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Written Answers

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 3 April 2008

Culture, Media and Sport

Betting Shops

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many fixed-odds betting terminals were located in Tote betting shops at the latest date for which figures are available. (198765)

National Lottery: Play

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what proportion of the funding available under the Big Lottery Fund Children’s Play initiative has been (a) committed and (b) spent. (198335)

The figures reflect the proportion of money which has been committed and spent under the Big Lottery Fund’s children’s play initiative in England.

£

Programme name

Current value (committed)

Total paid to date (spent)

Play Infrastructure

14,494,368

5,972,696

Playful Ideas

8,706,612

1,610,325

Children’s Play

113,889,266

9,135,853

Total

137,090,246

16,718,874

The total money available for the Children’s Play initiative is £155 million. The Big Lottery Fund has committed 88 per cent. of the total available and expect to commit all funds under the play initiative by September 2008.

Rackspace

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the value was of each contract awarded to Rackspace by (a) his Department (b) its agencies in each of the last nine years. (197508)

My Department uses the services of Rackspace via a framework agreement with its main IT suppliers, Atos Origin. My Department does not have a direct contract with Rackspace.

Charges made by Atos Origin for the Rackspace service are from January 2005 to date and amount to £52,782.

The Royal Parks Agency has never awarded a contract to Rackspace.

Sports: Voluntary Organisations

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what estimate he has made of the number of charities running local authority sports and leisure centres which provide access to spas or saunas for those who pay for access to swimming pools. (199293)

Specific information on the delivery of leisure services by local authorities and the number providing access to spas or saunas for those who pay for access to swimming pools is not centrally collated. However, the Audit Commission report of June 2006, “Public sports and recreation services: making them fit for the future”, suggests that some 22 per cent. of public leisure facilities in England are provided through trusts.

Duchy of Lancaster

Bone Diseases: Death

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many people died from ankylosing spondylitis in each year since 1997 in (a) England and (b) each region. (198692)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated April 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many people died from ankylosing spondylitis in each year since 1997 in (a) England and (b) each region. (198692)

The table attached provides the number of deaths where ankylosing spondylitis was the underlying cause of death in (a) England and (b) each government office region, from 1997 to 2006 (the latest year available).

Table 1. Number of deaths where ankylosing spondylitis was the underlying cause of death1, Government Office Regions and England, 1997 to 20062,3

Deaths (persons)

Region

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

North East

1

2

0

1

0

0

1

1

1

0

North West

1

1

2

4

2

0

1

1

2

1

Yorkshire and The Humber

1

3

2

1

2

2

0

1

3

2

East Midlands

3

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

West Midlands

2

1

3

0

1

2

1

2

0

2

East of England

2

2

2

1

1

1

4

6

3

3

London

0

5

1

2

1

1

0

2

0

2

South East

3

4

6

2

1

1

2

2

5

2

South West

3

4

4

1

2

1

3

0

1

4

England

16

23

20

12

10

8

13

15

15

18

1 Cause of death for ankylosing spondylitis was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) code 720.0 and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) code M45. The introduction of ICD-10 in 2001 means that the numbers of deaths from this cause before 2001 are not completely comparable with later years.

2 Based on boundaries as of 2008.

3 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.

Charities: Fraud

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many of his Department’s leaflets raising public awareness of the problem of bogus charity clothing collections have been distributed to date; and what plans he has for wider distribution. (198547)

The Office of the Third Sector has teamed up with stakeholders including representatives from the charity sector to produce a leaflet for householders with top tips to help check clothing collection leaflets. We have printed 500,000 copies of this leaflet which was distributed by Clothes Aid to households in particular areas where problems have been reported across England and Wales.

This leaflet has been published on stakeholder websites to raise public awareness. Stakeholders are free to print and distribute further copies of this leaflet if they feel it is necessary. I am aware for example, that British Heart Foundation have printed at least 50,000 copies of this leaflet for door to door distribution.

Employment: Houghton and Washington East

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many people were in employment in Houghton and Washington East constituency in each of the last 10 years. (198485)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated April 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking how many people were in employment in Houghton and Washington East constituency in each of the last 10 years. (198485)

The Office for National Statistics compiles employment statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey (APS) and its predecessor the annual Labour Force Survey (LFS) following International Labour Organisation definitions.

Table 1, attached, shows the number of people aged 16 and over, resident in the Houghton and Washington East constituency, who were in employment in each of the last 10 years. Estimates are obtained from the annual LFS for each 12 month period from 1997 to 2004 ending in February. For time series comparisons, the APS estimates from 2005 to 2007 are provided covering the 12 month periods ending in March, but the most recently released estimate is also included, which covers the 12 month period ending in September 2007.

As these estimates are for a subset of the population in a small geographical area, they are based on small sample sizes, and are therefore subject to large margins of uncertainty.

In order to produce estimates for small geographical areas, APS and annual LFS estimates are provided based on survey microdata. These are consistent with the UK

population estimates published in February and March 2003, whereas the regional and national estimates published in the Labour Market Statistics First Release are based on more up-to-date population figures, so the two are not directly comparable.

Table 1: People aged 16+ in employment in Houghton and Washington East constituency

Thousand

12 months ending

In employment

February 19971

38

February 19981

42

February 19991

34

February 20001

37

February 20011

41

February 20021

38

February 20031

38

February 20041

36

March 20052

38

March 20062

40

March 20072

39

September 20072

41

1 Source: Annual Labour Force Survey

2 Source: Annual Population Survey

Iraq: Documents

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) pursuant to the Answer of 29 February 2008, Official Report, column 2025W, on Iraq: documents, how the detailed comments passed on by Ann Taylor to John Scarlett on the draft dossier on Iraq on 19 September 2002 which were referred to in evidence to the Hutton inquiry (ISC/3/0003) were passed on; and whether John Scarlett or any other individual made a record of these comments; (193199)

(2) when he expects to answer Question 193199, on Iraqi documents, tabled on 5 March 2008.

Liverpool

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) if he will make a statement on his visit to Liverpool, West Derby constituency on 1 February 2008; at whose invitation he attended; where he visited; and whom he met; (193825)

(2) when he plans to answer Question 193825, on his visit to Liverpool, West Derby constituency, tabled on 10 March 2008.

[holding answer 13 March 2008]: The visit to Liverpool, West Derby on 1 February 2008 was not made in my ministerial capacity.

Non-profit Making Associations: Community Work

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what steps he is taking to support the community work of social enterprises providing services for vulnerable user groups. (196851)

Government are committed to creating an environment in which all social enterprises, including those providing services to vulnerable groups, can thrive. The social enterprise action plan, published in November 2006, sets out cross-departmental commitment to actions which aim to foster a culture of social enterprise; ensure the right information and advice is available to those running social enterprises; enable social enterprises to access appropriate finance; and enable social enterprise to work with government.

As part of this action plan, the Office of the Third Sector, within the Cabinet Office, provides core funding to umbrella organisations which support and represent social enterprise at a national level. Included among these is Social Firms UK which offers support to social enterprises which provide employment to disadvantaged groups.

The joint Cabinet Office and HM Treasury report on the Future Role of the Third Sector in Social and Economic Regeneration, published in July 2007 also sets out the commitments of the Cabinet Office in supporting the third sector as a whole.

Both of the social enterprise action plan and the report on the future role of the third sector are available in the Library of the house.

Non-profit Making Associations: Special Educational Needs

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what assessment he has made of the potential for third sector organisations to assist in the delivery of public services for those with learning difficulties. (196852)

Third sector organisations working in partnership with the public sector play a valuable role in supporting people with learning difficulties. They bring an innovative, flexible approach tailored to people’s needs. In particular, as part of the Government’s wish to encourage independent living, we are keen to promote the role of user-led organisations of disabled people in supporting them to lead independent lives.

We expect third sector organisations to play an important role in the delivery of the new Socially Excluded Adults PSA (PSA 16). The PSA aims to increase the proportion of four socially excluded groups in employment and in settled accommodation; adults with learning disabilities known to councils are one of the target groups.

Public Participation

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the Answer of 5 December 2007, Official Report, column 1344W, on public participation: incentives, what other public participation events have been organised since the deliberative forum on the draft legislative programme. (198203)

The Cabinet Office has not organised any further public participation events since the deliberative forum on the draft legislative programme.

Electoral Commission Committee

Departmental Visits Abroad

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Chichester of 25 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1146-8W, on departmental visits abroad, which of the flights listed were carbon offset. (198096)

Electoral Commission: Grants

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, columns 2241-2W, on Electoral Commission: grants, if he will place in the Library a copy of the terms and conditions of the scheme. (198093)

House of Commons Commission

Freedom of Information: Requests for Data Held

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, pursuant to the answer of 26 March 2008, Official Report, column 89W, on Freedom of Information to the hon. Member for Aberdeen North, what further steps the Members Estimate Committee plans to take regarding FoI requests for data held by the House. (199136)

The House has appealed to the High Court against the Information Tribunal decision that full details of the additional costs allowance for 14 Members should be disclosed, on the grounds that the tribunal had misdirected itself in law, in particular in ordering the disclosure of private addresses.

Further decisions by the Information Commissioner now need to be addressed. The Members Estimate Committee has taken the view that two such decisions, which require that the House should disclose less detailed information about the allowances of seven Members should not be appealed. This information will be released to the requesters shortly.

The same principle will also be applied to requests for information on the claims of 14 Members about which the House has appealed to the High Court. Data on these 14 MPs will only be disclosed now to that lesser level of information (by category of expense but not down to receipt level). The appeal relates to more detailed information about addresses and receipts.

The same level of information (i.e. by category—not down to receipt level) will be released about the expenses of all Members in the autumn, for the years 2004-05 to 2007-08. For the future, information compiled on a similar basis will be released quarterly, starting with the information relating to the first quarter of 2008-09 (April to June). This release of information will also begin in the autumn.

The MEC remains committed to reviewing the allowance system and ensuring that there is probity and transparency

Olympics

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what initiatives for which she is responsible have been advertised to the public; and at what cost. (192466)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Carshalton and Wallington (Tom Brake) on 4 March 2008, Official Report, columns 2307-08W.

Legacy Action Plan

To ask the Minister for the Olympics when she expects the Legacy Action Plan to be published. (198381)

I intend to publish the Legacy Action Plan soon after purdah for the forthcoming local elections.

Olympic Delivery Authority

To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) for how long a paper copy of the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (a) register of interests and (b) register of gifts and hospitality has existed; and for what reason an electronic version has not yet been published; (198332)

(2) pursuant to the answer of 31 January 2008, Official Report, column 519W, on the Olympic Delivery Authority, when the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (a) register of interests and (b) register of gifts and hospitality will be published; when they were (i) first commissioned and (ii) originally due for publication; and what the reasons are for the time taken for the registers to be published.

The Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) register of gifts and hospitality was published on the London 2012 website on 14 March 2008. A copy has also been placed in the House Library. The register of gifts and hospitality covers registrations up to 31 December 2007 and includes the period prior to April 2006 when the ODA was an interim Authority. The registrations for the first quarter of 2008 will be published in the coming weeks.

The current register of ODA Board Members’ interests is due to be published on the London 2012 website in the week beginning 31 March 2008 and a copy will also be placed in the House Library. Details of prospective ODA Board Members’ interests were required as part of the DCMS recruitment process and all ODA Board Members have signed the necessary ODA declaration of interest forms.

Paper copies of the ODA’s register of gifts and hospitality have existed for the period of the ODA’s formal existence and its period as an interim Authority. The ODA’s register of Board members interests has also existed since the ODA formally came into being.

The publication of both registers was foreshadowed in my answer to the hon. Member on 31 January 2007, Official Report, column 519W, in which I stated that the ODA intended to publish (a) its register of Board members’ interests, and (b) its gifts and hospitality register in the first quarter of 2008.

Olympic Delivery Authority: Disclosure of Information

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what guidance the Government has given to the Olympic Delivery Authority on openness, transparency and accountability in dealing with requests from members of the public for access to information it holds. (198331)

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) was formally established on 30 March 2006 by the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006. It is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and is a public authority bound by the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“the FOI Act”). The ODA is subject to a Management Statement and Financial Memorandum, approved by the Minister for the Olympics and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, which sets out the rules and guidelines relevant to the exercise of the ODA’s functions, duties and powers.

The Management Statement makes clear the responsibility of the Chairman and Members of the ODA for ensuring that the ODA complies with its statutory duties, which would include its duties under the FOI Act. The ODA is committed to complying with its obligations under the FOI Act by fostering a culture of openness, transparency and accountability as appropriate.

Olympic Delivery Authority: Manpower

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many members of staff are employed by the Olympic Delivery Authority; and what teams they work in. (198330)

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) appointed a delivery partner (CLM) to programme and project manage the delivery of the venues and infrastructure for the 2012 games. The ODA has oversight and control of the venues and infrastructure programme, and directly manages transport, property, planning, communications and interaction with Government in addition to managing engagement with a wide range of stakeholders and partners.

