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Written Answers

Volume 463: debated on Monday 1 October 2007

Written Answers to Questions

The following answers were received between Tuesday 18 September and Monday 1 October 2007

Duchy of Lancaster

Public Service

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster whether his Department has carried out any studies into Public Service Entitlement since 2004. (154974)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: In 2004, the Office of Public Services Reform undertook a review of understanding and enforcement among public service providers and business of rules on eligibility for public services. Since then, the Cabinet Office has supported interdepartmental ministerial consideration of related issues, including during the development of “Enforcing the rules: A new strategy to ensure and enforce compliance with our immigration laws”, which was published by the Home Office in March 2007.

International Development

Departments: Departmental Coordination

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what (a) ministerial committees and (b) permanent groups involving senior civil servants have been set up by his Department to liaise with the Ministers for Women. (155244)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: No committees or groups have been set up specifically to liaise with the Ministers for Women. As with all cross-cutting issues, Ministers and officials in DFID liaise with the Ministers for Women as necessary.

Transport

Aviation: Baggage

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints she has received from airline passengers in relation to delayed and lost baggage in each of the last six months; and if she will make a statement. (155528)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The Department receives few direct complaints from airline passengers. This is because the Air Transport Users’ Council (AUC) is the passenger complaints body in the UK for airline services.

Figures from the AUC show that in the last six months it received some 3361 written complaints. Of these 234 related to lost or delayed baggage.

Passenger rights in respect of the loss, damage or delay to baggage are protected by international legislation. Under the 1999 Montreal Convention which came into force for the UK in June 2004 the carrier is prima facie liable for luggage that has been delayed, damaged or lost (unless the carrier can establish a defence under the Convention). The liability for delay, loss or damage to baggage is limited to 1,000 Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) - approximately £820. These are maximum limits. Claims are assessed individually.

Bus Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average (a) number of trips and (b) trip length taken each year (i) by bus and (ii) in total was for people in each income decile and in each region in each year in which a national travel survey has been published. (152143)

Data available from the National Travel Survey are given in the tables which have been placed in the Libraries of the House. The National Travel Survey provides detailed information on personal travel in Great Britain. The sample size was increased in 2002; since 2002 the survey has been based on a random sample of around 8,000 responding private households each year.

Due to small sample sizes at the level of disaggregation requested, data from several survey years have been combined to produce more reliable estimates.

In 2006 a weighting strategy was introduced to the NTS to improve the reliability of the data. This weighting methodology has been applied to data back to 1995 so figures for earlier years are not directly comparable with data for 1995 onwards.

Departments: Redundancy Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department on redundancy payments in the last 12 months. (153204)

The Department and its agencies had no compulsory redundancies in the 12 months ending March 2007.

For the cost of the voluntary exit scheme for the 12 months ending March 2007, I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by the then Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, the hon. Member for Lincoln (Gillian Merron), on 2 March 2007, Official Report, columns 1571-2W to the hon. Member for Putney (Justine Greening).

Departments: Tribunals

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department on industrial tribunals in the last 12 months. (153207)

During 2006-07, the Department has identified incurred costs at industrial tribunals amounting to £176,456.

Figures for DSA and MCGA are not available.

Heathrow Airport: Complaints

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many complaints she has received from passengers about Heathrow Airport in each of the last three months; and if she will make a statement. (155520)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The Department for Transport received three complaints from passengers about Heathrow Airport in June, four complaints in July, and six complaints in August. These related largely to the management of outbound security.

M25

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the projected cost is of each of the sections of the project to widen the M25. (155155)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: The latest Ministerially approved estimate for each of the sections of the M25 widening is as follows:

£ million

M25 Widening

Ministerially approved estimate

Section 1 - Junctions 16 -23

697

Section 2 - Junctions 5 -7

214

Section 3 - Junctions 1b - 3

62

Section 4 - Junction 27 - 30

402

Section 5 - Junction 23 - 27

419

The ministerially approved estimate for M25 Junction 27-30 (Section 4) referred to in the table, has recently been revised and will be included in the Environmental Statement for publication next month.

Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what discussions she has held following the report of the Office of Rail Regulation on the increase in rail defects caused by heavier trains introduced over the last two years. (155158)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Department for Transport officials are engaged with Network Rail, train operators and the train manufacturers on the impact trains have on track.

Looking to the future the Department is taking a lead in specifying lighter trains that have been assessed using the latest industry models to optimise the train design.

Health

General Practitioners: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list by primary care trust the medical GP practices which use 0844 revenue-shaving telephone numbers; and what guidance he has issued on the use of such numbers. (155523)

The Department does not collect information on telephone numbers in use by general practitioners practices.

Lord Warner wrote to primary care trust chief executives on 19 December 2006 about the use of non-geographical (084) telephone numbers by NHS services. The letter has been placed in the Library and is also available at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Lettersand circulars/Dearcolleagueletters/DH_064287

Justice

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many individuals convicted of benefit fraud in the last 12 months had (a) one, (b) two and (c) three or more previous convictions. (153053)

I have been asked to reply

DWP only keeps records of benefit fraud convictions. These records commenced in April 2002 to support the Loss of Benefit Provisions legislation (Two Strikes) introduced by the Social Security Fraud Act 2001, and information is kept for five years in line with the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Our records show that of 6,061 benefit fraud convictions recorded between 1 September 2006 and 31 August 2007, there were 66 convictions for a second benefit fraud offence and one conviction for a third benefit fraud offence.

Treasury

Departments: Early Retirement

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many of his staff took early retirement in the last five years; at what cost; what grades of staff took early retirement; and what percentage of each grade took early retirement. (148809)

The number and grades of Treasury staff for whom early retirement or early severance was agreed in the last five years and the associated costs are as follows. An analysis of percentage of each grade could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Financial year

Cost (£000)

Grade of staff

Number

2002-03

1,221

AO

1

EO

1

Grade 6/7

1

Grade 5

1

Grade 3

2

2003-04

2,926

AO

3

EO

1

HEO/SEO

13

Grade 6/7

1

Grade 5

1

Perm Sec

1

2004-05

2,178

AA

3

AO

4

EO

5

HEO/SEO

8

Grade 6/7

5

2005-06

766

AA

1

AO

1

EO

4

HEO/SEO

4

Grade 6/7

2

Grade 5

2

2006-07

483

EO

2

HEO/SEO

2

Grade 6/7

2

Grade 5

4

Health Spending Team

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2007, Official Report, column 1183W, on the Health Spending Team, whether this team has its own specific list of objectives that contribute to his Department's overall objectives. (153649)

The health team works in close collaboration with the Department of Health in seeking to ensure the best possible use of the resources allocated to health and social services.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the Government's policy towards the Sydney Declaration on Climate Change. (155574)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The Secretary of State for the Environment welcomes the Sydney Declaration and is pleased that climate change was on the agenda for the leaders’ summit for the first time.

The UK fully supports the view set out in the Sydney Declaration that a post-2012 framework must be based on UNFCCC principles. A concerted action involving all countries should be equitable, effective and follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities—and be underpinned by a shared vision of a long-term goal. The UK remains committed to negotiations under the UNFCCC process and hopes Bali will begin the process of full and comprehensive negotiations on a post-2012 framework which will take place over the next two years.

Energy: Yorkshire and Humberside

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much the Government spent on energy conservation in (a) York and (b) Yorkshire in each year since 2004-05. (151561)

Energy conservation is a broad term that could refer to many activities implemented by a wide number of Government institutions. As such, it is not possible to accurately estimate total Government spend in these regions.

DEFRA’s main programme for improving the energy efficiency of vulnerable households is the Warm Front Scheme, which provides grants for heating and insulation measures. Warm Front spend on measures in York and Yorkshire is set out in the following table:

£

Financial year

York

Yorkshire (excluding York)

Yorkshire (including York)

2004-05

165,043

22,431,840

22,596,883

2005-06

414,539

17,291,683

17,706,222

2006-07

763,107

35,603,594

36,366,701

Year to date

227,219

16,174,594

16,401,813

Total

1,569,908

91,501,711

93,071,619

Flood Control: Bournemouth

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to review (a) flood defences and (b) sea defences in the Bournemouth area following the summer 2007 flooding. (155460)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The recently commenced review of the Shoreline Management Plan, which is being led by Bournemouth borough council in conjunction with the Environment Agency, will consider long term management of flood and coastal erosion risk along this length of coast.

A Strategic Flood Risk Assessment for Bournemouth borough council, Christchurch borough council, East Dorset district council, North Dorset district council and Salisbury district council is also underway. This will investigate and identify the extent and severity of flood risk to Bournemouth to enable the council to steer development away from those areas at highest risk; supplement current policy guidelines and provide a clear risk based approach to development control; and, contribute to the evidence base for the Local Development Framework and Sustainability Appraisal work.

Floods

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) properties and (b) businesses were affected by the summer 2007 floods, broken down by county. (155564)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: Since the initial flooding in June, local authorities have been providing information about the number of residential properties and businesses affected by the summer floods. The information is held by local authority and region, rather than by county.

The figures, for properties, include only those residential properties where the habitable accommodation has been affected (that is, it excludes those where, for example, only garages and/or outbuildings were flooded).

The tables have been placed in the Library of the House.

Fluoridation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the environmental impact of the fluoridation of public water supplies. (155451)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: In 2000 the Environment Agency published a non-statutory environmental quality standard (EQS) for fluoride in water. The standard was informed by a review, carried out for the Agency, on the effect of fluoride on a range of aquatic life. This review drew on available research from recognised scientific laboratories and indicated that fluoride affects aquatic life at concentrations at 9.0-350.Omg/l depending on the hardness of the water and the sensitivity of the species tested.

Where public water supplies are fluoridated the concentration of fluoride is maintained at 1.0mg/l, and any discharges of these supplies into the aquatic environment would be further diluted through the process of collection and treatment of waste water. Therefore the environmental impact would not be expected to be significant.

Housing: Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to which organisations and projects the £20 million announced in the Budget 2006 to help local authorities and other to promote energy efficiency and incentivise energy efficiency measures in households has been allocated; and how much has been allocated to each. (155237)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Of the £20 million announced in Budget 2006, £4.75 million was allocated to the energy demand research project, bringing total funding to £9.75 million for trials of household smart meters and displays and a broader range of behavioural measures. Around 40,000 households will be taking part in the trials, together with energy suppliers, metering/feedback device companies, specialist companies, charities and universities.

A further £10 million (£5 million in 2007-08 and £5 million in 2008-09) has been awarded to the Carbon Trust's Partnership for Renewables to create private-public partnerships to develop renewable projects on public sector land. It aims to develop 500 megawatts of capacity, and the programme is currently working with over 200 public sector bodies, including local authorities, the national health service and higher education authorities.

As part of a broader reprioritisation related to wider budget pressures, the remaining funds have been cut to £0.5 million. We are considering options for their best use.

Institute for Animal Health: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration was given to prioritising the repair and maintenance of the effluent pipes at Pirbright in the context of the current refurbishment of the site; what the estimated cost is of replacing the effluent pipes; and when his Department first obtained an estimate for such costs. (155573)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: I have been asked to reply.

The Pirbright Site Redevelopment Programme (PSRP) Board, comprising senior officials from BBSRC, DEFRA, DIUS, the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) and the Institute for Animal Health (IAH), is responsible for overseeing the redevelopment of the site including the drainage.

