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Written Answers

Volume 470: debated on Friday 25 January 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 25 January 2008

Culture, Media and Sport

Overseas Sports Programmes

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much has been allocated by (a) his Department and (b) UK Sport to overseas sports programmes until 2012. (181786)

[holding answer 24 January 2008]: No firm allocations from departmental or UK Sport budgets have been made for overseas sports programmes beyond 2008-09.

Allocations to date for the years 2007-08 and 2008-09 are:

£

2007-08

2008-09

(a) From the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

Total

£200,000

(b) From UK Sport

Total

1,609,000

1,530,000

Sportsmatch UK

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the Government’s plans are for Sportsmatch UK; and if he will make a statement. (181782)

[holding answer 24 January 2008]: Management of the Sportsmatch programme in England successfully transferred to Sport England’s direct control in April 2007. Sport England is in the process of developing and agreeing with Ministers their new three-year strategy for 2008-11. We envisage that small grants, with matched funding, will form a part of the new strategy. Sport England is consulting partners and stakeholders on whether the Sportsmatch brand should continue.

Trade Unions

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what meetings he has had with trades union officials since 1 July 2007; on what dates; and with which trades unions. (179857)

Ministers meet many people as part of the process of policy development. It is not normal practice to disclose details of such meetings.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Accountancy

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what items of his Department’s (a) revenue and (b) expenditure are uprated using (i) the consumer prices index, (ii) the retail prices index and (iii) other measures of inflation. (179940)

The requested information is as follows:

(a) Revenue generated by the Northern Ireland Office is based on prices set by Government legislation and therefore the Department does not increase prices through indexation or any other measure of inflation.

(b) The Northern Ireland Office carries out an annual indexation exercise on its Fixed Assets using the Price Index Numbers for Current Cost Accounting as well as the Building Cost Information Service (BCIS), Residential Land Index and the Dwellings Index in relation to Land and Buildings.

Inflation is also taken into consideration in the preparation of business cases for future expenditure in accordance with Treasury guidance.

Departmental ICT

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) male and (b) female members of staff in his Department were issued with personal digital assistants in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. (181363)

The figures shown in the following table include the numbers of personal digital assistants, including blackberries and most recently smart phones issued to staff each year within the NI0. It should be made clear however that some of these items may be re-issued when there are staff changes.

Male

Female

2001

0

0

2002

0

0

2003

4

2

2004

3

2

2005

4

2

2006

6

2

2007

4

1

2008

5

4

Please note none of these devices are allowed to be connected directly to the NIO confidential ICT network.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many of the helicopters in Afghanistan not fitted with winches are fitted with an alternative device capable of extracting personnel from situations where landing is impossible, broken down by device. (181044)

None of the Apache or Lynx helicopters deployed to Afghanistan are equipped with a winch or any other device designed to extract personnel from situations where landing is impossible. That is not the purpose of those helicopters. All UK Sea King and all UK Chinooks deployed in Afghanistan are equipped with winches.

Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the effect on costs of the changes in arrangements for payment of lump sums under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme coming into force on 8 February 2008. (180518)

There are at present 24 personnel with serious multiple injuries who have submitted a claim and will benefit from the change to the multiple injury rule which comes into effect on 8 February 2008. Under the rules of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme, individuals have up to five years in which to make a claim, accordingly, there maybe others who have yet to claim. However, it is estimated that the 24 cases will cost an additional £2-4 million following the revised rule coming into effect.

Estimating the numbers of potential claimants and therefore future costs is always difficult. The Ministry of Defence will meet its obligations to pay entitlements to compensation in accordance with the rules of the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme.

Armed Forces: Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what work is being undertaken by his Department on the cost and structure of the Armed Forces’ Pension Scheme. (179671)

The costs of the Armed Forces Pensions Schemes are routinely monitored by officials. The last significant review of the Armed Forces Pensions Schemes resulted in the Armed Forces (Pensions and Compensation) Act 2004 and the creation of the pension scheme known as AFPS 05 in April 2005. As part of the ongoing process of providing such benefits we are keeping under review how to manage the Schemes’ long term liabilities.

Athena Mechanism

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much expenditure from the public purse has been spent on European Security and Defence Policy military operations (a) under the Athena mechanism and (b) not under the Athena mechanism since January 2004, broken down by operation. (177526)

[holding answer 10 January 2008]: The amount spent on ESDP military operations since January 2004 under the Athena mechanism is set out as shown.

The amount spent on ESDP military operations since January 2004 not under the Athena mechanism format includes national borne costs which are held theatre wide rather than for NATO/ESDP (for example in the Balkans). Further work is therefore required to determine these costs as accurately as possible. I will write to the hon. Member as soon as this work is complete.

EU operation

Where

When

Under ATHENA (£ million)

ALTHEA

(Bosnia and Herzegovina

Since July 2004

15.177

EUFORDRC

Democratic Republic of Congo

April 2006 to November 2006

1.417

EUFOR CHAD/CAR

CHAD/ Central African Republic

Yet to deploy

5.902

Total

22.496

Substantive answer from Mr. Bob Ainsworth to Dr. Fox:

I undertook to write in answer to your Parliamentary Question of 14 January 2007, Official Report, column 878W, with more detail on the amount spent on ESDP military operations since January 2004 not under the Athena mechanism format.

In addition to the figures already provided, the national borne cost for NATO and ESDP missions is £208.95 million for the period requested. As this figure represents a national pan-Balkans commitment it has not been possible to disaggregate further between the NATO-led mission in Kosovo and the missions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, at first led by NATO and after July 2004 led by the EU.

For the EUFOR mission to the Democratic Republic of Congo mission, two staff officers were deployed, but it has not been possible to disaggregate this figure.

For the EUFOR mission to Chad and the Central African Republic, two staff officers have deployed to the French OHQ in Paris and two staff officers will deploy with the Force Headquarters to Chad, but the figure for these costs has not yet been identified.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the statement of 22 January 2008, Official Report, column 1225, on MOD (data loss), whether the laptop stolen on 9 January 2008 was a departmental laptop or a privately owned laptop. (182389)

Departmental Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) pursuant to the answer on 19 January 2007, Official Report, columns 1363-4W, on departmental equipment, how many of the computers which have been stolen since 1998 contained information with a classification of (a) none, (b) restricted, (c) confidential, (d) secret and (e) top secret; (182387)

(2) pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 58W, on departmental computers, how many of the computers which were stolen in 2007 had a classification of (a) no classification, (b) restricted, (c) confidential, (d) secret and (e) top secret.

As a result of the theft of the Royal Navy laptop, the Ministry of Defence has initiated an investigation into the details of all lost or stolen computers since 2003.

I will write to the hon. Member when the information is available and arrange for a copy of my reply to be placed in the Library of the House.

Devonport Naval Base

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which ships are base-ported at Devonport Naval Base, Plymouth. (182119)

There are 26 Royal Navy vessels currently base ported at HM Naval Base Devonport, as shown in the following table :

Class of vessel

Name of vessel

Nuclear submarines

HMS Trafalgar

HMS Turbulent

HMS Tireless

HMS Triumph

HMS Torbay

HMS Talent

HMS Trenchant

Amphibious vessels

HMS Ocean

HMS Albion

HMS Bulwark

Type 22 Frigates

HMS Campbeltown

HMS Cumberland

HMS Chatham

HMS Cornwall

Type 23 Frigates

HMS Montrose

HMS Northumberland

HMS Monmouth

HMS Sutherland

HMS Somerset

HMS Portland

HMS Argyll

Survey vessels

HMS Echo

HMS Scott

HMS Gleaner

HMS Roebuck

HMS Enterprise

Health Services: Armed Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 312W, on health services: armed forces, what funding is to be made available for care home funding for war pensioners in each financial year until 2016-17. (179747)

Under the War Pensions Scheme the Department has the discretionary power, in Article 21 of the Service Pensions Order, to meet the cost of any necessary expenses in respect of the medical, surgical or rehabilitative treatment of a member of the armed forces that arise wholly or mainly as a result of the disablement due to service before 6 April 2005 where it is not provided free of charge under other legislation of the United Kingdom. This power predates the NHS and is now little used because health care is through the normal mechanisms of the health service.

MOD continues to fund the fees of a small number of war pensioners who are in homes that provide skilled nursing care for the condition for which they receive a war pension. Funding is provided on a case-by-case basis. Funding under the War Pensions Scheme comes from Annually Managed Expenditure, is demand led and is not subject to forecast other than for the purposes of the War Pensions supply estimate.

Lobbying

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many lobbyists have passes giving them access to his Department’s building in Whitehall; and if he will make a statement. (174786)

MOD security policy allows the issue of passes to persons who, for business reasons, require frequent access to MOD buildings and who meet relevant security criteria. Details of the company each individual is employed by are held, but their post title or function is not usually recorded.

Military Aircraft: Helicopters

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made in hiring helicopters for use in theatre by (a) the UK and (b) NATO. (181041)

As the Prime Minister announced on 12 December 2007, Official Report, column 304, NATO has negotiated a contract to lease commercial helicopters to move routine freight in Afghanistan, which will free up military helicopters for other tasks. This contract will commence shortly and will be of significant benefit to UK forces. There are no separate UK commercial helicopter leasing initiatives planned although commercial helicopters were leased for a few days in December 2007 to help deliver Christmas mail and parcels to troops in Afghanistan.

Home Department

Community Policing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the recommended minimum number per ward is of participants in key individual networks. (179820)

[holding answer 17 January 2008]: Key individual networks (KINs) are intended as a mechanism for neighbourhood policing teams to canvass the opinions of the local public on a broad range of policing-related issues.

The KIN structure is flexible in nature; the minimum number of participants per ward or boundary in KINs is governed by the needs of the community that it serves. For example, the Metropolitan Police Service has identified its neighbourhoods based on existing ward boundaries. Other police forces have used different methodologies to identify their neighbourhoods such as discussions with local residents and partnerships, together with an analysis of local crime and demographic data.

Community Support Officers: Humberside

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the retention rate of police community support officers was in the Humberside Police Authority area in each year since 2002-03; and if she will make a statement. (180784)

Information on the retention rate of police community support officers in Humberside is a matter for the chief constable and his police authority.

Crime: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in her Department have had with (i) foreign governments and (ii) foreign intelligence services on granting access to UK databases to foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies; and if she will make a statement. (180149)

This Government believe that the sharing of data with other countries is fundamental to our ability to tackle serious crime, terrorism and illegal immigration. We have therefore been engaging with our EU partners to pursue a number of projects to improve the exchange of law enforcement data including through the joining up of national databases on DNA, fingerprints and vehicle registration (the Prüm Council Decision), and through the joining up of criminal records databases.

The United Kingdom is a significant provider of information to Europol and Eurojust to facilitate the cross-border prosecution of terrorism and organised crime. We are also in the process of implementing the Schengen Information System II, which will provide us with alerts on matters such as missing persons, fugitives and stolen vehicles.

As part of the G8 the UK has encouraged all states to contribute data to and participate in the Interpol 1-24/7 database for lost and stolen passports and identity documents. G8 states took the lead by being among the first states globally to submit all of their data on both issued and unissued lost and stolen documents to Interpol.

Furthermore, the UK is participating in a project to evaluate the extent that G8 countries share data between their own migration authorities and police and other competent security authorities with a view to development of best practice procedures for this. The UK has also led a project to create the G8 DNA 1-24/7 Sear Request Network, which involves access between national databases (although on a hit/no hit basis only for DNA). It does not include the creation of a common data base, automatically link databases or allow automatic access to an existing database or information held on the database of a G8 state from outside that state itself. All participating states retain direct in-country control to enable them to decline any inquiry.

We have numerous bilateral relationships with key partners both in Europe and beyond, including the United States, which enable our law enforcement and intelligence agencies to cooperate effectively to protect the security of the public in the UK and other countries.

In all cases where the Government shares personal data with other countries, it must ensure the relevant arrangements comply with legal obligations to provide appropriate safeguards for privacy rights, including those set out in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Data Protection Act 1998 (which implemented EC Directive 95/46 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data). Many of the key instruments providing for the sharing of personal data between law enforcement agencies at the EU level incorporate data protection safeguards tailored to the specific types of data to be shared. The Data Protection Framework Decision will, when adopted, set uniform data protection standards for personal data sent from one member state to another, and also to European bodies such as Europol, for the purposes of the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences or the execution of criminal penalties.

