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Written Answers

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 15 November 2007

Transport

Aviation: Terrorism

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the International Civil Aviation Organisation's proposals to provide insurance cover for third party casualties in the event of an aircraft crash resulting from a terrorist attack; and if she will make a statement. (164832)

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) is currently working to revise the 1952 Rome Convention on third party liability. The next step is for the ICAO legal committee to consider the latest draft of a convention on unlawful interference. The UK expects to participate in these discussions when they take place next year, but any conclusions remain some way off.

Daedalus Airfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what response she has made to the joint planning statement for Daedalus airfield by Fareham and Gosport borough councils with particular regards to their requirement that future development should seek to maximise the benefit of the existing runways for general and private aviation use; and if she will make a statement. (164089)

The Secretary of State has made no response to the Joint Planning Statement for Daedalus, produced by the Fareham and Gosport borough councils in April last year.

Departmental Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what contracts her Department has with external consultants; what the total value, including all VAT and disbursements, of these contracts are for the current financial year; how long each contract lasts; and what the forecast total value is of each contract. (163807)

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many civil servants in her Department and its predecessors (a) transferred to other Government departments and (b) left the Civil Service in each of the last five years. (162731)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my hon. Friend the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury (Angela Eagle) on 13 November 2007, Official Report, columns 203-07W.

Railways: Tickets

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government is taking to encourage co-ordination of rail booking systems throughout Europe; and if she will make a statement. (164354)

The Government welcomes the initiative announced in July by Eurostar, as part of Railteam, to give travellers seamless high-speed train travel across international borders. From 2009 their new distribution system will allow international travellers to purchase, make a reservation and receive tickets for Railteam members’ services from any distributor of European rail tickets in one transaction.

The Government have been participating in European initiatives such as the recently adopted Regulation on Rail Passenger Rights, and is monitoring the early development of European technical standards on through ticketing and passenger information systems for travel between European railway destinations.

The Government believe that the development of rail booking systems throughout Europe is best taken forward as a commercial matter by the operators.

Repairs and Maintenance: A1

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the reasons are for the delay in the decision and announcement of the A1 motorway upgrade for Disforth to Barton; what her estimate is of the likely start date of the upgrade; and when she expects the inspector’s report on the proposed upgrade to be published. (162078)

The inspector’s report on the A1 Dishforth to Barton scheme is currently being considered. We expect to announce our decision in early 2008 together with publication of the inspectors report. Subject to the scheme orders being confirmed, it is currently anticipated that works would start on site in late summer 2008.

Walking and Cycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many staff are employed by her Department to work on policies to encourage more (a) walking and (b) cycling. (163744)

Walking and cycling policies do not fall into neat boxes which enable us to identify exactly how many people deal with each area. The Department’s walking and cycling team currently consists of six people. Another team, the sustainable travel team, promotes all forms of sustainable travel which clearly has a strong emphasis on walking and cycling. This includes the Department for Transport (DFT) half of the DFT/Department for Children, Schools and Families School Travel Project: 14,000 schools have school travel plans and for “Walking to school” grants in which 3,200 primary schools are receiving grants for increasing walking through walking buses and other walking initiatives. In addition, colleagues in other teams including traffic management, road safety and communications for example also work on policies to encourage and promote walking and cycling. We also created an independent body, Cycling England, in 2005 which has a budget of £10 million per annum to promote cycling.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Birds of Prey

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government are taking to protect birds of prey. (163878)

Birds of prey enjoy high levels of protection from killing and taking. Under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to kill, take or possess wild birds, including all birds of prey and their eggs. It is also an offence to intentionally or recklessly disturb any wild bird listed on Schedule 1 to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Most species of birds of prey are listed on Schedule 1.

British Waterways

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he expects to publish the Government’s full response to the Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ recent report on British Waterways before the Christmas recess. (164471)

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee published the Government’s response (HC1059) on 17 October 2007.

Departmental Assets

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what departmental assets are planned to be sold in each financial year from 2007-08 to 2010-11; what the (a) description and (b) book value of each such asset is; what the expected revenue from each such sale is; and if he will make a statement. (164167)

For reasons of commercial sensitivity it is not possible to itemise the net book value and expected sale revenue of each asset currently planned for disposal. However the Department is taking professional advice to ensure value for money and to maximise the return on these disposals.

The Department currently anticipates total receipts from the sale of assets of approximately £9 million in 2007-08; £36 million in 2008-09; £10 million in 2009-10 and £5 million in 2010-11. The disposals planned for the latter three years will form part of the Department's asset management strategy to be published in December this year.

Estimates of sale proceeds are subject to fluctuations in the property market and cannot be guaranteed, nor can it be stated with certainty exactly when these sales will take place.

It should also be noted that the figures apply to the wider DEFRA network, not just to the core Department. The assets in question are surplus or under-utilised land and property. The largest anticipated sale is that of DEFRA-owned land and buildings at Guildford, and we expect this to account for approximately one third of the income from asset disposals over the period 2007-08 to 2010-11.

Departmental Consultations

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contracts his Department signed on a consultancy basis with a net value of more than £20,000 in each of the last five years. (162077)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 22 October 2007, Official Report, columns 78-79W.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contracts his Department has with external consultants; what the total value, including all VAT and disbursements, of these contracts are for the current financial year; how long each contract lasts; and what the forecast total value is of each contract. (163813)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) on 22 October 2006, Official Report, columns 78-79W.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average hourly rate paid to consultants hired by his Department was in each of the last five years. (162076)

The rates paid to consultants reflect the scope and duration of the work; the grade and experience of the consultant(s) chosen for the work; and supply market conditions.

The Department does not hold information centrally on the average hourly rate paid to consultants hired by the Department in each of the last five years. The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which companies have contracts to supply his Department with fish; and when those contracts will end. (162288)

There are two companies supplying the core Department with fish. Baxter Storey who already promote the use of MSC fish on DEFRA sites and Aramark. The Baxter Storey contract is due to finish in January 2010 and the Aramark contract in June 2009 unless extensions are granted. Both organisations are committed to the use of sustainable fish supplies.

Aramark for the month of November, will be running a Sustainable Fish promotional campaign on DEFRA sites. On a particular day, not Friday, they will offer their customers the opportunity to sample sustainable white fish alternatives to Cod and Haddock, products such as MSC Hake, Coley, Pollock, Pangasius and Hoki. They will ask customers for feedback on the products and once the feedback has been collated they hope to be in a position to remove Cod and Haddock completely. They have already run this campaign at other customer sites, where customers voted overwhelmingly to remove Cod and Haddock completely from the menu, having enjoyed the alternatives.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what consideration his Department has given to introducing a sustainable seafood procurement policy. (162289)

Guidance has been made available to all government procurers on the inclusion of a clause, for catering contracts, that addresses the issue of sourcing sustainable seafood. Advice on how to do this is given in the model specification clauses included in DEFRA’s “Catering Services and Food Procurement Toolkit”—see section 2(A) and appendix E. URL:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/pdf/psfpi-clauses.pdf

DEFRA’s own catering contract includes this model clause.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what quantity of cod from the North Sea or Eastern Baltic was procured by his Department in 2006. (162290)

Information supplied by the catering service providers to the core Department shows that “approximately 2.5 kilos per week of cod is used”. There is only one supplier currently serving cod on one site. The company, Aramark, are proposing to substitute it with alternatives such as MSC Hake, Coley, Pollock, Pangasius and Hoki if a campaign to promote these species of fish from sustainable sources is well received by customers. Trials elsewhere have proved successful.

Direct Mail: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on the (a) financial value of direct mail to Royal Mail and (b) potential impact on Royal Mail’s revenues of the introduction of an enforced opt-in system for direct mail; (164143)

(2) what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the potential impact on the income of the charitable sector of the introduction of an opt-in system for direct mail.

[holding answer 14 November 2007]: The Waste Strategy for England 2007 commits the Government to exploring with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) whether an opt-in system would be an appropriate mechanism to further reduce unnecessary direct mail. My officials have recently begun discussions on this with the DMA but it is too early for any conclusions to have been reached. My officials also plan to hold discussions with the Royal Mail and with other interested parties on this issue.

If discussions with the DMA and others suggest that an opt-in system for direct mail would be a practicable and effective way of reducing unwanted direct mail, the Government would put forward draft proposals and hold a full and open consultation on them with all interested parties, including of course the Royal Mail and the charitable sector. Before introducing any new system, and as part of these consultations, an impact assessment would be prepared setting out the anticipated costs and benefits for those affected.

