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Written Answers

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 15 May 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 15 May 2008

Health

Alcoholic Drinks: Health Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department plans to update the Know Your Limits leaflets. (204274)

The leaflets “Drinking and You” and “Drinking, You and Your Mates” were updated and reprinted in April 2008.

On 19 May, the Department will launch a public information campaign on alcohol units and health, which will include several new leaflets replacing current Know Your Limits leaflets.

Asthma: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent steps the Government have taken to improve NHS healthcare services for asthma sufferers. (204994)

In 2004, the Department introduced a National Service Framework (NSF) for Children, Young People and Maternity Services to set standards. Copies of the NSF are available in the Library. Asthma has a specific care pathway within the NSF, which serves as a benchmark in guiding national health service commissioners in procuring efficient, effective and child/family orientated services, and also serves as a reference for appraisal by families, service commissioners and the Healthcare Commission.

The NHS Choices website, launched June 2007, contains a wide and expanding range of information about asthma to help sufferers manage their condition. This includes information on causation, preventive measures, treatments, and comparative data on primary and secondary care providers. Later this year, an asthma pathway will bring together in one place a range of information about the five stages of the condition.

Published Quality and Outcome Framework scores indicate how each general practitioner practice in England performs in the delivery of recognised best practice in asthma care against the national standard, and that of the local primary care trust.

World-class commissioning is an ambitious initiative that is being rolled out across the entire national health service, with the purpose of strengthening the commissioning of health and wellbeing services across the board. The World-Class Commissioning Programme will improve health outcomes for people with asthma just as it will improve outcomes for people with any health need or condition, through transforming the way that health and care services are commissioned.

In addition, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has appraised the following asthma treatments: inhaler systems (devices) in children under the age of five years with chronic asthma; corticosteroids for the treatment of chronic asthma in adults and children aged 12 years and over; corticosteroids for the treatment of chronic asthma chronic asthma in older children (5-15 years) and omalizumab for severe persistent allergic asthma.

Where NICE has given a positive recommendation that the NHS should provide this treatment, primary care trusts are statutorily obliged to provide funding, or asthma.

Bereavement Counselling: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent representations he has received on initiatives aimed at assisting bereaved children. (204265)

The Department has not received any such representations. Over the last three financial years, we have financially supported the Child Bereavement Charity with £109,000 towards the cost of their Communicating with Children - Every Bereaved Child Matters project.

Cystic Fibrosis: Screening

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will review his Department's policy on testing for cystic fibrosis carrier status when screening newborn babies for cystic fibrosis. (204082)

On the recommendation of the United Kingdom National Screening Committee (UK NSC), a newborn cystic fibrosis screening programme was introduced in England in 2001 to identify babies with cystic fibrosis. The screening programme is not designed to test for cystic fibrosis carrier status. A small proportion of babies (about one in 100) are unavoidably identified during the testing as cystic fibrosis carriers. This can happen if a mutation analysis of a blood sample is required after the biochemical test. In such cases, in line with other newborn screening programmes, parents will be advised that their child is a carrier. The UK NSC keeps all its policy advice under review.

Departmental Orders and Regulations

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many statutory instruments have been (a) made and (b) revoked by Ministers in his Department since 1997. (204766)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for South-East Cambridgeshire (Mr. Paice) on 25 March 2008, Official Report, column 14-15W.

Doctors: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of doctors of each specialty and grade there will be in the NHS in each of the next 10 years. (204226)

The numbers of doctors that the national health service requires each year is a matter for determination by local NHS organisations, as they are best placed to assess the health needs of their local health community.

Doubt Kills Campaign

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much his Department has given in grants to the Doubt Kills campaign by the British Heart Foundation. (204941)

The Department has given no direct funding for the Doubt Kills campaign to the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Although the Department does regularly support the BHF through Section 64 grant funding for other purposes.

EU Action

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which consultations undertaken at EU level affecting his Department there were in each of the last 10 years; to which of these his Department (a) responded within the deadline, (b) responded after the deadline and (c) made no response; and in which consultations the Department secured all the aims of its consultation response in the ensuing action taken by the European Commission. (205556)

In response to any consultation at European Union (EU) level, the Department always aim to meet the stated deadline. If this is not possible, we negotiate an extension when required. We are committed to keeping scrutiny committees fully engaged in accordance with Government guidance and always aim to influence the consultation process as constructively as possible and robustly where necessary. However, comprehensive information on all EU level consultations affecting the Department in the last ten years is not readily available and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Food: Safety

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which local authorities were participating in the Food Standard Agency's Scores on Doors scheme at the latest date for which information is available. (204533)

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has sponsored pilot schemes of a variety of designs and involving a total of 47 local authorities1. A number of other local authorities have implemented schemes independently of the FSA in response to local needs.

There has been widespread support for a nationwide scheme to ensure clarity for consumers and consistency for businesses. In view of this, the FSA will shortly be launching a public consultation on proposals for introducing a United Kingdom-wide scheme.

1 Aberdeen, Ashford, Banbridge, Barking and Dagenham, Barnet, Belfast, Brent, Brighton and Hove, Bromley, Camden, Canterbury, Coventry, Croydon, Derby, Ealing, Edinburgh, Enfield, Fife, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Haringey, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Hull, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston, Lambeth, Leicester, Lewisham, Maidstone, Merton, Newham, North Devon, Nottingham, Perth and Kinross, Redbridge, Renfrewshire, Richmond, Sevenoaks, Stoke on Trent, Swansea, Tonbridge and Malling, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, Westminster.

Health Centres

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his Department's definition of a health centre is. (205200)

“Health centre” is a term used to describe a range of health services characterised by the co-location and integration of different services, including those traditionally provided in a hospital setting. The scope and scale of these services will be determined by local commissioners in collaboration with clinicians and patients to reflect local needs and circumstances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health which team within his Department leads on plans for a new GP-led health centre in each primary care trust area. (205218)

The Commissioning and System Management Directorate supported by the Commercial Directorate are jointly assisting the national health service to deliver the new general practitioner (GP) led health centres and new GP practices in poorly served areas.

Health Services: Rural Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to ensure that people with mobility problems or other disabilities secondary to chronic health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis will be able to access polyclinics and other primary care services in rural areas. (204746)

The premises from where such services are to be delivered must comply with the Disability Discrimination Act. It is for primary care trusts to develop, in consultation with local people, general practitioners and others, the services within the health centre that best reflect local needs.

Health: Children

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the (a) levels of obesity and (b) general health of school children in England in the last three years. (204375)

The information is not available in the exact format requested.

Data on the prevalence of obesity and self-reported general health among children aged two to 10, 11 to 15, and two to 15 between 1995 and 2006 can be found in the “Health Survey for England 2006 latest trends”, published 31 January 2008. The data is presented in table 4 (obesity) and table 8 (general health) of the “Children trend tables 2006”. This publication is available in the Library.

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether Ministers from his Department have (a) authorised parliamentary counsel to assist in preparing amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill on behalf of private Members and (b) authorised officials to instruct parliamentary counsel to prepare amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill which were subsequently passed to private Members in the last 12 months; and if he will make a statement. (205072)

Ministers from the Department have on no occasions either authorised parliamentary counsel to assist in preparing amendments to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill on behalf of private Members, or authorised officials to do so.

