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Written Answers

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Monday 4 June 2007

Leader of the House

Sitting Hours

22. To ask the Leader of the House, if he will give further consideration to the sitting hours of the House on Wednesdays; and if he will make a statement. (140285)

The present sitting hours for Wednesdays were agreed by the House in October 2002 and were confirmed in January 2005. I have no plans to propose any changes to the current arrangements.

Departments: Consultants

To ask the Leader of the House if he will list the outside (a) agencies and (b) consultancies which are undertaking work commissioned by his Office; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) cost is of each commission. (138378)

The Office of the Leader of the House of Commons and the House authorities commissioned Domain Technologies to develop a database to allow for the electronic exchange of parliamentary questions between Government departments and the House of Commons (ePC). The current phase of development cost £34,369 (including VAT.), shared between my Office and the House authorities. Domain Technologies have also been engaged to make enhancements to my private office database which manages correspondence and briefing documents. This is at a cost of £14,558 (including VAT.).

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farming households there were in England in 2005-06. (138740)

The June Agricultural Survey does not specifically collect data relating to farming households. The following figures show the number of registered holdings in England at June 2005 and 2006.

Number of holdings in England

2005

195,908

2006

200,381

Source:

June Agricultural Survey

Angling: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how much was received from the purchase of fishing rod licences in each of the last five years; (138880)

(2) what the cost of collecting rod licence fees was in each of the last five years, broken down by type of cost.

Details on how much money was received in each of the last five years is given in the table below:

Rod licence income (£ million)

2002-03

16.1

2003-04

17.7

2004-05

18.6

2005-06

19.7

2006-07

20.5

It is not appropriate to provide details relating to the cost of collecting rod licences at this point because this information is commercially in confidence. The Environment Agency are currently in the middle of procuring a contractor to sell rod licences from April 2009.

The Environment Agency can, however, say that the total costs for collecting licences (commission, printing, systems development, administration etc.) is less than 10 per cent. of the income brought in.

Bluetongue Disease

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animals from northern France have been refused entry due to blue tongue exclusion rules since 17 April. (137655)

Current EU law says that animals originating from, or transiting through, a bluetongue restricted area can be moved only if the member state of destination gives prior authorisation. Current UK policy is not to permit such animals to be moved to the UK. Therefore no animals have been granted entry into the UK from bluetongue affected areas.

Carbon Emissions: Publicity

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on advertising campaigns designed to encourage behavioural change to reduce carbon emissions in each year since 2000. (137582)

Defra was created in 2001, and figures for 2000 from predecessor Departments are not available.

Since 2001, Defra has funded, through the core Department or key delivery partners, a number of campaigns designed to raise awareness, change attitudes and ultimately encourage behaviour change to reduce carbon emissions. Costs of the campaigns are as follows. Where available, a breakdown of the figures is provided.

Core Defra

1. Climate Change Communications Initiative (awareness raising and attitudinal campaign—commenced 2005)

Expenditure (£)

2005-06

11,150,000

2006-07

24,505,000

1 Figure includes the following elements: Resource cost £477,000. Capital cost £643,000 for film, brochures, website etc. Staff cost £30,000. 2 Figure includes the following elements: Resource cost £3,645,000. Capital cost £607,000 for film, brochures, website etc. Staff cost 253,000.

2: Act on CO2 climate change behaviour change campaign

Amount (£ million)

2006-07

1.1

Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust, an independent company funded by Defra, spent the following on its marketing campaign.

Carbon Trust

Expenditure (£)

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

1700,000

2003-04

3,300,000

2004-05

3,600,000

2005-06

3,800,000

1 The Carbon Trust was formed in 2001-02 but did not begin marketing activity until 2002-03. Figure for 2002-03 is total marketing expenditure. Figures for 2003-04 and 2004-05 represent expenditure on awareness campaigns. Note:Figures for resource breakdown are not available as Carbon Trust do not distinguish between these categories in the funding information they provide to Defra.

Energy Saving Trust

The Energy Saving Trust, an independent company funded by Defra, spent the following on its "Energy Efficiency" Consumer Marketing Campaign.

Energy Saving Trust

Expenditure (£)

2000-01

14,208,000

2001-02

6,542,000

Staff

(488,000)

Resource

(6,054,000)

2002-03

5,742,000

Staff

(487,000)

Resource

(5,255,000)

2003-04

6,038,000

Staff

(560,000)

Resource

(5,478,000)

2004-05

28,453,000

Staff

(547,000)

Resource

(7,906,000)

2005-06

5,946,000

Staff

(511,000)

Resource

5,435,000

1 Figures for 2000-01 show advertising expenditure only and include a small amount of Scottish Executive support. 2 Figures for 2004-05 have been updated as the previous figures supplied for PQ 0622 (March 2005) were an estimated outturn including a separate campaign to promote energy efficiency in the run-up to the start of the Energy Efficiency Commitment for 2005-08.

Cattle: Exports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many live young calves were exported from the UK in each of the last five years; and to which destinations. (138784)

No cattle were exported before May 2006 due to the EU BSE related ban. This ban was lifted on 3 May 2006.

The number of cows exported in 2006, from the UK to the EU, is set out in the table. Romania was the only country outside the EU to which cattle were exported during 2006; they joined the EU on 1 January 2007.

Data are available only for cattle as the data source does not differentiate between calves and adult cattle.

Destination country

Number of cows exported in 2006

Netherlands

82,612

Belgium

28,626

France

9,237

Italy

2,706

Spain

20,937

Ireland

7,542

Hungary

250

Estonia

94

Poland

85

Germany

79

Greece

63

Denmark

16

Romania

45

Coastal Areas: Access

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to fulfil his Department's pledge to improve access to the English coast. (139701)

The Government received Natural England's report on coastal access on 28 February in which they recommended that new legislation should be introduced to enable it to align a "coastal access corridor" around the whole English coast that people could enjoy with confidence and certainty. We are currently considering Natural England's report and will shortly launch a public consultation document inviting views on ways of improving access.

Departments: Disciplinary Proceedings

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many grievance procedures have been initiated in his Department in the last 12 months. (135154)

The Civil Service Management Code sets out the requirements for Departments to have procedures in place to deal with grievances. The Defra Grievance Procedures are laid down on the departmental intranet.

The number of formal grievances that were initiated in the core-Department in 2006 was 14.

Departments: Sovereign Strategy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many meetings (a) Ministers and (b) officials from his Department and its predecessor held with Sovereign Strategy in each year between 1997 and 2006. (136867)

From records held centrally, there have been no meetings between Ministers in Defra and Sovereign Strategy. It is not possible, on grounds of disproportionate cost, to answer the question in relation to meetings involving officials.

Floods: West Midlands

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Environment Agency spent on flood defences in the west Midlands in (a) 2001, (b) 2004 and (c) 2006. (140215)

The midlands region of the Environment Agency spent the following on flood defences in the requested years:

£ million

2001

3.82

2004

7.58

2006

10.82

This expenditure is inclusive of capital and maintenance expenditure and includes the flood defence schemes built at Shrewsbury, Bewdley, Kidderminster, Hereford, Cannock and Burton on Trent.

Fly Tipping

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many prosecutions for the offence of fly-tipping there were in (a) England and Wales and (b) the West Midlands Region in each of the last three years. (138251)

The following table shows the number of individuals and companies prosecuted in magistrates courts for offences under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (the main offence covering illegal waste disposal) in England in the past three years:

Prosecutions

2003

785

2004

1,066

2005

1,434

Source:

Criminal Justice Systems Analysis (2007)

The number of prosecutions recorded by local authorities in the West Midlands on Flycapture, the national fly-tipping database, is shown in the following table.

Prosecutions

2004-2005

22

2005-2006

36

The Flycapture database, which was set up in 2004 by DEFRA, the Environment Agency and the Local Government Association, records the number of fly-tipping incidents dealt with by the Environment Agency and local authorities and details of enforcement action. Data for 2006-07 have not yet been finalised but will be available in the summer.

Fly Tipping: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps he is taking to encourage local authorities to increase the amount of information they submit to the Flycapture database; (138253)

(2) what the cost is of maintaining the Flycapture database.

Since the Flycapture database was set up in 2004, DEFRA has funded a national data co-ordinator to help and encourage local authorities (LAs) in England to register and to submit regular monthly returns. The national data co-ordinator issues guidance to Flycapture data co-ordinators within LAs, and visits them to help resolve problems and validate data. DEFRA has also held a number of workshops with LAs to raise awareness, and has run Flycapture support group meetings, where good practice and knowledge are shared. We have also worked with the Department for Communities and Local Government to ensure Flycapture is used to monitor LAs’ performance on the Best Value Performance Indicator on fly tipping (BV199d).

As a result of this effort, and the hard work of LAs themselves, I am pleased to say that 100 per cent. of LAs in England are registered to use the database and, in 2005-06, 93 per cent. returned 10 or more monthly returns. DEFRA is continuing to encourage the remaining authorities to fulfil their legal requirement in submitting regular monthly returns.

DEFRA provides £159,000 per year to the Environment Agency to maintain and run the Flycapture database. DEFRA also pays for technical improvements. The budget for these in 2007-08 was £50,000. The devolved administrations also contribute funds, since Flycapture covers all parts of the UK.