Dogs: Animal Welfare

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to ban the sale of electric shock training devices for dogs; and if he will make a statement. (162506)

There are no plans at present to ban the sale and use of ‘electric shock collars’.

DEFRA has recognised that further research into these types of collars is a priority and a study, based on observation of collars already in use, has been commissioned. This is due to be completed in 2010.

DEFRA has also asked the Companion Animal Welfare Council, a key advisory body for government on companion animal welfare matters, to undertake an independent study of the available evidence on the use of these electronic training aids. This will help to inform policy development and complement the DEFRA-funded study.

All research into these areas commissioned by government will be put into the public domain after the study is complete.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 provides powers to prohibit or ban the use of any equipment in England and Wales in relation to animals. This can be done through secondary legislation, if considered necessary.

I also refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 25 July 2007, Official Report, column 1088W.

Dolphins: Japan

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he last met his Japanese counterpart to discuss the killing of dolphins in Japanese waters; and if he will make a statement. (163854)

There have been no recent discussions between DEFRA Ministers and Japanese ministers on this issue.

The UK recognises with deep concern that these actions still occur in Japanese coastal waters and regularly raise the matter with Japan at the International Whaling Commission (IWC).

The UK will continue to be extremely critical of these small cetacean (dolphin and porpoise) hunts because of the limited regulation, cruelty and unsustainable numbers taken.

Ducks

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what changes he proposes to make in respect of the rules and regulations for keeping and breeding ducks for human consumption; what assessment he has made of the welfare of ducks being so bred; and if he will make a statement. (162379)

[holding answer 12 November 2007]: The Animal Welfare Act 2006 protects the welfare of animals on-farm and makes it an offence to cause suffering to any animal. The Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007 lay down requirements in respect of general welfare, inspection, housing and feeding for all farm animals. The welfare of ducks is also covered by a specific code of recommendations. Flock-keepers are required by law to have access to and be familiar with this code, which encourages high standards of husbandry.

Animal Health (AH) enforces the welfare legislation and carries out regular inspections at farm premises to check the welfare of livestock. AH also investigates all complaints and allegations about poor welfare on-farm.

DEFRA has funded a three-year research project to assess the welfare of ducks. The work involved a comprehensive assessment of different commercial systems currently in use in this country. The project is due to report back soon.

Environment Protection: EC action

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to launch the next tranche of consultations on the Environmental Liability Directive. (163270)

The second consultation on the Environmental Liability Directive, accompanied by draft regulations, draft guidance and a revised impact assessment will be launched early in the new year.

Inland Waterways

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent assessment he has made of trends in the number of boats using inland waterways; and if he will make a statement. (164671)

As can be seen from the following table, the number of boats using our inland waterways owned or managed by British Waterways, the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority over the last five years has risen and reflects the increasing popularity of boating. DEFRA does not keep records of boat numbers on waterways managed by other navigation bodies.

British Waterways

Environment Agency

Broads Authority

Total

2002

26,426

33,127

12,782

72,335

2003

26,240

32,187

12,923

71,350

2004

27,078

31,342

12,917

71,337

2005

29,000

31,535

12,770

73,305

2006

30,905

31,864

12,841

75,610

Inland Waterways: Fees and Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on British Waterways' proposed increases in (a) licence and (b) mooring fees for boats using the inland waterways network; and if he will make a statement. (164674)

These are operational matters for British Waterways. However, I have received various representations, in the form of letters, emails and parliamentary questions from hon. Members.

British Waterways is currently out to consultation on its proposals to increase its licence fees. On mooring fees, British Waterways has assured me that it is committed to a full formal consultation on its moorings trial after completion of a six month trial period. The results of this consultation, as well as the practical experience gained from the trial, will inform its decision as to whether it continues the trial and whether it makes it a permanent arrangement or not.

I have written to the chairman of British Waterways asking to be kept informed of progress and have his assurance that British Waterways is committed to engaging with its stakeholders on this and other issues. I plan to meet with a cross-section of waterway stakeholders in December to discuss a range of issues of concern to them.

Ivory

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to eradicate the illegal ivory trade in the UK; and if he will make a statement. (163852)

My Department part funds the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) which this year has, for the first time, produced an overarching UK intelligence survey of wildlife crime. This is an important step forward in our efforts to eradicate illegal wildlife trade and ivory is one of the key elements in this study. I am confident that this joint agency approach with the NWCU bringing all elements of intelligence collection together will pay real dividends in the fight against this illegal trade.

In addition we have spent considerable time raising awareness of controls and restrictions relating to ivory trade with the antiques trade through trade associations and auctioneers. We also commissioned research into ageing ivory which is important as antique worked ivory items are exempt from controls.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the international trade in illegal ivory is eradicated. (163855)

International commercial trade in ivory has been prohibited under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) since 1989 and this is actively enforced by HM Revenue and Customs at our borders and the police service internally. The illegal import or export of ivory can result in a large fine and/or several years imprisonment.

The UK fully supports efforts undertaken by the CITES community to improve enforcement activity in source and destination markets as well as working to eradicate illegal trade within the UK itself. The UK financially supports two key CITES programmes related to ivory trade: the Monitoring of the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) and the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) programmes. These enable the international community to monitor poaching and illegal trade levels so resources can be targeted where they are most needed.

Lighting

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what studies have been undertaken by his Department into the (a) affordability and (b) safety of high efficiency light bulbs. (162059)

My Department, via the Market Transformation Programme, works with the lighting industry, the Energy Saving Trust and Energy Efficiency Partnership for Homes to promote energy efficient lighting which is both commercially viable and acceptable to consumers.

While the upfront cost of energy efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) has been historically greater than inefficient tungsten filament bulbs, research carried out by the Energy Saving Trust suggests that, because they last up to 10 times longer and use significantly less energy to generate equivalent light levels, efficient bulbs can save householders up to £60 over the lifetime of a bulb in reduced energy bills and replacement costs.

New products are continually being developed and the retail prices of efficient bulbs have fallen significantly in recent years. In addition, the Energy Efficiency Commitment scheme has helped to drive down the price of energy efficient products, including CFLs, as energy suppliers work with retailers and manufacturers to offer good quality and affordable products to customers. Under the scheme, approximately 82 million CFLs have been distributed or sold to consumers since 2002.

We are not aware of any particular safety issues associated with high efficiency light bulbs such as CFLs. CFLs do contain a small amount of mercury, typically 3-4 mg, and should be disposed of responsibly. The European Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive places a responsibility on manufacturers to ensure that these bulbs are disposed of in a safe manner.

Packaging: EU Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 apply to UK companies that sell products which were packaged in (a) other EU countries which have implemented the EC Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste 94/62/EC and (b) non-EU countries. (164468)

Any business which places packaging or packaging materials on the UK market and has an annual turnover of more than £2 million and handles more than 50 tonnes of packaging a year is obligated under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007 to recover and recycle a proportion of the packaging they handle.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has considered the merits of compelling packaging on products sold in the UK to carry a compliance mark to signify that the producer has complied with the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007. (164470)

In the UK, only companies which have a turnover of over £2 million and handle over 50 tonnes of packaging a year are obligated under the Producer Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations 2007. Therefore, companies below this threshold level would not need to comply with the provisions in the regulations and would not carry a compliance mark. A mandatory compliance mark could therefore be misleading for consumers.

Paper: Recycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to increase recycling rates for paper associated with direct mail. (164141)

[holding answer 14 November 2007]: In July 2003 the Government signed an agreement with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which represents about 900 members involved in the direct mail and promotions industry, to raise recycling levels of direct mail to 30 per cent. by the end of 2005, 55 per cent. by the end of 2009 and 70 per cent. by the end of 2013. In 2003 about 13 per cent. of direct mail was recycled. The DMA estimates that recycling of direct mail rose to 28-30 per cent. in 2005.

The DMA also agreed to further develop the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) to improve the targeting of addressed direct mail, provide greater flexibility for both consumers and producers, and increase awareness of the service among householders. The DMA estimates that registrations with the MPS rose from 1.1 million in 2003 to 2.7 million in 2005.

Together with the Waste and Resources Action programme (WRAP), the DMA is working to develop a recycle logo to be printed on all direct mail. The DMA is also working with WRAP in conjunction with the paper mills and adhesive manufacturers to minimise the use of materials that may contaminate the recycling process.

The Waste Strategy for England 2007 commits the Government to working with the DMA to develop an opt-out system for unaddressed direct mail, and to exploring with them whether an opt-in system would be an appropriate mechanism to further reduce unnecessary direct mail. These discussions are underway.

