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Written Answers

Volume 468: debated on Wednesday 28 November 2007

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 28 November 2007

Scotland

Remploy

9. To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what his Department’s procurement policy is in relation to Remploy factories in Scotland; and if he will make a statement. (167465)

As one of the smallest Government Departments with a limited procurement budget, the Scotland Office does not currently procure goods or services from Remploy although we are currently reviewing our procurement policies. It is the case that this Government will contribute £555 million over the next five years as part of Remploy’s restructuring programme. This will ensure the future of many Remploy factories, including that in my hon. Friend’s constituency.

Public Expenditure

10. To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what public expenditure per person is planned for Scotland in each of the next five years. (167466)

Spending plans for the next three years were included in the recently released comprehensive spending review providing Scotland with total departmental expenditure limits of £27.2 billion in 2008-09, £28.4 billion in 2009-10 and £29.7 billion in 2010-11.

Scotland also benefits from direct spend from Whitehall Departments in reserved areas, which accounts for just under half of all public spending in Scotland.

Devolution

11. To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the First Minister of Scotland on further devolution of powers to Scotland. (167467)

I have had discussions with the First Minister on a range of issues and I look forward to further constructive discussions in the interests of the people of Scotland in the future.

Constitution

12. To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Justice on constitutional arrangements affecting Scotland. (167468)

I have regular discussions with my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice whose Department is responsible for, among many other things, the overall management of the UK’s constitutional arrangements and relationships including with the devolved Administrations.

Commonwealth Games: Glasgow

13. To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what support the Government intend to provide for the holding of the Commonwealth games in Glasgow in 2014. (167470)

Scotland Office officials are currently working closely with the Scottish Executive, taking forward secondary legislation in the UK Parliament ensuring that requirements of the Commonwealth Games Federation are met.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if his Department will bring forward proposals for the Government to assist with the holding of the Commonwealth games in Glasgow in 2014; and if he will make a statement. (167464)

The Scotland Office will take forward secondary legislation in the UK Parliament to ensure that the requirements laid down by the Commonwealth Games Federation are met. Scotland Office officials are working closely with colleagues in the Scottish Executive.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what recent discussions he has had with the Scottish Executive on the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games. (167469)

I wrote to the Scottish Ministers on 21 September offering our full support for the bid and officials in the Scotland Office are working closely with the Scottish Executive on a number of issues to ensure the successful preparation for the games. This will include secondary legislation to protect intellectual property rights.

Departmental Assets

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what departmental assets are planned to be sold in each financial year from 2007-08 to 2010-11; what the (a) description and (b) book value of each such asset is; what the expected revenue from each sale is; and if he will make a statement. (164163)

The Scotland Office has little by way of disposable assets, and we have no plans to dispose of any between 2007-08 and 2010-11.

Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland who the special advisers in his Department are; what expertise each has; and what the cost of employing them was in the latest year for which figures are available. (163419)

I refer the hon. Member to the written statement given by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on 22 November 2007, Official Report, column 147WS.

Culture, Media and Sport

Anniversaries

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which historical anniversaries his Department intends to mark in each of the next four years. (167963)

DCMS plans to mark Remembrance day each year by organising, in concert with other stakeholder bodies, a commemoration ceremony at the Cenotaph, London on the nearest Sunday to 11 November, the anniversary of the first world war Armistice. Further details will be issued shortly before each of those commemorations.

The Department has no plans to mark other historical anniversaries at this time.

Churches: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport further to the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), what funds he expects to be available for churches of heritage value over the CSR period. (167171)

Allocations under the Comprehensive Spending Review to those bodies with responsibilities that include the heritage of places of worship have been notified to those bodies.

The Churches Conservation Trust, which cares for redundant Church of England churches of heritage value, will receive £3.1 million per year in 2008-9 to 2010-11, an increase of £100,000 per year.

We announced on 18 October that English Heritage's funding will be £124.7 million in 2008-09, £126.7 million in 2009-10, and £130.7 million in 2010-11, which will allow them to maintain grants at current levels and progress specified initiatives as outlined in the ‘inspired!’ campaign on historic places of worship.

The listed places of worship grant scheme, which makes grants equivalent to the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings in use for worship, will continue to operate until March 2011, unless a permanent reduced VAT rate for such repairs is agreed by the European Commission in the interim. Under this scheme, all eligible applications are met, and the funding made available will depend on the number of applications made.

Commonwealth Games: Glasgow

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how the digital dividend will affect the availability of radio spectrum for the staging needs of the 2014 Commonwealth games in Glasgow; and if he will make a statement. (168392)

[holding answer 26 November 2007]: The matter raised is the responsibility of the Office of Communications (Ofcom), as independent regulator for the communications sector. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the chief executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.

Creative Pioneer Academy

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) how many people attended the Creative Pioneer Academy in each of the last three years; (164473)

(2) how many awards have been given as part of the Creative Pioneer Academy; and for what purposes these awards have been used;

(3) what the total cost was of the Creative Pioneer Academy in each of the last three years.

[holding answer 15 November 2007]: I have been asked to reply.

The Creative Pioneer Academy was a programme set up by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and responsibility for NESTA transferred to my Department in June 2007.

I have been advised by the chief executive of NESTA that the academy, which has now closed, was attended by 30 pioneers in 2004, 25 in 2005 and 30 in 2006. A total of 48 awards of up to £35,000 were awarded to enable the participants to put the knowledge acquired into practice and to implement their business plan. The total cost of the academy was £824,000 in 2004-05, £912,000 in 2005-06 and £757,000 in 2006-07.

Departmental Property

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much was spent by his Department on renovation and refurbishment of its properties in each of the last five years. (164375)

In each of the last five years the Department for Culture, Media and Sport has spent the following on the renovation and refurbishment of its properties.

2006-07—£6.7 million (aggregate figure for work finalised in this year subject to account negotiation). These costs were in pursuance of the recommendations of the “Lyons Report” and allowed the Department, after a refurbishment and modernisation project, to rationalise the size of its estate. This enabled the Department to move most staff from existing outlying properties into the single building which had been refurbished. The Department has closed two outlying properties plus additional floors in its two other remaining properties. The properties and areas that are now relinquished have either been returned to their landlords, or are pending disposal.

Digital Broadcasting: Gaelic Language

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport with reference to the answer of 24 October 2007, Official Report, column 329W, on Digital Broadcasting: Gaelic Language, what the outcome was of the BBC Trust’s consideration of the proposals. (168726)

On 21 November the BBC Trust provisionally concluded that, while the Gaelic Digital Service could deliver public value, further evidence was needed to demonstrate the service’s educational benefits and appeal to a wider audience. The Trust requested that further evidence should be provided by the BBC Executive before the public consultation on the service closes on 19 December. If that evidence proves satisfactory the Trust would approve the service, subject to certain specific requirements and conditions being met.

Flags

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the grade is of the most senior official in his Department who has responsibility for policy on flag flying. (168884)

The most senior DCMS official, responsible for all departmental matters, is its Permanent Secretary, Jonathan Stephens.

National Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport pursuant to the Statement by the Prime Minister of 14 November 2007, Official Report, columns 667-72, on national security, when he expects the guidance to museums, libraries and archives councils on extremist material referred to by the Prime Minister to be issued. (168363)

The Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) will develop this guidance, in partnership with the public library sector, and intends to publish by the end of the calendar year, 2007.

S4C: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much funding his Department gave to S4C in each of the last five years. (168736)

S4C has a statutory, calendar year grant entitlement under section 61 of the Broadcasting Act 1990 (as amended). Under this formula, DCMS grant to S4C in each of the last five years has been:

Grant (£ million)

2003

83.634

2004

85.729

2005

88.690

2006

90.857

2007

94.395

Spaces for Sports and Arts Programme: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department gave to the Spaces for Sports and Arts programme in each of the last five years. (165805)

[holding answer 19 October 2007]: The information is shown in the following table.

Space for Sports and Arts (£ million)

2001-02

0.5

2002-03

10.1

2003-04

40.9

2004-05

27.5

Total

79.0

The scheme commenced in October 2000 and it was expected that all but one of the projects would be completed and open by November 2005.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Food

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what percentage of (a) beef, (b) lamb, (c) pork and (d) dairy products used in his departmental headquarters were imported products in the most recent period for which figures are available. (166648)

My Department does not provide catering services at its departmental headquarters building therefore this information is not available.

In respect of the catering services provided at other NIO premises it is not possible to identify the percentage of produce which is imported as such data are not held.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the office costs for his Department's special advisers for 2007-08 are expected to be, including costs of support staff; and how many full-time equivalent civil servants work in support of such special advisers. (164920)

One civil servant supports the special adviser in my office. He provides administrative support of a non-political nature in accordance with the code of conduct for special advisers and also provides support to the private offices.

Individual civil servants' salary details are not disclosed in order to protect the privacy of the individual concerned. Office costs will be accounted for in the 2007-08 departmental annual report and accounts.

Departmental Opinion Polls

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what opinion polls the Department has conducted of (a) the public and (b) staff since 27 June 2007; and what the (i) name of the firm employed to conduct the poll, (ii) purpose and (iii) cost to the public purse was in each case. (164944)

The Northern Ireland Office and its agencies have carried out three opinion polls since 27 June 2007. This information is shown in the following table.

Opinion polls conducted since June 2007 of:

(a) The public

(b) Staff

Name of firm employed to conduct the poll

Purpose

Cost to the public purse (£)

Northern Ireland Crime Survey

Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency

Primarily, to measure people's experience of crime and their perceptions of crime, policing and the criminal justice system.

280,000

Survey on purchasing counterfeit goods.

Genesis Advertising Ltd

Pre- and post- campaign evaluation survey to gauge opinion on attitude to purchasing counterfeit goods in advance of advertising campaign.

7,370

Public opinion poll

Millward Brown Ulster

Validating government policies.

21,385

1 Per annum

Departmental Publicity

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland 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. (167299)

The Northern Ireland Office (including its agencies) does not have any full-time equivalent staff responsible for brand management and marketing. However, from time to time staff in various parts of the office are engaged in related activities, including maintaining and ensuring the application of corporate branding. These staff costs together with any associated non staff costs could be separately identified only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department and its agencies spent on managing their corporate identities in the last 12 month period for which figures are available. (167344)

The Northern Ireland Office (including its agencies) does not have any full-time equivalent staff responsible for managing corporate identities. However, from time to time staff in various parts of the office are engaged in related activities, including maintaining and ensuring the application of corporate branding. These staff costs together with any associated non staff costs could be separately identified only at disproportionate cost.