Meat Hygiene Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1801W, on the Meat Hygiene Service, what assessment he has made of the effect of the changes referred to in the answer on the functioning of Red Lion Abattoir, Nantwich. (205550)

We have been advised by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) that the new approach to charging for the costs of the delivery of official controls in approved meat plants, referred to in the earlier answer, continues to be developed with stakeholders, including representatives of abattoir operators. The FSA Board will discuss proposals for this and an impact assessment at its meeting on 17 July 2008. The intention will be for a full public consultation to start in late summer to enable the new approach to charging to be introduced from late March 2009, subject to consideration of the consultation responses and of the associated impact assessment. It is too early to assess the impact of the proposals on individual abattoirs.

Mesothelioma: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the funds and resources required to implement the mesothelioma framework. (204680)

The Department has estimated that implementing the mesothelioma framework will be largely cost neutral as it builds on service structures already in place for the treatment of lung cancer.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what representations his Department has received on the implementation of the mesothelioma framework. (204681)

The Department received 10 representations on the implementation of mesothelioma in response to a campaign letter seeking support for the ‘Action Mesothelioma Day’ parliamentary reception held on 27 February 2008.

NHS: Armed Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of NHS employees who were also serving members of the British armed forces in each of the last 10 years. (204474)

The Department does not collect data about the number of national health service employees who are serving members of the armed forces. Last year the Ministry of Defence carried out an exercise to assess the number of United Kingdom health care professionals serving in the Volunteer Reserves and estimated this to be around 1,600.

NHS: DHL

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what mechanisms he has put in place to monitor the effectiveness of the NHS's contract with DHL for the delivery of medical supplies; what estimate he has made of the effect on costs of the contract over its lifetime; and if he will make a statement. (204127)

DHL is contracted to run the business operation now known as NHS Supply Chain and has committed to key performance indicators (KPIs), including service delivery and financial targets. A business plan has been submitted to deliver savings of £1 billion over 10 years.

While the contractual high level KPIs are used for performance and penalty reporting, lower level KPIs are used predicatively and diagnostically to forecast and understand performance.

KPI information is produced for the lifetime of the contract in the form of standard reports, which are monitored and evaluated by the Supply Chain Management Division (SCMD) of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) which has been set up to manage DHL performance. Along with KPI measurement, rigorous process evaluation and gateway reviews, the SCMD are audited to ensure processes and procedures for managing the contract are robust.

The SCMD will liaise with key stakeholders via appropriate forums and feedback routes to ensure that service delivery reflects customers' needs and that the outsourcing delivers value for money. The master service agreement gives the NHSBSA full audit rights of NHS Supply Chain.

NHS: Working Hours

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library the results of the NHS National Workforce Projects pilots on the European Working Time Directive. (204221)

Full details of all the national health service national workforce projects pilots including locations and where available their objectives, results and lessons learned have been placed in the Library. All this information can also be viewed at the national workforce project website at:

www.healthcareworkforce.nhs.uk/pilotprojects.html.

Nurses

To ask the Secretary of State for Health when his Department expects to publish guidance on the commissioning of specialist nursing services for patients with (a) diabetes, (b) Parkinson's disease, (c) multiple sclerosis, (d) epilepsy, (e) breast cancer and (f) stroke. (204268)

We have published Long Term Neurological Conditions: A good practice guide to the development of the multidisciplinary team and the value of the specialist nurse. This guide has been prepared for commissioners and managers to highlight the role and contribution of specialist nurses. These principles are transferable to other specialities.

Copies of the guidance have been placed in the Library and can be found on the Department's website at:

www.healthcareworkforce.nhs.uk/resources/latest_resources/long_term_neurological_conditions.html

Nutrition: Logos

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications his Department has received for a licence to use the 5-a-day logo from (a) voluntary groups, (b) Government departments, (c) NHS bodies and (d) local authorities. (204271)

Government Departments do not require a licence. We have received 48 applications from voluntary groups, 118 applications from national health service bodies and 32 applications from local authorities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications his Department has received to use the 5-a-day logo on fruit or vegetable packaging. (204272)

The Department has received 117 applications to use the 5-a-day logo on fruit and vegetable packaging. Applications can be for a number of items in a product range produced or supplied by the applicant.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many applications to become an official partner of the 5-a-day campaign have been approved by his Department. (204273)

All organisations using the 5-a-day logo are considered to be 5-a-day partners. There are currently 407 licences in place to use the 5-a-day a logo. A further 268 licences have been approved since the launch of the 5-a-day logo but have since been delisted or not renewed.

Organs: Donors

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions he has held on the proposed Europe-wide organ donor card. (204266)

In May 2007, a European Commission (EC) Communication on organ donation suggested that the introduction of a European donor card might help increase organ donation rates across the European Union. The European Parliament has also inter alia called for an EU donor card, that would complement existing national systems. However, the potential benefits and risks of a European donor card continue to be discussed by member states as part of a wider consideration of the EC's Communication.

Pharmacy

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make it his policy to collect information on numbers of independent pharmacies. (204598)

Information on the ownership of community pharmacies is collected by the Information Centre for health and social care and published in the ‘General Pharmaceutical Services in England and Wales 1997-98 to 2006-07 (Annual Bulletin)’. Copies of the latest bulletin have been placed in the Library and are also available at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/primary-care/pharmacies/general-pharmaceutical-services-annual-bulletin-2006-07.

Pharmacy: Disadvantaged

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect of the centralisation of primary healthcare services on pharmacy services to vulnerable groups; and if he will make a statement. (204599)

I refer the hon. Member to the written answer I gave him on 8 May 2008, Official Report, column 1176W.

In continuing to ensure that there are adequate arrangements for patients to access pharmaceutical services, primary care trusts will consider the needs of vulnerable groups.

Queen's Hospital Romford: Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the bed occupancy rate was at the Queen's Hospital Romford in each month since January 2007. (205372)

Information is not available in the format requested. Information is collected annually at national health service trust level, and the latest data available is for 2006-07.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust manages the services at Queen's Hospital, Romford, King George Hospital, Ilford, and Barking Hospital. The 2006-07 data provided by the trust show an occupancy rate of 89.5 per cent. for beds in wards that are open overnight.

WiFi: Health Hazards

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with the Health Protection Agency on progress on its investigation into the potential health implications of Wi-Fi and WLAN technology. (204270)

In September 2007, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) announced its intention to systematically investigate the types of WiFi equipment in use and produce information on exposures to radio signals from wireless computer networks. The work started in November and should last for two years. The HPA provided a brief report to its Radiation Chemical and Environmental Hazards Sub-Committee meeting in April 2008 attended by a Departmental official. The work is making satisfactory progress. HPA Board Sub-Committee minutes and a summary of background information on WiFi can be found on the HPA web site at:

www.hpa.org.uk/webw/HPAweb&Page&HPAwebContentAreaLanding/Page/1153822623782(WiFi background)

www.hpa.org.uk/web/HPAwebFile/HPAweb_C/1194947341079(Board Sub-Committee meetings)

Barking Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent assessment he has made of the financial performance of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Hospitals Trust. (205370)

We recognise the challenging financial position of Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust, which at quarter three was forecasting a deficit of £39.9 million for the 2007-08 financial year. We are continuing to work with the London Strategic Health Authority as they and the trust's management develop plans for the trust's financial recovery.

Care Homes

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people have received NHS Continuing Care in (a) 2004-05, (b) 2005-06, (c) 2006-07 and (d) 2007-08 to date in each primary care trust (185601)

Chronically Sick: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made in relation to the World Class Commissioning Initiative of best practice in the commissioning of services for long-term conditions, such as arthritis, which do not currently feature as clinical indicators in the quality and outcomes framework of the General Medical Services contract. (204748)

The World Class Commissioning Programme endeavours to drive commissioners to improve health outcomes across all health needs and conditions.