Recycling: Plastics

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what consideration has been given to the relative environmental merits of plastic milk bottles and re-usable glass bottles; and if he will make a statement; (162975)

(2) whether consideration has been given to the introduction of deposits on glass and plastic bottles; and if he will make a statement.

My Department has not made any assessment of the merits of using plastic milk bottles or re-usable glass bottles. Assessing the most sustainable option for packaging containers will depend on a number of factors, including transport and the re-use or recycling of materials.

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) is currently undertaking a life-cycle analysis of milk packaging, which will look at the various different glass and plastic options and will include consideration of the impact of returnable packaging systems. This project is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2008. WRAP is also working with local authorities and manufacturers to increase recycling of both glass and plastic bottles.

A deposit system for bottles has an obvious appeal to the public, however there would be difficulties in implementing such a system in the UK. In 2004, DEFRA commissioned a project to evaluate whether a deposit system could provide additional value, in combination with the current packaging waste recovery system established in the UK, to achieve wider EC Directive targets. This work took into account existing deposit and return schemes in Europe, the USA and Canada.

The report's conclusion was that a deposit scheme may not achieve our overall environmental goals since such systems favour packaging formats that do not necessarily deliver environmental benefits.

A deposit scheme would be extremely expensive when compared to the existing UK packaging system, which uses a market mechanism and a tradable “packaging waste recovery note” (PRN). This system is reputedly the most cost-effective system in Europe for implementing the Packaging Directive.

Seas and Oceans: EC action

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he has discussed the planned UK Marine Bill and associated White Paper with (a) the European Commission and (b) counterparts from other countries; and if he will make a statement. (163229)

DEFRA ministers and officials have regular discussions with counterparts from member states and the European Commission on a wide range of marine issues, including our proposals for marine legislation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union, COM(2007) 575 final, (1) if he will make a statement on the proposal to give the Commission the power to develop a roadmap in 2008 to facilitate the development of maritime spatial planning by member states; and if he will make a statement; (163230)

(2) when he expects the proposed roadmap towards marine spatial planning by member states to be introduced; what assessment he has made of the compatibility of the proposal with the proposed Marine Bill; and if he will make a statement.

We anticipate that the Commission will introduce the roadmap towards marine spatial planning some time before 2009. The existing outline proposals for an Integrated Maritime Policy set out a framework within which member states can develop their own marine planning arrangements. We believe the UK's current approach will be compatible with the proposed framework, and we will develop our view on the further detailed proposals as they emerge.

We will be well placed to continue to influence EU policy development on the roadmap because of our parallel work on a Marine Bill.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union, COM(2007) 575 final, whether there are any differences between the Commission's use of the concept of maritime spatial planning and his Department's use of the concept of marine spatial planning in the Marine Bill White Paper; and if he will make a statement. (163231)

We see no substantial differences between the two concepts. Indeed, we agree with the concept within the Integrated Maritime Policy that marine spatial planning is a key tool for improving the sustainable development and restoration of marine and coastal areas. As we set out in the proposals in the Marine Bill White Paper in March 2007, marine planning will clarify our marine objectives and priorities for the future, and direct decision-makers and users towards more efficient, sustainable use and protection of our marine resources.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what impact the publication of the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union, COM(2007) 575 final, had on the timetable for the Marine Bill; and if he will make a statement. (163249)

Publication of the Communication has not had an impact on the timetable for the Marine Bill, which we are working to publish in draft in spring 2008.

Wales

Departmental: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the full-time equivalent headcount in his Department is; what the forecast full-time equivalent headcount for his Department is for (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. (163983)

The Wales Office publishes its headcount in its annual departmental report which is available in the House Library or via our website:

www.walesoffice.gov.uk

The planned full-time equivalent headcount stands at 62 per year for each year, and will remain so for 2009-10. The actual out-turn has consistently been below this.

Culture, Media and Sport

Football: World Cup

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what documentation his Department has produced on the 2018 FIFA World cup bid since 27 June. (164544)

My Department has produced regular updates for Ministers on the 2018 FIFA World cup bid since 27 June.

Music Mentoring Programme

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people have taken part in the Music Mentoring Programme. (164241)

[holding answer 14 November 2007]: 1,285 people have taken part in the Respect music mentoring programme since it was launched on 1 November 2006. Youth Music and its partners have appointed and trained 70 adult mentors and 149 peer mentors (aged 16 to 25). 1,066 young people have taken part in either one-to-one or group music mentoring sessions as part of the scheme.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many mentors have been appointed as part of the Music Mentoring Programme announced on 1 November 2006. (164242)

[holding answer 14 November 2007]: Youth Music and its partners have appointed and trained 70 adult mentors and 149 peer mentors (aged 16 to 25) since 1 November 2006 as part of the music mentoring programme.

Olympic Games 2012: Scholarships

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the total cost was of the 2012 scholarship programme in each of the last three years. (164238)

[holding answer 14 November 2007]: The total cost of the TASS 2012 scholarship programme in each of the last three years is shown in the following table.

Total cost (£)

2004-05

0

2005-06

875,000

2006-07

946,000

Scotland

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what contracts his Department has with external consultants; what the total value, including all VAT and disbursements, of these contracts are for the current financial year; how long each contract lasts; and what the forecast total value is of each contract. (163815)

Departmental Cost Effectiveness

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what efficiency savings projects his Department put in place under the Spending Review 2004 targets; on what date each was initiated; how much each was expected to contribute to the target; how much was saved by each; and if he will make a statement. (164149)

Following the 2004 spending review, provision for the Scotland Office and Office of the Advocate General was flat in nominal terms over the SR04 period. The Offices are committed to achieving efficiency and effectiveness in all areas of their activities and reduced their complement by over 21 per cent. between 2003-04 and 2004-05 with further reductions thereafter. Details are contained in the Offices’ Annual Reports.

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland at which functions during the last 12 months his Department incurred hospitality expenses and how much has been incurred on each occasion. (162795)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 19 October 2007, Official Report, column 1363W.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what the full-time equivalent headcount in his Department is; what the forecast full-time equivalent headcount for his Department is for (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. (163976)

The complement and actual staff numbers of the Scotland Office are published in the Office’s Annual Report, copies of which are available in the House Library; decisions on the complement for 2009-10 have still to be taken in the light of the CSR2007 settlement.

Departmental Visits

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what his official engagements were between 8 and 31 October 2007. (162638)

From Monday 8 October to Tuesday 9 October I was in London where I had various meetings, including with Ministerial colleagues and officials from the Scotland Office and MOD. On Tuesday 9 October I attended Cabinet, had a telephone conversation with the First Minister of Scotland and attended the Chancellor’s statement on the Comprehensive Spending Review. I had no Scotland Office engagements on Wednesday 10 October, Thursday 11 October or Friday 12 October.

On Saturday 13 October I attended the Scotland v. Ukraine Euro 2008 Qualifier at Hampden Park, Glasgow. On Sunday 14 October I attended the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland Futures performance at Glasgow City Halls.

From Monday 15 October to Wednesday 17 October I was in London where I had various meetings, including with Ministerial colleagues and officials from the Scotland Office and MOD. On Tuesday 16 October I attended Cabinet, and answered Scottish Questions at the House of Commons. That evening I attended the Border and Immigration Agency reception in Dover House. On Wednesday 17 October I met the Chief Executive of Ofgem and that evening I attended the Poppy Scotland reception in Dover House.

From Thursday 18 October to Saturday 20 October I had no Scotland Office engagements. From Monday 22 October to Tuesday 23 October I was in London where I had various meetings, including with Ministerial colleagues and officials from the Scotland Office and MOD. On Tuesday 23 October I attended Cabinet. That afternoon I delivered a statement on the Gould report in the House of Commons. That evening I attended the CBI reception in Dover House. From Wednesday 24 October to Thursday 25 October I had no Scotland Office engagements.

On Friday 26 October I attended the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce business breakfast. That afternoon I attended the launch of Stagecoach’s bio-diesel coaches in Kilmarnock. From Saturday 27 October to Wednesday 31 October I had no Scotland Office engagements.

International Development

Afghanistan: Reconstruction

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many civil servants are employed in provincial reconstruction teams in Afghanistan. (162717)

I have been asked to reply.

The UK employs a broad range of civilian staff in support of the Government of Afghanistan to help develop a stable and secure Afghanistan. Over 30 UK-based staff are employed from across the Government, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Defence and the Afghanistan Drugs Inter-Departmental Unit in provincial reconstruction teams. Their roles include work in governance, reconstruction and development, security, and counter narcotics.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department has spent implementing the ATLAS enterprise resource planning system. (162227)

DFID’s enterprise resource planning system is called ARIES (Activities Reporting and Information E-System).