Health Insurance

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many officials in his Department have private health insurance provided as part of their employment package. (167927)

No staff employed within the Northern Ireland Office have private health insurance provided as part of their employment package.

House of Commons Commission

Lighting: Waste Disposal

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what guidance has been issued on procedures for (a) cleaning up and (b) disposing of environmentally-friendly light bulbs which have been broken. (168313)

The instructions are that the cleaning operative, using protective gloves and wearing a mask, should collect the main fragments of the light bulb and carefully place these into a sturdy box. All splinters should then be collected using stiff card or paper. The area should then be cleaned using a damp cloth. The splinters and the cloth should also be placed into the box. Once the area is clear and clean, the box should be sealed and labelled with details of the item. The box should then be taken to the waste removal area in the loading bay and passed to the waste disposal contractor for disposal in an appropriate manner.

Public Accounts Commission

Child Benefit: Personal Records

To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission for what reasons the National Audit Office wanted information from HM Revenue and Customs on all child benefit recipients. (168911)

This is not a matter for the Commission. The Comptroller and Auditor General has, by statute, complete discretion in the discharge of his functions, and the Commission therefore does not intervene in the day to day running of the National Audit Office. The hon. Member may wish to write to the Comptroller and Auditor General.

National Audit Office: Data Protection

To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission what plans the National Audit Office (NAO) has to review the practices involved in transporting data; whether the NAO (a) uses and (b) plans to continue to use TNT to transport data; and what plans it has to put the transportation of confidential data out to tender. (169387)

This is not a matter for the Commission. The Comptroller and Auditor General has, by statute, complete discretion in the discharge of his functions, and the Commission therefore does not intervene in the day to day running of the National Audit Office. The hon. Member may wish to write to the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Transport

Bristol International Airport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what expansion plans her Department has for Bristol International Airport; and if she will make a statement. (169448)

The Government’s 2003 White Paper “The Future of Air Transport” recognises provision of additional airport capacity as a key driver to generating regional growth and investment, whilst taking account of the environmental impacts of air travel. Within this context airport operators were invited to publish master plans setting out future development proposals.

Bristol International Airport published a master plan in late 2006 setting out detailed medium-term development plans, including expansion of the existing terminal building. Ultimately, it will be for the airport’s operator to bring forward development proposals for consideration through the planning system in the normal way.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which manufacturers’ software is used in her Department. (167221)

The following manufacturers’ software is used in the Department for Transport and its agencies.

Software used

Dft (Central)

SAP AG, Microsoft, Novell, InstallShield, Adobe, Citrix, Ahead, Barren McCann, Becrypt, McAfee, Peoplesoft, Diagonal Solutions, Red Hat

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

Adobe, Ahead Nero, Attachmate, Avanquest UK, Avaya, BEA BeCrypt, Blenheim Software, Business Objects, Computer Associates Corel, Cyberlink, Danka, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Identex, Kodak McAfee, Microsoft, Neurascript, Novell, Nuance, Omega First Ltd. Oracle, Pro Atria, QAS, SAP, SAS, Scanoptics, Siebel SmartIdentity, Software AG, Sophos, Sybase, Synapse Adaptive, Logic Group, TIBCO Staffware, Treehouse Software

Driving Standards Agency (DSA)

Adobe, Amberpoint, Autocad, Automobile Association, BancTec, BEA, Brightstor, Business Objects, Business Services Management, Capita, CDC Respond, Clarify, Corel, Cyberlink, DataEase, Dell, Diskeeper, Dotted Eyes, Empire Interactive, Fabis, FileMaker, Globalgold, Globalscape, Hewlett Packard, Hummingbird Exceed, Java, Jolly Giant Software, Keypoint, Logitech, Macromedia, Mapinfo, McAfee, Microsoft, Mindjet, Nobo, Nuance, Oracle, QAS, Quark, Quest, SecureDial, Sherpa Software, Softsteel, Sun, Supergen, Symantec, TextHelp, Veritas, Websense

Highways Agency (HA)

Adobe, Citrix, Computer Associates, Hewlett Packard, Macromedia, Microsoft, Network Associates, Open Text, Oracle, Sun

Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA)

Novell, Microsoft, McAfee, Adobe, Oracle, Red Hat, Centos, SUSE, Sun, Business Objects, Cedar, Opentext, Mapinfo, Fortek, Sunguard Vivista, BMT, Kornsberg Norcontrol

Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA)

Microsoft, Websense, Securewave, Civica, Cedar, Davies and Robson, GFI, Sage, Albany, Blackbay, EXPO, Northgate, Techsmith, Adobe, Amyuni

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA)

Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, BEA, CA, Citrix, Hewlett Packard, Corvu, Zephry, Adobe, Clearswift, Baron McCann, Becrypt, 12, Sun, Winzip Computing, Actuate, Checkpoint, EMC, Hart Hanks, SAS, Symantec, Euro Decision, Experian, Globalscape, Human Concepts, Hummingbird, Kofax, McAFee, Marshall, Serena, Sybase, Webtrends, Applix, Business Objects

Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)

Novell, Microsoft, Clearswift, Sunsystems, Gael Quality

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many reports have been made to her Department’s nominated officers under paragraph 16 of the revised Civil Service Code since its publication on 6 June 2006; (162468)

(2) how many allegations of victimisation for whistleblowing have been reported to her Department by departmental staff since 6 June 2006;

(3) when her Department’s whistleblowing procedures were reviewed to reflect the provisions in the revised Civil Service Code.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Cabinet Office on 19 November 2007, Official Report, columns 596-97W.

Departmental Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what surveys have been conducted by (a) her Department and (b) external consultants; and how much each survey cost in each of the last five years. (164640)

Departmental Publicity

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many full-time equivalent staff are responsible for brand management and marketing in her Department and its agencies. (165229)

The number of full-time equivalent staff currently responsible for brand management and marketing to external audiences in the Department and its agencies is set out as follows:

Full-time equivalent staff

DfT Central

22

DSA

7

DVLA

15.5

GCDA

1

HA

8

MCA

1.5

VGA

2.4

VOSA

0.2

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her 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. (167296)

The estimated annual cost of staff working on marketing and branding to external audiences in the Department and its agencies is set out as follows:

Staff cost (£000)

DfT Central

1,080

DSA

233

DVLA

329

GCDA

52

HA

260

MCA

65

VCA

112

VOSA

6

It is not practicable to reliably distinguish staff effort on branding alone.

Heathrow Airport: Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) environmental data and (b) model inputs were used in the consultation on Heathrow airport; and if she will place in the Library a copy of her Department’s analysis of the consultation responses. (168357)

The consultation document “Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport”, published on 22 November, is supported by a series of technical documents setting out in detail the underlying modelling, data and assumptions used. These documents are listed in Annex D to the main consultation document. All the documents are available on the Department for Transport’s website: www.dft.gov.uk/heathrowconsultation. The consultation runs until 27 February 2008 and, in line with Government practice, a summary of consultation responses will be published. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Railway Stations: Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Prime Minister’s statement of 14 November 2007, Official Report, column 667, on national security, what plans her Department has to improve security at (a) overground and (b) London Underground railway stations. (168220)

[holding answer 26 November 2007]: The Department for Transport already has in place a range of measures to protect our railway systems. Plans to improve on these measures are being worked through with the railway industry with the aim of ensuring a regime which is proportionate and effective while still allowing people to go about their day-to-day business.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s statement mentioned two specific projects which will build on the measures already in place to protect the rail and underground networks from terrorist attacks: passenger screening and physical protection against vehicle bomb attacks.

Passenger Screening

Last year, the Department for Transport undertook a number of trials at London Underground and National Rail stations, to test the effectiveness of passenger screening equipment and explosives sniffer dogs in an operational environment.

The Department is planning with the British Transport Police (BTP) and other stakeholders how we might increase and improve the screening of passengers and bags, in the light of the evidence from these trials and elsewhere. The aim of such passenger screening would be threefold: deterrence, detection and public reassurance.

We anticipate that this would involve the flexible deployment of dogs and/or portable screening equipment by BTP across the rail network, with a focus on the busiest stations, both overground and London Underground. The exact locations and timing of these deployments would be an operational decision for the British Transport Police.

Physical protection of stations

There are already security measures in place at major railway stations to control normal vehicle access, such as deliveries and staff parking.

Permanent physical vehicle restraints have been installed at the recently-refurbished St. Pancras International station, from which Eurostar now operates. There are agreements in place for similar measures at other key overground and London Underground stations that will be undergoing major redevelopments as part of ‘designing in’ security. For other significant stations, programmes of work are under active consideration.

Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what progress her Department is making on developing a sustainability labelling scheme for renewable transport fuels; (168674)

(2) what assessment she has made of the potential effect of biofuel production on deforestation;

(3) what assessment she has made of the potential effect of biofuel production on biodiversity;

(4) what assessment she has made of the effect of biofuel production on orang-utan habitats;

(5) what assessment she has made of the effect of biofuel production on food prices.

The Government have asked the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership to carry out a feasibility study into a possible sustainability labelling scheme for biofuels. The work is under way and we will publish our findings as soon as possible.

The rapidly increasing global demand for palm oil and other agricultural commodities for use in the food and other sectors has a number of environmental and social consequences. The biofuel sector currently accounts for a very small fraction of total global demand for these products. Current high cereals prices are due to global factors, including two successive lower world wheat harvests, low global stocks and increased demand for cereals from the food, feed and fuels sectors. Growing global demand for biofuels can be expected to increase crop prices but also the supply of crops in the future.

The Government take very seriously the potential risks associated with unsustainable biofuel production, including deforestation, reduction of biodiversity and any more particular threats to endangered species. We have developed a comprehensive carbon and sustainability reporting mechanism as an integral part of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) which is due to come into effect in April 2008. This is designed to encourage transport fuel suppliers to ensure the sustainability of their biofuels. We are also pressing the European Commission to introduce a robust mandatory sustainability framework for biofuels as a part of its forthcoming Renewable Energy Directive. We have said that we will not support any higher targets for future biofuel use until we are satisfied that effective sustainability standards are in place.