Freight: Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the relative carbon efficiency of transporting freight by rail and by road. (139748)

Making direct comparisons between these types of transport is not straightforward because of the range of factors that impact on fuel efficiency; for example, the size of the vehicle or how heavily laden it is. However, an assessment has been made of the carbon dioxide (CO2) efficiency of transporting freight by road, rail and other methods. This forms part of the ‘Guidelines for Company Reporting on Greenhouse Gas Emissions’, published by DEFRA, to assist companies in reporting their carbon emissions. Emissions for freight carried by road (table 1) are based on how full the vehicle is, and conversion factors for CO2 emissions per tonne kilometre are provided for rail (table 2) and other freight transport types. It is possible to calculate CO2 emissions from transporting a certain amount of freight by road or rail from these data.

Table 1 Calculation of CO2 emissions from freight carried by road

Diesel freight road mileage conversion factors

Type of lorry

Percentage weight laden

Total km travelled

x

litres fuel per km

x

Fuel conversion factor

Total kg C02

Rigid

0

x

0.236

x

2.63

25

x

0.262

x

2.63

50

x

0.288

x

2.63

75

x

0.314

x

2.63

100

x

0.340

x

2.63

Articulated

0

x

0.311

x

2.63

25

x

0.345

x

2.63

50

x

0.379

x

2.63

75

x

0.414

x

2.63

100

x

0.448

x

2.63

Table 2 Calculation of CO2 emissions from other freight transport

Other freight transport mileage conversion factors

Freight transport mode

Tonne km

x

Factor

Total kg CO2

Rail

x

0.03

Air

long haul

x

0.57

short haul

x

1.58

Shipping

small roll on-roll off

x

0.06

large roll on-roll off

x

0.02

small tanker

x

0.04

large tanker

x

0.003

small bulk carrier

x

0.014

large bulk carrier

x

0.007

Further details are available on the DEFRA website. The guidelines are currently being updated and are scheduled to be published soon.

Grazing Land: Walls and Fences

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration has been given to bringing forward proposals to extend the provisions of the Commons Act 2006 to deal with the issue of straying sheep. (138407)

We do not intend to extend the Commons Act 2006 to deal with straying sheep. On many commons, customary law already requires adjacent landowners to fence against the boundary of the common. This issue was considered during the passage of the Commons Bill, where it was concluded that it would not be appropriate to use legislation to extend this practice to all commons, given that operational needs may differ between commons. The Commons Act provides that fences may be constructed on common land, for example to control the movement of livestock, provided the consent of the Secretary of State is secured.

Landfill

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) number and (b) total area was of landfill sites in each region of England in each year since 2002-03. (137894)

At the end of 2005 there were approximately 638 active landfill sites in England and Wales, as shown in the following table. Data for 2005-06 and 2006-07 are not yet available.

Table 1: Landfill data 2002-05

Region

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

Number of sites

Total area (m2)

Number of sites

Total area (m2)

Number of sites

Total area (m2)

Anglian

237

42313951.46

241

42697561.83

254

43255123.64

Midlands

164

31843944.73

166

31895730.53

177

32958824.39

North East

269

33226586.03

273

34161987.55

277

34161987.55

North West

145

23849197.01

145

23849197.01

150

23849197.01

Southern

95

222987.775

95

222987.775

96

222987.775

South West

199

19159302.52

201

19159399.04

202

19159485.52

Thames

113

26172713.2

115

26172417.2

121

27113258.84

Wales

63

9758868.415

63

9758868.415

66

9988633.305

The number of sites listed will include inactive sites. The area will include non-active parts of a landfill site. Historical information is not held in one single place and is therefore not 100 per cent. accurate.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the basis is for the policy on the allocation of landfill allowance trading scheme targets for local authorities (a) in sustainable communities plan growth areas and (b) outside those areas. (139144)

[holding answer 24 May 2007]: Landfill allowances were allocated in 2005 to local authorities based on the approach that all waste disposal authorities (WDAs) make the same relative contribution to the landfill directive targets for England, based on their share of municipal waste arisings in 2001-02.

Allowances have been allocated each year from 2004-05 to 2019-20 to provide local authorities with greater certainty for long-term planning. The allocation does not differentiate between local authorities in sustainable communities plan growth areas and local authorities outside those areas. Predictions of future population growth do not provide a sufficient basis of certainty for allocating allowances.

The Government recognise that WDAs located within the Government's specified growth areas may find meeting targets for reducing the amount of biodegradable municipal waste sent to landfill particularly challenging. The flexibilities of trading, banking and borrowing allowed within the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme are intended to give WDAs every opportunity to avoid becoming liable to a financial penalty for failure to comply with limits on landfilling.

Landfill: Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what value of fines has been issued by courts following successful prosecutions for release of pollution from landfill sites in each year since 2000; how many offences were identified in each year; and what the (a) highest, (b) average and (c) lowest fine was in each year; (137653)

(2) what the total was of fines issued by courts following successful prosecutions for release of pollution from landfill sites in each year since 2000; how many offences were recorded in each year; and what the (a) highest, (b) average and (c) lowest fine was in each year.

The information requested is set out in the following table. The fines listed are in respect of offences committed under the Water Resources Act s.85 (1), the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990, s.33 (6) and the Pollution Prevention and Control (PPC) Regulations, reg. 32 (1) (b). The water offences relate directly to the release of pollutants. With regard to the EPA and PPC offences, the database is not sufficiently refined to pinpoint whether the specific instances relate to release of pollution or to some other violation of the conditions of a licence or permit. The figures provided therefore include, but are not limited to release of pollution.

Prosecution of landfill sites

Count

Total (£)

High (£)

Low (£)

Average (£)

2000

7

58,000

35,000

1,000

8,286

2001

7

29,750

16,000

1,750

4,250

2002

6

57,000

17,000

5,000

9,500

2003

4

7,000

6,000

1,000

1,750

2004

7

110,500

33,500

3,000

15,786

2005

3

49,500

42,000

2,500

16,500

2006

3

42,000

25,000

2,000

14,000

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) complaints, (b) court actions and (c) fines there were against landfill sites for problems related to (i) odours, (ii) water pollution, (iii) air pollution and (iv) human health impact (1) in England and (2) in each region of England in each year since 2001-02, what the locations were of the sites against which each fine was levied; and what the level of fine was in each case. (137873)

As it is quite lengthy, I am arranging for copies of the information requested to be placed in the House Library.

Milk: Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will visit a dairy farm in Kettering constituency to discuss farmgate milk prices. (138053)

I am unable to accept the hon. Member’s kind invitation on this occasion. However, my Ministerial colleagues and I regularly discuss issues affecting the dairy sector with industry and farming representatives and visit a wide variety of farms across the country.

The Government believe that the setting of milk prices is a commercial matter to be resolved by private negotiation which should take place within the parameters set by competition law. We believe the market must determine prices.

Pollution: Fines

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been levied in fines by local authorities for incidences of pollution against (a) companies, (b) local authorities and (c) individuals for each type of pollution incidence (i) in total, (ii) in each region and (iii) for each fine in each financial year since 1998-99. (137891)

The total value of fixed penalty notices (FPNs), issued by English regions for noise related offences in 2004-05 and 2005-06, is shown in the following table.

Fine total (£)

Region

2004-05

2005-06

South East

100

100

North West

4

North East

56

1,500

West Midlands

1,500

East of England

2

Yorkshire and Humber

100

Total

1,672

1,700

The Department does not hold data for offences from 1998 to 2003, or whether FPNs were issued to companies or private individuals.

The Clean Air Act provides for fines for various offences which are all enforced by local authorities through magistrate courts. However, DEFRA does not collect these data.

For contaminated land, part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 provides for fines, levied through the courts, where a person fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with any of the requirements of a remediation notice. Any convictions for such offences are contained on a register maintained by the enforcing authority. DEFRA does not collect these data centrally.

Total fines imposed by the courts for offences under the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations, where local authorities are the regulator, are shown as follows. Data are only available from 2000.

Fines imposed (£)

Region

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

North East

North West

500.00

23,000.00

475.00

22,500.00

Yorks and Humberside

5,500.00

10,500.00

9,500.00

4,500.00

4,500.00

West Midlands

2,000.00

15,000.00

237,820.00

23,000.00

East Midlands

4,000.00

30,000.00

8,000.00

East of England

72,400.00

2,500.00

2,000.00

Wales

8,000.00

2,000.00

2,000.00

750.00

London

21,116.00

South East

29,000.00

South West

7,250.00

Total

87,150.00

62,500.00

39,616.00

59,500.00

248,295.00

50,750.00

Again, a more detailed breakdown of this information is not available.

Further data on fines levied by local authorities for other pollution incidents could be collated only at disproportionate cost.