Tenders for the drainage system of around £220,000 were received in October 2006. DEFRA provided regulatory approval in early 2007. This scheme was approved by the PSRP Board in May 2007 and work began as planned in July 2007.

Institute for Animal Health

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what central Government funding to the Institute of Animal Health estate was in each year since 1997. (155476)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: I have been asked to reply.

Central Government funding for the Institute for Animal Health since 1997 was as follows:

IAH funding

£ million

BBSRC1

DEFRA

Other Government Departments

Total

1997-98

11.2

7.6

0.9

19.7

1998-99

9.7

7.9

1.2

19.8

1999-2000

9.0

8.1

1.7

18.8

2000-01

9.4

8.0

1.8

19.2

2001-02

9.5

9.3

1.5

20.3

2002-03

11.8

9.0

0.9

21.7

2003-04

14.6

9.0

0.8

24.4

2004-05

17.3

9.6

1.8

28.7

2005-06

20.2

8.0

2.0

30.2

2006-071

33.6

8.5

2.0

44.1

Total

146.3

85.0

14.6

245.9

1 BBSRC total includes core strategic grant, competitive grants and capital investment environment

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to answer the letters to him dated 17 July from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to Mr. S. Chislett. (154979)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: A reply has been sent to my right hon. Friend today. I apologise for the delay in replying which is due to recent high volumes of correspondence.

Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many reports and publications the Department published in 2006-07; and how many of these were printed on 100 per cent. recycled paper. (155481)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The Government have a duty to explain its policies, decisions and actions; to inform the public about their rights and liabilities; and to provide the public with advice and warnings. DEFRA publishes regularly reports and consultations in accordance with these principles, but to establish the combinations of such publications could be collated only at disproportionate cost. Print procurement policy is to produce the lowest quantity of publications to meet the specific needs of each case, thereby minimising waste. In the case of consultations most are handled on-line and stakeholders may download a copy for local printing. Copies will be supplied to order—printed digitally—on a limited basis, if requested, as will large print and Braille versions.

All the paper used to print reports and publications is based on a material that contains a minimum of 100 per cent. recycled fibre for uncoated papers, and 75 per cent. recycled fibre for coated papers. Print procurement policy is to use uncoated stock except where design, marketing and production requirements require coated stock.

Defence

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many compensation claims were made under the (a) War Pensions Scheme in each year from 1997 to 2006 and (b) the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme in each year since 2006; (155145)

(2) how many outstanding claims there were from the (a) War Pensions Scheme in each year from 1997 to 2006 and (b) the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme in each year since 2006.

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Figures on the number of compensation claims made under the War Pensions Scheme and the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme in each financial year and the total number of claims outstanding as at 31 March each year, including those that may have been registered in previous years, are set out in the following table. Information is not available for the number of claims made prior to 1 April 2000 or on the total number of claims outstanding before 31 March 2001.

War Pensions Scheme1,2Armed Forces Compensation Scheme1,3

Financial year

Claims made during the year

Total number of claims outstanding4

Claims made during the year

Total number of claims outstanding4

2000-01

47,845

12,575

2001-02

45,965

10,580

2002-03

43,560

10,000

2003-04

41,495

9,540

2004-05

37,250

7,515

2005-06

39,300

6,925

540

230

2006-07

36,955

6,590

1,910

545

1 Data have been rounded to the nearest five. 2 Includes all disablement claims, widows claims, supplementary allowance claims, supplementary allowance reviews, medical expense claims and appeals. 3 Includes all injury claims, survivors' claims, reconsiderations and appeals. 4 For the purposes of this table, a claim is recorded outstanding if it has been registered but does not have an outcome.

Claims under both schemes require medical and other evidence to be gathered and assessed before a decision can be taken. The average clearance times for the two schemes in 2006-07 were 49 days for the War Pension Scheme and 34 days for the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Army: Motor Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military vehicles for use by the Army were purchased by his Department in 2006-07, broken down by country of manufacture. (155390)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: This information is not held in the format requested. The total number of vehicles purchased for use by the Army between 1 April 2006 and 31 March 2007 was 6,911. This figure includes some vehicles purchased for use on a tri-service basis. For the purposes of this question, purchased has been defined as ‘placed on contract’.

Military vehicle acquisition, however, is complex and, in most cases, no single country is responsible for the delivery of a vehicle. Components are often manufactured by different companies in different countries and then assembled by a systems integrator, who may be based in yet another country.

Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many fatalities each unit that has served in Iraq has experienced; and how many of those (a) died in Iraq and (b) subsequently died of wounds elsewhere. (155268)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: The Ministry of Defence publishes data on battle and non-battle fatalities, including their unit, that have resulted from our operations in Iraq since March 2003: details can be found on the Ministry of Defence website:

(http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/FactSheets/OperationsFactsheets/OperationsInIraqBritishfatalities.htm).

This information is updated after each incident.

The following table breaks down the number of military fatalities, by unit, in line with the information published on the website. In addition, one Defence Fire Service contractor has died on operations in Iraq.

Number of fatalities for UK armed forces personnel, Iraq, by Unit as at 6 September 2007

Unit

Total

Total

167

1 (UK) Armoured Division HQ and Signal Regiment

1

1 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

1

1 Assault Group

1

1 Black Watch

7

1 Coldstream Guards

2

1 Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry

1

1 Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordons and Camerons)

1

1 Irish Guards

4

1 Light Infantry

1

1 Princess of Wales Royal Regiment

2

1 Queen’s Dragoon Guards

2

1 Queen’s Lancashire Regiment

1

1 Royal Highland Fusiliers

1

1 Royal Horse Artillery

1

1 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

1

1 Royal Regiment of Wales

1

1 Royal Welch Fusiliers

1

1 Squadron RAF Regiment

3

1 Staffordshire Regiment

4

1 Yorkshire Regiment

1

12 Regiment Royal Artillery

4

148 Commando Battery Royal Artillery

1

16 Squadron

1

2 Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment

8

2 Light Infantry

2

2 Parachute Regiment

2

2 Rifles

3

2 Royal Anglian Regiment

2

2 Royal Green Jackets

1

2 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

2

2 Royal Tank Regiment

3

2 Royal Welsh

3

217 Transport Squadron

1

21st Signal Regiment (Air Support)

1

230 Squadron

1

28 Army Co-operation Squadron

2

29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery

2

3 Commando Brigade

6

3 Parachute Regiment

1

3 Royal Military Police

1

3 Royal Regiment of Scotland

2

33 Engineer Regiment (EOD)

2

33 Squadron

1

35 Engineer Regiment

1

4 Rifles

5

45 Commando

1

47 Squadron

5

504 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force

1

52nd Lowland Regiment

2

539 Assault Squadron

1

847 Naval Air Squadron

2

849 Squadron

6

9 Assault Squadron

1

9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s)

1

Army Air Corps

1

Blues and Royals, Household Cavalry Regiment

3

Cheshire Regiment

1

Engineering Wing, RAF Lyneham

3

HQ STC Air Staff

1

Intelligence Corps

2

IX (B) Squadron

2

King’s Royal Hussars

1

Parachute Regiment

2

Queen’s Royal Lancers

5

RAF Police

1

Royal Army Medical Corps

3

Royal Artillery

1

Royal Corps of Signals

3

Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

5

Royal Logistic Corps

2

Royal Military Police

11

Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

1

Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

2

Tyne-Tees Regiment

1

Welsh Guards

1

Number of fatalities for UK armed forces personnel, who died as a result of their wounds (DOW) after being aeromeded from Iraq1, by Unit, as at 4 September 2007

Unit

Total

Total

3

1 Staffordshire Regiment

1

12 Regiment Royal Artillery

1

Royal Logistic Corps

1

1 Two armed forces personnel died as a result of injuries sustained in operational accidents (DOP) and are not included in the above table.

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the crew (a) requirement and (b) strength is for each helicopter type in the (i) Army Air Corps, (ii) Navy and (iii) RAF. (153319)

The current (a) requirement and (b) strength for crew personnel, for each relevant Unit/Squadron, for each helicopter type in the (i) Army Air Corps, (ii) Navy and (iii) RAF are shown in the following tables.

Army Air Corp

Army Air Corp Unit

Helicopter type

Establishment (requirement)

Actual strength

HQ DAAvn

Lynx/Gazelle/Squirrel/Apache AH1

15

W

SAAvn

Lynx/Gazelle/Squirrel/Apache AH1

46

44

DHFS (Army)

Squirrel

14

10

1 Regt AAC

Lynx

40

41

3 Regt AAC

Apache AH1

61

31

4 Regt AAC

Apache AH1

61

43

5 Regt AAC

Gazelle

18

16

7 Regt AAC (V)

Gazelle (Regular)

4

4

Gazelle (Non-Regular Permanent Staff)

12

12

Gazelle (TA)

51

45

9 Regt AAC

Lynx

60

58

AMTAT

Apache AH1

12

12

HQ JSFAW (Army)

Lynx/Gazelle

3

3

657 Sqn AAC

Lynx

18

17

7 Fit—Brunei

Bell 21 2

8

10

8 Fit—Hereford

Augusta 109/Gazelle

4

5

12Flt—Elmpt

Gazelle

4

4

25 Fit—Belize

Bell 212

8

8

29 Fit—BATUS

Gazelle

4

4

Navy

Naval Air Squadron (MAS)

Helicopter type

Establishment (requirement)

Actual strength

845 NAS

Sea King Mk 4/6CR

47

43

846 NAS

Sea King Mk 4/6CR

47

42

848 NAS

Sea King Mk 4

37

36

849 NAS

Sea King ASaC Mk 7

15

14

854 NAS

Sea King ASaC Mk 7

15

14

857 NAS

Sea King ASaC Mk 7

15

15

771 NAS

Sea King Mk 5 (Search and Rescue)

42

37

HMS GANNET

Sea King Mk 5 (Search and Rescue)

20

18

700 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

11

9

814 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

33

29

820 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

33

26

824 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

63

48

829 NAS

Merlin Mk 1

28

19

702 NAS

Lynx Mk 3/8

24

22

815 NAS

Lynx Mk 3/8

70

60

847 NAS

Lynx AH7

21

17

RAF

Royal Air Force Squadron

Helicopter type

Establishment (requirement)

Actual strength

33Sqn

Puma HC 1

66

65

230 Sqn

Puma HC 1

64

64

7 Sqn

Chinook HC 2

46

44

18 Sqn

Chinook HC 2

94

86

27 Sqn

Chinook HC 2

68

72

28 Sqn

Merlin Mk HC 3

88

84

22 Sqn

Sea King Mk 3

60

60

202 Sqn

Sea King Mk 3

60

60

203 (R) Sqn

Sea King Mk 3

26

25

SARTU

Griffin HAR 2

19

18

60 (R) Sqn

Griffin HT 1

24

24

84 Sqn

Griffin HAR 2

12

12

DHFS

Squirrell HT 1

18

18

32 Sqn

Augusta 109

3

3

The actual strength of the two Apache Units (three and four Regiment Army Air Corps) reflects the fact that these helicopters are relatively new to service and as such these newly formed units will not achieve ‘steady state’1 until 2010; we are in the process of manning these units and have a number of pilots in the training pipeline. Apache pilot availability is sufficient to meet operational requirements.