From April 2008, we will ask the Renewable Fuels Agency to report on a quarterly basis on the sustainability impacts of the RTFO. This will allow us to monitor very closely any adverse impacts of biofuel production. The Government will monitor how markets are affected by growing biofuel demand and will tailor policies accordingly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what scientific (a) reports and (b) evidence she considered prior to introducing her proposal for a Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation. (168141)

Before announcing in November 2005 that it would introduce a Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), the Government carried out extensive public consultation and a detailed feasibility study into the practicality, as well as the likely costs and benefits, of such a scheme. Copies of the study were placed in the House Libraries, and are available via the Department’s website:

www.dft.gov.uk

As part of the feasibility study, the Government commissioned various reports from experts, including on whether and how greenhouse gas and broader environmental and social assurance schemes should be linked to an RTFO. The Government also took into account a wide range of scientific evidence on the costs and benefits of biofuels as part of the development of policy on the RTFO. This included Government-funded studies by Sheffield Hallam university and the Central Science Laboratory considering the lifecycle benefits and impacts of biofuels. Research published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in association with the European Council for Automotive Research and Development (EUCAR) and the Oil Companies’ European Organisation for Environment, Health and Safety (CONCAWE)) on biofuels and other potential future transport fuels was also taken into account.

The Government will continue to take into account new scientific evidence on the impacts of biofuels as it becomes available, and will continue to tailor their biofuel policies accordingly.

Roads: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research she has commissioned on the accident rates of left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles using UK roads; and whether her Department collects information categorising accidents by driver position. (168008)

The Department collects information on whether vehicles involved in reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain are foreign registered and, if they are, whether they are left hand drive, right hand drive or two wheelers. This information has been collected since January 2005 and is published in table 53 of “Road Casualties Great Britain—2006 Annual Report”. Copies of the report have been deposited in the Libraries of the House. This table can also be found on the Department’s website at the following address:

http://www.dft.tov.uk/172974/173025/221412/221549/227755/285672/WebTables4153.xls

Information on the number of, or distance travelled by, foreign registered vehicles in Great Britain is not separately available and so a rate cannot be calculated.

Tolls

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have worked in her Department on national road pricing in each of the last five years, broken down by grade. (164645)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 878W, (UIN 159129), which in turn referred to earlier answers provided on this subject.

Transport

Bristol International Airport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what expansion plans her Department has for Bristol International Airport; and if she will make a statement. (169448)

The Government’s 2003 White Paper “The Future of Air Transport” recognises provision of additional airport capacity as a key driver to generating regional growth and investment, whilst taking account of the environmental impacts of air travel. Within this context airport operators were invited to publish master plans setting out future development proposals.

Bristol International Airport published a master plan in late 2006 setting out detailed medium-term development plans, including expansion of the existing terminal building. Ultimately, it will be for the airport’s operator to bring forward development proposals for consideration through the planning system in the normal way.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which manufacturers’ software is used in her Department. (167221)

The following manufacturers’ software is used in the Department for Transport and its agencies.

Software used

Dft (Central)

SAP AG, Microsoft, Novell, InstallShield, Adobe, Citrix, Ahead, Barren McCann, Becrypt, McAfee, Peoplesoft, Diagonal Solutions, Red Hat

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA)

Adobe, Ahead Nero, Attachmate, Avanquest UK, Avaya, BEA BeCrypt, Blenheim Software, Business Objects, Computer Associates Corel, Cyberlink, Danka, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Identex, Kodak McAfee, Microsoft, Neurascript, Novell, Nuance, Omega First Ltd. Oracle, Pro Atria, QAS, SAP, SAS, Scanoptics, Siebel SmartIdentity, Software AG, Sophos, Sybase, Synapse Adaptive, Logic Group, TIBCO Staffware, Treehouse Software

Driving Standards Agency (DSA)

Adobe, Amberpoint, Autocad, Automobile Association, BancTec, BEA, Brightstor, Business Objects, Business Services Management, Capita, CDC Respond, Clarify, Corel, Cyberlink, DataEase, Dell, Diskeeper, Dotted Eyes, Empire Interactive, Fabis, FileMaker, Globalgold, Globalscape, Hewlett Packard, Hummingbird Exceed, Java, Jolly Giant Software, Keypoint, Logitech, Macromedia, Mapinfo, McAfee, Microsoft, Mindjet, Nobo, Nuance, Oracle, QAS, Quark, Quest, SecureDial, Sherpa Software, Softsteel, Sun, Supergen, Symantec, TextHelp, Veritas, Websense

Highways Agency (HA)

Adobe, Citrix, Computer Associates, Hewlett Packard, Macromedia, Microsoft, Network Associates, Open Text, Oracle, Sun

Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA)

Novell, Microsoft, McAfee, Adobe, Oracle, Red Hat, Centos, SUSE, Sun, Business Objects, Cedar, Opentext, Mapinfo, Fortek, Sunguard Vivista, BMT, Kornsberg Norcontrol

Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA)

Microsoft, Websense, Securewave, Civica, Cedar, Davies and Robson, GFI, Sage, Albany, Blackbay, EXPO, Northgate, Techsmith, Adobe, Amyuni

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA)

Apple, Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, BEA, CA, Citrix, Hewlett Packard, Corvu, Zephry, Adobe, Clearswift, Baron McCann, Becrypt, 12, Sun, Winzip Computing, Actuate, Checkpoint, EMC, Hart Hanks, SAS, Symantec, Euro Decision, Experian, Globalscape, Human Concepts, Hummingbird, Kofax, McAFee, Marshall, Serena, Sybase, Webtrends, Applix, Business Objects

Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA)

Novell, Microsoft, Clearswift, Sunsystems, Gael Quality

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many reports have been made to her Department’s nominated officers under paragraph 16 of the revised Civil Service Code since its publication on 6 June 2006; (162468)

(2) how many allegations of victimisation for whistleblowing have been reported to her Department by departmental staff since 6 June 2006;

(3) when her Department’s whistleblowing procedures were reviewed to reflect the provisions in the revised Civil Service Code.

I refer the hon. Member to the answers given by my hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Cabinet Office on 19 November 2007, Official Report, columns 596-97W.

Departmental Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what surveys have been conducted by (a) her Department and (b) external consultants; and how much each survey cost in each of the last five years. (164640)

Departmental Publicity

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many full-time equivalent staff are responsible for brand management and marketing in her Department and its agencies. (165229)

The number of full-time equivalent staff currently responsible for brand management and marketing to external audiences in the Department and its agencies is set out as follows:

Full-time equivalent staff

DfT Central

22

DSA

7

DVLA

15.5

GCDA

1

HA

8

MCA

1.5

VGA

2.4

VOSA

0.2

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her 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. (167296)

The estimated annual cost of staff working on marketing and branding to external audiences in the Department and its agencies is set out as follows:

Staff cost (£000)

DfT Central

1,080

DSA

233

DVLA

329

GCDA

52

HA

260

MCA

65

VCA

112

VOSA

6

It is not practicable to reliably distinguish staff effort on branding alone.

Heathrow Airport: Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) environmental data and (b) model inputs were used in the consultation on Heathrow airport; and if she will place in the Library a copy of her Department’s analysis of the consultation responses. (168357)

The consultation document “Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport”, published on 22 November, is supported by a series of technical documents setting out in detail the underlying modelling, data and assumptions used. These documents are listed in Annex D to the main consultation document. All the documents are available on the Department for Transport’s website: www.dft.gov.uk/heathrowconsultation. The consultation runs until 27 February 2008 and, in line with Government practice, a summary of consultation responses will be published. Copies will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Railway Stations: Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Prime Minister’s statement of 14 November 2007, Official Report, column 667, on national security, what plans her Department has to improve security at (a) overground and (b) London Underground railway stations. (168220)

[holding answer 26 November 2007]: The Department for Transport already has in place a range of measures to protect our railway systems. Plans to improve on these measures are being worked through with the railway industry with the aim of ensuring a regime which is proportionate and effective while still allowing people to go about their day-to-day business.

My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister’s statement mentioned two specific projects which will build on the measures already in place to protect the rail and underground networks from terrorist attacks: passenger screening and physical protection against vehicle bomb attacks.

Passenger Screening

Last year, the Department for Transport undertook a number of trials at London Underground and National Rail stations, to test the effectiveness of passenger screening equipment and explosives sniffer dogs in an operational environment.

The Department is planning with the British Transport Police (BTP) and other stakeholders how we might increase and improve the screening of passengers and bags, in the light of the evidence from these trials and elsewhere. The aim of such passenger screening would be threefold: deterrence, detection and public reassurance.

We anticipate that this would involve the flexible deployment of dogs and/or portable screening equipment by BTP across the rail network, with a focus on the busiest stations, both overground and London Underground. The exact locations and timing of these deployments would be an operational decision for the British Transport Police.

Physical protection of stations

There are already security measures in place at major railway stations to control normal vehicle access, such as deliveries and staff parking.

Permanent physical vehicle restraints have been installed at the recently-refurbished St. Pancras International station, from which Eurostar now operates. There are agreements in place for similar measures at other key overground and London Underground stations that will be undergoing major redevelopments as part of ‘designing in’ security. For other significant stations, programmes of work are under active consideration.

Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what progress her Department is making on developing a sustainability labelling scheme for renewable transport fuels; (168674)

(2) what assessment she has made of the potential effect of biofuel production on deforestation;

(3) what assessment she has made of the potential effect of biofuel production on biodiversity;

(4) what assessment she has made of the effect of biofuel production on orang-utan habitats;

(5) what assessment she has made of the effect of biofuel production on food prices.

The Government have asked the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership to carry out a feasibility study into a possible sustainability labelling scheme for biofuels. The work is under way and we will publish our findings as soon as possible.

The rapidly increasing global demand for palm oil and other agricultural commodities for use in the food and other sectors has a number of environmental and social consequences. The biofuel sector currently accounts for a very small fraction of total global demand for these products. Current high cereals prices are due to global factors, including two successive lower world wheat harvests, low global stocks and increased demand for cereals from the food, feed and fuels sectors. Growing global demand for biofuels can be expected to increase crop prices but also the supply of crops in the future.

The Government take very seriously the potential risks associated with unsustainable biofuel production, including deforestation, reduction of biodiversity and any more particular threats to endangered species. We have developed a comprehensive carbon and sustainability reporting mechanism as an integral part of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) which is due to come into effect in April 2008. This is designed to encourage transport fuel suppliers to ensure the sustainability of their biofuels. We are also pressing the European Commission to introduce a robust mandatory sustainability framework for biofuels as a part of its forthcoming Renewable Energy Directive. We have said that we will not support any higher targets for future biofuel use until we are satisfied that effective sustainability standards are in place.

