales; and what the rate has been at the Community Court schemes in Salford and Liverpool. (128168)

The Home Office Criminal Statistics Bulletin 2005 states that, nationally, 8 per cent. of adult defendants fail to appear in the magistrates court. Figures for 2006 are not yet available. Figures for the Community Justice Centre in Liverpool, which opened in September 2005, show that in 2006, 20 per cent. of adult and 15 per cent. of youth offenders failed to attend court. The Liverpool Community Justice Centre has a different caseload, however, to a normal magistrates court and also sits as a Crown court. These figures are not collected at Salford magistrates court.

Coroners: Armed Forces

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what plans she has to transfer funds from HM Coroner for Oxfordshire to HM Coroner for Wiltshire following the decision to transfer cases of multiple military deaths overseas from RAF Brize Norton to RAF Lyneham; and if she will make a statement. (129138)

The exceptional funds provided to the Oxfordshire coroner were to clear a backlog of inquests which had developed. I will continue to regularly review progress regarding these inquests.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what new arrangements she plans to make to fund HM Coroners following her decision to transfer responsibility for coroners inquests from Oxfordshire to the home counties of individual deceased military personnel; and if she will make a statement. (129139)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what estimate she has made of the additional costs falling on HM Coroner for Wiltshire arising from the transfer of cases of multiple military deaths overseas from Oxfordshire to Wiltshire. (129140)

We have no costings for the Wiltshire and Swindon coroner handling potential multiple inquests of fatalities repatriated to RAF Lyneham.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many military inquests were conducted in (a) Oxfordshire and (b) Wiltshire in each of the last five years. (129631)

We are seeking the relevant information from the Oxfordshire coroner. The Wiltshire coroner's office has advised that five military inquests were held in 2002, eight were held in 2003 (of which one remains outstanding), none in 2004, six in 2005 and two in 2006.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what extra funding and staffing has been given to the Oxfordshire Coroner to assist with the cost of military inquests incurred due to the use of RAF Brize Norton for the repatriation of bodies; and what additional resources will be given to the Wiltshire Coroner when those duties are transferred to RAF Lyneham on 1 April. (129632)

To clear the backlog of military inquests the Oxfordshire coroner has been provided with the funding authority to employ three additional assistant deputy coroners, three additional coroner's officers, one additional administrative officer and recording equipment to enable two courts to run simultaneously. To date, the Department for Constitutional Affairs has received invoices totalling £115,000 for this additional resource. It is not planned to provide additional resources to the Wiltshire and Swindon coroner who we understand intends to transfer as many of the military inquests as he can to the coroners nearest to the bereaved family. I will continue to regularly review the progress of military inquests.

Courts: Security

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what funding her Department provided for security in courts in each year since 2001. (129150)

Between 2001 and the creation of Her Majesty's Courts Service in 2005 my Department provided funding, either directly or as capital grant or resource funding, to all courts in England and Wales. Due to the nature of this allocation method, to determine what funding was provided for security in courts for each year would incur a disproportionate cost.

Post 2005, all budgets were and continue to be devolved to the seven regions which comprise Her Majesty's Courts Service and funding for security is not recorded separately. To extract security costs from the general planned maintenance budget and other provisions in courts in England and Wales would incur a disproportionate cost to collate.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what steps her Department has taken to improve security at courts in England and Wales since 2001. (129151)

My Department continually reviews the security arrangements at courts in England and Wales to ensure that appropriate security measures are in place. Since 2001, my Department has sought to ensure that those measures achieve and continue to achieve the necessary levels of protection through a process of risk management.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many security staff are employed at (a) High Court premises and (b) Crown court premises in England and Wales. (129152)

My Department currently employ 60 security staff in the High Court and 306 in Crown courts throughout England and Wales. To ensure that there is no double counting, a separate figure has not been provided for locations when a High Court judge is on circuit, as they sit in existing Crown high court locations.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment has been made of security arrangements at courts in England and Wales following recent bombings of courts sittings in terrorism trials in Pakistan. (129153)

Her Majesty's Courts Service, an Executive Agency of the Department for Constitutional Affairs, continually review the security arrangements of courts in England and Wales. The risks posed to all court buildings, staff and court users are assessed to ensure that appropriate measures are in place and that those measures are achieving the correct levels of protection through a process of risk management.