State Veterinary Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) permanent and (b) temporary staff worked at the (i) State Veterinary Service, (ii) Dairy Hygiene and Egg Marketing Inspectorates and (iii) Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service in each of the last 12 months. (135504)

The figures requested are as follows:

(i) State Veterinary Service

Permanent

Temporary

April 2006

1,282.2

107.0

May 2006

1,268.3

115.7

June 2006

1,261.8

122.9

July 2006

1,267.4

130.7

August 2006

1,302.0

105.5

September 2006

1,300.5

95.5

October 2006

1,268.7

128.9

November 2006

1,274.2

125.9

December 2006

1,278.0

123.9

January 2007

1,289.4

135.4

February 2007

1,297.0

144.2

March 2007

1,301.8

154.8

(ii) Dairy Hygiene Inspectorates

Permanent

Temporary

April 2006

39.9

2.5

May 2006

40.3

3.5

June 2006

41.3

3.5

July 2006

41.3

3.5

August 2006

41.3

3.3

September 2006

40.3

1.5

October 2006

39.1

5.1

November 2006

42.6

4.1

December 2006

38.9

3.1

January 2007

37.8

3.6

February 2007

36.7

4.6

March 2007

35.5

5.6

(ii) Egg Marketing Inspectorate

Permanent

Temporary

April 2006

38.7

0.5

May 2006

38.7

0.5

June 2006

38.7

0.5

July 2006

38.7

0.5

August 2006

38.7

0.5

September 2006

38.7

0.5

October 2006

36.7

0.5

November 2006

36.7

0.5

December 2006

36.7

0.5

January 2007

35.7

0.5

February 2007

35.7

0.5

March 2007

35.7

0.5

(iii) Wildlife Licensing and Registration Service

Permanent

Temporary

April 2006

27.6

6.0

May 2006

25.8

8.0

June 2006

25.8

8.0

July 2006

27.8

7.0

August 2006

27.8

6.0

September 2006

28.6

6.0

October 2006

29.6

5.0

November 2006

29.0

6.0

December 2006

30.0

5.0

January 2007

30.1

4.0

February 2007

30.1

4.0

March 2007

31.1

3.0

Waste Management

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) incentives and (b) penalties his Department has put in place to encourage local authorities to reduce their waste collection volumes. (138929)

[holding answer 24 May 2007]: The amount of waste collected from households per head is measured under local authority (LA) Best Value Performance Indicator (BVPI) 84a.

BVPIs have statutory performance targets and are monitored by the Audit Commission. As a standardised suite of performance indicators, BVPIs help central Government and the public to monitor, analyse and compare the achievements of a local authority.

Action to reduce the amount of waste produced in the first instance, and therefore collected by local authorities, is driven by regional and local strategies and supported by nationally funded programmes.

In addition, the Government are providing funding and support to local authorities to help them promote and develop more sustainable waste management practices such as recycling, reuse and waste minimisation.

The Waste Minimisation Programme run by the Defra-funded Waste Resource Action Programme (WRAP) is working to stem the growth of household waste. This is part of a package of measures to enable the UK to meet the requirements of the landfill directive and move towards sustainable waste management.

As part of the Waste Minimisation Programme, WRAP is working with 13 major retailers to reduce the amount of waste from supermarkets. This includes looking at ways to redesign packaging as well as providing support for research and development into waste minimisation. It is also working with local authorities to establish greater participation in recycling and home composting. This is achieved by WRAP through a variety of means, for example through local authority advice and training; food waste collection trials with selected local authorities; funding support for local authority campaigns to boost recycling participation in their areas; and a targeted National Home Composting Programme.

The review of England's Waste Strategy, due to be published on 24 May will also put forward a range of measures to reduce household waste and build on recent improvements in household recycling. The consultation on the review proposed target increases for household waste recycling to 40 per cent. by 2010, 45 per cent. by 2015 and 50 per cent. by 2020.

Local authorities have received £45 million in 2005-06, £105 million in 2006-07 and £110 million in 2007-08 under the waste performance and efficiency grant to help them develop new and more efficient ways to deliver waste reduction and increase recycling.

There are no specific penalties to encourage local authorities to reduce their collected waste volumes. The Landfill Allowances Trading Scheme (LATS) places limits on the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that local authorities can landfill. Local authorities that exceed limits are liable to a penalty of £150 per tonne. Minimising municipal waste arisings helps local authorities meet their LATS obligations and so avoid penalties.

Wastes: Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of UK recyclable waste was exported to (a) China and (b) other countries by (i) ship and (ii) other forms of transport in the latest year for which figures are available; what tonnage this represented; and what controls or restrictions are placed on the end disposal of exported waste. (138121)

Where non-hazardous waste (such as separated recyclables) are exported, they are generally subject only to commercial controls, not to the prior notification and consent procedures which apply to exports of hazardous waste. They are, therefore, not notified and precise data are not available. However, HM Revenue and Customs’ indicative overseas trade statistics show that, of the waste metal, paper, plastic and glass cullet and their associated scraps exported from the UK in 2006, 19 per cent. was destined for China. The tonnages for China that year were 2,430,618 against a figure for all exports of 12,735,753.

We are unable to provide exact data on the method of transport used to export waste. However, most waste is transported by sea. Until it reaches the UK port, this transport would probably be by road. Upon reaching its port of destination, the method of transport is likely to be road, rail or inland waterway. Air transport is generally uneconomic for wastes, given their low cost and bulky characteristics.

Exports of waste from the UK for disposal are prohibited. However, certain non-hazardous wastes such as paper, glass and plastic can be exported for recovery or recycling, provided the wastes are destined for genuine and environmentally sound recovery operations. This would include the management of any minimal residues from recovery that require disposal. Such disposal would also need to be consistent with environmentally sound management in any country of destination.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on (a) travel, (b) accommodation and (c) hospitality in relation to those people funded by the Northern Ireland Office to attend the St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the United States in each year since 1997; and how many people attended at his Department's expense in that period. (129647)

The information requested is shown in the following table:

Number attending

Travel cost (£)

Accommodation and hospitality cost (£)

2001

7

1

1

2002

6

1

1

2003

5

23,174.88

1

2004

5

51,695.80

1

2005

5

27,945.29

1

2006

5

2

2

2007

4

24,697.20

3

1 Information is not readily available except at disproportionate cost.

2 Not all the costs associated with the officials and representatives travelling from Northern Ireland to events at the Whitehouse around 17 March 2006 are known. However the following can be advised:

Travel—£41,054.20;

Accommodation—£2,736.00;

Other—£1,765.00

These costs relate to expenses occurred in respect of the Secretary of State and officials from the Northern Ireland Office and the devolved Administration.

3 Invoice/accounts not yet available.

Departments: Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent on advertising by his Department in each of the last five years. (139533)

The Northern Ireland Office, excluding its agencies and NDPBs, has spent the following on advertising in each of the last five years:

Advertising (£)

2002-03

570,781

2003-04

353,114

2004-05

548,451

2005-06

159,146

2006-07

190,204

Departments: Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will list the outside (a) agencies and (b) consultancies which are undertaking work commissioned by his Department; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) cost is of each commission. (138453)

As at 1 April 2007, the agencies and consultancies shown in the following table are undertaking work commissioned by my Department and its agencies. The table also provides information on the purpose and cost of each commission.

Details of agencies undertaking work

Purpose of commission

Cost of commission (£)

Grafton Recruitment Agency

State Pathologist Department, medical personal secretary vacancy

10.97 hourly rate plus agency fee

Tim Lewis Recruitment

Development of electronic authorisation and knowledge maps

10,000 estimated cost for 2007-08

Provision of causeway Team Leader

Not available, staff substitution ongoing

Grafton Recruitment

Staff substitution

69,000 cost for 2007-08

Organisational development

30,000 cost for 2007-08

Mr. Scott

Forensic accountancy advice, consultation and court attendance

60,000 per annum

T&S International Training and Consultancy Partnership

Consultancy and training on quality management

20,000 estimated cost for 2007-08

Ben Lee

Human Rights Consultant

19,200 for 2007-08

Collin Burrows

Advisor to UK Steering Group examining alternative policing approaches to the management conflict

217,778.80 from 2002-03 to date

Karolyn Cooper

Drafting of legislation

117,778.80 from 2001-02 to date

Odgers Ray and Berndtson

Executive search and advertising for Police Ombudsman appointment process

Not yet known

Deloitte Total Reward and Benefits Ltd.

Cross borders senior police officer pension transfers

37,451.95 from 2005-06 to date

DOMILL/DSTL

Review of AEP/taser (children and vulnerable adults)

Nil to date

Dr. Gaston

Specialist adviser on new consultant contracts

Hourly rate 56.70

Mott MacDonald Ltd.

FSNI new accommodation project, project management and technical design services

Daily rates apply

Watson Napier Consulting

Project management and technical design advice

3,000 estimate for 2007-08

Anderson Spratt

Contracted PR advice

40,000 estimate for 2007-08

Public relations support

15,000 estimated cost for 2007-08

Computer Research Associates

Configuration of ICIS downloads for the purpose of statistical analysis of prosecution, conviction and sentencing data

15,000 cost for 2007-08

Biznet

Development of individual victims and witnesses walkthrough website

10,000 cost for 2007-08

Parasol

Process re-engineering and implementation of IT service desk

55,000 estimated cost for 2007-08

Jenkinson Consultancy

IIP advice

2,500 estimated cost for 2007-08

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Accountancy Advice (FRS 17)

2,500 estimated cost for 2007-08

Nicholson and Bass Ltd. on behalf of McCadden Design

Printing and folding of “Don’t Discount Crime” postcards

4,838

Peninsula Print and Design

Design and printing of HIPA scheme leaflets

426

Design and printing of crime prevention and home safety tips for older people

1,298

Coppernoise

Design and production of two pop-ups for message in a bottle campaign

695

DTZ Consultancy

Evaluation of the implementation of ASBOs

30,000 to date, further expenditure expected

Social and Market Research

Research into the views and experiences of people involved in Neighbourhood Watch schemes in NI

8,325

Peter Leitch Consultancy Ltd.