Further to the answer given to the hon. Member for Eastleigh (Chris Huhne) on 14 May 2007, Official Report, column 487W, we have agreed two contract amendments, increasing the contract value to £16 million to finance additional work on testing, compliance with disability equality standards for the accessibility of the system and the training of users. The total expenditure to date, including internal and supplier costs, is £18.1 million.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many civil servants in his Department (a) transferred to other Government departments and (b) left the Civil Service in each of the last five years. (162733)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer provided by my hon. Friend the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury on 13 November 2007, Official Report, columns 203-07W.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development further to his letter of 1 August, when he expects to write to the hon. Member for Beaconsfield. (163944)

A reply to the hon. Member’s letter of 1 August, from my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State (Baroness Vadera), has now been issued.

Pakistan: Elections

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what stage has been reached in the implementation of his Department’s financial support for the electoral process in Pakistan, as announced in January; and what implications the current situation in Pakistan has for this programme. (164346)

We have approved £3.5 million to support the electoral process in Pakistan, including strengthening the administrative capacity of the Election Commission of Pakistan and supporting civil society work to increase turnout and educate voters. £1.34 million of the £3.5 million has been spent.

While we welcome President Musharraf’s undertaking to hold elections on schedule, we remain deeply concerned about the situation in Pakistan. We have called on President Musharraf to: restore the constitution and create the conditions necessary to guarantee free and fair elections on schedule in January; release all political prisoners, including members of the judiciary and human rights activists; energetically pursue reconciliation with the political opposition; honour his commitment to step down as Chief of Army Staff and relax restrictions on the media.

We are keeping our support for elections under review.

St. Helena

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether he plans to visit the Island of St. Helena following the appointment of a new Governor; and if he will make a statement. (163740)

I do not have any plans to visit the island of St. Helena following the appointment of a new governor.

Justice

Consultants: Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what contracts his Department has with external consultants; what the total value, including all VAT and disbursements, of these contracts are for the current financial year; how long each contract lasts; and what the forecast total value is of each contract. (163818)

My Department is currently collating information on the use of external consultants in the current financial year and will write to the hon. Member with a substantive reply to his question as soon as possible. A copy of my substantive reply will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Crime: Victims

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what proportion of victims of crime reported satisfaction with the criminal justice system in each of the last 10 years. (164181)

Since 2003-04 the British Crime Survey has included a question that asks respondents who were a victim of crime in the last 12 months how satisfied they were with the way the police and other criminal justice agencies handled the incident. The following table shows the available information on the proportion of victims who said that they were either ‘very’ or ‘fairly satisfied’.

Proportion of victims of crime from the British Crime Survey who were very/fairly satisfied with the police and other criminal justice agencies handling of the incident

Proportion very/fairly satisfied

2003-041

59

2004-05

59

2005-06

59

2006-07

60

1 October 2003 to March 2004.

Crimes of Violence: Prisoners Release

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders released on end of custody licences from each prison in England and Wales since 29th June had been convicted of violence against the person. (164180)

This information is available on the Ministry of Justice website. The total number of releases by offence group for the first week of the scheme, the remainder of July, and every subsequent month since then. For the period from 29 June to 30 September there have been 1,544 releases.

29 June to 5 July 2007:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/2007-07tables-for-ECL-report.xls

6 July to 31 July 2007:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/stats-ecl-0707.pdf

1 August to 31 August 2007:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/stats-ecl-0807.pdf

1 September to 30 September 2007:

http://www.justice.gov.uk/docs/stats-ecl-0907.pdf

It is not possible to reliably determine the numbers released in the violence against the person group for individual establishments, which would require checking of the precise offence for each release. Individual case records at every establishment would need to be checked to ensure accuracy, at disproportionate cost.

Prison service guidance makes it clear that prisoners serving sentences for the most serious types of violence against the person offences are ineligible for release under End of Custody Licence. The list of excluded offences is at Annex A to Prison Service Instruction 42/2007 which is available on the Prison Service website.

These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many Welsh speakers his Department employs. (162898)

The information requested is not held centrally and would involve a manual check of all staff records which would incur a disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the full-time equivalent headcount in his Department is; what the forecast full-time equivalent headcount for his Department is for (a) 2008-09 and (b) 2009-10; and if he will make a statement. (163975)

Full time equivalent (FTE) headcount for the Ministry of Justice is published in the ONS quarterly work force statistics. The latest data (published on 12 September, relating to staff in post at 30 June 2007) show that 79,920 FTEs work in the Ministry of Justice.

Forecasts for the years 2008-09 and 2009-10 are currently being reviewed, in the light of the comprehensive spending review settlement announced on 9 October 2007.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he expects to reply to the letter of 18 July from the hon. Member for Beaconsfield. (163942)

I apologise for the delay. I replied to the hon. Member on behalf of the Secretary of State for Justice on Monday 12 November 2007.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he expects to respond to the letter of 11 April 2006 from the hon. Member for Beaconsfield. (163947)

I can confirm that the hon. Member's letter was received on 18 April 2006. Unfortunately, however, it has been mislaid. Arrangements have been made to obtain a further copy and I will write to the hon. Member soon. I am very sorry for this unfortunate incident.

Offenders

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many persons working for his Department have unspent criminal convictions. (163349)

Information on individual employees' unspent convictions is not kept centrally and is available only at disproportionate cost. Criminal record information (unspent and, in certain cases, spent convictions) is requested from applicants applying for jobs within the Ministry, and for certain jobs, requested from the CRB, as part of our recruitment procedures. Employees are also under a continuing obligation to declare any criminal convictions they may receive while they are employed by the Ministry.

In both circumstances, decisions on the appropriate action to take when convictions come to light are taken locally by managers supported by HR officers who have been trained in dealing with criminal records information.

Prisoners: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what average length of time has been spent on purposeful activity by those detained in each (a) prison and (b) young offender institutions in England and Wales in the last 12 months. (164178)

The average number of hours of purposeful activity per prisoner per week, for each establishment during the financial year 2006-07 is shown in the following table. The primary function is shown for each establishment, with young offender institutes and male juvenile establishments listed first.