1 Steady state is defined as the point at which the training pipeline is providing sufficient pilots to replace those lost through natural wastage.

Military Bases: Colchester

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to locate further units of 16 Air Assault Brigade at Colchester Garrison; and if he will make a statement. (155480)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: There are no plans to locate further units of 16 Air Assault Brigade at Colchester Garrison.

Territorial Army: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the current establishment of each (a) regiment, (b) corps and (c) sub-unit of the Territorial Army is. (152639)

I have written to the hon. Member today and will place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences were recorded in respect of retailers selling alcohol to those aged under 18 years in each year since 1997; how many police cautions were issued; and what the average fine levied was. (154984)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: Information on the number of recorded offences of retailers selling alcohol to those aged under 18 years are summary and are not included in the police recorded crime statistics.

Statistics for the number of police cautions issued and the average fine have been provided by the Ministry of Justice and are given in the table for 1997-2005. Data for 2006 will be available in the autumn of 2007.

Retailers selling alcohol to those aged under 18

Number of police cautions issued1,2

Average fine (£)

1997

171

227

1998

76

212

1999

69

194

2000

53

206

2001

48

208

2002

59

249

2003

63

253

2004

101

238

2005

98

246

1 These data are on a principal offence basis. 2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative databases generated by the police. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Asylum: Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what studies have been undertaken into the effect of appellant asylum seekers who have been denied benefits on social services departments. (155332)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Asylum seekers are not eligible to receive income support, jobseekers allowance or other similar benefits. As such, no such studies have been undertaken by the Home Office.

Burglary: Surrey

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many burglaries were (a) reported and (b) successfully detected in Surrey in each of the last five years for which figures are available. (155326)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: The information requested is given in the following table:

Burglary offences recorded in Surrey

Financial year

Number of offences

Number of detections

2002-03

9,727

844

2003-04

9,700

1,000

2004-05

8,870

959

2005-06

8,410

872

2006-07

8,141

1,001

Cars: Theft

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people in England and Wales were charged for the recovery of their stolen vehicle from police, and police approved, car pounds in each of the last five years, broken down by police force; and how much was received by such car pounds in each such year. (155540)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: This information is not collected centrally. When the police use their powers to remove and store any vehicle, including a stolen vehicle, that is illegally, dangerously or obstructively parked or broken down or abandoned, they may levy prescribed charges to cover the costs incurred. The charges are currently £105 for the removal and £12 per day for storage.

CCTV: York

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much central government funding has been spent on closed-circuit television in York since 1997. (155494)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: Since 1997, the Home Office has specifically provided the City of York with £268,000 for closed circuit television.

Other years' crime reduction funding has been allocated directly to the local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership and Basic Command Unit in York to finance a variety of interventions, including CCTV. Information about the allocation of that funding is not held centrally.

Departments: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has received on public pay since her appointment; and if she will make a statement. (155135)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Since my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary’s appointment, Home Office Ministers have received correspondence from right hon. and hon. Members, police officers and others on the subject of police pay. The subject has also been raised at some meetings attended by Home Office Ministers. The 2007 police officer pay award has been addressed through the Police Negotiating Board in the usual way. Following the PNB’s failure to reach agreement, the issue will now proceed to the Police Arbitration Tribunal, before my right hon. Friend makes her decision. In doing so she will consider very carefully the recommendations that result from this process.

Departments: Visits Abroad

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many overseas visits were made by (a) officials and (b) Ministers within her responsibility, and at what cost, in each year since 1997. (151646)

Prior to the machinery of Government changes, the Home Office employed approximately 78,000 people. The Department's expenditure on foreign travel and accommodation in each year since 1997 is shown in the following table . Figures for 1997-98 to 2002-03 are for overseas travel only. Details of overseas accommodation for these years could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

£ million

1997-98

1.18

1998-99

0.89

1999-00

1.43

2000-01

1.38

2001-02

2.07

2002-03

2.35

2003-04

4.45

2004-05

12.06

2005-06

10.66

2006-07

14.60

The difference in costs over the period reflects the changing nature of the Home Office's business, in particular the growth of international terrorism, migration and international travel. Collaboration and information exchange with other countries on counter-terrorism activities and border control have become increasingly critical to the effective discharge of the Department's responsibilities for asylum, immigration and national security. This has involved higher levels of overseas travel.

Details on the number of visits could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Since 1999, the Government have published on an annual basis, a list of all overseas visits by Cabinet Ministers costing in excess of £500, as well as the total cost of all ministerial travel overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Libraries of the House. Information for 2006-07 is currently being compiled and will be published before the summer recess. All travel is undertaken in accordance with the Civil Service Management Code and the Ministerial Code.

Deportation: Democratic Republic of Congo

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were removed under immigration law to (a) Democratic Republic of Congo and (b) Congo (Brazzaville) in each of the last six months; and what plans he has to remove people to either country in future. (155330)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: The table shows the number of failed asylum applicants removed to Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) between January and June 2007 inclusive. This is the latest six-month period for which figures are available.

Information on the total number of persons removed between January and June 2007 (including non-asylum cases) is not available for release under National Statistics protocols.

On 23 August 2007, Justice Collins ordered that the removal of all unsuccessful asylum seekers to DRC must be deferred until the Country Guidance case is determined. In line with the High Court’s decision of 23 August 2007, the Border and Immigration Agency will not enforce the removal of Congolese asylum seekers to DRC until the Asylum Immigration Tribunal (AIT) has substantively considered the pending Country Guidance case. The High Court’s decision, however, applies only to unsuccessful asylum seekers and we shall continue to remove immigration offenders who are Congolese nationals and have no legal right to remain in the UK. There are currently no legal impediments stopping us from removing to Congo those Congolese nationals with no right to remain in the UK.

The Government are committed to providing protection to those individuals who are found to be in fear of persecution. It is only right that we provide that protection, but equally, it is only right that we enforce the return of those who have no right to remain here: this is a key part to upholding a robust and fair asylum system.

Copies of statistics publications are available from the Library of the House and from the Home Office’s Research, Development and Statistics website at:

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

Removals, voluntary departures and assisted returns1 of asylum applicants2, including dependants, to Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, January—June 20073,4

Number of removals

Destination

January

February

March

April

May

June

January-June total

Congo

5

*

5

5

5

5

25

Democratic Republic of Congo

10

40

10

15

5

10

90

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

2 Persons who had sought asylum at some stage, including dependants.

3 Figures are rounded to the nearest five, (* = 1 or 2), and may not sum to the totals shown because of independent rounding.

4 Provisional figures.

Entry Clearances

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many non-EU citizens who reside in the UK gained entry to the UK through applying for a UK visa from another European member state. (140545)

Extradition: Russia

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will list the steps which must be taken, and the requirements which must be met, for the relevant authorities of the Russian Federation successfully to obtain extradition of a person from the UK; and if she will make a statement. (155546)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The outcome of individual cases is determined by the provisions of the Extradition Act 2003 (as amended). Within what the law permits, the United Kingdom stands ready to render maximum assistance to all of its extradition partners. It is also open to those partners to consult the Crown Prosecution Service directly about the requirements of UK extradition law.

Fines: Cinemas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences were recorded in respect of cinemas allowing underage children into age-rated films in each year since 1997; how many police cautions were issued; and what the average fine levied was. (154986)

Fines: Retail Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences were recorded in respect of retailers selling video games or DVDs to under-age customers in each year since 1997; how many police cautions were issued; and what the average fine levied was. (154985)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: Information on the number of recorded offences of retailers selling video games or DVDs to under-age customers is not collected centrally. This is a summary offence and is not included in the police recorded crime statistics.

Statistics for the number of police cautions issued and the average fine have been provided by the Ministry of Justice and are given in the table for 1997-2005. Data for 2006 will be available in the autumn of 2007.

Retailers selling video games and DVDs to underage customers1

Number of police cautions issued2, 3

Average fine (£)

1997

1

519

1998

440

1999

798

2000

1,028

2001

1,378

2002

1,079

2003

1

921

2004

775

2005

489

1 Video Recording Act 1984 S.11 as amended by the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 S. 88 (4).4 2 These data are on a principal offence basis. 3 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative databases generated by the police. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.

Foreign Workers: Work Permits

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many work permits were issued to overseas nationals in each of the last 10 years. (152969)

Work Permit information is published in the 'Foreign labour in the United Kingdom: current patterns and trends' report authored by John Salt and Jane Millar from the 'Migration Research Unit, University College London' and is available at the following link:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/articles/labour_market_trends/foreign_labour.pdf

Genetics: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what percentage of individuals on the DNA database are under 16; and if she will make a statement. (155258)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: On 10 September 2007, 3.38 per cent. of persons on the National DNA Database were currently aged under 16. This figure represents persons sampled by police forces in England and Wales only, and includes some persons who provided a DNA profile voluntarily.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the annual cost was of (a) storing and (b) processing (i) DNA samples and (ii) DNA profiles taken for the National DNA Database in each year since 2000. (155342)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Cost figures for the storage of DNA samples are not centrally available. The costs for retaining DNA samples fall to individual police forces and are dependent on the contractual agreement between the force and the forensic supplier. This information is commercially confidential. The costs of retaining DNA profiles on the National DNA Database are essentially the costs of running and operating the database. These are set out in the National DNA Database Annual Reports for the years 2002-03 to 2005-06, copies of which are available in the House of Commons Library. The Annual Report for 2002-03 was the first annual report produced; and no information is available for the years 2000-01 and 2001-02. The costs of processing DNA samples for the DNA Database are available for the years 2000-01 to 2005-06 and are set out in the following table. In 2006-07, the Home Office ceased the payment of a separate specific grant for funding DNA activity.

DNA sample processing costs (£m)

2000-01

32.6

2001-02

45.4

2002-03

51.5

2003-04

47.0

2004-05

46.3

2005-06

148.6

1 The data for 2005-06 is DNA Expansion Programme funding only. It covers the processing costs of suspect offender samples and crime scene samples; and also includes force expenditure on additional forensic staff, vehicles and equipment. A separate figure for processing costs alone is not currently available. Note: The data for years 2000-01 to 2004-05 includes DNA Expansion Programme expenditure and expenditure from force budgets. It covers the processing costs of suspect offender samples and crime scene samples.

Human Trafficking

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrests have been made by (a) the Paladin team, (b) the Maxim team and (c) the Human Smuggling Unit since their inception; and how many of those arrests have resulted in (i) prosecutions and (ii) convictions. (154948)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: The Paladin team was formed in October 2005 and became fully operational in February 2006. Since its inception they have arrested 25 people for trafficking-related incidents. They have had six convictions; all of these convictions are for facilitation. They have cautioned 11 persons— all for “facilitation” or “harbouring”—through their work at the Asylum Screening Unit.

Operation Maxim has been operational since March 2003 and has achieved the following arrests since its inception:

March 2003 to April 2004: 178 arrests

April 2004 to April 2005: 194 arrests

April 2005 to April 2006: 125 arrests

April 2006 to April 2007: 123 arrests

April 2007 to August 2007: 50 arrests.

Maxim prosecution data only cover the last two years and these are:

April 2005 to 2006: 46 persons prosecuted and convicted. Sentenced collectively 121 years and 5 months.

