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Written Answers

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 22 November 2007

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when his Department’s whistleblowing procedures were reviewed to reflect the provisions in the revised Civil Service Code. (162433)

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s whistleblowing procedures were reviewed last year to reflect the provisions in the revised Civil Service Code. The procedures are brought to the attention of all staff annually. This year’s reminder was issued in October.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people in his Department earned a salary over £100,000 in each year since 1997. (167189)

I refer the hon. Member to the “Resource Accounts” published on the Departments website for each of the years from 1999. The links for each year are shown in the table.

Link

1999-2001 and 2000-01

http://www.culture.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/2C760A28-DB6B-49D8-9C2E-6137F8C7E029/0/resourceaccounting200001.pdf

2001-02

http://www.culture.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/E7AOC4B8-FC61-4CEF-9323-AD4C10F8A005/0/DCMSresourceacc0102.pdf

2003-04 and 2004-05

http://www.culture.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/997DF8D1-7D80-41EA-916A-2D2592407D37/0/Resourceaccounts0405.pdf

2005-06

http://www.culture.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/77492537-CA41-47DO-B190-OE9871F526E3/0/Resource_accounts_2005_2006.pdf

2006-07

http://www.culture.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/8493F432-266C-4690-85CO-DE4FDFDC4D50/0/dcmsresourceaccounts_200607_pdf

Three staff were recorded as having salaries over £75,000 during the 1997-98 financial year. A more detailed breakdown is not available.

Departmental Secondment

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many secondments of staff were made (a) to and (b) from his Department in each year since 1997; which organisations staff were seconded (i) to and (ii) from; how many staff were seconded in each year; for how long each secondment lasted; and what the cost was of each secondment in each year. (167282)

I am arranging to deposit in the House Libraries, tables that breakdown secondments of staff were made (a) to and (b) from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in each year since 1997; which organisations staff were seconded (i) to and (ii) from; and how many staff were seconded in each year.

We are unable to provide information on how long each secondment lasted as we do not hold this information centrally and would only be able to provide it at disproportionate cost.

The Department incurred no cost for the secondments going out of the Department as it is our policy is to seek reimbursement in full from the receiving organisation.

We are unable to provide information as to the cost of the secondments coming into the Department as this is not held centrally but by each Division within the Department and the information requested could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

Digital Switchover Help Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what progress has been made on raising the awareness of (a) pensioners, (b) people on low incomes and (c) vulnerable individuals of digital switchover. (165149)

The figures from the Ofcom/Digital UK Switchover Tracker Survey showed that awareness of switchover had increased between Q2 2006 and Q2 2007 (a) among people aged 75 and above from 63 per cent. to 81 per cent., (b) among people on low incomes from 59 per cent. to 83 per cent. and (c) among people with disabilities from 68 per cent. to 90 per cent.

Between now and switchover, Digital UK will be communicating with every TV viewing household in the country to ensure they can prepare for the change. Digital UK is also mounting media campaigns, which get more intensive the nearer a region is to its switch—this is on billboards, newspapers, radio, TV etc. Digital UK’s call centre offers advice on all aspects of switchover. This is complemented by its website, where a postcode checker offers precise information on present and post-switchover coverage and the options available for getting digital TV.

In addition, the Digital Switchover Help Scheme will be in touch with everyone who is either aged 75 and older or has a disability to provide them with assistance to go digital.

This work by both Digital UK and the Digital Switchover Help Scheme can be seen in the successful switch in Whitehaven.

Museums and Galleries: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on national and regional museums and galleries in each of the last five years. (165803)

[holding answer 19 November 2007]: Funding in each of the last five years from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport for National and Regional Museums and Galleries is set out in the following table.

£ million

Museums

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Total grant in aid to DCMS sponsored museums and galleries1

268.1

279.45

285.95

296.7

320.06

Total grant in aid to the Museums Libraries and Archives Council for the Renaissance in the Regions programme

10.0

11.2

21.0

30.0

32.0

1 Comprises grant-in-aid to the 22 sponsored museums

Sports: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department allocated to (a) community and (b) school sport in each year since 1990. (164311)

DCMS does not directly fund community or school sport, but makes an annual grant in aid allocation to Sport England which then funds school and community projects.

It is not possible to provide the requested information back to 1990 because:

The National School Sports Strategy was launched in 2003; and

Sport England changed its budget management software at the start of 2001-02 and it does not have information before that date readily available.

A breakdown of awards made in the requested categories is as follows:

(a) Community Sport

Exchequer (£ million)

2001

8.2

2002

9.3

2003

8.0

2004

12.1

2005

30.1

2006

33.6

2007

36.1

Total

137.4

Lottery (£ million)

2001

139.3

2002

172.3

2003

136.5

2004

111.4

2005

103.3

2006

86.8

2007

99.7

Total

849.3

(b) School Sport

Exchequer (£ million)

2003

27.0

2004

38.0

2005

45.0

2006

44.8

2007

44.8

Total

199.6

It should be noted that following the Prime Minister's announcement in July of an extra £100 million for school sport, from 2008 we can begin to offer all children in England aged five to 16 five hours of sport per week, and three hours for young people aged 16 to 19.

Communities and Local Government

Anti-Semitism

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many officials from her Office, broken down by grade, attended the cross-government working group on anti-Semitism on 15 November; and if she will make a statement. (167389)

The cross-government working group on anti-Semitism did not meet on the 15 November 2007. However, my officials and I met with representatives of the three Jewish organisations, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council and the Community Security Trust, that form part of the working group to discuss the work of the group and other issues of concern to the Jewish Community.

Coastal Areas: Foreign Workers

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effects of migrant worker populations on the development of coastal towns; and if she will make a statement. (165332)

A recent submission by the Home Office and DWP to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs sets out the Government’s most recent analysis of the economic and fiscal impact of immigration on the UK economy.

In the Government’s Second Response to the Select Committee on Communities and Local Government’s Report on Coastal Towns, published on 21 November 2007, my Department refers to a review it has recently commissioned of the issues, evidence-based and research needs concerning coastal towns.

Council Housing: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make it her policy to review the guidance issued to local authorities in regard to the allocation of social housing to families where child custody is shared. (166272)

The code of guidance for local authorities on the allocation of accommodation does not provide advice on the allocation of social housing to families where child custody is shared. However, the homelessness code of guidance for local authorities does provide advice in relation to this issue which will be relevant in the allocations context. There are no plans to review this guidance. However, we will ensure that, when the allocations code of guidance is revised in due course, advice is provided specifically on this issue.

Council Housing: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much subsidy was paid to the Housing Revenue Account of each local authority in respect of its council housing provision in each year since 1990. (165557)

A table showing the value of Housing Revenue Account (HRA) subsidy paid to each authority (that is, in deficit rather than HRA subsidy surplus) from 1995-96 to 2005-06 (the last year for which audited data is available) has been placed in the Library. The table shows the value of the 'bricks and mortar' element of HRA subsidy. Prior to 2004, HRA subsidy also contained a rent rebate element. This is omitted from the table to ensure consistency with post 2004-05 data.

Pre 1995-96 data is only available at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will take steps to ensure that English wine is served exclusively or at the request of guests at meals, parties and receptions hosted by her Department; and if she will make a statement. (164300)

All procurement is undertaken in line with the European Commission’s procurement rules and to obtain value for money. Where possible, British products are used.

Departmental Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government 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. (163806)

The information requested could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, the Department’s financial systems can identify all the contracts awarded for over £20,000 for this financial year. The following table shows the supplier, date of the contract award and the contract value, together with a brief description of the nature of the contract.

Supplier

Contract value (£)

Contract award date

Description

7E COMMUNICATIONS LTD

328,960.00

21 February 2007

Enhanced Command Support Satellite System

ABTECH SAFETY LTD

80,991.12

7 March 2007

Confind Space Rescue Equipment for Urban Search And Research

ACTICA CONSULTING LTD

1,840,000.00

17 October 2007

Security and Resilience Consultancy for Firecontrol

ACTICA CONSULTING LTD

40,300.00

24 July 2007

Impact of the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) Modernisation Programme

AEA TECHNOLOGY ENVIRONMENT

1,093,881.80

1 April 2007

Communities’ Building Regs Research and Tech Support

AHL BUSINESS ASSURANCE LT

40,000.00

30 April 2007

Provision of Internal Audit Services

ALPINE RESOURCING LTD

176,800.00

1 August 2007

Commercial Director for Firecontrol Project Team

ALSBRIDGE LTD

41,000.00

11 June 2007

Local Management Accounting Team Review

AMTEC CONSULTING LTD

75,520.00

5 March 2007

Project Manager for Commission For Equalities And Human Rights

APTO

30,000.00

31 August 2007

Planning Portal Adobe Forms Development

ASTRON DOCUMENT SERVICES

120,000.00

1 October 2007

Communities’ File Covers

AUTO ELECTRICAL SERVS (MA

1,064,054.44

21 February 2007

Enhanced Command Support Vehicles

BADENOCH AND CLARK

33,670.00

4 October 2007

Build Template Business Cases

BADENOCH AND CLARK

375,000.00

6 August 2007

Lead Advisor on City, Regional and Economic Dev.