Average number of hours of purposeful activity per prisoner per week, 2006-07

Prison

Primary function

Purposeful activity per prisoner per week

Aylesbury

Male closed young offender

21.8

Brinsford

Male closed young offender

28.8

Castington

Male closed young offender

25.7

Deerbolt

Male closed young offender

20.8

Feltham

Male closed young offender

30.1

Glen Parva

Male closed young offender

23.0

Hindley

Male closed young offender

29.6

Lancaster Farms

Male closed young offender

26.2

Northallerton

Male closed young offender

25.8

Portland

Male closed young offender

21.7

Reading

Male closed young offender

20.6

Rochester

Male closed young offender

25.7

Stoke Heath

Male closed young offender

25.9

Swinfen Hall

Male closed young offender

27.4

Thorn Cross

Male open young offender

40.0

Ashfield

Male juvenile

30.0

Huntercombe

Male juvenile

28.6

Warren Hill

Male juvenile

25.8

Werrington

Male juvenile

31.5

Wetherby

Male juvenile

31.1

Albany

Category B

23.0

Dovegate

Category B

31.2

Garth

Category B

25.5

Gartree

Category B

25.0

Grendon

Category B

30.2

Highdown

Category B

16.3

Kingston

Category B

25.6

Lowdham Grange

Category B

27.4

Parkhurst

Category B

23.3

Rye Hill

Category B

28.5

Swaleside

Category B

24.1

Acklington

Category C

22.2

Ashwell

Category C

31.7

Blundeston

Category C

25.9

Brockhill

Category C

18.9

Buckley Hall

Category C

25.5

Bullwood Hall

Category C

21.0

Camp Hill

Category C

22.0

Canterbury

Category C

22.3

Channings Wood

Category C

26.1

Coldingley

Category C

32.0

Dartmoor

Category C

23.1

Edmunds Hill

Category C

23.5

Erlestoke

Category C

25.5

Everthorpe

Category C

28.0

Featherstone

Category C

26.1

Guys Marsh

Category C

29.8

Haverigg

Category C

28.9

Highpoint

Category C

25.6

Lancaster

Category C

22.9

Lindholme

Category C

25.5

Littlehey

Category C

25.0

Maidstone

Category C

22.9

Moorland

Category C

30.7

Mount

Category C

27.1

Onley

Category C

25.7

Ranby

Category C

24.8

Risley

Category C

25.3

Shepton Mallet

Category C

25.5

Stafford

Category C

27.1

Stocken

Category C

27.0

Usk\Prescoed

Category C

36.5

Verne

Category C

28.8

Wayland

Category C

26.4

Wealstun

Category C

28.3

Wellingborough

Category C

25.8

Whatton

Category C

22.0

Wolds

Category C

30.2

Wymott

Category C

30.4

Frankland

Dispersal

20.3

Full Sutton

Dispersal

20.0

Long Lartin

Dispersal

20.7

Wakefield

Dispersal

16.8

Whitemoor

Dispersal

21.6

Cookham Wood

Female closed

29.0

Downview

Female closed

27.5

Foston Hall

Female closed

22.6

Send

Female closed

31.6

Bronzefield

Female local

29.4

Eastwood Park

Female local

24.5

Holloway

Female local

24.0

Low Newton

Female local

24.8

New Hall

Female local

24.0

Styal

Female local

22.0

Askham Grange

Female open

41.3

East Sutton Park

Female open

43.4

Altcourse

Male local

35.0

Bedford

Male local

19.8

Belmarsh

Male local

14.9

Birmingham

Male local

20.9

Blakenhurst

Male local

27.1

Bristol

Male local

17.6

Brixton

Male local

18.0

Bullingdon

Male local

21.5

Cardiff

Male local

25.6

Chelmsford

Male local

23.3

Doncaster

Male local

23.3

Dorchester

Male local

17.7

Durham

Male local

17.4

Elmley

Male local

19.5

Exeter

Male local

19.8

Forest Bank

Male local

26.6

Gloucester

Male local

19.8

Holme House

Male local

17.3

Hull

Male local

23.5

Leeds

Male local

23.5

Leicester

Male local

25.5

Lewes

Male local

22.3

Lincoln

Male local

19.4

Liverpool

Male local

21.5

Manchester

Male local

22.5

Norwich

Male local

22.1

Nottingham

Male local

24.7

Pare

Male local

32.2

Pentonville

Male local

17.3

Preston

Male local

20.3

Shrewsbury

Male local

19.1

Swansea

Male local

17.2

Wandsworth

Male local

23.0

Winchester

Male local

21.8

Woodhill

Male local

17.3

Wormwood Scrubs

Male local

21.5

Ford

Male open

40.7

Hewell Grange

Male open

41.4

Hollesley Bay

Male open

38.2

Kirkham

Male open

40.7

Leyhill

Male open

39.6

North Sea Camp

Male open

39.5

Standford Hill

Male open

38.8

Sudbury

Male open

41.3

Blantyre House

Semi open

55.7

Drake Hall

Semi open

34.1

Haslar

Semi open

53.3

Kirklevington

Semi open

54.5

Latchmere House

Semi open

49.2

Morton Hall

Semi open

32.7

Prisons: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what expenditure was incurred for maintenance and repair of prisoner accommodation in 2006-07. (164782)

National Offender Management Service (NOMS) information on major maintenance is recorded under project headings and to identify work that was carried out solely on prisoner accommodation could be done only at disproportionate cost.

In the year 2006-07, £70 million was spent on major maintenance projects across the custodial estate and a further £105.5 million on major refurbishment projects. Prison establishments also have limited allocations of funding for local maintenance and repairs.

Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidance his Department has issued to the Crown Prosecution Service on plea bargaining. (163736)

I have been asked to reply.

The Attorney-General issued guidelines on the acceptance of pleas and the prosecutor's role in the sentencing exercise in October 2005; these can be found on

www.attorneygeneral.gov.uk.

These guidelines superceded earlier guidance on the acceptance of pleas issued by the Attorney-General in December 2000.

Sexual Offences

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been (a) prosecuted for and (b) convicted of vice-related offences in England and Wales in each of the last five years; and how many of these have been (i) UK citizens, (ii) EU foreign nationals and (iii) non-EU foreign nationals. (163675)

There is no specific definition of a ‘vice’-related offence, however there are a number of offences which can, in some cases, relate to vice. Information on the number of people proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for these offences in England and Wales from 2001 to 2005 are provided in the following table.

Information on the nationality of those proceeded against is not held by my Department, and data for 2006 will be available shortly.

Number of persons proceeded against at magistrates' courts and found guilty at all courts for selected sexual offences, England and Wales 2001-20051, 2

Offence description

Principal statute

Proceeded against

Found guilty

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Kerb-crawling.

Sexual Offences Act 1985 Sec 1

916

1,053

956

841

717

775

891

834

760

635

Placing an advertisement relating to prostitution.

Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001 S.46.

6

586

420

410

435

5

549

396

376

408

Common prostitute loitering or soliciting for the purpose of prostitution.

Street Offences Act 1959 Sec l

3,129

2,909

2,956

2,002

1,376

2,841

2,668

2,627

1,735

1,116

Other offences3

147

178

134

162

162

104

133

97

106

97

Total

4,198

4,726

4,466

3,415

2,690

3,725

4,241

3,954

2,977

2,256

1 These data are provided on the principal offence basis. 2 Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the courts and police forces. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used. 3 Includes offences under the Sexual Offences Act 1956 Secs 2-4, 9, 22-24, 27-29, 30, 31, 33A, the Sexual Offences Act 1967 Sec 5(1), the sexual Offences Act 1985 Sec 2, the sexual Offences Act 2003 SS 14, 47-50, 52, 53, 55, 57-58, 62 and the Vagrancy Act 1824 Sec 3 and 4.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Business: Copeland

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many business support staff were employed by statutory agencies operating within the Copeland area in the last period for which figures are available. (163046)

Data are only available for West Cumbria Development Agency (WCDA) staff, which was the main organisation providing support in the Copeland area. According to WCDA, there were 14 people (mainly part-time) who worked on business support for WCDA. Two full-time equivalent staff ran the start-up programme.

In addition staff at Activ8 Solutions Ltd, the Business Link supplier in Cumbria, will have provided support to businesses in Copeland. The Business Link employed around 50 staff, and approximately eight of these will be attributable to the Copeland area.

Chocolate: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will bring forward measures to ensure that all chocolate manufacturers adopt minimum standards for transparency, independent inspections, fairer pricing and child welfare in their cocoa supply chains; and if he will make a statement. (162605)

In its contacts with the industry the Government will encourage chocolate manufacturers to respond voluntarily to the growing public concern about sourcing and standards in their supply chains. The actions of consumers will also help shape manufacturers' decisions in this regard.

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has regular stakeholder meetings with representatives of the food sector, including the confectionery industry.

Departmental NDPBs

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the (a) budget and (b) remit is of each non-departmental public body sponsored by his Department; who the chairman is of each; and to what salary, including bonuses and expenses, each chairman is entitled. (163614)

Details of the budgets, remits and chairmen's salaries of the Department's non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs) are published in the Public Bodies Directory 2007 and relate to the position as at 31 March 2007. The Report can be found at:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/about/strategy-objectives/annual-spending/page4039.html

Information on Chairmen's bonuses should be contained in each NDPB's annual report and accounts, which are normally available on the body's website. Alterations to the Department's public bodies announced during the machinery of Government changes in June 2007 are as follows:

From Cabinet Office to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR)

Executive NDPB

Local Better Regulation Office

Advisory NDPB

Better Regulation Commission

From BERR to the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills

Executive NDPB

British Hallmarking Council

Design Council

Research Councils

Technology Strategy Board

Advisory NDPB

Council for Science and Technology

Tribunal NDPBs

Copyright Tribunal

Agencies

NWML

UK Intellectual Property Office

Departments: Disabled Access

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with reference to the answer of 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 691W, which buildings occupied by his Department (a) are and (b) are not part of the HQ estate and which buildings not part of the HQ estate (i) are and (ii) are not fully accessible to disabled people. (163915)

Buildings occupied by my Department and which are part of the BERR HQ estate are as follows:

Building

Location

1 Victoria Street

London

Kingsgate house

London

Westfield House

London

St. Mary's House

Sheffield

Atholl House

Aberdeen

Tay House

Glasgow

Amberley House

Gloucester

Newtown House

Nottingham

All buildings occupied by my Department’s executive agencies (Companies House and The Insolvency Service) and which are not part of the BERR HQ estate are shown in the following tables. All are fully accessible to disabled people.

