Skip to main content

Written Answers

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 20 February 2008

Children, Schools and Families

Children: Homicide

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of children who were killed at the hands of parents or carers in the last 12 months. (186824)

I have been asked to reply.

Available data from the Homicide Index relate to offences currently recorded as homicides in England and Wales as at 12 November 2007, and the requested information was published in ‘Homicides, Firearm Offences and Intimate Violence 2006/07’ (Home Office Statistical Bulletin 03/08, page 14 and table 1.04).

During 2006-07 there were 33 homicides recorded where the victim was aged under 16 and the relationship to the principal suspect was ‘son/daughter’ (which includes step- and adoptive-children, and children of the suspect's cohabitant or lover). Cases with a relationship category of ‘carer’ cannot be identified.

Class Sizes

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many children of (a) five, (b) six and (c) seven years of age were taught in classes of more than 30 children in (i) 1997 and (ii) 2007. (187306)

The available information covers pupils at key stage 1 and is given in the table.

Number and percentage of key stage 1 pupils in classes of 31 or more taught by one teacher at maintained primary schools in England

1997

2007

Number of pupils

476,820

23,210

Percentage of all pupils

29.0

1.7

Source:

School Census

Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families when he expects the Implementation Review Unit to report on the work of his Department; and if he will make a statement. (187189)

The Implementation Review Unit issue an Annual Report each year and have done so since they were established in 2003. Their most recent report, for 2007, can be found on their website at:

www.iru.org.uk

Education: Families

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what steps he is taking to encourage schools to provide more opportunities for family learning. (165034)

[holding answer 19 November 2007]: Family learning programmes strengthen families, promote community cohesion and support our commitment to embedding a culture of learning across all levels of society. The wide-ranging consultation on Informal Adult Learning announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, on 15 January, will help ensure that these popular and high quality programmes can be further developed and strengthened to meet the needs of the whole community.

We are working with colleagues in the Department for Children, Schools and Families to enable more adults and children to access extended schools facilities. Schools provide language, literacy and numeracy support as well as other activities that can help engage adults in learning, especially those from marginalised communities and others who need particular help in taking a first step on the progression ladder.

It is for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families to encourage schools to provide more opportunities for family learning, and parents, carers and other adults will benefit from those facilities being made more widely available. The Children's Plan published in December 2007 committed an additional £30 million over the next three years to provide more family learning.

Faith Schools: Islam

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families regarding how many Muslim schools OFSTED has raised concerns with his Department in the last five years. (185398)

Maintained and independent schools, including those designated as Muslim schools, are inspected by OFSTED on a regular basis. There are currently nine Muslim schools open in the maintained sector. Since 2005, when the-three year cycle of inspections was introduced, six have been inspected and all judged by OFSTED to be satisfactory or better in terms of their overall effectiveness. The other three were opened since September 2006 and will be inspected, as usual, in the second year of operation. In the independent sector there are 115 Muslim schools of which 83 have been inspected since 2003, with inspections at a further 18 schools scheduled this school term. The remaining schools were all opened since September 2003 and were inspected against independent schools standards before opening and will be inspected again in due course, as part of the three-year cycle of inspections which OFSTED will commence in the summer term. Inspection reports, which are published on OFSTED's website, provide an overview of provision in all inspected schools, detail of whether or not the statutory standards for independent schools are met where appropriate and include recommendations for improvement.

On one occasion OFSTED referred a specific concern raised with it about a Muslim school to the Department. The case was investigated and found to have no substance.

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what arrangements are in place for the inspection of independent Muslim schools. (185401)

All independent Muslim schools are currently inspected by OFSTED against standards set out in the Education (Independent School Standards) (England) Regulations 2003, as amended. These cover the quality of the curriculum and teaching; the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of pupils; and their health, safety and welfare. Reports of independent school inspections are published on the OFSTED website.

The Bridge Schools' Inspectorate (BSI) has recently been approved in principle to undertake inspection of around 110 independent schools affiliated to the Christian Schools Trust (CST) and the Association of Muslim Schools UK (AMSUK). BSI inspections will assess schools against the same statutory criteria as OFSTED and its inspectors will also assess the religious ethos of CST and AMSUK schools. Any inspection work BSI carries out will be monitored by OFSTED, which will produce a published annual report on its performance.

General Certificate of Secondary Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what percentage of children in schools of fewer than 500 pupils gained five A* to C GCSE grades in the latest period for which figures are available; (188019)

(2) what percentage of children in schools of between 500 and 999 pupils gained five A* to C GCSE grades in the latest period for which figures are available;

(3) what percentage of children in schools of fewer than 1,000 pupils gained five A* to C GCSE grades in the latest period for which figures are available;

(4) what percentage of children gained five A* - C GCSE grades in schools that had (a) up to 1,000, (b) between 1,000 and 1,999 and (c) over 2,000 pupils in 2006-07

The following table provides data on the percentage of pupils achieving five A* to C at GSCE for schools:

(a) With fewer than 500 pupils

(b) Between 500 and 999 pupils

(c) With 1,000 or more pupils

(d) With fewer than 1,000 pupils

Percentage of pupils achieving 5A*-C in GCSE and Equivalents in 2007

Number of pupils1

Number of schools

Percentage of 5A*-C

Fewer than 500

158

49.4

500 to 999

1,391

57.1

1,000 or more fewer than 1,000

1,563

63.8

All Schools2

3,112

61.0

1. Number of day pupils on roll. 2. Includes Maintained Mainstream schools, CTCs and Academies.

General Certificate of Secondary Education: Nottingham

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what percentage of children in Nottingham left school with five A*-C grade GCSEs in (a) 1997 and (b) 2007. (187307)

The available information is given in the following table.

Percentage of 15-year-old pupils achieving 5 A*-C grades, 1997, 1998 and 2007

1997

11998

2007

England2

45.1

46.3

60.8

Nottinghamshire Local Authority (1997)

37.6

n/a

n/a

Nottingham City Local Authority (1998-)

n/a

26.2

53.2

Nottinghamshire Local Authority (1998-)

n/a

42.3

54.6

n/a = not available

1 Due to local government reorganisations, figures have also been given for 1998 to allow comparisons to be made to the latest year.

2 includes all schools, not only those in the maintained sector.

Figures are published annually in the Statistical First Release (SFR) ‘GCSE and Equivalent Examination Results in England’. The latest figures, for 2007, are available at:

http://www.dfes.qov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000768/index. shtml.

Home Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many pupils were home educated in each year since 1997. (187167)

Primary Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families which local authorities have been asked to submit their primary school strategies for change before June; and what deadlines apply in each case. (185335)

To date, the Department has not invited any authorities to submit primary strategies for change before the 16 June deadline.

Pupils: Disadvantaged

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of children (a) entitled and (b) not entitled to free school meals obtained (i) five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C and (ii) five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C including English and mathematics in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement. (187141)

The available information is given in the following table.

Proportion of pupils achieving 5 A*-C grades at GCSE by free school meal status, 2002 to 20071

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

All pupils2

Number

591,391

576,084

591,774

584,259

594,417

600,968

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C

49.0

50.7

51.9

54.9

56.9

59.3

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C including English and Mathematics

n/a

n/a

n/a

42.5

43.8

45.4

Eligible for free school meals

Number

80,626

81,278

82,738

79,839

78,179

76,641

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C

23.0

24.4

26.1

29.9

32.6

35.5

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C including English and Mathematics

n/a

n/a

n/a

18.0

19.5

21.1

Not eligible for free school meals

Number

477,798

493,336

508,060

501,857

514,779

522,088

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C

53.7

55.2

56.1

58.9

60.7

62.8

Percentage achieving 5 A*-C including English and Mathematics

n/a

n/a

n/a

46.4

47.5

49.0

n/a = not available.

1 Figures for 2002 to 2004 are based upon pupils aged 15 whereas figures from 2005 onwards are based upon pupils at the end of Key Stage 4.

2 Includes pupils with unclassified Free School Meal status.

The percentage achieving 5 A*-C grades including English and Mathematics has only been published since 2005.

Figures have been taken from the Statistical First Release ‘National Curriculum Assessment, GCSE and Equivalent Attainment and Post-16 Attainment by Pupil Characteristics, in England’ which has been published annually by the Department since 2002. The latest figures, for 2007, are at:

http://www.dfes.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/SFR/s000759/index. shtml.

Figures for earlier years are not available split by free school meal status as this was first collected at pupil level on the School Census in 2002.

Pupils: Per Capita Costs

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to his Department's Green “Paper Raising Expectations”, what he expects the additional expenditure per pupil to be on education after 2013. (184025)

Per pupil expenditure figures for 2013 will not be available until the next spending review announcement. Total per pupil funding has more than doubled from under £2,500 in 1997-98 to £5,600 in 2007-08. The next three years will see per pupil funding rise by almost 20 per cent. in cash terms to over £6,600 by 2010-11.

Schools: Bureaucracy

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what targets his Department has set to reduce the burden of administration in schools; what progress his Department has made against those targets; and if he will make a statement. (187190)

The Department has not set any specific targets to reduce bureaucracy in schools. However, we have said in our 2007 Simplification Plan (published December 2007), that we will work towards the Government’s target to reduce our administrative burdens by 25 per cent.

Schools: Milton Keynes

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what changes have been made to the capital programme for (a) new schools and (b) extensions to existing schools within Milton Keynes unitary authority area since 30 October 2007, broken down by (i) school and (ii) expected completion date. (187179)

The Department allocates capital funding to local authorities and schools, and relies on them to prioritise how this should be spent. It expects local authorities and schools to prepare their own asset management plans which set out how resources from the Department, and other resources available locally, should be used. It does not maintain central records of changes made to Milton Keynes or other authorities’ asset management plans.

Science

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what steps his Department is taking to monitor the number of students regularly attending the 250 pilot science and engineering clubs; (187355)

(2) what steps his Department is taking to assess the impact of science and engineering clubs on pupil (a) interest and (b) achievement in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

The Department has commissioned Sheffield Hallam University to undertake an evaluation of the clubs. An interim report is due to be published in the next few weeks and a full report is due in autumn 2008.

We propose to monitor pupils’ progress, attainment and subject choice in future years.