Provision of Programme Manager

Not available, staff substitution ongoing

Kairos

Organisational development

17,000 cost for 2007-08

Community Dialogue

Research project

29,900 cost for 2007-08

Whitewater Grafton

Organisational development

12,251 cost for 2007-08

Watts and Partners

Economic Appraisal and Feasibility Study

75,000 per annum up to 2010

Newell and Budge

IT Project and Programme management

15,176 cost for 2007-08

DJ Thompson

Organisational development

53,000 cost for 2007-08

BDP

Architectural/Planning

15,000 cost for 2007-08

Aedas

Architectural/Planning

19,617 cost for 2007-08

OHS DHSS

Staff substitution

64,000 cost for 2007-08

Hayes Construction and Property

Staff substitution

215 one day per week

RPS

Architectural/Planning

7,250 cost for 2007-08

Office of Government Commerce

IT application development

18,000 cost for 2007-08

Healthy Buildings International

Research Project

4,000 cost for 2007-08

Sean McConville, Queen May and Westfield College

Quality Accreditation

12,000 cost for 2007-08

Scrutiny Panel

Architectural/Planning

1,700 cost for 2007-08

Quest Consulting

Strategic management

10,000 cost for 2007-08

BT

IT security services

7,050 cost for 2007-08

BDO

Economic appraisal

72,000 cost for 2007-08

Carecall

Staff substitution

60,000 cost for 2007-08

Note:

This information does not include the Public Prosecution Service for Northern Ireland.

Departments: Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many times his Department was found to have been in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (139218)

The Northern Ireland Office has not received any notification from the Information Commissioner’s Office in relation to a breach of the Data protection Act 1998.

Departments: Legal Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on legal fees in each of the last five years. (139391)

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO), excluding its agencies and NDPBs, has spent the following on legal fees in each of the last five years:

Legal fees (£)

2002-03

5,494,196

2003-04

5,563,934

2004-05

6,977,043

2005-06

7,295,364

2006-07

10,821,790

Legal fees for the NIO have risen substantially in 2006-07, mainly due to expenditure by the Public Prosecution Service on the Omagh bomb trial, and also on the trial of James Fulton and his associates, which proved to be the longest murder trial in NI history. These two cases alone have accounted for an increase in legal expenditure of £2 million. Scale fees for counsel also increased in April 2006, the first increase in a number of years, and this also contributed to overall increase in 2006-07.

Departments: Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was raised from the sale of departmental property in each of the last five years. (139310)

The following table provides information on the proceeds received from the sale of Northern Ireland Office (NIO) property in each of the last five years.

£

Financial year

NIO property/land

Proceeds from sale

2002-03

NIO residential property

74,500

NIO residential property

74,500

NIO residential property

115,000

264,000

2003-04

NIO residential property

145,000

145,000

2004-05

NIO residential property

96,000

NIO residential property

94,000

NIO residential property

105,000

NIO residential property

98,000

NIO residential property

200,000

NIO residential property

98,500

NIO residential property

102,000

NIO residential property

97,000

NIO residential property

175,000

NIO residential property

156,000

NIO residential property

91,500

NIO residential property

160,000

NIO residential property

208,500

NIO residential property

193,000

1,874,500

2005-06

NIO residential property

104,000

NIO residential property

97,000

NIO residential property

100,000

NIO residential property

600,000

NIO residential property

470,000

NIO residential property

135,000

NIO residential property

600,000

NIO residential property

151,000

NIO residential property

159,500

NIO residential property

160,000

NIO residential property

172,000

NIO residential property

158,000

NIO residential property

146,000

NIO residential property

125,000

NIO residential property

105,000

NIO residential property

165,500

NIO residential property

165,500

NIO residential property

112,770

NIO residential property

137,500

NIO residential property

125,000

NIO residential property

135,000

NIO residential property

137,500

4,261,270

2006-07

NIO residential property

230,000

NIO residential property

196,000

NIO residential property

380,000

NIO residential property

250,000

NIO residential property

297,500

NIO residential property

205,000

NIO residential property

137,500

1,696,000

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was received by the Department from the letting of its properties in each of the last five years. (139330)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what properties the Department has (a) owned and (b) rented in each of the last five years. (139350)

The following figures provide information on properties owned and rented by the Northern Ireland Office (NIO) over the last five years.

(a) Properties owned by the NIO

Number

2002-03

5

2003-04

72

2004-05

71

2005-06

57

2006-07

34

(b) Properties rented by the NIO

Number

2002-03

62

2003-04

70

2004-05

68

2005-06

76

2006-07

93

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent estimate has been made of the value of the Department’s property portfolio. (139372)

Northern Ireland Office (NIO) property, excluding its Agencies and NDPBs, is valued at 1 April 2007 as per Valuation and Land Agency valuations. The following table lists the buildings and their net book values.

Building

Value as at 1 April 2007 (£)

NIO Residential Property

112,413

NIO Residential Property

185,150

NIO Residential Property

244,663

NIO Residential Property

185,150

NIO Residential Property

198,375

NIO Residential Property

198,375

NIO Residential Property

211,600

NIO Residential Property

257,888

NIO Residential Property

231,438

NIO Residential Property

218,213

NIO Residential Property

92,575

NIO Residential Property

99,188

NIO Residential Property

112,413

NIO Residential Property

119,025

NIO Residential Property

132,250

NIO Residential Property

85,963

NIO Residential Property

99,121

NIO Residential Property

85,896

NIO Residential Property

244,663

NIO Residential Property

119,025

NIO Residential Property

191,762

NIO Residential Property

211,600

NIO Residential Property

198,375

NIO Residential Property

165,313

Mounteden Storage Facility

156,060

Maryfield Offices

3,264,509

Hillsborough Castle

81,767,925

Total net book value

89,188,928.00

Departments: Visits Abroad

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much was spent by his Department on overseas travel in each year since 1997. (135021)

My Department spent the following amounts on foreign air travel in the years detailed.

£

2002-03

131,677.28

2003-04

137,261.12

2004-05

229,339.64

2005-06

158,454.14

2006-07

179,313.94

Overseas accommodation and transportation is arranged through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Details of the associated costs are not held centrally within the NIO and could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost. Information prior to 2002-03 is not available.

Motoring Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what procedures are in place for recovering penalties imposed for road traffic offences committed in Northern Ireland by drivers whose vehicles are registered (a) in other parts of the United Kingdom and (b) in other European countries; and how much in penalty fines was recovered from drivers whose vehicles are registered (i) in other parts of the United Kingdom and (ii) in other European countries in each of the last six years. (129648)

Drivers from other parts of the UK are pursued in the same manner as drivers from Northern Ireland. Fixed penalty staff are tasked to make proactive inquiries to locate offenders and facilitate payment of the fines. Since 11 October 2004 there has been mutual recognition of GB and NI driving licences, thereby allowing penalty points to be attached to the respective licences through the fixed penalty process. Motorists who fail to pay the applicable fine are either ‘Fine registered' and liable to arrest (in the case of 30 tickets) or summoned to appear at court (in the case of 60 tickets).

Since the introduction of mutual recognition of GB and NI driving licences on 11 October 2004, the following sums have been recovered from fixed penalty notices issued to GB drivers:

£

2004

4,200

2005

34,860

2006

33,240

Note: Figures prior to this date are not available

Fixed penalty notices are not issued to drivers from other EU countries, rather they are likely to be arrested and charged to the next available court, subject to the seriousness of the offence committed.

Nuclear Power Stations

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the White Paper, Meeting the Energy Challenge, what consideration is being given by the Government to siting a new nuclear power station in Northern Ireland. (140112)

Although responsibility for nuclear energy remains an excepted matter under the terms of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, any proposal to build a new nuclear power station in Northern Ireland would require planning permission under Northern Ireland legislation and this would therefore be a matter for the Northern Ireland Administration.

I have previously made it clear that I would not favour a nuclear power station.

Remedial Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many children in Northern Ireland have been referred to the reading centre for remedial education from each parliamentary constituency. (115270)

Sexual Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on the timescale for the introduction of legislation on the reform of sexual offences in Northern Ireland. (139698)

We hope to bring forward draft proposals for legislation on the reform of sexual offences law in Northern Ireland later this year.

House of Commons Commission

Freedom of Information

20. To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what the evidential basis was for the statement in the guidance issued by the House authorities on freedom of information that a “public authority may be required to release a copy of Members' correspondence if it receives a relevant request”. (140283)

Following requests for advice from Members about their constituency correspondence held by public authorities including health trusts, House officials issued guidance in December 2005. The guidance was based on the requirements placed on public authorities by the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Unless an exemption applies the public authority must respond to requests for information by confirming or denying it holds relevant material and, where held, providing a copy.

In practice an exemption (e.g. for personal or confidential information) may apply to the whole or part of such correspondence. The public authority is required to take a view on each case.