From April 2008, we will ask the Renewable Fuels Agency to report on a quarterly basis on the sustainability impacts of the RTFO. This will allow us to monitor very closely any adverse impacts of biofuel production. The Government will monitor how markets are affected by growing biofuel demand and will tailor policies accordingly.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what scientific (a) reports and (b) evidence she considered prior to introducing her proposal for a Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation. (168141)

Before announcing in November 2005 that it would introduce a Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO), the Government carried out extensive public consultation and a detailed feasibility study into the practicality, as well as the likely costs and benefits, of such a scheme. Copies of the study were placed in the House Libraries, and are available via the Department’s website:

www.dft.gov.uk

As part of the feasibility study, the Government commissioned various reports from experts, including on whether and how greenhouse gas and broader environmental and social assurance schemes should be linked to an RTFO. The Government also took into account a wide range of scientific evidence on the costs and benefits of biofuels as part of the development of policy on the RTFO. This included Government-funded studies by Sheffield Hallam university and the Central Science Laboratory considering the lifecycle benefits and impacts of biofuels. Research published by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in association with the European Council for Automotive Research and Development (EUCAR) and the Oil Companies’ European Organisation for Environment, Health and Safety (CONCAWE)) on biofuels and other potential future transport fuels was also taken into account.

The Government will continue to take into account new scientific evidence on the impacts of biofuels as it becomes available, and will continue to tailor their biofuel policies accordingly.

Roads: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research she has commissioned on the accident rates of left-hand and right-hand drive vehicles using UK roads; and whether her Department collects information categorising accidents by driver position. (168008)

The Department collects information on whether vehicles involved in reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain are foreign registered and, if they are, whether they are left hand drive, right hand drive or two wheelers. This information has been collected since January 2005 and is published in table 53 of “Road Casualties Great Britain—2006 Annual Report”. Copies of the report have been deposited in the Libraries of the House. This table can also be found on the Department’s website at the following address:

http://www.dft.tov.uk/172974/173025/221412/221549/227755/285672/WebTables4153.xls

Information on the number of, or distance travelled by, foreign registered vehicles in Great Britain is not separately available and so a rate cannot be calculated.

Tolls

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many people have worked in her Department on national road pricing in each of the last five years, broken down by grade. (164645)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 878W, (UIN 159129), which in turn referred to earlier answers provided on this subject.

Defence

Aircraft Carriers: France

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much he expects the UK to receive from France’s purchase of the Future Aircraft Carrier design; and what the schedule is for payment of this sum. (167368)

[holding answer 26 November 2007]: Under the Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation signed with France the UK has received £70 million from France in respect of the shared Future Aircraft carrier design. A final payment of £45 million is conditional on France’s decision to manufacture a carrier based on the Common Baseline Design.

Armed Forces: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many units of (a) married and (b) single accommodation are provided at each barracks in (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) Germany; and what percentage of that accommodation is (A) in use, (B) subject to repair and refurbishment and (C) empty. (168171)

The requested information is not held centrally and it will take time to determine what can be provided without incurring disproportionate cost. I will therefore write to my hon. Friend and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what discussions he has had with colleagues to identify married quarter voids that can be released to alleviate homelessness. (168242)

In England and Wales most surplus Service Families Accommodation is returned to its owner, Annington Homes Ltd. Its alternative use is not therefore a matter for the Ministry of Defence (MOD). In Scotland, MOD officials maintain close contact with the Scottish Executive and other bodies on this issue. Some properties have been released to housing associations in the past.

Armed Forces: Mortgages

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will hold discussions with the Council of Mortgage Lenders on the treatment of mortgage applications submitted by armed forces personnel who are then posted overseas. (166902)

We have no plans to hold discussions with the Council of Mortgage Lenders on the treatment of mortgage applications submitted by armed forces personnel who are then posted overseas. There has been no indication of problems in this area but if the hon. Member wishes to give further detail I would be glad to consider it further.

Army: Absenteeism

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel from each regiment or unit were reported as absent without leave in each (a) month and (b) year since 1997. (166982)

Defence Export Services Organisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 475W, on Defence Export Services Organisation, whether Lord Drayson’s opinion was (a) sought and (b) given before the Prime Minister took the decision to transfer the Defence Export Services Organisation’s responsibilities to UK Trade and Investment. (167777)

[holding answer 26 November 2007]: It is not our practice to comment on exchanges of views between Ministers that take place in the normal course of formulating, and reaching decisions on, Government policy.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what funding has been (a) made available and (b) spent to make the buildings occupied by his Department fully accessible to disabled people. (166831)

Expenditure on Disability Discrimination Act-related improvements is contained within overall project costs. Thus, this Department does not identify separately either total funding or the amount spent in making alterations to buildings for these purposes.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been allocated to the Atlas Consortium defence information infrastructure programme; how much is expected to have been spent on the programme by 31 March 2008; and whether he plans to extend the system to in-theatre forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. (167208)

As at 20 November 2007, the Ministry of Defence has an approved allocation of £4.068 billion for the fixed element of the Defence Information Infrastructure Future (DII(F)) programme and an approved allocation of £0.384 billion for the deployed element. This total allocation includes £3.372 billion (at current prices, including VAT) for the presently contracted elements of the programme between the MOD and the DII Delivery Partner, the ATLAS Consortium.

Currently, forecast expenditure to 31 March 2008 is £1.2 billion against the approved allocation.

We have already deployed an interim capability to Afghanistan. The first main deployable element of DII(F) now on contract will be available in 2009 to support our military forces wherever they are deployed, including Afghanistan and Iraq.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which manufacturers’ software is used in his Department. (167231)

Information on manufacturers’ software is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Influenza: Disease Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the guidelines on the use of defence assets in addressing a national crisis, such as an influenza pandemic. (164975)

The guidance for the use of defence assets during civil crises is detailed in the military aid section of the recovery guidance on the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat resilience website at:

http://www.ukresilience.info/response/recovery_guidance/generic_issues/military_aid.aspx

which is available to all emergency planners.

In summary, the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 mandates that category 1 responders (emergency services) and category 2 responders (e.g. utility companies) must develop contingency plans for civil crises. Apart from the niche capabilities guaranteed by Defence, the guidance states that armed forces are not to be included in the contingency plans, as it is not possible to define in advance what assets can be provided by Defence. MOD is none the less working with the CCS to define what further Defence capabilities are most likely to be required in the event of a major national crisis.

Iraq: Hercules Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which recommendations of the Board of Enquiry into the crash of the Hercules XV179 in Iraq in January 2005 have been implemented. (167636)

Recommendations a to f, h to j and l of the XV179 Board of Inquiry have been implemented with work ongoing to implement recommendation k. The recommendations made by the board may be reviewed at the following web address:

http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/11CE3621-6E6E-4599-9156-FF1DBF76B596/0/boi_raf_hercules.pdf

Iraq: Military Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) whether the four Army Britten Norman Defender Aircraft have been withdrawn from service in Iraq; (167748)

(2) who has been operating the four Army Britten Norman Defender aircraft while they have been on service in Iraq.

The Army Britten Norman Defender Aircraft are operated by the Army Air Corps. They have not been withdrawn from service in Iraq.

Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 13 November 2007, Official Report, columns 127-28W, on the Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft, what the in-service date is of each category. (166910)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given by my predecessor on 3 May 2007, Official Report, column 1854W. The System Development and Demonstration phase is due to be completed in late 2013 and the other elements are dependent on when the in-service date is set.

Military Aircraft: Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what cost limit applies to the purchase of the (a) Eurofighter Typhoon and (b) Joint Strike Fighter aircraft; and how many of each he plans to buy. (167362)

The estimated cost of the Eurofighter Typhoon programme is commercially sensitive information which is protected in order to maintain our negotiating position for future acquisitions on the Typhoon programme. The UK has undertaken, through international MOU arrangements, to procure 232 Typhoon aircraft in three tranches. So far, the UK has contracted for the delivery of two tranches, comprising 144 aircraft. Decisions on tranche 3 will be taken in due course, in conjunction with our partner nations, once we have analysed and considered the relevant information.

With regard to the cost of joint combat aircraft, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 974W, and 30 October 2007, Official Report, column 1356W, noting that the procurement cost given includes development and non-recurring costs.

Military Attaches

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been undertaken to assess the impact on UK defence sales of the reduction in the number of defence attaché assigned to UK embassies and overseas missions. (166844)

The role of defence attachés is principally to promote the Government’s policies in the area of international security co-operation and to give support to current or potential UK operational commitments. Therefore, most defence attachés spend a small proportion of time dealing with defence exports. There are separate staff employed in UK embassies to promote defence exports, where it is necessary. We do not expect an adverse impact on defence sales arising from the redeployment of defence attachés.

Nuclear Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the function is of the Warhead Pre-Concept Working Group in the nuclear weapons programme; and what the projected cost is of work carried out by this Working Group over the next three years. (168880)

The Warhead Pre-Concept Working Group was set up to co-ordinate research in support of the detailed review described in paragraph 7-4 of the December 2006 White Paper: “The Future of the United Kingdom’s Nuclear Deterrent” (Cmd 6994). This review will examine the optimum life of the UK’s existing nuclear warhead stockpile and assess the range of replacement options that might be available to help inform decisions likely to be necessary in the next Parliament.

The value of work being overseen by the WPCWG in 2007-08 amounts to some £10 million. Comparable levels of expenditure are projected for 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Opinion Leader Research

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many contracts were awarded by his Department to Opinion Leader Research in each year since 1997; and what was (a) the title and purpose, (b) the cost to the public purse and (c) the dates of (i) tender, (ii) award, (iii) operation and (iv) completion and report to the Department in each case. (165272)

Opinion Leader has carried out research for Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers (SaBRE)—the MOD marketing and communications campaign that aims to gain and maintain the support of the employers of reservists. The research entitled “Opinion Leader Attitudes into Reserve Forces” was quantitative research to capture and track opinion leader attitudes and supportiveness towards volunteer reserves. It was carried out in four waves with summary findings provided to SaBRE on 22 December 2004, 11 July and 21 October 2005 and 2 June 2006. Turnaround for each wave from commission through to delivery was two months. The first wave cost was £1,800 with successive waves costing £1,900 each. These research contracts were awarded and paid for by the Central Office of Information (COI) on behalf of SaBRE. They were not tendered as COI rule it uneconomical to tender projects under £10,000.

Trident Missiles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether Trident D5 missiles are equipped with permissive action links. (167914)

No. Robust arrangements are in place for the political control of the UK’s strategic nuclear deterrent.