April 2006 to 2007: 37 persons prosecuted and convicted. Sentenced collectively to76 years and 9.5 months.

April 2007 to August 2007: 30 persons prosecuted and convicted. Sentenced collectively to 51 years and 2 months.

Currently the Maxim Organised Immigration Team has a 100 per cent. conviction rate.

The Human Trafficking Unit was launched on 7 March and is part of the Maxim team. Since its inception the unit has made 12 arrests for human trafficking. There are four cases currently on-going within the judicial system. There have been no convictions yet as all these cases are awaiting trial.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the establishment is of the Serious Organised Crime Agency; how many staff are dealing with human trafficking issues; and if she will make a statement. (155139)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: As at 31 July 2007 the SOCA budgeted headcount was 4,164 staff.

The Home Secretary's priorities for SOCA in its first year included that SOCA should devote a higher proportion of its resources and activity to intelligence work than the agencies that it replaced and that Class A drugs and organised immigration crime, in that order, should be its top priorities. Organised immigration crime covers both the organised facilitation of immigrants to the UK (people smuggling) and trafficking of people for criminal exploitation, for example prostitutes or forced labour (human trafficking).

As published in its 2006-07 Annual Report SOCA deployed 11 per cent. of its operational resource against organised immigration crime.

The UK Serious Organised Crime Control Strategy, developed by SOCA on behalf of UK Law Enforcement, has four programmes of activity directly focussing on organised immigration crime. This includes a programme on “Trafficking of people”, in particular women and children for the UK vice trade.

Human Trafficking: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what extra resources have been given to local authorities to provide safe housing and special support to child victims of trafficking discovered as a result of Operation Pentameter 2. (155456)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: Under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, local authorities have a legal duty of care to safeguard any child in need of protection and to provide accommodation.

Special arrangements have been made between local authority children's services and the police to ensure that any children discovered as being sexually exploited during Operation Pentameter 2 will be referred to the appropriate local authority's children's services as a child in need of protection. A letter from the Department of Children, Schools and Families to all directors of children's services alerts them to Operation Pentameter 2 and requests that a designated officer be in place to liaise with the police about child victim referrals.

Identity Cards: Biometrics

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which and how many locations in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland will be used for the capture of UK citizens’ biometric data as part of the identity card scheme. (155466)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: No decision has been made yet on the number or location of biometric enrolment centres for identity cards. However, it is likely that they could be sited in the same location (but not necessarily the same offices) as the 69 local offices being opened throughout the UK for passport interviews.

Where the network of enrolment centres needs to be further expanded, we will first seek to use high street offices that are already used by central and local government.

Kidnapping

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the rate of incidents of gang-related kidnappings has been since April 2005, broken down by police area. (155365)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of gang-related kidnappings (a) which were unreported and (b) where no charges were forthcoming during the financial year 2006-07; and how many gang-related kidnappings occurred during each month of (i) 2005, (ii) 2006 and (iii) 2007, broken down by police area. (155570)

Minister for Women

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what (a) ministerial committees and (b) permanent groups involving senior civil servants have been set up by her Department to liaise with the Ministers for Women. (155435)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: My right hon. Friend, the Prime Minister announced the new Cabinet Committee structure on 23 July 2007. The Domestic Affairs (Communities and Equalities) Committee, chaired by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, was one of the new Committees. The terms of reference for DA(CE) are:

“To consider policy relating to community issues, including community cohesion, equalities, wellbeing and public health; and report as necessary to the Committee on Domestic Affairs and the Committee on National Security, International Relations and Development”.

In addition to this and as with all cross cutting issues, Ministers and officials in the Home Office liaise with the Ministers for Women as necessary.

Offenders: Deportation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many convicted criminals were deported to their own country in each of the last five years. (155487)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: On 14 June the Director General of the Immigration and Nationality Directorate wrote to the Home Affairs Committee to provide the most recent information available on the deportation of foreign national prisoners. In this letter the Director reported that 2,784 foreign national prisoners were deported or removed in the financial year 2006-07. A copy of this letter is available from the Library of the House.

Statistics on the deportation of foreign nationals were last published in 2002. The data are available through the Home Office's Research Development and Statistics website at:

http://www.archive2.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm60/6053/6053.htm.

Published information on persons removed as a result of deportation action has not been available from 2003 onwards due to data quality issues. The Immigration and Nationality Directorate is putting in place new systems to improve its data collection systems for the future in this area.

Offensive Weapons: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people under the age of 18 years were murdered as a result of (a) gun crime and (b) knife crime in each London borough in each of the last 10 years. (155142)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Available information relates to offences currently recorded as homicide that were caused by (a) shooting, which includes crossbows as well as guns and (b) a sharp instrument, which includes other sharp instruments as well as knives.

The number of homicides recorded by the City of London and Metropolitan Police Services between 1995 and 2005-06, where the victim is aged under 18, is given in the following table. Centrally-collected data cannot be broken down by London borough. Police force area breakdowns for homicides recorded during 2006-07 are scheduled to be published in January 2008.

Offences currently1 recorded as homicide where victim is aged under 18: City of London and Metropolitan Police 1995 to 2005-062

Year offence initially recorded as homicide3

Police force area/apparent method

1995

1996

1997

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

City of London:

Shooting4

Sharp instrument5

All methods

1

Metropolitan:

Shooting4

2

1

3

2

Sharp instrument5

5

5

5

6

3

5

9

6

5

2

1

6

All methods

18

15

22

22

18

12

19

16

23

17

13

17

1 As at 9 October 2006; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts, or as further information becomes available.

2 2006-07 data will be published in January 2008.

3 Offences are shown according to the year in which police initially recorded them as homicide. This is not necessarily the year in which the incident took place or the year in which any court decision was made.

4 Includes shooting by crossbows as well as firearms.

5 Includes other sharp instruments as well as knives.

Passports

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the Government expects to pay Equifax for the contract to provide reference information on passport applicants in (a) financial year 2007-08 and (b) in each of the next three financial years. (155347)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: It is expected that spend on reference data provision in 2007-08 would be in the region of £392,000. The amount is variable depending upon the passport demand. This does not include software development and software/hardware development changes.

Spend in the following three years will be determined by the business model applied, which will drive the volume of checks, and negotiations with the reference information supplier.

Passports: Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many forged or false passports were seized at Heathrow and Gatwick airports in each of the last three years; and how many of those were from children. (154950)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: The activity of Airline Liaison Officers (ALOs) based overseas together with other border control initiatives, has resulted in a fall in Inadequately Documented Arrivals (IDAs) reaching the UK from 11,233 in 2004 to 6,915 in 2006. Over the last five years the ALO Network has assisted in preventing nearly 180,000 IDAs from boarding aircraft.

Under carriers liability legislation, air and sea carriers may be liable for a charge of £2,000 for each person they carry to the UK who is subject to immigration control and who fails to produce either a valid immigration document satisfactorily establishing his identity and nationality or a valid visa, if required. Carriers' liability is now an important complement to our immigration control. Over 60 other countries, including most of Europe, have carrier liability legislation.

Figures for forged and false travel documents detected at Heathrow and Gatwick airports for the past three years are as follows:

Heathrow Airport and Gatwick Airport

Number

2004

3,305

2005

2,164

2006

1,695

The information provided is based on locally collated management information and as such may be subject to change.

Data relating to the age of those presenting such documentation are not available.

Prisoners: Deportation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many prisoners in England and Wales from (a) outside and (b) within the EU, other than the UK and Ireland, have been identified as liable for deportation. (155429)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The Chief Executive of the Border and Immigration Agency provided the most accurate and robust information available on the issue of foreign national prisoners in her letter to the Home Affairs Committee of 14 June, a copy of which is available in the House Library. The automatic deportation provisions contained within the UK Borders Bill increase certainty by placing a duty on the Secretary of State to make a deportation order for foreign criminals who have been sentenced to either a period of imprisonment of at least 12 months, or a period of imprisonment of any length for a particularly serious crime.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the earliest stage is at which a foreign prisoner becomes liable for deportation during his sentence. (155501)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: Foreign nationals are liable for consideration for deportation if they receive a custodial sentence and have either been recommended for deportation by a court or meet the interim criteria as outlined in my written statement to the House of 19 July 2006.

The provisions of the UK Borders Bill increase certainty by placing a duty on the Secretary of State to make a deportation order for foreign criminals who have been sentenced to either a period of imprisonment of at least 12 months, or a period of imprisonment of any length for a particularly serious crime.

Special Branch

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) when she expects to complete the review of Special Branch; and if she will make a statement; (155249)

(2) if she will make a statement on the progress of the review of Special Branch;

(3) whether Special Branch officers serving at ports and airports will continue to be part of the local constabulary.

[holding answer 12 September and 17 September 2007]: The review of Special Branch is a matter for the Association of Chief Police Officers, whose Terrorism and Allied Matters Committee is examining the work undertaken by the police service in support of national security intelligence, particularly the role and function of Special Branch. This review will involve wide consultation with experts and practitioners. I understand that it will be completed by the end of the year, and the Association of Chief Police Officers has undertaken to keep me informed.

Separately from this review, and following the announcement by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 25 July that the Government would integrate the vital work of the Border and Immigration Agency, Customs and UK Visas overseas and at the main points of entry to the UK, the Cabinet Secretary is conducting a review on the stages ahead in implementation and whether there is a case for going further, while ensuring value for money. Special Branch will continue to play its full role, based on intelligence, at ports and airports.

Stop and Search: Cambridgeshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many individuals were the subject of stop forms used by police officers in the Cambridgeshire Constabulary area in each year since 2001; and if she will make a statement. (155320)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Available information held by the Office for Criminal Justice Reform on the number of stops and searches within the Cambridgeshire police force area is given in the table from 2001-02 to 2004-05 (latest available). Statistics for 2005-06 are due to be published later this year.

From 1 April 2005 police forces are required to ensure that a record is made by police officers of all stops. It is hoped to publish statistics on all Stops and Stop and Searches in 2008.

Stops and searches of persons within the Cambridgeshire police force area under section 1 of the Police and Criminal evidence Act 1984 and other legislation1, from 2001-02 to 2004-05

Total

2001-02

3,896

2002-03

3,331

2003-04

4,079

2004-05

5,647

1 Other legislation includes stops and searches under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and the Firearms Act 1968; Terrorism Act s43 & s44(1) and s44(2); Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 s60; various poaching and wildlife conservation legislation; s27(1) of the Aviation Security Act 1982; s163 & s164 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979; and the Sporting Events (Control of Alcohol etc.) Act 1985.

Note:

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

Work and Pensions

UK Commission for Employment and Skills

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the (a) annual budget and (b) number of staff for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills will be when it is established in 2008. (152911)

[holding answer 26 July 2007]: I have been asked to respond to your query as it falls within my area of responsibility.

To strengthen the employer voice at the heart of the employment and skills system the UK Commission implantation project are working with the devolved administrations to establish a new UK Commission for Employment and Skills. The UK Commission will be a UK-wide body with responsibilities across each of the four nations, and for skills at all levels, as set in the Leitch review of skills: 'Prosperity for all in the global economy—world class skills'

The UK Commission will be primarily advisory, shaping strategy to achieve the Government’s world class ambitions and will not have significant executive or operational functions. Sir Michael Rake has been appointed as the chair and we are currently recruiting for a chief executive and commissioners.