Departments: Legal Costs

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, how much was spent by the Commission on legal fees in each of the last five years. (139399)

Details of legal fees are readily available for the last four years only following a change in the accounting system in 2003. The amounts spent on external legal advice were:

£

2003-04

108,158

2004-05

108,921

2005-06

293,025

2006-07

134,515

Work and Pensions

Incomes: Pensioners

12. To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will undertake comparisons of minimum pensioner incomes across the European Union; and if he will make a statement. (140301)

It is difficult to make meaningful comparisons between minimum pensioner incomes in different countries. But for people on low incomes the UK provides one of the best systems of support in Europe replacing 78 per cent. of previous income. In 2005 the OECD concluded that “including benefits from private voluntary schemes, replacement rates in the United Kingdom are a little higher than the OECD average across the earnings range”.

Carer's Allowance

13. To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has for the future provision of the carer’s allowance. (140302)

The Government recognise the extremely valuable contribution made by carers.

We have made substantial improvements to the benefits available to carers including abolition of the age limit which precluded carers aged 65 and over from claiming carer’s allowance, and we will continue to look at ways in which carers can be supported.

Occupational Pensions: Compensation

17. To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if his Department will consider uprating the level of compensation payable to those who suffered financial losses when their occupational pension schemes were wound-up. (140308)

The Government have reviewed the money available for the FAS, and in March my right hon. Friend the Chancellor announced a substantial package of additional public funding so that members of pension schemes that were wound up underfunded due to employer insolvency will receive significant assistance of up to 80 per cent.

Bereavement Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were entitled to bereavement benefits in the last year for which figures are available; and how many people claimed them. (140230)

The information is not available in the format requested. No information is available on the number of people who may be entitled to bereavement benefit, but are not receiving it. As at November 2006, the most recent available information, there were 57,130 people in receipt of bereavement benefit.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps are taken to draw the attention of bereaved people to the availability of bereavement benefits. (140231)

I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave the hon. Member for Banbury (Tony Baldry) on 4 December 2006, Official Report, column 153W.

Carers' Allowances: Dystonia

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of the extreme variability of attack of spasmodic torticollis (dystonia) on care component payments for sufferers from the condition. (140480)

Entitlement to the care component or mobility component of disability living allowance is not linked to particular disabling conditions, but on the extent to which a severely disabled person has personal care needs and/or walking difficulties as a result of their disability.

People with spasmodic torticollis can qualify for the allowance if they satisfy the rules which govern entitlement most of the time. Advice is available in the Disability Handbook to decision makers on the variability of care and mobility needs that can result from this condition, and other forms of dystonia.

The Disability Handbook is maintained and updated on an ongoing basis by medical advisors in the health, work and wellbeing directorate and is available on the DWP website:

http://www.dwp.gov.uk/advisers/#guides.

Child Support

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what increase in the number of deduction from earning orders was anticipated following the introduction of the Child Support Agency's operational improvement plan; and what increase there has been to date. (129820)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 31 May 2007:

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what increase in the number of deduction from earning orders was anticipated following the introduction of the Child Support Agency's operational improvement plan; and what increase there has been to date.

In the Agency's Operational Improvement Plan we committed to using deduction from earnings orders earlier, and more frequently, for those who either default on other payment arrangements or indicate that they are unlikely to pay.

The Agency's data shows that there was a steady increase of approximately 7,000 in the number of Deduction from Earnings Orders (DEOs) recorded, from around 159,000 in March 2006 to around 166,000 in November 2006. However, following an exercise to validate this data, a long term accumulation of approximately 8,500 ineffective DEOs (cases where employers had informed the Agency that the non-resident parent on that case was no longer in their employment) were suspended pending investigation. The recorded number of DEOs then fell to around 158,000 in December 2006. These figures also include Deduction from Earnings Requests (DERs) as the two cannot be disaggregated for old scheme cases. A Deduction from Earnings Request is the Armed Forces equivalent of a DEO.

Since the launch of the Operational Improvement Plan payments via direct debit and standing order have shown a steady increase, with payments by direct debit up around 4,000 since December 2005, and payment by standing order also up by around 7,000 in the same period. Further, the number of non-resident parents who have their maintenance deducted directly from benefits payments has also risen by 27,000 in this period.

Children: Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average difference in child support payments is between those on the pre-2003 system and those on the new system in similar circumstances. (131818)

When applying the new scheme formula to a sample of cases on the old scheme, it is estimated that the maintenance liability is on average around £2 lower under the new scheme rules than the old scheme.

Source:

Child Support Computer System 5 per cent. extract, December 2006.

Disability Living Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what proportion of claims for disability living allowance made by (a) telephone, (b) post and (c) an online claim form have taken (i) up to four weeks and (ii) four or more weeks from receipt of claim to payment of benefit in the last 12 months; (140392)

(2) what the average period of time was between receipt of a claim for attendance allowance and payment of benefit for claims made by (a) telephone, (b) post and (c) an online claim form in (i) the UK, (ii) England, (iii) Scotland, (iv) Wales, (v) each English region and (vi) each parliamentary constituency in each of the last 10 months.

Incapacity Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people received incapacity benefit in 2005-06. (136150)

The available information is in the following table.

Incapacity benefit and severe disablement allowance claimants in Great Britain at quarters shown

2005

February

2,799,870

May

2,783,720

August

2,767,740

November

2,752,900

2006

February

2,747,790

May

2,730,000

August

2,724,980

Notes: 1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest ten. 2. Figures include incapacity benefit credits-only cases. Source: DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

Incapacity Benefit: Copeland

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people in Copeland were registered for incapacity benefit in the financial year ending (a) March 1997 and (b) March 2007. (138634)

The information is not available in the format requested.

As at November 1997, there were 4,500 people in Copeland claiming incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance. As at November 2006, there were 4,250 people in Copeland claiming incapacity benefit or severe disablement allowance. These figures include those receiving national insurance credits only.

Industrial Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many fatalities at work were recorded in (a) 2005 and (b) 2006; and how many have been recorded in 2007. (138302)

Statistics relating to work place fatalities and injuries are collected on the basis of financial year, from April to March. They are published annually for the previous year each summer. Six month provisional figures are made available via the Health and Safety Executive website. Figures for 2004-05, 2005-06 and the first six months of 2006-07 are set out in the following table. Final figures for the whole of 2006-07 should be published in July.

Number of fatal injuries notified to all enforcing authorities1, across all industries

Year2

2004-05

2005-063

2006-073 (six months)

1 April 2004 to 31 March 2005

1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006

1 April 2006 to 31 September 2006

Employment status

Workers4

223 (5)

212 (5)

124 (5)

Members of the public5

370 (2856)

384 (2906)

194 (1416)

1 Enforcing authorities include; HSE; local authorities; and the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR). Although ORR has enforced railway safety since 1 April 2006, there is still a requirement under RIDDOR to report certain incidents. RIDDOR (the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995) is the primary determinant as to whether a fatal accident is included in these figures or not.

2 The year is defined as a planning year, 1 April to 31 March.

3 Provisional: these figures are the latest available at the time of publication, and subject to change.

4 Workers includes employees and the self-employed.

5 Members of the public are those persons killed as a result of an accident arising out of or in connection with work activity, although they are not ‘at work’ themselves.

6 Includes suicides and trespassers on the railways. There were 253 fatal injuries due to suicides and trespassers on railways in 2004-05, 254 in 2005-06—provisional, and 132 in the first six months of 2006-07—provisional.

Note:

Figures in brackets are those reported to the Railways Inspectorate (RI), although included in the ‘all-industry’ figures above.

Industrial Health and Safety: Noise

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many inspections the Health and Safety Executive made for compliance with the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (139155)

This information is only available from the year 2002-03 for those instances where, as part of a HSE Field Operations Directorate inspection, noise was discussed in order to ensure compliance with relevant statutory provisions relating to noise (including the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 and, from 6 April 2006 the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005). The figures for each of the years from 2002-03 are provided as follows. The level of HSE inspection activity on this topic has remained broadly similar as a percentage of total inspections carried out since 2002-03. In the last four years HSE has undertaken fewer, but more focused and longer, inspections targeted at priority areas known to cause the greatest numbers of injuries and cases of ill health (including noise).

Number of HSE inspections made in relation to compliance with statutory provision relating to noise at work

Number of noise related inspections

Total number of inspections

Noise as percentage of total

2002-03

10,454

69,628

15

2003-04

8,430

68,604

12

2004-05

7,022

55,195

13

2005-06

5,318

53,274

10

2006-07

5,591

136,260

15

1 The total number of inspections for 2006-07 is provisional.

Note:

All data is taken from HSE’s work recording systems and the years run from 1 April to 31 March. Figures for the total number of inspections in 2005-06 and 2006-07 are minimum numbers and because of a change to arrangements for recording the number of inspections made during these years are not directly comparable with the numbers for earlier years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many companies the Health and Safety Executive prosecuted in each of the last 10 years for non-compliance with the Noise at Work Regulations 1989. (139156)

The following table sets out the number of proceedings instituted by HSE under the Noise at Work Regulations 1989, 1996-97 to 2005-06.