The World Class Commissioning Programme requires commissioners to routinely seek and report on research and best practice evidence, including clinical evidence, which will assist in commissioning and decision-making. Commissioners will need to show that they are prioritising investment, identifying and commissioning against key priority outcomes, taking into account patient experiences, local needs and preferences, risk assessments and national priorities.

Commissioners will be held to account on their commissioning performance through an assurance that is intended to lead them towards world class.

Compulsorily Detained Mental Patients: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many persons (a) under 16 and (b) from 16 to 18 years of age (i) are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 and (ii) were detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 in each of the last five years. (197964)

Departmental Managers

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will place in the Library copies of the (a) agenda and (b) minutes of the last six meetings of his Department's Departmental Board. (205241)

A summary of proceedings from each scheduled meeting of the departmental board is published on the Department's website within three months of the meeting. The summary of proceedings from the departmental board meetings on 14 June 2007, 12 July 2007, 11 October 2007, 8 November 2007, 17 January 2008, and 14 February 2008 will be placed in the Library. The summary of proceedings from the departmental board meeting on 3 April 2008 will be placed in the Library once the minutes have been agreed at the next meeting.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the percentage of his Department’s (a) capital budget and (b) revenue budget that has not yet been allocated for (i) 2008-09, (ii) 2009-10 and (iii) 2010-11. (205198)

Over 80 per cent. of national health service revenue funding for 2008-09 was allocated to the NHS in primary care trust (PCT) allocations on 13 December 2007. The remaining funding is centrally controlled either by:

strategic health authorities (funding allocated on 5 February 2008); and

the Department (funding allocated to budget holders at the beginning of this financial year).

Revenue allocations for 2009-10 and 2010-11 have not yet been announced.

The Department has changed the system of NHS capital allocations so that most of the capital funding that is destined for spend by NHS trusts and PCTs is allocated in response to capital plans that are submitted by NHS trusts and PCTs at the start of the year. Plans for 2008-09 will be finalised in May. The 2008-09 plans include indicative figures for 2009-10 and 2010-11 expenditure, which will not be agreed until the start of those years.

Capital resources have also been set aside to cover foundation trusts, which fund their capital expenditure through cash retained from their operating cash-flows and through prudential borrowing.

Over 55 per cent. of 2008-09 capital resources have been set aside to be drawn under the aforementioned arrangements to fund the local capital investment plans of NHS trusts, foundation trusts and PCTs.

The remainder is centrally managed. It comprises central budget funding (e.g. Connecting for Health) and ‘programme capital’. Central budget holders were allocated their budgets on 17 March 2008. ‘Programme capital’ is funding for capital costs incurred locally of delivering centrally determined investment priorities. This funding will be allocated in the first half of the financial year.

Food Supplements: EU Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that the food supplements directive and the nutrition and health claims directive are implemented in the Crown Dependencies of the United Kingdom in accordance with Protocol 3 of the UK's Treaty of Accession; (205920)

(2) with reference to the answer of 25 October 2007, Official Report, columns 551-54W, on dietary supplements: EU law, whether the Food Standards Agency has received responses from the Governments of Jersey and Guernsey to the letters it sent on 10 September 2007; and when a collective meeting with the representatives of these Governments is planned to take place.

Responses have been received from the Governments of Jersey and Guernsey and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) hosted a meeting of representatives from the Crown Dependencies on 11 April 2008.

The FSA continues to work with the Ministry of Justice, the Department responsible for the Crown Dependencies, and the administrations in the Crown Dependencies regarding implementation of the food supplements directive and Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation to prevent trade in food supplements that would be illegal in the United Kingdom.

General Practitioners

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what weighting was given to (a) the number of primary care clinicians, (b) health outcomes and (c) patient satisfaction with GP services as indicators in determining in which primary care trust areas with poorest provision to establish new GP practices; (203443)

(2) what score was given to each primary care trust in determining in which to establish new GP practices in areas with the poorest provision for (a) number of primary care clinicians, (b) health outcomes and (c) patient satisfaction with GP services; and what the data source was for each indicator.

The range of indicators used to determine the primary care trusts (PCTs) with poorest provision, their data source and associated weightings are shown in the following table. For each PCT, the standardised distance from the England average was calculated for each indicator. These distances were assigned a weight based on the three themes and each PCT was then ranked based on the sum of the weighted differences. The following table shows PCTs and their distances.

Indicator

Weight (percentage)

Primary Care Clinicians 1

60

Whole-time equivalent general practitioners (GPs) per 100,000 weighted population

Whole-time equivalent practice nurses per 100,000 weighted population

Health Outcomes 2

30

Male life expectancy

Female life expectancy

Cancer mortality among under 75s

Cardiovascular mortality among under 75s

Index of multiple deprivation (health)

Percentage of patients with diabetes in whose HbAlc is 7.5 or less

Percentage of patients with hypertension in whose blood pressure reading is 150/90 or less

Patient Satisfaction 3

10

Percentage of patients seen within 48 hours

Percentage of patients able to book an appointment more than 2 days ahead

Percentage of patients satisfied with their practice telephone system

Percentage of patients able to see a specific GP

Percentage of patients satisfied with practice opening hours

Source:

1 2006 Information Centre Workforce Census

2 Office for National Statistics (life expectancy data based on population estimates and mortality statistics from death registrations) and Quality Management and Analysis System (2006-07 Quality and Outcomes Framework data)

3 2007 GP Patient Survey

PCT

Strategic health authority (SHA)