BADENOCH AND CLARK

185,000.00

14 May 2007

Human Resource Software (PIMS) Project Manger

BADENOCH AND CLARK

135,000.00

28 February 2007

Procurement Advice Notice Government Agreement Competitive Dialogue

BIZZIMOGUL

119,850.00

10 August 2007

Information Technology Services for Peoplesoft Information Management System Enhancement Programme

BRAVOSOLUTION UK LTD

120,441.00

1 January 2006

Firecontrol Project E-Sourcing Services

CENTRE FOR ECONOMIC AND BUSINESS RESEARCH LTD

48,000.00

15 May 2007

Prov of Economic Support to The Strategic Review

CERTES COMPUTING LTD

40,000.00

9 July 2007

Extempsible Mark-Up Language (XML) Schemas Specialist

COMPUTER PEOPLE LTD

26,030.00

1 July 2007

Data Architect

COMPUTER PEOPLE LTD

106,492.00

1 October 2007

Single National Planning Application Project Manager

Concerto Consulting

70,000.00

30 August 2007

Home Improvement Pack—Energy Adviser—David Lane

CORNWELL MANAGEMENT CONSU

2,590,000.00

26 May 2005

Provision of Security and Resilience Consultancy

DONALDSONS

210,000.00

27 February 2004

Firecontrol Project—Property Advisors

DTZ CONSULTING AND RESEARCH

63,500.00

1 December 2006

Consultancy for Evidence on Integration And Cohesion

EADS DEFENCE AND SECURITY SYSTEMS LTD

213,776,669.00

30 March 2007

Technology and Control Centre Infrastructure

ENTEC UK LTD

69,049.00

9 July 2007

Research on Non Domestic Microgeneration

FAITHWISE LTD

75,000.00

1 January 2007

Special Adviser to the Preventing Extremism Unit

FIELD FISHER WATERHOUSE

51,871.44

30 May 2007

Fire and Rescue Guidance Review

FRAIKIN LTD

1,643,433.36

2 April 2007

Fleet Management and Maintenance

GREENSTREET BERMAN LTD

28,195.00

6 August 2007

Local Target Setting for Fire and Rescue Service

GWS Ltd

191,590.80

11 July 2007

Lnfc4local—Graphic Design and Typesetting Service

HEDRA PLC

149,352.50

19 April 2007

Government Office Transformation Programme

HEDRA PLC

217,800.00

22 August 2007

Commercial Register Delivery Manager

Informed Solutions Ltd

118,255.00

6 September 2007

Deprivation Index Mapping Tool

Informed Solutions Ltd

78,741.00

2 October 2007

Data Interchange Hub (IT)

INFOTERRA

48,500.00

1 April 2007

Procurement of Aerial Imagery

INNOGISTIC SOFTWARE PLC

72,000.00

1 April 2006

Fire Service Emergency Cover (FSEC) Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Support and Maintenance

Insight Management and Systems Ltd

75,000.00

16 August 2007

Thames Gateway Programme Systems Executive

INTELLIGENT ADDRESSING LT

20,800.00

26 June 2007

National Land and Property Gazetteer Data

KATE MCALLISTER CONSULTAN

41,710.00

29 May 2007

Supporting People and Disabled Facilities Grant

KPMG

160,493.00

2 May 2007

Home Improvement Pack—Local Authority Charging Options Consultancy

LA INT COMPUTER CONSULTAN

53,328.00

1 October 2007

Test Development to the Fire Control Project

LA INT COMPUTER CONSULTAN

57,600.00

26 July 2007

Commercial Register Senior Requirements Analyst

LA International

80,000.00

30 August 2007

Planning Portal E-Consultation Development Project Manager

LA International

21,109.00

22 October 2007

Planning Portal—E-Consultation Take Up Consultant

LA International

51,000.00

5 November 2007

Data Interchange Hub—Project Manager

MACDONALD HUMFREY (AUTOMATION) LTD

368,760.00

29 June 2007

Mass Decontamination Flow Control System

MET OFFICE

100,000.00

1 October 2006

Met Office—Weather Services

Morgan Hunt

110,000.00

1 August 2007

Thames Gateway Head of Finance

MOTT MACDONALD LTD

221,892.00

14 February 2007

Appointment of a National Project Manager

N 0 P MARKET RESEARCH GRO

59,595.00

1 October 2007

Feasibility Study for Communities Attitudes Survey

NATIONAL CENTRE FOR SOCIA

93,950.00

14 May 2007

Training for the Senior Civil Service Analytical Techniques

NESCOMMS LTD

49,350.00

29 September 2007

Service Level Manager

OGC

84,161.00

2 May 2007

Thames Gateway Project Mgt And Planning Consultant

OPERATIONAL RSEARCH IN HE

30,920.00

2 July 2007

Analysis on the Current P and P For Co-Responding

OUTREACH ORGANISATION LTD

164,000.00

4 June 2007

Line Access and Casualty Management Training

OVE ARUP AND PARTNERS

98,499.00

24 July 2007

Planning for a Sustainable Future

PA Consulting

956,000.00

28 September 2007

Home Improvement Pack Programme Support Agreement

PARITY RESOURCES

68,000.00

17 August 2007

Link Project Manager

Parity Resources

23,400.00

14 June 2007

Supporting People—Project Resource Agreement

Parity Resources

76,500.00

31 July 2007

Thames Gateway Project Manager

Parity Resources

47,144.00

16 August 2007

Thames Gateway Data Analyst

Parity Resources

51,063.00

19 October 2007

Planning Portal E-Consultation Set Baseline 4 Benefits Measuring

PARITY SOLUTIONS LTD

68,000.00

17 August 2007

Communities IT Network (Link) Project Manager

PARITY SOLUTIONS LTD

66,360.00

22 August 2007

Test Development to the Fire Control Project

PKF

100,000.00

24 October 2005

Finance, Accountancy and Taxation Advisory Services

PPAL

44,850.00

27 July 2007

Planning Portal E-Planning Local Authority Web Site Review

PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS

63,000.00

12 October 2006

Support Preparation for Sustainable Homessylvia Bu

REED PERSONNEL SERVICES P

82,400.00

5 March 2007

Project Manager for Commission for Equalities and Human Rights

REED PERSONNEL SERVICES P

82,400.00

12 March 2007

Project Manager and Human Resource Projects for Commission for Equalities and Human Rights

REED PERSONNEL SERVICES P

59,200.00

12 March 2007

Workstream Leader for Commission for Equalities and Human Rights

RESPIREX INTERNATIONAL

56,625.36

25 July 2007

Power Respirator Protective Suit—Air Filter Unit

Secor Consulting

21,720.00

10 September 2007

Listed Advice Scheme Support Contract

Securetest

27,700.00

25 October 2007

Securetest—Advice Only

Serco (Prev Cornwell)

25,200.00

4 July 2007

IT Support

Serco Consulting

41,650.00

14 November 2007

Telephony—Expert Input to Telephony Strategy

SERCO LTD

10,460,669.00

3 May 2006

New Dimension Project

SJ PROCUREMENT LTD

30,000.00

23 October 2007

Procurement Capability Review Support

TRIBAL HCH LTD

215,000.00

2 April 2007

Consulting Support to the Commission of Equalities and Human Rights

TURNER AND TOWNSEND (134266

156,600.00

17 April 2007

Firecontrol Project Provision of Regional Control Centre Tenants Rep

VEGA GROUP PLC

252,985.00

16 April 2007

Electronic Collection Of Fire and Research Service Operation Statistics

VENN GROUP

63,180.00

3 September 2007

Provision of a Contract Accountant For Fire Control

WEST OF ENGLAND UNIVERSIT

174,705.00

22 March 2007

Foundation Degree in Development Management

WHITE CONSULTANTS LTD

306,340.00

1 April 2007

Support for Transformation Including New Ways of Working

WHITE YOUNG GREEN

128,843.25

10 July 2007

A Review of Non-Household Minor Developments

WHITEHEAD MANN LTD

100,000.00

6 July 2007

Recruitment of CEO for Homes and Community Agency

WILTSHIRE COLLEGE

127,239.78

20 July 2007

Urban Search and Rescue Chainsaw Course Instruction

ZURICH RISK SERVICES

24,166.80

21 August 2007

New Dimension Lifting of Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) Inspections

241,108,104.53

Homelessness

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the potential effect of the provisions of the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill, if enacted, on the distribution of free food to the homeless. (166773)

[holding answer 21 November 2007]: Following consultation on the provisions of their forthcoming London Local Authorities Bill, London councils confirmed on 16 November that London boroughs will not be proposing any provisions related to the distribution of free food. Accordingly, the Government has made no assessment of such a provision.

Housing: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the basis is for the assumptions for rent receipts allowances and interest rates for future years being used in the six authorities' pilot study for examining the removal of local authorities from the national housing revenue account. (165567)

The modelling work used as an assumption that current policies would continue. On this basis, it assumed that rents would increase at RPI + 0.5 per cent. following convergence with formula rents in 2011-12 and that allowances would rise in line with GDP. Interest charges were based on local consolidated rate of interest forecasts. The modelling work however also tested sensitivity to changes in all the variables which have an impact on a business plan, including debt levels, interest and inflation rates, expenditure levels, rental and other income, and sales. The 30-year model business plans run well beyond medium term forecasts and policy commitments so it is important to consider a wide range of scenarios.

Local Government: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what data will be used to measure each national indicator; and what the source of each dataset will be, broken down by indicator. (165040)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him on 15 November 2007, Official Report, column 372W.

Ministerial Duties

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the formal responsibilities are of the Ministers for (a) the north east, (b) the north west, (c) Yorkshire and the Humber, (d) London, (e) the south east, (f) the south west, (g) the East Midlands, (h) the West Midlands and (i) the east of England. (165382)

All regional Ministers have the same formal responsibilities. These responsibilities are set out in “The Governance of Britain” (Cm. 7170 published on 3 July 2007).

Regeneration

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what discussions her Department has had on the development of successor arrangements for the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund with (a) Birmingham city council, (b) Birmingham strategic partnership and (c) and local authorities; and if she will make a statement. (166198)

We confirmed at the time of the CSR announcement, that we intend to respond to the recommendations of the Sub-National Review and concentrate greater regeneration effort on tackling worklessness through the establishment of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund.

The new Indices of Deprivation 2007, due to be released shortly, will provide more up-to-date data on the pattern of deprivation on which to base our decisions. Further details will be available at the time of the Local Government Finance Settlement in December.

Rent: Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what amount of rent benefits was paid in each local authority in Hampshire in each year since 2000-01; what estimate she has made of the number of eligible people not claiming such benefits in each local authority; and if she will make a statement. (162419)

I have been asked to reply

Estimates of eligible people not claiming housing benefit are not available below Great Britain level.

Estimates for Great Britain are published in the “Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up” series. The latest date for which figures are available relate to 2005-06. Copies are available in the Library.

Information regarding the total amount of housing benefit paid in each local authority in Hampshire since 2000-01 is in the following table.