The new UK Commission will open on 1 April 2008 and will incorporate those functions that the Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA) and National Employment Panel (NEP) currently undertake that fall under the remit and responsibility of the new organisation.

At this early stage of developments we are not yet in a position to be able to give defined numbers of staff and therefore an agreed budget.

I am of course happy to provide you with figures and numbers once these have been established and agreed with Departments and senior officials within the new UK Commission.

Average Earnings

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households received less than (a) 20 per cent. and (b) 30 per cent. of median income in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2006. (152743)

Child Support Agency: Debt Collection

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many non-resident parents from whom the Child Support Agency is seeking to collect maintenance have arrears of over (a) £100,000, (b) £50,000, (c) £25,000, (d) £20,000, (e) £15,000, (f) £10,000, (g) £5,000 and (h) £1,000; and if he will make a statement. (146174)

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

Letter from Stephen Geraghty, dated 18 September 2007:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many non-resident parents for whom the Child Support Agency is seeking to collect maintenance have arrears of over (a) £100,000 (b) £50,000 (c) £25,000 (d) £20,000 (e) £15,000 (f) £10,000 (g) £5,000 and (h) £1,000 and if he will make a statement [146174].

The information requested is provided in the attached table.

I hope you find this answer helpful.

Number of non-resident parents (NRP’s) with arrears: June 2007

Amount of arrears

Number of NRP’s

Up to £1,000

480,390

£1,001 to £5,000

232,810

£5,001 to £10,001

76,660

£10,001 to £15,000

33,110

£15,001 to £20,000

18,790

£20,001 to £25,000

11,370

£25,001 to £50,000

22,760

£50,001 to £100,000

5,320

Over £100,000

120

Notes:

1. The information provided is for all individual non-resident parents (NRP’s) at June 2007. Where a NRP is involved in more than one case, their total debt has been used.

2. The table above includes those old-scheme cases with either a full maintenance assessment or an interim maintenance assessment; plus those new-scheme cases with either a full maintenance calculation, or a default maintenance decision.

3. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

Children: Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost of the information and support service on child maintenance to be established by his Department by October 2008. (155001)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: It will be up to the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission to decide how best to deploy its resources to meet its statutory objectives. The overall level of resources allocated to the Commission will be negotiated in the usual way as part of the Department’s planning processes.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what consideration he has given to the possibility of contracting out the child maintenance information and support service to the private or voluntary sector; and if he will make a statement. (155004)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: It is the intention to contract out the information and support service. We expect that the service will be delivered by a combination of private and voluntary sector providers working in partnership.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate how many non-resident parents were required, having had their Child Support Agency maintenance payments deducted from their income by their employer, to pay a second time when the employer’s business went into liquidation in each of the last five years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. (155203)

Children: Poverty

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what his most recent estimate is of the proportion of children living in poverty. (152841)

The information requested is in “Households Below Average Income 1994-95—2005-06 (Revised)”. The report is available in the Library. The report uses 60 per cent. of median income as the low income threshold. This threshold is the internationally recognised measure of poverty.

Departments: Departmental Co-ordination

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what (a) ministerial committees and (b) permanent groups involving senior civil servants have been set up by his Department to liaise with the Ministers for Women. (155242)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions sits on numerous ministerial committees, including a number of committees with the Minister for Women. A list of committees and the ministerial membership is available on the Cabinet Office website at:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/secretariats/committees/index.asp

Senior civil servants from DWP and the Government Equalities Office sit on the following permanent group:

The Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force Senior Officials Group.

Departments: Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans his Department has for using citizens’ juries as part of the policy making process. (155147)

[holding answer 12 September 2007]: Citizens’ juries represent one important way of engaging the public and democratic debate about policy decisions. We are examining ways of using them in future decision making in the department.

Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the Welfare to Work proposals set out in In Work, Better Off: Next steps to full employment, Cm 7130, with the Human Rights Act 1998. (152285)

In developing policy proposals, we are always conscious of the obligations of the Human Rights Act. However, the Government are currently consulting on the proposals for change set out in “In work, Better off: next steps to full employment.” These are still at an early stage and a full assessment of human rights considerations would normally be made as and when it was needed as part of final decisions made on the direction of policy following consultation.

Jobcentre Plus

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Jobcentre Plus districts there are; how many Jobcentre Plus districts reached their job outcome target point total in the last period for which figures are available; and if he will list the districts that did not reach the job outcome target points total in the same period. (148156)

[holding answer 9 July 2007]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the right hon. Gentleman with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 17 September 2007:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question about the number of Jobcentre Plus districts; how many reached their job outcome target points total in the last period for which figures are available; and to list the districts that did not reach the target points in that period. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

There are currently 50 Jobcentre Plus districts. The most recent JOT figures relate to customers who started work in December 2006. For that period two districts reached their JOT points profile—Derbyshire and Essex. A further 10 districts achieved more than 90 per cent. of their points target. Those districts that did not meet their points target in December were:

90-99 per cent.

Below 90 per cent.

Lancashire

Lanarkshire and East Dunbartonshire

Black Country

Ayrshire, Dumfries and Galloway and Inverclyde

Berks, Bucks and Oxfordshire

Glasgow

Surrey and Sussex

South West Wales

West of England

Coventry and Warwickshire

Hampshire

South Yorkshire

Norfolk

South Wales Valleys

The Marches

Forth Valley, Fife and Tayside

Dorset and Somerset

Highlands, Islands, Clyde Coast and Grampian

Nottinghamshire

South East Wales

North and Mid Wales

South Tyne and Wear Valley

Kent

Central London

Staffordshire

Tees Valley

Northumbria

Greater Manchester Central

West Yorkshire

City and East London

Edinburgh and Lothian and Borders

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

Birmingham and Solihull

North and North East London

Liverpool and Wirral

Cumbria

Devon and Cornwall

South London

North and East Yorkshire and the Humber

Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth

Leicestershire and Northamptonshire

Cheshire and Warrington

West London

Cambridgeshire and Suffolk

Greater Manchester East and West

Lincolnshire and Rutland

Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Swindon

Greater Mersey

It may be helpful if I provide some further context for our JOT performance figures. Since the 2006/07 JOT target was set, more recent historical performance information has become available, suggesting that the target involves a higher degree of challenge than was intended. Given this, the department recognises that the JOT points target was set 8.4% too high. A target level of around 12.4 million points would have been more representative of the degree of challenge intended, rather than the original 13.5 million-point target. However, it was agreed that Jobcentre Plus would continue to report against the original profile for 2006/07. Detailed JOT performance data is published on the Jobcentre Plus website and updated regularly.

I hope this is helpful.

Jobcentre Plus: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Jobcentre Plus staff were employed in (a) call centres and (b) frontline offices in each of the last 10 years. (152657)

[holding answer 26 July 2007]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 1 October 2007:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many Jobcentre Plus staff were employed in (a) contact centres and (b) frontline offices, in each of the last 10 years. This is something that falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Unfortunately we are unable to provide a functional breakdown of Jobcentre Plus staff prior to March 2004.

The following tables provide the number of full-time equivalents (FTEs) employed in (a) Contact Centres and (b) Operational staff in Jobcentres, Jobcentres Plus offices, Social Security Offices and Benefit Delivery Centres and those who provide support for these services, for the period 2004 to 2007. Fraud investigation staff are included in table b. It is not possible to differentiate between those who deal directly with the public and those who perform other supporting functions in the second group of staff.

(a)

FTE Employed in Customer Contact Directorate

FTE employed directly in contact centres

March 2004

2,207.1

2,118.39

March 2005

4,184.7

3,992.56

March 2006

6,227.5

6,075.73

March 2007

6,486.9

6,382.54

(b)

FTE

March 2004

74,036.4

March 2005

66,808.6

March 2006

59,789.7

March 2007

57,939.5

I hope this is helpful.

Jobseekers Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 20 June 2007, Official Report, column 1868W, on jobseekers allowance, how many and what percentage of new deal leavers (a) moved on to other benefits and (b) returned to other benefits on leaving employment (i) between six and 12 months and (ii) more than 12 months after leaving the programme in each year since 1998. (146808)

Information on people returning to other benefits on leaving employment is not available.

The available requested information is in the following table.

New deal

Moved on to other benefits between 6 and 12 months from date of leaving new deal

Moved on to other benefits more than 12 months from date of leaving new deal

Number of leavers

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

1998

97,630

5,340

5

36,840

38

1999

386,580

26,900

7

150,170

39

2000

428,050

31,040

7

155,400

36

2001

403,500

28,170

7

132,790

33

2002

401,160

28,830

7

109,860

27

2003

435,700

29,580

7

93,470

21

2004

480,330

31,870

7

68,430

14

2005

453,860

29,360

6

22,540

5

Notes:

1. Data are based on all leavers from all new deal programmes.

2. Data on ‘other benefits’ refers to income support and incapacity benefit only as these are the only benefits linked to an individual being out of work. The data show the number of leavers from new deal making new claims to either of those benefits in the periods concerned.

3. Latest complete year data is for 2005. The number and percentage of people moving to other benefits more than 12 months from the date of leaving new deal is based on benefit data to November 2006 (latest available). It would be expected that these numbers, particularly for later years, would rise as more up-to-date benefit data becomes available.

4. If a person has two separate periods on benefit, one between six and 12 months after leaving new deal, and one more than 12 months after leaving new deal, only the benefit period between six and 12 months is included in the table.

Source:

Information Directorate, Department for Work and Pensions

Lone Parents: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average payment made to lone parents was in each of the in-work credit pilot areas; and what the average hourly pay was of the lone parents in work in each pilot area. (152807)

[holding answer 26 July 2007]: The in-work credit was introduced in 22 pilot areas in four staggered phases from April 2004. It is designed to help participants cope with the financial aspects of the transition from welfare to work. Participants are paid £40 per week over and above their total income when they start work for 16 hours or more a week. This is paid for a maximum of 52 weeks. From 1 July 2007 the payment in London was increased to £60 a week to address the higher costs of living in the capital.

In areas other than London it is available to eligible lone parents, and in London it is available to all eligible parents.

Information on the average hourly pay of lone parents in work in each pilot area is not available.

The available information on the average payment made to eligible parents in each of the pilot areas is in the following table.

In-work credit

In-work credit districts

Phase

Total number of starts

Average total payment per participant (£)

Total payment per district (£)

Leicestershire

2

1,800

1,580

1,971,880

Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire

4

1,810

1,330

1,157,640

Essex

4

2,360

1,320

1,507,640

Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire

4

2,170

1,380

1,469,600

Hampshire

4

2,120

1,380

1,401,520

Kent

4

2,040

1,380

1,217,720

Surrey and Sussex

4

2,710

1,460

1,876,680

City and East London

3

1,340

1,320

1,210,640

South East London

1

2,600

1,490

2,898,760

North London

1

2,170

1,510

2,503,320

South London

3

2,000

1,420

1,815,560

Central London

2

1,330

1,350

1,329,000

Lambeth, Southwark and Wandsworth

3

2,210

1,370

1,977,400

Brent, Harrow and Hillingdon

3

1,420

1,400

1,373,880

West London

2

1,320

1,500

1,386,440

Lancashire West

2

2,530

1,530

2,742,960

Dudley and Sandwell

2

1,470

1,590

1,615,600

Staffordshire

2

2,230

1,600

2,483,880

Bradford

1

1,880

1,600

2,289,480

Leeds

2

2,440

1,580

2,731,720

Cardiff and Vale

2

1,600

1,590

1,720,560

Edinburgh Lothian and Borders

2

2,410

1,510

2,510,720

Total

44,080

1,470

41,323,440

Notes:

1. The areas in the table are those where the in-work credit was originally introduced. Many are now part of larger areas as a result of Jobcentre Plus reorganisation.