Total distance

Manchester PCT

North West SHA

-1.70

Barking and Dagenham PCT

London SHA

-1.60

Knowsley PCT

North West SHA

-1.39

Sandwell PCT

West Midlands SHA

-1.36

Wolverhampton City PCT

West Midlands SHA

-1.30

Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale PCT

North West SHA

-1.18

Liverpool PCT

North West SHA

-1.15

Sunderland Teaching PCT

North East SHA

-1.13

Birmingham East and North PCT

West Midlands SHA

-1.06

Halton and St. Helens PCT

North West SHA

-1.05

Heart of Birmingham Teaching PCT

West Midlands SHA

-1.05

Barnsley PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-1.04

Leicester City PCT

East Midlands SHA

-0.98

Oldham PCT

North West SHA

-0.97

Blackburn with Darwen PCT

North West SHA

-0.88

Stoke on Trent PCT

West Midlands SHA

-0.87

Hounslow PCT

London SHA

-0.86

Hull PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-0.81

Nottingham City PCT

East Midlands SHA

-0.80

Blackpool PCT

North West SHA

-0.80

Ashton, Leigh and Wigan PCT

North West SHA

-0.78

Dudley PCT

West Midlands SHA

-0.78

Bolton PCT

North West SHA

-0.75

Greenwich Teaching PCT

London SHA

-0.74

Sefton PCT

North West SHA

-0.73

Medway Teaching PCT

South East Coast SHA

-0.73

Salford PCT

North West SHA

-0.72

Hartlepool PCT

North East SHA

-0.71

Tameside and Glossop PCT

North West SHA

-0.70

Walsall Teaching PCT

West Midlands SHA

-0.69

Newcastle PCT

North East SHA

-0.68

Redcar and Cleveland PCT

North East SHA

-0.67

South Tyneside PCT

North East SHA

-0.64

Calderdale PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-0.63

North Lancashire PCT

North West SHA

-0.61

Luton Teaching PCT

East of England SHA

-0.60

Havering PCT

London SHA

-0.59

Hammersmith and Fulham PCT

London SHA

-0.59

Rotherham PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-0.57

Enfield PCT

London SHA

-0.57

Bury PCT

North West SHA

-0.57

South Birmingham PCT

West Midlands SHA

-0.56

Telford and Wrekin PCT

West Midlands SHA

-0.53

Newham PCT

London SHA

-0.52

Gateshead PCT

North East SHA

-0.52

Coventry Teaching PCT

West Midlands SHA

-0.52

Bristol PCT

South West SHA

-0.52

North Somerset PCT

South West SHA

-0.50

Middlesbrough PCT

North East SHA

-0.48

East Lancashire PCT

North West SHA

-0.48

North Staffordshire PCT

West Midlands SHA

-0.46

Portsmouth City Teaching PCT

South Central SHA

-0.44

Peterborough PCT

East of England SHA

-0.42

Derby City PCT

East Midlands SHA

-0.40

Bassetlaw PCT

East Midlands SHA

-0.40

Ealing PCT

London SHA

-0.38

Redbridge PCT

London SHA

-0.36

Nottinghamshire County PCT

East Midlands SHA

-0.35

Waltham Forest PCT

London SHA

-0.35

Trafford PCT

North West SHA

-0.35

Tower Hamlets PCT

London SHA

-0.34

Eastern and Coastal Kent PCT

South East Coast SHA

-0.33

South Staffordshire PCT

West Midlands SHA

-0.32

Wirral PCT

North West SHA

-0.32

Hastings and Rother PCT

South East Coast SHA

-0.31

Brighton and Hove City PCT

South East Coast SHA

-0.29

Bradford and Airedale PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-0.28

Great Yarmouth and Waveney PCT

East of England SHA

-0.27

Warrington PCT

North West SHA

-0.27

Southwark PCT

London SHA

-0.26

North Tees PCT

North East SHA

-0.25

Haringey Teaching PCT

London SHA

-0.23

North Tyneside PCT

North East SHA

-0.21

Islington PCT

London SHA

-0.21

Kirklees PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-0.20

Bromley PCT

London SHA

-0.16

Doncaster PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-0.16

Brent Teaching PCT

London SHA

-0.13

City and Hackney Teaching PCT

London SHA

-0.11

Leeds PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-0.10

Lewisham PCT

London SHA

-0.08

North East Essex PCT

East of England SHA

-0.07

Stockport PCT

North West SHA

-0.07

Wakefield District PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-0.07

County Durham PCT

North East SHA

-0.07

Hillingdon PCT

London SHA

-0.06

West Kent PCT

South East Coast SHA

-0.06

Croydon PCT

London SHA

-0.04

Shropshire County PCT

West Midlands SHA

-0.04

Central Lancashire PCT

North West SHA

-0.04

East and North Hertfordshire PCT

East of England SHA

-0.04

North Lincolnshire PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

-0.02

Kensington and Chelsea PCT

London SHA

0.00

Derbyshire County PCT

East Midlands SHA

0.03

Berkshire East PCT

South Central SHA

0.03

Central and Eastern Cheshire PCT

North West SHA

0.06

East Riding of Yorkshire PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

0.06

Bexley Care Trust

London SHA

0.08

Sheffield PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

0.10

Darlington PCT

North East SHA

0.12

Northamptonshire PCT

East Midlands SHA

0.12

Isle of Wight Healthcare PCT

South Central SHA

0.14

Warwickshire PCT

West Midlands SHA

0.16

Milton Keynes PCT

South Central SHA

0.18

Southampton City PCT

South Central SHA

0.22

Barnet PCT

London SHA

0.25

South East Essex PCT

East of England SHA

0.25

Camden PCT

London SHA

0.26

Surrey PCT

South East Coast SHA

0.27

Harrow PCT

London SHA

0.28

Western Cheshire PCT

North West SHA

0.31

Solihull PCT

West Midlands SHA

0.31

West Essex PCT

East of England SHA

0.31

Hampshire PCT

South Central SHA

0.31

Westminster PCT

London SHA

0.34

Cumbria PCT

North West SHA

0.35

West Hertfordshire PCT

East of England SHA

0.37

West Sussex PCT

South East Coast SHA

0.42

Herefordshire PCT

West Midlands SHA

0.42

Richmond and Twickenham PCT

London SHA

0.43

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly PCT

South West SHA

0.45

Worcestershire PCT

West Midlands SHA

0.47

Plymouth Teaching PCT

South West SHA

0.49

Berkshire West PCT

South Central SHA

0.50

Bournemouth and Poole PCT

South West SHA

0.51

Lambeth PCT

London SHA

0.52

East Sussex Downs and Weald PCT

South East Coast SHA

0.53

North East Lincolnshire PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

0.55

Leicestershire County and Rutland PCT

East Midlands SHA

0.56

Torbay Care Trust

South West SHA

0.56

Suffolk PCT

East of England SHA

0.56

Bedfordshire PCT

East of England SHA

0.61

Gloucestershire PCT

South West SHA

0.61

Wandsworth PCT

London SHA

0.61

Kingston PCT

London SHA

0.64

Swindon PCT

South West SHA

0.65

Bath and North East Somerset PCT

South West SHA

0.65

Somerset PCT

South West SHA

0.72

Dorset PCT

South West SHA

0.74

Mid Essex PCT

East of England SHA

0.75

Buckinghamshire PCT

South Central SHA

0.77

South West Essex PCT

East of England SHA

0.82

South Gloucestershire PCT

South West SHA

0.87

Oxfordshire PCT

South Central SHA

0.87

Sutton and Merton PCT

London SHA

0.87

Norfolk PCT

East of England SHA

0.95

Lincolnshire PCT

East Midlands SHA

0.97

Northumberland Care Trust

North East SHA

0.99

Devon PCT

South West SHA

1.06

Wiltshire PCT

South West SHA

1.10

Cambridgeshire PCT

East of England SHA

1.62

North Yorkshire and York PCT

Yorkshire and The Humber SHA

1.80

Health Services: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much capital allocation to the London NHS was returned to the Exchequer in each of the last 10 years; and what the main reasons were for each instance of underspend. (205332)

Underspends against capital allocations generated by the national health service are not returned to the Exchequer. They are carried forward and made available to spend in future years. Explanations for the underspends are not collected centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what funding was provided for health services in the London boroughs of (a) Greenwich, (b) Bromley, (c) Lewisham and (d) Bexley in each of the last five financial years; what such funding is planned for each of those boroughs in (i) 2008-09, (ii) 2009-10 and (iii) 2010-11; and if he will make a statement; (205337)

(2) what the change in funding for health services in the London boroughs of (a) Greenwich, (b) Bromley, (c) Lewisham and (d) Bexley was over the period 2003-04 to 2007-08.

The Department makes revenue allocations to primary care trusts (PCTs) rather than to boroughs.

The revenue allocations made to Greenwich Teaching PCT, Bromley PCT, Lewisham PCT, and Bexley care trust for the years 2003-04 to 2008-09 and the cash increases from 2003-04 to 2008-09 for each PCT are set out in the following tables.

The aim is to announce the 2009-10 and 2010-11 PCT revenue allocations by the summer.