International Development

Afghanistan: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what mechanisms exist for the monitoring of UK aid to Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement. (167623)

In Afghanistan, the Joint Co-ordination and Monitoring Board is the overarching body responsible for monitoring political and development progress. It was established to monitor the implementation of the Afghanistan compact and provide a forum to provide direction on major policy issues or blockages (e.g. problems with co-ordination or financing). It meets four times a year and is attended by heads of mission and chaired by the UN special representative and the Afghan President’s senior economic adviser.

In addition, various groups meet to co-ordinate international reconstruction and development work in Afghanistan:

Eight consultative groups (sector level) and 22 working groups (line ministry level) all comprising Afghan Government and international community representatives, co-ordinate and monitor the implementation of the compact, contribute to budget formulation, and monitor aid effectiveness with their sector.

The External Advisory Group meets every month and is a forum for donors to discuss progress on the Afghanistan national development strategy (ANDS). Chaired by DFID since August 2006, it is a tool for pushing the government on ANDS issues and preserving donor buy-in.

The Policy Action Group was set up by General Richards and President Karzai as a short term response to security difficulties in the south. It is chaired by the Minister of Education Hanif Atmar and UN assistance mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). There are four pillars: security, information, reconstruction and development and international.

World bank-led donor meetings are meetings of donors only, with no Government representation, to discuss Afghanistan national development strategy issues. These meetings are usually focused on economic issues.

DFID, the FCO and the Multi-Departmental Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit use a series of internal reporting mechanisms for monitoring aid delivered to Afghanistan.

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what the office costs for his Department’s special advisers for 2007-08 are expected to be, including costs of support staff; and how many full-time equivalent civil servants work in support of such special advisers. (164924)

One civil servant currently supports the two special advisers in the Department for International Development (DFID); one additional civil servant is being recruited to support the special advisers from December 2007.

Individual civil servants’ salary details are not disclosed, to protect the privacy of those concerned.

Papua New Guinea: International Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what development projects his Department has in Papua New Guinea; and what their budgets are for (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09. (168142)

DFID currently funds two development projects in Papua New Guinea (PNG) through the Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF). These projects focus on: (i) improving the sexual and reproductive health and gender equity status of the population and; (ii) strengthening the capacity of communities to improve education and income-generation opportunities. DFID’s budget for the CSCF for PNG in 2007-08 is £343,235 and £316,010 for 2008-09. DFID also provides assistance to PNG indirectly through its contribution to the European development fund, international financial institutions and the global funds.

Somalia: Asylum

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what estimate he has made of the number of people displaced from Mogadishu following the latest violence between insurgents and the allied Ethiopian and government troops; and whether any changes are planned to the UK's humanitarian assistance for Somalia. (167206)

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 197,000 people have fled from Mogadishu since the start of October. The Department for International Development (DFID) continues to provide humanitarian assistance on the basis of need. DFID’s regional humanitarian adviser has visited Somalia in the last month to assess the situation first hand, and we continue to keep an eye on the emerging situation. So far in 2007, the UK has provided £8.6 million in new commitments to humanitarian operations in Somalia.

Somalia: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether it is Government policy to support additional security options, including the deployment of a robust multinational force or coalition of the willing in Somalia, as suggested in the UN Secretary General’s recent report (S/2007/658). (165988)

The Government supports African Union and United Nations efforts to promote peace and security in Somalia. We have contributed financially to the current AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), most recently to facilitate the deployment of Burundian troops. We believe that AMISOM should be succeeded by an effective UN mission, provided that the conditions on the ground are right. UN Security Council Resolution 1772 requests that planning for a UN mission takes place and that the international community work to identify actions to create the conditions that would enable deployment to take place.

Sudan

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate he has made of the (a) annual income per household, (b) global acute malnutrition rate, (c) literacy rate and (d) life expectancy in each state in Sudan. (167004)

As there has not been a household budget survey in Sudan since 1978, there are no up to date estimates of annual income per household. However, gross national product (GNP) per capita in 2006 was estimated to equal US$ 970. Given that the average household consists of six people, GNP per household can be estimated to be around US$ 5800.

Global acute malnutrition rates in Sudan vary significantly by region, year and season and it is not easy to give an average rate for the whole country. Due to conflict and poor harvests, some areas of Sudan have global acute malnutrition rates well above the emergency threshold of 15 per cent. during the hungry season with, for example, parts of Darfur having rates among children under five of 30-40 per cent. Using an alternative measure of malnutrition, the 2006 household health survey revealed that 31 per cent. of all children under five in Sudan were moderately underweight, while 9.4 per cent. were severely underweight.

In 2000, which is the latest year available, the literacy rate in Sudan was 61 per cent. For the whole of Sudan, average life expectancy at birth was 57 years in 2005. Figures per state are not available.

Sudan: Infant Mortality

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate he has made of the (a) neonatal, (b) post-natal and (c) infant mortality rates in each state in Sudan. (167075)

The following table provides information on neonatal, infant and under-five mortality rates in all the states of Sudan in 2006. Child mortality rates tend to be highest in the Three Area region (specifically South Kordofan and blue Nile) and Southern states, reflecting the poor coverage of maternal and other health care services in these states. Despite the conflict in Darfur, child mortality rates in Darfur states tend to be below the average in Sudan, although this is not the case for West Darfur. This is due to the extensive provision of healthcare services by humanitarian agencies. Post neo-natal and infant mortality rates are also higher for females than males.

Neonatal, infant and under-five mortality rates in the five years preceding the SHHS

Background characteristics

Neonatal mortality rate1 (per 1,000 live births)

Post neo-natal mortality rate2 (per 1,000 live births)

Infant mortality rate3 (per 1,000 live births)

Child mortality rate4(per 1,000 live births)

Under-five mortality rate5 (per 1,000 live births)

Sex

Male

41

37

78

30

106

Female

41

43

84

38

119

State

Northern

35

22

57

13

70

River Nile

40

29

69

24

91

Red Sea

37

36

73

56

126

Kassala

31

26

56

26

81

Gadarif

43

43

86

55

137

Khartoum

32

37

69

19

87

Gezira

27

25

52

11

63

Sinnar

32

30

62

39

99

Blue Nile

48

52

99

88

178

White Nile

34

23

57

35

89

N. Kordofan

39

22

61

29

88

S. Kordofan

48

50

98

54

147

N. Darfur

34

35

69

28

95

W. Darfur

42

51

93

50

138

S. Darfur

28

39

67

33

98

Jonglei

38

35

74

37

108

Upper Nile

54

29

82

30

110

Unity

30

34

64

20

82

Warap

66

72

139

44

176

NBG

67

62

129

41

165

WBG

37

60

97

41

134

Lakes

49

40

90

27

114

W. Equatoria

69

82

151

49

192

C. Equatoria

56

51

107

39

141

E. Equatoria

40

43

83

38

118

Sudan

41

40

81

34

112

Mother’s education

None

43

43

86

39

121

Primary

37

37

74

24

96

Secondary+

41

20

61

30

89

Wealth index quintiles

Poorest

45

49

95

38

129

Second

44

39

84

41

121

Middle

40

42

81

38

116

Fourth

38

32

70

26

94

Richest

31

33

65

20

84

1 SHHS indicator 1: Neonatal mortality rate (probability of infants dying during the first 28 completed days of life, per 1000 live births

2 SHHS indicator 2: Post neo-natal mortality rate (probability of infants dying between one month and exactly one year of age, per 1,000 live births)

3 SHHS indicator 3: Infant mortality rate (probability of dying between birth and exactly one year of age, per 1,000 live births); MDG indicator 14

4 SHHS indicator 4: Child mortality rate (probability of dying between the first and fifth birth days, per 1,000 live births)

5 SHHS indicator 5: Under-five mortality rate (probability of dying between birth and exactly five years of age, per 1,000 live births); MDG indicator 13

NBG = Northern Bahr El Ghazal, WBG = Western Bahr El Ghazal

Source:

2006 Sudan Household Health Survey

Solicitor-General

Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006: Prosecutions

To ask the Solicitor-General how many people have been charged with offences under the Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006. (167552)

The records held by the CPS provide no information on the number of defendants charged or prosecuted for specific offences. However, the CPS does identify by act and section the number of offences which reached a first hearing in the magistrates courts.

These records show that, as of November 2007, two offences under sections 2 and 4 of the Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006 had reached a first hearing; one was prosecuted by CPS West Mercia and the other by CPS Gloucestershire.

National Fraud Reporting Centre

To ask the Solicitor-General (1) when she expects the proposed national fraud reporting centre to become operational; (167110)

(2) what the (a) establishment and (b) annual running costs of the proposed national fraud reporting centre are expected to be.

The comprehensive spending review announced new investment of over £28 million from HM Government for 2008 to 2011 in the UK's fight against fraud. Part of this new investment has been earmarked for the establishment of the national fraud reporting centre, which is expected to become operational early in 2009.

Establishment and running costs remain confidential at present under the terms of HM Treasury's settlement letter and due to the commercially sensitive nature of the detailed development work that is now under way towards making the national fraud reporting centre a reality.

Children, Schools and Families

Children in Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many children from each local authority area were looked after by another local authority in (a) local authority children’s homes, (b) private children’s homes, (c) foster care, (d) hostels and (e) under other arrangements; (166237)

(2) how many children aged (a) 0 to five years, (b) six to 10 years and (c) 11 to 16 years old from each local authority area were looked after outside their local authority area in (i) local authority children’s homes, (ii) private children’s homes, (iii) foster care, (iv) hostels and (v) under other arrangements in each of the last five years.

[holding answer 20 November 2007]: The information is not readily available. I will write to my hon. Friend with the information requested and will place a copy of my response in the Library.

Departmental Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what his latest estimate is of expenditure by his Department and its predecessor on all forms of consultancy for each (a) year and (b) quarter from 31 March 1997; and if he will make a statement. (163552)

Historical figures are not available for DCSF and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Figures for the Department for Education and Skills show that it spent the following sums from administration costs on consultancy from 1997:

£ million

1997-98

3.9

1998-99

5.0

1999-2000

3.7

2000-01

4.3

2001-02

5.0

2002-03

4.0

2003-04

4.7

2004-05

3.9

2005-06

3.5

2006-07

4.1

The costs of consultancy charged to programmes budgets before November 2004 were not recorded centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The total cost of consultancy charged to programmes from November to March 2004-05 was £4.4 million and for the whole of 2005-06 was £18 million. A further £9.5 million in November to March 2004-05 and £8 million in 2005-06 was spent on other external expert advisers on education and children’s matters to assist with policy implementation and delivery. The total cost of consultancy charged to programmes for 2006-07 was £41 million with a further £14 million spent on other external expert advisers.