Dogs: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many attacks on children by dogs have been have been recorded in each year since the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 came into force by (a) Rottweilers and (b) each category of dog banned under the Act. (181153)

The information requested is not available centrally from the recorded crime statistics. Attacks by dogs are not crimes as defined in law. The relevant offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 relate to an owner or person in charge allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place injuring any person or allowing a dog to enter a non-public place and injure any person. These offences would generally be recorded under the Home Office classification ‘Less serious wounding’ and cannot be separately identified from other offences recorded within that classification.

Essex Police Authority: Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the (a) staff and (b) administrative costs of Essex police authority were in each year since 1997. (180626)

This information is not held centrally. The staffing and related costs of the authority are a matter for the Essex police authority.

Essex Police: Emergency Calls

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will make a statement on the performance of the Essex police emergency call system. (174063)

HMIC inspected all forces in England and Wales across a number of police business areas as part of their Baseline assessments up until 2007. Contact management was one of those business areas. In the three years to 2007, Essex police had been graded Fair (2003-04), Fair (2004-05) and GOOD (2005-06), indicating steady and continual improvement.

In the year to date Essex have been performing very well in respect of their 999 emergency call-handling, answering 92.5 per cent. of call received within 10 seconds, which is 2.5 per cent. above the expected target of 90 per cent. in 10 seconds as laid down in the National Call Handling Standards.

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what restrictions are placed on the activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam within the UK; (181339)

(2) what plans she has to reconsider the restrictions placed on the activities of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam;

(3) how often she reviews the proscription of organisations considered to be involved in terrorism;

(4) whether the proscriptions of organisations under the Terrorism Act 2000 are indefinite; and if she will make a statement.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) was proscribed by the then Home Secretary in 2001. The Terrorism Act 2000 contains a number of offences relating to proscribed organisations including membership, fundraising, inviting support and wearing clothes or displaying articles so as to arouse reasonable suspicion that the wearer is a member or supporter of any such organisation. The Police and Crown Prosecution Service are responsible for, respectively, investigating and prosecuting offences under this legislation.

The proscription of organisations is not subject to a time limit. And an organisation which is proscribed can only be de-proscribed by an order subject to the positive resolution procedure removing it from schedule 2 of the Terrorism Act 2000. However, it is our policy and practice to review regularly proscribed organisations on the current list and to assess whether they should continue to be proscribed. Any person who is affected by an organisation's proscription can apply to the Secretary of State for it to be de-proscribed, and we take any such requests very seriously.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when she will reply to Question 164672 tabled by the hon. Member for Cardiff Central, on 12 November 2007 for answer on 15 November; and if she will make a statement. (175550)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given on 23 January 2008, Official Report, column 2062W.

Merseyside Police: Modernisation

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations she has received on the compatibility of the restructuring of the Merseyside police with the framework laid down by her work force modernisation agenda. (164457)

[holding answer 15 November 2007]: I am not aware of any restructuring being undertaken by Merseyside police and have received no representations about it.

National Bureaucracy Advisor on Police Reform

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who the current National Bureaucracy Advisor on Police Reform is; and whether the position is vacant. (176054)

The National Bureaucracy Advisor role has been vacant since July 2006. Sir Ronnie Flanagan’s Review of Policing, which began on 26 April 2007, is taking forward the work on reducing bureaucracy in the service.

Recommendations for reducing police bureaucracy were made in Sir Ronnie’s interim report and are being taken forward by the National Policing Improvement Agency. The agency will be shaping the staffing and leadership of this work to meet the requirements made in Sir Ronnie’s report.

Sir Ronnie’s final report will be published shortly.

Police Patrolling

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 90W, on police patrolling, what the respective figures are for each year from 1997-98 to 2005-06 based on the same definition used in the answer. (174000)

[holding answer 18 December 2007]: The information requested on the percentage of time spent on front-line duties by the Essex police is set out in the following table. This measure was only introduced in 2003-04 and is not available for earlier years, and the definition is kept under review.

Essex police—time spent on front-line duties 2003-04 to 2006-07

Percentage time spent on front-line policing

2003-04

56.8

2004-05

60.9

2005-06

62.9

2006-07

64.8

Police: Complaints

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many formal complaints were made against (a) South Yorkshire police and (b) English police forces to the Independent Police Complaints Commission and its predecessor in each of the last five years; and how many of those complaints were upheld. (181045)

Responsibility for the collation and publication of complaints against the police rests with the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Police: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment she has made of the effects on police involvement in community services of the planned reduction in funding for police authorities in 2008-09. (180295)

There is no reduction in funding for police authorities in 2008-09.

The provisional police funding settlement for the next three years was announced on 6 December 2007. General grant will increase by 2.7 per cent. in each year with each police authority in England and Wales receiving a minimum increase in general grant of 2.5 per cent. for each of those years. In addition, a range of other funding will be made available to all police authorities. In line with the Government’s commitment to neighbourhood policing, the settlement includes an increase from £315 million to £324 million for neighbourhood policing provision for 2008-09.

Police: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of police officers left the police service (a) within two to five years, (b) within five to 10 years and (c) after over 10 years of joining, in each year since 1997, broken down by police force area. (176315)

Data are available from 2002-03 onwards, and the Home Office only started collecting this level of detail from that year.

These figures are given in the following tables, and are on the same basis as the ones given for police officers who left the service within two years of joining—28 November 2007, Official Report, columns 471-75W. 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 the number of transfers separately identified) and the percentage of total police officer leavers that this figure represents, from 2002-03 to 2006-071

(a) Officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

2002-03

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 two to less than five years' service

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

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

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

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

Avon and Somerset

4

9

4

7

14

10

Bedfordshire

4

13

14

8

16

15

Cambridgeshire

4

5

5

10

13

14

Cheshire

1

1

1

4

8

7

Cleveland

1

1

2

3

9

11

Cumbria

1

3

5

3

5

10

Derbyshire

3

6

5

1

7

8

Devon and Cornwall

5

7

5

1

8

6

Dorset

1

6

9

3

3

4

Durham

4

5

7

8

10

13

Dyfed-Powys

1

1

2

1

1

3

Essex

20

26

12

7

19

9

Gloucestershire

8

13

16

7

9

16

Greater Manchester

22

42

11

21

40

12

Gwent

0

6

10

4

6

8

Hampshire

10

17

8

12

20

9

Hertfordshire

14

19

10

7

16

10

Humberside

4

8

8

7

14

14

Kent

7

12

6

16

21

9

Lancashire2

0

13

10

Leicestershire3

10

14

11

0

4

5

Lincolnshire

3

4

5

5

8

13

London, City of

1

2

3

2

3

5

Merseyside

2

5

3

7

16

9

Metropolitan Police

143

187

11

147

205

13

Norfolk

2

3

3

1

3

6

Northamptonshire

2

5

9

4

12

16

Northumbria

3

8

5

4

15

8

North Wales

3

9

12

2

7

12

North Yorkshire

1

2

3

2

4

5

Nottinghamshire

10

7

10

14

11

South Wales

4

12

8

5

17

12

South Yorkshire

7

14

8

5

11

7

Staffordshire

3

8

6

3

6

6

Suffolk

8

13

15

2

3

Surrey

65

72

29

35

46

31

Sussex

11

15

6

13

21

7

Thames Valley

52

64

17

35

45

14

Warwickshire

4

10

17

4

8

14

West Mercia

3

6

5

0

5

4

West Midlands

51

65

12

46

69

15

West Yorkshire

1

10

4

6

15

6

Wiltshire

0

6

7

5

7

11

Total4

483

730

10

471

778

11

2004-052005-06

Police force area

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

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

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

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

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

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

Avon and Somerset

8

16

9

9

24

13

Bedfordshire

4

8

8

6

13

15

Cambridgeshire

10

20

19

13

21

19

Cheshire

3

7

6

3

14

8

Cleveland

6

13

16

8

19

18

Cumbria

1

2

4

2

4

6

Derbyshire

2

11

10

3

11

8

Devon and Cornwall

6

13

7

5

12

6

Dorset

0

4

5

1

9

9

Durham

4

10

12

4

7

7

Dyfed-Powys

1

3

5

2

6

8

Essex

13

22

10

14

26

10

Gloucestershire

1

3

5

5

11

12

Greater Manchester

12

47

13

34

73

15

Gwent

3

7

10

3

12

15

Hampshire

23

31

12

10

21

7

Hertfordshire

14

25

16

11

25

15

Humberside

5

21

19

10

16

10

Kent

10

23

11

11

30

11

Lancashire2

6

13

8

3

10

5

Leicestershire3

5

11

7

Lincolnshire

1

1

1

4

10

10

London, City of

8

9

15

9

11

14

Merseyside

9

20

9

2

10

4

Metropolitan Police

86

142

10

112

214

13

Norfolk

1

2

3

1

3

3

Northamptonshire

6

14

15

5

6

7

Northumbria

6

8

5

2

14

7

North Wales

0

8

15

0

3

3

North Yorkshire

7

16

18

4

8

8

Nottinghamshire

15

21

14

10

16

10

South Wales

1

6

5

2

14

8

South Yorkshire

6

11

6

3

14

6

Staffordshire

1

7

6

3

6

5

Suffolk

8

11

15

4

7

8

Surrey

32

42

27

15

26

17

Sussex

3

5

2

9

24

11

Thames Valley

38

52

17

36

62

19

Warwickshire

1

3

5

1

5

7

West Mercia

7

12

10

1

9

6

West Midlands

26

54

12

29

66

14

West Yorkshire

11

25

9

11

22

6

Wiltshire

2

8

10

0

6

8

Total4

401

763

11

417

910

11

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 two to less than five years' service

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

Avon and Somerset

16

28

17

Bedfordshire

2

12

21

Cambridgeshire

6

10

11

Cheshire

4

11

10

Cleveland

3

8

10

Cumbria

1

9

18

Derbyshire

3

10

7

Devon and Cornwall

3

8

6

Dorset

4

7

6

Durham

1

7

11

Dyfed-Powys

6

6

13

Essex

0

21

7

Gloucestershire

3

9

12

Greater Manchester

32

76

15

Gwent

8

12

18

Hampshire

14

19

9

Hertfordshire

24

45

25

Humberside

6

17

14

Kent

14

27

12

Lancashire2

4

20

11

Leicestershire3

7

17

12

Lincolnshire

3

10

12

London, City of

6

8

12

Merseyside

4

19

7

Metropolitan Police

86

226

13

Norfolk

2

7

7

Northamptonshire

8

13

13

Northumbria

3

15

8

North Wales

6

13

15

North Yorkshire

6

15

15

Nottinghamshire

7

15

10

South Wales

0

8

4

South Yorkshire

8

18

9

Staffordshire

6

16

14

Suffolk

4

9

17

Surrey

19

32

17

Sussex

12

32

15

Thames Valley

46

77

26

Warwickshire

7

11

15

West Mercia

4

16

11

West Midlands

26

65

13

West Yorkshire

16

38

11

Wiltshire

1

6

10

Total4

430

1,011

13

(b) Officers leaving with five to less than ten years' service

2002-03

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 two to less than five years' service