As of 31 March 2008 the Olympic Delivery Authority employed 164 permanent employees and 13 fixed term employees. The breakdown of employees is:

Directorates

Number

Chief Executive’s Office

3

Chairman’s Office

3

Finance and Corporate Services (finance, human resources, legal, internal audit, equality and diversity, information technology, insurance and programme assurance

45

Design and Regeneration

27

Transport

26

Construction (includes employment, skills and employment, health and safety, procurement)

23

Communications (statutory consultation, public inquiries, community engagement, stakeholder relations, media, site visits, filming, internal communications, and marketing)

19

Planning Development Control

12

Infrastructure and Utilities

10

Property (Village, IBC/MPC)

7

Security

2

Total

177

The ODA also has 21 staff seconded into the ODA from other organisations supporting directorates including Security, Construction, and Design and Regeneration.

Olympic Games 2012: Training

To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Henley of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 47W, on Olympic Games 2012: training, what the (a) level and (b) course title is of each of the 13 training places offered above level one. (195899)

Provisional figures show that a total of 12 training courses (as opposed to 13 previously stated) were above Level 1. These courses are plant operation related and directly based on the needs of contractors on site. The 12 courses, all of which are level 2, break down as follows:

Five courses for slinger/banksmen

Three courses for 360° excavators operation

One course for telescopic forklift operation

One course for chainsaw operators

Two CSCS (Construction Skills Certification Scheme) Level Two courses (Blue card)

This local investment is part of a bigger National Skills Academy for Construction initiative led by the ODA. This partnership is likely to deliver a much larger proportion of training above Level 1.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Henley of 10 December 2007, Official Report, column 47W, on Olympic Games 2012: training, how many training places had been offered for (a) apprenticeships and (b) level (i), one, (ii) two, (iii) three and (iv) four qualifications at the latest date for which figures are available. (195901)

Since the launch of the Local Employment and Training Framework (LETF) in January 2007 until December 2007 (the latest period for which figures are available) 1,835 training places have been offered, the vast majority of which were at level 1, with 12 at level 2. Information on places offered since then is not yet available.

Olympic Games: China

To ask the Minister for the Olympics if she will hold discussions with (a) the International Olympics Committee and (b) the Chinese authorities to urge them not to include the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the Chinese provinces which, taken together, constituted Tibet prior to the Chinese invasion, in the route of the Olympic Torch before the Beijing Olympics. (198695)

We are aware that the Olympic Torch Relay is due to pass through Tibet and up Mount Everest on its way to Beijing. The passage of the torch relay through any country is a matter for the authorities of the country concerned and the International Olympic Committee.

Prime Minister

Advisory Committee on Business Appointments: Standards

To ask the Prime Minister if he will assess the effectiveness of the work of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments. (196892)

The work of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments has already been the subject of a review by the Public Administration Select Committee. Its report, “The Business Appointment Rules”, published in June 2007, included consideration of an independent review carried out by Sir Patrick Brown. They concluded that

“The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments has operated effectively, and we see little benefit in changing its composition, or its way of working”.

Copies of the reports and the Government’s response are in the Libraries of the House. The Public Administration Select Committee is also considering further the work of the advisory committee in relation to its current inquiry on lobbying.

The House will also wish to be aware that the chairman of the advisory committee, Lord Mayhew, has informed me that he wishes to step down from the chairmanship of the committee for reasons of ill health. I would like to place on record my thanks to him for the nine years of outstanding service and commitment he has given the committee and public life more generally. Sir John Blelloch, the vice chairman, will manage the committee’s day-to-day business until a successor to Lord Mayhew is appointed.

Departmental Internet

To ask the Prime Minister whether the IT system of 10 Downing Street is able to provide a record of Wikipedia entries (a) created and (b) amended from within his Office. (195831)

Departmental Pay

To ask the Prime Minister what the (a) total staffing cost and (b) average annual salary of members of the Number 10 policy unit was in each of the last five years. (195798)

The overall staffing costs for No. 10 are published on a regular basis following the end of the financial year.

Wales

Average Earnings

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what the average annual (a) earnings were and (b) household income was in Wales in each of the last three years. (197908)

Average earnings figures complied by the Office for National Statistics are published as a weekly figure. The data for 2007, 2006 and 2005 are as follows:

Average gross weekly earnings (full-time) (£)

2007

472.1

2006

466.2

2005

1454.8

1 Due to a change in Office for National Statistics methodology the 2005 figure is not directly comparable to 2006 and 2007.

The latest data on estimated gross disposable household income in Wales for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005 were published in March 2007 and are as follows:

Estimated gross disposable household income (GDHI) (£)

2005

11,851

2004

11,322

2003

10,932

Brofiscin Quarry

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when Rhondda Cynon Taff Council were first advised by the Environment Agency to expect receipt of a list of appropriate persons in respect of the pollution in and around Brofiscin Quarry; when the Agency expects to provide the list; what the reasons are for the time taken; and if he will make a statement. (197423)

I am informed by the Environment Agency Wales that on the 7 March 2008 the Environment Agency apprised Rhondda Cynon Taff county borough council of the status of its investigation into potential ‘Appropriate Persons’. The Environment Agency did not advise the local authority when it would receive a list of the ‘Appropriate Persons’. The Environment Agency is still investigating who should be responsible for the cost of remediation in accordance with the provisions of Part 2A Environmental Protection Act 1990 and Statutory Guidance.

Brofiscin Quarry: Hazardous Substances

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 4 March 2008, Official Report, column 2243W, on Brofiscin Quarry: hazardous substances, what the timetable is for the Environment Agency completing their investigation into responsibility for the cost of remediating the quarry. (193497)

This matter is within the devolved responsibility of the Welsh Assembly Government. However, I understand the Environment Agency is still investigating who should be responsible for the cost of remediation. In doing so, it must ensure that it acts in accordance with the relevant legislation and statutory guidance. The contaminated land regime does not prescribe a timetable for completion of the investigation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1300W, on hazardous substances: Brofiscin quarry, what the original planned date for publication of the remedial options was; and what the reason for the time taken to publish is. (197874)

The Environment Agency had no original planned date for publication of its remediation option appraisal but it will place the information required by Regulation 15 and Schedule 3 of the Contaminated Land (Wales) Regulations 2001 on a public register.

The Environment Agency intends to place that information on the public register as soon as reasonably practicable after it is generated.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill (HL) 2007-08

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will hold discussions with the Health Minister in the Welsh Assembly Government on the effects of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, if enacted, in Wales. (197819)

My right hon. Friend the Minister of State for Public Health (Dawn Primarolo) has had regular discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government during the preparation and passage of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill and I fully expect those discussions to continue.

Work and Pensions

Access to Work Programme: Fraud

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the (a) amount and (b) number of cases of fraud in the access to work scheme in the last 12 months; and what sanctions there are against people who commit such fraud. (198255)

[holding answer 1 April 2008]: The level of undetected fraud in Access to Work funding is not separately estimated.

From 1 April 2007 to 28 March 2008 Access to Work provided grants totalling £62 million to help around 40,000 people to keep or get work. In the same period 28 Access to Work cases were investigated because of potential fraudulent claims. The investigation identified a total loss of £190,573. Action taken resulted in savings of £123,605. Court proceedings were taken in three cases where fraudulent claims to Access to Work funds were identified.

Any cases of deliberate fraud will be prosecuted for theft, and courts may consider the imposition of a fine or custodial sentence as well as ordering recovery of amounts overpaid. The Department can cease to deal with an organisation if it is felt that by doing so it would eliminate an unacceptable risk to public funds.

Individuals may continue to receive support through the programme as long as they satisfy the eligibility criteria and comply with the terms under which their support was approved.

Consumer Goods: Nanotechnology

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many products containing free nanoparticles are available in the UK consumer market. (196964)

I have been asked to reply.

The Government's aim is for the UK to derive maximum benefit from nanotechnologies and their products in a way that safeguards health, safety and the environment and addresses the aspirations and concerns of the public. The statement by the UK Government about nanotechnologies, announced in the written ministerial statement of 28 February 2008, Official Report, columns 86-7W, explains what the Government are doing to deliver these objectives.

The Government do not hold a list of products containing free nanoparticles although it has published a report on the manufacture and use of nanomaterials in the UK

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/nanotech/research/reports/index.htm#manufacture

To promote a standardised approach to labelling and ensure that products containing manufactured nanoparticles can be correctly identified, the British Standards Institute has recently published a good practice guidance document PAS 130:2007 “Guidance on the labelling of manufactured nanoparticles and products containing manufactured nanoparticles”.

The Research Councils are undertaking public dialogue on nanotechnologies and the topic is likely to feature in work resulting from the recent programme of stakeholder engagement to identify the implications of new and emerging science and technology.

Government Departments and agencies are keeping under review the need for action to address regulatory gaps in the light of emerging evidence. The ministerial group on Nanotechnologies (which comprises the Ministers for Science and Innovation; the Environment; Public Health; Health and Safety; and Business and Competitiveness) will oversee the process and will also review progress on delivery of the Government's other commitments regarding nanotechnologies.

Departmental Advertising

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions which of his Department's initiatives have been advertised to the public in each of the last 10 years; and what the cost of each such campaign was. (192223)

The Department for Work and Pensions was formed on 8 June 2001 from parts of the former Department of Social Security, the former Department for Education and Employment and the Employment Service. Information on costs prior to 2002-03 could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The Department runs a number of promotional campaigns aimed at increasing awareness of rights and responsibilities. The following table details spend on advertising campaigns run by the Department in each of the last five complete financial years.

Government policies and programmes affect the lives of millions of people and in order for them to work they must be communicated effectively. But that also has to be done with cost efficiency in mind and there are strict rules to ensure value for money on Government advertising.

Departmental advertising costs

£000

2006-071

Age Partnership Group

9

Age Positive

40

Targeting benefit fraud

5,418

Reducing customer error

45

The Pension Service core benefit take up

881

Winter fuel payments

343

Child maintenance enforcement

107

Jobcentre Plus promotion to Black and Minority Ethnic audience

687

Job Done

765

Jobseeker's Allowance 50+ Pilot

83

Lone parent

171

2005-061

State pension deferral

300

Images of disability

2

Targeting benefit fraud

4,553

Pension credit

362

Winter fuel payments

918

State second pension

675

Age Partnership group

19

National sector campaign

23

2004-051

Age Positive

29

State pension deferral

115

Disability Discrimination Act

1,992

Targeting benefit fraud

6,017

Direct payment

8,379

Council tax benefit

674

Pension credit

4,388

Winter fuel payments

515

Lone parent leaflet promotion marketing

216

National vacancy campaign

390

IB reforms pilots

106

2003-041

Age positive

70

Second state pension

216

Pension service awareness

906

New Deal

5,678

Disability Discrimination Act

40

Targeting benefit fraud

8,383

Direct payment

11,095

Council tax benefit

556

Pension credit

9,907

Winter fuel payments

625

Jobseekers direct

1,632

IB reforms pilot

113

Jobcentre Plus customer marketing

1,401

National employer campaign

1,158

2002-031

Age positive

706

Future pensioners/informed choice

2,878

Second state pension

489

New Deal for Musicians

33

Disability Discrimination Act

50

Targeting benefit fraud

35

Direct payment

858

Winter fuel payments

627

Inherited serps

646

1 The tables do not include the following as the information is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate cost:

spend by non-departmental bodies for which the Department is responsible;

details of highly localised publicity activity by the Department's customer-facing businesses;

recruitment or procurement advertising;

Jobcentre Plus publicity during 2002-03 as at that time allocations sat with individual policy teams and within regional budgets.

The information in the tables relates to media buying expenditure only, which forms the bulk of departmental publicity expenditure, but excludes direct mail, public relations, production and other costs. All figures are exclusive of VAT.

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many staff his Department recruited in each of the last 10 years; what proportion of these did not have their employment continued at the end of their probationary period in each year, broken down by reason for discontinuance. (194666)

The Department does not collect data in the format requested.

On 26 June 2006 DWP introduced a new probationary policy which applies to all staff. However while we do record the numbers of staff who leave, we do not record the reasons why they leave. Obtaining the data requested would be at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Postal Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the effect on his Department’s expenditure of using (a) UK Mail and (b) Royal Mail for its correspondence. (195685)

In 2007-08, it is expected that DWP will spend approximately £15 million with UK Mail to handle 60+ million items of second-class mail from our regional delivery centres. This arrangement saves the Department approximately £2 million per annum against previous provision with Royal Mail.

DWP continues to be a major user of Royal Mail’s postal services, spending £37.5 million with them in 2007-08 to deliver 100+ million items.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether consideration has been given to applying gender responsive budgeting to his Department's budget. (192110)

The UK Government are supportive of efforts to achieve gender equality and continue to work very closely with both the Women's National Commission and the Women's Budget Group on promoting gender equality within the UK.

In 2004, HM Treasury undertook a pilot project on gender analysis of expenditure with the Women's Budget Group. The project demonstrated the value of gender analysis in some areas and identified what tools and expertise were necessary within government to carry out gender analysis, but that further work was needed before gender responsive budgeting could be implemented.

In 2008, HM Treasury will be conducting further work that will determine whether it is prudent and feasible to disaggregate departmental expenditure statistics by gender.

All policy needs to have been gender impact assessed if it affects the Department's customers or staff. Gender equality issues have been central to developing the Pensions Act 2007, and to the current Pension Reform Bill going through Parliament. DWP has produced and published two extensive gender impact assessments alongside this legislation which demonstrate how these pension reforms will contribute to achieving equality of outcome in state pension provision, and equality of opportunity in building up private pension rights.