Science: General Certificate of Secondary Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many maintained secondary schools entered one or more students for separate science GCSEs in each year since 2001. (187209)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what proportion of 16-year-olds in maintained secondary schools were entered for GCSE, dual award science, in each year since 2001. (187210)

The information requested is provided in the following table:

Number of 15-year-olds in maintained secondary schools entered for science dual award

Percentage of 15-year-olds in maintained secondary schools entered for science dual award

2006/07

406,021

69.9

2005/06

414,291

72.2

2004/05

423,496

72.6

2003/04

455,918

77.3

2002/03

451,665

79.0

2001/02

446,769

77.1

2000/01

445,487

77.3

Figures relate to 15-year-olds (age at start of the academic year, i.e. 31 August).

Special Needs Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many appeals against a refusal on the part of a local authority to issue a statement of special needs there were in each of the last five years, broken down by local authority. (187188)

I have been asked to reply.

The number of appeals made in the last five years, against the decision of a local authority to refuse to issue of statement of special educational needs, are presented in the following table, broken down by local authority.

Appeals made on refusal to statement

Local authority

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Total

Barking and Dagenham

1

1

2

2

6

Barnet

1

2

3

Barnsley

2

2

4

Bath and NE Somerset

1

2

3

Bedfordshire

1

2

1

4

Bexley

2

6

11

13

32

Birmingham

2

2

6

1

5

16

Blackburn

1

1

2

Bolton

1

2

3

Bournemouth

1

1

1

3

Bradford

1

1

2

Brent

1

1

1

1

4

Bridgend

1

1

Brighton and Hove

1

1

Bristol City

4

1

4

1

5

15

Bromley

3

1

9

7

20

Buckinghamshire

1

3

5

1

10

Calderdale

6

5

4

1

16

Cambridgeshire

1

3

1

5

Camden

1

1

2

Cheshire

3

4

2

6

8

23

Cornwall

12

7

6

1

2

28

Coventry

1

1

Croydon

1

1

2

2

3

9

Cumbria

3

1

1

5

Darlington

1

1

Derby City

3

1

1

5

Derbyshire

3

2

2

4

11

Devon

2

1

3

1

3

10

Doncaster

1

1

2

8

12

Dorset

1

1

1

1

4

Dudley

1

3

4

Durham

9

11

5

7

6

38

Ealing

1

5

1

7

East Riding of Yorkshire

1

1

2

East Sussex

5

7

6

5

8

31

Enfield

1

1

Essex

2

4

3

4

6

19

Gateshead

2

1

1

4

Gloucestershire

1

1

2

4

8

Greenwich

2

2

1

5

Gwynedd

1

1

Hackney

2

2

2

3

9

Halton

1

1

Hammersmith and Fulham

1

1

Hampshire

2

9

3

9

3

26

Haringey

1

1

2

Harrow

2

1

3

Havering

1

1

Herefordshire

1

2

1

4

Hertfordshire

3

6

2

4

2

17

Hillingdon

1

1

2

Hounslow

1

2

1

4

Isle of Wight

3

1

1

1

1

7

Islington

1

2

3

Kensington and Chelsea

2

1

2

1

6

Kent

8

11

13

12

6

50

Kingston upon Thames

1

2

3

Kingston-upon-Hull, City

4

1

5

Kirklees

1

1

1

1

4

Knowsley

1

1

Lambeth

5

1

3

9

Lancashire

10

6

7

9

1

33

Leeds

2

2

4

1

9

Leicester City

3

2

1

3

4

13

Leicestershire

5

7

6

12

9

39

Lewisham

5

1

3

5

14

Lincolnshire

2

2

1

6

4

15

Liverpool

5

3

1

3

8

20

Manchester

2

2

2

6

Medway

3

3

1

2

9

Merton

2

2

5

9

Middlesbrough

2

1

2

5

Milton Keynes

2

1

1

1

1

6

Neath Port Talbot

2

Newcastle upon Tyne

1

1

Newham

3

1

1

2

2

9

Norfolk

1

1

5

3

10

North East Lincolnshire

3

2

1

2

8

North Lincolnshire

4

2

3

3

12

North Somerset

2

2

2

3

1

10

North Tyneside

2

2

2

6

North Yorkshire

3

2

2

7

1

15

Northamptonshire

3

1

1

5

Northumberland

1

2

3

Nottingham City

1

1

2

Nottinghamshire

2

1

3

Oldham

2

2

4

Oxfordshire

1

1

Pembrokeshire

1

1

Peterborough

2

2

4

Plymouth

1

1

2

4

Poole

1

1

2

Portsmouth

1

4

1

1

7

Powys

2

2

Reading

1

1

Redbridge

1

1

Redcar and Cleveland

2

1

1

4

Rhondda, Cynon, Taff

3

3

Richmond upon Thames

2

2

Rochdale

1

1

Rotherham

2

1

3

6

Salford

4

1

2

1

1

9

Sandwell

3

3

3

2

11

Sefton

1

1

2

Sheffield

2

5

4

3

4

18

Shropshire

2

4

3

10

3

22

Slough

1

1

2

Solihull

1

1

Somerset

1

4

3

5

4

17

South Gloucestershire

2

2

1

1

6

South Tyneside

1

1

Southampton

4

4

Southend

2

1

2

5

Southwark

2

5

5

2

1

15

Staffordshire

10

7

4

1

2

24

Stockport

1

1

1

3

Stockton-on-Tees

1

1

Stoke-on-Trent

1

2

2

1

6

Suffolk

2

1

1

5

9

Sunderland

2

1

1

1

1

6

Surrey

1

9

3

2

14

29

Sutton

1

1

Swindon

1

2

3

Tameside

1

1

3

5

Telford and Wrekin

1

5

3

9

Thurrock

1

1

2

2

6

Torbay

7

1

8

Tower Hamlets

2

2

Trafford

2

5

3

10

Wakefield

1

1

1

2

5

Walsall

2

1

1

4

Waltham Forest

1

5

1

7

Wandsworth

1

5

1

7

Warrington

1

2

3

Warwickshire

2

2

2

2

8

West Sussex

3

7

3

1

2

16

Westminster

1

1

1

3

Wigan

4

3

3

4

1

15

Wiltshire

5

5

5

9

4

28

Windsor and Maidenhead

3

1

1

5

Wirral

1

2

1

4

Wokingham

1

1

2

4

Wolverhampton

1

1

2

Worcestershire

1

1

1

3

York City

1

1

Total

230

256

209

268

233

1,194

Vocational Guidance: Science

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many and what proportion of school careers advisers have educational backgrounds in (a) science, (b) technology, (c) engineering and (d) mathematics. (187347)

GCE A-level

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the number of students who lost their place at university due to their exam papers having to be re-marked in the latest period for which figures are available. (163558)

I have been asked to reply.

Admissions are a matter for individual higher education institutions (HEIs) who, as independent bodies, have discretion over their own admission policies and procedures. The Department does not therefore issue guidance in this area.

The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) have told us that HEIs which are members of the UCAS scheme will keep a place open for an applicant, in the event of a missing or queried exam result, up to 31 August unless an earlier date has been agreed.

Latest published figures on the number of inquiries about results and appeals are available on the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority website at: http://www.qca.org.uk/qca_10312.aspx The Department does not collect information on the number of HE admissions affected by those inquiries and appeals.

Justice

Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prosecutions there have been under the Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006; and if he will make a statement. (187187)

The Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006 came into force on 20 February 2007. We do not yet have prosecution figures covering 2007. We would expect the number of prosecutions to be small. Any act involving violence against emergency workers would be covered by the general law on assault and the new offence is limited to obstruction only.

Debt Collection: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice when he plans to publish the findings of the consultation Regulation of Enforcement Agents (CP 02/07); and if he will make a statement. (187006)

The analysis of the responses to the Regulation of Enforcement Agents consultation is now complete and will be published in March 2008.

Departmental Publications

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what public information booklets were published by his Department in 2007; and what the (a) print run and (b) cost to the Department was in each case. (185792)

The Ministry of Justice was created on 9 May 2007. The public information booklets which it has published since then, together with print runs and costs, are listed in the following table.

Lists of the public information booklets published by the Ministry of Justice's five agencies (National Offender Management Service, Her Majesty's Courts Service; Office of the Public Guardian, Tribunals Service, and the Office for Criminal Justice Reform) will be placed in the Library of the House.

Ministry of Justice Information Booklets 2007-08

Title of booklet

Print run

Total cost (£)

Legal Services Bill

100

10

Legal Services Act 2007

200

10

Claims Management Regulation: What you need to know

2,000

10

Your Jury Service in the Coroners Court

12,000

3,000

Work of the Coroner

10,500

1,500

When Sudden Death Occurs

20,500

3,000

War Memorials in England and Wales: Guidance for Custodians

2,000

1,000

Step Up to a Judicial Career

4,500

4,400

You Don't Have to Live in Fear (Domestic Violence)

42,000

33,900

You Don't Have to Live in Fear (Domestic Violence) (Welsh)

2,000

2,100

Making Sense of Human Rights (booklet and DVD)

24,600

20,000

Human Rights Act explanatory booklet

5,000

7,900

Human Rights, Human Lives (handbook for public authorities)

7,500

9,100

Magistrates Recruitment Pack

15,000

39,500

Magistrates information booklet

10,000

1,800

1 Printed in-house

HM Prison Service's Race Equality Action Plan

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place a copy of HM Prison Service’s Race Equality Action Plan in the Library; what steps have been taken to implement it; and what has been the cost of (a) producing and (b) implementing the plan. (186256)

The HM Prison Service Race Equality Action Plan (REAP) is updated approximately monthly, the most recent of which has been placed in the Library.

The REAP is a detailed and comprehensive plan that sets out all the high-level actions that the public sector Prison Service is taking on race equality. Its production involved contributions from a range of individuals and groups across the Prison Service, and its implementation involves actions by a range of headquarters policy groups and in prison establishments. It is therefore not possible to give an estimate of the cost of producing or implementing the plan.