£000

Allocation

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Bexley Care Trust

181,941

199,058

217,632

258,661

281,904

297,301

Bromley PCT

264,585

289,086

315,280

373,188

403,632

425,678

Greenwich Teaching PCT

238,961

262,607

287,940

344,632

372,379

392,719

Lewisham PCT

283,282

311,262

341,224

397,785

429,633

453,100

Cash increases to allocation from 2003-04 to 2008-09 (£000)

Bexley Care Trust

109,880

Bromley PCT

153,398

Greenwich Teaching PCT

143,797

Lewisham PCT

167,366

Notes:

1. Comparisons between allocations rounds cannot be made because of changes to funding included in revenue allocations.

2. In 2008-09, all PCTs received an above-inflation cash increase of 5.5 per cent.

Sources:

1. Primary Care Trust Unified Allocations 2003-04 to 2005-06.

2. Primary Care Trust Unified Allocations 2006-07 to 2007-08.

3. Primary Care Trust Revenue Allocations 2008-09.

Incontinence: Medical Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what timetable he has set for publication of the outcomes of the review of Part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliances and related services to primary care; and if he will make a statement; (205631)

(2) what consideration has been given to section 1.2.5.3 of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence's clinical guideline 40, on urinary incontinence, in the review into Part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliances and related services to primary care; and if he will make a statement.

The review is ongoing. A further consultation will be published shortly—together with an Impact Assessment and Equality Impact Assessment—and will be open for 12 weeks.

Section 1.2.5.3 of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's clinical guideline number 40 on urinary incontinence states that intermittent urinary (IU) catheterisation should be used for women with urinary retention who can be taught to self-catheterise or who have a carer to perform the technique.

The review of arrangements under Part IX of the Drug Tariff for the provision of stoma and incontinence appliances and related services in primary care is looking at the reimbursement for IU catheters. However, decisions relating to what item shall be prescribed will continue to be a matter for the prescriber to decide in consultation with the patient, having taken the guidelines fully into account.

Medical Records: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people to date have elected not to have their medical records put on the NHS spine. (203777)

The only clinical information on the national health service care record spine is in summary care records. Up to 30 April 2008, 614,052 registered patients over the age of 16 in the summary care record early-adopter primary care trust (PCT) areas had been sent a personalised information pack to inform them of the changes that are taking place, the choices that they have and how those choices can be exercised. Of these, 4,986 (0.81 per cent.) have indicated to their general practitioner or to the PCT their wish not to have a summary care record.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether patients may elect not to have their records included on the NHS Secondary Uses Service database; and if he will make a statement. (203787)

The Secondary Uses Service (SUS) database is the repository of person and care event data relating to the treatment of patients in the national health service. It is used for management and clinical quality and safety purposes other than direct patient care. These secondary uses include healthcare planning, commissioning, public health, clinical audit, benchmarking, performance improvement, research and clinical governance.

Information provided through SUS will be anonymised or pseudonymised to remove information that could be used to identify individuals but still allow cases to be tracked and linked, for example for research. Patients do not have an automatic right not to have information about them held within SUS. We safeguard the confidentiality of information about patients, while also supporting and facilitating the use of information for the purposes for which SUS exists, subject to safeguards.

Although patients have no automatic right, the Data Protection Act 1998 provides a right to have requests to stop information being held within SUS considered, subject to being able to demonstrate that processing is causing the patient significant damage or distress.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the Answer of 26th March 2008, Official Report, column 206W, on medical records: databases, what estimate he has made of (a) the number of alerts a single Caldicott Guardian will be able to monitor and (b) the likely number of alerts per day. (205574)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to him on 13 May 2008, Official Report, columns 1547-48W.

Mentally Ill: Suicide

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of people who have committed suicide in each of the last five years who had been treated for mental health problems. (189867)

The number of mental health service users in England who committed suicide and the proportion of total suicides which this represents, in the five most recent years for which data is available is shown in the following table.

The data collection methodology for total suicides also records deaths caused by undetermined intent and the total includes these deaths. At the time of responding, the data for 2005 was 93 per cent. completed and final figures, when available, are expected to be higher than those shown in the following table.

Number of mental health service users in England who committed suicide and the proportion of total suicides which this represents, 2001-05

Number of service users in year who committed suicide

Total number of suicides and deaths by undetermined intent in year

Percentage of people who had previously been in touch with mental health services

2001

1,258

4,560

27.6

2002

1,246

4,449

28.0

2003

1,235

4,452

27.7

2004

1,280

4,518

28.3

2005

1,199

4,421

27.1

Source: The National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness.

Information on suicides by people in contact with mental health services is collected by the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness (NCISH). NCISH is funded by the National Patient Safety Agency to ensure that everyone involved in mental health learns and implements lessons from the factors associated with serious mental illness. The Department has been, and remains committed to taking appropriate action in response to the Inquiry's findings.

NHS: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to page 131 of his Department’s 2007 Annual Report, what the (a) £1 billion NHS central capital budget and (b) £2.3 billion for other NHS central revenue budgets was spent on in 2007-08. (205196)

Actual spend figures for 2007-08 are not available at this date.

The following are planned central capital and revenue budget programmes exceeding £100 million that make up the vast majority of the total reported on page 131 of the 2007 “Departmental Report”, in descending order.

£ billion

NHS Capital Budget 2007-08

Connecting for Health

0.85

Arms Length Bodies

0.14

NHS Revenue Budget 2007-08

Arms Length Bodies

0.75

Substance Misuse

0.40

Vaccines and Pandemic Flu

0.28

Departmental administration

0.28

Strategic health authority administration

0.15

Social Care education

0.13

Note:

The residual £0.3 billion is made up of a large number of small budgets.

Suboxone

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether he plans to extend the availability of suboxone in the treatment of drug addicts. (205809)

Suboxone is the brand name for a preparation of buprenorphine and naloxone, which is used as a substitution therapy for patients dependent on opioids.

Suboxone is available for use on the national health service. The decision to use Suboxone is a clinical one and is taken following consultation with the patient about their clinical needs and priorities. Advice on prescribing of Suboxone is included within the joint Department of Health and National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse publication, “Drug Misuse and Dependence: UK Guidelines on Clinical Management”, published in September 2007.

Due to the additional ingredient of naloxone in Suboxone the Department received a number of inquiries about whether the instalment dispensing regulations in place for buprenorphine and certain other medicines applied to Suboxone. In August 2007 the Department issued advice confirming that the prescribing of Suboxone for instalment dispensing by pharmacists is provided for under General Medical Services regulations.

Scotland

Departmental Orders and Regulations

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many statutory instruments have been (a) made and (b) revoked by Ministers in his Department since 1997. (204761)

The Scotland Office has responsibility for overseeing a programme of secondary legislation to manage the devolution settlement and elections in Scotland. Since 1 July 1999, when the Office was created, 128 Statutory Instruments relating to the devolution settlement and elections in Scotland have been taken forward. Of the 128 Statutory Instruments:

109 of these were made under the Scotland Act 1998

one under the Public Expenditure and Receipts Act 1968

18 Orders under various enactments in relation to the management of elections in Scotland

Information relating to the revocation of statutory instruments is obtainable only at disproportionate cost.

Electoral Commission Committee

Polling Stations: Disabled

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission what steps are being taken to ensure that returning officers take effective steps to provide people with disabilities with access to polling stations; and if he will make a statement. (205707)

The Electoral Commission informs me that its guidance for returning officers covers access to polling stations for those with disabilities. This includes a checklist of issues to consider when choosing buildings for use as polling stations. The polling station handbook for use by presiding officers and poll clerks on election day also contains advice on accessibility.

The Representation of the People Act 1983 places an obligation on councils, so far as it is reasonable and practicable, to designate as polling places only places that are accessible to disabled people and to give all electors within their area reasonable facilities for voting.

Following Electoral Commission recommendations, section 16 of the Electoral Administration Act 2006 required that councils consult the returning officer as part of their review of polling places. Councils must seek the views of people who have particular expertise in relation to access to premises or facilities for people with disabilities when carrying out reviews, and were required to carry out such a review during 2007.