Companies House

Location

Crown Way

Cardiff

The Access Building

Nantgarw

Insolvency Service

Location

21 Bloomsbury Street

London

83 Hagley Road

Birmingham

Ladywood House

Birmingham

Newfield House

Blackpool

Richmond House

Bournemouth

69/70 Middle Pavement

Brighton

100 Victoria Street

Bristol

Abbeygate House

Cambridge

Marlowe House

Canterbury

Companies House

Cardiff

Prince Regent House

Chatham

Windsor House

Chester

Sunley House

Croydon

Ladywell House

Edinburgh

Senate Court

Exeter

Southgate House

Gloucester

Anchor House

Hull

St. Clare House

Ipswich

1 City Walk

Leeds

Wellington House

Leicester

Cunard Building

Liverpool

Boulton House

Manchester

City Tower

Manchester

Melbourne House

Newcastle

Copthall House

Newcastle Under Lyme

Sol House

Northampton

Emmanuel House

Norwich

The Frontage

Nottingham

Cobourg House

Plymouth

Apex Plaza

Reading

Trident House

St. Albans

City Plaza

Sheffield

Waterside House

Southampton

Central House

Southend

St. Marks House

Stockton

Sun Alliance House

Swansea

Exchange House

Watford

Entertainments: Tickets

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what progress has been made on implementing the recommendations of the Office of Fair Trading on (a) the improvement of information for consumers in relation to the total cost of buying event entertainment tickets and (b) the rules governing event entertainment advertising; and if he will make a statement. (163090)

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has taken forward the recommendations in its 2005 report on “ticket agents in the UK”. For example, to work with local authority trading standards services to ensure ticket sellers comply with relevant consumer protection legislation, to consider enforcement action where necessary and to work with a trade association to produce model contract terms.

On advertising, the OFT recommended that the Committee of Advertising Practice should amend its guidance so all non broadcast event advertising is required to include the face value of the ticket, while indicating that additional fees may apply and could vary depending on the sales channel and ticket seller used. The Advertising Standards Authority acted on OFT's recommendation and amended its guidance in April 2005 but did not require advertisers to include the face value of tickets in adverts. The OFT is continuing to work with the ASA, in relation to reforming the Committee of Advertising Practice's code in line with the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and its UK implementation.

The OFT will monitor the effects of the new legislation and changes to the ASA code before considering whether further action is needed.

Imports: Renewable Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value was of renewable energy generating equipment imported into the UK in the last five years; and what the value of such equipment manufactured in the UK was over the same period. (164040)

The renewable energy generation market was worth of the order of £800 million in 2006 and is set to grow in future years; this figure covers more than just equipment.

The Office for National Statistics publishes detailed breakdowns of data on trade in and manufacturer sales of generation equipment in their annual publication “PRA31100 Product Sales and Trade: Electric Motors, Generators and Transformers”; these figures do not distinguish between generating equipment used for renewable energy and that used for other purposes. The data can be accessed from:

www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/product.asp?vlnk=8101

Infosec

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many meetings of the Infosec forum on nuclear security information have been held in the last 12 months; which organisations attend the forum; whether the funding comes from the budget of the Office for Civil Nuclear Security; and if he will publish the minutes of each meeting. (163898)

The Infosec forum is a medium for information security specialists in the civil nuclear industry to share best practice. The Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) facilitates the forum. In addition to OCNS, the attendees are UKAEA, Sellafield Ltd, Springfield Fuels Ltd, British Energy, Magnox North, Magnox South, BNFL, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Civil Nuclear Constabulary, Urenco, Nexia Solutions, Project Services and HSE's Nuclear Directorate. Two meetings of the forum have taken place in 2007. Participants, including OCNS, finance the forum on a rotational basis.

Although no formal minutes of the forum are taken, specific areas on which work has taken place this year include mobile computing and the introduction of the 'protect' sub-security marking.

Manufacturing Industries: Automation

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what his policy is on promoting the automation of British manufacturing; and what incentives are available for those companies who wish to automate. (163874)

Support and encouragement for the development of advanced manufacturing techniques is a key element of Government policy to promote a high value modern manufacturing sector. The Technology Strategy Board supports innovation and collaborative research and development into a wide range of leading edge technologies including robotics and automation.

The most recent competition under the technology programme announced on 8 November by John Denham, Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, seeks proposals to develop new high value manufacturing techniques to secure the nation's future manufacturing base with research on the next generation of production techniques

Government also provide a range of support through the Businesslink network and the Manufacturing Advisory Service to help companies in all sectors to improve their performance.

Overseas Trade: Pakistan

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many UK registered businesses trade (a) with Pakistan and (b) in Pakistan. (163042)

The information requested is as follows:

(a) Total figure of those traders on the UK VAT register who have declared trade in goods with Pakistan in 2006 is 6,168. No data is available for businesses in the services sector.

(b) No official statistics are maintained on UK registered businesses in Pakistan. It is estimated that some 100 UK companies operate within Pakistan.

Radioactive Waste Management

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will publish an update on the review of security arrangements for nuclear waste storage being undertaken by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. (163857)

Following the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management's 2006 recommendations, the NDA is currently in the process of carrying out a review of higher activity waste storage on behalf of Government. In drawing up the review, NDA has extended the scope beyond the narrowest definition of ‘durability of stores’ in order to address the concerns expressed on storage of non-immobilised wastes in various legacy facilities. The NDA will not include a detailed assessment of the security arrangements for waste storage facilities because this is the responsibility of the Office for Civil Nuclear Security (OCNS) (part of the Nuclear Directorate of the HSE), the Government regulator for security in the civil nuclear industry.

OCNS ensures that all nuclear wastes on licensed nuclear sites or in transit, are subject to a level of security commensurate with their category and activity in accordance with the demanding requirements of the Nuclear Industries Security Regulations 2003 (NISR 03). Security arrangements are kept under constant review by OCNS who liaise with NDA and site licensees to ensure compliance with NISR 03.

Small Businesses: Copeland

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many new small businesses have been established within Copeland in the last five years; and how many received support and advice through (a) Business Link and (b) other agencies. (163043)

Value added tax (VAT) registrations and de-registrations are the best official guide to the pattern of business start-ups and closures. BERR data on the number of VAT registrations, and the start of year stock of VAT registered businesses in Copeland local authority from 2001 to 2005 are shown in the following table. Data for 2006 will be published 14 November 2007.

VAT registrations and start of year VAT stock in Copeland local authority

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

Registrations

80

110

190

110

110

N/A

Stock

1,510

1,495

1,515

1,610

1,625

1,640

Source:

Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994-2005, BERR, available from http://stats.berr.gov.uk/ed/vat

Although the number of registrations in Copeland local authority has fluctuated, the start of year stock has risen by 9 per cent. between the start of 2001 and the start of 2006.

VAT registrations do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which was £60,000 at the start of 2006. Only 1.9 million out of 4.5 million UK enterprises (41 per cent.) were registered for VAT at the start of 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what the value of business start up grants made to new businesses in Copeland was in the last five financial years. (163045)

The only grants used to provide start up support were delivered via West Cumbria Development Agency (WCDA). WCDA have provided business start up support since April 2003 to November 2007.

WCDA state that £1,000 was given to each company as a grant. 94 start-up businesses were provided with a grant over this period, and £94,000 was given in total as a grant. In addition to this, training and assistance was given via WCDA staff and consultants which is estimated at £2,500 per start up company i.e. an additional £235,000 of support was given to SMEs in Copeland, making £329,000 of support in total.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the number of new job opportunities that have been created by the small business sector in Copeland in the last five years. (163047)

Neither the Northwest Regional Development Agency nor the West Cumbria Development Agency holds this information.

Toys and Games: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will take steps to strengthen the regulation of the safety of toys; and what discussions he has had on the subject with the European Commission. (163642)

At present we believe that the safety level set out in the Toys Directive and therefore the UK Toy Safety Regulations is appropriate, and that our market surveillance system is robust.

However, it is appropriate and important that we keep the situation under review. In light of this BERR officials have discussed toy safety with DG Enterprise officials on September 18 and at a special meeting of the General Product Safety Committee on 3 October.

My Department also held a Toy Safety Summit with interested parties held 29 October where the revision of the Toy Safety Directive and the Commission's toy safety stock-taking exercise were discussed.

Defence

Afghanistan: Armed Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK personnel are working with operational mentoring and liaison teams in Afghanistan. (163074)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given in another place by my noble Friend, Lord Drayson on 15 October 2007, House of Lords, Official Report, column WA33.

Armed Forces: Deployment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many UK forces personnel there are on operational duty in each foreign country; and if he will make a statement. (163395)

The following table provides the number of personnel deployed on operations by operation and location at 28 October 2007.