2. Up to the end of April 2007, 44,080 people had claimed the in-work credit and 28,030 people had finished their claim for the in-work credit.

3. Calculations of average payments are based on those participants who had finished their claim for the in-work credit.

4. Totals in the final row may not sum to individual figures as they include a very small number of in-work credit claims recorded from other areas.

Data source:

Lone parent evaluation database.

New Deal Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people have (a) participated in and (b) found permanent full-time employment following their participation in each New Deal programme; and what the (i) average duration and (ii) cost as a proportion of the cost of the relevant New Deal programme of each such employment was. (152706)

Information is available on the number of people placed into work through new deal, but not on the average duration of jobs gained, or whether employment gained was full time and permanent. A proportionate cost calculation cannot therefore be provided.

Information on the number of people participating on each new deal is in the following table.

Participants on new deal

Programme

People starting

New Deal for Young People

1,175,100

New Deal 25 plus

684,600

New Deal for Lone Parents

748,000

New Deal for Disabled People

242,400

New Deal 50 plus

80,900

New Deal for Partners

14,800

Source:

New Deal Evaluation Database, DWP Information Directorate

The available information on job sustainability is as follows:

Information on job sustainability is not available for new deal 50 plus and new deal for partners.

A person is defined as leaving new deal for young people and new deal 25 plus to sustained employment if they do not return to claim jobseeker’s allowance within 13 weeks.

A person is defined as leaving new deal for lone parents to sustained employment if they have gained a job that lasts at least 13 weeks, as measured within the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

A new deal for disabled people (NDDP) job is regarded as sustained when a person who has been placed into work through an NDDP job broker remains in work for 13 out of 39 weeks. Information on NDDP job sustainability has not been centrally collected since March 2006.

New deal for young people

Number

Percentage

Individuals into jobs to November 2006

732,220

Of which, into sustained employment

622,660

85

New deal 25 plus

Number

Percentage

Individuals into jobs to November 2006

286,230

Of which, into sustained employment

235,090

82

New deal for lone parents

Number

Percentage

Individuals into jobs to November 2006

497,630

Of which, into sustained employment

302,100

61

Notes:

1. 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.

2. Information on starts to new deal 50 plus is only available from January 2004 onwards.

3. Latest data for all new deals relates to the end of February 2007.

Pension Credit: Eligibility

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make an estimate of the (a) number and (b) proportion of pensioners who will be eligible for pension credit in each year up to 2050. (155384)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The numbers eligible to pension credit in the future are subject to a range of uncertainties. For example, in order to make projections, assumptions have to be made about how Governments will choose to uprate benefits in the future. The following table shows the number and proportion of all pensioner households eligible for pension credit every year to 2050-51.

Projected number and proportion of pensioner households eligible for pension credit from 2005-06 to 2050-51

Number (millions)

Proportion (percentage)

2005-06

4.1

46

2006-07

4.0

46

2007-08

4.1

46

2008-09

4.2

46

2009-10

4.3

46

2010-11

4.3

46

2011-12

4.2

46

2012-13

4.2

46

2013-14

4.1

46

2014-15

4.1

46

2015-16

4.0

45

2016-17

3.9

44

2017-18

3.8

44

2018-19

3.8

43

2019-20

3.7

43

2020-21

3.7

43

2021-22

3.7

42

2022-23

3.7

41

2023-24

3.7

41

2024-25

3.6

40

2025-26

3.5

40

2026-27

3.5

39

2027-28

3.5

39

2028-29

3.6

38

2029-30

3.6

37

2030-31

3.6

37

2031-32

3.7

36

2032-33

3.7

36

2033-34

3.7

35

2034-35

3.7

35

2035-36

3.7

35

2036-37

3.7

35

2037-38

3.6

34

2038-39

3.6

33

2039-40

3.6

33

2040-41

3.5

32

2041-42

3.5

32

2042-43

3.4

32

2043-44

3.4

31

2044-45

3.3

31

2045-46

3.3

31

2046-47

3.2

31

2047-48

3.2

31

2048-49

3.2

30

2049-50

3.1

29

2050-51

3.0

29

Notes: 1. Estimates cover all those aged above women's state pension age (SPA) in the private household population of Great Britain. Pensioner households are defined here as single people aged over women's SPA and couples where at least one partner is over women's SPA. 2. Estimates of the number of pensioner households eligible are rounded to the nearest 0.1 million, and proportions to the nearest 1 per cent. 3. Proportions entitled are based on Pensim2, a dynamic micro-simulation model produced by the Department for Work and Pensions. This model is designed to estimate long-term trends; estimates for individual years are subject to random variation and should be treated with caution. The time series have been smoothed using a three-year moving average. 4. Numbers entitled have been estimated by applying the estimated proportion entitled to the projected household population above women's SPA, which is derived from Government Actuary's Department's 2004-based projections of individuals and trends in private households modelled in Pensim2. 5. Projections are calibrated to National Statistics estimates of eligibility to pension credit in 2005-06, which adjust Family Resources Survey data to take account of possible biases in reporting. The National Statistics are published as a range; the projections have been calibrated to the mid-point of that range. 6. Projections take account of policies introduced in the Pensions Act 2007, including changes in state pension age. They do not include any increase in private saving from the introduction of personal accounts, which would further reduce the numbers eligible for pension credit.

Pensioners: Overseas Residence

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many UK pensioners resident abroad have their pensions (a) frozen and (b) uprated in line with those living in the UK. (155521)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: As at February 2007, there were 524,730 state pension recipients abroad whose pensions were frozen and there were 534,940 state pension recipients whose pensions were uprated in line with those living in the UK.

Notes:

1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Some additional disclosure control has also been applied.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study

Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to paragraph 14 of the report by the Comptroller and Auditor General on the National Insurance Fund account 2003-04 (HC 197 2004-05), how many deficiency notices were issued by his Department to individuals over state pension age; what proportion of recipients made an initial response; what proportion of respondents made additional contributions; what the value was of those contributions; what his latest estimate is of the resultant arrears of benefit expenditure; and if he will make a statement. (155044)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: The Department for Work and Pensions issued 470,000 deficiency notices to customers.

The response rate to the initial enquiries was estimated to be 70 per cent. To date, the Department for Work and Pensions has received 290,000 enquiries; a 62 per cent. response rate. Customers have up to 2009 or 2010 to respond (depending on their year of birth) as these are the cut-off dates for the payment of the six years voluntary contributions under the provisions of the Deficiency Notice Exercise.

It was estimated that 25 per cent. of the individuals who responded would make additional contributions. The actual number of individuals who have made additional contributions to date is 69,249. This equates to 24 per cent. of the number of individuals who responded.

The value of the additional national insurance contributions which would be paid was estimated to be £32 million. The value of national insurance contributions collected to date is £46.9 million.

The arrears of benefit expenditure including interest on back-dated payments was estimated to be £103 million. The actual amount of benefit including interest paid out to customers under the provisions of the Deficiency Notice Exercise to date is £87.7 million.

Pensions: Compensation

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the average cost of compensation to pensioners whose pension schemes were underfunded and who are eligible for either Financial Assistance Scheme or Pension Protection Fund compensation. (152649)

[holding answer 26 July 2007]: We estimate that the average assistance from the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS) for those individuals whose pension scheme was underfunded and who are eligible for payments will be around £64,000 for the scheme as extended under the budget announcement.

Information in respect of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) is not available in the requested format. However as at 25 July 2007 10 schemes have transferred into the PPF and average annual payments to members are: (i) to pensioner members £4,509; (ii) to deferred members £4,999; and (iii) for members receiving a mixture of pension and deferred payment £3,673.

Pensions: Females

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many married women aged (a) 60, (b) 61, (c) 62, (d) 63, (e) 64, (f) 65, (g) 66, (h) 67, (i) 68 and (j) 69 are currently receiving nil basic state pension on their own contribution records; and of these, how many have contribution records of (i) 20 to 24 per cent., (ii) 15 to 19 per cent., (iii) 10 to 14 per cent., (iv) 5 to 9 per cent. and (v) 0 to 4 per cent. (155043)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: The information is not available for married women only. The information that is available is in the following table.

It shows the number of UK women aged between 60 and 69 in 2003-04 who did not satisfy the “25 per cent. rule” for entitlement to a basic state pension on their own contribution records. It also shows for each age group the proportion of the full rate of basic state pension that they accrued during their working life.

Some of these women may be eligible to receive a basic state pension based on their husband's contribution record.

Number of UK women not satisfying the 25 per cent. rule

Thousand

BSP entitlement at state pension age

Age in 2003-04

0-4%

5-9%

10-14%

15-19%

20-24%

All

60

3

3

8

10

188

212

61

5

4

10

12

174

205

62

6

5

10

17

148

186

63

7

5

13

19

141

184

64

6

7

15

24

145

196

65

6

8

16

31

131

191

66

6

7

20

31

127

191

67

8

6

20

33

108

174

68

7

9

17

33

107

173

69

7

8

19

37

91

162

All

59

60

148

247

1,360

1,873

Notes: 1. Figures refer to women living in the UK. 2. Figures refer to entitlement based on women's own contribution records. 3. Figures exclude women who satisfy the “25 per cent. Rule” but do not satisfy the “first contribution condition” for basic state pension entitlement, and so also receive nil basic state pension based on their own contribution record. 4. The information is based on the data held on the national insurance record up to and including the 2003-04 tax year at May 2005. It therefore excludes any national insurance contributions paid after that date. Source: Lifetime Labour Market Database 2, 2003-04.

Pensions: Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) for what reasons his Department used a private sector company to deliver pension cheques to sub-post offices during the recent postal disruption due to industrial action; what cost-benefit analysis was made prior to the temporary arrangement to send pension cheques by courier service to sub-post offices; and what the total cost was of the exercise; (155056)

(2) what steps were taken to ensure that the sub-post offices which received pension cheques during the recent postal disruption were within easy access of the intended recipients; what criteria were used to determine which sub-post offices were used; what provisions were made for house-bound and frail pensioners to collect their cheques from sub-post offices; and what revisions he will make to his contingency plan to dispatch pension cheques during any future postal strike.

[holding answers 10 September 2007]: During the recent postal disruption, the Department used a company with whom it has an existing contract for providing courier services. In the absence of assurance from Royal Mail that deliveries to our customers could be maintained, we used our contingency arrangements to ensure customers (many among the most vulnerable in society) received their payments. A comprehensive cost-benefit analysis was conducted when the cheque contingency plan was developed. This established that the contracted courier could deliver cheques to our customers during local, regional or national postal disruptions, and that Post Office Ltd. could provide additional counter services during such disruptions.

The total cost of the exercise, including VAT, was approximately £2.6 million. This cost included discounts totalling £390,000 negotiated with the suppliers. A quantifiable saving of £250,000 was made by using our contingency arrangements, in not having to incur postal delivery charges. Further unquantifiable savings were made by substantially reducing the number of customer cheque payment queries received in local offices due to the industrial action.