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

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

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

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

Avon and Somerset

12

25

12

5

14

10

Bedfordshire

6

6

7

8

10

10

Cambridgeshire

12

23

21

8

12

13

Cheshire

2

13

12

4

16

15

Cleveland

1

5

8

2

7

9

Cumbria

3

7

12

0

3

6

Derbyshire

2

7

6

1

4

5

Devon and Cornwall

4

13

8

6

11

9

Dorset

3

3

4

2

8

11

Durham

4

10

14

7

10

13

Dyfed-Powys

2

10

18

0

1

3

Essex

23

35

16

16

22

11

Gloucestershire

1

2

2

3

5

9

Greater Manchester

20

44

12

16

40

12

Gwent

0

9

15

0

4

5

Hampshire

14

22

10

19

32

14

Hertfordshire

21

25

13

8

11

7

Humberside

2

10

10

4

6

6

Kent

18

27

13

12

19

8

Lancashire2

0

9

7

Leicestershire3

14

28

22

0

10

12

Lincolnshire

2

5

7

2

5

8

London, City of

5

10

17

8

13

23

Merseyside

2

11

6

8

18

10

Metropolitan Police

93

179

10

88

144

9

Norfolk

5

8

9

2

4

8

Northamptonshire

6

7

13

7

14

19

Northumbria

6

17

10

4

20

11

North Wales

2

2

3

1

8

14

North Yorkshire

1

2

3

6

10

14

Nottinghamshire

17

12

6

7

6

South Wales

3

8

5

0

6

4

South Yorkshire

3

14

8

3

12

7

Staffordshire

5

17

13

4

10

10

Suffolk

1

3

4

1

7

9

Surrey

26

30

12

6

12

8

Sussex

17

28

11

17

30

10

Thames Valley

28

40

11

31

42

13

Warwickshire

2

2

3

1

1

2

West Mercia

5

8

7

10

15

12

West Midlands

57

82

16

43

93

21

West Yorkshire

6

18

7

7

25

10

Wiltshire

0

8

10

0

3

5

Total4

425

812

11

376

734

11

2004-052005-06

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

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

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

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

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

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

Avon and Somerset

5

15

9

6

14

8

Bedfordshire

4

5

5

3

3

3

Cambridgeshire

3

9

9

4

12

11

Cheshire

4

6

6

7

14

8

Cleveland

0

8

10

3

8

8

Cumbria

3

4

9

5

7

10

Derbyshire

5

9

8

1

3

2

Devon and Cornwall

7

11

6

5

13

7

Dorset

4

11

14

2

6

6

Durham

2

5

6

7

9

9

Dyfed-Powys

1

7

11

0

6

8

Essex

16

23

10

21

22

8

Gloucestershire

2

3

5

3

6

6

Greater Manchester

13

32

9

19

45

9

Gwent

5

11

15

3

9

11

Hampshire

17

27

10

9

19

6

Hertfordshire

9

15

10

17

23

13

Humberside

1

3

3

6

19

12

Kent

10

20

9

11

21

8

Lancashire2

2

8

5

4

6

3

Leicestershire3

11

23

14

Lincolnshire

3

8

10

4

7

7

London, City of

5

9

15

3

5

6

Merseyside

4

7

3

6

16

6

Metropolitan Police

62

136

10

77

140

9

Norfolk

3

4

5

2

7

8

Northamptonshire

4

10

11

4

8

9

Northumbria

5

11

7

7

15

7

North Wales

0

0

0

0

10

10

North Yorkshire

1

4

4

7

15

15

Nottinghamshire

2

8

6

8

12

8

South Wales

1

5

4

7

13

7

South Yorkshire

3

13

7

11

19

8

Staffordshire

5

10

8

2

3

3

Suffolk

2

10

14

5

7

8

Surrey

12

16

10

16

24

16

Sussex

19

32

12

6

13

6

Thames Valley

18

25

8

16

36

11

Warwickshire

1

3

5

1

5

7

West Mercia

4

10

9

3

9

6

West Midlands

24

49

11

30

57

12

West Yorkshire

0

19

7

7

14

4

Wiltshire

2

8

10

0

6

8

Total4

291

621

9

354

700

8

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 two to less than five years' service

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

Avon and Somerset

7

13

8

Bedfordshire

5

10

18

Cambridgeshire

1

5

6

Cheshire

5

9

8

Cleveland

1

7

9

Cumbria

1

3

6

Derbyshire

3

15

11

Devon and Cornwall

6

13

10

Dorset

4

8

7

Durham

5

8

13

Dyfed-Powys

2

2

4

Essex

0

11

4

Gloucestershire

1

6

8

Greater Manchester

25

69

14

Gwent

2

6

9

Hampshire

8

17

8

Hertfordshire

22

30

17

Humberside

3

7

6

Kent

12

26

11

Lancashire2

3

7

4

Leicestershire3

7

15

11

Lincolnshire

4

6

7

London, City of

8

10

15

Merseyside

3

11

4

Metropolitan Police

90

167

10

Norfolk

1

4

4

Northamptonshire

6

8

8

Northumbria

4

16

9

North Wales

6

11

13

North Yorkshire

2

10

10

Nottinghamshire

11

20

14

South Wales

1

16

8

South Yorkshire

19

26

13

Staffordshire

6

9

8

Suffolk

4

6

11

Surrey

22

37

19

Sussex

12

21

10

Thames Valley

25

38

13

Warwickshire

4

8

11

West Mercia

9

18

12

West Midlands

36

63

13

West Yorkshire

2

12

3

Wiltshire

1

10

16

Total4

389

792

10

(c) Officers leaving with 10 years' or more service

2002-03

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 two to less than five years' service

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

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

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

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

Avon and Somerset

13

133

65

7

83

58

Bedfordshire

17

56

61

20

56

54

Cambridgeshire

13

62

58

12

60

63

Cheshire

3

93

82

8

73

67

Cleveland

2

53

87

8

57

70

Cumbria

4

44

75

0

37

77

Derbyshire

2

90

82

1

62

72

Devon and Cornwall

5

114

74

6

99

77

Dorset

6

46

68

4

49

65

Durham

2

53

72

3

47

60

Dyfed-Powys

2

38

69

7

33

83

Essex

40

131

61

49

147

71

Gloucestershire

3

55

66

4

33

58

Greater Manchester

14

233

62

15

186

56

Gwent

2

44

72

6

60

82

Hampshire

16

157

70

14

132

57

Hertfordshire

47

113

59

33

88

56

Humberside

2

69

66

3

55

57

Kent

21

133

62

36

141

62

Lancashire2

0

86

68

Leicestershire3

15

76

60

12

56

65

Lincolnshire

1

49

67

2

41

67

London, City of

9

36

61

8

35

63

Merseyside

2

170

87

4

128

73

Metropolitan Police

185

968

56

156

834

53

Norfolk

2

69

75

2

38

75

Northamptonshire

4

36

64

5

40

55

Northumbria

6

119

73

13

127

70

North Wales

57

74

3

35

61

North Yorkshire

5

46

79

4

53

72

Nottinghamshire

102

74

6

89

72

South Wales

2

108

71

1

113

77

South Yorkshire

5

120

70

2

117

72

Staffordshire

9

94

72

3

75

73

Suffolk

9

57

67

6

46

61

Surrey

34

92

37

7

50

34

Sussex

42

154

63

37

152

52

Thames Valley

60

213

58

63

194

61

Warwickshire

4

34

59

3

40

71

West Mercia

6

89

77

11

81

66

West Midlands

73

292

55

45

281

62

West Yorkshire

13

199

77

12

177

71

Wiltshire

0

58

71

7

42

64

Total4

685

4,879

64

636

4,286

61

2004-052005-06

Police force area

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

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

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

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

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

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

Avon and Somerset

8

111

65

8

131

71

Bedfordshire

15

55

56

9

57

64

Cambridgeshire

11

63

61

8

65

59

Cheshire

7

79

72

32

142

80

Cleveland

1

46

57

10

71

67

Cumbria

1

31

69

15

56

78

Derbyshire

4

83

76

16

121

87

Devon and Cornwall

5

136

76

28

151

76

Dorset

1

51

65

4

74

71

Durham

1

49

60

17

71

69

Dyfed-Powys

0

41

67

11

59

79

Essex

21

144

65

53

172

66

Gloucestershire

5

41

71

13

73

78

Greater Manchester

16

224

63

16

330

67

Gwent

1

51

70

1

46

58

Hampshire

18

171

64

41

222

76

Hertfordshire

20

79

50

23

92

54

Humberside

5

77

68

17

101

65

Kent

22

146

68

56

197

73

Lancashire2

6

125

75

50

181

86

Leicestershire3

16

106

67

Lincolnshire

0

57

71

8

65

68

London, City of

9

35

59

17

60

76

Merseyside

13

179

79

4

239

84

Metropolitan Police

111

886

64

288

1,155

72

Norfolk

5

67

84

11

70

77

Northamptonshire

8

62

68

11

67

74

Northumbria

8

122

76

38

160

79

North Wales

0

36

67

10

80

81

North Yorkshire

1

56

63

4

76

75

Nottinghamshire

4

101

70

25

128

80

South Wales

2

108

83

25

143

78

South Yorkshire

11

121

69

43

185

77

Staffordshire

6

75

60

10

92

81

Suffolk

4

37

50

12

66

73

Surrey

18

70

44

11

78

52

Sussex

21

138

53

23

135

61

Thames Valley

27

174

56

14

190

58

Warwickshire

9

55

86

16

58

79

West Mercia

12

81

70

28

127

82

West Midlands

29

266

60

38

301

62

West Yorkshire

13

184

69

50

267

73

Wiltshire

4

52

66

7

49

67

Total4

477

4,640

65

1,071

6,022

71

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 two to less than five years' service

Percentage of police officers leaving with two to less than five years' service

Avon and Somerset

9

110

68

Bedfordshire

8

22

39

Cambridgeshire

11

63

70

Cheshire

5

78

68

Cleveland

7

46

60

Cumbria

0

31

62

Derbyshire

2

106

76

Devon and Cornwall

9

91

69

Dorset

1

81

73

Durham

3

40

63

Dyfed-Powys

2

37

77

Essex

0

210

74

Gloucestershire

1

57

75

Greater Manchester

30

328

67

Gwent

2

39

60

Hampshire

13

154

73

Hertfordshire

22

76

42

Humberside

5

81

67

Kent

14

162

71

Lancashire2

10

134

76

Leicestershire3

16

99

71

Lincolnshire

6

58

72

London, City of

10

47

70

Merseyside

3

199

76

Metropolitan Police

95

1,226

72

Norfolk

9

77

77

Northamptonshire

19

70

67

Northumbria

3

141

76

North Wales

2

55

63

North Yorkshire

3

61

59

Nottinghamshire

6

106

72

South Wales

1

155

82

South Yorkshire

9

127

65

Staffordshire

8

80

68

Suffolk

3

36

67

Surrey

23

70

37

Sussex

20

128

59

Thames Valley

16

150

51

Warwickshire

1

49

65

West Mercia

13

99

68

West Midlands

23

325

65

West Yorkshire

15

253

73

Wiltshire

2

40

65

Total4

434

5,364

68

1 Leaving figures include police officers leaving the force within the designated range of 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 were not available in 2002-03.

3 Data for Leicestershire were 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.

Police: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many police officer recruits in England and Wales began residential training in each year since 1999. (176038)

The number of police officer recruits in England and Wales who began residential training in each of the year from 1999 to 2006 is given in the following table. The new Initial Police Learning and Development Programme commenced in April 2006 and, apart from recruits to the Metropolitan Police Service, negated the requirement for a residential element as training is provided locally.

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

Total 1999-2006

Forces in England and Wales1

3,613

5,787

7,421

7,760

8,434

6,023

3,641

42,679

Metropolitan Police Service2

994

1,350

2,748

3,489

3,362

2,351

1,332

15,626

Total

4,607

7,137

10,169

11,249

11,796

8,374

4,973

58,305

Non Home Office force recruits trained for service inside England and Wales

Total

73

109

101

119

183

311

264

1,160

Non Home Office force recruits trained for service outside England and Wales (Channel Islands)

Total

53

46

48

29

26

21

19

242

1 Excludes Metropolitan police force, British Transport police, NCS/NSPIS, Channel Island police and non-Home Office police forces

2 This figure includes transferees from other forces who underwent residential training

Reoffenders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many persistent and prolific offenders have been identified in each police force area in each of the last three years for which figures are available. (176119)

Data from the performance management arrangements for the prolific and other priority offender programme (JTrack) provides the number of such offenders identified through partnership arrangements in each police force area. The data are provided in the following table. The data cover the two calendar years 2005 and 2006. Figures for the calendar year 2007 are not yet available for publication.

Sum of prolific and priority offenders

Police force area

At December 2005

At December 2006

Avon and Somerset

239

245

Bedfordshire

123

139

Cambridgeshire

93

110

Cheshire

182

180

City of London

5

12

Cleveland

127

145

Cumbria

66

70

Derbyshire

368

373

Devon and Cornwall

395

365

Dorset

208

208

Durham

61

58

Dyfed Powys

93

82

Essex

258

235

Gloucestershire

100

106

Greater Manchester

739

846

Gwent

79

85

Hampshire

209

274

Hertfordshire

247

149

Humberside

181

214

Kent

334

261

Lancashire

424

367

Leicestershire

330

353

Lincolnshire

155

232

Merseyside

410

445

Metropolitan police

1,080

1,185

Norfolk

131

110

North Wales

159

120

North Yorkshire

56

89

Northamptonshire

195

229

Northumbria

208

236

Nottinghamshire

505

558

South Wales

190

204

South Yorkshire

249

252

Staffordshire

157

252

Suffolk

173

173

Surrey

151

191

Sussex

320

320

Thames Valley

326

351

Warwickshire

74

88

West Mercia

155

120

West Midlands

714

768

West Yorkshire

284

243

Wiltshire

81

73

All forces

10,634

11,116

Notes: 1. Figures represent those PPOs in each area who were known to be members of schemes in December of the year concerned, based on JTrack data. 2. If a PPO belonged to more than one scheme during the December of the year concerned then they would be counted more than once.