Quarterly information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what entertainment or hospitality members of his Department’s management board have received in each of the last three financial years; and if he will make a statement. (164747)

Paragraph 4.3.5 of the Civil Service-Management Code sets out the rules on the registration of hospitality. The Government are committed to publishing an annual list of hospitality received by members of departmental boards. The first list for 2007 will be published as soon as it is ready after the end of the current calendar year.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families on what dates his Department breached its (a) resource, (b) near cash, (c) administration and (d) capital budgets; what the value of each breach was; and what the reason was for each breach. (164514)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 20 November 2007, Official Report, column 794W, to the hon. Member for Yeovil (Mr. Laws).

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Fallow Initiative

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many fallow fields there are in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean in which there has been no development over the last 10 years; and which company currently holds the licence to develop in each case. (167866)

There are 258 discovered fields undeveloped for 10 years or more. Of these:

25 are unlicensed and will be offered in the next licensing round;

84 have been awarded in recent licensing rounds since 2002, of which 58 are on traditional licences, and 26 are on promote licences (where there is no formal operator);

8 have development plans pending approval;

26 have seen seismic activity or appraisal drilling within the past three years;

59 are the subject of significant activity such as seismic reprocessing;

13 currently have technical obstacles to overcome, such as lack of capacity or lack of infrastructure, which are being addressed;

43 have no activity planned and are due to be surrendered for re-licensing within two years if no plan for development is presented. aforementioned

The following table covers all of the aforementioned discoveries and shows operators where applicable.

Discovery well number

Operator

210/29a-3

Promote Licence

3/11-1

Unlicensed

211/11-1

Promote Licence

13/22b-4

Unlicensed

48/22-1

Unlicensed

48/22-4

Promote Licence

20/08-2

Unlicensed

16/06b-6

Unlicensed

48/02b-3

Unlicensed

210/25c-6A

Promote Licence

21/29b-9

Unlicensed

42/15a-2

Unlicensed

50/26b-6

Unlicensed

3/08c-12

Unlicensed

48/02-1

Promote Licence

29/08a-4

Unlicensed

43/13a-l

Promote Licence

43/20-1

Promote Licence

30/29a-l

Promote Licence

42/15b-l

Unlicensed

42/10b-2Z

Unlicensed

43/17-2

Unlicensed

42/22-1

Promote Licence

43/18-1

Promote Licence

21/29b-4

Unlicensed

22/28b-2

Unlicensed

39/16-1

Promote Licence

43/23-1

Promote Licence

48/24b-2

Unlicensed

47/09b-4

Promote Licence

9/12-3

Promote Licence

3/08b-10

Unlicensed

15/07-1

Promote Licence

15/21-2

Promote Licence

49/02-3

Promote Licence

16/03a-4

Promote Licence

15/26-1

Unlicensed

41/25a-l

Promote Licence

41/20-2

Promote Licence

9/21-2

Promote Licence

9/12b-6

Promote Licence

14/26b-4

Unlicensed

49/22-16

Promote Licence

14/26b-5

Unlicensed

110/04-1

Promote Licence

15/21b-45

Promote Licence

41/24a-1

Promote Licence

15/26a-2

Unlicensed

21/28a-2

Antrim Resources

211/22a-3

Antrim Resources

21/28a-6

Antrim Resources

16/29-4

Apache Corporation

2/15-1

ATP Oil and Gas Corporation

2/15a-9

ATP Oil and Gas Corporation

2/10a-6

ATP Oil and Gas Corporation

3/11b-4Z

ATP Oil and Gas Corporation

13/30-2

BG International

30/08-2

BG International

22/08a-2

BG International

110/13-17

BHP Billiton Petroleum

16/23-2

BP Exploration

204/19-6

BP Exploration

206/11-1

BP Exploration

9/23b-21

BP Exploration

9/24b-1A

BP Exploration

16/22-2

BP Exploration

30/01c-3

BP Exploration

47/03e-9

BP Exploration

98/11-2

BP Exploration

211/07a-2

BP Exploration

98/07-2

BP Exploration

47/03e-8

BP Exploration

204/19-8Z

BP Exploration

48/21-1

Bridge E&P Corporation

11/24-1

Caithness Petroleum

48/08a-1

Centrica Resources

110/08a-5

Centrica Resources

49/09a-5

Centrica Resources

113/27-2

Centrica Resources

49/09-1

Centrica Resources

48/07c-11

Centrica Resources

9/23b-19

Century Exploration

48/25a-4

Century Exploration

48/24a-1

Century Exploration

110/14-1

Challenger Minerals

15/29a-9

Chevron Corporation

207/01-3

Chevron Corporation

9/11-2

Chevron Corporation

9/11b-11

Chevron Corporation

3/28a-2

Chevron Corporation

206/02-1

Chevron Corporation

15/29a-3

Chevron Corporation

29/02a-2

CNR International

22/27a-2

CNR International

3/07-3

CNR International

211/28-1A

CNR International

3/03-8

CNR International

110/08a-4

Conocophillips (U.K.)

30/07a-10

Conocophillips (U.K.)

15/30-2

Conocophillips (U.K.)

110/02b-10

Conocophillips (U.K.)

110/02b-11

Conocophillips (U.K.)

30/13-3

Conocophillips (U.K.)

110/14-2

Conocophillips (U.K.)

42/29-6

Dana Petroleum plc.

211/22-1

Dana Petroleum plc.

210/24a-8

Dana Petroleum plc.

42/29-7

Dana Petroleum plc.

23/16d-6

Dana Petroleum plc.

211/13-1

Dana Petroleum plc.

211/08a-2

Dana Petroleum plc.

21/17-4

Dana Petroleum plc.

21/17-3

Dana Petroleum plc.

214/30-1

Dansk Olie OG Naturgas A/S

43/27-2

E.On Ruhrgas UK North Sea

48/02-2

E.On Ruhrgas UK North Sea

44/22c-9

E.On Ruhrgas UK North Sea

113/28-2

Eclipse Energy Company

113/29-2

Eclipse Energy Company

43/08-1

Encore Petroleum Ltd.

30/25a-4

Endeavour International

12/27a-3

Endeavour International

12/27-1

Endeavour International

16/18-1

ENI UK Ltd.

16/23-4

ENI UK Ltd.

110/12a-1

Eog Resources Inc.

9/18a-15

Exxonmobil International

48/18a-4

Exxonmobil International

9/19-3

Exxonmobil International

9/19-4

Exxonmobil International

48/18c-5

Exxonmobil International

206/10a-1

Faroe Petroleum plc.

44/13-1

Gaz De France

44/27-1

Gaz De France

44/12-1

Gaz De France

44/29b-4

Gaz De France

44/16-1Z

Gaz De France

22/24b-8

Gaz De France

16/08c-13

Genesis Petroleum Europe

53/01-3

Helix Energy Solutions

53/01a-13

Helix Energy Solutions

47/02-1

Hess Ltd.

204/28-1

Hurricane Exploration

12/21-2

Ithaca Energy Inc.

14/18b-7

Ithaca Energy Inc.

14/18-1

Ithaca Energy Inc.

14/18b-12

Ithaca Energy Inc.

205/26a-4

Lundin Petroleum BV

21/13b-lA

Lundin Petroleum BV

211/28a-7

Lundin Petroleum BV

9/10b-1

Lundin Petroleum BV

9/15a-l

Lundin Petroleum BV

2/05-10

Lundin Petroleum BV

30/02-1

Maersk Oil (UK)

30/14-1

Maersk Oil (UK)

4/26-1A

Maersk Oil (UK)

22/27a-l

Maersk Oil (UK)

15/20b-11

Maersk Oil (UK)

16/21d-31

Maersk Oil (UK)

103/01-1

Marathon Oil UK Ltd.

9/02-1

Masefield Energy Holdings

15/13-2

National Iranian Oil Co.

15/21b-47

Nexen Petroleum

15/21b-50

Nexen Petroleum

15/19-4

Nexen Petroleum

15/19-6

Nexen Petroleum

20/03-4

Nexen Petroleum

15/21a-7

Nexen Petroleum

21/02-1

Nexen Petroleum

21/02-2

Nexen Petroleum

21/15a-2

Nexen Petroleum

15/21a-51

Nexen Petroleum

15/21a-38Z

Nexen Petroleum

15/23d-13

Nexen Petroleum

15/21a-46

Nexen Petroleum

22/22b-2

Nexen Petroleum

15/24a-4

Nippon Oil Corporation

21/20b-4

Noble Energy Europe

22/02-2

Oilexco Incorporated

22/14b-3

Oilexco Incorporated

49/18-5Z

Perenco plc.

21/30-12

Perenco plc.

49/28-2

Perenco plc.

21/30-17

Perenco plc.

48/17b-3

Perenco plc.

48/11a-12

Perenco plc.

44/18a-5

Perenco plc.

12/21-3

Petro-Canada UK Holdings

15/18a-6

Petro-Canada UK Holdings

21/24-1

Petro-Canada UK Holdings

211/18-9

Petrofac Ltd.

29/07-1

Royal Dutch Shell

22/13a-2

Royal Dutch Shell

211/23-6

Royal Dutch Shell

22/23b-5

Royal Dutch Shell

22/29-2

Royal Dutch Shell

22/30a-16

Royal Dutch Shell

22/13a-1

Royal Dutch Shell

29/05a-1

Royal Dutch Shell

23/16b-1

Royal Dutch Shell

211/21-11

Royal Dutch Shell

29/09a-1

Royal Dutch Shell

29/10-4

Royal Dutch Shell

29/10-2

Royal Dutch Shell

30/06-3Z

Royal Dutch Shell

48/19a-3

Royal Dutch Shell

29/03-1

Royal Dutch Shell

211/23b-11

Royal Dutch Shell

13/21a-lA

Royal Dutch Shell

211/23b-12

Royal Dutch Shell

21/20a-5

Royal Dutch Shell

49/01-3

RWE DEA UK Holdings

43/20b-2

RWE DEA UK Holdings

14/15-2

Serica Energy

23/16a-2

Serica Energy

48/20b-6

Silverstone SNS Ltd.

48/25b-5

Silverstone SNS Ltd.