Customer cheques, including those paid to pensioners, were delivered to each cheque customer’s nearest post office, as determined by their postal code. Any customers who were unable to collect their cheques, could nominate a temporary agent to do so on their behalf.

The contingency plan was highly effective in ensuring our customers received their cheque payments throughout the disruption caused by the postal workers’ dispute, and the contingency will be used again if required.

Poverty: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what definition his Department uses of child poverty. (153584)

The information requested is available in Working for Children Cm7067, page 11, published on 27 March 2007. This is available in the Library.

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the likely reductions in fraudulent benefit claims from the use of voice risk analysis technology. (152741)

No such estimate has been made. The technology will be evaluated to assess its potential to identify risk in benefit claims following the completion of the pilot exercises.

Social Security Benefits: Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what arrangements he has made for individuals with personal computers using (a) Microsoft Windows and (b) Apple Macintosh operating systems to make online applications for (i) attendance allowance and (ii) other social security benefits; and if he will make a statement. (155464)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The Department for Work and Pensions is able to accept online applications for income support, incapacity benefit, jobseeker’s allowance, child maintenance, disability living allowance, attendance allowance and state pension. However, this service is not currently available to citizens using Macintosh computers. The service was introduced as a pilot and is currently being reviewed and the suitability of the technical platform will then be considered. Applications for carer’s allowance can also be made online using an interface that can be accessed by a computer with either Windows or Macintosh systems.

Claim forms for the majority of social security benefits can be downloaded from the DWP website, irrespective of system, for subsequent postal applications. The Department also offers a telephone application service for a number of benefits.

Access to all online Government services is moving to Directgov, the cross-government portal that will provide the single citizen access point for Government services, which supports both the Windows and Macintosh systems.

Social Security Benefits: New Deals Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions of those people who had left each New Deal for Work, how many and what proportion were claiming benefit for the second or more time in (a) 2001, (b) 2004 and (c) 2007 where claimants had not claimed benefit for (i) up to three months, (ii) between three and six months, (iii) between six and 12 months, (iv) over 12 months and (v) over 24 months, broken down by each New Deal group. (155083)

State Retirement Pensions: Males

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will estimate how many men aged (a) 65, (b) 66, (c) 67, (d) 68, (e) 69, (f) 70, (g) 71, (h) 72, (i) 73 and (j) 74 are currently receiving state pensions of 98 per cent. or less of the full rate. (155465)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: The information is in the following table.

Age

Number of males

65

49,600

66

61,500

67

63,400

68

62,200

69

60,000

70

57,700

71

49,800

72

45,600

73

44,100

74

40,700

Notes:

1. Data are taken from 5 per cent. extract of the Pension Service computer system, therefore figures are subject to a degree of sampling variation. They are also adjusted to be consistent with the overall case load from the Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100.

3. Figures are based on 98 per cent. or less of the full rate of state pension as at September 2006 which was £84.25 per week and exclude cases with no basic state pension in payment.

4. Figures include cases residing abroad where the rate of pension would be frozen and not uprated each year.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate.

Tax Credit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 17 May 2007, Official Report, column 895W, on tax credit, how many (a) individuals and (b) households were beneficiaries of (i) both means-tested assistance and tax credits, (ii) means-tested assistance or tax credits, (iii) means-tested assistance and or tax credits, (iv) tax credits and (v) means-tested assistance in (A) 1979, (B) 1992, (C) 1997 and (D) 2007. (155094)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: The information is not available in the format requested.

Because of the changes to income-related benefits since 1979, and the different types of data and methods of collection employed over the years, it is not possible to provide directly comparable figures for each of the years sought.

The information provided in the previous reply of 17 May 2007, Official Report, column 895W, was derived from the Family Resources Survey (FRS). FRS information is not available for 1979 and 1992. Tax credits were introduced in 1999 and replaced family credit. The available information for family credit in 1997-98 and tax credits in 2005-06—the most recent year for which information is available—is in the following tables.

Households and individuals in Great Britain who are in receipt of various combinations of income-related benefits and family credit, 1997-98

Individuals

Households

Both income-related benefits and Family Credit

310,000

320,000

Income-related benefits or Family Credit

6,360,000

6,130,000

Income-related benefits and/or Family Credit

6,670,000

6,450,000

Family Credit

580,000

580,000

Income-related benefits

6,390,000

6,180,000

Households and individuals in Great Britain who are in receipt of various combinations of income-related benefits and tax credits, 2005-06

Individuals

Households

Both income-related benefits and tax credits

790,000

850,000

Income-related benefits or tax credits

8,420,000

8,030,000

Income-related benefits and/or tax credits

9,210,000

8,880,000

Tax credits

4,180,000

4,170,000

Income-related benefits

5,820,000

5,560,000

Notes:

1. The Family Resources Survey is a nationally representative sample of approximately 26,000 households in 2005-06 and 23,000 households in 1997-98.

2. Data are shown for Great Britain only for both 1997-98 and 2005-06. (Northern Ireland joined the survey in 2002-03, so UK data is not available for 1997-98.)

3. Data for 2005-06 were collected between April 2005 and March 2006; 1997-98 were collected between April 1997 and March 1998.

4. The estimates are based on sample counts that have been adjusted for non-response using multi-purpose grossing factors which align the FRS to Government office region populations by age and sex. Estimates are subject to sampling error and remaining non-response error.

5. Tax credit and income-related benefits receipt is under-reported on the FRS. This will mean that the FRS estimates are likely to be under-estimates. However, there is no other reliable source for this information at a household level.

6. Figures for the number of households and persons have been rounded to the nearest 10,000.

7. Individuals and households in receipt of either tax credit, working tax credit or child tax credit have been counted.

8. There are more households than persons because different individuals within the household might receive the benefits and tax credits.

9. ‘Income-related benefits’ includes income support, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, council tax benefit, housing benefit, and for 2005-06 only, pension credit.

Source:

Family Resources Surveys 1997-98 and 2005-06.

Information on the number of claimants of the various income-related benefits for each of the four years is available from DWP Information. However, similar figures are not available for households. Supplementary benefit was the only income-related benefit available in 1979. Income support replaced supplementary benefit in 1988. Income-based jobseeker’s allowance replaced income support for the unemployed in 1996. Pension credit replaced income support, and expanded the availability of income-related benefits, for pensioners in 2003. Housing benefit, in its current form, was introduced in 1988. Community charge benefit was introduced in 1990 and was replaced by council tax benefit in 1993.

The available information is in the following table

Claimants of income-related benefits in Great Britain

SB

IS

JSA (IB)

HB/CCB

HB/CTB

PC

1979

2,855,000

1

1

1

1

1

1992

1

5,088,000

1

3,080,000

1

1

May 1997

1

3,977,100

1,219,000

1

2,330,000

1

February 2007

1

2,134,170

707,700

1

1

2,730,940

1 Figures are not available.

Notes:

1. ‘SB’ is supplementary benefit; ‘IS’ is income support; ‘JSA (IB)’ is income-based jobseeker’s allowance; ‘HB’ is housing benefit; ‘CCB’ is community charge benefit; ‘CTB’ is council tax benefit; and ‘PC’ is pension credit.

2. Overlaps between benefits have been removed.

3. Due to the estimation procedure used to remove the overlaps between housing benefit and council tax benefit, HB/CTB figures have been rounded to the nearest 10,000.

4. JSA 5 per cent. figures have been uprated using 5 per cent. proportions against 100 per cent. totals of WPLS data.

5. HB data excludes any extended payment cases.

6. CTB data excludes second adult rebate cases.

7. Some income-based JSA claimants may also have entitlement to benefit via the contributory route.

Source:

Information Directorate, 5 per cent. and 1 per cent. samples; 100 per cent. Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study; Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit Management Information System, Annual 1 per cent. sample.

HMRC’s snapshot publication estimates the number of out of work claimants who receive either child tax credit or the equivalent through benefits. It shows that as at April 2007, there were 1,398,000 out of work families with children of which 927,000 received child tax credit and the remaining 471,000 received the equivalent in benefits. The full HMRC publication is available online at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/ctc-wtc-snapshot-apr07.pdf

Welfare to Work

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what Government welfare to work programmes have been instituted since 1997; what the (a) duration and (b) cost of each programme has been; how many people were placed in full-time permanent employment as a result of each programme; and what the average duration of such employment was. (152705)

Information is available on the number of people placed into work through welfare to work programmes, but not on the average duration of jobs gained, or whether employment gained was full-time and permanent.

The available information is in the following table.

Cost and duration of welfare to work programmers instituted since 1997

Cost (£ million)

Duration

New Deal for Young people

11.895

1998-present

New Deal 25 Plus

2939

1998-present

New Deal for Young People and New Deal 25 Plus

3322

New Deal for Lone Parents

166

1998-present

New Deal for Partners

6

1999-present

New Deal 50 Plus

255

2000-present

New Deal for Disabled People

276

2001 -present

Pathways (IB Reforms)

81

2003-present

Work Based Learning for Adults

811

2001-06

Short Intensive Basic Skills

16

2001-06

Action Teams

162

2000-06

Employment Zones

623

2000-present

Progress2work

89

2002-present

Link-Up

2002-present

Ethnic Minority Outreach

23

2002-06

1 Represents costs for New Deal for Young People (NDYP) up to March 2006.

2 Represents costs for New Deal 25 (ND25+) plus up to March 2006.

3 Represents combined costs for NDYP and ND25 plus for 2006-07. There is no split currently available between NDYP and ND25+ for 2006-07. The expenditure has been presented as a combined figure until an apportionment is made

Notes:

1. All others costs are to March 2007 and include start-up costs.

2. New Deal costs exclude admin expenditure as this is only available by individual programme up to 2002-03.

3. Cost figures are from published accounts and working papers and are rounded to the nearest £ million.

4. Progress2work and Link-Up costs cannot be separated. The total of £89 million is for both programmes.

5. Table excludes pilot programmes.

Source:

DWP Departmental Report 2005-06; Jobcentre Plus Accounts 2006-07

Culture, Media and Sport

Departments: Legislation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what legislative provisions introduced by his Department since 1997 have not yet been brought into force. (149566)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster) on 3 September 2007, Official Report, column 1596W.

Flags

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will place in the Library a copy of the direction issued on behalf of the Prime Minister on the flying of the Union Flag from Government buildings. (153345)

Organisations and individuals may fly the Union Flag when they wish. However, guidance on the protocol of flying the flag from UK Government buildings is published on the Department's website at http://www.culture.gov.uk/flagflying, and restricted to various appointed days. The Green Paper “The Governance of Britain”, which was announced by the Prime Minister in his Constitutional Reform statement to the House on 3 July 2007, Official Report, column 816, proposed consultation on whether the guidance should be altered to give Departments more flexibility over when they fly the Union Flag. The Department's consultation document, “Altering the current guidance on flying the Union Flag from UK Government buildings”, was published on 25 July and is on the Department's website at http://www.culture.gov.uk/Reference_library/Consultations. In the meantime on 5 July the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport relaxed the restrictions while the Department carries out the consultation so that all UK Government Departments have the option to fly the Union Flag when they wish. Copies of the consultation document have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Football

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions he has had with football authorities on the number of overseas players registered to play with English clubs; and if he will make a statement. (155479)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met recently with representatives of The Football Association to discuss, among other issues, the development of national talent and the recently published Review of Young Player Development in Professional Football. We look forward to seeing The FA’s response in the near future.