Total housing benefit paid in each local authority in Hampshire since 2000-01

£ million

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Basingstoke

18.8

19.5

23.1

22.2

23.8

25.8

28.1

East Hampshire

11.5

11.9

12.6

12.7

13.7

14.6

15.3

Eastleigh

13.4

13.7

14.4

14.6

15.8

17.0

19.6

Fareham

7.9

8.1

9.3

8.6

9.1

10.0

10.8

Gosport

11.9

12.1

12.9

12.9

13.8

15.1

16.1

Hart

5.3

5.5

6.2

6.4

6.7

7.5

8.3

Havant

13.7

14.3

15.5

14.9

16.2

18.0

19.5

New Forest

20.5

21.4

23.3

22.8

24.5

25.9

27.3

Rushmoor

11.3

11.5

12.5

13.2

14.6

16.4

17.7

Test Valley

10.7

11.9

13.6

12.6

14.1

15.2

16.7

Winchester

12.2

12.7

14.6

13.4

14.0

15.1

16.3

Portsmouth

51

50.9

56

54.1

58.1

62.4

68.8

Southampton

50.4

51.3

54.5

55.5

56.6

60.4

65.1

Notes:

1. Figures are rounded to the nearest £100,000.

2. Figures prior to 2006-07 are audited, but may change in future if local authorities audited accounts are amended after a decision or appeal. Figures for recent years are more likely to be amended than older data.

3. 2006-07 figures are initial final (pre-audited) and are subject to change.

4. Figures relate to what local authorities spend on claimants and include discretionary expenditure (mainly disregards of war pensions), and overpayments except where benefit has been granted in advance (where the benefit is paid in the form of a rebate).

5. From 1999-2000 onwards, housing and council tax benefit expenditure on asylum seekers was funded by the National Asylum Support Service, and is therefore excluded from the figures presented in GB level DWP benefit expenditure tables. However, local authority level information includes all expenditure on these benefits relating to asylum seekers, as it is not possible to isolate at this level that part which applies to asylum seekers.

6. Years up to 2005-06 are available at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd4/HBandCTB_expenditure.asp

Source:

Information sourced from local authority claims for housing revenue account subsidy and housing benefit and council tax benefit subsidy.

Small Businesses: Non-Domestic Rates

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department is taking to increase the uptake of the Small Business Rate Relief Scheme among small businesses. (166601)

Changes introduced in 2006 by Communities and Local Government to the Small Business Rate Relief scheme removed the previous requirement to make an application for relief every year, making it easier for eligible ratepayers to apply for and benefit from relief. The 2007 pre-Budget report and Comprehensive Spending Review announced the Government's intention to bring forward proposals to simplify the current set of business rate reliefs, of which small business rate relief is one, to provide greater clarity for ratepayers and certainty for those who administer the business rate system.

Social Rented Housing: Antisocial Behaviour Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many antisocial behaviour order injunctions were instigated by registered social landlords in the Peterborough city council area in (a) 2005-06 and (b) 2006-07; and if she will make a statement. (167039)

Collection of information on the use of antisocial behaviour injunctions by RSLs is performed by the Housing Corporation via its annual regulatory and statistical returns.

The information is provided by individual RSLs on a national basis (i.e. the number of injunctions they have instigated across all their operations). It is therefore not possible to aggregate data for a particular locality (in which a number of different RSLs own or manage housing stock).

Overall data for 2005-06 shows an increase in the use of antisocial behaviour injunctions (ASBIs) by RSLs (758). They are proving a popular and effective tool to combat antisocial behaviour (by comparison, RSLs reported the use of 318 ASBOs over the same period).

Martin Cave's review identifies aggregation of performance data against local authority areas as one the new housing regulator (OFTENANT) should take up.

Social Sector Working Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she plans to reinstate the meeting of the Social Sector Working Party. (165952)

The chief executive of LEASE chairs the Social Sector Working Party. He postponed the planned meeting of 11 September because a number of the members could not attend. Subsequently the chief executive has retired and a new chief executive, Anthony Essien, took up post on 15 October 2007. Working Party members have been notified that there will be a short delay in arranging the next meeting. We would expect the next meeting to take place early in the new year.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many troops were contributed by each of the nations participating in International Security Assistance Force operations in Afghanistan in the last period for which figure are available. (167272)

The current ISAF strength is approximately 42,000 personnel from 38 countries. The UK is the second largest contributor with approximately 7,800 personnel. Details of individual national contributions are available on the ISAF website,

www.nato.int/isaf/index.html.

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with the Department for Work and Pensions on the receipt of (a) war disablement pensions and (b) Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments in the calculations of child support payments. (166312)

[holding answer 20 November 2007]: There have not been any discussions held regarding this matter.

Armed Forces: Desertion

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the armed forces reported absent without leave between January 2004 and October 2007 were (a) male and (b) female. (165798)

The breakdown of male and female personnel reported absent without leave between January 2004 and October 2007 for the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Army is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The number of Royal Navy personnel broken down into male and female who have been reported absent without leave between January 2004 and October 2007 is shown in the following table:

Male

Female

Total

2004

174

10

184

2005

180

16

196

2006

148

9

157

2007 to 31 October

108

7

115

Total

610

42

652

Armed Forces: Discharges

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many military personnel left (a) the Army, (b) the Royal Navy and (c) the Royal Air Force because of (i) premature voluntary release, (ii) redundancy, (iii) retirement and (iv) other reasons in each year since 1997; and what percentage of each category were (A) single, (B) married without children, (C) married with children, (D) divorced without children and (E) divorced with children. (165793)

The following table shows outflow data from the UK Regular Armed Forces for each service by exit reason and marital status in each financial year from 1997-98.

Outflow figures broken down by marital status are not available for Army and RAF officers.

Figures relating to dependent children are only available for Army Other Ranks.

Due to the way marital status was recorded in personnel databases, Naval Service figures for married personnel do not include those married personnel not in receipt of a married person’s allowance, while single and divorced personnel cannot be shown separately.

Information relating to marital status is not held centrally for RAF after 1 March 2006, Naval Service after 1 October 2006, and for Army after 1 March 2007, following the phased implementation of the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system.

The term Premature Voluntary Release (PVR) is now known as Voluntary Outflow (VO) although the methodology remains the same. Time Expiry includes all personnel completing their contracted period of service. Other wastage includes outflow due to medical reasons, for misconduct, dismissals and death, among others.

Outflow from UK Regular Forces by Service and Marital Status

Number and percentage

1997-98

1998-99

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Naval Service1

5,270

5,530

5,800

5,030

5,800

5,290

4,770

4,630

4,490

24,310

Officer

620

540

570

480

530

510

470

510

520

2500

Trained

500

450

500

410

450

390

380

420

430

2400

Voluntary Outflow

170

160

240

170

230

170

160

170

190

2210

Married (%)

75

81

76

77

80

70

70

71

74

n/a

Time Expiry

290

260

220

200

180

180

190

190

190

2160

Married (%)

79

81

79

84

81

88

84

82

85

n/a

Redundancy

2

Married (%)

n/a

Other wastage

40

30

50

40

40

50

30

60

50

240

Married (%)

53

61

65

70

73

61

48

65

70

n/a

Untrained

120

80

70

80

80

120

90

90

90

2100

Ranks

4,650

4,990

5,230

4,550

5,270

4,780

4,300

4,130

3,960

23,810

Trained

3,560

3,600

3,610

3,120

3,580

3,160

3,060

3,170

2,870

22,790

Voluntary Outflow

1,750

1,710

1,680

1,330

1,970

1,590

1,680

1,860

1,700

21,750

Married (%)

37

40

43

43

38

34

32

33

33

n/a

Time Expiry

1,190

1,170

1,110

1,000

880

880

740

580

420

2420

Married (%)

80

81

78

78

74

77

74

75

76

n/a

Redundancy

Married (%)

Other wastage

620

730

820

790

730

690

630

730

750

2620

Married (%)

42

38

36

31

33

29

24

28

24

n/a

Untrained

1,080

1,390

1,610

1,430

1,680

1,620

1,250

960

1,100

21,020

Army

14,470

17,050

16,200

15,230

14,380

14,560

14,600

15,070

14,190

215,780

Officer

1,040

1,310

1,120

1,150

1,090

980

950

1,100

1,070

21,330

Trained

960

1,050

890

900

900

800

780

900

980

21,110

Voluntary Outflow

460

510

440

530

540

440

500

530

590

n/a

Time Expiry

450

470

370

320

320

300

240

320

340

n/a

Redundancy

n/a

Other wastage

40

60

80

50

40

50

40

50

50

n/a

Untrained

80

260

220

260

190

180

170

200

90

2220

Ranks

13,430

15,740

15,090

14,080

13,290

13,580

13,640

13,970

13,120

214,440

Trained

9,250

9,710

9,110

9,180

9,090

8,870

8,790

9,840

9,520

29,820

Voluntary Outflow

5,740

5,950

5,310

5,310

4,980

4,610

4,500

4,880

4,620

n/a

Single (%)

51

50

54

55

59

60

61

61

62

n/a

Married without children

20

20

19

18

18

16

15

15

14

n/a

Married with children (%)

25

26

23

23

20

21

20

21

20

n/a

Divorced without children (%)

2

1

2

2

2

1

2

2

1

n/a

Divorced with children (%)

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

n/a

Time Expiry

1,560

1,720

1,770

1,730

1,690

1,810

1,570

1,840

2,290

n/a

Single (%)

11

13

8

8

6

6

5

6

6

n/a

Married without children (%)

9

10

9

9

8

8

10

10

9

n/a

Married with children (%)

74

69

75

73

78

77

74

75

74

n/a

Divorced without children (%)

2

3

2

2

2

2

2

2

2

n/a

Divorced with children (%)

4

5

5

7

7

7

8

7

8

n/a

Redundancy

n/a

Married without children

n/a

Divorced with children

n/a

Other wastage

1,940

2,050

2,030

2,130

2,410

2,460

2,720

3,110

2,610

n/a

Single (%)

61

66

68

74

78

76

81

81

79

n/a

Married without children (%)

13

11

11

9

7

9

7

7

8

n/a

Married with children (%)

24

21

19

15

13

14

11

10

12

n/a

Divorced without children (%)

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

n/a

Divorced with children (%)

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

n/a

Untrained

4,180

6,030

5,980

4,900

4,200

4,700

4,850

4,130

3,600

24,620

RAF

4,610

4,890

4,620

4,680

4,530

4,250

4,040

3,730

4,590

5,070

Officer

620

660

600

660

670

580

620

700

700

850

Trained

580

610

560

610

620

530

580

640

670

800

Voluntary Outflow

220

240

210

240

280

200

200

240

230

260

Time Expiry

340

330

310

340

310

310

330

360

350

370

Redundancy

40

110

Other wastage

30

30

40

30

30

20

40

40

50

60

Untrained

40

50

40

40

50

50

40

60

30

50

Ranks

3,990

4,230

4,020

4,020

3,860

3,670

3,410

3,020

3,890

4,220

Trained

3,540

3,590

3,380

3,380

3,290

3,090

2,880

2,630

3,670

3,930

Voluntary Outflow

1,560

1,740

1,760

1,690

1,740

1,530

1,440

1,490

1,840

1,640

Single

35

31

27

33

34

30

36

38

46

n/a

Married

61

64

68

62

62

65

59

57

50

n/a

Divorced

4

4

5

5

4

5

5

5

5

n/a

Time Expiry

1,630

1,590

1,320

1,400

1,290

1,180

820

640

870

890

Single (%)

24

23

27

19

18

15

15

13

16

n/a

Married (%)

71

71

74

74

75

78

79

78

75

n/a

Divorced (%)

5

6

6

8

7

7

6

9

9

n/a

Redundancy

490

1,060

Single (%)

4

n/a

Married (%)

88

n/a

Divorced (%)

8

n/a

Other wastage

350

260

300

300

260

380

620

490

470

360

Single (%)

30

34

40

41

41

72

62

65

59

n/a

Married (%)

66

60

57

53

55

25

33

33

38

n/a

Divorced (%)

5

6

4

6

3

3

5

2

2

n/a

Untrained

450

640

640

640

570

580

530

400

220

280

n/a = Unavailable

— = zero or rounded to zero.