Work and Pensions

Departmental Freedom of Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of Freedom of Information requests received by his Department have given rise to responses that have been published by his Department. (180214)

This Department has adopted a selective disclosure log whereby only the most interesting and high profile pieces of information released in response to Freedom of Information requests are published. In 2005 and 2006 around 1 per cent. of such responses were published on the Department’s web-based Freedom of Information disclosure log. The Department does however routinely publish large amounts of information on its website including policy documents and research, analysis and statistics.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of posts in his Department have been re-categorised from back office to frontline posts as classified by the Gershon efficiency review in each year since 2004. (172264)

The Department for Work and Pensions’ target for spending review 2004 is that 10,000 posts will be redeployed from back office to front line posts by March 2008. By March 2007 10,228 posts had been redeployed to the front line. The following table shows the breakdown by year:

By March:

Number of posts redeployed

Proportion of total headcount redeployed (percentage)

2005

1,607

1.3

2006

6,667

5.8

2007

10,228

9.4

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether any of his Department’s special advisers also work for organisations outside his Department. (178474)

Special advisers are appointed under terms and conditions set out in the Model Contract and Code of Conduct for Special Advisers, copies of which are in the Library of the House.

Housing Benefit: Havering

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people were in receipt of local housing allowance in Havering on the most recent date for which figures are available. (181656)

Nobody is being paid local housing allowance in the London borough of Havering; it has not yet been rolled-out to that borough.

Local housing allowance will roll-out nationally for all new claims in the deregulated private rented sector from 7 April 2008.

Incapacity Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when his Department will pay the award of current incapacity benefit and arrears from 3 April due to Mr. Hudspith of Christchurch following the decision of the Appeal Tribunal (Ref. 185/07/00866) on 14 November 2007; and what the reasons are for the time taken to make the payment. (173856)

[holding answer 13 December 2007]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. Details of benefit claims are confidential so she will write to the hon. Member directly on the matter in question.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 25 January 2008:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking when the award of incapacity benefit arrears due to Mr Hudspith of Christchurch following the decision of the Appeal Tribunal (Ref. 85/07/00866) on 14 November and what the reasons are for the time taken to make the payment. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Details of benefit claims are confidential and I will write to you directly on the matter in question.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when the claim for incapacity benefit by Mr. Bernard Pierce of Verwood, Dorset will be determined; and what the reason is for the time taken. (181135)

[holding answer 22 January 2008]: The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Lesley Strathie. I have asked her to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Lesley Strathie, dated 25 January 2008:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking when the claim for incapacity benefit by Mr. Bernard Pierce of Verwood Dorset will be determined and what the reason is for the time taken. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Details of benefit claims are confidential and I will write to you directly on the matter in question.

New Deal Schemes

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to his answer of 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 467W, on new deal schemes, what employment-related schemes his Department provides for non-EU citizens. (177735)

All employment-related schemes are available to non-EU citizens subject to the participant meeting the eligibility criteria of the programme. For the new deals, this usually involves being in receipt of a qualifying benefit.

Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that those eligible for having pensions restored following the collapse of company schemes are aware of their entitlement. (179725)

There are two methods by which those who have lost their pensions might receive restoration of up to 90 per cent. of their loss. These are the Pensions Protection Fund (PPF) and the Financial Assistance Scheme (FAS).

Scheme trustees are responsible for informing scheme members where an approach to the PPF or the FAS is necessary. Both FAS and the PPF provide assistance to trustees with member communications. Both also have websites where scheme details are displayed.

The FAS Operational Unit (FAS OU) which is administered by the Department, contacts individual members once a scheme has been assessed and the trustees have provided the necessary information. Eligible scheme members receive a form and an explanatory leaflet about FAS. The FAS OU may also contact some members by telephone—for example where forms have not been returned and people might be missing out on assistance.

Following the Secretary of State’s announcement on 17 December extending FAS assistance, the Department has embarked on a programme of communication with trustees, is in the process of restructuring the FAS website, and updates the media regularly on progress.

Personal Accounts: Advisory Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department has taken to establish a strategy for providing advice and information on personal accounts. (178292)

Information about personal accounts will be provided, as with other pension schemes, by the scheme itself. We are also considering what general information will be needed by all those auto-enrolled, whether into personal accounts or another pension scheme.

We already produce information on retirement planning, alongside a number of other organisations, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Pensions Advisory Service and the Financial Services Authority. We have a programme of research underway, the results of which will be published, to establish what more might be needed.

The Thoresen Review, and the Government’s action plan on financial capability, will assess the need to add to the services on offer. We will work with these and other organisations to ensure that a range of information and help is available to those who are making decisions about their retirement.

Social Security Benefits: Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) how many benefits claimants were prosecuted for fraudulently claiming an amount (a) less and (b) more than £103,000 in each year since 1997; (181386)

(2) how many benefits claimants were imprisoned for fraudulently claiming an amount (a) less and (b) more than £103,000 in each year since 1997.

The information is not available in the format requested as it is not centrally collated.

The Department does hold figures for the total number of prosecutions and the total number of people imprisoned, but these are not centrally available broken down by the amount of the overpayment and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Unemployment Benefits: Peterborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many children in Peterborough constituency were living in a household in receipt of at least one out-of-work benefit in each year since 1997. (181556)

Information is not available prior to 2004. The available information is in the following table.

Children under 16 years of age living in households in receipt of out-of-work benefits in the Peterborough parliamentary constituency; as at April each year

Number

2004

5,910

2005

5,640

2006

5,415

2007

5,470

Notes:

1. All figures supplied have been rounded to the nearest 10.

2. All data represent a snapshot in time of claimants on the computer system, and will therefore exclude a very small number of cases that are held clerically.

3. Data represent children dependent on a parent or guardian who is claiming one or more of incapacity benefit, severe disablement allowance, jobseeker’s allowance, income support or pension credit.

4. Due to the introduction of child tax credits in April 2003, information on child dependents are not reliably completed on the benefit computer system, therefore children’s data has been merged onto IS/JSA/IB/SDA/PC claims from child benefit records with permission from HMRC.

Source:

DWP Information Directorate

Written Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) when he expects to answer question 162357, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November 2007, on incapacity benefit claimants. (171135)

(2) when he expects to answer question 162358, tabled by the hon. Member for Hertsmere on 6 November, on incapacity benefit.

I replied to the hon. Member’s questions on 6 December 2007, Official Report, column 1505W.

Women and Equality

Females: Prisoners

To ask the Minister for Women what steps the Government has taken to reduce the number of women in prison since 1997. (164686)

[holding answer 19 November 2007]: The Government launched the Women’s Offending Reduction Programme (WORP) in March 2004 to tackle women’s offending and to reduce the number of women in prison. This multi-agency strategic programme of work aims to provide a more appropriate response in the community to the particular factors that lead to women offending.

In March 2005, the Government allocated £9.15 million to help support a more local response to women’s offending and to establish new initiatives to tackle women’s offending in the community—the Together Women Programme. This is the first time that the Government have dedicated funds specifically to tackling women’s offending and to exploring how alternatives approaches to custody could work effectively for women.

The Together Women Programme is being delivered over four years through demonstration projects in two regional offender manager regions—Yorkshire and Humberside and the North West. Centres are located in Doncaster, Leeds and Bradford (YH) and Liverpool and Salford (NW). The centres provide a one-stop shop where women from the local community can access appropriate services and interventions such as mental, physical and sexual health, drug misuse, physical and sexual abuse, housing advice and debt and benefits service.

On 6 December 2007, the Government published its response to Baroness Corston’s Review of Women with Particular Vulnerabilities in the Criminal Justice System. This sets out our commitment to build on the work already under way to meet the needs of women offenders and those at risk of offending in the community in order to divert women from custody.

Members’ Correspondence

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many letters her Office and its predecessors received from hon. Members and Peers in each session of Parliament since 1997. (174926)

The Cabinet Office, on an annual basis, publishes a report to Parliament on the performance of Departments in replying to Members/peers correspondence. Information relating to 2007 will be published as soon as it has been collated. The report for 2006 was published on 28 March 2007, Official Report, columns 101-04WS. Reports for earlier years are available in the Library of the House.

Trade Unions

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what meetings she has had with officials of trades unions since 1 July 2007; and what the date and union or unions involved were in each case. (181011)

Ministers meet many people as part of the process of policy development and advice. It is not normal practice to disclose details of such meetings.

Electoral Commission Committee

Departmental ICT

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission how many (a) male and (b) female members of staff of the Electoral Commission were issued with personal digital assistants in each year since 2001; and if he will make a statement. (181349)

The Electoral Commission informs me that 23 male and 23 female members of staff have been issued with personal digital assistants since 2006, which was the first year such devices were used.

These figures are broken down as follows:

Male

Female

2006

6

3

2007

17

19

2008

0

1

Total

23

23

Departmental Travel

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission how much the Electoral Commission spent on travel (a) within and (b) outside the UK for officials in each year since it was established; and what percentage of the Commission’s overall expenditure was spent on such travel in each such year. (181539)

The Electoral Commission informs me that it only holds information on travel expenditure dating back to the financial year 2003-04. This information is set out in the following table.

April to December 2007

2006-07

2005-06

2004-05

2003-04

Local travel costs (£)

186,957

227,147

202,337

266,574

269,480

Overseas travel costs (£)

18,092

5,055

13,931

39,227

32,693

Local travel (Percentage total expenditure)

1.25

1.02

0.92

1.07

1.36

Overseas travel (Percentage total Expenditure)

0.12

0.02

0.06

0.16

0.16

These figures include travel costs for both staff and Commissioners.

Departmental Visits Abroad

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission how many overseas visits were made by staff of the Electoral Commission in each year since it was established; which countries were visited; and what the cost of the visits was in each year. (181459)

The Electoral Commission informs me that the costs associated with international visits by staff are only available from 2003 onwards. No visits have taken place in 2008. The information requested is set out in the following table.

Number of Visits1

Country visited

Cost (£)

2001

7

Australia

Canada

Croatia

New Zealand

Republic of Ireland

Spain

Sweden

2002

9

Kosovo (Election Observation)

Mauritius

Poland

Republic of Ireland

Russia

Spain

Sweden

2003

17

Antigua and Barbuda (Election Observation)

28,773.27

Armenia (Election Observation)

Australia

Belgium

Canada

Germany

India

Mexico

Poland (Referendum Observation)

Serbia and Montenegro (Election Observation)

Sweden (Referendum Observation)

Switzerland

Ukraine (Election Observation)

USA

Zanzibar (Election Observation)

2004

22

Albania

41,943.79

Australia (Election Observation)

Austria

Belgium (Election Observation)

Canada (Election Observation)

Chile

Cyprus (Election Observation)

Georgia (Election Observation)

Germany (Election Observation)

Italy (Election Observation)

Latvia (Election Observation)

Malta (Election Observation)

Netherlands (Election Observation)

Poland (Election Observation)

Republic of Ireland (Election Observation)

Spain (Election Observation)

Sweden (Election Observation)

USA

2005

13

Austria

14,361.92

Canada (Referendum Observation)

France

Hungary

India

Mexico

Poland

Russia

Spain (Referendum Observation)

USA

2006

4

Canada (Election Observation)

3,892.68

Latvia

Poland

2007

9

Canada

12,159.04

Poland

Republic of Ireland

Russia

South Africa

Sweden

Switzerland (Election Observation)

USA

1 Some countries were visited more than once in any given year.

Political Parties: Donations

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission (1) how many donations by registered political parties to regulated donees were recorded by the Electoral Commission in each year since 2000; (181777)

(2) how many individual donations to regulated donees by registered political parties were registered by individual regulated donees in each year since 2000.

The Electoral Commission informs me that it records donations to regulated donees in its register, available on its website. The register indicates that the number of donations reported by regulated donees from political parties were as follows each year since reporting began in 2001:

Cash donations

Non-cash donations

Overseas visits provided

2001

0

0

0

2002

0

1

0

2003

0

3

0

2004

0

3

0

2005

1

3

0

2006

0

0

1

2007

1

2

0

2008 (to date)

0

0

0

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission what steps the Electoral Commission takes when a regulated donee does not register a donation made to him or her by a registered political party at the request of a donor. (181779)

The Electoral Commission informs me that when it has reason to suspect that a donation to a regulated donee may not have been correctly reported under the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000, the Commission may make enquiries to establish whether statutory reporting obligations have been met. If the enquiries suggest a breach of the requirements, the Commission may decide to refer the matter to the police and/or to the relevant prosecuting authority, as appropriate. The Commission may also issue further advice and guidance.

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission how the Electoral Commission monitors compliance with the requirement by registered political parties to advise regulated donees to register donations passed to them at the request of donors. (181780)

The Electoral Commission informs me that there is no requirement that a political party advise regulated donees to report donations.