Leader of the House

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Leader of the House how many receptions she has hosted and funded in her capacity as Leader of the House in the last 12 months; which individuals and organisations (a) were invited to and (b) attended each reception; and what the cost was of each reception. (203850)

In due course, Government Departments will publish annual lists providing information relating to official receptions hosted by Ministers in the previous financial year. The data published by the Cabinet Office will include information for the Office of the Leader of the House of Commons.

Wales

Council Tax: Valuation

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment the Valuation Office Agency has made of evidence of (a) errors and (b) incorrect banding in relation to the 2005 council tax revaluation in Wales. (205444)

The Valuation Office Agency is satisfied that the bandings undertaken when council tax revaluation in Wales was introduced in 2005 were made competently. During the period 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2007 (the first two years of the 2005 council tax lists coming into force) one third fewer challenges were received than in the same period of the 1993 lists, and just 1.55 per cent. of bandings were changed as a result of these challenges.

Departmental Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what consultants have been contracted by his Department to conduct public participation activities in the last three years; and how much expenditure his Department has incurred on each such contract to date. (206207)

Communities and Local Government

Council Tax: Unpaid Taxes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much council tax was uncollected in cash terms (a) in England and (b) in each government office region in each year since 1996-97. (202644)

Details of the amount of council tax uncollected in cash terms in England and in each Government office region in each year since 1996-97 are shown in thousands in the following tables. The data relate to the non-collection of council tax within the year to which it relates. The table also shows the amount of uncollected council tax as a proportion of the total amount of council tax local authorities expected to collect if every taxpayer paid the full amount for which they are liable after discounts and benefit.

1996-971997-981998-991999-20002000-012001-02

£000

%

£000

%

£000

%

£000

%

£000

%

£000

%

North East

22,757

5.5

23,354

5.2

25,685

5.2

26,227

5.0

27,948

5.0

27,280

4.6

North West

58,692

4.8

56,924

4.3

60,508

4.2

65,870

4.3

70,201

4.3

73,710

4.2

Yorkshire and the Humber

41,183

5.1

44,068

5.0

46,431

4.8

50,802

4.9

51,831

4.7

50,507

4.3

East Midlands

31,908

4.5

29,756

3.8

31,976

3.7

33,711

3.6

37,604

3.7

41,171

3.7

West Midlands

36,594

4.2

37,392

4.0

45,014

4.3

47,816

4.2

47,910

4.0

49,445

3.8

East of England

33,495

3.3

34,918

3.2

36,257

3.0

40,671

3.1

41,703

2.9

40,195

2.6

London

116,602

8.8

116,546

8.2

121,743

7.9

132,875

7.9

132,233

7.2

126,506

6.3

South East

45,715

2.9

48,585

2.9

55,397

2.9

62,963

3.0

64,801

2.8

66,370

2.7

South West

36,962

4.0

36,550

3.7

39,741

3.5

40,136

3.3

43,247

3.3

42,644

3.0

England

423,908

4.8

428,093

4.5

462,752

4.4

501,071

4.4

517,478

4.2

517,828

3.9

2002-032003-042004-052005-062006-07

£000

%

£000

%

£000

%

£000

%

£000

%

North East

28,299

4.3

28,215

4.0

30,442

4.0

28,197

3.5

28,773

3.4

North West

77,930

4.2

81,844

4.0

76,996

3.7

84,148

3.7

91,566

3.8

Yorkshire and the Humber

49,813

3.9

51,711

3.6

53,948

3.5

56,831

3.5

63,128

3.7

East Midlands

40,918

3.3

43,847

3.3

43,207

3.0

42,376

2.8

40,447

2.6

West Midlands

52,159

3.6

50,364

3.2

50,002

3.0

53,645

3.1

57,801

3.1

East of England

43,921

2.5

49,732

2.5

52,106

2.4

52,576

2.3

51,735

2.2

London

127,462

6.0

149,103

5.9

151,211

5.6

144,288

5.1

146,765

4.9

South East

65,384

2.4

80,210

2.6

82,956

2.5

82,518

2.3

84,509

2.3

South West

44,812

2.8

46,756

2.6

49,622

2.5

47,259

2.3

48,521

2.2

England

530,698

3.6

581,782

3.5

590,490

3.4

591,838

3.2

613,245

3.1

Collection of council tax continues once the financial year to which the tax relates has ended. This means that the final amount uncollected is somewhere between the figures shown here and zero.

The data are derived from data reported on QRC4 forms submitted annually by all billing authorities to Communities and Local Government and its predecessor Departments.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the cost of (a) salaries for permanent civil service posts, (b) salaries for permanent non-civil service posts and (c) payments to temporary or agency workers in her Department was in each month since May 2005. (199626)

The following table outlines recorded expenditure on (a) salaries for permanent civil service posts, (b) salaries for permanent non-civil service posts and (c) payments to temporary or agency workers in the Department for each month since May 2005.

Month

(a) Salaries for permanent civil service posts

(b) Salaries for permanent non-civil service posts

(c) Payments to temporary or agency workers

2005-06

May

8,202,624

205,788

558,338

June

8,120,424

206,480

553,068

July

8,101,986

220,300

410,882

August

8,799,344

216,541

564,543

September

8,080,274

190,428

445,682

October

6,728,551

205,437

476,876

November

8,569,986

213,079

713,503

December

7,978,621

249,113

494,452

January

8,195,666

168,694

527,659

February

8,418,526

176,537

612,899

March

8,026,454

171,642

-170,519

2006-07

April

8,082,381

175,139

273,238

May

7,847,599

159,258

816,600

June

7,985,103

158,687

184,727

July

8,647,698

178,078

1,204,751

August

7,844,778

224,874

-251,356

September

8,126,807

168,405

395,137

October

7,973,285

136,343

260,523

November

9,046,311

195,676

437,983

December

8,674,116

214,262

144,578

January

10,298,460

186,864

434,574

February

15,249,357

231,092

1,692,199

March

6,888,733

295,671

-10,525

2007-08

April

8,045,669

186,048

393,423

May

8,189,351

225,695

1,150,187

June

7,808,035

230,700

3,064,673

July

8,282,344

225,167

2,128,605

August

7,877,361

226,726

2,579,247

September

7,961,532

179,249

301,913

October

8,167,576

244,213

3,630,644

November

8,895,203

310,828

-81,759

December

8,355,365

255,610

1,639,995

January

8,291,597

238,952

715,413

February

9,583,643

311,666

3,132,620

March

8,413,649

148,939

3,011,748

Notes:

1. The costs only cover expenditure for CLG central (not Government offices, who perform tasks for 10 Government Departments or executive agencies).

2. Salary costs for permanent civil servants and non civil servants include costs for salary including arrears, ERNIC, superannuation, overtime, travel time, temporary responsibility allowances, bonuses, and other pay allowances.

3. There are some monthly negative totals in the agency and interim staff figures. These are explained by accruals/journals at year end or following a period of larger than normal expenditure from the previous month.

Departmental Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether her Department’s departmental purchase orders are recorded in an electronic database. (202595)

All departmental purchase orders are recorded on a database within the enterprise resource planning software (SAP) that forms the Department’s finance system.