1 Naval Service includes Royal Navy and Royal Marines.

2 Provisional.

Notes:

1. Due to the rounding methods used, totals may not always equal the sum of the parts. When rounding to the nearest 10, numbers ending in 5 have been rounded to the nearest multiple of 20 to prevent systematic bias.

2. Percentages are calculated from unrounded data.

3. Due to ongoing validation of data from the new Joint Personnel Administration system, Naval Service statistics for 1 October 2006 onwards and Army statistics for 1 March 2007 onwards are provisional and subject to review.

Armed Forces: Enfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many serving military personnel live in (a) Enfield and (b) Enfield North constituency. (165124)

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

Armed Forces: Fundraising

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was raised by Defence Estates in each year since its creation from the proceeds of charges levied on services’ fundraising organisers for the use of estate facilities. (167059)

Records of the charges levied are not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was raised by his Department from the proceeds of charges levied on services' fundraising organisers for the use of estate facilities in each of the five years prior to the creation of Defence Estates. (167060)

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

Armed Forces: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much (a) has been and (b) will be released to the Treasury under arrangement with Annington Homes for the return to Annington Homes of void married quarters in each year for which figures are available. (165867)

Under the terms of the Profit Share Agreement with Annington Homes Ltd., the Treasury has received some £150 million to date. The calculation of the profit share is dependent on the number of properties released, and the proceeds made on their disposal. It is not possible to predict a figure for future receipts.

The breakdown of amounts received by calendar year is as follows:

£ million

1997

2.3

1998

2.5

1999

6.8

2000

7.9

2001

15.6

2002

21.0

2003

34.8

2004

15.9

2005

19.2

2006

14.3

2007

9.5

It should be noted that the profit share follows disposal of the properties and not their return to Annington Homes Ltd.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether he expects married quarters to reach the Decent Homes Standard applicable to social housing by 2010. (165869)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 23 January 2007, Official Report, column 1631W, to the hon. Members for Portsmouth, South (Mr. Hancock) and Colchester (Bob Russell).

Armed Forces: Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many and what percentage of military vehicles have been cannibalised in each year since 2003, broken down by type; (165999)

(2) how many components from each type of military vehicle have been cannibalised in each year since 2003.

This information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Cannibalisation of land vehicles is rare and cannibalisation rates are not significant indicators of performance against target availability levels. Vehicle availability on operations continues to be high.

AWE Burghfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the effect of the rebuilding of the facility at Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield on the decommissioning of Trident warheads. (165026)

Defence: Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when the Defence Industrial Strategy II will be published. (164658)

We are currently reviewing the timetable for the publication of the Defence Industrial Strategy and will inform the House in due course.

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department’s hospitality and entertainment budget is for 2007-08. (162642)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department and its agencies spent on staff working on (a) marketing and (b) branding in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. (167308)

Currently seven full-time equivalent members of staff are employed in marketing and brand management in the Ministry of Defence Directorate of Public Relations. The staff work on both branding and marketing. Between 1 November 2006 and 31 October 2007, the amount spent on these staff, based on capitation rates, is £470,477. Of this figure £313,061 was spent on military staff and £157,416 was spent on civilian staff.

Defence agencies, top level budgets areas, trading funds, joint headquarters, single service commands and some military units employ brand managers and marketing specialists, or have individuals who carry out marketing tasks in addition to their main role. Information on this is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Mobile Phones

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many departmental mobile telephones were lost in each year since 1997; and what the replacement costs were for each year. (164783)

Information on the number of lost mobile phones is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Publicity

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many full-time equivalent staff are responsible for brand management and marketing in his Department and its agencies. (165236)

Currently seven full-time equivalent members of staff are employed in marketing and brand management in the Ministry of Defence Directorate of Public Relations. Defence Agencies, Top Level Budgets areas, Trading Funds, Joint Headquarters, single Service Commands and some military units employ brand managers and marketing specialists, or have individuals who carry out marketing tasks in addition to their main role. Accurate information is not held centrally and could be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Departmental Visits

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his official engagements were between 8 and 31 October 2007. (162639)

Between the 8 October and 29 October, I had various meetings in London and Scotland, including with ministerial colleagues and officials from the MOD and Scotland Office. On 11 October I met with Bob Gates, US Defence Secretary during his visit to London. On 12 October I attended the armed forces memorial dedication ceremony in Staffordshire. On 16 October I participated in Scotland Office questions and answered the Defence Policy debate in the House of Commons. On 17 October I met the Albanian Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr. Sali Berisha, before hosting the launch of The Earl Haig Fund's Poppy Scotland campaign. On the 18 October I debated the future of the UK's nuclear deterrent in Crawley. On 19 October I visited new service accommodation at Aliwal Barracks in Tidworth and visited 12 Mechanised Brigade at Bulford. On 20 October I visited HMS Victory in Portsmouth to attend a dinner to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar. On 22 October I participated in defence questions in the House of Commons. On 23 October I gave oral evidence to the House of Commons Defence Committee and made an oral statement to the House on the Gould Report before meeting President Karzai of Afghanistan. On 24 and 25 October I was in the Netherlands attending a NATO Defence Ministers meeting. From 29 October to 2 November I was overseas visiting service personnel serving in Iraq.

Iraq: Detainees

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his policy is on the circumstances in which international human rights law may not apply to Iraqis detained by UK personnel in Iraq. (167365)

The fundamental principles of human rights are enshrined in a range of international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions, which are themselves reflected in UK law. The rule of law is paramount in everything the UK armed forces do and UK forces are subject to English criminal law at all times, wherever in the world they are serving.

Iraq and Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost has been of the detachment of modified Nimrod aircraft tasked to carry out duties over Iraq and Afghanistan in each of the last four financial years and what the equivalent cost was in 2007-08 to date; and what the overseas deployment component of that cost was in each case. (165052)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what exclusive agreements have been made with individual media organisations to report on operations in (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan; and what effect those agreements have on times of placing of information in the public domain. (166510)

We have made no exclusive agreements with media organisations to report on operations in either theatre.

Since April 2007, we have facilitated 52 media assignments to Iraq and 78 assignments to Afghanistan, involving a wide range of media organisations.

Ministers

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether his ministerial salary is paid to him entirely in respect of his duties as Secretary of State for Defence. (165173)

[holding answer 19 November 2007]: Ministerial salaries are paid in accordance with the Ministerial and Other Salaries Act 1975. Details of ministerial salaries are available at:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/m06.pdf

and in the Library of the House.

Nuclear Weapons: Treaties

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make it his policy to support the establishment of a nuclear weapons convention; and if he will make a statement. (164135)

The UK considers the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) to be the cornerstone of the global nuclear non-proliferation regime and the framework for nuclear disarmament.

Sudan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many British troops are working in peacekeeping operations in Sudan, with (a) the UN, (b) NATO and (c) the EU. (167182)

There are two main mission areas for peacekeeping operations in Sudan: the south, which is covered by the United Nations mission in Sudan (UNMIS), and the Darfur region. This area is currently covered by an African Union mission (AMIS) which is in the process of transforming into an African Union/United Nations hybrid mission (UNAMID).

The UK has two officers in the UNMIS mission, one officer in the UNAMID mission, with a Brigadier shortly deploying as Chief of Staff. Two British staff officers are providing support to the AMIS mission on behalf of the European Union.

Trident: RAF Corsham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what activities take place at the Corsham Computer Centre in support of the Trident nuclear weapons system; and if he will make a statement. (166999)

The Corsham Computer Centre is a data processing facility in support of Royal Navy operations. I am withholding specific details of its function as they would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Finance

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what contribution (a) London council tax revenue and (b) Lottery funding will make to Olympics cost overruns. (165436)

Following a thorough review of costs, I announced a revised £9.325 billion funding package for the Games on 15 March 2007. The Government are confident that the Games will be delivered within this package, which includes a prudent contingency of £2.747 billion.

The council tax contribution to the £9.325 billion funding package remains at £625 million, as agreed in 2003. The Mayor of London will also make £300 million available over the lifetime of the Olympic programme; and has made clear that this will not be found from either an increase in council tax or transport fares.

The Lottery contribution to the overall £9.325 billion funding package is £2.175 billion, this includes: £750 million from the Olympic Lottery games, £340 million from the Sports Lottery distributors and £410 million from the National Lottery from 2009, all of which was included in the original Lottery funding package. A further £675 million is now being sought from the National Lottery from 2009. This sum, together with the £410 million, is subject to parliamentary approval.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics whether the Mayor of London's pledge to provide £10 million a year as a funder of last resort for Olympics legacy management is (a) a legally binding commitment and (b) sufficient to underwrite the legacy. (165487)

The Mayor of London's commitment to provide £10 million per annum of underwriting towards Olympic venues in legacy formed part of London's bid to host the Games. All venues are being designed with a viable legacy use in mind.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what consideration is being given to using revenues from business rates to fund the Olympic legacy. (165488)

The Government announced a funding package for the Games on 15 March 2007. This does not include plans to use a business rate.