However, the Commission works closely with regulated organisations and individuals to ensure that they are aware of the rules. The Commission publishes guidance, runs training sessions and responds to requests for advice.

Political Parties: Finance

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission what research the Electoral Commission has conducted on spending by local party associations under £25,000 a year; and what accounts of associations have been collected as part of that research. (181313)

The Electoral Commission informs me that, in 2004 and in 2007, it canvassed all registered accounting units to inquire as to whether their total income or gross expenditure was greater than £25,000 for the prior financial year. Those that were under this threshold were asked to confirm so in writing.

The purpose of the exercise was to confirm which accounting units should be submitting accounts to the Commission and which should not. The Commission has conducted no research into spending by those associations under the threshold.

In the course of each canvass, some associations under the threshold provided sets of accounts to the Commission. These were not requested and the Commission has no plans to undertake research into them.

Prime Minister

China

To ask the Prime Minister (1) whether he plans to discuss the human rights situation in Tibet on his forthcoming visit to China; (180054)

(2) whether he plans to raise the issue of the human rights situation in Burma with Chinese officials on his forthcoming visit to China;

(3) whether he plans to discuss China’s use of the death penalty with Chinese officials on his forthcoming visit to China.

To ask the Prime Minister whether he discussed (a) the Chinese One Child Policy and (b) forced abortion with the authorities during his visit to China; and if he will make a statement. (182896)

I discussed a wide range of issues on my visit to China. I refer the hon. Members to the press conference I held with Premier Wen of China in Beijing on 18 January 2008. A transcript of this is available on the No. 10 website:

http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page14307.asp

and a copy has been placed in the Library of the House.

Departmental Correspondence

To ask the Prime Minister when he will reply to the letter from the President of the European Parliament of 5 December 2007, on the report by the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry in the crisis of the Equitable Life Assurance Society. (182432)

Official Visits: English Heritage

To ask the Prime Minister how many official visits he has made to English Heritage sites since taking office. (181950)

A list of my UK visits will be published in the usual way following the end of the financial year. My visits cover a range of matters and details of them can be found on the No. 10 website.

Justice

Driving Under Influence: Prosecutions

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prosecutions for drink driving offences were pursued against (a) males and (b) females in each criminal justice area in each of the last 10 years; and how many resulted in conviction. (180411)

Available information held on prosecutions and resultant convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol or taking drugs from 1996 to 2005 (latest available) are provided in the following tables. 2006 data will be available later this year.

The data provided cover both drink and drugs offences combined, as they cannot reliably be distinguished separately.

Table A: Proceedings at magistrates courts for offences of driving etc. after consuming alcohol or taking drug1, 2 by gender and police force area, England and Wales, 1996 to 2005

Number of offences

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

Police force area

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Avon and Somerset

2,574

225

2,836

278

2,574

258

2,690

281

2,427

292

Bedfordshire

1,102

94

1,235

88

1,064

103

879

82

802

82

Cambridgeshire

951

90

1,078

98

1,038

107

915

107

794

88

Cheshire

1,984

244

1,945

220

1,864

230

1,773

229

1,681

218

Cleveland

952

77

943

86

864

83

832

80

779

79

Cumbria

935

84

915

101

845

82

825

100

779

95

Derbyshire

1,645

152

1,684

169

1,558

137

1,481

132

1,441

158

Devon and Cornwall

2,179

227

2,375

262

2,277

254

2,248

259

2,135

286

Dorset

1,214

141

1,223

132

1,172

138

1,091

132

1,083

161

Durham

1,039

100

1,067

73

1,014

120

1,121

130

1,108

110

Essex

2,608

260

2,760

261

2,535

241

2,566

269

2,468

234

Gloucestershire

958

110

1,070

100

954

125

865

106

790

101

Greater Manchester

5,153

415

4,830

405

4,652

465

4,787

467

4,707

479

Hampshire

3,520

353

3,683

416

3,530

390

3,659

403

3,398

414

Hertfordshire

1,454

144

1,693

151

1,665

169

1,678

149

1,500

191

Humberside

1,363

120

1,301

110

1,355

118

1,306

104

1,314

154

Kent

2,638

177

2,364

170

2,624

229

2,606

245

2,559

248

Lancashire

3,178

330

3,334

350

2,831

373

2,893

397

2,550

329

Leicestershire

1,551

112

1,662

120

1,499

116

1,652

126

1,511

140

Lincolnshire

838

71

1,102

104

973

101

930

101

834

77

London, City of

451

53

413

50

303

35

231

28

179

14

Merseyside

2,942

240

2,864

251

2,493

267

2,172

197

2,301

214

Metropolitan Police

16,588

1,453

17,428

1,561

15,026

1,409

13,391

1,329

12,923

1,243

Norfolk

980

95

1,078

96

1,082

115

959

111

913

101

Northamptonshire

984

72

1,155

93

1,117

113

1,110

118

813

85

Northumbria

2,625

166

2,757

216

2,526

260

2,533

260

2,691

267

North Yorkshire

1,335

123

1,316

165

1,194

125

1,091

138

1,026

134

Nottinghamshire

1,986

162

2,081

189

1,856

157

1,850

176

1,734

181

South Yorkshire

2,209

151

2,403

178

1,996

192

1,911

165

2,125

197

Staffordshire

1,939

151

2,092

210

1,944

219

1,709

176

1,825

185

Suffolk

1,054

117

1,037

119

1,021

125

1,044

143

891

111

Surrey

1,358

151

1,367

145

1,286

169

1,350

188

1,516

213

Sussex

2,207

251

2,366

292

2,117

227

2,170

270

2,091

236

Thames Valley

4,144

357

4,172

394

3,955

399

3,818

374

3,489

432

Warwickshire

917

82

815

92

767

88

832

95

777

78

West Mercia

1,947

147

1,970

125

1,809

137

1,707

160

1,587

154

West Midlands

6,271

365

6,761

427

5,938

410

5,129

341

4,766

446

West Yorkshire

4,336

303

4,089

305

3,759

341

3,708

310

3,454

344

Wiltshire

971

98

1,004

114

1,094

90

954

113

876

121

England

93,080

8,063

96,268

8,716

88,171

8,717

84,466

8,591

80,637

8,692

Dyfed Powys

980

115

1,046

117

985

117

936

111

890

95

Gwent

1,016

86

1,146

122

1,211

125

1,119

107

1,209

132

North Wales

1,336

152

1,347

149

1,258

152

1,184

163

1,279

151

South Wales

2,867

231

2,972

267

3,014

295

2,543

280

2,763

312

Wales

6,199

584

6,511

655

6,468

689

5,782

661

6,141

690

England and Wales

99,279

8,647

102,779

9,371

94,639

9,406

90,248

9,252

86,778

9,382

Number of offences

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Police force area

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Avon and Somerset

2,147

256

2,332

293

2,646

333

2,567

384

2,486

387

Bedfordshire

925

88

959

110

1,068

129

1,019

101

1,069

101

Cambridgeshire

800

80

827

100

905

114

1,029

130

1,154

135

Cheshire

1,560

193

2,114

318

1,862

304

2,234

340

1,637

266

Cleveland

890

83

916

96

1,021

115

1,064

119

915

122

Cumbria

720

90

734

98

798

117

865

97

778

145

Derbyshire

1,470

142

1,451

163

1,589

189

1,824

218

1,552

212

Devon and Cornwall

2,317

277

2,389

286

2,574

380

2,429

363

2,295

344

Dorset

1,130

154

1,162

185

1,217

167

1,197

169

1,125

174

Durham

1,054

127

1,101

146

1,150

128

1,188

150

1,070

179

Essex

2,435

282

2,506

294

2,548

299

2,734

376

2,444

381

Gloucestershire

842

108

912

113

866

131

856

139

809

128

Greater Manchester

4,732

503

4,607

512

4,615

578

4,636

559

4,426

590

Hampshire

3,436

384

3,766

474

3,590

451

3,642

479

3,202

497

Hertfordshire

1,621

205

1,826

252

1,852

280

1,834

259

1,780

271

Humberside

1,213

142

1,418

138

1,481

130

1,596

156

1,545

162

Kent

2,571

290

2,686

338

2,802

295

2,928

323

2,798

349

Lancashire

2,256

314

2,545

383

2,668

346

2,634

385

2,623

372

Leicestershire

1,591

139

1,648

169

1,683

187

1,681

187

1,592

185

Lincolnshire

901

90

841

76

1,110

123

1,133

165

1,132

162

London, City of

162

20

229

31

226

22

186

18

196

15

Merseyside

2,299

214

2,287

264

2,748

329

2,874

357

2,932

363

Metropolitan Police

12,549

1,196

14,103

1,390

13,911

1,365

14,089

1,518

13,631

1,410

Norfolk

1,158

135

1,180

175

1,291

143

1,205

169

1,210

169

Northamptonshire

429

35

226

27

793

89

897

103

851

129

Northumbria

2,590

260

2,598

323

2,759

357

2,635

386

2,519

336

North Yorkshire

1,014

144

1,068

139

1,153

172

1,073

152

1,172

180

Nottinghamshire

1,609

177

1,489

127

1,663

187

1,623

205

1,602

199

South Yorkshire

2,039

192

1,954

211

2,133

264

2,227

247

2,203

227

Staffordshire

1,506

167

1,639

231

1,682

217

1,690

251

1,662

257

Suffolk

935

114

1,102

135

1,204

174

1,325

172

1,069

141

Surrey

1,774

281

1,618

232

1,405

210

1,371

200

1,375

242

Sussex

2,352

283

2,268

266

2,357

290

2,182

355

2,195

325

Thames Valley

3,305

376

4,291

512

3,831

481

3,455

451

3,357

450

Warwickshire

844

111

821

94

880

106

814

88

803

114

West Mercia

1,691

183

1,655

223

1,758

213

1,627

186

1,881

156

West Midlands

5,173

431

5,410

448

5,517

476

5,731

597

5,674

575

West Yorkshire

3,419

320

3,772

353

3,813

357

3,900

371

3,876

383

Wiltshire

1,001

126

971

129

958

147

998

131

977

137

England

80,460

8,712

85,421

9,854

88,127

10,395

88,992

11,056

85,617

10,970

Dyfed Powys

856

117

937

132

994

138

949

152

902

143

Gwent

1,142

155

1,059

116

1,174

147

1,149

162

1,057

199

North Wales

1,230

136

1,249

166

1,303

168

1,301

170

1,273

186

South Wales

2,847

328

2,748

350

2,838

388

2,788

372

2,743

392

Wales

6,075

736

5,993

764

6,309

841

6,187

856

5,975

920

England and Wales

86,535

9,448

91,414

10,618

94,436

11,236

95,179

11,912

91,592

11,890

Table B: Findings of guilt at all courts for offences of driving etc. after consuming alcohol or taking drugs1, 2 by gender and police force area, England and Wales, 1996 to 2005