Knutsford Crown Court

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what consideration he has given to the potential use of Knutsford Crown Court for magistrates hearings. (185756)

Her Majesty's Courts Service in Cheshire-Merseyside has developed an estates strategy that aims to identify opportunities to maximise the utilisation of all its buildings. The option to utilise Knutsford Crown Court as a magistrates court does not presently form part of the strategy, although cases are occasionally listed at Knutsford magistrates court from both Macclesfield and Vale Royal magistrates courts. Dates on which such cases are currently listed are as follows:

Date

Local justice area

12 February 2008

Macclesfield

13 February 2008

Vale Royal

14 February 2008

Vale Royal

25 February 2008

Macclesfield

26 February 2008

Macclesfield

27 February 2008

Macclesfield

28 February 2008

Macclesfield

4 March 2008

Vale Royal

5 March 2008

Vale Royal

6 March 2008

Vale Royal

7 March 2008

Vale Royal

17 March 2008

Vale Royal

18 March 2008

Vale Royal

19 March 2008

Vale Royal

31 March 2008

Vale Royal

1 April 2008

Vale Royal

2 April 2008

Vale Royal

3 April 2008

Vale Royal

4 April 2008

Vale Royal

A feasibility study to improve and/or replace Macclesfield magistrates court and a potential integration scheme with Macclesfield county court is under consideration and the Ministry of Justice Building Review Group will shortly receive a bid in this respect.

Legal Aid Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people were eligible for legal aid in each of the last 10 years. (179599)

Legal aid covers a number of different areas of justice, and the extent to which applicants’ financial circumstances are taken into account in granting legal aid varies considerably across these areas. It is therefore not possible to give figures for the number of people eligible for legal aid as a whole. However, some estimates of the likely number that would be eligible are available for certain areas.

In criminal cases, all those arrested in England and Wales are eligible to receive free advice and assistance at the police station. Defendants are financially eligible for representation in the Crown Court, subject to judicial discretion to recover costs. We estimate that around half the population of England and Wales would be financially eligible to receive legal aid in magistrates courts cases following the introduction of the means test in October 2006.

Prior to April 2001 there was a legal aid contribution scheme in operation for criminal cases. The court decided the level of contributions according to the defendant's means. Estimates of eligibility levels under this scheme would be available only at disproportionate cost.

The following table provides estimates of the proportion of the population of England and Wales that were in principle financially eligible for civil legal aid in those categories for which financial circumstances are taken into account in each of the past 10 years where figures are available. However, decisions on granting of legal aid also depend on the merits of the case, while some areas of civil law are not now covered by legal aid. The decline over recent years in the proportion of the population eligible for civil legal aid is likely to reflect increases in general levels of prosperity, changes to the structure of the benefits system, demographic changes, and also the Government’s drive to focus legal aid support on the most vulnerable people in society and to achieve the more effective delivery of civil legal aid.

More effective delivery is evidenced by the number of acts of assistance of civil legal aid not declining in parallel with eligibility over the last 10 years and increasing significantly from 856,000 in 2004-05 to 1,137,000 in 2006-07. Moreover, cash expenditure on civil legal aid (excluding immigration and asylum legal help whose costs reflect the volume of people arriving), rose from £615 million in 2001-02 to £730 million in 2006-07.

Estimated proportion of the population of England and Wales eligible for civil representation (%)

1998

52

1999

51

2000

50

2001

46

2005

41

2007

29

Legal Aid: Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent on legal aid where the case had been brought against a political party in each of the last five years. (184499)

The information is not readily available. In order to extract this information a manual inspection of all legal aid certificates issued in the past five years would be required. To do so would be of disproportionate cost.

Legal Aid: Negligence

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many legally aided clinical negligence cases were closed in 2007 which proceeded beyond the investigation stage; and how many of these cases resulted in an award of damages or settlement involving an agreement to pay damages or compensation. (187348)

Figures covering the whole of 2007 will not be available until after the end of the current financial year. However, during 2006-07, 2,415 cases are known to have progressed beyond the investigation stage to the issue of proceedings. These included 300 cases that resulted in an award of damages and 1,240 settled cases that involved an agreement to pay damages or compensation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many legally aided clinical negligence cases were closed in 2007 which did not proceed beyond the investigation stage; and how many of these cases resulted in a settlement involving an agreement to pay damages or compensation. (187349)

Figures covering the whole of 2007 will not be available until after the end of the current financial year. However, during 2006-07, 3,009 cases were closed at the investigation stage, before the issue of proceedings. Of these, 468 cases had resulted in a settlement involving an agreement to pay damages or compensation.

Offenders: Deportation

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) if he will make a statement on plans to repatriate Libyan prisoners detained in prisons in this country; what estimate he has made of how many prisoners will be affected; and what decisions have been made on the status of Mohammed Al Megrahi; (186707)

(2) if he will place in the Library a copy of the prisoner transfer agreement between the UK and Libya.

On 28 May 2007, the then Prime Minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Libyan Prime Minister which stated that negotiations would take place on four agreements in the field of judicial co-operation. These agreements were: Extradition, Mutual Legal Assistance, Civil and Commercial Law, and Prisoner Transfer.

The prisoner transfer agreement, which has not yet been finalised, will provide for British nationals imprisoned in Libya, and Libyan nationals imprisoned in the United Kingdom, to serve their sentences in their own country. Transfer will only take place if both Governments give their consent in respect of each individual applicant prisoner. At 31 December 2007, 16 Libyan nationals were imprisoned in England and Wales. On the same date no British nationals were detained in prison in Libya.

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi is serving a life sentence in Scotland for his part in the bombing of Pan American Flight 103 on 21 December 1988. As a prisoner detained in Scotland the decision on whether or not he can be transferred from Scotland to a prison in Libya would be a matter for Scottish Ministers. The Government have not entered into any arrangement for the transfer of Mr. al-Megrahi to Libya.

In accordance with the Ponsonby Rules a copy of the Prisoner Transfer Agreement between the UK and Libya will be laid before Parliament once it has been signed.

Offenders: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) how many offending behaviour programmes were undertaken in prisons in England and Wales in the period 1997 to 2007; and what measures were used to judge their effectiveness; (186330)

(2) how many offending behaviour programmes in prisons in England and Wales over the period 1997 to 2007 were subject to randomised controlled trials to assess their effectiveness;

(3) how many prisoners in England and Wales participated in offending behaviour programmes during the period 1997 to 2007;

(4) what the cost of offending behaviour programmes in prisons in England and Wales was in each year from 1997 to 2007.

In 1997 the Prison Service offered a range of six accredited offending behaviour programmes, and by 2007 the repertoire of accredited offending behaviour programmes had increased to 15.

Various measures have been used in the evaluation of the effectiveness of offending behaviour programmes in England and Wales. Predominantly quasi-experimental and non-experimental research designs have been used, many examining the reconviction rates of those who have completed programmes compared to those who have not. Other measures used to judge effectiveness include pre to post-examines treatment psychometric data which short term treatment impact, as well as gathering audit and qualitative information on programme participants and the delivery of programmes.

During this period, one randomised control trial has been conducted on the effectiveness of offending behaviour programmes. The Treatment Change Project (TCP) is an evaluation of HM Prison Service accredited Enhanced Thinking Skills (ETS) programme which aims to examine the impact of ETS courses on impulsivity in adult male offenders over the age of 18, and to investigate whether changes in levels of impulsivity were reflected in changes in prison behaviour.

The TCP was conducted as a randomised control trial (RCT), and as such is the first large-scale RCT evaluating the impact of ETS in prisons.

The draft report is at the peer review stage, with publication scheduled for April 2008.

From 1 April 1997 to 31 March 2007 the number of accredited offending behaviour programmes completed by prisoners was 65,233. Some prisoners will have completed more than one programme.

The funding for the delivery of accredited offending behaviour programmes is part of establishment baselines, therefore it is not possible to accurately disaggregate the cost of this work. The Prison Service is currently working on developing a costing process to provide more accurate costs for regime activities and interventions.

Additional funding was provided by the Government to expand the delivery of accredited offending behaviour programmes as shown in the following table:

£ million

1999-2000

2000-01

2001-02

2002-03

2003-04

Comprehensive Spending Review

7.3

8.4

8.9

8.9

8.9

Crime Reduction Programme

0.7

1.1

1.5

Spending Review 2000

3.6

11.6

Based on an estimated average cost per programme completion and the number of completions in 2006-07, we estimate that the cost of delivering accredited offending behaviour programmes in 2006-07 to be approximately £25 million.

Prisons: Community Engagement Implementation Guide

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the cost to HM Prison Service was of producing (a) the Community Engagement Implementation Guide and (b) community engagement events held in the last 12 months; and if he will place a copy of the Guide in the Library. (186208)

The Community Engagement Implementation Guide was produced by a member of the Race Equality Action Group (REAG): the senior executive officer (whose annual salary was about £35,000) spent approximately 10 per cent. of her time developing the document, which formed part of the revised Prison Service Race Equality Order (PSO 2800). The order is available on the Prison Service website and in the parliamentary Library. A copy of the Implementation Guide has been placed in the Library.

At a national level the Prison Service spent £5,000 on undertaking and publicising community engagement events in the last 12 months. Local community engagement events are held in prisons across the estate and details are not held centrally, so it is not possible to give a figure for the cost of such events.

Prisons: Race Equality Action Team Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many people are employed in HM Prison Service’s race equality action group; and what the cost of the group is in 2007-08. (186207)

24 members of staff are employed in HM Prison Service’s Race Equality Action Group (REAG). The group’s annual budget (including pay and non-pay) for 2007-08 is £1.475 million.

Prisons: Traveller Day

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prisons have held a Traveller Day in the last three years; and what the cost was of such events. (186262)

Traveller Days are local initiatives held by prisons: they are dependent on establishments having recognised groups of prisoners from Traveller background. The Prison Service considers it best practice for establishment to hold such events.

Information is not held centrally on events such as Traveller Days held in prisons. To collect the information requested would require contacting all 125 public sector prisons in England and Wales individually and for each establishment to conduct a manual check of their local records. It is not therefore possible to provide figures for the number of such events in the last three years or their costs.

Home Department

Anabolic Steroids: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether her Department keeps records of the number of young men who have taken anabolic steroids for non-medical reasons in each year since 1997. (186317)

The British Crime Survey (BCS) collects information on the illicit use of anabolic steroids. As the following table shows, the proportion of young people aged 16 to 24 years using anabolic steroids not prescribed by a doctor has remained at less than 0.5 per cent. since such questions were included in the survey in 1996.

Due to the small number of anabolic steroid users in the BCS sample it is not possible to provide a separate breakdown for men and women.

Proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds reporting use of anabolic steroids in the last year, 1996 to 2006-07

Anabolic steroids

Unweighted base

1996

0.5

1,412

1998

0.5

1,233

2000

0.1

1,455

2001-02

0.2

3,984

2002-03

0.1

4,209

2003-04

0.4

5,327

2004-05

0.4

6,182

2005-06

0.3

5,876

2006-07

0.2

5,687

Antisocial Behaviour Orders

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how many antisocial behaviour orders were issued to children in each of the last five years, broken down by (a) sex and (b) age; (186769)

(2) how many antisocial behaviour orders issued to children were breached in each of the last five years;

(3) how many children were sent to prison as a result of breaking an antisocial behaviour order in each of the last five years;

(4) how many children have been subject to more than one antisocial behaviour order in each of the last five years.

Data showing the number of antisocial behaviour orders (ASBOs) issued to juveniles aged 10 to 17, by gender, can be found in the following table. Of the total number of ASBOs issued to juveniles aged 10 to 17 since inception, 2,293 were proven to have been breached at least once by the end of 2005. Such data, further broken down by year, are not available. The data held by the Department do not identify whether multiple ASBOs have been issued to the same person.

Data on the type of sentence received for breach of an ASBO will be published later this year.

Number of Antisocial Behaviour Orders issued to persons aged ID-17 at all courts, as reported to the Home Office by the Court Service, by sex, in England and Wales, 2001-05

England and Wales

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

Males

187

237

573

1,195

1,424

Females

6

13

52

125

134

All aged 10 to 17

193

250

625

1,320

1,558

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

Asylum

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 17 December 2007, Official Report, column 951W, how many of the 72,550 asylum seekers removed from the UK have subsequently reapplied for asylum in the UK. (180110)

[holding answer 21 January 2008]: The requested information is not collated centrally and could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost through the examination of individual cases.

Asylum and Immigration Act 1996

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost was of enforcing section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 in each year since 1997. (185086)

Operational activity within local enforcement offices includes staff resources involved in illegal working operations. The cost of enforcing section 8 of the Asylum and Immigration Act 1996 (illegal working), is not separately identifiable from the overall budgets allocated to local enforcement offices.

Asylum: Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many failed asylum seekers had their benefits withdrawn under section 9 of the Asylum and Immigration (Treatment of Claimants, etc.) Act 2004 in each year since it came into force. (185087)

The use of section 9 was introduced by way of a pilot scheme which ran from December 2004 to December 2005. During this time asylum support was withdrawn from 26 families. Six of these families are on support again, having become eligible during 2007.

Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what records her Department holds for crime statistics at more local levels than that of basic command units; whether such records are publicly available; and if she will make it her policy to set out a timetable for the publication of such statistics at ward level. (186466)

The recorded crime data returned to the Home Office by police forces are at police force, basic command unit and crime and disorder reduction partnerships levels. Data are not routinely submitted to the Home Office at smaller geographic levels. A pilot collection of recorded crime data at middle super output area level has been released by the Home Office on the Neighbourhood Statistics website. The data were provided on a voluntary basis by a number of forces and are available for years 2003-04 to 2005-06 for selected offences:

http://neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/dataset List.do?JSAllowed=true&Function=&percent24ph=60& CurrentPageId=60&step=1&CurrentTreeIndex=-1&searchString=&datasetFamilyId=904&Next.x=8&Next.y=9

As part of the broader agenda to enhance responsiveness, accountability and public engagement with policing and community safety, the Home Office are working with ACPO, the APA and practitioners from police forces, authorities and local partnerships on the provision of crime information at a level that would make sense to the public locally. The aim of the project is to make local data and information on policing, crime and community safety available on a monthly and consistent basis from July 2008 onwards by local agencies, such as police authorities, police forces and local authorities.

Crime: Firearms

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many crimes were recorded by the police in which deactivated or reactivated firearms were used in the last five years. (182364)

Information on deactivated or reactivated firearms has been centrally separately collected since 2004-05. Available data from 2004-05 up to and including 2006-07 are given in the following table.

Crimes recorded by the police in England and Wales in which reactivated and deactivated firearms were used, England and Wales, 2004-05 to 2006-07

Number of offences

Weapon type

2004-051

2005-06

2006-07

Reactivated handgun

2

2

2

Deactivated imitation firearm

1

4

2

Other reactivated firearm

2

1

1 More explicit guidelines for the classification of weapons introduced on 1 April 2004 may have increased the recording of firearm offences, particularly those committed by imitation weapons.

Driving Under Influence: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many arrests for drug-driving resulted in a custodial sentence (a) in England and (b) in each police authority area in each year since 1997. (186025)

The data on arrests collected by the Ministry of Justice do not include information on the outcomes in court of those arrests.

Information is available on convictions and custodial sentences for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs by police force area from 1997 to 2005. This is provided in the following tables. 2006 data will be available later this year.

The data provided cover both drink and drugs offences.

Findings of guilt and immediate custodial sentences at all courts for offences of driving etc. after consuming alcohol or taking drugs1 by police force area, 1997 to 2005