Olympic Games 2012: Mayor of London

To ask the Minister for the Olympics whether the Revised Memorandum of Understanding between the Government and the Mayor of London replaces the original memorandum. (165484)

The revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government and the Mayor, that was published in June 2007, replaces the original 2003 MOU. This is stated in paragraph five of the June 2007 MOU.

Olympic Games 2012: Training

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what steps she has taken to promote training and development opportunities in boroughs where the London Olympics is likely to create jobs; and if she will make a statement. (164418)

An increase in skills and employment in the five Olympic boroughs is a vital part of the Game's legacy.

The Local Employment and Training Framework (LETF), for the five host boroughs, has committed £1.8 million this year to training, including construction, providing over 1,500 training places. The LETF also includes a local labour and business scheme, and through a second phase, education projects and skills development in wider sectors. The 2012 Local Employment and Skills Taskforce Action Plan, is helping train Londoners across many sectors including construction and hospitality.

The Personal Best Programme (the renamed Pre Volunteer Programme) will encourage workless and socially excluded people to gain new skills and increase job prospects through volunteering, benefiting 20,000 Londoners. Over 370 people have already gone through the pilot programme and 15 per cent. have already secured employment opportunities. Hackney is one of the pilot boroughs.

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) recently announced an additional £5 million funding for London this year, expanding training in key areas for 2012: sport, customer service, media and construction. This will focus on work-based learning and apprenticeships, and ensuring thousands of Londoners have practical skills for work.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Africa: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of whether the condition set out in UN Resolution 1769 that the UN-AU hybrid peacekeeping force will be predominantly African will be met. (165954)

The UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) is generating the African Union (AU)/UN hybrid operation in Darfur (UNAMID) force, in consultation with the AU, and has received pledges from a number of African countries. The DPKO is now conducting pre-deployment assessments. Until these assessments are completed, the DPKO cannot confirm UNAMID's composition. We continue to press the DPKO, the AU and the Government of Sudan for the prompt deployment of an effective UNAMID force.

Burma: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of progress in promoting democracy in Burma. (165414)

[holding answer 19 November 2007]: Following the Burmese regime's brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in September, the international community has made clear that there can be no return to the previous situation. The UN, EU and Association of South East Asian Nations have been pushing for fundamental political and economic transformation, leading to national reconciliation, respect for human rights and the establishment of accountable civilian government in Burma.

The UN has led international efforts to bring about substantive political change. The UN Secretary-General's envoy to Burma, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, visited the country in October and November, and reported to the Security Council after each visit. The Government of Burma has so far taken only limited steps to address the international community's key concerns. They have releases only a limited number of political prisoners and have not lifted the restrictions on Daw Aung San Suu Kyi to allow her to participate fully in the process of national reconciliation. However, we welcome her constructive and forward-looking statement calling on the regime to enter into a 'meaningful and time bound dialogue'.

We will continue to work with our partners in the UN, the EU and across the region to press the Government of Burma to establish a genuine dialogue between the regime, opposition parties and ethnic groups as a first step towards the re-establishment of democracy, stability and freedom in Burma.

Democratic Republic of Congo: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had on the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and if he will make a statement. (166026)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at a meeting with the European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid on 20 September, and at a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the permanent members of the UN Security Council on 28 September, as well as with President Kagame of Rwanda on 3 October. The DRC was also considered at the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council in July and October.

During the UN General Assembly’s Ministers’ Week, my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, met President Kabila and representatives of the P3+2 group on 26 September. He discussed the DRC at meetings with President Kagame on 3 October and the Belgian Foreign Minister on 14 November as well as with the Rt. Rev. Lord Bishop of Winchester on 9 October and the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region of Africa on 6 November.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials attended meetings of the International Contact Group on the Great Lakes in Brussels on 21 September and in Washington on 16 November.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many people in his Department were paid over £100,000 in each year since 1997. (167192)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes a breakdown of the salaries of senior staff in its annual departmental report. In 2007, 0.69 per cent. of the Department’s UK-based staff earned salaries of more than £100,000. The numbers of staff who have earned salaries of more than £100,000 each year since 1997 are:

Number

1997

6

1998

6

1999

8

2000

10

2001

11

2002

16

2003

14

2004

18

2005

28

2006

35

2007

42

Entry Clearances: Applications

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what proportion of applications for visas for relatives and dependants made by applicants were (a) not granted and (b) granted within (i) 13 weeks, (ii) six months, (iii) a year, (iv) 18 months, (v) two years, (vi) two and a half years, (vii) three years and (viii) longer in each year since 2001. (164675)

[holding answer 15 November 2007]: It is not possible to provide the extremely detailed breakdown that the hon. Member requests. I am however able to provide a breakdown of the total numbers of applications received and refused, with percentages and by category for the years 2001 to 2007. As this information is lengthy I will arrange for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what proportion of applications for visit visas made by applicants were (a) not granted and (b) granted within (i) 13 weeks, (ii) six months, (iii) a year, (iv) 18 months, (v) two years, (vi) two and a half years, (vii) three years and (viii) longer in each year since 2001. (164679)

[holding answer 15 November 2007]: It is not possible to provide the extremely detailed breakdown that the hon. Member requests. I am however able to provide a breakdown of the total numbers of applications received and refused, with percentages, and by category for the years 2001 to 2007. As this information is lengthy I will arrange for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.

Entry Clearances: Married People

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many and what proportion of applications for visas for spouses made by applicants were (a) not granted and (b) granted within (i) 13 weeks, (ii) six months, (iii) a year, (iv) 18 months, (v) two years, (vi) two and a half years, (vii) three years and (viii) longer in each year since 2001. (164585)

It is not possible to provide the extremely detailed breakdown that the hon. Member requests. I am however able to provide a breakdown of the total numbers of applications received and refused, with percentages, for the years 2001 to 2007.

Total received

Total refused

Percentage refused

Total issued

Percentage issued

2001

94

1

1.1

11

11.7

2002

23,641

1,551

6.6

16,767

70.9

2003

41,560

3,286

7.9

29,775

71.6

2004

47,637

5,410

11.4

37,710

79.2

2005

49,851

5,948

11.9

34,075

68.4

2006

52,842

7,804

14.8

44,145

83.5

2007 (January October)

42,620

9,952

23.4

30,053

70.5

Issued within

13 weeks

13 week percentage

6 months

6 month percentage

12 months

12 month percentage

18 months

18 month percentage

2001

11

11.7

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

2002

15,286

64.7

928

3.9

73

0.3

1

0.0

2003

23,778

57.2

4,622

11.1

370

0.9

0

0.0

2004

27,820

58.4

4,853

10.2

2,024

4.2

764

1.6

2005

30,486

61.2

1,779

3.6

471

0.9

0

0.0

2006

36,777

69.6

2,043

3.9

2,032

3.8

1,056

2.0

2007 (January-October)

28,720

67.4

745

1.7

196

0.5

0

0.0

24 months

24 month percentage

30 months

30 months percentage

36 months

36 months percentage

Greater than 36 months

> 36 month percentage

2001

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

2002

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

2003

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

2004

157

0.3

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

2005

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

2006

147

0.3

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

2007 (January- October)

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

0

0.0

Source:

Central Reference System 14 November 2007

UKvisas makes every effort to ensure that statistics produced from our ‘Central Reference System’ (CRS) are accurate. However, the complexity of our global business, including technical failures or occasional inconsistencies in data entry across any of over 150 offices, means we cannot 100 per cent. guarantee accuracy. Please note that these figures have not been published and should only be used internally, for information purposes.

There are issues with data reliability prior to 2004. System modifications on both Proviso and CRS have affected the reliability of the data available to users worldwide between 2001and 2003.

Eritrea: Ethiopia

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the security situation along the Eritrea-Ethiopia border. (165362)

Tension on the border is rising with more forces being deployed by both sides. We are monitoring the situation closely and urging maximum restraint by both sides and a de-escalation of their military build-up.

Eritrea continues to impose restrictions on the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea, in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1767, adopted unanimously on 31 July 2007. The Government continue to call on Eritrea to withdraw its troops from the temporary security zone.

We are also urging both sides to agree a way forward which will allow demarcation of the border to proceed to the normalisation of their relations.

Ethiopia: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the Government's policy is on the size of the UN mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. (165499)

The Government fully support the continuing operations of the UN peacekeeping mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE). The UK welcomed the unanimous adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1767 on 31 July 2007. Resolution 1767 set the size of UNMEE at 1,700 military personnel and set out a provision for altering the size of UNMEE if progress is made towards demarcation.

In line with Resolution 1767, the UK calls on Eritrea to withdraw immediately its troops from the temporary security zone and to reverse, without delay or pre- conditions, all restrictions on UNMEE.

The Government reiterate the importance for both Ethiopia and Eritrea to provide UNMEE with the necessary access, assistance, support and protection required for the implementation of its mandate as stated in Resolution 1767.

Iraq: Oil

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what role the UK (a) has had and (b) has in determining the details of production sharing agreements under Iraqi oil law. (167386)

We have made no recommendations to the Government of Iraq on the types of contract to include in their draft hydrocarbons legislation, currently being discussed in the Iraqi Council of Representatives. We continue to urge Iraqi ministers and officials to consider the benefits of a broad range of contract types.

Palestinians: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians in (a) Gaza, (b) the West Bank and (c) refugee camps in neighbouring countries. (166002)

[holding answer 22 November 2007]: We are extremely concerned by the humanitarian situation in Gaza. As of 19 November, only two crossings into Gaza were operating: Kerem Shalom: for humanitarian aid and commercial supplies; and Erez: for personnel movement (workers and traders) to and from Israel and the West Bank.

We are doing all we can to help improve the situation. On 14 November, my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister announced to the House a commitment of up to US$500 million to Palestinian development, conditional on progress towards peace; creating the necessary conditions for economic development; and easing security restrictions on movement and access. During this financial year (2007-08), the UK has provided £31 million bilaterally to the Palestinians: £15 million through United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA); £1 million to the Red Cross' work in the West Bank and Gaza; and £15 million through the Temporary International Mechanism. The UK has also pledged £100 million over five years to UNRWA to help Palestinian refugees.