Number of offences

1996

1997

1998

1999

2000

Police force area

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Avon and Somerset

2,309

203

2,557

255

2,332

234

2,476

252

2,197

265

Bedfordshire

1,011

82

1,063

83

969

91

798

71

722

75

Cambridgeshire

867

84

1,005

88

962

98

844

97

713

80

Cheshire

1,807

227

1,762

207

1,694

209

1,612

215

1,460

192

Cleveland

830

72

847

79

790

80

734

77

706

71

Cumbria

854

73

838

92

779

77

772

99

717

89

Derbyshire

1,460

135

1,472

141

1,420

127

1,346

117

1,272

145

Devon and Cornwall

1,943

201

2,113

229

2,036

229

2,044

233

1,941

258

Dorset

1,064

126

1,097

117

1,056

130

1,002

118

967

148

Durham

943

93

976

68

924

111

1,012

125

1,020

104

Essex

2,323

232

2,505

231

2,223

215

2,289

239

2,244

218

Gloucestershire

876

103

973

95

873

112

792

97

710

94

Greater Manchester

4,711

374

4,433

373

4,293

422

4,412

438

4,358

443

Hampshire

3,230

326

3,390

384

3,237

360

3,355

370

3,085

387

Hertfordshire

1,294

127

1,529

141

1,517

154

1,534

145

1,374

178

Humberside

1,241

112

1,173

101

1,248

110

1,227

96

1,220

151

Kent

2,409

167

2,168

154

2,411

216

2,408

225

2,360

232

Lancashire

2,896

315

3,071

318

2,604

341

2,641

369

2,288

296

Leicestershire

1,380

98

1,536

112

1,376

109

1,507

117

1,404

127

Lincolnshire

771

68

991

97

886

93

852

89

746

70

London, City of

413

51

388

48

269

32

213

23

151

11

Merseyside

2,537

208

2,492

229

2,214

237

1,957

180

1,945

183

Metropolitan Police

13,784

1,231

14,811

1,344

12,663

1,225

11,281

1,133

10,754

1,046

Norfolk

926

87

1,026

90

1,014

104

907

103

840

95

Northamptonshire

861

66

1,023

84

963

99

955

103

716

66

Northumbria

2,265

149

2,434

191

2,222

235

2,231

232

2,372

249

North Yorkshire

1,203

108

1,216

149

1,094

111

996

128

943

130

Nottinghamshire

1,786

145

1,869

162

1,658

146

1,637

165

1,553

169

South Yorkshire

1,988

141

2,142

154

1,820

182

1,774

153

1,942

180

Staffordshire

1,722

132

1,857

179

1,763

192

1,553

158

1,731

137

Suffolk

960

106

939

111

931

111

961

128

805

97

Surrey

1,239

137

1,245

135

1,170

158

1,240

177

1,341

198

Sussex

1,975

225

2,109

264

1,910

203

1,978

246

1,886

226

Thames Valley

3,620

322

3,720

352

3,524

371

3,379

346

3,108

388

Warwickshire

833

74

751

85

704

80

765

91

712

74

West Mercia

1,794

137

1,834

115

1,668

126

1,598

149

1,484

147

West Midlands

5,564

314

5,972

382

5,211

371

4,468

307

4,167

392

West Yorkshire

3,834

268

3,663

290

3,365

304

3,321

276

3,069

306

Wiltshire

917

94

934

107

1,022

86

897

112

816

114

England

82,440

7,213

85,924

7,836

78,815

7,891

75,768

7,799

71,839

7,831

Dyfed Powys

890

103

925

104

886

109

842

102

777

81

Gwent

889

77

1,053

113

1,088

115

979

100

1,093

118

North Wales

1,225

138

1,214

140

1,164

142

1,096

152

1,191

142

South Wales

2,512

219

2,661

232

2,651

252

2,270

256

2,472

285

Wales

5,516

537

5,853

589

5,789

618

5,187

610

5,533

626

England and Wales

87,956

7,750

91,777

8,425

84,604

8,509

80,955

8,409

77,372

8,457

Number of offences

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Police force area

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Avon and Somerset

1,964

234

2,135

266

2,366

300

2,344

348

2,243

352

Bedfordshire

837

77

851

104

952

120

932

96

957

93

Cambridgeshire

738

76

761

90

829

104

962

121

1,089

125

Cheshire

1,359

170

1,729

264

1,634

271

1,833

295

1,464

245

Cleveland

814

73

831

90

876

105

960

111

844

115

Cumbria

673

88

676

92

735

108

813

94

721

132

Derbyshire

1,290

121

1,318

147

1,449

168

1,672

202

1,451

194

Devon and Cornwall

2,119

250

2,180

261

2,313

354

2,242

318

2,127

319

Dorset

1,020

131

1,028

171

1,110

154

1,087

152

1,048

159

Durham

982

115

1,002

134

1,049

121

1,134

143

1,002

166

Essex

2,199

257

2,253

269

2,352

270

2,505

348

2,211

338

Gloucestershire

764

101

826

100

772

118

782

131

720

114

Greater Manchester

4,257

458

4,245

475

4,206

537

4,284

527

4,095

558

Hampshire

3,105

359

3,422

424

3,249

414

3,302

441

2,910

462

Hertfordshire

1,475

191

1,661

233

1,657

246

1,634

247

1,589

247

Humberside

1,127

132

1,270

125

1,327

118

1,476

147

1,448

144

Kent

2,315

260

2,433

311

2,535

276

2,710

300

2,593

314

Lancashire

2,020

284

2,258

341

2,336

316

2,360

346

2,382

341

Leicestershire

1,416

130

1,504

155

1,557

168

1,578

176

1,460

171

Lincolnshire

792

85

773

74

999

112

1,057

152

1,027

149

London, City of

144

18

191

30

208

22

151

18

173

11

Merseyside

2,011

184

2,056

237

2,395

292

2,518

331

2,634

330

Metropolitan Police

10,265

989

11,746

1,160

11,486

1,135

11,932

1,295

11,658

1,229

Norfolk

1,027

116

1,067

153

1,146

128

1,086

154

1,115

150

Northamptonshire

370

29

209

27

714

85

825

97

740

113

Northumbria

2,295

235

2,302

286

2,424

323

2,338

337

2,263

298

North Yorkshire

937

129

990

129

1,037

157

988

143

1,073

171

Nottinghamshire

1,441

157

1,305

114

1,476

168

1,479

190

1,445

181

South Yorkshire

1,845

176

1,756

189

1,856

233

2,010

214

2,013

207

Staffordshire

1,359

154

1,489

215

1,539

194

1,508

225

1,490

228

Suffolk

821

99

986

119

1,061

152

1,176

156

974

129

Surrey

1,384

208

1,408

206

1,270

194

1,245

180

1,272

231

Sussex

2,091

267

2,061

245

2,162

268

2,032

336

2,074

305

Thames Valley

2,934

341

3,841

476

3,448

436

3,136

403

3,059

415

Warwickshire

776

104

754

87

824

94

764

81

762

109

West Mercia

1,574

166

1,515

204

1,600

197

1,518

171

1,773

144

West Midlands

4,526

389

4,655

395

4,799

434

5,067

517

5,160

533

West Yorkshire

2,936

284

3,259

304

3,397

323

3,558

339

3,513

350

Wiltshire

929

116

881

124

894

137

908

116

907

131

England

70,931

7,753

75,627

8,826

78,039

9,352

79,906

9,998

77,479

10,003

Dyfed Powys

767

100

815

112

874

121

853

133

806

126

Gwent

1,019

133

971

103

1,014

135

1,039

149

945

184

North Wales

1,099

128

1,121

149

1,169

157

1,193

156

1,194

170

South Wales

2,525

287

2,439

322

2,493

347

2,482

329

2,445

366

Wales

5,410

648

5,346

686

5,550

760

5,567

767

5,390

846

England and Wales

76,341

8,401

80,973

9,512

83,589

10,112

85,473

10,765

82,869

10,849

1 Offences of aiding, abetting, causing or permitting driving etc. after consuming alcohol or taking drugs under the Road Traffic Act 1988 s4(1), 4(2), 5(1)(a), 5(1)(b), 6(4), 7(6), 7A (as added by Police Reform Act 2002 s56); and Transport & Works Act 1992 s31A (as added by Police Reform Act 2002 s52).

2 Data covers summary offences of driving etc. after consuming alcohol or taking drugs (which cannot reliably be distinguished).

Notes:

1. It is known that for some police force areas, the reporting of court proceedings, in particular those relating to summary motoring offences, may be less than complete.

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

Rape: Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many offenders convicted of rape were given indeterminate sentences for public protection in each of the last three years for which information is available. (179910)

A research study into prisoners received into prisons in England and Wales under indeterminate sentences for public protection (IPP) between April 2005 and March 2006 found that 46 IPPs had been given for rape or attempted rape. This research study involved confirming individual case details with prisons and has not been repeated. However, data held in administrative IT systems suggest the number of IPPs given for rape or attempted rape was around 170 in the year from April 2006 to March 2007, and around 140 from April 2007 to November 2007 (the most recent data available).

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

High Sheriffs

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will list those counties in which the names on the most recent list of nominations for the position of High Sheriff were chosen (a) following open advertisement and (b) by a selection committee or board where membership is published. (170231)

None of the names on the most recent list of nominations for the position of High Sheriff were chosen following open advertisement, or by a selection committee or board, where membership is published. The arrangements for seeking nominees are a matter for individual counties. It is the responsibility of High Sheriffs in office to provide the names of people suitable to serve in the future. With the help of local selection panels, they should cast the net as widely as possible and consider candidates from a wide variety of backgrounds.

Health

Childbirth: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many babies were born at (a) Barnet, (b) Royal Free and (c) Edgware hospitals in (i) each of the last three years and (ii) 2007-08 to date; in each hospital how many pregnancies resulted in complications; how many Caesarean sections were performed in each hospital; and if he will make a statement. (178077)

The information requested can be found in the following tables. However, the latest figures for birth rates at each hospital are only available to 2006-07.

Table 1: Count of finished consultant delivery episodes and total caesarean deliveries for Royal Free Hampstead national health service trust, Barnet hospital and Edgware hospital for 2006-07, 2005-06 and 2004-05. NHS hospitals England and activity performed in the independent sector in England commissioned by English NHS

Royal Free Hampstead NHS trust (RAL)

Barnet hospital (RVL01)

Edgware hospital (RVL07)1

Total finished consultant delivery episodes

Total caesarian deliveries

Total finished consultant delivery episodes

Total caesarian deliveries

Total finished consultant delivery episodes

Total caesarian deliveries

2006-07

3,227

810

3,651

733

233

6

2005-06

3,217

901

3,131

689

2004-05

3,178

858

3,027

757

1 No data available for this organisation for the periods 2005-06 and 2004-05.

Table 2: Count of finished consultant delivery episodes with complications (see separate diagnosis codes)

Total finished delivery episodes with complications (Diagnosis codes 060 - 075

Royal Free Hampstead NHS trust (RVL01)

Barnet hospital

Edgware hospital (RVL07)1

2006-07

2,159

2,680

153

2005-06

2,284

2,182

2004-05

2,071

2,141

1 No data available for this organisation for the periods 2005-06 and 2004-05.

Notes:

Data Quality

Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS Trusts, and Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) in England. Data is also received from a number of Independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain.

Maternity Coverage and data quality

The maternity tail data coverage is not as complete as the rest of HES data. There are a number of reasons for the coverage and data quality issues such as:

Trusts submitting a significantly higher number of delivery episodes compared to birth episodes

Trusts failing to submit data on the number of birth episodes where they record a high number of delivery episodes

Trusts failing to submit delivery—the reason for this is that approximately 20 trusts have a stand alone maternity system which is not linked to the Patient Administration System

Trusts identifying a high number of maternity beds available, but not recording any information about deliveries or births

Trusts identifying that they have no maternity beds available, but recording a high number of birth and delivery episodes

Some trusts have space in their maternity system to record 9 birth tails, whereas other systems have space for 18. As deliveries, miscarriages and abortions are all recorded in the birth tail, there are cases where 9 tails is not enough to record all of the relevant data

All Diagnoses count of episodes

These figures represent a count of all FCE’s where the diagnosis was mentioned in any of the 14 (7 prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in a HES record.

See table 3 for Diagnosis codes used.

Finished Consultant Episode (FCE)

An FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. Please note that the figures do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one episode of care within the year.

Episode Type:

2 - Deliver/ Event

5 - Other Delivery Event

Ungrossed Data

Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed).

Source:

HES, The Information Centre for health and social care

Table 3

Diagnosis codes

060

Preterm delivery

061

Failed induction of labour

062

Abnormalities of forces of labour

063

Long labour

064

Obstruct labour due malposition and malpresentation of fetus

065

Obstructed labour due to maternal pelvic abnormality

066

Other obstructed labour

067

Labour and delivery comp by intrapartum haemorrh NEC

068

Labour and delivery complicated by fetal stress [distress]

069

Labour and delivery complicated by umbilical cord complications

070

Perinea/ laceration during delivery

071

Other obstetric trauma

072

Postpartum haemorrhage

073

Retained placenta and membranes without haemorrhage

074

Complications of anaesthesia during labour and delivery

075

Other complications of labour and delivery NEC

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much was spent in near cash in 2005-06 for each activity in figure A.2 of his Department’s Annual Report 2007; and what the level of near cash (a) overspend or (b) underspend was in relation to each activity. (178011)

Departmental expenditure limits, including near cash, apply to the aggregate level of departmental expenditure not individual programmes within the overall budget. The near-cash expenditure in 2005-06 for each activity in figure A.2 of the 2007 departmental report is shown in the following table.

Consumption of resources by activity

Near cash outturn 2005-06 (£000)

National health service

72,156

Of which:

Hospital and community health services

68,955

Of which:

Health authorities unified budgets and central allocations and grants to local authorities

68,955

Family health services

2,131

Of which:

General dental services

1,038

General ophthalmic services

358

Pharmaceutical services

1,162

Prescription charges income

-427

Central health and miscellaneous services

793

Of which:

Welfare food departmental expenditure limit

104

European economic area medical costs

343

Other central health and miscellaneous services

346

Departmental administration including agencies

277

Personal social services (PSS)

2,060

Of which:

PSS

181

Local authority social services grants

1,880

Of which:

Training support programme for social services staff

Grants for adults

1,459

Grants for children

91

Human resources development strategy

63

Grants funded form the invest to save fund performance fund

NHS superannuation—England and Wales1

Credit guarantee finance1

NHS annually managed expenditure1

Total Department of health resource budget

74,232

1 This expenditure is outside the Department’s expenditure limit and near cash controls.

Departmental Reorganisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his policy is on the future of the Commercial Directorate of his Department; and by what date he intends to introduce any changes to its structure and responsibilities. (181988)

The Commercial Directorate will continue to play a major role in providing commercial expertise to the Department and in helping build commercial capability across the national health service. It will exercise its role in partnership with strategic health authorities and other NHS organisations.