Departmental Publications

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions where the “Risking It All—Targeting Benefit Thieves” newsletter has been distributed to; how it was decided where to deliver them; and what the cost was. (196931)

The “Risking It All” door drop forms part of the wider Targeting Benefit Thieves campaign to reduce benefit fraud amongst DWP customers. Tackling benefit fraud is an ongoing priority for the Department—in all benefits, we currently estimate that benefit fraud costs the country a total of £0.8 billion each year.

The campaign is targeted at 50 local authority areas across England, Scotland and Wales with the highest numbers of working age benefit claimants. The newsletter was distributed in 27 of those local authority areas:

Birmingham

Bradford

Brent

Brighton and Hove

Bristol

Cardiff

Coventry

Edinburgh

Glasgow

Greenwich

Hackney

Haringey

Hull

Lambeth

Leicester

Liverpool

Newcastle

Newham

North Lanarkshire

Nottingham

Rhondda Cynon Taff

Sefton

Southwark

Stoke on Trent

Sunderland

Wigan

Wirral

The newsletter activity is part of the benefit fraud campaign and is still ongoing. Final spend figures for 2007-08 are not yet available—estimated costs for the newsletter are £235,000.

Employment: Learning Disability

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps his Department is taking to support people with acute learning disabilities into sustainable work. (196854)

The specialist disability employment and advisory services help people with a range of disabilities, including those with a learning disability. Around one third of all those helped on the WORKSTEP programme of supported employment are people with a learning disability.

We work extensively with other Government Departments and agencies to secure better work outcomes for people with a learning disability. The “Getting A Life” demonstration project, which is jointly funded by this Department, the Department of Health, the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, and the Department for Children, Schools and Families, will be implemented in seven areas from April. The project will address the issues faced by young people with learning disabilities as they move from compulsory education to adult life. The aim is to help join up employment, education and local authority day services for people with a learning disability and smooth their transition from school, through college or training into employment or, where appropriate, other activities.

Housing Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many households received housing benefit in each quarter since 1990, broken down by parliamentary constituency. (196686)

Income Support: Mortgages

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what estimate he has made of the cost to the public purse of extending the eligibility criteria to cover mortgage repayments in addition to eligible rents. (196687)

Ministers: Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what salary each of his Department's Ministers drew (a) in 2006-07 and (b) since July 2007. (178955)

The information regarding the salary drawn by the Department's Ministers in 2006-07 is available in the DWP Resource Accounts published in September 2007.

Annual salaries since July 2007 are as shown in the following table.

Post and name

Annual salary (£)

Secretary of State

76,904

Minister of State for Pension Reform

39,893

Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform

39,893

Minister for Disabled People and Parliamentary Under Secretary (Commons)

30,280

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for the East of England1

30,280

Parliamentary Under Secretary (Commons)

30,280

Parliamentary Under Secretary (Lords)

Unpaid

1 The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State and Minister for the East of England has since moved to the Government Equalities Office.

Occupational Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many (a) public and (b) private sector open defined benefit occupational pension schemes there were in each year since 1997. (191149)

The Government are committed to enhancing and protecting existing occupational pension provision, including good quality defined benefit schemes in both the public and private sector. The Pensions Bill includes a number of deregulation changes including the reduction in the revaluation cap on deferred pensions to 2.5 per cent. from 5 per cent. leading to average savings of £250 million a year.

The movement away from defined benefit to defined contribution schemes is well documented; the Government will continue to work with stakeholders as part of the rolling deregulatory review to encourage employers to keep existing schemes open, while balancing the needs of the employee.

Estimates of the number of public and private sector open defined benefit occupational pension schemes have only been available since 2000. This information is set out in the following table.

Public

Private

2006

130

3,470

2005

6,230

2004

260

6,280

2000

250

18,350

Notes:

1. Figure for average annual savings (£250 million) is in 2007-08 prices.

2. All figures are estimates and are taken from the Occupational Pension Schemes Survey, years 2006, 2005, 2004 and 2000. Data for years 2000 to 2005 inclusive were produced by the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD). Data from 2006 were produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 2006 is the latest year published. The coverage of the survey is the UK.

3. Unlike other years, the 2005 survey, only covered private sector schemes.

4. Private sector estimates are for occupational pension schemes with one section only. These exclude schemes offering benefits on different bases to different groups of members.

Source:

Occupational Pension Schemes Survey.

Poverty: Disabled

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans his Department has to tackle disability poverty. (196700)

The Government are committed to tackling all aspects of disability poverty and has made considerable progress. In terms of financial poverty the number of disabled individuals in households with an income below 60 per cent. of median on an after housing cost basis fell by 500,000 in Great Britain between 1998-99 and 2005-06.

The 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review announced measures that would support the alleviation of disability poverty, including commitments to tackle the issues of aspirational poverty and poverty of opportunities. These include measures to narrow gaps in educational achievement, employment outcomes and to promote equality.

The Office for Disability Issues’ annual report, in December 2007, published a set of measures of income poverty and material deprivation which will be used to track Government progress towards equality. These measures are based on consultation with disabled people.

Notes:

1. Data are taken from the households below average income series 2005-06.

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 100,000.

3. The definition of disability used by HBAI changed in 2002-03. It is not possible to separate out definitional and real effects. For 1998-99, available data exclude Northern Ireland, therefore changes across Great Britain between 1998-99 and 2005-06 have been presented.

Rackspace

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the value was of each contract awarded to Rackspace by (a) his Department and (b) its agencies in each of the last nine years. (197499)

Since the Department for Work and Pensions was created in June 2001, no contracts have been awarded to Rackspace by the Department or its agencies.

Social Security Benefits: Spain

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions pursuant to the answer of 18 February 2008, Official Report, column 16, what information his Department holds on the benefits available to UK citizens living in Spain. (197717)

UK citizens who move to live in Spain may be able to claim UK and Spanish benefits. The exact nature of the benefits they can receive depends on where they have worked, whether they meet the relevant entitlement conditions and how the benefits are covered under the European social security coordination rules.

People who move from the UK to live in Spain may continue to be covered by the UK for social security purposes, because for example they receive a UK contributory benefit. These rules cover old age, survivors, invalidity, unemployment, sickness, maternity, and family benefits. The UK is responsible for the healthcare costs of certain UK citizens, mostly pensioners, who are resident in Spain and who receive Spanish healthcare on the same basis as Spanish citizens.

There are a number of factors that determine which Spanish benefits a UK national resident in Spain can receive; including whether the benefit is covered by the coordination rules, and the entitlement conditions for the benefits. The UK does not hold detailed information on the benefits systems of other states. However, if UK citizens had worked in Spain they could be entitled to Spanish contributory benefits.

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) which provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities the Government plans to enter reservations against when it ratifies the convention; (198734)

(2) what changes he plans to bring forward to UK legislation to enable the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to be implemented once ratified.

Departments and the devolved Administrations have been scrutinising their legislation, policies, practices and procedures to check compatibility with the provisions of the convention. This phase of the work is now over and we are considering carefully the emerging findings. We will announce our conclusions as soon as practicable.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Bees: Conservation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on his Department’s bee health strategy. (197592)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to publish his Department’s strategy for bee health; and if he will make a statement. (197463)

[holding answer 1 April 2008]: DEFRA is developing a bee health strategy in conjunction with stakeholders which will set out the objectives and priorities for the bee health programme over the next 10 years and outline the roles and responsibilities of Government and the beekeeping industry. It is intended that the strategy will be published after public consultation in the summer of 2008.

Bluetongue Disease: Disease Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to promote uptake of the bluetongue vaccination among farmers. (196436)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: The emergency bluetongue vaccination plan, developed in close collaboration with a core group of industry stakeholders, outlines how mass vaccination can be best achieved through a voluntary approach. The plan will be supported by a sustained, intensive and widespread campaign promoting the benefits of vaccination, led by the farming industry in partnership with the Government and veterinary organisations.

The campaign will include reports in farming, veterinary and national media, regional meetings and the distribution of information at livestock auction markets. Known infected premises will be targeted directly through promotional activity because experience from mainland Europe and advice from epidemiologists suggests that infected premises will be the most likely source of infection when the disease re-emerges later this year.

Carbon Emissions: International Cooperation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps have been taken in pursuance of the statement of the UK/India summit on 21 January that long-term convergence of per capita emission rates is an important and equitable principle that should be seriously considered in the context of international climate change negotiations. (196804)

Officials from the British high commission have had initial discussions with their counterparts in the Indian government with a view to developing collaborative work on the practical implications of this principle.

In May 2007 we published research, ‘Factors Underpinning Future Action’, which includes an assessment of long-term convergence of per capita emission rates. This is available on DEFRA's website.

We have also developed a model which uses existing work to explore the costs and financial flows associated with different methods of sharing out the global greenhouse gas mitigation effort, including convergence of per capita emissions. The UK described the model at a side-event at the United Nations climate change negotiations in Bali in December 2007. This is also published on the UNFCCC website. We hope to collaborate with other governments and institutions to improve the credibility and robustness of the results by exploring the implications of different data sets and other scenarios.

Cement: Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what monitoring systems are in place for assessing the levels of particles produced by cement works. (197837)

Operators of cement plants are required to install continuous emission monitors (CEMs) for specified key emissions including particulates. The CEMs undergo daily internal calibration checks and a mandatory independent quality assurance check in accordance with the relevant British standard. Operators provide the Environment Agency with records of each measured daily average for particulates.

Chemicals

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in what circumstances the Environment Agency attributes aroclors to groups of polychlarinated biphenyl congeners. (197722)

The Environment Agency does not normally attribute polychlorinated biphenyl congeners to any specific manufacturer.

Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the implications for the UK if the Wilkins Ice Shelf continues to melt at its current rate. (198234)

The Antarctic Peninsula has experienced unprecedented warming over the last 50 years and the collapse of part of the Wilkins Ice Shelf is a further indication of climate change in this area. Several ice shelves have retreated in the past 30 years and six have collapsed completely, including the Larsen B Ice Shelf, which collapsed in 2002.

As the Wilkins Ice Shelf is already floating, the loss of this area of ice will not cause an increase in sea level. Sea level will only rise if the ice held back by the ice shelf flows more quickly into the sea. The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) are working with international colleagues to monitor the situation.

Although the loss of this piece of the Wilkins Ice Shelf is of concern, it is not expected to have any direct implications for the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what analysis his Department has carried out of possible links between recent flooding incidents in the UK and global warming. (198235)

Sir Michael Pitt’s Interim Review of the summer 2007 floods considered climate change impacts and provided a definition of climate change as “the change in average conditions of the atmosphere near the earth’s surface over a long period of time”. Although the summer 2007 floods were extreme in their nature, it would need a more frequent series of extreme events over time to confirm that this event was wholly climate change-related.

However, there is already some evidence of an increase in more intense rainfall events, though not for any wide-ranging trend in flood peaks. The evidence for these trends featured recently in The Climate of the United Kingdom and Recent Trends’ report from the from UK Climate Impacts programme and Met Office.

The UK 21st Century Climate Scenarios (UKCIP08) are due to be published in October 2008. These scenarios are expected to be the most comprehensive package of climate information ever launched in the UK and will help us to adapt to the future risks of climate change. Under our resilience and adaptation project, the Environment Agency and DEFRA will be exploring the latest work from UKCIP08, so that we can better understand and use the science to support future climate change projections, and trend analyses.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what contracts were awarded by his Department to (a) KPMG, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) McKinsey, (e) Deloitte and (f) other consultancy firms in each of the last 12 months; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) value was of each of these contracts. (196584)

Information requested on the purpose and value of every consultancy assignment could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Expenditure by the core-Department with the five firms identified, for the first 10 months of financial year 2007-08, and the financial year 2006-07 is:

£

Vendor

April 2007-January 2008

2006-07

KPMG

150,557.58

934,652.07

PricewaterhouseCoopers

155,593.37

2,478,503.11

Ernst and Young

213,790.23

63,767.26

McKinsey

276,125.00

Deloitte and Touche

48,521.63

138,269.29

Deloitte MCS

5,198,320.10

1,157,656.14

Departmental Intranet

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 6 March 2008, Official Report, column 2716W, on the departmental intranet, whether his Department’s IT system is able to provide a record of Wikipedia entries (a) created and (b) amended from within his Department. (195855)

To collate information on who within DEFRA has accessed the Wikipedia site would incur a disproportionate cost to the Department. It would be necessary to manually sort through individual records of access to the internet. This is an extremely large amount of data which is not held online. For those who had accessed Wikipedia it would not be possible to discern whether they had created or amended an entry.

Departmental Official Visits

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the cost was of overnight accommodation for (a) civil servants, (b) special advisers and (c) Ministers in his Department staying overnight in (i) mainland Great Britain, (ii) Northern Ireland, (iii) the Republic of Ireland and (iv) other countries in the last 12 months. (193529)

From information held centrally, the core-Department’s expenditure on overnight accommodation for civil servants in the period January to December 2007 inclusive was (i) £2,416,929 in mainland Great Britain (ii) £6,245 in Northern Ireland, (iii) £445 in the Republic of Ireland and (iv) £66,809 in other countries.