While overseas players continue to make a valuable contribution to the English game and have helped the Premier League to become one of the best domestic leagues in the world, we recognise concerns that an over reliance on overseas players may impact upon the quality of players available for the national team. It is right that The FA should be considering this issue.

Gaming: Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many prosecutions have been brought against online gaming companies for breaking existing legislation on advertising internet gambling. (155441)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: There have been no prosecutions brought against online gaming companies for breaching existing legislation on advertising internet gambling. The new gambling legislation came into effect on 1 September 2007.

Public Libraries: Closures

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many libraries were closed in the last 12 months in (a) each Government region and (b) each parliamentary constituency; and whether he (i) has used or (ii) plans to use the provisions of section 10 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964. (155085)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: DCMS officials wrote to library authorities in April 2007 requesting information about public library closures, openings and refurbishments. The returns established the following figures for the Government regions in 2006-07:

Government region

Closures

Openings

Net position

London

5

5

0

South East

9

3

-6

South West

7

0

-7

East Midlands

7

3

-4

West Midlands1

7

5

-2

East of England

1

0

-1

Yorkshire

8

5

-3

North East

10

3

-7

North West

17

7

-10

Total

71

31

-40

1 Please note that a return was not received from Herefordshire county council.

These figures indicate 40 net public library closures in England in 2006-07 which represents around 1.1 per cent. of the total of 3,573 libraries. In addition almost 200 significant refurbishments took place last year. Library reorganisations can result in better and wider access—for example to take account of where population shifts from one area to another, or where two small, part-time libraries are closed and strategically replaced with a larger new library open for longer hours.

Data on the number of closures per parliamentary constituency are not collected centrally.

The formal powers of intervention established under section 10 of the Public Libraries and Museums Act 1964 have only been used on one occasion, when Ministers initiated a review of the public library provision in Derbyshire in 1991. This review did not result in the then Secretary of State making use of his full powers of intervention.

There are currently no plans to use the powers established in the 1964 Act to intervene in the management of any English library authority: such decisions are taken on a case-by-case basis as issues arise.

Tourism

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will list the overseas offices of regional development agencies which deal with tourism. (155440)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: Of the eight Regional Development Agencies outside London, only Advantage West Midlands (AWM) has offices which deal with tourism. The Benelux Inward Investment Office in Belgium and the Chicago office have had peripheral involvement in tourism. AWM wishes, in general, to establish greater synergies between its tourism promotion and more general marketing and inward investment activities, including through its overseas offices.

In London, the Mayor’s Office has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Mumbai and Delhi that include representation from the London Development Agency (LDA). The offices are multi-purpose, promoting cultural links, the sharing of best practice in city governance, inward investment, business liaison and educational promotion for London universities. These offices have only been peripherally involved in tourism, but the Mayor’s Office is working with VisitLondon to consider an increase in such activity in the future.

Communities and Local Government

Home Information Packs

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what responsibility Mr. Neil McDonald in her Department (a) has and (b) had for home information packs. (153688)

Neil McDonald held the role of the Home Information Packs Programme Director from July 2006 to May 2007. He is currently Director, Planning Policy.

Non-domestic Rates

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the timetable is for the consultation on supplementary business rates. (153718)

The review of sub-national economic development and regeneration published on 17 July 2007 explained that the Government had begun to consider options for a supplementary business rate, working with local government, business and other stakeholders, and that we will report back later this year.

Planning: Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will bring forward proposals to ensure that local communities are involved in decisions about the spending of section 106 monies for developments affecting their area. (155518)

[holding answer 17 September 2007]: Planning obligations (s06 agreements) are private agreements negotiated between local planning authorities and persons with an interest in a piece of land, usually in the context of planning applications. They are intended to make acceptable development which would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms. They may be used to prescribe the nature of the development, or to secure a contribution from a developer to compensate for loss or damage created by a development or to mitigate a developments impact. Planning obligations should never be used purely as a means of securing for the local community a share in the profits of a development.

Local planning authorities should include in their development plan documents, policies about use of planning obligations. The process of setting planning obligation policies and negotiating planning obligations should be conducted as openly, fairly and reasonably as possible. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase act 2004 requires regional planning bodies and local planning authorities to prepare a Statement of Community Involvement, in which they set out their policy on involving their community in preparing regional spatial strategies, local development documents and consulting on planning applications.

Regional Planning and Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research her Department has (a) commissioned and (b) funded on the (i) South West Regional Spatial Strategy and (ii) East of England Regional Spatial Strategy. (153694)

The regional planning body (RPB) is responsible for preparing draft regional spatial strategy (RSS) revisions; including gathering any evidence and undertaking any studies to support that process.

In both regions, the Government offices were involved, with the RPB and other key partners, in work on sub-regional and other studies to inform the preparation of the draft RSSs. In the East of England, this involved an element of joint funding of some of these pieces of work by the Government office. In the South West, work was commissioned by the Government office to update transport modelling for the West of England area to help inform the examination in public.

In addition, to meet statutory requirements Government office for the east of England has commissioned work on sustainability appraisal and the habitats regulations assessment (appropriate assessment) as part of developing the proposed changes to the draft RSS. Similar work is also anticipated by Government office for the south-west.

Children, Schools and Families

Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families whether he plans to outsource work undertaken by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. (151919)

This is a matter for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). Anthony Douglas, the chief executive, will write to the Hon. Member with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Letter from Anthony Douglas, dated 25 July 2007:

I am writing to you in response to the Parliamentary Question that you tabled recently:

151919—To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, whether he plans to outsource work undertaken by CAFCASS.

Presently Cafcass outsources the following areas of work; IT, payroll and internal audit services, and approximately 15% of overall casework, which is allocated to self-employed contractors, all of whom are qualified and experienced social work practitioners.

Cafcass does not plan to outsource any further work, although the potential for shared services will continue to be considered with suitable partner organisations should the need and opportunity arise.

A copy of this reply will be placed in the House Library.

Education Maintenance Allowance: Somerset

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many residents of Wansdyke constituency have been in receipt of educational maintenance allowance in each year since its introduction. (149899)

This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), who operate the education maintenance allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and hold the information about take-up and payments under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the Council’s Chief Executive, has written to the hon. Member with the information requested and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 12 September 2007:

I am writing in response to your recent Parliamentary Question that asked; “How many residents of Wansdyke constituency were in receipt of educational maintenance allowance for each year since its introduction”.

Information on the number of young people who have applied, enrolled and received education maintenance allowance (EMA) is available at local authority level, but not at constituency level. EMA take-up is defined as young people who have received one or more EMA payments in the academic year.

The following table shows EMA take-up for Bath and North East Somerset local authority area and South Gloucestershire local authority area during each academic year since inception:

Take-up of EMA in each academic year

2004/05

2005/06

2006/07 to end June

Bath and North East Somerset

561

1,060

1,356

South Gloucestershire

830

1,450

1,801

EMA Take-up data showing the number of young people who have received one or more EMA payments during 2004/05, 2005/06 and to date in 2006/07 is now also available on the LSC website, at the following address:

http://www.lsc.gov.uk/providers/Data/statistics/learner/EMA_take_up.htm

I hope you find this information useful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many residents of Wansdyke constituency are (a) eligible for and (b) in receipt of education maintenance allowance. (149900)

This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), who operate the education maintenance allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and hold the information about take-up and payments under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the Council’s Chief Executive, has written to the hon. Member with the information requested and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Mark Haysom, dated 12 September 2007:

I am writing in response to your Parliamentary Question 149900 that asked; “How many residents of Wansdyke constituency are (a) eligible for and (b) in receipt of the education maintenance allowance”.

Information on the number of young people who have applied, enrolled and received education maintenance allowance (EMA) is available at local authority level, but not at constituency level. EMA take-up is defined as young people who have received one or more EMA payments in the academic year.

We currently only have estimated number of 16 year olds expected to be eligible for EMA in 2006/07 (FE only). This figure is not available for 17 or 18 year olds.

The following table shows EMA take-up for Bath and North East Somerset Local Authority area and South Gloucestershire Local Authority area:

Number of 16 year olds expected to be eligible for EMA in 2006/07

EMA Take-up 16 year olds

EMA Take-up 17 year olds

EMA Take-up 18 year olds

Total Take-up to end June 07

Bath and North East Somerset

720

687

523

146

1,356

South Gloucestershire

1,010

924

685

192

1,801

EMA Take-up data showing the number of young people who have received one or more EMA payments during 2004/05, 2005/06 and to date in 2006/07 is now also available on the LSC website, at the following address:

http://www.lsc.gov.uk/providers/Data/statistics/learner/EMA_take_up.htm

I hope you find this information useful.

Education Maintenance Allowance: York

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many students at education institutions in York are receiving education maintenance allowances; and what the total expenditure on the allowances in York was in the last year for which figures are available. (152194)

This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), who operate the education maintenance allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and hold the information about take-up and payments under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the Council's chief executive, has written to my hon. Friend with the information requested and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Rob Wye, dated 20 September 2007:

I am writing in response to your Parliamentary Question that asked - How many students at education institutions in York are receiving education maintenance allowances; and what the total expenditure on the allowances in York was in the last year for which figures are available.

Information on the number of young people who have applied, enrolled and received Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is available at Local Authority Level. EMA take-up is defined as young people who have received one or more EMA payments in the academic year.

EMA take-up for York is 1,327.

Expenditure on EMA payments to learners are held at National level, but not broken down to local authority level. EMA payments to learners during academic year 2006/2007 totaled £483 million. The data is available at http://www.lsc.gov.uk/providers/Data/statistics/learner/EMA_take_up.htm.

I hope you find this information useful.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many students at education institutions in York were receiving education maintenance allowances in 2006-07; and what the total expenditure on the allowances in York was in the 2006-07 academic year. (154940)

[holding answer 10 September 2007]: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council, who operate the education maintenance allowance (EMA) on behalf of the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF), and hold the information about take-up and payments under the scheme. Mark Haysom, the Council's chief executive, has written to my hon. Friend with the information requested and a copy of his reply has been placed in the House Library.

Letter from Rob Wye, dated 20 September 2007:

I am writing in response to your Parliamentary Question that asked - How many students at education institutions in York are receiving education maintenance allowances; and what the total expenditure on the allowances in York was in the last year for which figures are available.

Information on the number of young people who have applied, enrolled and received Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is available at Local Authority Level. EMA take-up is defined as young people who have received one or more EMA payments in the academic year.

EMA take-up for York is 1,327.

Expenditure on EMA payments to learners are held at National level, but not broken down to local authority level. EMA payments to learners during academic year 2006/2007 totaled £483 million. The data is available at http://www.lsc.gov.uk/providers/Data/statistics/learner/EMA_take_up.htm

I hope you find this information useful.

Education: Gambling

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families if he will commission a study on whether teaching children bridge in school can lead to the start of a gambling addiction. (147210)

The Department has no plans to commission a study on the links between teaching Bridge in school and gambling addiction.

All children and young people are given the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, understanding and skills to avoid some of the potential pitfalls of gambling through Personal, Social and Health Education in schools.