42/13-2

Sterling Resources

16/03a-11

Stratic Energy

16/02b-4

Stratic Energy

30/13-2

Talisman Energy Inc.

16/22-5

Talisman Energy Inc.

30/13-1

Talisman Energy Inc.

15/17-24

Talisman Energy Inc.

16/13a-2Z

Talisman Energy Inc.

16/22-1

Talisman Energy Inc.

15/17-25

Talisman Energy Inc.

22/18-3

Talisman Energy Inc.

22/19-1

Talisman Energy Inc.

14/14-1

Talisman Energy Inc.

15/17-8A

Talisman Energy Inc.

14/20-6Z

Talisman Energy Inc.

15/17-26

Talisman Energy Inc.

3/30-3

Total E&P UK plc.

3/30a-4

Total E&P UK plc.

3/10b-1

Total E&P UK plc.

3/09a-11

Total E&P UK plc.

3/04-7

Total E&P UK plc.

206/01-2

Total E&P UK plc.

3/09a-8

Total E&P UK plc.

44/28d-5

Tullow UK

44/28-3

Tullow UK

49/03-3

Tullow UK

28/02-1

Venture Production

30/11b-4

Venture Production

49/10b-3

Venture Production

48/14-2

Venture Production

30/11b-3

Venture Production

29/09b-2

Venture Production

29/08a-3

Venture Production

29/06a-3

Venture Production

43/16-2

Venture Production

22/22c-3Z

Venture Production

21/27-1A

Venture Production

21/19-1A

Venture Production

29/08b-2

Venture Production

44/19-3

Wintershall B.V.

9/03-1

Xcite Energy

HM Revenue and Customs: Legal Profession

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which (a) lawyers and (b) legal firms have been given work by HM Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office since 1 January 2005; and what the cost was of such contracts, broken down by (i) lawyer and (ii) firm. (164498)

I have been asked to reply.

The Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office employed 1,738 counsel from the Attorney-General's approved list between 1 January 2005 and 30 September 2007 at a total cost of £32.0 million.

In the same period the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office also employed the services of 23 legal firms at a total cost of £446,000.

A schedule of total payments to each individual and firm has been placed in the Library.

Post Offices: Closures

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what estimate he has made of the net savings to Post Office Ltd of the closure of (a) the St. Leonards Green Post Office, (b) the White Rock Post Office in St. Leonards, (c) the Hastings Old Town Post Office and (d) the Tilling Green Post Office in Rye. (168450)

The development of proposals for specific post office closures is a matter for Post Office Ltd. with input from Postwatch, local authorities and subpostmasters. The consultation period for the Sussex area plan covering Hastings and Rye constituency closes on 24 December. Final decisions on which post offices will close will be taken by Post Office Ltd. in light of the responses received to the area consultations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps his Department is taking to ensure that the remaining post offices can accommodate greater numbers of customers as part of the Post Office closure programme. (168522)

This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd. (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, Managing Director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps the Government are taking to ensure the Post Office takes into account local factors such as public transport access before closing a post office. (168530)

In formulating its area plans, Post Office Ltd. is required to consider the availability of public transport and alternative access to key post office services, local demographics and the impact on the local economy.

Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to his oral answer of 22 November 2007, Official Report, column 1328, on postal services, what precedents there are for consultations to be suspended in advance of local elections. (168702)

[holding answer 27 November 2007]: Cabinet Office guidelines clearly state that consultations, and decisions relating to them, should not be launched in an election period. Successive Administrations of both parties have observed these arrangements for many years.

Trade Unions: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether trades union members who opt out of the union’s political fund are charged the cost of the political fund contribution when they pay their union subscription. (164221)

Where trade union members opt out of contributing to their union’s political fund, the union must ensure they do not make payments into the political fund via a separate political levy or via other subscription payments to the union. It is also unlawful for a union to penalise individuals who opt out by excluding them from any benefit, or by directly or indirectly placing them at a disability or disadvantage (except in relation to the control or management of the political fund).

Home Department

Animal Experiments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) genetically modified animals and (b) animals with a harmful genetic defect were used in regulated procedures conducted in Scotland under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 in 2006. (167726)

Comprehensive statistics of scientific procedures on living animals in Great Britain carried out under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986 are published annually. Copies of the publication for 2006 (Cm 7153) can be found in the House Library.

The data are not collected, stored or presented in a way enabling them to be easily broken down between England, Wales and Scotland as the 1986 Act is administered by the Home Office for the whole of Great Britain (it is administered separately in Northern Ireland). However, a special exercise has been undertaken to extract the information requested in relation to Scotland.

During 2006 there were 127,253 genetically modified animals and 11,643 animals with a harmful genetic defect used in regulated procedures conducted in Scotland under the 1986 Act.

Animal Experiments: Primates

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if she will publish the records of discussions within her Department which took place on the grant of a project licence to Professor Tipu Aziz permitting him to conduct scientific procedures on the primate Felix; (165387)

(2) whether the Animal Procedures Committee in granting a licence for experiments on Felix the primate took into account the extent to which those experiments had been (a) documented in scientific literature and (b) previously conducted on (i) non human primates and (ii) human patients.

I have no plans to disclose the records of discussions relating to applications for project licences under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Any such records may include information provided in confidence the disclosure of which, other than in the discharge of functions under the Act, is prohibited by section 24 of the same Act.

Under section 20(2) of the 1986 Act, when considering any matter, the Animal Procedures Committee must have regard to the legitimate requirements of science and industry and to the protection of animals against avoidable suffering and unnecessary use in scientific procedures. I am confident that the Committee's advice on individual project licence applications takes full account of all relevant factors in line with this requirement.

Police

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average (a) length of service and (b) retirement age was for police constables in each of the last 10 years. (168641)

The information requested is as follows:

(a) The information requested cannot be calculated from the centrally collected data within the police personnel statistics series.

(b) Retirement age cannot be separately identified from the available data. The available data are the age on leaving the service within the following time bands only: 25 and under, 26 to 40, 41 to 55 and over 55.

Police Custody: Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what the average occupancy rate was of police custody suites in (a) Wales, (b) Dyfed-Powys police area and (c) Pembrokeshire in (i) 2006 and (ii) since 1 January 2007; (166249)

(2) what the capacity is of police custody units in (a) Wales, (b) Dyfed-Powys police area and (c) Pembrokeshire.

The provision and operation of, and collation of information in respect of, police custody accommodation are matters for chief constables and police authorities.

Police Patrolling

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the average proportion of a police officer's day spent on patrol in each of the last 10 years. (165675)

Data on time spent on patrol only offers a partial indication of policing activity. Information on time spent on front-line duties by police officers has only been collected since 2003-04. Year by year information is set out in the following table.

Time spent on patrol 2004 to 2007

Percentage time spent on front-line duties

2003-04

62.1

2004-05

62.6

2005-06

63.1

2006-07

64.2

Police: Chelmsford

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officers are employed in West Chelmsford constituency; and what proportion of their time is spent on street patrols. (166242)

[holding answer 26 November 2007]: Figures collected by the Home Office show numbers of officers deployed to each Basic Command Unit (BCU) in Essex. The closest BCU to the West Chelmsford constituency is Essex Central. The figures show that on 31 March 2007, the latest published period, there were 506 officers in Essex Central BCU. This figure excludes police community support officers and police staff, and also excludes officers and staff in Central Services, which covers the police HQ in Chelmsford.

The Home Office estimates time spent on patrol, but these figures are not collected or estimated below police force area level.

Police: Injuries

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of police officers were off work for longer than a week as a result of injuries sustained while on duty in each police force in England in the most recent year for which figures are available. (169214)

The available data are for long-term absences due to an assault which occurred within the realms of duty. Long-term absences are those which have lasted for more than 28 calendar days, and assaults include those incidents where there was no injury to the officer. The data are collected “as at” a particular date rather than throughout the course of the year, therefore the data provided are for the number of officers on sick absence as at 31 March 2007.

Number (FTE)1 and percentage2 of police officers in England on long-term certified sickness absence due to an assault3 as at 31 March 2007

Police force

Number of police officers on certified sickness due to assault

Percentage of police officers on certified sickness due to assault

Avon and Somerset

0.00

0.00

Bedfordshire

0.00

0.00

Cambridgeshire

0.00

0.00

Cheshire

0.00

0.00

Cleveland

0.00

0.00

Cumbria

0.00

0.00

Derbyshire

1.00

0.05

Devon and Cornwall

1.00

0.03

Dorset

0.00

0.00

Durham

0.00

0.00

Essex

0.00

0.00

Gloucestershire

1.00

0.08

Greater Manchester

1.00

0.01

Hampshire

0.00

0.00

Hertfordshire

0.00

0.00

Humberside

0.00

0.00

Kent

0.00

0.00

Lancashire

0.00

0.00

Leicestershire

0.00

0.00

Lincolnshire

0.00

0.00

London, City of

0.00

0.00

Merseyside

1.00

0.02

Metropolitan Police

6.00

0.02

Norfolk

0.00

0.00

Northamptonshire

0.00

0.00

Northumbria

2.00

0.05

North Yorkshire

3.00

0.18

Nottinghamshire

1.00

0.04

South Yorkshire

0.00

0.00

Staffordshire

0.00

0.00

Suffolk

1.00

0.07

Surrey

0.00

0.00

Sussex

0.00

0.00

Thames Valley

0.00

0.00

Warwickshire

0.00

0.00

West Mercia

1.00

0.04

West Midlands

1.52

0.02

West Yorkshire

0.00

0.00

Wiltshire

0.00

0.00

1 Full-time equivalent figures.

2 Officers absent as a percentage of the total police officer strength.

3 Certified long-term sickness (over 28 calendar days) due to an assault occurring within the realms of duty. Assaults include those incidents where no injury was caused.

Police: Resignations

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of police officers in each police force area left the police force within two years of joining in each of the last 10 years. (168640)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police recruits left the police force within two years of joining since 1997, broken down by police force area; and what percentage of leavers that figure represents. (165671)

Data are available from 2002-03 onwards and are given in the following tables. The number of transfers between forces has been separately identified as these officers, while leaving individual police forces, have not left the police service itself.