Number of companies prosecuted

1996-97

1997-98

1998-99

2

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

1

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Note:

All years run from 1 April to 31 March.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps he is taking to provide guidance to the music and entertainment industry on the implementation of the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 in April 2008; and if he will make a statement. (139157)

Representatives of the music and entertainment sectors, with support from the Health and Safety Executive and local authorities, are developing specific, practical advice on controlling noise at work under the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, which will apply to these sectors from 6 April 2008. The final guidance should be available by February 2008. Employers need information on the simple and straightforward actions they can take to protect workers. Regular exposure to high levels of noise can cause permanent hearing damage which for employees, including musicians and performers, can jeopardise their careers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many venues on the Public Entertainment Licence Register have been inspected to ensure compliance with the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 in the last 12 months. (139158)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and local authorities do not use the Public Entertainment Licence Register as the basis for recording premises inspected to ensure compliance with health and safety legislation. Therefore the information requested is not available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many venues on the Public Entertainment Licence Register he estimates will be inspected by April 2009 to ensure that they are complying with the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005. (139160)

The HSE and local authorities do not use the Public Entertainment Licence Register as the basis for planning inspections of premises in relation to compliance with health and safety legislation. Therefore the information requested is not available. Plans for proactive inspection work in 2008-09 have not yet been agreed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many venues on the Public Entertainment Licence Register have been served staff improvement notices as a result of Health and Safety Executive inspections in relation to the Noise at Work Regulations 1989. (139161)

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) does not record the number of improvement notices issued against venues on the Public Entertainment Licence Register and therefore the information requested is not available. However HSE figures show that between 1996-97 and 2005-06 a total of 1,650 improvement notices were issued by HSE with respect to the Noise at Work Regulations 1989.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were awarded compensation for damage to their hearing from exposure to loud music in nightclubs under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 in each of the last five years. (139163)

A breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act does not generally give rise to civil liability. However a breach of the Noise at Work Regulations 1989 or the Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 may (provided damage results). HSE does not routinely collect information regarding private civil claims for compensation (even when breach of Health and Safety Regulations are the basis of any such claim). Therefore this information is not available except at disproportionate cost.

Jobcentres: Copeland

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many job vacancies were available through the jobcentres in Copeland in the financial year ending (a) March 1997 and (b) March 2007. (138637)

The available information is in the following table.

Vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus in the Copeland parliamentary constituency

Financial year

Number of vacancies

2004-05

3,220

2005-06

2,250

2006-07

3,050

Notes:

1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Information is only available at constituency level from April 2004.

3. Figures are not fully comparable over time and may not indicate developments in the labour market.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate Jobcentre Plus Labour Market System.

New Deal

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total expenditure was on each New Deal programme for each year since 1997-98. (118798)

The available information is in the following table.

£ million

New deal for young people

New deal for 25 plus

New deal for young people and new deal 25 plus

New deal for 50 plus

New deal for lone parents

New deal for disabled people

New deal for partners

Total

1997-98

12

12

1998-99

162

17

1

180

1999-2000

282

71

1

12

15

381

2000-01

293

42

45

14

7

1

402

2001-02

219

140

82

9

4

2

456

2002-03

221

167

82

18

16

504

2003-04

264

189

41

20

28

542

2004-05

254

179

3

24

65

1

526

2005-06

3231

1

26

68

1

419

Total

1,707

805

3231

255

124

203

5

3,422

Notes:

1. There is no split currently available between new deal for young people and new deal 25 plus for 2005-06. The expenditure has been presented as a combined figure until an apportionment is made in the departmental report.

2. Spend data include all new deal programme costs and allowances paid to participants apart from the 50 plus element of the working tax credit. As this is not included, new deal 50 plus costs reduce after 2002-03.

3. Following agreement with HM Treasury in 2002-03, ring fences were removed from new deal. Administrative costs are excluded as it is no longer possible to identify the costs of administering the costs of each new deal separately from the costs of other labour market activities.

4. Expenditure data include start-up costs.

5. Following changes to the new deal 25 plus programme in April 2001 when a mandatory intensive activity period was introduced, programme costs rose significantly.

6. Expenditure for new deal for partners in 2002-03 and 2003-04 is not recorded in the table as, excluding administrative costs, costs were around £300,000 for both years and all figures are rounded to the nearest million. New deal for partners was re-launched in April 2004.

7. Programme start dates are: new deal for young people: January 1998; new deal 25 plus: July 1998; new deal for lone parents: October 1998; new deal for partners: April 1999; new deal 50 plus: April 2000; new deal for disabled people: July 2001 (new deal for disabled people pilots ran from September 1998 to June 2001).

8. Latest figures are to March 2006.

Source:

DWP Departmental Reports 2004-05, Jobcentre Plus Accounts 2005-06

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost was of the new deal programme in each of the years for which figures are available since its inception, broken down by region. (133456)

[holding answer 23 April 2007]: The information is in the following table.

New deal spend by region/country

£ million

Region

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Total

East Midlands

8

17

18

20

21

20

20

13

136

East of England

7

14

14

13

14

16

17

18

112

London

11

33

36

39

51

66

77

59

371

North East

12

25

28

31

31

32

30

19

207

North West

14

37

40

43

43

51

44

39

311

Office for Scotland

10

34

40

38

45

46

42

31

286

Office for Wales

7

20

23

21

24

23

22

13

154

South East

6

12

14

12

15

18

22

23

121

South West

9

17

19

18

18

19

21

16

137

West Midlands

8

20

22

30

31

33

31

21

196

Yorkshire and Humberside

18

36

39

36

38

37

33

36

273

Non regional1

12

70

115

110

155

174

182

168

131

1,118

Total

212

180

381

402

456

504

542

526

419

3,422

1 Relates to centrally administered expenditure, some of which is spent locally, for example, new deal allowances. Also includes new deal programme research.

2 Expenditure in the 1997-98 financial year was centrally administered.

Notes:

1. Figures exclude administrative expenditure.

2. Figures are subject to rounding differences and totals may not sum due to rounding.

Source:

Departmental Report up to March 2005;

Jobcentre Plus Accounts to March 2006.

Occupational Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what percentage of (a) full-time, (b) part-time and (c) all workers contributed to an occupational pension in each of the last 10 years, broken down by gender. (140439)

The information requested is not available. Such information as is available is shown in the following table.

Percentage of employees aged 16 and over who are members of current employer’s occupational pension scheme by sex1,2,3

Percentage

Unweighted

Weighted

1993

1995

1996

1998

1998

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

Men full-time

60

58

58

57

55

54

54

55

55

53

Weighted base (000)

11,009

11,323

11,220

10,820

10,708

10,422

Unweighted sample (000)

3,976

4,062

3,937

3,697

3,558

3,881

3,709

4,427

3,649

Women full-time

54

55

53

56

55

58

58

60

56

56

Weighted base (000)

6,429

6,353

6,465

6,362

6,554

6,601

Unweighted sample (000)

2,239

2,331

2,143

2,244

2,089

2,384

2,236

2,685

2,345

Women part-time

19

24

26

27

26

31

33

33

33

34

Weighted base (000)

4,628

5,059

4,990

4,963

5,044

5,182

Unweighted sample (000)

1,938

2,038

1,908

1,674

1,732

1,878

1,795

2,179

1,897

1 Includes employees temporarily away from a job or on a Government scheme, but excluding unpaid family workers.

2 Includes a few people who were not sure if they were in a scheme but thought it possible.

3 Table shows unweighted and weighted figures for 1998 to give an indication of the effect of the weighting. For the weighted data (1998 and 2000 to 2004) the weighted base (000) is the base for percentages. Unweighted data (up to 1998) are based on the unweighted sample.

Source:

General Household Survey, Office for National Statistics

Pension Credit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many claimants sold their domestic dwelling during the assessment period for the continued payment of pension credit in the last 12 months. (138995)

Pensioners: Overseas Residence

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans he has in respect of provision for the pension entitlement of British citizens who move to reside in (a) Canada, (b) Australia and (c) New Zealand. (139774)

We have no plans to change the current exportability arrangements for the UK state pension for people who are living in these countries.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what progress has been made on removing the differential between fully indexed pensions and those pensions frozen because their recipients reside in certain overseas countries. (140484)

We have no plans to change the way we uprate the UK state pension paid to recipients living overseas.

Pensions: Insolvency

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what Government funding has been made available for pensioners whose pension funds have been wound up in the last 10 years. (137053)

The Pensions Act 2004 put in place the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) which provides support to members of defined benefit occupational pension schemes which started to wind up, underfunded, between 1 January 1997 and 5 April 2005. At that time the Government committed the equivalent of £400 million cash of taxpayers’ money spread over 20 years.

On 25 May 2006, as part of the White Paper, “Security in Retirement: towards a new pension system”, a further £1.9 billion cash was allocated, bringing the total funding to £2.3 billion.

In his Budget speech on 21 March 2007 the Chancellor announced that we now intend to increase total long-term expenditure on the FAS to £8 billion. This equates to more than doubling funding for the scheme in ‘present value’ terms, from £830 million to £1.9 billion and will allow us to further increase the scope of the payments.

Poverty

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of (a) children and (b) pensioners in (i) Hartlepool constituency, (ii) Tees Valley sub-region, (iii) the North East region and (iv) the UK were recorded as living in poverty in each year since 1992. (130892)

Specific information regarding low income is available in “Households Below Average Income 1994-95 to 2005-06 (revised)”. The threshold of below 60 per cent. contemporary median income is the most commonly used in reporting trends in low income.

The data source does not allow us to provide robust estimates below the level of Government Office Region.