The number of personnel deployed on operational duty is constantly under review in order to ensure operational objectives are sustainable.

Number of personnel deployed by operation and location1

Operation

Number

Total

14,540

of which:

Telic

6,390

of which:

Iraq

4,970

Qatar

420

Oman

270

Kuwait

140

Bahrain

60

At Sea

540

Herrick

7,640

of which:

Afghanistan

7,640

Oculus

170

of which:

Kosovo

140

Bosnia

20

UN

320

of which:

Cyprus

290

1 Countries with 10 or more personnel are shown separately.

Armed Forces: Uniforms

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what system is used to ensure resupply of the combat 95 clothing system and other individual equipment in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq. (162569)

The system, used in both operational theatres, for the re-supply of clothing and individual equipment is the GLOBAL Inventory Management System. When stock levels in theatre cannot meet demand GLOBAL is used to submit a replenishment demand back to the UK. Stock is then issued to theatre to satisfy the requirement.

Iraq: Foreign Workers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many third country nationals of each nationality have been employed by his Department in Iraq in each year since 2003; and if he will make a statement. (162564)

Available records indicate that UK military forces in Iraq have employed directly some 148 individuals not of UK or Iraqi nationality over this period. Details are set out in the table, broken down by the year in which each was recruited. However, it is possible that this information is not complete, especially for the initial stages of the deployment into Iraq, when some staff were recruited at short notice to meet urgent operational requirements, and data capture for these individuals may be incomplete.

Nationality/ Ethnicity

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Total

Kuwaiti

1

1

Arabian

1

1

2

Bengali

1

1

Lebanese

1

2

4

7

Somali

1

2

5

8

USA

2

3

1

1

7

Indian

8

9

17

Pakistani

4

30

34

Egyptian

10

42

52

Afghan

1

1

Jordanian

2

10

12

Canadian

1

1

New Zealand

1

1

Palestinian

4

4

Total

2

5

3

30

108

148

These figures do not include Commonwealth soldiers serving with the UK armed forces, UK-based civilian personnel, or contractor staff supporting the UK armed forces.

Military Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many aircraft there were in the RAF in 1997, broken down by aircraft type on the same basis as the answer provided on military aircraft on 9 October 2007, Official Report, column 509W. (162799)

The numbers of aircraft that were planned to be in service with the RAF service on 31 March 1997 are contained in the following table:

Aircraft type

Fleet numbers

Tornado GR

142

Tornado F3

111

Harrier

70

Nimrod

29

Tristar

9

VC10

126

Sentry

7

Hercules

256

Islander

2

BAe 146

3

BAe 125

38

Sea King

25

Dominie

10

Hawk

100

Tucano

73

Vigilant

53

Jaguar

54

Bulldog

116

Canberra

9

Jetstream

10

Janus

2

Valiant

4

Viking

82

Chinook

34

Puma

37

Sea King

25

Gazelle

21

Wessex

50

1 Actual numbers were 27.

2 Actual numbers were 55.

3 Actual numbers were six. The planned figure does not reflect the retirement of two BAe 125 aircraft.

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the in-year budget was for helicopter procurement in (a) 1996-97, (b) 1997-98, (c) 1999-2000 and (d) 2001-02. (162521)

Budget figures for the early years are no longer held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The in-year budget for all helicopter procurement projects for financial year 2001-02 is £842 million. This figure excludes funding for emergent urgent requirements and some commodity items bought in support of these projects.

Military Equipment: Israel

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the value was of UK military-related imports from Israel in each of the last five years. (163049)

The total value of UK imports of defence equipment from Israel, for the last five years where data are available, are given in the following table.

Identified UK imports of defence equipment

£ million1

2002

5

2003

42

2004

8

2005

1

2006

2

1 Rounded to nearest £ million at current prices

Data are based on HM Revenue and Customs information relating to defence equipment reported to UK Customs. Defence equipment is identified by an agreed set of tariff codes intended to capture the movement of military equipment.

Military Equipment: Libya

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what types of armaments and military equipment have been exported to Libya from the United Kingdom in each of the last three years; and how much was paid for such material. (164990)

I have been asked to reply.

The Government publish detailed information on export licences issued, including the overall value and number of export licences approved for Libya and a summary of the items covered by these licences, in its Annual and Quarterly Reports on Strategic Export Controls. This information is available for licences issued only and not for equipment actually exported.

The Government’s Annual Reports, published since 1997, are available from the Libraries of the House and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029395474

The Government have published quarterly reports on Strategic Export Controls since January 2004 and these are also available from this website.

Trident Missiles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his timetable is for reducing the number of Trident warheads to below 160. (164136)

The December 2006 White Paper: The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent (Cm 6994) announced a further reduction in our holdings of operationally available nuclear warheads, in line with the UK’s commitment to maintain only the minimum necessary deterrent. I can confirm that we have now reduced the number of operationally available warheads from fewer than 200 to fewer than 160.

Leader of the House

Departments: Official Hospitality

To ask the Leader of the House if she will break down the figures referred to in the answer of 23 October 2007, Official Report, column 221W, on Departments: official hospitality, giving the amount spent on each function at which hospitality expenses were incurred. (162195)

Following a Machinery of Government change, detailed information on expenditure incurred in the 2006-07 financial year is only available at disproportionate cost.

Parliamentary Year

To ask the Leader of the House what the names and local authorities are of the schools whose holiday dates were analysed in her preparation of the proposed House of Commons calendar of sittings for 2007-08. (162336)

A sample of local education authority calendars from all the nations were considered in preparing the House of Commons calendar.

Home Department

Drugs: Hertfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crack houses in Hertfordshire have been closed in the last five years. (163415)

Data are provided on a voluntary basis by Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships. According to the CDRP voluntary survey, 10 crack house closures have been issued to date in Hertfordshire, four in 2005-06 and six so far in 2006-07.

Parenting Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) acceptable behaviour orders and (b) parenting orders were issued in (i) Peterborough and (ii) Cambridgeshire in each year since their introduction; and if she will make a statement. (163178)

Data on acceptable behaviour contracts (ABCs) are not collected by the Home Office as they are voluntary agreements and therefore not suitable for central data collection. However, surveys of Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (CDRPs) indicate that over 25,000 ABCs have been made since October 2003. The Home Office recently issued updated and comprehensive guidance for practitioners on the use of ABCs.

Parenting orders were piloted between 30 September 1998 and 31 March 2000 but data showing the breakdown by area are not available for that period. Parenting orders were commenced in England and Wales in June 2000. The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has collected the number of parenting orders by Youth Offending Team (“YOT”) area since April 2000, as reported to it by YOTs including education-related orders where the YOT has been involved.

Since September 2004, the Department for Children, Schools and Families has collected data on the number of parenting orders in England related to non-attendance of children at school and exclusion from school at local authority level.

The numbers of parenting orders relating to crime or antisocial behaviour from April 2000 until March 2007 and those related to non-attendance of children at school until March 2004 reported to the YJB by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough YOTs are shown in table A: The number of parenting orders made following truancy prosecution between 1 September 2004 and 13 April 2007 is shown in table B:

Table A: Parenting orders related to youth offending or antisocial behaviour and non-attendance reported by Cambridgeshire and Peterborough YOT

Cambridgeshire YOT

Peterborough YOT

Total

Youth offending or antisocial behaviour

Non-attendance where YOT involved

Youth offending or antisocial behaviour

Non-attendance where YOT involved

2000-01

0

0

9

0

9

2001-02

1

0

21

0

22

2002-03

4

0

13

0

17

2003-04

1

0

11

0

12

2004-05

2

1

23

1

25

2005-06

13

1

22

1

35

2006-07

8

1

23

1

31

1 See table B

Table B: Parenting orders made following truancy prosecution between one September 2004 and 13 April 2007

School year

Parenting orders for truancy

2004-05

2

2005-06

0

2006-07

0

Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many permits were granted in each of the last five years under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme; (163619)

(2) how many permits were granted under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme in each of the last five years.

The Seasonal Agricultural Workers scheme has been operational since 1 January 2004. The number of work cards issued since that date is provided in the following table.

Number of work cards issued

2004

20,420

2005

16,115

2006

15,980

To 30 September 2007

15,935

Total

68,450

The figures quoted are not provided under National Statistics protocols and have been derived from local management information and are therefore provisional and subject to change.

Security Guards: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the backlog for determining licence applications by the Security Industry Authority is, broken down by type of licence. (162580)

The SIA do not have any backlogs in determining licence applications.