All ministerial travel, including overnight accommodation, complies with the terms of the “Ministerial Code” and “Travel by Ministers”. When travelling on official business Ministers make efficient and cost-effective travel arrangements. DEFRA’s financial records for ministerial travel do not separate out overnight accommodation and this information could be generated only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the hourly rates of pay of all non-permanent staff working for his Department and its agencies were in each of the last 12 months; and how many staff were receiving each rate in each of those months. (196451)

Departmental Plants

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department spent on pot plants in each of the last five years. (192057)

From information held centrally, the expenditure on pot plants for each of the last four financial years is as follows:

£

2004-05

21,200

2005-06

17,300

2006-07

19,500

2007-08

25,400

Energy: EC Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make it his policy that assessments of buildings systems energy performance are undertaken within the scope of the revised Energy Performance in Buildings Directive. (196191)

The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive sets out the general framework for the calculation of building energy performance and the assessment tools that have been developed for the UK (the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) for dwellings and the Simplified Building Energy Method (SBEM) for non-dwellings) comply fully with those requirements. If a future revision of the directive amends this framework then we would aim to comply with those requirements.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations he has received on the Energy-using Products Directive; and from whom. (196192)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations he has received on the Energy-using Products Directive; and from whom. (196137)

My Department has consulted extensively with industry. In addition, I have replied to 13 letters which I received on this issue. These were from individual businesses involved in the heating industry sent via their respective Members of Parliament. I have also responded to 45 parliamentary questions on this topic since January 2008.

Environment Protection: Television

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the (i) energy usage and (ii) environmental impact of plasma televisions compared to other types of television. (198184)

The Government’s Market Transformation Programme (MTP) has analysed the performances of a range of television types, including units with plasma screens. The annual energy consumption of televisions varies significantly with screen size and television type, with larger screen TVs using more energy, regardless of whether they are plasma, liquid crystal display (LCD) or cathode-ray tube (CRT).

There is no significant difference on average in the energy efficiency of the different TV technologies currently available. A 32 inch CRT, LCD or plasma screen will all consume much the same energy, around 300 kWh. However a 42 inch plasma TV (a typical size for this technology) will consume 500 kWh per year under typical usage patterns.

In the 2007 Energy White Paper, the Government announced that we will continue to work with the UK supply chain and seek commitments from manufacturers, retailers and service providers to deliver more efficient goods and services. To support this work, the Government consulted last year on our analysis of how the performance of consumer electronics products will need to improve over the next 10 to 20 years, including proposals for product standards and targets to phase out the least efficient products.

Following completion of the preparatory studies on consumer electronics: TV, the European Commission will bring forward proposals for mandatory minimum standards under the Eco-design for Energy-using Products Framework Directive (EuP) expected in 2010. The preparatory studies analyse the environmental impacts of TVs in light of the market, consumption, technologies and consumer behaviour for the European Union.

Fairtrade Initiative

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will take steps to promote Fair Trade Fortnight 2008 among staff within his Department; and if he will make a statement. (189509)

Fairtrade Fortnight 2008 was promoted across DEFRA through the intranet and staff restaurants.

Flood Control: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) pursuant to the answer of 13 March 2008, Official Report, column 400W, on what additional funding he is providing for the implementation of Sir Michael Pitt's recommendations beyond that allocated to the Environment Agency for flood defence work in 2008-09; (197750)

(2) how the figure of £34.5 million was decided upon as an initial provision needed to implement Sir Michael Pitt's recommendations;

(3) what budgetary provision has been made for financing the final recommendations of Sir Michael Pitt once they have been published;

(4) what steps his Department has taken to prepare to implement the final recommendations of Sir Michael Pitt in a timely manner once they have been published.

As announced by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in his written ministerial statement of 4 February 2008, Official Report, column 50WS, an initial provision of £34.5 million has been set aside to fund work arising from the Pitt Review. This decision was discussed at the EFRA Committee on 6 February 2008. Not all the recommendations from the review are expected to be for Government to address. The funding allocated so far will not necessarily cover all the recommendations, and is subject to further consideration. We will determine how this should be spent when we see Sir Michael's final report and the priorities it contains.

We look forward to Sir Michael's final report and recommendations. As always my Department stands ready to play its part in such actions as the Government subsequently decides.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with Natural England on opportunities for using land for water storage to prevent flooding elsewhere; and whether the single farm payment can be used for such purposes. (198106)

In areas where flood risk needs to be managed, a range of options are always considered, including flood storage. Suggestions that farmers be paid to store flood water and other novel approaches to flood risk management can be considered within Environment Agency Catchment Flood Management Plans. Such an approach would be welcome if it secured the necessary flood management benefits.

Floods: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to improve the resilience of local authorities to surface water flooding in light of the Pitt recommendations following the floods in summer 2007. (197970)

We are currently consulting on how to improve surface water management as part of the Government's Water Strategy, ‘Future Water’. This provides a vehicle to take forward some of the key recommendations outlined in Sir Michael Pitt's interim report on the summer 2007 floods.

The consultation looks at the role of local authorities both in relation to co-ordinating the production of Surface Water Management Plans and in promoting the use of sustainable drainage systems.

Floods: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of (a) proposed new and (b) existing homes in the Thames Gateway Interim plan area are within areas vulnerable to flooding. (197242)

There are currently 130,000 homes in the defended tidal and fluvial floodplain, representing approximately 25 per cent. of the total homes within the Gateway.

The Thames Gateway Delivery Plan proposes 160,000 new homes for the Thames Gateway by 2016. The plan sets out the broad areas of development for new homes and the Environment Agency estimates that more than 50 per cent. will be in the defended tidal and fluvial floodplains.

Government Departments: Carbon Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government have taken to cut carbon dioxide emissions across Whitehall. (198541)

On 18 March, the Government published their response to the Sustainable Development Commission’s latest assessment of Sustainable Development in Government 2007. This response reports on actions taken and planned, centrally and by individual departments, to achieve the sustainable operations targets for the government estate, which include targets to reduce carbon emissions.

The central actions taken include:

making financial support available to Departments through Salix Finance, a revolving loan fund that enables departments to invest in energy efficiency capital projects;

funding the Carbon Trust to provide advice to Government departments on reducing their carbon emissions;

strengthening the Sustainable Development Commission’s watchdog function and ensuring Departments report annually on progress towards the targets;

announcing in the 2008 Budget, plans to establish a “centre of expertise in sustainable procurement”. The objectives of this centre, which will be overseen by a new Director General Post of Chief Sustainability officer within the Office of Government Commerce, include providing guidance and support to help departments rapidly develop the capability and capacity to deliver our commitments.

The Government’s response is available on the Cabinet Office website:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/reports/sustainable_development.aspx

Heating: EC Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will bring forward proposals for a system of grading heating controls according to their energy efficiency to meet the requirements of the Energy-using Products Directive. (196190)

The Government encourage the use of heating controls and the installation of a minimum set of controls is a requirement of our Building Regulations. Nevertheless, the current consultation paper on improving the energy performance of domestic heating and hot water systems sets out indicative targets for better use of existing heating controls and advance controls.

In discussions on the Energy-using Products Directive, the Government have asked the Commission to consider a system whereby heating installers would be provided with information on the performance of individual system components, including controls, together with an indication of the performance of these components in a system.

Home Energy Efficiency Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what procedures are in place to ensure that work carried out by firms under the Warm Front scheme is of a satisfactory standard. (197040)

Prior to registration as a Warm Front installer, interested parties must meet stringent selection criteria.

Eaga also use a vendor-rating system to assess contractors against, as well as operational, financial and health and safety audits carried out twice yearly. Contractors who irreversibly fall short of these standards can be removed from the Warm Front scheme.

In addition to these processes, my Department employs independent quality assessors to perform six-monthly audits of scheme delivery to assess standards of workmanship and customer service.

Horses: Disease Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the potential for cases of African horse sickness to arise in England. (197998)

African horse sickness is included in the Specified Diseases (Notification and Slaughter) Order 1992, to implement the slaughter requirements of EU Council Directive 92/35/EEC, which lays down control rules and measures to combat the disease. Imported horses from at-risk countries outside the EU are routinely tested for African horse sickness which minimizes any likelihood of the disease arising in the UK.

A “Strategy for the control of an outbreak of African horse sickness” is being produced by a working group under the chairmanship of the Horse Trust. DEFRA is one of the main contributors and promoters of this strategy. Working group members included representatives from the equine industry, academia, research organisations and DEFRA.

Incinerators: Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what steps his Department is taking to monitor particles derived from the incineration of waste; (197833)

(2) whether his Department plans to extend the monitoring of particles produced by incineration of waste to include smaller particles.

Operators of incineration plants are required to install continuous emission monitors (CEMs) for specified key emissions including particulates. The CEMs undergo daily internal calibration checks and a mandatory independent quality assurance check in accordance with the relevant British Standard. Operators provide the Environment Agency with records of each measured daily average for particulates. These monitors record emissions of all particles (PM10) below 10 micrometres, which include those below 2.5 micrometres (PM25) as a sub-set.

Concentrations of particles in ambient air are monitored by the national Automatic Urban and Rural Network. PM25 is monitored in a small number of locations around the United Kingdom, although this number is increasing substantially. Data from these locations are publicly available from the UK Air Quality Archive website.

There is no credible evidence to suggest that modern incinerators—which must comply with stringent EU emission limits—cause health effects, beyond those which could be attributed to similarly sized “conventional” combustion plant. A survey carried out in 2005 for DEFRA, and peer-reviewed by the Royal Society, endorsed this view, with the Royal Society declaring that health risks associated with incineration were “small in relation to other known risks”. This view is also reflected in a supportive statement by the Health Protection Agency.

Ipsos MORI

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what payments (a) his Department and (b) its agencies have made to Ipsos MORI in the last 24 months; and for what purposes. (193891)

From information held centrally, the core-Department made no payments to Ipsos Mori in financial years 2005-06 and 2006-07. Financial systems record one invoice for £1,210.80 in July 2007 charged to the exhibits and exhibitions account. Additionally, between March and July 2007, Ipsos Mori undertook a survey commissioned from the Central Office of Information (CoI) by DEFRA on the Public Sector Food Procurement Initiative (PSFPI) and its communication to schools and local authorities. The cost of this work was £53,500, paid by DEFRA to the CoI.

Local Government: Climate Change

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent steps the Government has taken to assist local authorities in tackling climate change. (198540)

The new Local Government Performance Framework for England includes an appropriate focus on climate change, with Indicators on mitigation and adaptation.

DEFRA and Communities and Local Government jointly launched a new £4 million best practice programme to provide support to local authorities to allow them to provide effective delivery against the new climate change requirements of the performance framework. Delivery bodies such as the Carbon Trust, Salix Finance and the Energy Saving Trust also offer advice, support and Government funding on reducing emissions. To support private and public sector organisations in assessing the risks and opportunities of unavoidable climate change and planning their own adaptation strategies, the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) was set up in 1997, funded by DEFRA.

We are also working to ensure that other policies relevant to local authorities—such as planning policy statements and guidance—reflect the need to address the risks and impacts of climate change.

Northern Rock: Environment Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Northern Rock bank is subject to the provisions of the Environmental Information Regulations. (198222)

Northern Rock bank is not subject to the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 as it does not fall under Regulation 2 (2).

Article 18 of the Northern Rock plc Transfer Order 2008 SI No. 432 deems Northern Rock not to be a publicly-owned company for the purposes of section 3(1)(b) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and nor is it performing a function of public administration.

I refer the right hon. Member to the answer given on 21 February 2008, Official Report, columns 634-37.

Recycling: Batteries

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what support is available to local authorities who want to increase levels of battery recycling; (196338)

(2) what plans he has to increase levels of battery recycling; and if he will make a statement.

We have recently consulted on the transposition of the EU Batteries Directive. When transposed, the directive will reduce the quantity of hazardous and non hazardous waste batteries going to landfill and increase the recovery of the materials they contain. Collection targets set by the directive for portable batteries are 25 per cent. by 2012, rising to 45 per cent. by 2016. The prohibition on incinerating or landfilling industrial and automotive batteries implies a 100 per cent. collection and recycling target for these batteries. The consultation closed on 13 March.

We are in the process of analysing the responses to the consultation. We will publish a summary prior to the second consultation later this year.

Research and trials to provide evidence for the consultation and to investigate the best ways of implementing the Batteries Directive have been carried out on portable batteries. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has been working in partnership with a range of local authorities and not-for-profit organisations that already run recycling collection services to pilot portable waste battery collection trials in the UK. Trials include establishing ‘drop off’ points at supermarkets, as well as other methods of collection such as at the kerbside.

Supported by funding from DEFRA and the devolved administrations, the trials form part of a wider effort to develop cost-effective ways for the UK to meet the targets of the Batteries Directive. The results of the various trials will be published later this month, and these will be used to help Government and batteries producers identify the best methods of collecting batteries to meet the directive’s targets.