Number of offences

1997

1998

1999

Police force area

Findings of guilt

Immediate custody2

Findings of guilt

Immediate custody2

Findings of guilt

Immediate custody2

Avon and Somerset

2,812

163

2,566

157

2,728

165

Bedfordshire

1,146

119

1,060

96

869

87

Cambridgeshire

1,092

56

1,060

62

941

43

Cheshire

1,969

97

1,903

119

1,827

133

Cleveland

926

61

870

63

811

57

Cumbria

931

49

856

51

871

37

Derbyshire

1,612

147

1,547

202

1,463

181

Devon and Cornwall

2,342

91

2,265

127

2,277

112

Dorset

1,214

93

1,186

88

1,120

96

Durham

1,044

66

1,035

53

1,137

81

Essex

2,736

228

2,438

233

2,528

261

Gloucestershire

1,067

48

985

36

889

51

Greater Manchester

4,806

440

4,715

453

4,850

464

Hampshire

3,774

243

3,597

231

3,725

213

Hertfordshire

1,670

90

1,672

91

1,679

90

Humberside

1,274

76

1,358

87

1,323

97

Kent

2,321

97

2,627

155

2,633

133

Lancashire

3,389

224

2,945

178

3,010

184

Leicestershire

1,648

183

1,485

140

1,624

188

Lincolnshire

1,088

47

979

36

941

44

London, City of

436

8

301

9

236

5

Merseyside

2,719

304

2,451

326

2,137

296

Metropolitan Police

16,165

1,270

13,889

1,050

12,414

838

Norfolk

1,116

49

1,118

43

1,010

64

Northamptonshire

1,107

109

1,062

73

1,058

91

Northumbria

2,625

184

2,457

194

2,463

229

North Yorkshire

1,365

77

1,205

77

1,124

60

Nottinghamshire

2,031

255

1,804

247

1,802

262

South Yorkshire

2,296

204

2,002

178

1,927

149

Staffordshire3

2,036

132

1,955

140

1,711

143

Suffolk

1,050

53

1,042

60

1,089

71

Surrey

1,380

64

1,328

58

1,417

47

Sussex

2,373

110

2,113

113

2,224

120

Thames Valley

4,070

215

3,896

195

3,725

216

Warwickshire

837

44

784

53

856

38

West Mercia

1,947

87

1,794

97

1,747

114

West Midlands

6,351

598

5,582

532

4,775

532

West Yorkshire

3,953

394

3,669

329

3,597

358

Wiltshire

1,043

27

1,108

39

1,009

45

England

93,761

6,802

86,709

6,471

83,567

6,395

Dyfed Powys

1,029

44

995

38

944

48

Gwent

1,166

61

1,203

84

1,079

78

North Wales

1,354

96

1,306

95

1,248

94

South Wales

2,892

257

2,903

239

2,526

282

Wales

6,441

458

6,407

456

5,797

502

England and Wales

100,202

7,260

93,116

6,927

89,364

6,897

Number of offences

2000

2001

2002

Police force area

Findings of guilt

Immediate custody2

Findings of guilt

Immediate custody2

Findings of guilt

Immediate custody2

Avon and Somerset

2,462

152

2,197

129

2,401

124

Bedfordshire

797

89

914

79

955

82

Cambridgeshire

793

41

813

51

852

41

Cheshire

1,652

122

1,529

96

1,993

103

Cleveland

777

56

887

77

921

71

Cumbria

806

50

761

51

768

37

Derbyshire

1,417

126

1,411

140

1,465

164

Devon and Cornwall

2,199

104

2,369

128

2,441

95

Dorset

1,115

84

1,150

91

1,199

83

Durham

1,124

76

1,097

86

1,136

68

Essex

2,462

237

2,456

264

2,522

267

Gloucestershire

804

37

865

39

926

44

Greater Manchester

4,801

428

4,715

454

4,720

474

Hampshire

3,472

244

3,464

235

3,846

243

Hertfordshire

1,552

98

1,666

94

1,894

90

Humberside

1,371

128

1,259

126

1,395

113

Kent

2,592

134

2,575

165

2,745

152

Lancashire

2,584

163

2,304

148

2,599

159

Leicestershire

1,531

152

1,546

140

1,659

140

Lincolnshire

816

48

877

60

847

56

London, City of

162

4

162

10

221

12

Merseyside

2,128

286

2,195

217

2,293

216

Metropolitan Police

11,801

891

11,260

928

12,905

927

Norfolk

935

45

1,143

75

1,220

55

Northamptonshire

782

90

399

65

236

35

Northumbria

2,621

215

2,529

217

2,588

188

North Yorkshire

1,073

67

1,066

55

1,119

63

Nottinghamshire

1,722

210

1,598

187

1,420

129

South Yorkshire

2,122

170

2,020

159

1,945

165

Staffordshire3

n/a

n/a

1,513

136

1,704

143

Suffolk

902

74

920

43

1,105

79

Surrey

1,539

61

1,592

65

1,614

68

Sussex

2,112

136

2,358

128

2,306

149

Thames Valley

3,496

212

3,275

210

4,317

219

Warwickshire

786

42

880

33

841

40

West Mercia

1,631

101

1,740

91

1,719

93

West Midlands

4,559

451

4,914

471

5,050

438

West Yorkshire

3,375

287

3,220

331

3,564

268

Wiltshire

930

28

1,045

53

1,005

54

England

79,671

6,076

78,684

6,127

84,456

5,947

Dyfed Powys

858

45

867

36

927

47

Gwent

1,211

99

1,152

76

1,074

74

North Wales

1,332

92

1,227

87

1,270

71

South Wales

2,757

255

2,812

295

2,761

236

Wales

6,158

491

6,058

494

6,032

428

England and Wales

85,829

6,567

84,742

6,621

90,488

6,375

Number of offences

2003

2004

2005

Police force area

Findings of guilt

Immediate custody2

Findings of guilt

Immediate custody2

Findings of guilt

Immediate custody2

Avon and Somerset

2,666

167

2,692

145

2,595

127

Bedfordshire

1,072

72

1,028

65

1,050

81

Cambridgeshire

933

56

1,083

52

1,214

65

Cheshire

1,905

110

2,128

106

1,709

113

Cleveland

981

61

1,071

60

959

44

Cumbria

843

37

907

50

853

54

Derbyshire

1,617

168

1,874

143

1,645

118

Devon and Cornwall

2,667

121

2,560

120

2,446

102

Dorset

1,264

73

1,239

52

1,207

63

Durham

1,170

77

1,277

80

1,168

56

Essex

2,622

311

2,853

349

2,549

262

Gloucestershire

890

37

913

38

834

29

Greater Manchester

4,743

437

4,811

379

4,653

317

Hampshire

3,663

234

3,743

199

3,372

189

Hertfordshire

1,904

78

1,881

94

1,836

87

Humberside

1,445

150

1,623

112

1,592

117

Kent

2,811

179

3,010

155

2,907

157

Lancashire

2,652

146

2,706

125

2,723

136

Leicestershire

1,725

143

1,754

145

1,631

122

Lincolnshire

1,111

42

1,209

46

1,176

36

London, City of

230

4

169

5

184

4

Merseyside

2,687

215

2,849

261

2,964

252

Metropolitan Police

12,621

922

13,227

832

12,887

766

Norfolk

1,274

59

1,240

64

1,265

50

Northamptonshire

799

65

922

73

853

67

Northumbria

2,747

187

2,675

183

2,561

107

North Yorkshire

1,194

51

1,131

40

1,244

51

Nottinghamshire

1,644

149

1,669

111

1,626

112

South Yorkshire

2,089

125

2,224

140

2,220

124

Staffordshire (3)

1,733

141

1,733

124

1,718

111

Suffolk

1,213

66

1,332

89

1,103

59

Surrey

1,464

44

1,425

51

1,503

53

Sussex

2,430

120

2,368

104

2,379

108

Thames Valley

3,884

159

3,539

190

3,474

181

Warwickshire

918

33

845

23

871

28

West Mercia

1,797

100

1,689

103

1,917

96

West Midlands

5,233

420

5,584

423

5,693

347

West Yorkshire

3,720

260

3,897

276

3,863

163

Wiltshire

1,031

62

1,024

39

1,038

41

England

87,392

5,881

89,904

5,646

87,482

4,995

Dyfed Powys

995

46

986

47

932

36

Gwent

1,149

94

1,188

69

1,129

74

North Wales

1,326

76

1,349

75

1,364

68

South Wales

2,840

211

2,811

222

2,811

199

Wales

6,310

427

6,334

413

6,236

377

England and Wales

93,702

6,308

96,238

6,059

93,718

5,372

n/a = Not available.

1 Data provided cover summary offences of driving etc after consuming alcohol or taking drugs (which cannot reliably be distinguished separately).

2 Immediate Custody includes sentences of Secure Training Order, Detention & Training Order, Young Offender Institution and Unsuspended sentence of imprisonment.

3 Staffordshire Police Force were only able to submit sample data for persons proceeded against and convicted in the magistrates' courts for the year 2000. Although sufficient to estimate higher orders of data, these data are not robust enough at a detailed level and have been excluded from the table.

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 these data are used.

Drunkenness: Crime Prevention

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what maximum levy may be imposed on a licensed premises in an alcohol disorder zone; and whether the revenue is ring-fenced; (176710)

(2) what estimate has been made of the number of alcohol disorder zones that will be implemented by local authorities in the first full year of operation of the legislation.

Alcohol disorder zones (ADZs) are designed to tackle the problem of alcohol-related crime and disorder in the worst affected parts of town and city centres through a focus on the public space and/or the management of certain licensed premises. There will be no maximum levy that may be imposed on licensed premises, but the purposes to which the money raised can be put will be regulated, and the money raised will have to be spent on additional enforcement services which are over and above the baseline levels already in place.

The regulatory impact assessment for ADZs estimates that in the first year of ADZ being in force, approximately 30 areas may move to the action planning phase of the ADZ. However, it is unlikely that all areas which move to the action planning phase will continue to implement the full ADZ, as it is expected that as progress is made towards reducing alcohol- related crime and disorder, a significant proportion of ADZs will not proceed further than the action planning phase.

Human Trafficking: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department who gave authorisation for television cameras to film the Metropolitan and Thames Valley Police raids in Slough on 24 January 2008 in which 11 suspected child victims of human trafficking were taken into the care of social services. (183951)

Following a series of meetings involving all partners in the operation to discuss media strategy, the decision was taken by the Metropolitan Police Service Gold Commander for Operation Caddy.

Identity Cards

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the cost was to her Department of conferences relating to the national identity scheme in the last two years. (185287)

The Identity and Passport Service held the National Identity Scheme Strategic Suppliers Group Framework procurement bidders’ conference in September 2007. The bidders’ conference was part of the procurement process rather than a conventional conference and the venue and associated costs amounted to £4,028.

Immigration: Biometrics

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what biometric information will be held on biometric immigration documents. (182355)

We are planning for our new identity cards for foreign nationals, who are subject to immigration control, to contain biometric data in the form of two of the holder’s fingerprints and a digital facial image. Biographical and other important information will also be included on the cards, such as the holder’s name, date and place of birth, nationality, and whether the person is entitled to employment and access to public funds in the United Kingdom.

Internet: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate her Department has made of the cost of cybercrime to the UK economy in the last five years. (185056)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many (a) full-time and (b) part-time staff her Department employs to deal with cybercrime. (185057)

The Government criminalise acts based on the offence committed and not the medium used; therefore many Home Office teams make policy on crimes which can be committed over the internet. Teams specifically dealing with cybercrime (for all or some of their time) employ six full-time and one part- time members of staff.

Migration

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what voting arrangements in the Council of Ministers will apply to decisions relating to EU policy on legal migration once the Treaty of Lisbon enters into force. (180180)

The voting procedure in the Council of Ministers for EU policy on legal migration will be Qualified Majority Voting.

The UK position remains unchanged. We will opt into EU asylum and immigration measures where it is in the national interest to do so and consistent with our policy of retaining frontier controls.

Muslim Media Issues

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether she has appointed a specialist to deal with Muslim media issues. (178886)

The Home Office press office has had, since June 2006, one post whose work includes engagement with black and minority ethnic media. Some of this work naturally includes work with Muslim media.

National Identity Register

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of Government officials who will be permitted to access the national identity register. (185288)

It is too soon to give the precise number of Government officials who will be permitted to access the national identity register. However, only a small number of strictly vetted officials will be permitted to manage information held on the register under the provisions of the Identity Cards Act 2006.

Opium Crops

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 869W, on opium crops, how many hectares were grown in each location in the UK in 2007. (173742)

During 2007 a total of 2,744.98 hectares of opium poppy crop were grown in 67 locations in the UK. The size of individual sites ranged from four to 229.25 hectares with a mean average location size of 40.96 hectares.

Police

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if she will list by English police authority (a) the population covered by that authority, (b) the authorised police establishment for that authority, (c) the actual police establishment for that authority, (d) the total arrests made in that authority, (e) the number of arrests made per actual police officer, (f) the total number of reported crimes, (g) the number of crimes per officer, (h) the total number of crimes per 1,000 population and (i) the total number of reported crimes unsolved per 1,000 population for the last 10 years for which figures are available. (177566)

The information requested is as follows:

(a) The available data, based on mid year estimates from the Office for National Statistics, are given in Table 1 placed in the House Libraries.

(b), (c) Authorised establishments were abolished by the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994. It is a matter for each chief constable in consultation with the police authority to determine the number of police officers a force would have. Information on police service strength is published annually in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin series “Police Service Strength, England and Wales” and details for officers are given in Table 2 placed in the House Libraries.

(d) The arrests collection undertaken by the Ministry of Justice provides data on persons arrested for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only. The available information is given in the Table 3, placed in the House Libraries, by police force area, from 1999-2000 (previous years data are unreliable) to 2005-06 (latest available).

(e) Information on arrests rates is not collected centrally and, from the information available centrally, arrests rates cannot be computed with any accuracy. Numbers of arrests are only collected by the Ministry of Justice on a recorded crime (notifiable offences) basis and from the Home Office data on numbers of police officers; one does not know the duties to which they have been assigned.

(f), (g), (h), (i) The available data are given in Tables 4, 5 and 6, placed in the House Libraries.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what the average length of service of police officers is in (a) Sussex, (b) Kent, (c) Surrey and (d) the Metropolitan police; and if she will make a statement. (186355)

[holding answer 18 February 2008]: The information requested cannot be calculated from the centrally collected data within the police personnel statistics series. Length of service data are only collected in a number of fixed time bands and are set out in the following table.

Length of Service for Police Officers for 2006-07

Percentage

Up to 5 years

5-10 years

10-15 years

15-20 years

20-25 years

26-30 years

30-35 years1

35 years and over1

Kent

29

19

16

16

9

9

1

0

Metropolitan police

29

18

12

14

12

12

2

0

Surrey2

Sussex

32

17

15

16

11

8

1

0

England and Wales

28

18

14

15

12

11

2

0

1 Police officers are eligible for retirement after 30 years service.

2 Data for Surrey are not available.

Police: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what statistics her Department gathers on transfers of police officers between forces; and how many police officers have transferred (a) from Sussex police to the Metropolitan police and (b) from the Metropolitan police to Sussex police in the latest period for which figures are available. (186352)

[holding answer 18 February 2008]: The Home Office centrally collects statistics on the total number of police officers transferring in to each force, and separately collects the total number of police officers transferring out from each force. The data do not identify the force to or from which the transfer occurred. In 2006-07 (the latest period for which figures are available), 40 full-time equivalent police officers transferred out from Sussex police to other forces, and 24 officers transferred in to Sussex police from other forces.