The numbers and proportions of children and percentages in households with low incomes, in the North East and Great Britain/United Kingdom for the period 1994-95 to 2005-06, are presented in the following tables 1 to 4 . Estimates are shown Before and After Housing Costs.

The data shown here are for Great Britain from 1994-95 to 1996-97 and for the United Kingdom from 1998-99 onwards.

Please note that the results are based on OECD equivalisation factors, and therefore may differ from previously published statistics which were based on McClements equivalisation factors.

Table 1: Children in the North East1994-95 to 2005-06

Before housing costs

After housing costs

Number of children living in low income households (millions):

1994-95 to 1996-97

0.19

0.22

1995-96 to 1997-98

0.20

0.22

1996-97 to 1998-99

0.20

0.23

1997-98 to 1999-2000

0.20

0.23

1998-99 to 2000-01

0.19

0.22

1999-2000 to 2001-02

0.17

0.20

2000-01 to 2002-03

0.18

0.20

2001-02 to 2003-04

0.17

0.18

2002-03 to 2004-05

0.17

0.19

2003-04 to 2005-06

0.15

0.17

Percentage of children living in low income households:

1994-95 to 1996-97

32

37

1995-96 to 1997-98

33

38

1996-97 to 1998-99

35

40

1997-98 to 1999-2000

34

40

1998-99 to 2000-01

34

39

1999-2000 to 2001-02

30

35

2000-01 to 2002-03

32

36

2001-02 to 2003-04

30

33

2002-03 to 2004-05

31

34

2003-04 to 2005-06

28

32

Notes:

1. Numbers, for the North East region, are presented using a three-year moving average, as single-year estimates do not provide a robust guide to year-on-year changes. Hence, figures are not consistent with any previously published single-year estimates and there may be differences in changes over time. In circumstances such as a change in trend, moving averages will show less variation than single-year estimates.

2. The table shows number of children in millions—rounded to the nearest 10 thousand.

3. In this answer low income is determined for children as living in households with incomes below 60 per cent. of the national median.

Source:

Family Resources Survey

Table 2: Children in Great Britain/United Kingdom 1994-95 to 2005-06

Before housing costs

After housing costs

Number of children living in low income household (millions):

1994-95

3.2

4.1

1995-96

3.0

4.2

1996-97

3.4

4.3

1997-98

3.4

4.2

1998-99

3.4

4.4

1999-2000

3.4

4.3

2000-01

3.1

4.1

2001-02

3.0

4.0

2002-03

2.9

3.9

2003-04

2.9

3.7

2004-05

2.7

3.6

2005-06

2.8

3.8

Percentage of children living in low income households:

1994-95

25

33

1995-96

24

33

1996-97

27

34

1997-98

27

33

1998-99

26

34

1999-2000

26

33

2000-01

23

31

2001-02

23

31

2002-03

23

30

2003-04

22

29

2004-05

21

28

2005-06

22

30

Notes:

1. The table shows number of children in millions.

2. In this answer low income is determined for children as living in households with incomes below 60 per cent. of the national median.

3. Figures from 1998-99 onwards are for the United Kingdom, figures prior to 1998-99 are for Great Britain.

Source:

Family Resources Survey

Table 3: Pensioners in the North East 1994-95 to 2005-06

Before housing costs

After housing costs

Number of pensioners living in low income households (millions):

1994-95 to 1996-97

0.12

0.15

1995-96 to 1997-98

0.12

0.15

1996-97 to 1998-99

0.12

0.15

1997-98 to 1999-2000

0.13

0.15

1998-99 to 2000-01

0.14

0.14

1999-2000 to 2001-02

0.13

0.13

2000-01 to 2002-03

0.12

0.13

2001-02 to 2003-04

0.11

0.11

2002-03 to 2004-05

0.10

0.09

2003-04 to 2005-06

0.09

0.08

Percentage of pensioners living in low income households:

1994-95 to 1996-97

26

33

1995-96 to 1997-98

26

33

1996-97 to 1998-99

26

32

1997-98 to 1999-2000

28

31

1998-99 to 2000-01

30

31

1999-2000 to 2001-02

28

28

2000-01 to 2002-03

26

27

2001-02 to 2003-04

23

23

2002-03 to 2004-05

22

20

2003-04 to 2005-06

20

17

Notes:

1. Numbers, for the North East region, are presented using a three-year moving average, as single-year estimates do not provide a robust guide to year-on-year changes. Hence, figures are not consistent with any previously published single-year estimates and there may be differences in changes over time. In circumstances such as a change in trend, moving averages will show less variation than single-year estimates.

2. The table shows number of pensioners in millions—rounded to the nearest 10 thousand.

3. In this answer low income is determined for pensioners as living in households with incomes below 60 per cent. of the national median.

Source:

Family Resources Survey

Table 4: Pensioners in Great Britain/United Kingdom1994-95 to 2005-06

Before housing costs

After housing costs

Number of pensioners living in low income households (millions):

1994-95

2.4

2.8

1995-96

2.4

2.8

1996-97

2.4

2.9

1997-98

2.5

2.9

1998-99

2.8

2.9

1999-2000

2.6

2.8

2000-01

2.6

2.7

2001-02

2.6

2.7

2002-03

2.5

2.5

2003-04

2.4

2.2

2004-05

2.3

1.9

2005-06

2.2

1.8

Percentage of pensioners living in low income households:

1994-95

24

28

1995-96

24

28

1996-97

25

29

1997-98

25

29

1998-99

27

29

1999-2000

25

28

2000-01

25

26

2001-02

25

26

2002-03

24

24

2003-04

23

21

2004-05

21

18

2005-06

21

17

Notes:

1. The table shows number of pensioners in millions.

2. In this answer low income is determined for pensioners as living in households with incomes below 60 per cent. of the national median.

3. Figures from 1998-99 onwards are for the United Kingdom, figures prior to 1998-99 are for Great Britain.

Source:

Family Resources Survey

Public Spaces: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many legal actions were brought against local and central government authorities as a consequence of accidents in publicly administered space in each year since 1997. (133859)

Social Security Benefits: Lone Parents

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to reply to question 116900, on benefit sanctions on lone parents, tabled by the hon. Member for Bradford, North on 16 January 2007. (132549)

State Retirement Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many pensioners are continuing to draw entitlement under the National Insurance Act 1925. (139541)

The information requested is not available. The Widows’, Orphans’ and Contributory Old Age Pensions Act 1936 was repealed by the National Insurance Act 1946. However, the 1946 Act provided that pensions in payment under the repealed legislation immediately prior to 5 July 1948, remained in payment as “contributory old age pensions”.

By virtue of the Social Security (Consequential Provisions) Act 1975, those previously entitled to such pensions became entitled to Category A or Category B retirement pensions with effect from 6 April 1975 under the Social Security Act 1975.

Note:

The Widows’, Orphans’ and Contributory Pensions Act 1925 and subsequent amending legislation were consolidated by the Widow’, Orphans’ and Contributory Old Age Pensions Act 1936. Entitlement under the 1936 Act was treated as giving entitlement under subsequent National Insurance Acts.

Unemployment: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent estimate he has made of the number of 18 to 24-year-olds not in education, employment or training. (140292)

I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave my right hon. Friend the Member for Birkenhead (Mr. Field) on 1 May 2007, Official Report, column 1593W.

Vacancies: Peterborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many job vacancies were notified to the jobcentre in Peterborough constituency in each month since January 2005. (139245)

For the period January 2005 to October 2006 I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 24 January 2007, Official Report, columns 1870-71W.

The information for the period November 2006 to April 2007 is in the following table.

Vacancies notified to Jobcentre Plus in the Peterborough parliamentary constituency

Month of Notification

Number of vacancies

2006

November

850

December

910

2007

January

450

February

950

March

520

April

1,000

Notes:

1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Jobcentre Plus boundaries do not match directly to parliamentary constituency boundaries. Therefore, figures quoted are aggregate totals for vacancies notified in the Peterborough parliamentary constituency.

3. Figures are not fully comparable over time and may not indicate developments in the labour market.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate Jobcentre Plus Labour Market System.

Welfare to Work

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many face-to-face meetings David Freud held with outside bodies as part of the research for his review of the welfare system; (135122)

(2) if he will list the outside bodies consulted by David Freud during his review of the welfare system;

(3) whether David Freud invited written submissions from outside bodies as part of the research for his review of the welfare system.

During the preparation of his review, David Freud met a variety of external stakeholders, both in face to face meetings and in a seminar environment. He made clear in these discussions that he welcomed contributions. After publication of his report, at the international conference on 26 March 2007, the Secretary of State invited all stakeholders to send in their views to the Department.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many meetings David Freud had with (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department in preparing his review of the welfare system. (135173)

David Freud involved officials from across the Department in his review and informed Ministers of the progress of his review on eight occasions.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will place in the Library copies of the documents provided to David Freud on the remit and scope of his review; (135178)

(2) what contribution was made by David Freud to decisions on the scope of his review of the welfare system; and if he will make a statement.

The terms of reference for David Freud’s review were published on 18 December 2006. They were

“to review progress on Welfare to Work programmes since 1997, taking account of evidence from the UK and international experience, and make recommendations on how the Government can build on its success in using policies such as the New Deal to continue to reduce inactivity and in-work poverty, and to help meet the Government’s 80 per cent employment aspiration.”