It is important to stress the fact that under the Batteries Directive, which is a Producer Responsibility Directive, responsibility for the collection, treatment and recycling of waste batteries will lie with the producers of batteries. In order to fulfil their obligations, they may need to engage with local authorities to improve their collection network. Therefore, when the directive is enforced, local authorities wishing to increase the level of the batteries recycled will need to make contractual agreements with the compliance scheme or schemes representing producers of batteries in the UK.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of batteries were recycled in each (a) local authority area and (b) constituency in each of the last five years. (196339)

There has been no legislative requirement for waste household batteries to be separately collected and detailed statistics have not therefore been collected.

Sewage: Morecambe Bay

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely impact of the application (ref 017280252) from United Utilities to vary discharge consent from Fleetwood water treatment works if accepted on the quality of bathing water standards in Morecambe Bay. (194417)

The application for variation of the discharge consent for the Fleetwood Waste Water Treatment Works is being considered by the Environment Agency and further information is required from United Utilities. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has received a request to call in the application for his own determination. Paragraph 5 of schedule 10 to the Water Resources Act 1991 requires my right hon. Friend to consider whether or not to call it in, and he will do so once he is satisfied that he has sufficient information. This will include any potential impact on bathing water standards in Morecambe Bay. My right hon. Friend is currently waiting for the Environment Agency and United Utilities to complete their assessments before proceeding with this case.

Solar Power

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many solar energy panels there were in the UK in 2003; and how many panels there were at the most recent date for which figures are available. (197469)

I have been asked to reply.

The Department does not hold information on the number of PV solar panels installed in the UK, as data on installations is usually collected in terms of installed capacity. The total PV solar installed capacity for 2003 was 5.9 MW. Installed capacity for 2008 is not yet available but based on an extrapolation from the installed capacity of 14.3 MW in 2006, it is estimated to be in the region of 19 MW.

More information is available on the International Energy Agency website at:

www.iea-pvpsuk.org.uk

The Department does not hold the information on the amount of solar heating technology installed in the UK. This could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Justice

Bereavement Counselling

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether he will take into account (a) commitments made in the Department of Health’s Action Plan in response to the National Audit of Epilepsy Related Death 2003 and (b) the recommended good practice of support to the suddenly bereaved in the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence guideline on the Epilepsies 2004 in providing a revised version of the Charter for the Bereaved. (198763)

The draft Charter for Bereaved People for a reformed coroner system takes account of relevant Government commitments and the many helpful and constructive comments made in response to previous consultations. The draft charter describes the services the bereaved can expect to receive from the coroners' service, and contains guidance on how the availability of support and bereavement services should be brought to their attention. I will be issuing the draft charter for further consultation in the early summer.

The charter is an important way to ensure minimum national standards of service to bereaved families throughout England and Wales. The charter also expects coroners for a particular area to provide information to families on the main local voluntary groups which they are aware of, including those groups which offer support to those who have been bereaved as a result of sudden death in epilepsy or through other particular causes.

Courts: Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what security measures courts are required to put in place to deal with instances of disorder in the courtroom. (197044)

The security policy document of Her Majesty’s Courts Service, ‘Safe and Secure’ contains detailed guidance on measures for courts to put in place to deal with disorder. It has been recently revised to include a range of specific scenarios setting out the kinds of disorder which might occur and the appropriate security reactions to them.

‘Safe and Secure’ is a restricted document and it is not available for general publication to preserve the confidentiality and effectiveness of our security response.

Criminal Proceedings: Retail Trade

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will commission research to establish how many people are awaiting trial under weights and measures legislation for using imperial weights and measures. (197395)

[holding answer 1 April 2008]: I have been asked to reply.

I have no plans to commission such research.

Departmental Contracts

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what contracts were awarded by his Department to (a) KPMG, (b) PricewaterhouseCoopers, (c) Ernst and Young, (d) McKinsey, (e) Deloitte and (f) other consultancy firms in each of the last 12 months; and what the (i) purpose and (ii) value was of each of these contracts. (196587)

The Ministry of Justice was established on 9 May 2007. Information for the last 12 months is not available and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Details of consultancy firms used by my Department in the period from April 2007 until September 2007 are provided in the following schedule.

Service Provider

Brief service description

Expenditure April to September 2006-07 (£)

2020 Delivery

12 weeks RDS help to increase capacity for statistical analysis and modelling

83,000

Mike Lock

Review IT system for collating management information for Parole Board

2,000

Alexander and Partners

Facilitated forums and groups discussing Witness Protection

15,000

Alexander and Partners

Facilitated forums and groups discussing Witness Protection

3,000

Alexander Cameron

Interview Programme for HR Senior Management Team

6,500

Alexander Cameron

Pay and Grading Project

600

Aon

Insurance Advice for new DCMF prisons

1,300

Atkins Asset Management

Framework Audit Commissions—Internal Audit.

54,544

Atkins Ltd

Pay and Grading Project

97,758

Ben Crowe

Citizenship insight Project and production of Family Justice Insight Paper

8,400

Bird and Bird

Caseflow—Case Management Legal Advice

66,000

BIT Critical

Caseflow Consultancy

35,000

BMG Research

Socio-legal research

3,055

Bovis Lend Lease

Provide scoping paper for taking forward refurbishment project on Gwydyr House

4,700

Bridley Consulting

Review of Judicial Training Administration

7,943

Centre for Public Innovation

CPI to produce a Strategic Mapping event for the ROM for SE England

12,750

CESG

Vulnerability analysis (IT Health Check) of a new IT system within the NOMS Directorate for the handling of UK 'Restricted' data

6,816

CMAS—June Shurmer

Chartermark Consultation

300

CMC Logica

Management Information and Database Expertise

110,948

COI Communications

Pay and Grading Project

52,146

Collinson Grant Ltd

London Probation Service Review of Operations

189,050

David Nooney

Review of Judicial Appointments Procedures

4,800

Delia Coonan

Support on designing e-learning

1,174

Development Planning Partnership

Planning reports on existing estate and specific planning advice

65,329

Digits Industries Ltd

Consultancy connected with development of Computer-Based Training

1,763

Digits Industries Ltd

Consultancy connected with development of Computer-Based Training

411

Drivers Jonas

Asset Management

27,759

Eclipse

Development of software to predict re-offending

10,000

Effortmark

Forms consultancy—providing expert advice on the revision of forms and user testing

2,820

Ernst and Young

Prison Performance Framework—Analyst

253,500

Ernst and Young

Workshop

37,500

Ernst and Young

Review of best practice for performance and capability assessment methodologies for IPPF and the selection of the first wave of Probation Trusts

35,000

Ernst and Young

Workshop consultancy

19,000

Ernst and Young

Initial assessment of strategic options

15,000

Exeter University

Report on influencing debtor behaviour in support of the HMCS PAN pilot

60,000

First Assist

Investigation Advice

2,322

Capgemini

Benefits realisation CJS IT, development and application of best practice tools

171,000

Capgemini

Facilitated forums and groups discussing Witness Protection

6,300

GVA Grimleys

Challenging Rating Assessments

47,496

Hartley

Provided OR Analyst support for the CJS Modelling work to support CSR 07

12,000

Hazel Genn

Qualities and Abilities Framework

3,600

Heath Lambert

Risk assessment project for Probation Trusts

4,020

Hedra

Consultant to produce a business case for Re Connect Project

40,000

Hensby Communications

Press and PR handling of Annual Report

1,125

Higham Dunnett Shaw

Consultancy and upgrade of Judicial Pensions Database

3,525

HMSC Birmingham University

Updating Prison Website

7,400

Impact Plus

Review of the Probation Change Programme

20,000

Institute of Employment Studies

Independent review of the Job Simulation Assessment Centre (JSAC) with the Management Selection Unit (MSSU) in Wakefield

45,360

IPSOS MORI

Health and social care survey (research consultancy)

12,014

IPSOS MORI

Customer satisfaction survey (research consultancy)

8,279

Jo O'Driscoll

Project Management of Annual Report

4,209

John Garnett

Specialist advice on claims issues

24,415

June Shurmer

Chartermark Consultancy

375

KM Research and Consultancy Ltd

Socio-legal research

8,343

KPMG

Policy Consultancy

49,500

KPMG

Development of an implementation snapshot document

49,000

KPMG

Work on the Change Strategy Review

44,800

KPMG

Report on the nature and type of regulatory frameworks

21,800

KPMG

Provision of management review and assessment for Communications Directorate

14,117

KPMG

Pensions/Appointments Law Commissioners

10,454

Law Absolute

Lawyer for Court Rules project supplementing in house legal

11,135

Leapfrog Public Relations

PR and communications—increase awareness of community justice in north Liverpool and increased confidence in CJS

13,860

London Economics

Research and analysis which formed part of our Consultation Paper on insurance contract law

7,459

M Boleat Consulting

Advice on setting up and implementing Claims Management Regulation

10,800

Manchester University

Prison Health Research Network with the Mental Health in Reach Unit

290,000

Matrix

Evaluation of Dedicated Drugs Courts

50,000

Matrix

Socio-legal research

16,729

MBSM

Consultancy—interaction with police forces and systems

15,073

Melva Burton

Consultant

15,000

Mersey Care NHS Trust

Segregation Project with the Department of Health

21,600

Mitchelmores Solicitors

Legal advice on property matters and resolution of CUPID Property Transfer Issues

659,525

Modis International Ltd

Development of computerised Case Management system

49,078

Morgan Hunt

Consultancy work to review the programme and project management reporting structures

7,191

Mott MacDonald with support from PwC

Business Process Re-engineering (Courts) Project

153,000

Nicholson McBride

Executive Coaching

18,345

Nick Sanderson

Investigation into holding of prisoners in court cells

9,555

Office of Government Commerce

Consultancy—advice for the Supreme Court Project

29,884

Office of Government Commerce

Review of C-NOMIS

24,913

Oliver Wyman

Carter Review

225,000

Oracle

Phoenix Sales and Investment Project

377,780

PA Consulting

Analysis of public perception of the CJS in order for the issue to be better covered in the 2008 CJS Strategic Plan. Facilitated a seminar on the issue

6,775

PA Consulting

Divisional Consultancy

99,000

PA Consulting

Courts Act—Post implementation Review

74,629

PA Consulting

Facilitated forums and groups discussing Witness Protection

10,500

PA Consulting

Cost-benefit of rolling out the Re-Connect prisoner resettlement scheme nationally

5,340

Pakes

Developed a Mental Health Effective Practice Audit Checklist

3,500

Parity

Facilitated forums and groups discussing Witness Protection

10,000

Partnerships UK

Procurement advice for DCMF Prisons

158,850

Pat Johnstone

Facilitated forums and groups discussing Witness Protection

6,400

Paul Roscorla Associates Ltd, Metis Psychological Consultants, Myriad Solutions

Optimising potential with the Leadership and Talent Development

20,400

Penna Interim Executive

Executive coaching

9,957

Portchester Micro Tools Ltd.

Evaluation plan for accredited offending behaviour programmes

28,200

PRAESTA

Executive Coaching

5,640

Price Waterhouse Cooper

Support to the finance team in all matters relating to the MoJ Finance Transition Project

120,000

Price Waterhouse Cooper

Carter Review

52,000

Price Waterhouse Cooper

Draw together existing analysis

24,675

Price Waterhouse Cooper

Diversity and Community relations consultancy

6,000

Prof Richard Lamming

Consultancy for preparation of a second seminar/workshop relating to the innovation and relationship management for a senior NOMS commissioning audience

5,000

QI

Provided support to the development of the cross CJS CSR Efficiency Plan

156,801

Richard Bailey Esq.

Advice and operational/logistics management of Inquest

9,700

RM and BR Merkin

Research and analysis on insurance contract law

500

Robert Walters

Programme content design—future leaders scheme

11,797

Roy Walmsley

International Prison Population Statistics

6,315

Russell Reynolds Associates

Delivery of project support office for MoJ Change Project

52,485

Samantha Jones

Consultant to review, oversee and provide periodic updates

1,750

Sarah Cooke Ltd

Advice on human rights issue

11,500

Security and Standard Consultancy

Provision of quality assurance and technical support services of the electoral modernisation programme

109,366

Siemens Enterprise Commun.

Pay and Grading Project

1,100

SJT Associates

Internal Estates Benchmarking System for Property

20,608

Snap Survey Shop

National Staff Survey with the HR Planning Team

13,300

STC Energy Management

Expert support on our energy monitoring system. Gathering and verification of half hourly data from our electricity supplier

20,328

Stephanie Grundy

Lawyer for Court Rules project, supplementing in house legal provision

12,373

Stopgap

Lawyer for Court Rules project, supplementing in house legal provision

31,467

Stopgap

Lawyer for Court Rules project, supplementing in house legal provision

17,373

The Rialto Consultancy Ltd

Consultancy Services

9,915

The Whitehall and Industry Group

Fees for the recruitment, placement and registration of two Non-Executive Directors to the JSB Executive Board

11,400

The Whitehall and Industry Group

Recruitment consultancy for non-executive member of Legal Services Reform Programme

2,350

Tower Perrin

Pay and Grading Project

103,971

Tower Perrin

Pay and Grading Project

36,909

Tower Perrin

Pay and Grading Project

2,400

Tribal

Supported the development an appraisal process to assist OCJR to better assess the projects within its portfolio

33,580

Tribal Consortium

Risk Management

27,454

Tribal Consortium

Skills Learning Training Materials for unpaid work supervisors

14,700

Turner and Townsend

Facilities Management Strategy Review

35,052

University of Portsmouth

Development of a redesigned qualifications framework

100,000

Vice Versa Projects

To run a Consensus Methodology

15,000

Vice Versa Projects

Consensus Methodology facilitator

10,000

Ville and Co.