Departments: Advertising

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what the Department’s total spending was on advertising and promotional campaigns in each year since 1997; and what the cost of each campaign was, broken down by costs relating to (a) television, (b) radio and (c) print media. (128062)

Since its inception in June 2003, the Department for Constitutional Affairs has conducted the following advertising:

a regional poster campaign on buses to promote recruitment to the lay magistracy

a national campaign to promote recruitment to the lay magistracy

radio and press adverts to target court fine defaulters (under the title Operation Payback)

press adverts to promote voting fraud prevention

invitations in the legal press to comment on Lord Carter's Review of Legal Aid Procurement

a campaign in London to encourage voter registration by 18 to 24-year-olds

My Department has not conducted any television advertising since June 2003.

£

Project

Radio

Press/poster

2003-04

Operation Payback (Phase 1)

79,000

133,000

Magistrate recruitment

431,000

2004-05

Operation Payback (Phase 2)

95,000

164,000

Magistrate recruitment

124,000

2005-06

Postal voting

188,000

Magistrate recruitment

107,000

522,000

Operation Payback (Phase 3) 2006

94,000

158,000

Lord Carter’s Review of Legal Aid Procurement

24,000

Voter registration

62,000

2006-07

Operation Payback (Phase 4)

21,000

Magistrate recruitment

8,617

62,000

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how much her Department spent on (a) sponsoring newspaper or publication supplements and (b) funding advertorials in newspapers and other publications in the last year for which figures are available; and what the topic was of each. (128895)

For the period March 2006 to March 2007 my Department placed the following advertorials:

In November 2006 an advertorial was placed in Media Today to help raise awareness of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 among health and social care practitioners. The cost for this was £204.

Departments: Trade Unions

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs how many meetings (a) she and (b) her Department's Ministers held with trade union representatives in 2006. (128767)

During 2006 (a) I held two meetings with trade union representatives; (b) other Ministers in my Department held 13 meetings with trade union representatives, as set out in the following table.

Number

Lord Falconer

15

Baroness Ashton

11

Vera Baird

0

Bridget Prentice

110

1 Two meetings with union representatives were held jointly by Lord Falconer and Bridget Prentice and one jointly by Lord Falconer and Baroness Ashton.

Gender Recognition Act 2004

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs whether criminal actions under section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 can be pursued for any period, so long as evidence still exists. (129399)

No. Disclosure of protected information under section 22 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004 is a summary offence. The relevant time limit is set out in section 127 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980. Under that section, a court can only deal with an alleged offence if a complaint or information is submitted to the relevant authorities within six months of the event that gave rise to it.

Legal Aid

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment the Government have made of the effect on those (a) affected by domestic violence and (b) on low incomes of the proposed changes to legal aid arrangements; and if she will make a statement. (129570)

Domestic violence is a cross-Government priority and formalised through the formation of the Inter-Ministerial Group for Domestic Violence. The Group comprises of Ministers from nine Government Departments and the three devolved administrations. In light of the assessments and priority need, the group prepares an Annual Delivery Plan and reports against progress each year. The report for 2006-07 will be published shortly together with the Delivery Plan for 2007-08.

Domestic Violence proceedings are a priority area for legal aid funding. The Legal Services Commission's (LSC's) Funding Code Criteria for domestic violence cases are wider than for most other family and non-family areas; they are not limited to any specific definition of domestic violence or abuse. When appearing in a family court, persons of limited means will be funded in all but the most exceptional of circumstances. As a separate measure to the wider programme of legal aid reform as set out in “Legal Aid Reform: The Way Ahead” the financial eligibility limits for legal aid for domestic violence victims will be raised and both income and capital limits will be able to waived, by the LSC, on a discretionary basis from 9 April 2007. In criminal proceedings, the Crown Prosecution Service represents the victim of domestic violence.

Miscarriages of Justice: Family Courts