Serious Organised Crime Agency: Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the Serious Organised Crime Agency spent on border security and enforcement in each of the last three financial years. (186419)

The Serious Organised Crime Agency, which was established on 1 April 2006, has the aim of reducing the harm caused to the UK through serious organised crime. It does not have a function to provide border security. At any given time, SOCA officers may be engaged, to a greater or lesser extent, in activity which bears on border security and enforcement.

Staffordshire Police Authority: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) how much the precept set by Staffordshire Police Authority is for 2008-09; and at what rate it will be levied on local householders; (186786)

(2) how much Staffordshire Police Authority has received from central funds in each of the last 10 years.

Government grants since 1997-98 to Staffordshire police authority are set out in the following table.

Staffordshire police authority has increased its police precept for 2008-09 by 3.75 per cent.

Staffordshire police authority central funding since 1997-98

Government grant1 (£ million)

1997-98

96.15

1998-99

95.09

1999-2000

96.27

2000-01

100.13

2001-02

105.23

2002-03

106.36

2003-04

112.87

2004-05

117.62

2005-062

122.43

2006-073

122.05

2007-08

126.77

1 Revenue funding includes all grants inside Aggregate External Finance (AEF) (i.e. revenue grants paid for councils’ core services), and includes formula grant and all specific grants.

2 In 2005-06 figures were adjusted for comparison purposes following the transfer of pensions and security funding from general grant in 2006-07.

3 2006-07 Government grant figures are provisional outturn figures. 2007-08 figures are budget figures.

Source:

DCLG

Terrorism

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many Islamic scholars are employed by her Department to advise on the Prevent strand of Project Contest. (178898)

The Home Office does not employ any Islamic scholars. Expert advice on Islam and other religions is obtained from independent experts as and when required.

Treaty establishing the European Communities

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which measures the UK has decided to participate in through the opt-in arrangements under Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Communities. (180187)

The measures the UK has decided to participate in through the opt-in arrangements under Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Communities are in the table, a copy of which has been placed in the House Library.

Health

Abortion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women more than 24 weeks pregnant received abortions in clinics overseas paid for in whole or in part from public funds in each of the last three years for which figures are available; how many such abortions took place in each such country; what recent representations he has received on public funding for abortions overseas; and if he will make a statement. (186243)

This information is not available.

The Department has received no representations on the public funding of abortions overseas.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many women are known to have died within one month of operations for termination of pregnancy notified under the abortion regulations in each of the last 10 years, broken down by age group. (186397)

Maternal deaths associated with termination of pregnancy that were reported to the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths for the period 1994 to 2005, are set out in the following table. The data for 2006 to 2007 are not yet available.

Maternal deaths associated with termination of pregnancy; United Kingdom 1994-2005

Triennium

Number of deaths from termination of pregnancy

2003-05

2

2000-02

5

1997-99

2

1994-96

1

Notes:

1. There were around 500,000 abortions in the UK in each three year period and hence the number of deaths represent less than 0.0001 per cent. of all abortions carried out.

2. Direct deaths (occurring during pregnancy and up to and including 42 days inclusive after termination).

3. The numbers are too small to be broken down by age group.

Source:

Figures are from the reports of the Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in the UK for the relevant triennium.

Abortion in Clinics Overseas

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the (i) number of and (ii) reasons for UK women over 24 weeks gestation receiving abortions in clinics overseas; when the last such evaluation took place; whether it drew upon research undertaken in the UK; and if he will make a statement. (186373)

The Department has neither commissioned nor evaluated research on the number or causes of United Kingdom women over 24 weeks gestation undergoing abortions in clinics overseas. Such data would be difficult or impossible to collect reliably.

Abortion: Private Sector

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what (a) primary and (b) delegated legislation regulates advertising by private abortion clinics; what changes have been made to each since enactment; whether further revision is planned; and if he will make a statement. (186249)

There is no legislation on advertising by private abortion clinics specifically. However advertisements must comply with the law in general as well as the advertising codes.

Adverse Drug Reactions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many adverse drug reaction reports were received through the yellow card reporting system for (a) all anti-psychotic drugs, (b) traditional anti-psychotic drugs and (c) atypical anti-psychotic drugs in each of the last five years; and how many prescriptions there were for each such type of drug in each year; (186015)

(2) how many people in each age cohort experienced an adverse drug reaction in (a) England, (b) each region, (c) each strategic health authority and (d) each primary care trust area in each year since 2003; and how many such reactions in each category were fatal;

(3) how many people aged between (a) 50 and 64-years-old, (b) 65 and 74-years-old and (c) over 75-years-old (i) died and (ii) were injured by adverse drug reactions in each year since 2003.

Reports of suspected adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are collected by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the Commission for Human Medicines through the spontaneous reporting scheme; the yellow card scheme.

Table 1 shows the number of suspected ADR reports received by the MHRA in the specified time periods where an anti-psychotic drug was listed by the reporter as being suspect. The total number of ADR reports for all antipsychotics is not equal to the sum of both atypical and traditional antipsychotics since an individual ADR report may provide more than one drug as suspect.

Table 1: Number of suspected ADR reports received by the MHRA between 2003 and 2007 inclusive for antipsychotic drugs

All antipsychotics

Atypical antipsychotics

Traditional antipsychotics

2003

1,812

1,694

140

2004

2,060

1,963

105

2005

2,614

2,473

160

2006

2,127

1,920

226

2007

2,327

2,172

173

The numbers of antipsychotic prescription items from the Prescription Cost Analysis (PCA) database are shown in table 2.

Table 2: Numbers of prescriptions showing numbers of antipsychotic prescription items1 (in thousands from the PCA database) between 2002 and 2006

All antipsychotics

Atypical antipsychotics

Traditional antipsychotics

2002

5,167.0

2,471.6

2,695.3

2003

5,513.2

3,088.7

2,424.4

2004

5,687.8

3,333.9

2,353.8

2005

5,872.9

3,597.7

2,275.2

2006

6,196.1

4,049.1

2,147.0

1 Prescriptions items—prescriptions are written on a prescription form. Each single item written on the form is counted as a prescription item.

Table 3 gives the numbers of suspected adverse reaction reports received for the three age cohorts each year since 2003. Reports of suspected ADRs do not always specify the original reporter’s address; therefore data on ADRs cannot be provided by region, strategic health authority or primary care trust area.

Table 3: Number of suspected ADR reports received by the MHRA from all sources in each of the last 5 years broken down by three age groups

Age group

50-64

65-74

75+

2003

3,832

2,633

2,595

2004

4,242

2,904

2,503

2005

4,280

2,896

2,585

2006

4,414

2,919

2,374

2007

4,692

2,693

1,998

The number of suspected adverse reaction reports associated with a fatal outcome each year for the last five years is shown in table 4. It is important to note that the submission of a suspected ADR report does not necessarily mean that it was caused by the drug. Many factors have to be taken into account in assessing causal relationships including the possible contribution of concomitant medication and the patient's underlying disease.

Table 4: The number of fatal reports that have been received by the MHRA within the specified time periods broken down by three age groups

Age group

50-64

65-74

75+

2003

139

117

172

2004

180

146

196

2005

242

174

186

2006

201

191

160

2007

220

177

184

Alcoholic Drinks: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made on establishing (a) telephone helplines, (b) interactive websites and (c) support groups under the National Alcohol Strategy to assist people who want to drink less. (181681)

A number of resources are already in place:

Drinkline, which is funded by the Department, assists people who want to drink sensibly, providing them with advice over the phone and, if required, signposting them to the appropriate services. Advice is also available from NHS Direct.

Advice on alcohol consumption from several interactive websites:

the new Drinkaware website;

the Know Your Limits campaign site; and

from NHS Choices.

Many local providers have established support groups as one aspect of their broader alcohol harm reduction service.

The forthcoming campaign to raise awareness of units and encourage people to drink within the sensible drinking guidelines is due to launch in May and will strengthen the available support. It will include a website that will provide information designed to help people reduce their drinking and will signpost potentially harmful drinkers to telephone, web and paper-based materials as required.

The Department is conducting social marketing research to identify the best ways to help people to choose healthier lifestyles, including help lines, websites and support groups. New information and advice, targeted towards people who drink at harmful levels, their families and friends, will be available from the summer.

Ambulance Services: Cornwall

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) ambulances and (b) rapid response vehicles there are in the north Cornwall area; and how many are on duty at any one time. (187256)

This information requested is not held centrally.

The Department expects ambulance trusts to plan their resources to ensure that there is an appropriate provision of ambulance coverage for the communities they serve.

Therefore, this is a local matter for the South Western Ambulance Service National Health Service Trust, and the hon. Member may wish to approach the chief executive of the trust for this information.

Anabolic Steroids: Misuse

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department records the number of people treated by GPs for conditions caused by the abuse of anabolic steroids. (185328)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether his Department records the number of people admitted to hospital for conditions caused by the abuse of anabolic steroids. (185329)

Data on finished hospital admissions episodes are not recorded against a specific definition of conditions caused by the abuse of anabolic steroids.

However, data are collected on the number of finished hospital admissions episodes where there was a diagnosis, in any primary or secondary field of poisoning by androgens and anabolic congeners. This is recorded under the code T38.7.

Based on this code the number of finished hospital admissions episodes in 2006-07, the last year for which figures are available, is 68.

Note:

As these data are for admissions to hospital where it is identified that the patient had a condition of poisoning by androgens and anabolic congeners they do not represent any information about the longer term conditions of the effects of abuse of anabolic steroids.

Source:

Hospital episodes Statistics—The Information Centre for health and social care.

British Pregnancy Advisory Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what reports his Department has made on the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in each year since 1990; and if he will make a statement. (186242)

The Department published “An investigation into the British Pregnancy Advisory Service response to requests for late abortions: A report by the chief medical officer” in 2005. No other reports on the organisation have been produced by the Department.

British Pregnancy Advisory Service: Abortion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much the National Health Service paid to the British Pregnancy Advisory Service in each region to undertake abortions in each of the last four years for which figures are available. (186250)

Cherry Knowle Hospital

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the future of the Cherry Knowle hospital, Ryhope, Sunderland. (187074)

Part of the Cherry Knowle hospital site is included in a portfolio of properties that it was agreed would transfer from the ownership of the Secretary of State for Health to English Partnerships to assist the Government’s Sustainable Communities programme. It will be for English Partnerships, in consultation with the local planning authority, to determine the future development of this part of the site. The remainder of the site is intended to be developed by the national health service locally to provide new health care facilities.