Departmental Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much her Department spent on (a) written consultation, (b) consultation roadshows and (c) stakeholder focus groups in each of the last three years. (205848)

Over each of the past three calendar years to December 2007, Communities and Local Government and my predecessor Department undertook respectively:

57 public consultations (ODPM 2005)

34 public consultations (Communities and Local Government 2006)

48 public consultations (Communities and Local Government 2007)

These consultations were launched in order to inform the Department’s policy development. Information on how much the department has spent on written consultation, consultation roadshows and stakeholder focus groups in each of the last three years could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Consultation exercises form an integral part of policymaking and as such are funded from policy teams’ budgets rather than a consultation budget and so a total cannot be provided.

Floods: EU Grants and Loans

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effects of the difference between the amount expected and the amount received from the European Solidarity Fund for flood recovery; what consequential adjustments she plans to make to spending priorities; and if she will make a statement. (204751)

I refer the hon. Member to the written statement I made on 6 May 2008, Official Report, columns 18-19WS.

Housing: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to the answer of 5 March 2008, Official Report, column 2501W, on housing: databases, (1) what the Unique Property Reference Number is of (a) the official ministerial residence of 10 Downing street, (b) the official ministerial residence of 11 Downing street and (c) each of the three ministerial residences in Admiralty House, Whitehall, according to the records held by the Valuation Office Agency; (202473)

(2) how many domestic dwellings in England have now been allocated a Unique Property Reference Number.

Unique Property Reference Numbers (UPRNs) are allocated to individual properties by the National Land and Property Gazetteer (NLPG), which is the responsibility of the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA). Any questions about UPRNs should therefore be directed to the IDeA.

Unitary Councils: Council Tax

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the effects of unitary local government arrangements on the local level of council tax. (197331)

The level of council tax is a matter for individual local authorities. We have assessed, on the basis of councils own estimates that the new unitary local government arrangements that we are establishing, including the creation of nine new unitary councils, will allow in total savings of over £100 million annually to be realised. With such savings, the average equivalent annual reduction in band D council tax could be of the order of £90, although of course it is for each council to decide whether to use these savings on improving services or on reducing council tax.

Keeping council tax under control remains a priority for the Government and we will not hesitate to use our capping powers as necessary to protect council tax payers from excessive increases.

Culture, Media and Sport

Cricket: Broadcasting

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what discussions with representatives of the English Cricket Board he has had on the broadcasting of Test match cricket for the period from 2010. (204510)

I have had no discussions with representatives of the English Cricket Board over broadcasting of Test match cricket.

Departmental Cost Effectiveness

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport (1) what efficiency savings (a) his Department and (b) the non-departmental public bodies it sponsors have made in each of the last five years; (204142)

(2) what progress his Department has made in implementing the recommendations of the Gershon efficiency review; and if he will make a statement.

DCMS has three targets for implementing the Gershon Efficiency Review: deliver £262 million efficiency savings by 2007-08, reduce headcount by 27 posts by 2008 and relocate 600 posts in its NDPBs outside London and the South East by 2010.

Latest efficiency savings figures

£ million

2005-06 gains

2006-07 gains

2007-08 provisional gains

2007-08 target

DCMS Internal

0.0

1.0

2.0

2.0

NDPBs

73.0

126.1

145.0

114.0

Local Authorities

44.7

112.9

112.9

146.0

Total gains

117.7

240.0

259.9

262.0

2007-08 DCMS internal figures are final, NDPB figures are provisional and local authority figures will not become available until June 2008. We forecast that 2007-08 local authority gains will be £154.5 million and that we will therefore exceed our target. Final efficiency savings figures will be reported in the 2008 DCMS autumn performance report latest headcount figures show a reduction of 76 posts at 31 March 2008. The Department was carrying 35 vacancies at 31 March 2008 and even excluding these posts we have still exceeded our target Latest relocation figures show the relocation of 586 posts at 31 March 2008. We have identified over 900 posts in total to relocate over the period and are therefore on course to exceed our target.

Departmental Domestic Visits

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport on how many occasions he has visited (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity in the last 12 months. (204399)

In the last 12 months, Ministers in this Department have visited Scotland six times and Northern Ireland once. There have been no visits to Wales.

All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the ministerial code.

Digital Switchover Help Scheme

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport if he will place in the Library a copy of the minutes of the March 2008 Emerging Technologies Group. (204917)

I am arranging for copies of the minutes from the Emerging Technologies Group's meeting of 10 April to be placed in the House Libraries, with the commercially sensitive information removed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when he was first informed of the research into return path usage among the elderly commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government, referred to in the minutes of the Emerging Technologies Group meeting on 27 February in relation to the digital switchover assistance scheme. (204918)

The Department was first told of the research at the Emerging Technologies Group meeting of 27 February.

Olympic Games: China

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people will attend all or part of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games from (a) UK Sport and (b) Sport England; and at what cost. (205747)

UK Sport inform me that a total of eight people from UK Sport are attending all or part of the Beijing Olympic Games. The cost of this at current exchange rates is around £27,000, excluding living expenses. UK Sport state that these representatives are going to ensure the UK's lead agency for performance sport is properly represented, but also to deliver key objectives and attend formal meetings around their designated anti-doping, major events and international influence roles.

Sport England inform me that Sport England will be represented by their chief executive and the director of property, and state that both have significant roles to play in terms of Sport England's increasingly strong role around talent and Olympic venues ahead of London 2012. The chief executive and director of property are attending the Beijing Olympic Games as part of the British Olympic Association's guest programme for one week in August, at a cost of £9,550 per person. Sport England state this is the price set by the BOA.

Olympics

Olympic Games 2012: Construction

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what landscaping contracts for the 2012 London Olympics have been let; and what plans she has to consult landscaping contractors in connection with the Games site. (205356)

In March this year the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) selected world leading landscape architects IDA Design Hargreaves Associates to design the Olympic Park for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The ODA also short listed four world-class contractors bidding to undertake the management of landscaping the Northern area of the Olympic Park and all return bids are due next month. The ODA is on course to appoint a contractor this autumn.

The ODA hosted a very successful Industry Day last year and hold regular meetings with the British Association of Landscape Industry and the Horticultural Trade Association and continue to engage the market as they move closer to letting distinct pieces of work.

In addition, to help businesses access 2012 related contracts, the London 2012 Business Network was launched in January of this year. A key part of this is CompeteFor, an online brokerage service that matches the profiles of suppliers and buyers, enabling businesses to directly compete for contracts, including landscaping contracts. I would encourage companies in the constituency of the hon. Member to take advantage of this.

Olympic Games 2012: Employment

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many people working on 2012 Olympic Games construction projects are on apprenticeships; and what proportion of the workforce this represents. (205323)

The latest figures show that there are currently over 2,700 people working on the Olympic sites. 74 of these are trainees or apprentices; this represents 2 per cent. of the work force. However, as part of a wider programme to improve the skills and employment levels in East London and beyond, the Olympic Delivery Authority and partners are aiming for a target of at least 2,000 people into apprenticeships and work placements up to 2012.

Transport

Departmental Equality

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department met the civil service diversity targets set out on page 51 of Cabinet Office Annual Report 2007 by April 2008. (204710)

The latest published statistics against overall civil service targets were at October 2007, and are available on the civil service website at:

http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/about/diversity/monitoring.asp.

The final measurement against the targets will be published in autumn 2008. The most recent figures for the Department for Transport are for 31 March 2008:

Percentage

DfT

Civil service target

Women in Senior Civil Service (SCS)

25.6

37

Ethnic Minority staff in SCS

1.5

4

Disabled people in SCS

1.5

3.2

Women in Top Management posts

27.9

30

Departmental Translation Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much was spent by her Department on translation and interpretation services in 2007-08, broken down by language. (205176)

The Department for Transport and its agencies do not hold the data in an appropriate format to provide the breakdown requested and it could be provided only at disproportionate cost. The information that is available is in the following table.