The ability of Palestinians to move within the West Bank has deteriorated. In October 2007, the UN Office for the Co-ordination for Humanitarian Affairs reported a total of 561 closures in the West Bank. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised the humanitarian situation in Gaza and movement and access in the West Bank during his visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 17 and 18 November. I also refer the hon. Member to the written ministerial statement on the Middle East issued by my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary on 20 November 2007, Official Report, columns 127-8WS).

Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon continue to live in unacceptably poor conditions. There is a particularly pressing problem in the North of Lebanon where fighting between the Lebanese army and Fatah Al Islam has destroyed the Nahr El Bared refugee camp. Our ambassador in Beirut has raised this issue with the Government of Lebanon at the highest level. We have pressed them on the need to improve living conditions including by granting them access to government services and the right to work and own property. We are currently looking at measures that the UK can take to support this work. In particular we are exploring ways to support the reconstruction of Nahr Bared, in the first instance through support to a World Bank Assessment mission.

Conditions for Palestinian refugees in Syria are considerably better than for those in Lebanon. However, most refugees continue to have a low standard of living. Many of the water and sewerage systems in refugee camps are in need of upgrading, while some camps still lack networks altogether. Poor sanitation in the camps poses health risks for the refugees. In most of the refugee camps shelters remain very basic and many require structural rehabilitation. Palestinian refugees in Syria have access to government services and whil the Syrian government has taken on the responsibility for providing basic utilities in the camps, UNRWA continues to provide basic environmental health services.

Under long-standing arrangements with the Government of Jordan, UNRWA provides services to Jordan's registered Palestinian refugees. 1.8 million registered Palestinian refugees in Jordan are eligible for UNRWA services. Facilities provided for refugees are concentrated in the 10 official UNRWA camps (there are three other camps which do not come under UNRWA). These services include clinics, schools, vocational training and microfinancing projects; these complement services provided by the Jordanian government. The most disadvantaged refugees are eligible for UNRWA's “special hardship” programme. We continue to engage with UNRWA on prioritising its work with Palestinian refugees.

Philippines: Terrorism

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will ensure that all necessary counter-terrorism support and assistance is given to the Government of the Philippines in tackling terrorism. (166855)

We will continue to work closely with the Government of the Philippines as we do with a number of other countries which face a threat from international terrorism. I discussed with my counterparts in the Government of the Philippines co-operation in countering terrorism during my visit to Manila in April.

Somalia: Arms Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effect of the UN arms embargo on Somalia; and if he will make a statement. (165364)

The Government fully support the UN arms embargo. The UK-sponsored UN Security Council Resolution 1766, adopted unanimously on 23 July 2007, extended the mandate of the Arms Embargo Monitoring Group for a further six months. The Monitoring Group reports to the Security Council on violations of the arms embargo.

Somalia unfortunately has a proliferation of illegal arms, many imported in violation of the embargo. The lack of a functioning government means that arms markets are unregulated. The situation is further exacerbated by the presence of clan militias and insurgents operating in the country. The Government institutions in Somalia do not currently have the capacity to hinder the illegal arms trade. The UK is working with the UN, and wider international community, to encourage the development of Government institutions in Somalia that will enable the authorities to develop its capacity in this area.

Somalia: International Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is Government policy to support the initiative announced by the President of France on 25 September to send warships to protect humanitarian supplies arriving by sea to Somalia. (165989)

The Government supports France in their use of warships to protect humanitarian supply ships sailing to Somalia from incidents of piracy.

The UN Security Council unanimously passed resolution 1772 on 20 August 2007, calling for military protection of merchant shipping from such acts, in line with relevant international law.

Somalia: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the likelihood of the full deployment of the African Union (AU) mission in Somalia taking place; and what steps the Government are taking with its international partners to strengthen its capabilities. (165987)

The African Union (AU) mission in Somalia has a mandate for 8,000 troops. Currently, the mission has approximately 1,600 Ugandan troops. Burundi, Ghana and Nigeria have pledged to contribute troops but have not yet deployed. If all troops that have currently been pledged are deployed to Somalia, the mission will not reach full strength.

The Government have contributed funds to the AU planning cell for staff and equipment, funded equipment for the Ugandan deployment and paid for a Burundian reconnaissance visit. We successfully secured a €15million contribution from the EU for the mission and are encouraging the EU and other member states to make further contributions.

Somalia: United Nations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is Government policy to support further UN engagement in Somalia. (165986)

We believe that the current African Union mission should be succeeded by an effective UN mission in Somalia, provided that the conditions on the ground are right.

UN Security Council Resolution 1772 requests that planning for a UN mission take place and that the international community work to identify actions to create the conditions that would enable deployment to take place.

Tony Blair

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contribution each member of the Quartet on the Middle East has made to the office costs of hon. Tony Blair in his capacity as the Quartet's envoy in the latest period for which figures are available. (165940)

[holding answer 22 November 2007]: The UK has provided £400,000 to a UN development programme trust fund which provides support to Mr. Blair's office in Jerusalem. The UK has also seconded four staff to his team. Other international donors are also supporting his work. Mr. Blair has been appointed by, and reports to, the Quartet (US, EU, UN and Russia). We do not have figures available for each member of the Quartet's contribution to the work of the right hon. Tony Blair as Quartet representative.

Travel Restrictions

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make it his policy to ensure that UK courts have powers to vary or remove restrictions on a person within the UK imposed as a result of that person being placed on a UN Security Council blacklist. (166293)

Sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council acting under chapter VII of the UN charter are binding on all UN member states. It is not open to member states, unilaterally, to vary or remove restrictions imposed on individuals by such mandatory Security Council measures.

Uganda: Detainees

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of Uganda on (a) Dr. Kizza Besigye’s treason trial, (b) the detention without trial of 14 alleged rebel People’s Redemption Army members and (c) the death in detention of opposition members Denis Nabilema, Moses Dramani and David Oboma; and if he will make a statement. (165449)

We continue to monitor closely the People’s Redemption Army (PRA) trial, in which Dr. Besigye is a defendant, and are pushing for a swift and fair conclusion of the legal process. We regularly raise this issue with senior members of the Ugandan government through the local Heads of Missions Partners for Democracy and Good Governance Group in Kampala. In the course of our regular dialogue with the Government of Uganda, we continue to press them, including at senior political level, on the need to engage with the opposition and develop further multi-party democracy. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials raised the PRA case with Ugandan Foreign Minister Kutesa during his visit to London in September.

Our High Commission in Kampala has sought to verify the deaths of David Oboma, Denis Nabilema and Moses Dramani. The Foundation for Human Rights Initiative in Kampala has stated that Oboma died of natural causes. Senior officials from the Forum for Democratic Change have not been able to verify the deaths of Nabilema and Dramani.

Wael al-Haj Ibrahim

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the Government are taking with their international partners to secure the re-entry of Wael al-Haj Ibrahim, Head of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs in South Darfur, into that country. (165369)

The UK fully supports the UN position over the expulsion of the Head of the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs in South Darfur from Nyala to Khartoum.

On 11 November, the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Sudan briefed embassies in Khartoum on her discussions about this issue with the Sudanese Government. She urged the Government to use established channels, including the High Level Committee that monitors the implementation of the Joint Humanitarian Communiqué of 28 March, to resolve the issue.

We, and our international partners, continue to press the Sudanese Government to abide by their commitments under the Humanitarian Communiqué, and stand ready to give the UN Co-ordinator further support on this and other issues.

Zimbabwe: Politics and Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the EU is taking to support the democratic process in Zimbabwe during elections in 2008, as discussed at the EU Council meeting on 15 October 2007. (165367)

The EU is working with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and other African and international partners, to encourage the changes necessary to ensure the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe are held in line with international standards, including those adopted by the SADC. These include the removal of all military personnel from the election management process; all parties able to hold rallies, campaign freely and have free access to the media; voting rights for the substantial Zimbabwean diaspora; and a fairer and more transparent voter registration process. We also believe that international election observers should be given access to Zimbabwe at the earliest opportunity, since preparations are already underway.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the political situation in Zimbabwe. (165982)

Zimbabwe’s decline is tragic and President Mugabe and his misguided policies are a large part of the problem. We are pressing for South African President Mbeki’s and the Southern African Development Community’s efforts to resolve Zimbabwe’s problems with real improvements on the ground, an end to political violence and elections that meet international standards. We are working with them and the international community to achieve those ends. Ordinary Zimbabweans deserve no less.

Transport

Aircraft: Air Conditioning

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 12 November 2007, Official Report, columns 41-2W, on aircraft: air conditioning, what tests have been carried out for tri-cresyl phosphate in cabin air. (167144)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 12 November 2007, Official Report, columns 41-2W. Specifically, I draw attention to the penultimate and final paragraph of my reply.

Bournemouth Airport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans there are to improve the road link to Bournemouth airport from the A338. (166758)

[holding answer 21 November 2007]: The Department for Transport currently has no such plans and the South West Region has not identified such a link as a regional priority within its regional funding allocation advice to Government.

Cars: Eastern Region

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will estimate the number of households in the Eastern Region which will have two or more cars registered in each of the next 10 years; and if she will make a statement. (166427)

The numbers of households that are estimated to own two or more cars in the East of England region over the next 10 years are as follows:

Number

2007

910,150

2008

928,542

2009

946,933

2010

965,325

2011

983,717

2012

998,605

2013

1,013,493

2014

1,028,380

2015

1,043,268

2016

1,058,156

2017

1,071,846

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the number of cars which are likely to be licensed in (a) Peterborough constituency and (b) the Eastern Region over the next 10 years; and if she will make a statement. (166428)

The Department’s National Car Ownership Model forecasts the number of cars owned by households within areas of Great Britain. These forecasts therefore exclude vehicles that are not owned by private households, such as freight.

Household car ownership forecasts for Peterborough and the East of England Region over the next 10 years are as follows:

Peterborough

East of England

2007

83,552

3,113,584

2008

85,506

3,167,863

2009

87,459

3,222,142

2010

89,413

3,276,421

2011

91,367

3,330,700

2012

93,360

3,379,737

2013

95,352

3,428,775

2014

97,345

3,477,812

2015

99,337

3,526,850

2016

101,330

3,575,887

2017

103,082

3,621,015

Congestion Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) which congestion charging schemes' operating costs were greater than 40 per cent. of their revenue in the latest period for which figures are available; (166724)

(2) what the capital cost of introducing each congestion charging scheme in England has been.