Number of police officers leaving the force with less than two years service and the percentage of total police officer leavers that this figure represents from 2002-03 to 2006-071

2002-03

Police force area

Number of transfers (included as part of overall officers leaving the service)

Number of police officers leaving the force with less than two years service

Percentage of police officers leaving with less than two years service

Avon and Somerset

0

39

19

Bedfordshire

0

17

18

Cambridgeshire

1

17

16

Cheshire

0

6

5

Cleveland

0

2

3

Cumbria

0

5

8

Derbyshire

0

7

6

Devon and Cornwall

0

20

13

Dorset

0

13

19

Durham

6

8

Dyfed-Powys

1

6

11

Essex

4

23

11

Gloucestershire

0

13

16

Greater Manchester

2

56

15

Gwent

0

2

3

Hampshire

3

29

13

Hertfordshire

3

33

17

Humberside

17

16

Kent

5

43

20

Lancashire2

Leicestershire3

1

9

7

Lincolnshire

5

15

21

London, City of

0

11

19

Merseyside

1

10

5

Metropolitan Police

16

410

24

Norfolk

0

12

13

Northamptonshire

0

8

14

Northumbria

0

20

12

North Wales

1

9

12

North Yorkshire

8

14

Nottinghamshire

8

6

South Wales

1

25

16

South Yorkshire

1

24

14

Staffordshire

12

9

Suffolk

1

12

14

Surrey

20

53

21

Sussex

2

47

19

Thames valley

13

53

14

Warwickshire

0

12

21

West Mercia

1

13

11

West Midlands

4

88

17

West Yorkshire

1

30

12

Wiltshire

0

10

12

Total4

96

1,244

16

2003-04

Police force area

Number of transfers (included as part of overall officers leaving the service)

Number of police officers leaving the force with less than two years service

Percentage of police officers leaving with less than two years service

Avon and Somerset

0

33

23

Bedfordshire

1

22

21

Cambridgeshire

0

10

11

Cheshire

2

12

11

Cleveland

0

9

11

Cumbria

0

3

6

Derbyshire

0

13

15

Devon and Cornwall

0

10

8

Dorset

1

15

20

Durham

3

11

14

Dyfed-Powys

0

5

13

Essex

4

19

9

Gloucestershire

1

10

18

Greater Manchester

0

65

20

Gwent

0

3

4

Hampshire

3

48

21

Hertfordshire

3

43

27

Humberside

4

22

23

Kent

1

45

20

Lancashire2

0

18

14

Leicestershire3

0

16

19

Lincolnshire

0

7

11

London, City of

0

5

9

Merseyside

0

14

8

Metropolitan Police

11

394

25

Norfolk

0

6

12

Northamptonshire

1

7

10

Northumbria

0

20

11

North Wales

7

12

North Yorkshire

0

7

9

Nottinghamshire

6

14

11

South Wales

4

11

7

South Yorkshire

3

23

14

Staffordshire

0

12

12

Suffolk

1

20

27

Surrey

11

40

27

Sussex

1

87

30

Thames valley

5

37

12

Warwickshire

0

7

13

West Mercia

1

22

18

West Midlands

0

7

2

West Yorkshire

1

32

13

Wiltshire

3

14

21

Total4

71

1,191

17

2004-05

Police force area

Number of transfers (included as part of overall officers leaving the service)

Number of police officers leaving the force with less than two years service

Percentage of police officers leaving with less than two years service

Avon and Somerset

0

30

17

Bedfordshire

0

30

31

Cambridgeshire

0

12

12

Cheshire

1

17

16

Cleveland

1

14

17

Cumbria

0

8

18

Derbyshire

1

6

6

Devon and Cornwall

0

18

10

Dorset

0

13

16

Durham

4

17

21

Dyfed-Powys

0

10

16

Essex

0

34

15

Gloucestershire

0

11

19

Greater Manchester

1

55

15

Gwent

0

4

5

Hampshire

3

37

14

Hertfordshire

1

38

24

Humberside

1

12

11

Kent

0

27

13

Lancashire2

1

21

13

Leicestershire3

Lincolnshire

3

14

18

London, City of

0

6

10

Merseyside

3

22

10

Metropolitan Police

3

214

16

Norfolk

0

7

9

Northamptonshire

0

5

5

Northumbria

1

20

12

North Wales

0

10

19

North Yorkshire

0

13

15

Nottinghamshire

4

15

10

South Wales

0

11

8

South Yorkshire

0

30

17

Staffordshire

0

34

27

Suffolk

3

16

22

Surrey

11

30

19

Sussex

3

84

32

Thames valley

1

62

20

Warwickshire

0

3

5

West Mercia

2

13

11

West Midlands

4

72

16

West Yorkshire

3

40

15

Wiltshire

0

11

14

Total4

55

1,125

16

2005-06

Police force area

Number of transfers (included as part of overall officers leaving the service)

Number of police officers leaving the force with less than two years service

Percentage of police officers leaving with less than two years service

Avon and Somerset

0

15

8

Bedfordshire

0

16

18

Cambridgeshire

1

12

11

Cheshire

0

8

4

Cleveland

1

8

8

Cumbria

0

5

7

Derbyshire

0

4

3

Devon and Cornwall

1

24

12

Dorset

0

15

14

Durham

4

16

16

Dyfed-Powys

0

4

5

Essex

1

39

15

Gloucestershire

0

4

4

Greater Manchester

0

43

9

Gwent

0

12

15

Hampshire

0

32

11

Hertfordshire

1

31

18

Humberside

2

20

13

Kent

3

23

8

Lancashire2

0

13

6

Leicestershire3

0

19

12

Lincolnshire

3

14

15

London, City of

0

3

4

Merseyside

1

19

7

Metropolitan Police

0

95

6

Norfolk

0

11

12

Northamptonshire

0

10

11

Northumbria

0

13

6

North Wales

0

6

6

North Yorkshire

1

3

3

Nottinghamshire

1

4

3

South Wales

0

13

7

South Yorkshire

0

21

9

Staffordshire

0

12

11

Suffolk

0

10

11

Surrey

4

22

15

Sussex

1

49

22

Thames valley

1

41

12

Warwickshire

0

5

7

West Mercia

0

9

6

West Midlands

9

63

13

West Yorkshire

1

63

17

Wiltshire

0

12

16

Total4

36

829

10

2006-07

Police force area

Number of transfers (included as part of overall officers leaving the service)

Number of police officers leaving the force with less than two years service

Percentage of police officers leaving with less than two years service

Avon and Somerset

2

10

6

Bedfordshire

1

12

21

Cambridgeshire

0

12

13

Cheshire

0

16

14

Cleveland

1

16

21

Cumbria

0

7

14

Derbyshire

0

9

6

Devon and Cornwall

0

20

15

Dorset

0

15

14

Durham

0

8

13

Dyfed-Powys

0

3

6

Essex

0

42

15

Gloucestershire

1

4

5

Greater Manchester

0

20

4

Gwent

0

8

12

Hampshire

0

22

10

Hertfordshire

0

28

16

Humberside

1

16

13

Kent

0

14

6

Lancashire2

0

15

9

Leicestershire3

1

8

6

Lincolnshire

1

7

9

London, City of

0

2

3

Merseyside

0

33

13

Metropolitan Police

5

81

5

Norfolk

0

12

12

Northamptonshire

3

13

13

Northumbria

0

13

7

North Wales

0

8

9

North Yorkshire

5

17

17

Nottinghamshire

0

6

4

South Wales

1

10

5

South Yorkshire

2

25

13

Staffordshire

0

12

10

Suffolk

0

3

6

Surrey

6

51

27

Sussex

0

37

17

Thames valley

1

29

10

Warwickshire

1

7

9

West Mercia

0

12

8

West Midlands

5

50

10

West Yorkshire

5

44

13

Wiltshire

2

6

10

Total4

44

760

10

1 Leaving figures include police officers leaving the force within two years of joining or re-joining the service, due to dismissals (including requirement to resign), voluntary resignations, medical retirements, ordinary retirements, all transfers and all deaths.

2 Data for Lancashire was not available in 2002-03.

3 Data for Leicestershire was not available in 2004-05.

4 In order to compare data between 2002-03 and 2006-07 Lancashire and Leicestershire have been excluded from the total.

Justice

Antisocial Behaviour: Fixed Penalties

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many penalty notices for disorder were issued in the first six months of 2007, broken down by (a) police force area and (b) offences committed; and how many such penalty notices for disorder were (i) paid in full within the 21 day suspended enforcement period, (ii) paid in full outside the 21 day suspended enforcement period, (iii) registered as fines, (iv) contested in court and (v) cancelled. (167981)

Finalised data for the whole of 2006 covering the breakdowns requested will be available shortly. I will send the hon. Member a copy when it is available.

Data for 2007 will be available in 2008.

Chemical and Insulating Company Ltd

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps the Government plans to take in response to the judgment of the House of Lords in Rothwell v. Chemical and Insulating Company Ltd; and if he will make a statement. (168784)

I refer the right hon. Member to my reply on both 13 November 2007, Official Report, column 141W, and 29 October 2007, Official Report, column 798W.

Closed Circuit Television

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what guidelines there are on minimum pixel density of closed circuit television material used in courts. (168614)

There are no guidelines on the minimum pixel density of closed circuit television (CCTV) used in courts. CCTV is used to cover both internal and external areas of courts; the coverage provided varies according to the work of the court and its status. Coverage has evolved over time with a variety of systems and types of cameras being used.

Guidance to courts on the use of CCTV has been revised and the new version will be issued shortly and stresses the need for any system to deliver recognition (of persons and objects) and notes that developments in technology may bring changes in the types of equipment used.

Advice on the use of CCTV is part of the policy document, Safe and Secure, which sets out guidance and practice on security issues for HMCS; this is revised annually and, as a Restricted document, is not available to the general public.

Courts: Interpreters

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much the Courts Service spent on translation and interpretation services in Cambridgeshire in each of the last 10 years; and if he will make a statement. (168949)

The information requested is not collected centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost through the manual searching of individual court files. Her Majesty’s Courts Service is giving consideration to the routine collection of data relating to interpreting and translation services used in court.

Courts: Salisbury

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the latest estimate is of the cost of the new courts centre in Salisbury. (169290)

The new court centre in Salisbury is being procured via a private developer scheme whereby Her Majesty's Court Service will be taking on a lease for 30 years at an agreed rent which is in line with the market rate for this area of England. The construction value, as published in the OJEU award notice, was estimated at £14,236,706 excl VAT.

Custodial Treatment: Methamphetamine

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people have been prosecuted for (a) possession of the drug crystal meth and (b) possession with intent to supply that drug in each of the last six months; how many have been convicted; and how many received a custodial sentence. (166167)