Dental Services: Essex

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients were (a) seeking to be registered with and (b) on waiting lists for an NHS dentist in Essex in each of the last five years. (185316)

The information requested is not collected centrally. It is for local national health service organisations to determine how best to manage patients seeking NHS dental services.

Under the old contractual arrangements, which were in place until 31 March 2006, patients had to register with an individual dentist. Under the new contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with an NHS dentist to receive NHS care.

Dental Services: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to (a) issue guidance and (b) propose regulations on tooth whitening (i) procedures and (ii) practitioner professional standards; and if he will make a statement. (184326)

In 2001, as a result of action by the manufacturer and distributor of a tooth whitening product, the House of Lords made a judgment that the Government had the right to consider tooth whitening products as falling under the EC Directive on Cosmetic Products(76/768/EEC) and therefore within the terms of the Cosmetics (Safety) Regulations.

Currently the Schedules to the Cosmetics (Safety) Regulations restrict the permitted percentage of hydrogen peroxide present or released in cosmetic products used in the mouth to 0.1 per cent. but we understand that the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products has given its opinion to the European Commission that the permitted limit may, subject to prescribed conditions, be increased to 6 per cent. We are awaiting the Commission's response to this advice.

The General Dental Council (GDC), which is independent of Government, is responsible for the professional standards of dentists and dental care professionals. We understand that the GDC considers that tooth whitening constitutes the practice of dentistry. Any registrant who undertakes work for which they are not sufficiently competent risks fitness to practice proceedings.

Diabetes: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children were diagnosed with (a) type 2 diabetes and (b) non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in each year since 1997. (184524)

Data on the numbers of children diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes are not available in the format requested. Estimates of the number of children with Type 2 diabetes vary, but in the United Kingdom it has been suggested that it may be around 1,000.

Data are not available on the numbers of children diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The following table gives the number of patients, aged 0 to 17, admitted to hospital in each year since 1997 with a diagnosis of non-alcoholic fatty liver.

All Diagnoses: Non-alcoholic fatty liver count of patients ages 0-17, NHS hospitals 1997-08 to 2006-07 in England

Number

1997-08

4

1998-09

7

1999-2000

18

2000-01

21

2001-02

44

2002-03

44

2003-04

45

2004-05

46

2005-06

72

2006-07

81

Note: Diagnosis code: K76.0 -fatty (change of) liver, not elsewhere classified. Source: Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) 1997-2007, Information Centre for Health and Social Care Information Centre. These figures represent a count of all patients with finished consultant episodes (FCEs) within each HES data year, where the diagnosis was mentioned in any of the 14 diagnosis positions (seven prior to 2002-03). An FCE is defined as a period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider.

Dietary Supplements

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many nutritional support products were dispensed in the community in each year since 1997. (185574)

Information on prescription items dispensed in the community in England and classified by the Prescription Pricing Division of the NHS Business Services Authority as for intravenous or oral nutrition, is in the following table. This excludes minerals or vitamins prescribed on the national health service.

Prescription items dispensed for intravenous and oral nutrition (thousand)

Net ingredient cost (£000)

1997

2,689.2

84,500.9

1998

2,851.3

93,642.6

1999

3,005.7

103,839.6

2000

3,100.5

111,418.5

2001

3,315.2

125,089.0

2002

3,453.3

135,403.6

2003

3,671.8

148,647.1

2004

3,950.2

163,426.6

2005

4,207.0

177,217.7

2006

4,673.0

200,774.9

Drugs: Advisory Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many staff were employed full-time at the national drugs helpline in the most recent period for which figures are available. (186684)

The National Drugs Helpline ceased in England in March 2003 and was replaced by the FRANK helpline in April 2003.

No staff are employed exclusively to FRANK on a full-time basis. The Central Office of Information advise that a total of 74 trained advisors are shared across other helpline services relating to alcohol and drugs abuse and sexual health services. This equates to 37.5 full-time equivalent advisors given the shift patterns the service is required to fill.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the national drugs helpline's call capacity is. (186787)

The National Drugs Helpline ceased in England in March 2003 and was replaced by the FRANK helpline in April 2003.

The Central Office of Information advise that FRANK can handle an average of 63 telephone calls per hour.

Electricity: Health Hazards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he and his Ministerial colleagues have to hold discussions with stakeholders on the implementation of the Health Protection Agency’s advice to Government on the SAGE First Interim Assessment on power lines and property, wiring in homes and electrical equipment in homes; (185059)

(2) what steps have been taken since 27 November 2007 to implement the Health Protection Agency’s guidance to Government on the SAGE First Interim Assessment on power lines and property, wiring in homes and electrical equipment in homes; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what the timing of the current round of consultation on the SAGE First Interim Assessment on power lines and property, wiring in homes, and electrical equipment in homes is; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what (a) meetings and (b) other contacts there have been between officials from his Department and other Departments and devolved Administrations on the implementation of the Health Protection Agency’s guidance to Government on the SAGE First Interim Assessment on power lines and property, wiring in homes, and electrical equipment in homes;

(5) if he will take steps to reduce the exposure of children to electromagnetic radiation.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) advice to Government on the “Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAGE) on Extremely Low Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (ELF EMF) Precautionary approaches to ELF EMFs First Interim Assessment Power Lines and Property, Wiring in Homes And Electrical Equipment in Homes” is available in the Library and also on the HPA website at:

www.hpa.org.uk/radiation/understand/radiation_topics/emf/hpa_response__statement_sage.htm

The HPA advice supports precautionary measures that have a convincing evidence base to show that they will be successful in reducing exposure, are effective in providing reassurance to the public, and where the overall benefits outweigh the fiscal and social costs.

Since November, officials in the key Government Departments have been in contact with agencies, industry and trade associations to seek initial views on the practicalities of implementing the SAGE recommendations in the light of HPA advice. After exchanges of correspondence, some exploratory meetings have taken place. When these initial soundings have been completed, a work plan will be drawn up for detailed consideration and discussion will be held with officials in the devolved Administrations.

Fats: Health Hazards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the result has been of the Food Standards Agency's review of health impacts of trans fats; and if he will make a statement. (186349)

At its meeting in December 2007, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) board agreed that voluntary measures taken by the United Kingdom food industry to reduce levels of trans fats in foods have been successful in reducing consumer's average dietary intakes. Legislation would be therefore unlikely to deliver any further significant health benefit.

In his response to the FSA in January 2008 the Secretary of State (Alan Johnson) supported the agency's priority to reduce saturated fat intakes while maintaining the current position on trans fats.

Fluoride: Drinking Water

To ask the Secretary of State for Health upon what criteria the recently announced funds for consultation on fluoridation of the public water supply will be allocated between health authorities. (185936)

The central funds to be managed by the Department are for the capital costs of setting up a fluoridation scheme. Strategic health authorities (SHAs) would meet the costs of any consultations from their core allocations. Guidance issued by the Chief Dental Officer on 5 February advises that an SHA should take account of the oral health needs of the population it serves and the technical feasibility of fluoridating its water supply before preparing for a consultation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which strategic health authorities have applied to his Department for support for plans to fluoridate local water supplies. (186055)

None so far. The funds are for the capital cost of setting up the plant for a fluoridation scheme. Strategic health authorities would not therefore apply for funds until they had consulted on proposals for a fluoridation scheme and demonstrated that it was supported by the local population that would be affected.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will publish all recent research he has commissioned on the impact of fluoridation on children’s dental health. (186482)

The Department has commissioned three completed research studies on fluoridation and health, “A Systematic Review of Water Fluoridation” published by the University of York in 2000, “Water Fluoridation and Health” published by the Medical Research Council in 2002 and the “Bioavailability of Fluoride in Drinking Water: a Human Experimental Study in 2005” published by the University of Newcastle in 2004. The Department is also funding a further project on the use of fluorescent imaging to develop objective and quantitative measures of enamel fluorosis, which is currently in progress.

Foetal Alcohol Syndrome

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many cases of foetal alcohol syndrome were diagnosed in (a) England and (b) each English region in each of the last five years. (186444)

Food: Allergies

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will revise the guidance given in the Food Standards Agency publication, “The Provision of Allergen Information for Non-Pre-Packed Foods”, to extend the distribution of such information beyond those consumers who request it. (185980)

The guidance on the provision of allergen information in foods sold non-prepacked was introduced because eating out is recognised to be a high-risk situation for allergic consumers. The aim of the guidance is to increase awareness of food allergy issues in food businesses so that, should they be asked, they can provide accurate information on the allergens in the foods they sell, both deliberate ingredients and from the potential for accidental cross-contamination. By raising awareness of allergy issues it is hoped that businesses, such as caterers, will be able to provide this information pro-actively to customers.

The guidance was issued as best practice to reflect the practical issues, raised during the public consultation, for small businesses in this part of the food sector in providing this information on a statutory basis. The European Union has recently issued a proposal on food labelling following a review of the existing legislation, that includes strengthening the requirements to provide allergen information in this sector. There will be a full public consultation on this proposal prior to negotiations.

Food: Labelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps (a) his Department and (b) the Food Standards Agency is taking to monitor compliance with the voluntary guidance on the provision of information on food allergens on non-prepacked food for the purposes of improving consumer confidence. (186624)

Due to the voluntary nature of the Food Standards Agency (FSA) guidance, compliance will not be monitored. However, the FSA will be monitoring the awareness and uptake of the guidance package by food business operators.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has had on the standards of labelling of food allergens in food imported from non-EU countries; and if he will make a statement. (186632)

No discussions have been held on the standards of allergen labelling on foods imported from outside the European Union (EU). All food products imported from non-EU countries are required to comply with the requirements of the European labelling legislation, including the provisions on the labelling of allergenic ingredients. These provisions are implemented through the Food Labelling Regulations 1996 as amended.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the Food Standards Agency guidance on cross-contamination of foodstuffs contained in the provision of allergens information for non pre-packed foods. (186633)

No assessment has been made of the effectiveness of the cross-contamination information contained within the guidance because the main aim of the Food Standards Agency guidance is to raise awareness of allergens in the non pre-packed foods sector. The guidance focuses on deliberate ingredients as these present the greatest risk for allergic consumers. However, cross- contamination is highlighted in the guidance as an additional factor to consider when answering queries from allergic consumers.

General Practitioners: York

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the average remuneration per general practitioner was in City of York constituency in (a) the most recent period for which figures are available and (b) each of the previous 10 years. (187186)

Data on average general practitioner (GP) pay by individual primary care trusts and at national level are not available in the format requested.