[holding answer 21 November 2007]: There are currently three road user charging schemes in England. The Dartford Crossing and Durham charging schemes were implemented under the road user charging provisions of the Transport Act 2000, and the London congestion charge was implemented under the Greater London Authority Act 1999.

Accounts for the charging regime at Dartford are published on the Highways Agency’s website. Operating costs are below 40 per cent. of revenue. The charging scheme took over the infrastructure of the toll that preceded it.

The Department does not routinely collect information on costs and revenues of the other two schemes, in London and Durham. However we understand that revenues for the Durham scheme in the last financial year were £65,820 and operating costs £26,517.

The capital cost of introducing the Durham scheme was in the region of £175,000.

For London the published figures for 2006-07 show total revenues of £252.4 million and total costs (including depreciation and start-up costs for the western extension) of £163.3 million. The original capital cost of setting up the congestion charge in 2003 was £161.7 million.

Daedalus Airfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will appoint a regulator for Daedalus Airfield. (166953)

Solicitors acting for the Lee Flying Association recently wrote to a number of parties, including the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, threatening to bring judicial review proceedings in respect of the decision, which I am informed the Hampshire police authority took, to close the former HMS Daedalus to general aviation due to safety concerns. The Hampshire police have now suspended its decision for 28 days.

The Government are currently considering the situation and in the circumstances, it would be inappropriate and premature for me to say any more at this stage.

Departmental Alcoholic Drinks

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will take steps to ensure that English wine is served exclusively or at the request of guests at meals, parties and receptions hosted by her Department; and if she will make a statement. (164297)

The Department for Transport does not purchase food or drink centrally. At our main London Headquarters building food and drink for official events is usually obtained from the facilities management provider. Wine is rarely ordered.

All procurement within the Department is undertaken in line with the EU’s procurement rules and to obtain value for money.

Departmental Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects to publish her Department’s autumn performance report. (164868)

M1: Nottinghamshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her most recent estimate is of the date work will start on widening the M1 motorway in Nottinghamshire; if she will ensure that concurrently with the road widening motorway lighting is installed; and if she will make a statement. (165602)

[holding answer 19 November 2007]: Work to widen the M1 between J25 and J28 began with site clearance on 29 October 2007, with the main start of works in January 2008.

Further planning for the remaining sections of the M1 between J21 and J30 is being undertaken and a programme is being developed. Subject to satisfactory completion of the necessary statutory processes, I hope to be able to make an announcement about this next year.

The M1 from J25, to part way between J27 and J28 is already lit and replacement will be included as part of the widening.

Designs of the lighting have not yet been finalised for the remaining sections of the M1. The intention at this time it to follow current guidelines; which includes economic assessment, to assess the lighting need on a location by location basis.

M6: Road Traffic Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the status is of proposals to widen the M6; how this scheme will be affected by proposals to introduce hard shoulder driving on parts of the M6; what discussions she has had with (a) safety groups, (b) insurance groups and (c) other interested parties on proposals to extend hard shoulder driving beyond the M42 pilot scheme; and what motorways will be considered by her study into extending advanced signalling and traffic management systems. (163224)

The Highways Agency (HA) is currently investigating options for adding capacity to the M6 between junctions 11a and 19, including both widening and Active Traffic Management (ATM). This work is anticipated to lead to a public consultation in due course.

HA will also consult a wide range of stakeholders on the £150 million scheme to extend ATM to sections of the M6 around Birmingham as the detailed specification is developed, building on the relationships already established with stakeholders in relation to the M42 ATM trial. Further decisions on the possible wider application of advanced signalling and traffic management systems will be informed by the feasibility study announced on 25 October 2007. The Terms of Reference were published to Parliament through a written ministerial statement on the same day. In conducting the study we will convene a stakeholder advisory group to ensure a wide range of key interest groups are consulted.

Motor Vehicles: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 461W, on motor vehicles: licensing, how many registered vehicle owners identified as failing to comply with a statutory off-road notice subsequently complied with the enforcement action. (167413)

The following table shows the number of cases where the penalty for failure to declare a vehicle off the road was paid following enforcement action:

£

2003-04

332,980

2004-05

336,375

2005-06

458,615

2006-07

473,079

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 461W, on motor vehicles: licensing, how many registered vehicle owners who failed to comply with a statutory off-road declaration and who failed to comply with subsequent enforcement action were consequently summonsed to appear in court. (167408)

Since the inception of Continuous Registration enforcement in March 2004 cases have no longer been settled via a magistrates court summons but via a county court claim. The volumes for both are:

Magistrates court cases

County court claims

2003-04

1,660

2004-05

111

107,100

2005-06

133,254

2006-07

107,550

Prosecution procedures for statutory off-road notifications changed in 2004 from a criminal to a civil process.

Roads: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many road traffic accidents there were in (a) Cornwall, (b) each parliamentary constituency in Cornwall and (c) England in each year since 1979; and how many (i) injuries and (ii) deaths resulted from them in each year. (166714)

A table showing the number of reported personal injury road accidents in (a) Cornwall, (b) each parliamentary constituency in Cornwall and (c) England in each year since 1979; and the resulting (i) injured casualties and (ii) fatalities has been deposited in the Libraries of the House. The information broken down by parliamentary constituency is not available for accidents prior to 1994.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department and its agencies on (a) motorway and trunk road building, (b) motorway and trunk road improvement and widening and (c) motorway and trunk road maintenance in each of the last five years. (163227)

The spend in the last five years is as follows:

£ million

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

Motorway and trunk

238

108

94

79

109

Road building1

Motorway and trunk road improvement and widening2

238

140

265

426

726

Motorway and trunk road maintenance3

760

726

732

852

850

1 Spend on bypass schemes included in the Highways Agency’s programme of major schemes (schemes costing over £5 million)

2 Spend on junction improvement and widening schemes included in the Highways Agency’s programme of major schemes (schemes costing over £5 million)

3 Total maintenance spend by the Highways Agency

Treasury

Climate Change Levy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the effectiveness of the Climate Change Levy in reducing carbon dioxide emissions since its introduction. (166099)

[holding answer 19 November 2007]: A full assessment of the levy was published at Budget 2006. The climate change levy is estimated to have reduced emissions by a cumulative 16.5 million tonnes of carbon up to 2005 and by 2010, it is estimated to deliver savings of over 3.5 million tonnes of carbon per year.

Departmental Correspondence

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what percentage of inquiries received by his Department from the public were responded to within (a) one week, (b) 14 days, (c) 28 days, (d) two months and (e) three months; and in what percentage of cases it took (i) over three months and (ii) over one year to respond. (167375)

The Treasury aims to reply to all correspondence within 15 working days of receipt. Performance against this target is reported in the Department’s annual report and accounts.

Excise Duties: Fuels

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what the total tax paid in the UK is on a litre of petrol selling for £1.0299; (162183)

(2) how much was raised in taxes on motoring in each year since 1997-98;

(3) what his most recent forecast is for receipts from petrol and diesel taxation in 2007-08; and what change there has been since budget forecasts.

The current fuel duty payable on a litre of petrol is 50.35p and is the total amount of tax paid by businesses that can reclaim VAT. For households and businesses that cannot reclaim VAT, it is charged as 17.5 per cent. on the sum of the pre-tax price of petrol and fuel duty.

Forecasts of receipts from fuel duties are published in “The Public Finances” chapter of the Budget and pre-Budget report (PBR). These are available on-line:

Budget 2007:

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/C/8/bud07_chapterc_288.pdf

PBR 2007:

www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/F/9/pbr_csr07_ annexb_305.pdf

Table B8 from the latter shows changes since the Budget.

Taxes on motoring are vehicle excise duty and hydrocarbon oils duty. The revenue raised from these taxes can be found in the following sources:

Vehicle excise duty (and hydrocarbon oils duty)—the Office for National Statistics publishes revenues since 1993 (including hydrocarbon oils) at:

www.statistics.gov.uk/statbase/ssdataset.asp?vlnk=5688

Hydrocarbon oils—table 3 of the Hydrocarbon Oils Bulletin published by HM Revenue and Customs contains revenues since 1997-98, available at:

www.uktradeinfo.com/index.cfm?task=bulloil.

HM Revenue and Customs do not collect data on other taxes (such as VAT) levied on individual goods and services (such as petrol and diesel).

Company car tax (including fuel benefit charge) is the income tax and national Insurance liability for employee and director benefits-in-kind received as cars and fuel for private use and is published from 1999-2000 by HMRC. This can be found in table 4.5 at:

www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/taxable_benefits/menu.htm.

Government Securities: Islam

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects to introduce a sharia-compliant government bond. (167333)

The Treasury and Debt Management Office published a consultation document “Government Sterling Sukuk Issuance” on 14 November, with a deadline for responses of 21 February 2008. This document is available in the House Library and on the Treasury’s website at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/media/6/C/consult_sukuk141107.pdf Following the consultation, the Government will consider the responses and announce a decision on the possible issuance of wholesale sterling denominated sukuk and next steps including the timetable for any primary legislation.

House Insurance: Terrorism

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what arrangements exist to compensate households for damage to property resulting from a terrorist attack; and whether his Department has reviewed the inclusion of home insurance in the Pool Re Scheme. (164734)

Insurance cover for domestic property damage arising from fire, explosion or impact caused by an act of terrorism is widely available. Local authorities would normally take the lead in arranging decontamination of domestic properties following a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident caused by terrorist activity.

The Government have no plans to review the inclusion of domestic property insurance in the Pool Re scheme.

Office of Government Commerce

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the savings made by the Office of Government Commerce as a result of implementing (a) e-commerce, (b) e-catalogues, (c) corporate cards and (d) e-auctions in each year since 2003-04; and if he will make a statement. (165219)

The following information has been provided by OGC and OGCbuying.solutions and covers each year since 2003-04.

(a) eCommerce (eSourcing savings)

The detail from those customers that have responded with savings based on an approved methodology, identifies savings for the current financial year of £1.065 million.

(b) eCatalogues (eProcurement)

Savings for the current financial year have been estimated to be £110,000.