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will place in the Library a list of the information sources used by David Freud and his team in preparing his review of the welfare system. (135206)

In preparing his report, David Freud used information from a variety of sources, looking at both the UK and international welfare systems. Key information sources re referenced at the relevant points in his report, which has been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the total staffing budget available to David Freud for his review of the welfare system was; and what proportion of this budget was available to hire staff from outside his Department; (135220)

(2) how many staff (a) from his Department and (b) from outside his Department were involved in drafting the final report of David Freud’s review of the welfare system, broken down by job title and pay grade;

(3) what David Freud’s involvement was in selecting staff to work on his review of the welfare system; and if he will make a statement;

(4) how many civil servants from his Department worked on David Freud’s review of the welfare system, broken down by civil service grade.

David Freud involved officials from across the Department in his review and was supported by a secretariat of three officials on a full-time basis and two officials on a part-time basis. The breakdown by civil service grade is illustrated as follows.

Civil service grade

Full-time basis

Part-time basis

SCS PB1

1

1

Grade 7

1

1

EO

1

David Freud selected the Head of his Secretariat from two potential appointees put forward by the Department. The remaining members of the secretariat were assigned to the work by the Department.

No specific budget was allocated for the review. The costs of the staff that formed the secretariat for the review were borne within the Department’s overall staffing allocation.

Church Commissioners

Historic Buildings: Conservation

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what plans the Commissioners have to conserve the Priory Gatehouse in Worksop. (139658)

Worksop Priory is an important church founded in 1103. However, the Church Commissioners have not made any plans in relation to its conservation. Such plans are a matter for the individual parishes.

Legal Opinion: Expenditure

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how much was spent by the Commissioners on legal fees in each of the last five years. (139410)

Legal fees incurred by the Commissioners in the last five years (less income from third parties for legal work, legal fees charged to the Commissioners by external firms and the cost of outsourced legal work) are as follows.

Total net cost (£)

2002

705,407

2003

763,005

2004

817,502

2005

847,681

2006

850,200

Property: Rents

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how much was received by the Church Commissioners from the letting of properties in each of the last five years. (139342)

The Commissioners disclose income from property investments (net of expenses) in their annual report and accounts, a copy of which is placed in the House of Commons Library. The figures for the last five years are as follows.

£ million

2002

45.2

2003

41.1

2004

38.2

2005

42.5

2006

38.2

Public Relations: Expenditure

To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners how much was spent by the Commissioners on public relations in each of the last five years. (139414)

The Commissioners’ share of the cost of the National Church Institutions’ Communications Department and the cost of producing and printing their annual report (which is not purely a public relations exercise but also a statutory document) have, in the last five years, been as follows.

Total cost (£)

2002

146,023

2003

124,200

2004

120,724

2005

135,675

2006

168,797

Duchy of Lancaster

10 Downing Street: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the cost of redecoration and refurbishment in (a) Number 10 Downing street and (b) the flat above Number 11 Downing street has been since February 2007, broken down by month. (140005)

Information will be accounted for in the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Resource Accounts when these have been audited.

Charities: Cross Border Co-operation

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what joint arrangements the Charity Commissioners and the Office of the Scottish Charities Regulator have in place for dealing with cross-border operation of charities between Scotland and England where the charity is based in (a) England but operates in Scotland and (b) Scotland but operates in England. (138545)

The Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator have published a Memorandum of Understanding which is based on the principles of consultation, co-operation and co-ordination which underpin how they work together. It sets out the circumstances in which the Commission and OSCR will share information and collaborate operationally where a common regulatory approach is required. Both organisations are committed to minimise the burden of dual regulation for those charities which operate across both jurisdictions.

Charities: Public Sector

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the Government plan to make a public response to the Charity Commissioner's Stand and Deliver report; and if she will make a statement. (139720)

Alongside other surveys, the Stand and Deliver report makes a contribution to understanding third sector organisations' attitudes and experiences of public service delivery. The Government will continue to draw on such insights as we develop policy.

Delivery Unit

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 795-96W, on the Delivery Unit, on what dates the Prime Minister's Delivery Unit held stocktake meetings with the Prime Minister in 2007. (139885)

The Prime Minister speaks at a wide range of meetings and meets with a large range of organisations and as was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such meetings.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 16 May 2007, Official Report, columns 795-6W, on the Delivery Unit, on what dates the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit held stocktake meetings with the Chancellor of the Exchequer in 2007. (139893)

The Chancellor of the Exchequer speaks at a wide range of meetings and meets with a large range of organisations and as was the case with previous administrations, it is not the Government’s practice to provide details of all such meetings.

Departments: Advertising

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) which (a) advertising agencies and (b) other organisations supplied consultancy services for advertising campaigns for her Office in each of the last five years; and what the cost of these services was; (139441)

(2) how much was spent on advertising by her Office in each of the last five years.

The Cabinet Office does not commission consultancy services for advertising campaigns from advertising agencies and has not done so in the last five years. For the cost of advertising I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for North-East Hertfordshire (Mr. Heald) on 6 February 2006, Official Report, column 849W.

Departments: Epilepsy

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many people with epilepsy are employed by her Department; and if she will make a statement. (139102)

Under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, people have a right to decide if they wish to disclose a disability. These data are stored confidentially and therefore not disclosed.

Departments: Ministerial Policy Advisors

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many of (a) her Department’s and (b) Number 10 Downing street’s special advisers were on (i) paid and (ii) unpaid leave in order to assist with party political matters under section 22 (iii) of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers on 16 May 2007; and how many days’ leave each adviser was granted. (140117)

Special advisers’ involvement in party political matters is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Code of Conduct for Special Advisers, including section 22 (iii), and the guidance issued by the Cabinet Secretary in December 2006 and May 2007, copies of which are in the Libraries of the House.

Departments: Property

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was raised from the sale of departmental property in each of the last five years. (139322)

The Cabinet Office received £4.2 million from the sale of freehold property in 2003-04. No other property was sold in the past five years.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was received by her Department from the letting of its properties in each of the last five years. (139341)

Information on receipts including rental income is published annually in the Department’s accounts.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what recent estimate has been made of the value of the Department's property portfolio. (139385)

Information on the valuation of the Department's property portfolio is reported in the Cabinet Office Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2005-06, available in the House of Commons Library. Subject to the National Audit Office's annual audit, the Annual Report and Resource Accounts for 2006-07 are expected to be published towards the end of July 2007.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the total cost of leasing departmental buildings and office space was for (a) her Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last five years. (139539)

Departments: Public Relations

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how much was spent by the Cabinet Office on public relations in each of the last five years. (139417)

Expenditure on public relations is not separately identifiable on the Cabinet Office Resource Accounting System. The information requested can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Disadvantaged: Nottingham

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress has been made since the visit of her team to Nottingham on 5 March in convening a Joint National-Local Steering Group on Early Intervention in Nottingham; and if she will make a statement. (139872)

I am keen to support Nottingham’s proposals for developing the idea of ‘early intervention city’. My officials have already attended a meeting convened by One Nottingham to brief them on the national social exclusion policy context and they have indicated that they will attend quarterly steering groups convened by local partners. Other relevant Departments will also offer support to One Nottingham.

Maternity Services

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what progress she has made with plans to develop better health-led support from pre-birth to age two with midwives and nurses referred to in her announcement of 11 September 2006. (140139)

Following a large number of applications from PCTs and LAs, 10 health-led parenting pilots, based on the extremely successful Nurse-Family Partnership programme, were selected earlier in the year and went live across England on 2 April 2007. These pilots will provide structured and intensive home visiting to disadvantaged mothers from early pregnancy until the child is aged two. The pilot sites are already being successful in recruiting the first families to take part in the programme.

Policy Review

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the budget is of each of the Policy Review Working Groups. (139562)

I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 14 May 2007, Official Report, column 543W.

Unidentified Flying Objects

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether the Defence and Overseas Secretariat received a copy of the Government's Unidentified Aerial Phenomena report. (139719)

V

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how she will assess the effectiveness of Government funding for the v charity. (139721)

The independent charity v has made good progress since it was created in May 2006. So far, it has created over 110,000 volunteering opportunities for young people through projects in partnerships with the third, public and private sectors.

The Government assess the effectiveness of the funding provided to v against the recommendations of the Russell Commission report and through regular meetings between v and the Office of the Third Sector which monitor the progress of the charity's work.

Scotland

Departments: Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, if he will list the outside (a) agencies and (b) consultancies which are undertaking work commissioned by his Department; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) cost is of each commission. (138449)

There are no agencies or consultancies currently undertaking work commissioned by this Office.

Departments: Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how many times his Department was found to have been in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998 in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. (139220)

In the last five years the Scotland Office has not been found to be in breach of the Data Protection Act 1998.

Departments: Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much was raised from the sale of departmental property in each of the last five years. (139303)

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, what properties the Department (a) owned and (b) rented in each of the last five years. (139349)

The Scotland Office does not own any properties. The Office rents two properties located at 1 Melville Crescent, Edinburgh and Dover House, Whitehall, London.

Departments: Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland, how much was spent by his Department on public relations in each of the last five years. (139421)

Public Accounts Commission

Departments: Legal Costs

To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission how much was spent by the Commission on legal fees in each of the last five years. (139393)