Information on average GP net profits was determined at United Kingdom level only until 2001-02. However, since 2002-03 information on average GP pay has been available on a country basis (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) as well as at Great Britain/UK level.

The following table provides the latest available average GP net profit from 1997 to 2005-06 as agreed with the Technical Steering Committee which is a UK- wide committee incorporating representatives from all UK Health Departments, the NHS Confederation and the British Medical Association.

Average GP pay since 1997

Amount (£)

Increase over previous year (percentage)

1997-98

46,031

3.5

1998-99

48,037

4.4

1999-2000

52,606

9.5

2000-01

54,219

3.1

2001-02

56,510

4.2

2002-03

72,716

1

2003-04

81,566

12.2

2004-05

100,170

22.8

2005-06

110,004

9.8

1 Not applicable as a new data series started this year

Notes:

1. Figures for 1997-98 to 2001-02 inclusive are for national health service income only in Great Britain (GB).

2. Figures for 2002-03 onwards are for all sources of income, including private, but for 2002-03 is for GB and for 2003-04 onwards are for the UK. The figures do not include earnings of those doctors working as salaried employees.

Source:

Information Centre for health and social care.

Health Services: Private Sector

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what role his Department has in (a) monitoring and regulating and (b) securing patients' interests in takeovers of NHS services by private health care companies. (186935)

[holding answer 18 February 2008]: The Department's role in relation to the involvement of private health care companies in providing national health service services is to establish the conditions and rules to ensure that such involvement is in the interests of patients, the public and taxpayers. The Department does not directly regulate or monitor private companies' involvement in specific local services.

It is for primary care trusts (PCTs), the local leaders of the NHS, to commission an appropriate range of high-quality health care services to meet the needs of their population. In circumstances where existing services are not of the required quality, or where new services are needed, PCTs may decide to procure alternatives from other NHS organisations or from the private sector or the third sector. Strategic health authorities ensure that PCTs carry out their commissioning role effectively, and in line with the principles and rules for competition established by the Department.

The Healthcare Commission is responsible for regulating independent sector providers and assessing NHS providers.

Hospitals: Food

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he has taken to improve the quality and nutritional value of hospital food for children. (186738)

The Department produced, in 2003, a guidance document entitled ‘Catering Services for Children and Young Adults’, which was designed to assist national health service trusts in providing appropriate catering services for these groups of patients. Decisions relating to the implementation of the guidance, or any parts of it, are a matter for individual trusts. A copy of the guidance document has been placed in the Library.

Human Papilloma Virus: Vaccination

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to issue guidance to primary care trusts on (a) the delivery of the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccinations and (b) the consent required for administering the HPV vaccination; whether he plans to recommend a school-based delivery programme; and if he will make a statement. (185342)

Guidance on the implementation of the human papilloma virus (HPV) immunisation programme will be issued to the national health service and others through various information channels such as the Chief Medical Officer Letters, Chief Executives Bulletin, the guide “Immunisation against infectious disease” (the ‘Green Book’), websites and a range of NHS immunisation leaflets when all the appropriate information becomes available. A national conference for primary care trusts (PCTs) was held in October on the HPV vaccination programme. A second conference is planned, and a range of supporting resources is being made available on the www.immunisation.nhs.uk website as they are developed.

The principles for consent for HPV vaccination are the same as those for other childhood vaccination, and are covered in Chapter 2 of the “Immunisation against Infectious Disease”.

Introduction of a HPV immunisation programme to routinely vaccinate girls aged 12 to 13 years of age against cervical cancer will start in September 2008 and a two-year catch up campaign will start in autumn 2009, for girls up to 18 years. PCTs will plan how to deliver the vaccination programme locally, and the independent Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised that HPV vaccination would be most efficiently delivered through schools.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether parental consent will be necessary for the administration of the human papilloma virus vaccine to children; and what guidance his Department has given on the steps to be taken should a child request the vaccine and the parent withhold consent. (186124)

The principles for consent for human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination are the same as those for other childhood vaccination, and are covered in chapter 2 of the “Immunisation against Infectious Disease”. A copy of the document has been placed in the Library and is also available on the Department’s website at:

www.dh.gov.uk/en/Publicationsandstatistics/Publications/PublicationsPolicyAndGuidance/DH_079917

A range of information materials to support the HPV vaccination programme are being prepared and will be distributed in due course.

Incontinence: Medical Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what discussions he has had with officials at the (a) Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and (b) Office of Fair Trading on the implications of reducing reimbursement prices for stoma and incontinence products to below cost; (185698)

(2) if he will issue guidance to dispensing appliance contractors on how to prioritise those patients who should receive a stoma customisation service in the event of a volume cap being placed on this service.

During the course of this review there have been meetings with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform—formerly the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Lord Sainsbury represented the DTI. These covered all aspects of the review, including reimbursement for items.

There have been no discussions with the Office of Fair Trading specifically about the potential impact of the proposed reimbursement for items, although it is aware of the review taking place.

It is premature to decide if any guidance should be issued to dispensing appliance contractors regarding any aspect of the proposed service provision, as the review is ongoing.

Infant Foods: Fluoride

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) with reference to his answer of 17 September 2007, Official Report, column 2209W, on infant foods: fluoride, whether his Department has completed its evaluation of advice issued by the American Dental Association that fluoridated water should not be used to make up powdered infant formula because of the risk of dental fluorosis; and if he will publish that evaluation; (185732)

Fluoride: Drinking Water

(2) what proportion of the population have dental fluorosis; and what estimate he has made of the proportion of the population likely to have dental fluorosis in areas where the public water supply is fluoridated.

Dental fluorosis is a cosmetic effect with no implications for systemic (general) health. It may nevertheless, in a small minority of cases, give people concerns about the appearance of their teeth. A research project reported in the British Dental Journal (volume 189 No 4 August 26 2000) on the prevalence of fluorosis of children who had been continuous residents in fluoridated Newcastle or non-fluoridated Northumberland found that 54 per cent. of children in water fluoridated areas had fluorosis and 23 per cent. in the fluoride deficient areas. In response to the advice from the American Dental Association, we are to investigate the aesthetic impact of fluorosis. We are funding a research project involving the use of intra-oral cameras and automated software to obtain consistent readings in surveys of levels of dental fluorosis. If, as we expect, the project is successful, the researchers will use the photographs to obtain the views of a representative sample of people on the appearance of teeth with fluorosis at different levels of severity.

Macular Degeneration: Wirral

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the incidence of macular degeneration in Wirral West constituency has been in the last five years; and what plans he has to screen those over 60 for the disease. (185850)

The information requested is not collected centrally. There are no plans to introduce screening at this time.

Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what powers he has to (a) prevent and (b) limit the payment of severance pay to the former Chief Executive of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust; and whether his Department has prevented or limited the severance payment to the former Chief Executive of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust; (181830)

(2) on what grounds he determined that the severance payment to the former Chief Executive of the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust should not be made.

The employment of staff, clinicians and managers within the national health service is a matter for local NHS boards. Secretaries of State have power to give directions to NHS trusts about their exercise of any functions, which may include the making of payments to staff. This power could still be relevant to any matters outstanding regarding severance payments.

In the case of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells we asked the NHS trust to withhold any severance payment to the former chief executive prior to considering legal advice on the matter. We understand that the trust has since taken legal advice on this matter, and following that advice, has issued a statement that the former chief executive will be paid her legal entitlement of six months salary.

Maternity Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps the Government have taken to improve maternity services since 1997. (183842)

[holding answer 19 February 2008]: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given to him on 18 December 2007, Official Report, column 1390W. Also on 25 January 2008, we announced extra funding for maternity services for each of the next three years, totalling £330 million. This will ensure that mothers will get the best possible care and will be guaranteed a full range of choices. Trusts will have access to this additional money from April.

Mental Health Services: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when all frontline staff in mental health and learning disability services will have received Promoting Safer and Therapeutic Services training in conflict resolution. (185019)

The NHS Security Management Service organises conflict resolution training for national health service staff. Within this training programme, the Promoting Safer and Therapeutic Services syllabus has been specifically designed for staff working in mental health and learning disability settings. The aim is for all staff to have received training by 31 March 2008.

Midwives: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many midwifery training places there were in each English region in each of the last five academic years. (184901)

A table which shows how many midwifery training places there were in each strategic health authorities in each of the last five academic years has been placed in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the cost to his Department of training student midwives was in each year since 2004-05. (186952)

[holding answer 18 February 2008]: The total estimated cost of training student midwives for each year since 2004-05 is set out in the following table.

Financial year

Total cost (£ million)

2004-05

79.4

2005-06

82.2

Notes:

(i) 2004-05 and 2005-06 are forecasts. No data are available for 2006-07 onwards.

(ii) Data in the above time series are not strictly comparable due to changes in the way data were collected.

(iii) Average bursary costs for nurses and midwives have been added to tuition costs from 2004-05 onwards.

Neurology

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many neurosurgeons qualified in each of the past 10 years (178726)

The Department does not hold the numbers of neurosurgeons who qualified each year because the annual national health service workforce census does not separately identify the number of consultants specialising in neurosurgery who qualify each year.

The number of consultants specialising in neurosurgery employed in the NHS in each year from 1996 to 2006 is shown in the following table.

Hospital and Community Health Services : Medical staff showing consultants and doctors in training and equivalents working in neurosurgery: England at 30 September each year

Numbers

All staff, of which:

Consultants

Doctors in training and equivalents

1996

367

124

236

1997

358

127

218

1998

371

130

231

1999

368

136

222

2000

407

139

252

2001

427

152

252

2002

466

161

280

2003

491

168

311

2004

534

180

345

2005

561

190

352

2006

553

187

358

Source: The Information Centre for health and social care Medical and Dental Workforce Census.

NHS: Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what guidance he has issued on NHS trusts charging contractors for tenders. (187178)

Guidance on this matter is not issued centrally.

National health service trusts are responsible for their own good financial management. This will include looking closely at all opportunities to prevent or minimise any impact on services to patients.

Suppliers must decide for themselves whether to support a particular tender invitation after giving due consideration to the potential benefits and process savings that might be accrued from it.

NHS: Drugs

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people who have experienced (a) strokes and (b) heart attacks related to their use of the drug Vioxx. (185402)