Executive coaching

1,144

Wheelers (Southampton)

Framework Audit Commissions IAD Requirement

86,278

Willis Ltd.

Insurance consultancy services for the Supreme Court

8,402

Winstone

Developed a Mental Health Effective Practice Audit Checklist

2,500

Wrigglesworth Consultancy Ltd.

Publicity services

3,187

5,540,117

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the hourly rates of pay of all non-permanent staff working for his Department and its agencies were in each of the last 12 months; and how many staff were receiving each rate in each of those months. (196454)

The breakdown of temporary civil servants along with permanent employees has been published as part of the Office for National Statistics Quarterly Public Sector Employment statistics as at 31 December 2007 for Ministry of Justice and it’s agencies. A copy of this table is outlined as follows.

Ministry of Justice

Number

Gender

Male

Full-time

970

Part-time

80

Total

1,050

Female

Full-time

1,130

Part-time

220

Total

1,350

Headcount

Total

2,400

Statistics on the number of contractors and agency staff employed by Departments are not published. The Civil Service Statistics represent those employees paid directly from the Department’s payroll. Any contractors employed via agencies, and not paid directly by the Department’s payroll are not included.

Information relating to workers employed through employment agencies and hourly rates of pay for all staff in the Ministry of Justice and its agencies is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Drug Industry: Disclosure of Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many pharmaceutical companies have been prosecuted for withholding information regarding their products since 1992. (196407)

[holding answer 25 March 2008]: I have been asked to reply.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) records show no prosecutions of this kind since 1992.

As a result of the recent investigation into GSK (the subject of a written ministerial statement on 6 March 2008), the MHRA plans further stringent regulations to place obligations on companies report safety issues timeously.

Firearms Act 1968: Convictions

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 28 February 2008, Official Report, columns 1924-26W, on the Firearms Act 1968: convictions, what proportion of those convicted of offences under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968 of (a) all ages and (b) aged 18 and over were sentenced to immediate custody in each year from 1997 to 2005. (191898)

The following table shows what proportion of those convicted of offences under section 5 of the Firearms Act 1968 of (a) all ages and (b) aged 18 and over, were sentenced to immediate custody in each year from 1997 to 2005.

The Courts Proceedings Database records five offences under section 5 of the Act. For two of the offences there is a mandatory minimum penalty:

‘possessing or distributing prohibited weapons or ammunition’ under section 5(1) (a), (b), (aba), (ac), (ad), (ae), (af) or (c) of the Firearms Act 1968, as amended by section 288 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

‘possessing or distributing firearm disguised as other object’ under section 5(1A)(a) of the Firearms Act 1968, also as amended by section 288 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

The mandatory minimum is five years for those aged 18 and over, and three years for those aged 16-17. The mandatory minimum came into affect in January 2004, and does not apply to those persons who committed offences before this date. The maximum penalty for these offences is 10 years.

The following figures are taken from the Ministry of Justice (formerly Home Office) Court Proceedings Database and relate to sentences imposed (including life and indeterminate sentences) and the average sentence length of immediate custody (excluding life and indeterminate sentences) for those sentenced for such offences where the principal offence is the one for which they were found guilty. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences, it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. Where a person is convicted on the same occasion of a firearms offences, and one such as homicide, conspiracy, robbery or GBH with intent (218 of OPA 1861) where the maximum is higher, the data in respect of the firearms offence will not have been included in the following table.

The Lord Chief Justice and I have concerns about the quality of the data relating to mandatory minima. An earlier project was undertaken that looked at cases reported to the Court Proceedings Database during the first six months of 2006 where the mandatory sentence was not given to persons aged 18 and over. These cases were checked with the Crown courts concerned. Of 65 cases, 12 were found to have the offence incorrectly classified (although two were still subject to the five-year sentence). A further case had the custody duration recorded as five months instead of five years. Some 17 per cent. of Crown court cases checked, therefore, had the wrong offence classification. The majority correctly reflect the offence and court outcome although in few cases were the courts able to say whether exceptional circumstances, as allowed for in the Criminal Justice Act, had been the reason for the five-year sentence not being imposed. Among reasons quoted were ‘gun incapable of being fired’, ‘defendant clinically depressed’, ‘technical breach only’ and ‘defendant too young for imprisonment’.

The Ministry of Justice is now looking to see if the situation has improved by looking at data from the first six months of 2007.

Offenders sentenced1 under section 5 of the Firearms Act (1986)

Section 5 of the Firearms Act (1986)

Sentenced (Number)

Immediate custody (Number)

Proportion (Percentage)

All ages

1997

785

107

14

1998

1,040

171

16

1999

813

138

17

2000

738

143

19

2001

745

131

18

2002

789

176

22

2003

903

216

24

2004

1,055

283

27

2005

1,115

318

29

Age 18 and over

1997

744

103

14

1998

995

169

17

1999

764

136

18

2000

694

139

20

2001

677

129

19

2002

718

166

23

2003

834

206

25

2004

975

270

28

2005

1,031

306

30

1 Principal offence basis.

Offences under section 5 are:

Possessing or distributing prohibited weapons or ammunition;

Possessing or distributing prohibited weapons designed for discharge of noxious liquid etc.;

Possessing or distributing firearm disguised as other object; and

Possessing or distributing other prohibited weapons.

Note:

These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large-scale recording system.

Source:

RDS-NOMS, Ministry of Justice.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice pursuant to the answer of 28 February 2008, Official Report, column 1924W, on Firearms Act 1968: convictions, how many people over the age of 18 years were convicted under Section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968 in each of the last 12 months; and what proportion of those were sentenced to immediate custody. (196567)

The information requested on convictions and sentences under section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968 is provided in the table.

The mandatory minimum for firearms offences does not apply to offences under section 1 of the Act.

The figures in the table are taken from the Ministry of Justice (formerly Home Office) Court Proceedings Database and relate to sentences imposed (including life and indeterminate sentences) and the average sentence length of immediate custody (excluding life and indeterminate sentences) for those sentenced for such offences where the principal offence is the one for which they were found guilty. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. Where a person is convicted on the same occasion of a firearms offences, and one such as homicide, conspiracy, robbery or GBH with intent (218 of OPA 1861) where the maximum is higher, the data in respect of the firearms offence will not have been included in the following table.

Number of defendants aged 18 and over found guilty at all courts, sentenced and sentenced to immediate custody for offences under section 1 of the Firearms Act 1968, by month, England and Wales 20061,2,3,4

Found guilty3

Sentenced3

Of those sentenced:Percentage sentenced to immediate custody

January

17

18

50

February

14

15

53

March

21

22

23

April

23

19

42

May

15

17

18

June

17

16

25

July

22

23

26

August

12

12

33

September

11

11

18

October

19

16

25

November

29

28

36

December

19

14

29

Total

219

211

32

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Section 1 of the Firearms act 1968 covers offences of Non-compliance with conditions of a firearm certificate and possessing a firearm or ammunition without a firearm certificate.

3 The number found guilty may differ from the number sentenced due to the inclusion of people found guilty in a magistrates court but sentenced in the Crown court. For such people, magistrates courts records were used to determine the numbers found guilty and Crown court records were used to determine the numbers sentenced. Hence the dates of the two events would differ.

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

Source:

court proceedings database—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice

Firearms: Sentencing

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many and what percentage of people convicted of carrying an illegal firearm under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 received the mandatory sentence established by the Act in each of the last four years, broken down by age group; and what the average length of sentence of those convicted of carrying an illegal firearm under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 was in each of the last four years. (197743)

The table shows the number of persons sentenced to immediate custody of possession of an illegal firearm eligible for the mandatory minimum, and the proportion that received the mandatory minimum.

The mandatory minimum only applies to two offences;

‘possessing or distributing prohibited weapons or ammunition’ under s. 5(1) (a), (b), (aba), (ac), (ad), (ae), (af) or (c) of the Firearms Act 1968, as amended by s. 288 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

‘possessing or distributing firearm disguised as other object’ under s. 5(1A)(a) of the Firearms Act 1968, also as amended by s. 288 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003.

The mandatory minimum is five years for those aged 18 and over, and three years for those aged 16-17. The mandatory minimum came into affect in January 2004, and does not apply to those persons who committed offences before this date. The maximum penalty for these offences is 10 years.

The figures in the table are taken, from the Ministry of Justice (formerly Home Office) Court Proceedings Database and relate to sentences imposed (including life and indeterminate sentences) and the average sentence length of immediate custody (excluding life and indeterminate sentences) for those sentenced for such offences where the principal offence is the one for which they were found guilty. When a defendant has been found guilty of two or more offences it is the offence for which the heaviest penalty is imposed. Where the same disposal is imposed for two or more offences, the offence selected is the offence for which the statutory maximum penalty is the most severe. Where a person is convicted on the same occasion of one of these two firearms offences, and one such as homicide, conspiracy, robbery or GBH with intent (218 of OPA 1861) where the maximum is higher, the data in respect of the firearms offence will not have been included in the table.

Courts are required to impose the minimum sentence unless there are exceptional circumstances relating to the offence or to the offender which justify not doing so. The purpose of the minimum sentence is to tackle gun crime and gun culture. It is not aimed at purely technical offences. Exceptional circumstances might therefore include where the holder of a firearms certificate inadvertently forgets to renew his authority or where a war trophy is discovered among a deceased person’s effects.

The Lord Chief Justice and I have concerns about the quality of this data and that relating to knife crime. An earlier project was undertaken that looked at cases reported to the Court Proceedings Database during the first 6 months of 2006 where the mandatory sentence was not given to persons aged 18 and over. These cases were checked with the Crown courts concerned. Of 65 cases, 12 were found to have the offence incorrectly classified (although two were still subject to the 5-year sentence). A further case had the custody duration recorded as five months instead of five years. Some 17 per cent. of Crown court cases checked therefore had the wrong offence classification. The majority correctly reflect the offence and court outcome although in few cases were the courts able to say whether exceptional circumstances, as allowed for in the Criminal Justice Act, had been the reason for the five year sentence not being imposed. Among reasons quoted were ‘gun incapable of being fired’, ‘defendant clinically depressed’, ‘technical breach only’ and ‘defendant too young for imprisonment’.

The Ministry of Justice is now looking to see if the situation has improved by looking at data from the first six months of 2007.

Persons1 sentenced for firearms possession offences2 involving mandatory custodial sentences, England and Wales

Of which: 5 years or over 3

Age group

Total persons sentenced

Persons given immediate custody

Number

Percentage of total sentenced

Average custodial sentence length (months)

20044

16-17

49

10

5

10.2

25.0

18-20

122

35

13

10.7

39.5

21 +

565

206

63

11.2

35.3

Total

736

251

81

11.0

35.3

2005

16-17

32

9

4

12.5

26.0

18-20

59

34

18

30.5

45.5

21 +

294

199

124

42.2

48.6

Total

385

242

146

37.9

47.3

2006

16-17

15

8

5

33.3

29.8

18-20

46

31

10

21.7

43.6

21 +

220

173

126

57.3

54.0

Total

281

212

141

50.2

51.6

1 Principal offence basis.

2 Possessing or distributing prohibited weapons or ammunition or firearm disguised as other object.

Firearms Act 1968 sections 5(1)(a), (ab), (aba), (ac), (ad), (ae), (af) or (c) and section 5(1 A)(a) as amended by the Criminal Justice Act 2003 section 287.

3 Three years in the case of persons aged 16-17.

4 Many of the persons dealt with in 2004 will have committed their offences prior to the mandatory sentence being introduced in January 2004.

Note:

These figures have been drawn from administrative data systems. Although care is taken when processing and analysing the returns, the detail collected is subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any large scale recording system.

Source:

RDS-NOMS, Ministry of Justice

27 March 2008

PQ(RN)139-08

Law Centres

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many community law centres there are; and how many closed in each of the last 10 years. (196791)

In 2000-01, the Legal Services Commission (LSC) contracted with 53 law centres and currently contracts with a total of 60 law centres. Contracted spend on law centres has increased from £6.7 million in 2000-01 to £11.6 million in 2006-07.

The LSC does not have figures for law centres other than those it contracts with.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many community law centres have given notice to his Department and the Legal Services Commission of an inability to continue (a) to operate and (b) to operate at current levels of service provision as a consequence of restricted funding; what response he has made to such notifications; and what steps he is taking to secure continued service provision to individual users of those community law centres which have given notice of an intention to close. (196790)

There is no expectation that any law centre will close because of Legal Services Commission (LSC) changes to the fee schemes. Out of the 60 law centres to which the LSC provides funding, four have indicated that they may cease to operate. These four providers have been affected by the withdrawal of non-LSC funding. Funding to law centres from the LSC has increased significantly over the last seven years from £6.7 million in 2000-01 to £11.6 million in 2006-07. It is not the only source of funding to Law Centres and the continuity of their operations depends on securing a range of flinders as well as on the general management of their business.