The Commercial Directorate will be reshaped to ensure it is ready for its future responsibilities. This transition is under way and will continue over the coming months.

Dermatology: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how funding for dermatology services in primary care will change as a result of the recent comprehensive spending review. (181293)

In the 2007 comprehensive spending review the national health service received annual growth in revenue resources of 3.7 per cent., above inflation, increasing total revenue expenditure from £86.8 billion in 2007-08 to £104.8 billion in 2010-11. Of these over 80 per cent. is allocated to primary care trusts to provide them with funding to deliver local and national priorities. It is not possible to provide an estimate of how funding for dermatology services will change as it is for local NHS organisations to commission services to meet their local health needs.

English Language

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has spent on English language classes for staff in the last year for which figures are available. (177484)

We do not hold central records of expenditure on English language classes. A survey to gather relevant information would involve disproportionate costs. Informally, we believe that a survey would identify very little or no expenditure on such classes.

General Practitioners

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures his Department uses to monitor patients’ access to out-of-hours general practitioner services. (180337)

We do not collect this information centrally. Primary care trusts have a responsibility to ensure they provide, or secure provision of a high quality, sustainable service that meets the needs of their local population.

All out-of-hours services must be delivered to the national quality requirements, ensuring patients have access to consistently high quality and responsive care, regardless of where they live. Providers must deliver services that meet the quality requirements, as a contractual obligation. The requirements stipulate that:

patients will be guaranteed a general practitioner consultation—including a home visit if there is a clinical need;

patients are treated by the clinician best equipped to meet their needs in the most appropriate location; and

services will be regularly audited to ensure that patients are receiving quality care.

Health Professions: Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) hospital doctors, (b) nurses, (c) GPs, (d) GP practice nurses, (e) nurse practitioners, (f) modern matrons, (g) community matrons and (h) NHS managers there were in Barnet in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. (177908)

The information requested is held at national health service trust level only.

The table shows the data held for Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust, Barnet primary care trust and the Royal Free Hampstead NHS trust, which serve the Barnet area, and the former Barnet health authority. 1997 data is available only for the Royal Free Hampstead NHS trust, and Barnet health authority. Latest available data is for 2006.

Over 1.33 million people were employed in the NHS in England as at September 2006. Between September 1997 and 2006 the total number of NHS staff increased by over 280,000 (27 per cent.); the number of doctors and hospital dentists employed in the NHS in England increased by 35,993 (40 per cent.) to 125,612; the number of nurses employed in the NHS in England increased by 79,479 (25 per cent.) to 398,335; and the total number of qualified scientific, therapeutic and technical staff employed in the NHS in England increased by 38,200 (40 per cent.) to 134,498.

We are now moving away from year-on-year growth in the NHS workforce to more of a steady state where there is a closer match between demand and supply. The focus now is strengthening frontline capacity through increases in productivity and skill mix. In some cases, productivity gains may mean that fewer staff are needed to deliver the same service outcomes.

All qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff, medical and dental staff1, general practitioners (GPs) (excluding retainers and registrars)2 and practice nurses in each specified organisation as at 30 September each specified year

Number (headcount)

1997

2006

Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS trust specified staff total

3

2,366

All doctors

3

585

Of which:

Medical and dental staff2

3

585

GPs (excluding retainers and registrars)2

3

3

Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff

3

1,692

Of which:

Practice nurses

3

3

Modern matron

3

11

Community matron

3

0

Administrative managers

3

89

Barnet health authority*

GPs (excluding retainers and registrars)2

195

n/a

Practice nurses

135

n/a

Barnet PCT specified staff total

3

711

All doctors

3

246

Of which:

Medical and dental staff1

3

28

GPs (excluding retainers and registrars)2

3

218

Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff

3

389

Of which:

Practice nurses

3

133

Modern matron

3

3

Community matron

3

0

Administrative managers

76

Royal Free Hampstead NHS trust

1,965

2,877

All doctors

462

737

Of which:

Medical and dental staff1

462

737

GPs (excluding retainers and registrars)2

3

3

Qualified nursing, midwifery and health visiting staff

1,402

2,035

Of which:

Practice nurses

3

3

Modern matron

3

10

Community matron

3

0

Administrative managers

101

105

1 Excludes medical hospital practitioners and medical clinical assistants, most of whom are GPs working part time in hospitals. 2 General medical practitioners (excluding retainers and registrars) includes GP Providers and GP Others. 3 Data not available. The numbers of modern matrons were not collected until 2005, and community matrons were not collected until 2006. Note: 1. Due to a high number of organisation mergers in the Barnet area it is impossible to accurately map figures from predecessor to current trust organisation structures to provide data for 1997. The Royal Free Hampstead NHS trust has remained consistent, so figures are included. *The exception is GPs and their staff recorded in the former Barnet health authority in 1997 which is consistent with the current Barnet PCT. In 1997 there were 195 GPs (excluding retainers and registrars) and 135 Practice Nurses in Barnet Health Authority. 2. GP Census does not display nurse practitioners as a separate work area. Source: The Information Centre for health and social care Non-Medical Workforce Census. The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census. The Information Centre for health and social care General and Personal Medical Services Statistics.

Health Services: Thames Gateway

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what administrative arrangements have been put in place at departmental level to co-ordinate the delivery of new health care facilities and resources in the Thames Gateway growth area to meet the demands of new house building within the region. (174219)

The Thames Gateway Cross Government Board, comprising several officials from a number of Government Departments, including the Department, is responsible for the co-ordination of central Government investment in the Thames Gateway growth area, including the provision of health services.

Incontinence

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he intends to make it his policy to consult further before making any final decision upon the details and impact of any revised option for the proposed changes to Part IX of the Drug Tariff when he considers the responses to the consultation Arrangements under Part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliances—and related services—to Primary Care. (181987)

The latest consultation closed on 28 December 2008. Ministers have agreed that the Department can meet with industry and other relevant parties to discuss the best way to conclude this review.

No further decisions have been made.

Meat Products: Origin Marking

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 10 December 2007, Official Report, columns 710-11W, on pork, what minimum level of substantial change is required in order to permit the country in which a pork product was processed to be described as the country of origin on its labelling. (181992)

There is no definition of place of ‘last substantial transformation/change’ in European Union law. However, the Food Standards Agency suggests in its “Guidance on Country of Origin Labelling” that, for example, the transformation of pork into bacon, ham or pies should be regarded as a treatment or process resulting in a substantial change, while simply slicing, cutting and/or packing meat does not amount to such a change.

Mental Health Services: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the budget was for each mental health primary care trust within Greater London in each year since 1997. (178457)

[holding answer 14 January 2008]: The information is not available in the format requested. There are no mental health primary care trusts (PCTs). Furthermore, the Department does not hold information on the budgets of PCTs. However, the following tables shows the net operating costs, which relates to the size of the PCT, of all London PCTs and the spend on secondary mental illness from 2000-01 to 2006-07.

£000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

London PCT

Net Operating costs

Spend on secondary mental illness

Net Operating costs

Spend on secondary mental illness

Net Operating costs

Spend on secondary mental illness

Net Operating costs

Spend on secondary mental illness

Barking and Dagenham PCT

110,618

14,862

146,269

15,408

170,823

23,158

Barnet PCT

249,700

25,809

327,960

28,788

358,235

33,562

Bexley PCT/Care Trust

62,248

4,476

141,028

13,748

190,708

23,122

209,679

20,636

Brent Teaching PCT

297,936

35,832

337,737

39,823

Bromley PCT

214,671

22,692

283,730

28,016

317,805

28,502

Camden PCT

325,834

52,007

314,241

59,411

Chingford, Wanstead and Woodford PCT

91,622

12,275

108,227

13,753

City and Hackney Teaching PCT

188,409

38,125

256,962

43,875

295,976

44,907

Croydon PCT

310,484

31,874

330,656

33,316

Ealing PCT

322,152

89,702

357,416

40,438

Enfield PCT

192,252

21,117

245,943

32,280

281,614

34,892

Greenwich Teaching PCT

195,183

28,125

261,854

48,841

281,191

35,983

Hammersmith and Fulham PCT

208,876

31,172

222,992

28,066

Haringey Teaching PCT

192,093

31,657

255,480

32,656

280,934

76,146

Harrow PCT

184,884

17,592

202,870

22,112

Havering PCT

162,056

19,792

213,658

21,160

251,412

24,534

Hillingdon PCT

173,211

0

189,563

16,073

220,908

20,118

243,802

23,758

Hounslow PCT

222,958

21,514

254,520

22,789

Islington PCT

258,769

51,429

261,761

53,522

Kensington and Chelsea PCT

217,367

31,435

245,191

30,175

Kingston PCT

103,160

11,073

148,481

18,273

160,794

18,459

Lambeth PCT

351,925

72,408

403,207

73,061

Lewisham PCT

284,012

50,618

307,559

53,722

Nelson and West Merton PCT

93,633

0

103,387

11,264

Newham PCT

215,444

22,500

281,592

36,012

312,981

37,503

Redbridge PCT

134,036

20,228

159,537

18,385

227,233

30,083

Richmond and Twickenham PCT

161,896

19,683

184,296

18,459

Southwark PCT

295,368

50,784

315,022

51,359

Sutton and Merton PCT

343,166

37,367

384,936

38,249

Teddington, Twickenham and Hamptons PCT

57,637

7,622

Tower Hamlets PCT

177,331

21,136

246,660

28,864

276,118

28,243

Waltham Forest PCT

257,849

29,153

Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone PCT

138,664

19,100

172,676

20,644

Wandsworth PCT

301,074

37,545

331,813

39,685

Westminster PCT

315,490

91,507

315,363

44,862

£000

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

London PCT

Net Operating costs

Spend on secondary mental illness

Net Operating costs

Spend on secondary mental illness

Net Operating costs

Spend on secondary mental illness

Barking and Dagenham PCT

201,098

27,082

218,854

25,622

227,117

24,222

Barnet PCT

400,164

34,169

425,382

35,379

417,143

36,064

Bexley PCT/Care Trust

235,681

24,203

247,400

26,650

259,522

23,395

Brent Teaching PCT

376,277

51,065

381,484

54,604

429,853

46,782

Bromley PCT

343,334

33,485

372,593

38,206

371,239

39,638

Camden PCT

362,678

57,973

394,966

48,095

372,848

47,091

Chingford, Wanstead and Woodford PCT

City And Hackney Teaching PCT

336,596

51,103

366,008

56,530

366,985

60,109

Croydon PCT

380,122

36,590

405,093

37,166

417,424

50,874

Ealing PCT

408,317

44,454

440,525

58,787

441,886

60,253

Enfield PCT

307,941

41,605

331,714

39,848

358,550

42,333

Greenwich Teaching PCT

307,506

38,131

328,526

47,718

341,711

51,981

Hammersmith and Fulham PCT

232,758

32,546

242,090

34,765

265,818

37,184

Haringey Teaching PCT

318,050

89,057

340,680

55,213

345,851

57,540

Harrow PCT

228,638

27,217

245,102

28,925

246,058

31,856

Havering PCT

279,653

25,652

302,778

27,854

321,874

31,035

Hillingdon PCT

282,354

24,690

322,254

26,529

305,227

24,563

Hounslow PCT

295,683

23,620

283,884

27,767

301,200

29,540

Islington PCT

313,248

57,478

333,447

66,493

341,988

77,725

Kensington and Chelsea PCT

290,956

34,812

305,377

39,082

277,048

40,048

Kingston PCT

187,224

21,693

205,562

22,007

205,200

22,988

Lambeth PCT

467,200

83,655

499,124

94,337

480,619

94,306

Lewisham PCT

352,106

57,968

373,037

65,826

403,457

69,871

Nelson and West Merton PCT

Newham PCT

356,015

41,118

394,628

46,642

417,865

48,789

Redbridge PCT

251,948

33,068

273,348

36,652

280,864

36,705

Richmond and Twickenham PCT

213,348

23,149

225,637

25,206

216,911

25,729

Southwark PCT

366,301

59,770

403,334

62,489

397,637

64,896

Sutton and Merton PCT

420,047

40,157

455,205

43,322

455,702

45,074

Teddington, Twickenham and Hamptons PCT

Tower Hamlets PCT

318,881

36,838

372,777

40,342

347,070

42,610

Waltham Forest PCT

284,825

32,225

305,436

38,599

314,622

40,561

Walthamstow, Leyton and Leytonstone PCT

Wandsworth PCT

366,191

45,736

373,973

48,748

387,068

55,194

Westminster PCT

347,333

48,330

364,076

59,232

355,717

62,855

Notes:

1. Health authorities were responsible for commissioning health care up to 2002-03 therefore figures by PCT are not comparable in these earlier years.