Savings methods are still being finalised for this service which started trading in summer 2006. The service is going through a significant period of growth and we expect substantial savings to arise from 2008-09 onwards.

(c) Corporate cards (Government Procurement Cards)

The estimated process savings derived from GPC for the years indicated are as follows:

£

2003-04

52,384,584

2004-05

69,356,868

2005-06

86,548,140

2006-07

115,673,264

(d) eAuctions framework

Total number of auctions

Total pre-auction value (£)

Total saving (£)

2003

4

3,371,836

1,007,170

2004

37

93,759,842

19,460,093

2005

62

333,854,589

83,506,922

2006

68

2,011,059,499

281,743,506

2007

60

933,219,709

147,149,598

Total

231

3,375,265,475

532,867,288

In addition, OGC has operated seven collaborative reverse e-auctions since 2005 to procure IT hardware on behalf of a range of public sector organisations. Those auctions have generated estimated savings of £22.45 million.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer which of the Office of Government Commerce's contracts became shared contracts, including by sharing current contracts across central government, in each year since 2003-04; and if he will make a statement. (165220)

OGC has two contracts which are open to central government departments. These are the Financial Analysis Services Framework and Strategic Assignments Consultancy Service Framework.

In addition, OGC is working with Government departments to ensure that their contracts are open for use across Government. Wherever possible, OGC uses framework agreements and shared contracts for domestic procurements. All departments are encouraged to use existing contracts where they represent good value for money.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many events were held by the Office of Government Commerce in each year since 2003-04; how much was spent on those events was; and if he will make a statement. (165222)

OGC holds a number of events on an annual basis. Examples of which include conferences, seminars, and workshops.

Number of events

Cost

2003-04

39

253,920

2004-05

43

392,828

2005-06

43

185,001

2006-07

22

66,556

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what procurement savings have been achieved by the Office of Government Commerce Buying Solutions since 2003-04; in respect of which support services they were achieved; and if he will make a statement. (165227)

OGCbuying.solutions provides customers in the public sector with a tried and tested route to the procurement of high quality, value-for-

money goods and services.

Performance against savings target as follows:

£ million

Target

Actual

2003-04

120

152

2004-05

300

321

2005-06

400

412

2006-07

500

516

Pay: Public Sector

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the levels of average public sector pay increases were in each year since 1997. (166349)

The Office for National Statistics publishes data on increases in public sector pay—the Average Earnings Index (AEI)—which is available at www.statistics.gov.uk This data refers to the average earnings of a work force or sector (in the form of an index), and the growth of this each year, which includes the effect of things like progression rates, work force and pay system restructuring, changes in work force composition, and the basic pay awards (the uplift of pay scales), among others.

Public-Private Forum on Identity Management

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he expects the report from the Public-Private Forum on identity to be published; and for what reasons its publication has been delayed. (166097)

Sir James Crosby was appointed to establish and chair the Public-Private Forum on Identity Management in July 2006 with a remit to produce a preliminary report to Ministers by Easter 2007. In March 2007 he discussed his preliminary conclusions with the then Chancellor of the Exchequer and was invited to work on with the Forum to produce a fuller report later in the year. The report is now being finalised. It is expected to be delivered to Ministers later this year, as agreed with Sir James. No date has been fixed for publication, which may be later this year or next year.

Tripartite Arrangements

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what scenarios have been used to test the effectiveness of the tripartite arrangements between his Department, the Bank of England and the Financial Services Authority. (164466)

[holding answer 15 November 2007]: The tripartite arrangements have been tested regularly over recent years. For public policy reasons details of the scenarios are not published where they cover financial stability events.

The authorities have also regularly tested their responses to operational disruption scenarios. Since 2004 the tripartite has arranged an annual market-wide exercise, involving both the authorities and a cross-section of financial sector firms, to test responses to operational disruption covering terrorist attacks and pandemic influenza outbreak.

Reports on these exercises can be found on the UK Financial Sector Continuity website:

www.fsc.gov.uk.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Beaches: Financing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how the funding formula for local government takes account of the costs of managing and providing facilities on beaches for local authorities in coastal areas. (165323)

I have been asked to reply.

Formula grant is largely calculated on the basis of the socio-economic and demographic characteristics of an authority, for example the number of visitors to an area, together with the number of band-D equivalent properties within the area. Formula grant is an unhypothecated block grant, and decisions on local spending priorities are for local authorities to take.

Beaches: EU Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons each of the 20 coastal bathing sites which did not meet minimum bathing water standards in summer 2007 did not meet those standards; and if he will make a statement. (166553)

My Department holds information on nine of the 20 bathing waters in the UK which failed to meet the minimum standards during the 2007 bathing season.

The reasons for failure at these nine sites are set out in the following table. These were mainly a combination of sewage pollution and/or diffuse water pollution from agriculture.

In addition, eight of these nine failures were affected by exceptionally heavy or persistent rainfall, as this summer was the wettest since records began.

Region

Bathing Water

Main reason(s) for failure

Affected by rainfall

North East

Runswick Bay

Agricultural and sewage pollution

Yes

Sandsend

Agricultural pollution

Yes

Staithes

Agricultural pollution

Yes

North West

Aldingham

Sewage pollution

Yes

Morecambe South

Agricultural pollution

Yes

St. Annes

Agricultural and sewage pollution

Yes

South West

Bude Summerleaze

Agricultural and sewage pollution

No

Instow

Agricultural pollution

Yes

Mothecombe

Agricultural and sewage pollution

Yes

Information on bathing water failures in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland is held by the relevant devolved administrations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) for what reasons the requirement to test bathing water once every fortnight has been changed to once every month in the draft Bathing Water Regulations 2008; and if he will make a statement; (166632)

(2) what he estimates the effect on his Department's expenditure will be of testing bathing water once a month instead of once a fortnight; and if he will make a statement.

The revised Bathing Water Directive (rBWD) requires, as a minimum, that no fewer than four bathing water samples are taken per bathing water per season. These requirements are reflected in the draft transposing regulations for England and Wales, which were recently issued as part of a Government consultation on the implementation of the rBWD.

As discussed in the consultation document, the Environment Agency is currently investigating the risks associated with changes to its current monitoring programme (from 20 samples per bathing water) to reflect the reduced frequency of sampling allowed by the rBWD.

My Department and the Welsh Assembly Government are awaiting the outcome of the Environment Agency's investigations before making any decisions about future sampling frequency. Initial indications are that a reduction in sampling frequency may be limited.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what budget has been allocated for the monitoring and testing of beaches in each year since 1997; and if he will make a statement. (166633)

The Environment Agency is the competent authority in England and Wales for monitoring and testing water quality at bathing waters designated under the European Bathing Waters Directive.

In 1997, the Agency routinely tested water quality at 447 sites. This had increased to 494 sites by 2007. The Environment Agency takes approximately 20 water samples per site every year during the bathing season (from 15 May to 30 September).

Since 1997, the money that has been spent on monitoring and testing beaches has increased in line with the number of bathing waters identified under this legislation.

The number and cost of bathing waters monitoring from 1997 - 2007 is set out in the following table:

Number of bathing waters

Cost (£000)

1997

447

369

1998

466

385

1999

470

388

2000

480

396

2001

481

397

2002

482

398

2003

489

404

2004

491

406

2005

494

408

2006

493

408

2007

494

408

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reason he proposes to amend the Bathing Water Regulations 2007. (166635)

I assume that the hon. Member is referring to the Bathing Water (Classification) Regulations 1991, which transposed the current Bathing Water Directive (cBWD), 76/160/EEC.

A revised Bathing Water Directive (rBWD), 2006/7/EC, which came into force in March 2006, updates and simplifies the cBWD.

New legislation (the Bathing Water Regulations 2008, which is currently the subject of a public consultation) is required to transpose the rBWD into UK law, and revoke the 1991 regulations at the same time.

Fisheries: Navy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which vessels are available to the Marine and Fisheries Agency and the Fishery Protection Squadron for enforcing fisheries rules; and if he will make a statement. (166430)

There are three River Class vessels and three Hunt Class vessels available to the Marine and Fisheries Agency and the Fishery Protection Squadron in 2007-08.

The three River Class vessels available are HMS Tyne, HMS Severn and HMS Mersey.

The three Hunt Class vessels available are HMS Quorn, HMS Ledbury and HMS Brocklesby.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many patrol days the River Class offshore patrol vessels have provided for the Fishery Protection Squadron in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (166431)

The following tables record the number of days that both the River and Hunt Class patrol vessels have patrolled in the last 19 months.

Patrol days 2006-07

Month

Days

Profile

Ships

Contract days

Total profile

Total days

Balance

OPVs

IPVs

% OPVs

April

30

75

4

66

75

66

-9

57

9

86.37

May

31

80

4

79

155

145

-10

118

27

81.38

June

30

85

4

81

240

226

-14

172

54

76.11

July

31

85

4

92

325

318

-7

235

83

73.9

August

31

80

4

80

405

398

-7

299

99

75.13

SEPT

30

80

4

80

485

478

-7

345

133

72.18

October

31

65

4

73

550

551

+1

394

157

71.51

November

30

60

4

54

610

605

-5

436

169

72.07

December

31

45

3

42

655

647

-8

467

180

72.18

January

31

50

3

51

705

698

-7

509

189

72.92

February

28

70

4

77

775

775

0

568

207

73.29

March

31

75

4

70

850

845

-5

620

225

73.37

Total

365

850

850

845

620

225

OPV = Offshore patrol vessel = Rivers

IPV = Inshore patrol vessel = Hunts

Patrol days 2007-08

Month

Days

Profile

Ships

Contract days

Total profile

Total days

Balance

OPVs

IPVs

Total days % OPVs

April

30

70

4

66

70

66

-4

52

14

78.79

May

31

75

4

79

145

145

0

50

29

70.34

June

30

75

4

66

220

211

-9

44

22

69.19

July

31

75

4

69

295

280

-15

59

10

73.21

August

31

75

4

78

370

358

-12

64

14

75.14

September

30

75

4

77

445

435

-10

58

19

75.17

October

31

60

4

67

505

502

-3

54

13

75.9

November

30

60

4

565

December

31

45

3

610

January

31

50

3

660

February

29

70

4

730

March

31

70

4

800

Total

366

800

800

Note:

OPV = Offshore patrol vessel = Rivers

IPV = Inshore patrol vessel = Hunts