The LSC has introduced transitional provisions to minimise any short term impact from the new fee arrangements while law centres and other not for profit providers adapt to and take the opportunities provided by these arrangements. It is also working with local authorities and other funders to develop arrangements for community legal advice that will provide greater stability in total funding.

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much was spent through the Legal Services Commission on community law centres in each of the last 10 years. (196792)

The Legal Services Commission (LSC) came into being April 2000 and figures are available from this period onwards. The Legal Aid Board provided funding to Law Centres prior to the creation of the LSC, however, data on this cannot be obtained except at disproportionate cost.

The LSC’s total spend (help and representation) on Law Centres from 2000-01 to 2007-08 is detailed in the following table. The table also shows the LSC’s legal help spend on not for profit organisations overall in the same period.

£ million

Financial year

LSC funding to law centres

Total LSC NfP funding for sector (legal help only)

2000-01

6.7

24.4

2001-02

8.4

39.8

2002-03

9.4

47.7

2003-04

10.6

51.1

2004-05

11.0

72.4

2005-06

12.0

76.7

2006-07

11.6

79.7

2007-08

111.5

187.2

1 Figure to date—final figure calculated after the year end and not currently available.

National Offender Management Service: Cost Effectiveness

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what (a) cost reductions and (b) efficiency gains have been achieved by the National Offender Management Service since its inception. (196145)

The National Offender Management Service was established in 2004. The cashable and non cashable efficiency savings achieved since April 2004 under the NOMS Value for Money Programme (comprising the Prison Service, Probation Service, Youth Justice Board and NOMS HQ) are as follows:

£ million

Cashable savings (cumulative)

Non cashable savings (cumulative)

2004-05

66.37

72.069

2005-06

157.692

133.183

2006-07

182.912

205.656

2007-08

237.976

276.692

The savings for 2007-08 are provisional.

Prisoners

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the ratio of (a) prison officers and (b) other prison staff to prisoners was in each (i) contracted-out and (ii) public prison in each of the last five years. (188346)

The information requested is in the following tables.

Public Sector Prisons

Information on the ratio of prisoners to each officer and prisoners to other staff for each public sector Prison Service establishment in each of the last five years is contained in the following tables. The ratios given are a snapshot at the end of each March and the latest available date.

Ratio of prisoners to each officer1 in public sector establishments

As at 31 March each year

Establishment

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Acklington

3.8

3.9

3.8

3.7

3.5

Albany

3.4

3.5

3.4

3.6

3.5

Ashwell

4.8

5.1

5.0

5.2

5.1

Askham Grange

4.2

2.6

4.2

3.8

3.4

Aylesbury

2.2

2.2

2.3

2.4

2.4

Bedford

3.7

3.3

3.2

3.4

3.3

Belmarsh

1.7

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.8

Birmingham

2.8

2.9

2.8

2.7

2.8

Blakenhurst

4.0

3.6

4.1

4.2

4,2

Blantyre House

3.7

3.8

3.8

3.3

3.3

Blundeston

3.1

3.1

3.0

3.1

3.1

Brinsford

2.0

2.1

2.0

1.9

1.9

Bristol

2.2

2.2

2.4

2.6

2.7

Brixton

3.6

3.4

3.4

3.7

3.7

Brockhill

1.5

1.2

1.3

2.2

2.3

Buckley Hall

2.9

3.0

3.4

3.5

3.5

Bullingdon

4.1

4.1

3.8

3.9

3.9

Bullwood Hall

1.9

1.9

1.9

2.1

2.3

Camp Hill

3.8

3.6

3.7

3.7

3.6

Canterbury

2.8

2.9

2.7

2.7

2.7

Cardiff

2.7

2.9

3.0

2.9

3.0

Castington

1.6

1.5

1.7

1.9

1.7

Channings Wood

3.8

3.8

3.9

3.9

4.0

Chelmsford

3.3

3.1

3.1

3.3

3.0

Coldingley

4.1

4.3

4.2

4.1

4.1

Cookham Wood

2.1

2.7

1.9

1.9

0.0

Dartmoor

3.6

3.8

3.7

3.7

3.6

Deerbolt

2.6

2.4

2.2

2.0

2.4

Dorchester

2.6

2.3

2.3

2.2

2.0

Dover

2.6

2.2

2.1

2.4

2.5

Downview

2.0

1.7

2.5

2.7

2.9

Drake Hall

3.3

3.2

2.6

3.0

3.4

Durham

1.7

2.0

2.6

3.0

2.8

East Sutton Park

3.9

3-6

4.3

4.3

4.4

Eastwood Park

2.4

2.7

2.1

2.4

2.1

Edmunds Hill

2.2

1.3

2.8

2.8

2.7

Elmley

4.0

3.8

3.7

2

2

Erlestoke

3.6

3.7

3.7

3.5

3.2

Everthorpe

3.7

3.5

4.0

3.7

3.8

Exeter

2.7

2.8

2.7

2.8

2.5

Featherstone

4.3

4.2

4.1

4.4

4.3

Feltham

1.5

1.4

1.5

1.5

1.4

Ford

8.7

8.1

8.4

7.1

8.1

Foston Hall

2.2

1.8

2.2

1.5

1.8

Frankland

1.2

1.2

1.2

1.2

1.2

Full Sutton

1.2

1.2

1.2

1.2

1.3

Garth

2.9

2.9

2.6

2.1

2.6

Gartree

2.8

2.8

2.5

2.7

2.8

Glen Parva

3.1

2.8

3.0

3.1

3.1

Gloucester

2.6

2.5

2.4

2.5

2.4

Grendon

1.4

1.3

1.4

1.6

1.5

Guys Marsh

4.0

4.1

4.2

4.3

4.2

Haslar

2.4

2.7

3.0

2.2

2.5

Haverigg

4.4

4.0

4.2

4.2

4.1

Hewell Grange

5.2

5.7

5.1

6.2

5.4

High Down

3.2

3.3

3.1

3.3

3.8

Highpoint

4.4

4.3

4.1

4.2

4.2

Hindley

2.0

1.8

1.9

2.1

2.2

Hollesley Bay

6.9

6.0

4.9

5.7

5.8

Holloway

1.6

1.8

1.5

1.7

1.8

Holme House

3.2

3;2

3.2

3.2

3.0

Hull

3.0

3.0

2.9

3.1

3.1

Huntercombe

2.3

2.3

2.0

2.3

23

Kennet

3

3

3

0.0

2.2

Kingston

1.9

2,0

2.7

2.6

2.6

Kirkham

5.6

5.0

4.4

5.3

4.8

Kirklevington Grange

5.0

4.8

5.0

4.9

4.8

Lancaster

2.8

2.8

2.7

2.6

2.0

Lancaster Farms

2.2

2.1

2.1

2.0

2.0

Latchmere House

5.2

6.4

4.7

6.1

5.8

Leeds

3.0

2.9

2.8

2.6

2.6

Leicester

2.7

2.7

2.6

2.6

2.5

Lewes

3.0

3.0

3.1

3.1

3.0

Leyhill

7.5

7.0

4.6

5.6

5.1

Lincoln

2.2

2.3

2.2

2.4

3.2

Lindholme

3.4

3.6

3.8

4.2

4.3

Littlehey

4.5

4.4

4.3

4.4

4.4

Liverpool

3.2

3.2

3.0

3.1

3.3

Long Lartin

1.2

1.2

1.2

1.1

1.1

Low Newton

2.2

1.6

1.5

1.6

2.0

Maidstone

3.7

3.6

3.8

3.6

3.1

Manchester

2.9

2.6

2.4

2.5

2.4

Moorland

2.3

2.3

2.4

2.4

2.3

Morton Hall

3.0

2.8

2.6

2.7

3.2

New Hall

2.0

1.8

1.5

1.7

1.8

North Sea Camp

6.8

5.9

4.7

4.9

4.9

Northallerton

3.4

2.6

3.8

3.8

3.6

Norwich

3.1

3.3

3.2

2.8

2.6

Nottingham

2.7

2.7

2.3

2.5

2.5

Onley

1.8

2.6

3.1

3.3

3.2

Parkhurst

2.6

2,6

2.7

2.8

2.7

Pentonville

3.0

2.9

3.0

2.9

3.1

Portland

2.7

2.3

2.4

2.9

2.6

Preston

2.9

2.6

2.3

2.8

2.7

Ranby

3.1

3.5

3.6

4.1

3.7

Reading

2.4

2.2

2.4

2.3

2.1

Risley

3.7

3.8

3.6

3.8

3.7

Rochester

2.1

2.6

2.7

2.6

2.2

Send

3.3

2.6

2.5

2.8

2.6

Sheppey Cluster

3.5

0.0

Shepton Mallet

3.0

2.8

2.9

3.1

2.9

Shrewsbury

3.2

2.7

2.9

3.0

2.9

Stafford

3.7

4.1

4.2

4.1

3.8

Standford Hill

4.7

5.2

5.7

2

2

Stocken

4.1

4.0

4.2

4.1

4.1

Stoke Heath

2.8

2.7

2.7

2.9

2.2

Styal

2.4

1.9

2.2

2.1

2.2

Sudbury

8.0

8.0

8.6

7.5

8.2

Swaleside

3.1

3.0

3.1

2

2

Swansea

2.5

2.6

2.7

2.9

2.7

Swinfen Hall

2.2

2.2

3.0

2.9

2.9

The Mount

5.1

4.8

4.6

4.7

4.3

The Verne

5.4

5.2

5.0

5.1

5.0

Thorn Cross

2.3

2.5

2.0

1.9

1.8

Usk/Prescoed

1.9

1.8

1.8

1.7

1.6

Wakefield

1.5

1.5

1.7

1.8

1.7

Wandsworth

3.6

3.8

3.7

3.9

3.7

Warren Hill

1.5

1.4

1.4

1.5

1.5

Wayland

4.7

4.6

4.6

4.7

3.4

Wealstun

3.0

3.7

3.9

4.0

3.9

Weare

3.3

3.5

4

4

4

Wellingborough

3.7

3.1

3.3

3.7

3.6

Werrington

1.8

1.5

1.8

1.8

1.3

Wetherby

1.8

2.1

2.0

2.0

1.9

Whatton

3.9

3.5

2.6

3.7

3.7

Whitemoor

0.9

0.9

1.0

1.0

1.0

Winchester

2.7

3.1

3.3

2.6

2.9

Woodhill

1.8

1.7

1.8

1.8

1.9

Wormwood Scrubs

3.9

3.7

3.9

4.0

3.9

Wymott

3.5

4.1

4.1

4.1

3.8

1 Includes prison officers, senior officers and principal officers.

2 Clustered.

3 Not open.

4 Closed.

Ratio of Prisoners to each non-officer member of staff in public sector establishments