2. Where indicated by ‘—’, the PCT was not in existence in that year.

Source:

Audited summarisation schedules of London PCTs for 2000-01 to 2006-07.

NHS Direct: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 611W, on NHS Direct, what the date was of each quarterly performance review meeting in the past two years; and if he will place copies of the (a) agenda and (b) minutes of such meetings in the Library. (169866)

Performance review meetings were held on:

23 March 2006

18 May 2006

20 June 2006

26 July 2006

31 August 2006

21 September 2006

25 October 2006

29 January 2007

26 April 2007

9 August 2007

1 November 2007.

Making available minutes of performance review meetings could prejudice the Department's ability to performance manage NHS Direct effectively, but copies of agendas for these meetings have been placed in the Library. In future, we will publish agendas and a summary of the minutes on the Department's website.

NHS: Reorganisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the work commissioned by his Department that (a) has been finished and (b) is ongoing on the implications of merging the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission. (182073)

The Department of Health is working closely with the Healthcare Commission, the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission to prepare for the establishment of the Care Quality Commission. As part of this, two pieces of work have been commissioned by the Department:

a scoping study to more clearly understand what information technology work is needed to support the establishment of the Care Quality Commission. This work is finished; and

a study to identify options for the location(s) of headquarter functions of the Care Quality Commission. This work is ongoing.

NHS: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department’s policy is on the use of non-geographic telephone numbers for lines used by members of the public; which of the primary care trusts in England advertise such telephone numbers to the public; and what estimate he has made of the number of calls to these numbers in the last 12 months. (179558)

The provision of telephone services for patients and the public is a matter for the local national health service. The Department did however issue guidance in December 2006 clearly setting out that patients should not be charged more than the equivalent of a local call.

Information on which of the primary care trusts in England advertise non-geographical telephone numbers and how many calls were made to these numbers in the last 12 months is not collected centrally.

Peterborough Primary Care Trust

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to ask the Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation to review the weighted-capitation formula in respect of the allocation to Peterborough primary care trust with reference to the provision of general practitioners; and if he will make a statement. (180416)

The weighted-capitation formula is used to determine primary care trusts’ (PCTs’) target shares of available resources, to enable them to commission similar levels of health services for populations in similar need.

The Advisory Committee on Resource Allocation (ACRA) continually oversees the development of the formula. ACRA’s objective is to ensure equity in resource allocation to all PCTs.

ACRA’s current work programme includes a review of the market forces factor, the need element of the formula and the population base for revenue allocations. ACRA’s current review of the formula will be used to inform revenue allocations post 2008-09.

International Development

International Assistance

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many country governance assessments have been carried out in the last 18 months; and what account has been taken of these assessments in his Department’s (a) development decisions, including budget support decisions and (b) formulation of country and regional development assistance plans. (181742)

DFID Country Offices were provided with guidance about how to undertake Country Governance Analysis (CGAs) in February 2007. Since then, 16 CGAs have been completed. These have been used, alongside other tools such as Drivers of Change Analysis, to inform programming decisions and Country Assistance Plans (CAPs). They are now a mandatory component of all CAPs. We are currently reviewing experience over the past nine months, and plan to update our guidance in April once that review is completed.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for West Worcestershire of 23 November 2007, on funding to support the new AIDS strategy. (182183)

Natural Resources: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many staff in his Department are working on policy on conflict resources. (181746)

The Department for International Development’s work on conflict resources is managed by advisory and administrative staff in both the UK and in our offices overseas where conflict is a significant barrier to development. We also contribute indirectly to conflict policy development managed by the large multi-lateral donor organisations and non governmental organisations.

As an indicator of the numbers involved, we have 110 staff working centrally on conflict and security issues, including specialist advisory staff, plus 165 staff overseas in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

There will also be a number of other not readily identifiable staff working indirectly in support of those mentioned above.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Carbon Sequestration

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform whether carbon capture and storage technology will be made exempt from the Climate Change Levy. (175433)

I have been asked to reply.

The climate change levy is a tax on non-domestic use of energy aimed at promoting energy efficiency. There are currently no commercial-scale power generation plants in the UK which deploy carbon capture and storage, so the issue of liability to pay the levy does not arise.

HMT consulted on the barriers to carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment in 2006 and the Government announced in the Energy Review that the next logical step would be a full-scale demonstration project. A competition to design and build one of the first ever-commercial CCS demonstration projects was launched by the Prime Minister on 19 November. This demonstration will provide the evidence, which will enable us to take informed policy decisions, including on taxation issues.

All taxes and reliefs are kept under review and any changes are announced by the Chancellor as part of the Budget process.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Europe for Citizens

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what elements of the Europe for Citizens programme are operating in the UK. (181085)

I have been asked to reply.

The elements of the Europe for Citizens programme currently operating in the UK include town twinning co-operation projects and structural support for public research and civil society organisations.

Duchy of Lancaster

Labour Party: Marketing

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what permission the (a) Cabinet Office and (b) Office of Public Sector Information have given to the Labour Party to reproduce Crown copyright photographs of the Prime Minister on the Labour Party website; and what payments have been made by the Labour Party to the Exchequer in relation to such photographs in the last 12 months. (171386)

I have been asked to reply.

The majority of Crown copyright material can be re-used without charge under the terms of the online Click-Use Licence. The Labour party has a licence. Charges may be made for re-use of multiple Crown copyright photographs. No payments have been made by the Labour Party in this period.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he (a) last met and (b) next plans to meet the Chairman of the Environment and Energy Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce, United Kingdom to discuss the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. (181138)

The Secretary of State has not met, and has no immediate plans to meet, the Chairman of the Environment and Energy Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce UK, to discuss the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

However, there is a regular formal dialogue between UK Government officials and International Chamber of Commerce members on a range of energy and climate related issues.

Floods: Crosby

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the risk of flooding in Crosby constituency from (a) climate change and (b) river overflow; and what proposals he has considered to tackle such (i) flooding and (ii) flood risk. (181148)

The Environment Agency (North West Central Area) is currently undertaking a study into tidal flood risk in the Crosby constituency as part of their “Tidal Areas Benefiting from Defences” study.

This study is due for completion at the end of March 2008, and will produce a tidal flood outline which takes into account sea level rise due to climate change by the year 2115.

The Environment Agency completed a study of the River Alt taking into consideration fluvial flood risk in 2000. The results of this study are already included in the Environment Agency's Flood Map.

The River Alt and Crossens Catchment Flood Management Plan, which incorporates the Crosby constituency, is currently under development and at the consultation stage.

The Environment Agency is investing approximately £8 million over the next three years in the Crosby constituency, which includes the refurbishment of the Altmouth pumping station, a major and key asset vital to flood protection is this area.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will allocate funding to strengthen the sea defences in Crosby against the increasing number of storm force gales and related flooding. (181175)

A strategic management plan for the coast between Crosby and Formby Point is being developed by Sefton metropolitan borough council with support from the Environment Agency. This plan is considering the most sustainable means of managing the risk posed by coastal erosion and tidal flooding over the next 100 years, incorporating the effects of climate change.

Consultation took place with local communities and interest groups between September and December 2007 and the comments are currently being collated and assessed. The plan will be finalised during the coming year. Any proposals to refurbish, replace or upgrade defences at Crosby will be evaluated further and incorporated into the national prioritised capital works programme based on their relative merits.

Fuel Poverty: Targets

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress his Department has made towards its public service agreement target to eliminate fuel poverty in vulnerable households in England by 2010 in line with the Government’s Fuel Poverty Strategy objective; and if he will make a statement. (181503)

[holding answer 24 January 2008]: We have been successful in reducing fuel poverty between 1996 and 2005 by 3 million vulnerable households across the UK. However, as indicated in our most recent UK Fuel Poverty Strategy fifth annual progress report, available on the website of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, rising energy prices since 2003 have had an impact on households and we estimate that there may still be 1.2 million vulnerable households in fuel poverty in England by 2010.

Game Birds

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 859W, on game birds, what steps are taken by his Department to assess the (a) qualifications and (b) objectivity of those who peer review reports referred to by him in answers to parliamentary questions; what steps were taken to assess the objectivity of Professor Emeritus David Coleman; and if he will make a statement. (181098)

In my answer of 14 January 2008, Official Report, column 859W, on game birds, I confirmed that, in general, scientific data referenced in parliamentary questions are drawn from peer reviewed publications or are reviewed by staff within the Department or statutory advisers. As is usual practice, the peer review was organised by the organisation which funded the report.

New Forest Verderers

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will re-appoint the current Official Verderer; and if he will make a statement. (180918)

The current Official Verderer was appointed in May 2002 and was re-appointed in 2005 for a second term of office, with the expectation that he would serve until 2008.

The Official Verderer wrote to the Office of the Prime Minister in October 2007 placing his office at the disposal of the Crown, and this offer was accepted. The appointment process for a new Official Verderer, which is being administered by the Forestry Commission and which will follow the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies, is now under way.

Rural Areas: Community Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements are being made to ensure the continuity of funding hitherto provided through the Rural Social and Community Programme. (181345)

I was pleased to announce, on 14 December, a new investment of £3.45 million to support the network of rural community councils (RCCs) in England for each of the next three years. This funding will be channelled through Action with Communities in Rural England (ACRE), the lead body for the RCC network. The Government has no plans to continue with other elements of the Rural Social and Community Programme, which was designed to be a two-year investment in building rural community capacity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when the Rural Communities Action Network budget details for Humber and the Wolds Community Council will be announced. (181348)

I refer my right hon. Friend to the answer given on 21 January 2008, Official Report, column 1493W.

Rural Areas: Energy

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps his Department is taking to provide energy efficiency measures suitable for rural consumers in hard to heat homes that do not respond to traditional energy efficiency measures; (180867)

(2) what (a) measures his Department is taking and (b) advice and support is available to encourage rural consumers in hard to heat homes to become more energy efficient.

Details of grants and offers for energy efficiency measures are available, by postcode, on the website of the Energy Saving Trust, which is funded by DEFRA to promote and support energy efficiency in the household sector. The trust’s Innovation Programme has included four projects relating to the use of energy efficiency measures in hard to treat homes.

Rural Areas: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when details of the Rural Housing Challenge Fund will be announced. (181347)

As part of its preparations for the comprehensive spending review (CSR) during the summer of 2007, DEFRA asked the Housing Corporation to provide advice on the feasibility of a potential funding programme to improve the delivery of affordable rural housing at local level. That advice will be carefully considered in decisions about departmental spending priorities over the CSR period. No decisions about the fund have yet been made. We are currently finalising the Department’s overall funding package and an announcement will be made shortly.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Arms Trade: Treaties

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken by the Government to secure agreement to an international legally-binding arms trade treaty. (181727)

The UK is a strong supporter of the UN process towards securing a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made this clear in his recent speech at the Delhi Chamber of Commerce.

In 2006, the UK co-sponsored the original UN Resolution that called for work towards an ATT and which 153 countries voted to adopt. Since then the UK has worked closely with the defence industry and with non-governmental organisations, and has lobbied internationally to attract support for an ATT. Nearly 100 countries, including the UK, have submitted their views on an ATT for publication on the UN website:

http://disarmament.un.org/cab/att/Views_Member_States.html

The UK maintains a dialogue with its international partners to work towards a legally binding global ATT, and will participate in the UN organised Group of Government Experts’ meetings, which start in February to take this process forward.

British Council: Film

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will prevent the closure of the British Council’s dedicated film office until a public consultation has taken place. (180949)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 24 January 2008, Official Report, column 2196W.

Chad: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what shortages of equipment and manpower have been identified for the European Union force for Chad; and if he will make a statement. (180803)

We understand that the minimum requirements for deployment of this force have now been met. The EU General Affairs and External Relations Council is therefore expected to confirm the launch of the force on 28 January, and deployment will be initiated in February. We expect that the force should reach full operating capacity by May.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made in securing the deployment of the European Union force for Chad; and if he will make a statement. (180804)