As at 12 November, there were 15,089 applications at various processing stages. This includes applications that cannot be processed until additional information is received. The SIA does not record applications by type of licence until processing is complete and a decision has been taken.

The postal strikes in October caused some delays in the receipt, return and processing of applications. All licences issued during the strike should now have been received by the applicants. Processing times for applications sent to the SIA during the strike may continue to be affected, and delays of one or two weeks may be experienced.

Terrorism

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of likely (a) insured and (b) uninsured costs to (i) London and (ii) any other UK cities of a terrorist attack similar to that which took place in New York on 11 September 2001. (164830)

An economic impact assessment alongside social and other impacts to the UK of a range of possible terrorist and non-terrorist events forms part of the UK resilience planning process. This assessment does not distinguish between insured and uninsured costs.

Terrorism: Detainees

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been detained without charge on suspicion of terrorist offences for 28 days; and how many of these were (a) charged and (b) released without charge. (164065)

[holding answer 13 November 2007]: The maximum period of detention pre-charge was extended to 28 days with effect from 25 July 2006. Statistics compiled from police records show that to date six people have been held for 27 to 28 days. Of these, three individuals were charged and three were released without charge.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether any suspects detained without charge on suspicion of terrorist offences for 28 days and then released without charge have been subsequently re-arrested and charged with a terrorist offence. (164066)

[holding answer 13 November 2007]: The maximum period of detention pre-charge was extended to 28 days with effect from 25 July 2006. Statistics compiled from police records show that to date six people have been held for 27 to 28 days. Of these three individuals were released without charge. We do not keep figures on re-arrests.

Solicitor-General

BAE Systems

To ask the Solicitor-General whether investigators from the (a) US Department of Justice and (b) other US officials have held meetings with (i) her Department and (ii) staff from the Serious Fraud Office with regard to allegations of misconduct involving BAE Systems in relation to Saudi Arabia. (163519)

Since the decision to discontinue the investigation into BAe Systems plc in relation to Saudi Arabia on 14 December 2006 there has been one meeting between staff from the Serious Fraud Office and officials from the US Department of Justice and other officials.

Mohammed Salih

To ask the Solicitor-General what steps she is taking in relation to Mohammed Salih from Iraq, wanted in the UK in connection with the killing of Banaz Mahmood; and if she will make a statement. (162960)

It would be inappropriate to comment on specific cases where extradition proceedings may or may not be pending. In general, extradition arrangements do exist between the UK and Iraq and the UK is a party to an extradition treaty with Iraq.

Young Offenders: Fines

To ask the Solicitor-General what the policy of the Crown Prosecution Service is on financial penalties for juvenile offenders where a parent of the offender was the victim of the offence. (164403)

The Crown Prosecution Service has no specific policy on financial penalties for youth offenders. The imposition of a fine is a matter for the court that sentences the youth offender.

The prosecutors role in the sentencing process is detailed in the 'Attorney-General's Guidelines on the Acceptance of Pleas and the Prosecutors Role in Sentencing'. These guidelines state that during sentencing the prosecutor must represent the public interest as well as the specific interests of victims. Prosecutors must be ready to assist the court by placing before it relevant information concerning the impact of the offending on the victim and the community, as well as relevant statutory provisions, sentencing guidelines and case law. In carrying out their function, prosecutors must also consider whether to apply for compensation for the victim, or another suitable ancillary order.

Communities and Local Government

Departmental Assets

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what departmental assets are planned to be sold in each financial year from 2007-08 to 2010-11; what the (a) description and (b) book value of each such asset is; what the expected revenue from each such sale is; and if she will make a statement. (164166)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Fareham on 30 October 2007, Official Report, column 1158W.

Departmental Cost Effectiveness

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what efficiency savings projects her Department put in place under the Spending Review 2004 targets; on what date each was initiated; how much each was expected to contribute to the target; how much was saved by each; and if she will make a statement. (164148)

The details of the workstreams within our efficiency programme, including how much each was predicted to contribute towards the SR04 target are contained within the efficiency technical note published in December 2005 by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Department regularly publishes details on the progress made on meeting its efficiency target, including a breakdown of efficiency savings made in each workstream, in both its annual report and autumn performance report.

Homelessness

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to the answer of 18 April 2006, Official Report, column 105W, on homelessness, when she expects to publish the research commissioned from Herriot Watt University to evaluate the range of homelessness prevention initiatives in case study local authorities. (163524)

The summary of the research findings and the good practice guide based on the research were both published in June 2006.

The final report will be published shortly.

Housing: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what progress is being made on the self-financing Housing Revenue Account pilot scheme; and if she will make a statement. (162016)

Modelling work by a group of local authorities and arms length management organisations has identified potentially significant benefits from allowing some local authorities to leave the Housing Revenue Account subsidy system. This is however a complex matter and any changes must not disadvantage those councils who depend on the redistributive system to subsidise their housing services. The Housing Green Paper, ‘Homes for the future: more affordable, more sustainable’, published in July, confirmed that we would set out our conclusions and next steps in the autumn.

Housing: Low Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued on the definition of affordable housing to be used by planning authorities when considering planning applications for mixed housing. (164900)

A new definition of affordable housing appears in Planning Policy Statement 3—Housing which was published in November 2006. The definition states that:

“Affordable housing includes social rented and intermediate housing, provided to specified eligible households whose needs are not met by the market. Affordable housing should:

Meet the needs of eligible households including availability at a cost low enough for them to afford, determined with regard to local incomes and local house prices.

Include provision for the home to remain at an affordable price for future eligible households or, if these restrictions are lifted, for the subsidy to be recycled for alternative housing provision.”

Local planning authorities are required to use this definition when preparing plan policies and determining planning applications for housing.

Further guidance is included in the accompanying document “Delivering Affordable Housing”. It is for local planning authorities to use these documents to inform decisions on individual cases with reference to local needs.

Local Government: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the description is of each national indicator for which a description is available. (162539)

The 198 national indicators for local authorities and local authority partnerships were announced as part of the Comprehensive Spending Review. In reducing the number of indicators to from around 1,200 to 198 the Government have delivered on the first part of its commitment to streamline the local performance framework.

To be effective indicators need to be clearly defined in a way that is meaningful on the ground. On 8 November we published a consultation seeking feedback on the detailed definitions on the 198 indicators.

The consultation will run until 21 December and seeks views from local authorities and their partners on the methodology, frequency of reporting and data source of each individual indicator. The consultation document contains full descriptions of the national indicators and is available at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/indicatorsdefinitions.

Maps: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many licences were granted under section 107 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 for people to use Ordnance Survey maps in each of the last five years. (164138)

Ordnance Survey has granted no licences specifically under section 107 of the Copyright and Design and Patents Act 1988 in any of the last five years.

Non-domestic Rates: Small Businesses

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many small businesses in Copeland have applied for small business rate relief over the last five financial years. (163004)

The information requested is not available. However, as at 31 December 2006, there were 504 business in Copeland that were in receipt of small business rate relief.

Rented Housing: Rents

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the impact of her policy of rent restructuring. (164195)

No formal assessment of the policy has been made since the recommendations of the three-year review undertaken in 2004, which made three recommendations:

higher bedroom weights for three- and four-bed properties, and new, higher weightings for properties with five and six (or more) bedrooms;

from April 2005, using the same formula for restructuring local authority rents as that which is currently used for restructuring RSL rents, and adopting the RPI as the inflation measure used in calculating local authority rent increases.

local authorities should ignore the downward limit of RPI+ 0.5 per cent. minus £2 per week on rent changes, in order to achieve restructuring on all properties for which rents need to fall by 2011-12. The Housing Corporation should also encourage associations to do the same, where their finances permit.

After further consultation with stakeholders, these recommendations were implemented in full from 1 April 2006.

The Government wish to see the policy implemented for a period of time before considering a formal assessment.

Health

Abortion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the proportion of English conceptions which ended in terminations in each of the last five years. (162974)

The information requested is set out in the following table.

Annual statistics on abortions as a percentage of all conceptions (England and Wales) since 2001

Conceptions—all ages

Total (thousand)

Percentage ending in abortion

2001

763.7

23.2

2002

787.0

22.5

2003

806.8

22.5

2004

826.8

22.4

2005

837.4

22.3

Alcoholic Drinks: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what funding was available for alcohol rehabilitation services in each of the last five years, broken down by strategic health authority. (163378)

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust: Doctors

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) doctors and (b) accident and emergency doctors were employed by Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust in each of the last 10 years. (162259)