As at 31 March each year

Establishment

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Acklington

4.5

4.7

4.1

4.0

3.9

Albany

3.0

3.3

2.8

3.0

2.6

Ashwell

3.1

3.2

3.0

3.0

2.9

Askham Grange

2.5

1.5

2.0

1.8

1.9

Aylesbury

2.1

2.4

2.8

2.9

3.0

Bedford

4.1

4.2

4.4

4.2

4.3

Belmarsh

2.3

2.3

2.4

2.3

2.1

Birmingham

4.8

5.0

4.9

5.1

5.0

Blakenhurst

5.1

4.8

5.2

5.3

5.2

Blantyre House

2.6

2.7

2.8

2.6

2.6

Blundeston

3.1

3.1

3.3

3.4

3.3

Brinsford

2.4

2.4

2.7

2.7

2.5

Bristol

2.6

2.9

3.0

3.4

3.6

Brixton

4.9

4.4

4.9

4.8

5.0

Brockhill

1.3

1.1

1.6

2.1

2.1

Buckley Hall

2.3

2.9

3.3

3.3

3.1

Bullingdon

5.1

4.3

4.5

4.0

3.8

Bullwood Hall

1.5

1.4

1.7

1.9

2.0

Camp Hill

4.5

4.4

4.5

4.6

4.2

Canterbury

3.7

3.0

2.6

2.7

2.9

Cardiff

3.3

3.5

3.4

3.5

4.0

Castington

2.1

2.1

2.3

2.5

2.4

Channings Wood

3.6

3.6

3.4

3.5

3.4

Chelmsford

3.9

3.3

3.3

3.4

3.5

Coldingley

3.3

3.4

3.5

3.5

2.9

Cookham Wood

2.6

2.5

3.0

3.0

0.0

Dartmoor

3.3

3.3

3.0

3.4

3.3

Deerbolt

2.8

2.9

2.4

2.2

2.5

Dorchester

2.5

2.8

3.1

2.6

2.2

Dover

2.1

1.8

1.9

2.2

2.2

Downview

2.0

2.3

3.3

3.3

3.4

Drake Hall

2.6

2.7

2.3

2.8

3.3

Durham

2.2

2.3

3.4

3.8

3.3

East Sutton Park

2.0

2,0

2.2

2.5

2.2

Eastwood Park

2.6

2.7

2.2

2.3

2.2

Edmunds Hill

2.5

1.4

2.9

3.1

3.3

Elmley

4.8

4.9

4.7

1

1

Erlestoke

3.4

3.5

3.4

3.7

3.3

Everthorpe

3.7

2.8

3.4

3.8

4.2

Exeter

3.6

3.4

2.9

3.1

3.0

Featherstone

3.3

3.2

3.3

3.2

3.4

Feltham

1.9

1.5

1.7

1.6

1.5

Ford

4.5

3.9

4.2

3.7

4.1

Foston Hall

1.9

1.6

1.8

1.5

1.7

Frankland

2.0

2.0

2.0

1.9

1.9

Full Sutton

2.0

2.1

1.8

1.8

1.8

Garth

3.3

3.3

2.8

2.7

2.9

Gartree

2.9

2.8

2.3

2.5

2.5

Glen Parva

3.0

2.9

3.0

3.5

3.3

Gloucester

2.6

2.7

2.8

3.2

3.3

Grendon

1.2

1.2

1.2

1.3

1.1

Guys Marsh

3.5

3.8

3.4

3.7

3.6

Haslar

2.1

2.5

2.7

2.1

2.3

Haverigg

3.1

2.8

2.9

2.8

2.8

Hewell Grange

2.3

2.4

2.1

2.6

2.4

High Down

3.1

3.2

3.5

3.4

3.8

Highpoint

3.4

3.4

3.5

3.7

3.5

Hindley

2.6

1.9

2.1

2.1

2.4

Hollesley Bay

6.1

3.7

3.1

3.3

3.4

Holloway

1.9

1.8

1.4

1.6

1.9

Holme House

4.1

4:5

4.7

5.5

4.9

Hull

4.6

4.4

4.2

4.4

5.3

Huntercombe

2.6

2.7

2.4

3.0

2.6

Kennet

2

2

2

0.0

2.0

Kingston

1.7

1.8

2.6

2.8

2.5

Kirkham

3.1

2.9

2.6

3.3

2.9

Kirklevington Grange

3.0

3.1

3.1

3.3

3.2

Lancaster

2.3

2.6

2.7

2.4

1.6

Lancaster Farms

2.5

2.7

3.3

3.3

2.9

Latchmere House

5.0

5.3

3.9

4.8

4.5

Leeds

4.7

4.6

4.9

4.3

4.7

Leicester

3.3

2.9

2.7

3.4

3.2

Lewes

3.4

3.4

3.8

3.7

3.6

Leyhill

3.2

3.1

2.1

2.7

2.5

Lincoln

2.5

2.4

2.3

2.7

3.7

Lindholme

2.5

3.0

2.8

2.9

3.3

Littlehey

4.3

4.4

4.3

4.3

4.2

Liverpool

5.5

5.1

4.5

5.2

5.4

Long Lartin

1.5

1.5

1.7

1.4

1.3

Low Newton

2.3

1.9

1.6

1.8

2.2

Maidstone

3.5

3.3

3.3

3.6

3.0

Manchester

3.8

3.7

3.6

3.7

3.6

Moorland

2.8

2.8

2.8

3.0

3.6

Morton Hall

3.3

2.8

2.5

2.7

3.1

New Hall

2.1

1.7

1.6

2.0

2.3

North Sea Camp

3.3

3.4

2.4

2.9

2.7

Northallerton

2.9

2.1

2.6

2.7

3.1

Norwich

3.2

3.4

3.9

3.3

2.7

Nottingham

2.8

2.6

2.5

3.0

2.7

Onley

1.8

2.4

2.6

2.7

2.8

Parkhurst

2.9

2.8

2.6

2.8

2.6

Pentonville

4.6

4.4

4.4

4.5

4.5

Portland

2.6

2.2

2.4

3.2

2.7

Preston

3.6

3.1

3.1

3.6

3.5

Ranby

3.2

3.3

3.8

4.0

3.6

Reading

3.1

2.9

3.0

2.3

2.2

Risley

4.3

4.7

5.1

5.1

4.9

Rochester

2.1

2.5

2.5

2.6

2.4

Send

3.0

2.8

2.4

2.7

2.7

Sheppey Cluster

18.0

0.0

Shepton Mallet

2.4

2.1

2.3

2.3

2.2

Shrewsbury

3.3

2.5

3.4

3.4

3.0

Stafford

3.1

3.2

3.3

3.6

3.2

Standford Hill

2.8

2.7

2.7

1

1

Stocken

3.9

3.8

3.8

3.5

3.5

Stoke Heath

3.2

3.2

3.3

3.4

2.6

Styal

2.6

1.9

2.4

2.3

3.0

Sudbury

4.1

4.0

3.9

3.5

3.8

Swaleside

4.7

4.8

4.8

1

1

Swansea

3.0

3.3

3.1

3.1

3.4

Swinfen Hall

2.0

2.0

2.5

2.9

2.9

The Mount

4.2

3.8

4.2

4.1

4.3

The Verne

3.4

3.4

3.2

3.3

3.3

Thorn Cross

2.5

2.5

2.2

2.2

2.0

Usk/Prescoed

1.3

1.2

1.0

1.1

1.1

Wakefield

2.1

2.1

2.6

2.5

2.3

Wandsworth

4.6

4.5

4.6

4.5

5.3

Warren Hill

1.8

1.7

1.6

1.9

2.0

Wayland

4.3

4.2

4.2

4.3

4.0

Wealstun

2.6

3.3

3.6

3.6

4.0

Weare

3.9

3.8

3

3

3

Wellingborough

3.8

3.3

3.0

3.4

3.7

Werrington

1.5

i;2

1.5

1.8

1.3

Wetherby

2.2

2.1

2.4

2.2

2.2

Whatton

3.6

3.0

2.1

3.2

3.2

Whitemoor

1.5

1.5

1.5

1.4

1.5

Winchester

3.2

3.5

3.7

2.8

2.9

Woodhill

3.5

3.2

3.0

2.9

2.8

Wormwood Scrubs

4.1

4.4

4.3

4.8

5.1

Wymott

3.4

3.8

3.9

4.1

4.1

1 Clustered.

2 Not open.

3 Closed.

Contracted Prisons

Information on the ratio of prisoners to each officer and prisoners to other staff for each contracted establishment in each of the last five years is provided in the following tables. The ratios given are a snapshot at the end of each financial year and the latest available date as at the end of January 2008.

Ratio of prisoners to each officer equivalent1 in contracted establishments

As at 31 March each year

Establishment

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Ashfield

1.8

1.4

1.9

2.2

2.0

Altcourse

3.5

3.3

3.6

3.6

3.7

Bronzefield2

5

2.5

2.3

2.4

2.5

Doncaster

4.4

4.4

4.5

4.5

4.2

Dovegate

5.8

5.2

6.8

4.6

4.9

Forest Bank

4.8

4,9

4.5

4.5

4.5

Lowdham Grange

n/a

3.6

3.7

3.5

3.9

Pare

3.5

3.3

3.6

3.7

4.0

Peterborough3

5

5

2.5

3.0

2.9

Rye Hill4

n/a

n/a

4.0

4.2

4.0

Wolds

3.4

3.5

3.2

3.8

3.3

Ratio of prisoners to non-officer staff in contracted establishments

As at 31 March each year

Establishment

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Ashfield

1.5

3.2

1.5

1.4

1.8

Altcourse

5.1

4.7

5.3

6.0

6.1

Bronzefield2

5

3.5

2.9

2.7

2.6

Doncaster

3.5

3.4

3.0

3.5

3.47

Dovegate

10.3

11.5

16.6

9.7

7.1

Forest Bank

6.7

7.0

6.3

6.7

6.2

Lowdham Grange

n/a

2.9

3.0

3.4

3.9

Pare

5.5

5.1

4.8

4.9

4

Peterborough3

5

5

6.1

6.8

6.7

Rye Hill4

n/a

n/a

6.7

6.43

5.6

Wolds

6.5

5.7

3.7

4.6

3.7

1 Data is provided for HMPS prison officer equivalents in the contracted prison sector, prison custody officers and senior prison custody officers.

2 HMP Bronzefield did not open until June 2004.

3 HMP Peterborough did not open until March 2005.

4 Data for HMP Rye Hill prior to 2005 is not available due to archiving and could only be provided at a disproportionate cost. Information on staffing figures in the contracted estate is not collated centrally and has been requested from each contractor and is derived from their own HR database.

5 Not Open.

Prisons

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many (a) high and (b) medium security psychiatric beds exist in (i) prison facilities and (ii) health facilities used by the Prison Service; and how many (A) high and (B) medium security psychiatric beds were in use by prisoners in (1) prison facilities and (2) health facilities used by the Prison Service in each of the last five years. (193505)

Prisons are not designated for treatment under the Mental Health Act and there are no high or medium secure psychiatric beds in the prison estate.

In NHS units in England, for 2006-07, the latest period for which figures are available, there was an average daily number of 2,993 mental illness secure unit beds, and 516 learning disability secure unit beds1.

Prisoners with mental disorder that meet the criteria for transfer under the Mental Health Act 1983 are transferred, as patients, to mental health facilities commissioned by the national health service.

The number of prisoners transferred in the last five years are shown in the following table.

1 Source:

Department of Health KH03 return.

Number

2003

786

2004

891

2005

900

2006

962

2007

926

Prisons: Wales

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what representations he has received from Wrexham County Borough Council on the provision of a prison in North Wales in the last 12 months. (197345)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor has received no formal representations from Wrexham county borough council on the provision of a prison in North Wales in the last 12 months. However, NOMS Custodial Estates has had discussions with Wrexham county borough council in conjunction with North Wales Criminal Justice Board about the possibility of sites becoming a prison development in the Wrexham area.

Property Rights: Cohabitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what plans he has to respond to the Law Commission proposals to reform the property rights of cohabiting couples published in July 2007. (198691)

I refer the hon. Member to my written ministerial statement on 6 March 2008, Official Report, column 123WS, announcing the Government’s response to the Law Commission’s paper, “Cohabitation: The Financial Consequences of Relationship Breakdown”.

Sexual Offences: Rehabilitation

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what assessment he has made of the delivery of internet sex offender programmes in probation areas in Wales against delivery timetables in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08; (197809)

(2) what assessment he has made of the delivery of community sex offenders programmes in probation areas in Wales against delivery timetables in (a) 2005-06, (b) 2006-07 and (c) 2007-08.

National guidance to probation areas states that offenders sentenced to a community order with a requirement to attend an accredited sex offender programme should commence the group work programme by the sixth week of the order. In some cases this timetable can be altered at the discretion of the offender manager. There is no timetable for offenders on licence.

Offenders waiting for a place on the group work component of the community sex offender treatment programme or the internet offender programme are under the supervision of their offender manager from the day of sentence. Before they commence either programme a full assessment is required in order to confirm their suitability for the programme; confirm the treatment plan; and identify the modules in which they should participate. During this initial period the offender manager will monitor the risk posed by the offender and manage it. Additionally the offender manager will normally prepare offenders for the programmes by carrying out set work.

The information requested is contained in the following table. These figures have been drawn from administrative IT systems, which, as with any large scale recording system, are subject to possible errors with data entry and processing. The waiting times may include time that has elapsed while the offender is prepared for the programme or because an offender has been recalled to custody.

Community sex offender treatment programmeInternet sex offender treatment programme

Area

Data

2006-07

2007-08

2006-07

2007-08

Dyfed-Powys

Average time to start in weeks

39

20

Number of commencements

4

5

Gwent

Average time to start in weeks

33

34

43

Number of commencements

11

13

5

North Wales

Average time to start in weeks

38

44

56

Number of commencements

36

16

11

1

South Wales

Average time to start in weeks

55

49

63

66

Number of commencements

20

13

1

4

Tribunals: Employment

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will instruct employment tribunals to (a) award costs against and (b) reflect in the value of awards those bringing or defending a claim irresponsibly. (197247)

Employment tribunals are independent judicial bodies therefore neither the Secretary of State nor any Government official has the power to instruct or direct employment tribunals on the amount, or circumstances in which an award of costs or compensatory award should be made.

The Employment Tribunals (Constitution and Rules of Procedure) Regulations 2004 give employment tribunals the power to consider an award of costs against a claimant or respondent in respect of costs incurred by the other party. This includes instances where a tribunal or chairman considers that a party or their representative has acted vexatiously, abusively, disruptively or otherwise unreasonably, in the bringing of proceedings. The amount of the award is determined by the tribunal in accordance with the guidance given in the rules.

Young Offender Institutions: Restraint Techniques

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice (1) what his policy is on the use of restraints in establishments for young offenders; and if he will make a statement; (198343)

(2) on how many occasions restraints were used on young offenders in each of the last three years;

(3) how many injuries were recorded arising from the use of restraints on young offenders in each of the last three years.

Young offenders are those prisoners aged 18 to 21 years old who are referred to as young adults. The Prison Service uses control and restraint (C and R) techniques to restrain prisoners, including young adults, as a last resort in order to bring a violent or refractory prisoner under control and only when all other de-escalation techniques have failed. An independent review into the techniques used to restrain young people, below the age of 18, in custodial settings is currently under way and will report to Ministers in June this year.

The information requested on number of restraints and injuries is not held centrally in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Transport

Aircraft: Air Conditioning

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether (a) the Civil Aviation Authority and (b) her Department has commissioned research on the effect of oil leaks of engines on passengers and crew of Boeing 757s. (198164)