2007-08

£000

DfT(C)

Translations and interpretations, including DfT share of EU Council Secretariat translations

70.6

DVLA

Translations, mostly into Welsh

111.7

VOSA

Translations and interpretations

72.0

VGA

Translations into Welsh

0.9

MCA

Translations and interpretations

12.2

DSA

Translations, mostly Welsh but also including British Sign Language

126.6

HA

Data not available except at disproportionate cost

Driving: Diabetes

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will review the criteria by which those with type 1 diabetes have had retention of their driving licences, including for heavy goods vehicles, reviewed. (205770)

Drivers with Type 1 diabetes (insulin treated) who meet the published medical licensing standards can hold a Group 1 (car/motorcycles) licence subject to regular review.

Persons with insulin treated diabetes are also able to drive goods vehicles between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, subject to individual assessment of their ability to meet the higher medical standards required.

Medical standards are subject to regular review by the Secretary of State's Honorary Medical Advisory Panels and may be amended in the light of relevant new evidence.

Driving: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make it her policy to introduce conditional driving licences prohibiting (a) nighttime driving, (b) driving with passengers and (c) motorway driving until a suite of driving tests and examinations have been passed over a period of years; and if she will make a statement. (204491)

On 7 May, the Secretary of State launched the ‘Learning to Drive’ consultation, which sets out our proposals for the reform of driver training and testing. Copies have been placed in the Libraries of the House. Our proposed approach is one based on education and incentivisation, rather than restriction. We believe the evidence supports this approach. However, we are keen to hear everybody’s views, and our consultation seeks opinions about our general approach as well as specific measures.

Luton Airport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the projected change in numbers of flights (a) to and (b) from Luton airport by 2020 is; what percentage of flights using Luton airport were domestic in the latest period for which figures are available; and what percentage she expects to be domestic in 2020. (203293)

The Department for Transport’s forecasts for Luton airport are set out in table G8 of the UK Air Passenger Demand and CO2 Forecasts report (November 2007). Luton airport is projected to have 130,000 air transport movements in 2020. The split between domestic and international flights is not readily available. However, we estimate that of the 17 million passengers forecast to use Luton in 2015, 12 per cent. would be domestic passengers.

According to the latest statistics from the Civil Aviation Authority, there were 69,491 international flights and 13,828 domestic flights at Luton in 2007.

Roads: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many drivers aged (a) 17 to 20, (b) 21 to 29, (c) 30 to 39, (d) 40 to 49, (e) 50 to 59, (f) 60 to 69 and (g) over 70 years of age had (i) at least one accident and (ii) a driving licence in each year since 1997. (205107)

Information is not available on drivers involved in accidents at an individual level. The following table therefore may include double counting, where a driver may be involved in more than one accident in a year.

The numbers of car drivers aged (a) 17 to 20, (b) 21 to 29, (c) 30 to 39, (d) 40 to 49, (e) 50 to 59, (f) 60 to 69 and (g) 70 and over years of age involved in reported personal injury road accidents in Great Britain from 1997 to 2006 are shown in the table.

Number of car drivers involved in reported personal injury road accidents

Driver age

17-20

21 -29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

70 and over

1997

35,523

81,961

79,430

52,361

33,362

17,195

11,831

1998

34,222

79,153

80,958

52,521

34,434

16,991

12,107

1999

31,847

73,376

78,969

51,188

34,756

17,155

12,224

2000

30,594

69,810

79,229

51,742

35,229

17,294

11,877

2001

29,544

65,689

76,061

51,188

34,454

16,675

11,957

2002

29,216

64,228

73,043

49,814

33,587

16,162

12,215

2003

28,085

60,236

66,970

48,020

32,004

16,338

11,952

2004

28,494

58,326

63,763

47,855

31,037

15,830

11,786

2005

29,140

55,616

59,107

46,873

29,989

15,491

11,407

2006

29,191

53,154

54,272

45,030

28,423

15,369

10,998

Information is not collected on damage only accidents.

The estimated numbers of car drivers aged (a) 17 to 20, (b) 21 to 29, (c) 30 to 39, (d) 40 to 49, (e) 50 to 59, (f) 60 to 69 and (g) 70 and over years of age with a full car driving licence from 1996-98 to 2006 are shown in the following table.

Million

All aged 17+

17-20

21-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

70 and over

1996-98

30.67

1.17

5.25

7.15

6.12

4.99

3.38

2.44

1997-99

31.12

1.17

5.15

7.29

6.15

5.24

3.49

2.49

1998-2000

31.55

1.13

5.02

7.44

6.28

5.37

3.60

2.55

1999-2001

31.71

1.00

4.83

7.39

6.37

5.49

3.75

2.74

2002

31.94

0.93

4.33

7.36

6.58

5.91

3.73

2.92

2003

32.14

0.86

4.36

7.28

6.70

5.89

3.93

2.93

2004

32.20

0.82

4.25

7.16

6.79

5.90

3.99

3.10

2005

33.32

1.00

4.38

6.99

7.08

6.02

4.20

3.44

2006

33.73

1.06

4.57

6.88

7.18

6.07

4.38

3.39

Note:

Figures may not add exactly due to rounding.

Source:

National Travel Survey

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many accidents involving a driver in his or her first year of driving following the acquisition of a full licence there were in the most recent year for which figures are available, broken down by the age of the driver. (205108)

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 1450W.

In a study of new drivers, available at

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/research/rsrr/theme2/cohort2/

it was found that the highest accident rates occurred in the first six months after passing the practical test.

Work and Pensions

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission: Curfews

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what plans there are for administering curfews by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. (205922)

Subject to passage of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Bill, the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission will not be able to apply to the court for a curfew order until it has made a liability order, and (where appropriate) attempted to recover payment of the monies owed by use of bailiffs, third party debt order or an interim charging order. This will ensure that this type of compliance measure remains very much a last resort.

The length and constraints of the curfew order will be at the discretion of the court within the bounds of current legislation; they must not exceed six months and must be between two and 12 hours a day.

Once it is established it will be for the Commission to consider how curfew orders will be administered.

Child Support Agency: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many telephone calls to the Child Support Agency (a) were received and (b) received the engaged tone in each month since July 2005. (200817)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is the matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. member with the information requested.

Letter from Susan Park:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive. As the Chief Executive is currently on annual leave, I am responding, with his authority, on his behalf. You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many telephone calls to the Child Support Agency (a) were received and (b) received the engaged tone in each month since July 2005. [200817]

The number of telephone calls made to the Child Support Agency which received an engaged tone from July 2005 to March 2008 is included in the attached table.

Further information on the Agency's telephony performance is available in Table 16 of the Child Support Agency Quarterly Summary of Statistics, a copy of which can be found in the House of Commons library or on the internet at the following link:

www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd1/child_support/csa_quarterly_mar08.asp.

The Agency has shown significant and sustained improvement in telephony performance under the Operational Improvement Plan. In the year ending March 2008 the Agency received 5,369,000 calls from clients and answered 98% of calls available to be answered, with an average waiting time of twenty seconds, and with less than 1% of calls receiving an engaged tone.

Number of telephone calls made to the Child Support Agency (old system and new system) which received an engaged tone from July 2005 to March 2008

Month

Client telephone calls

Number of telephone calls which received an engaged/busy tone

2005

July

424,938

459

August

446,532

238

September

506,576

7,438

October

486,362

22,483

November

459,380

748

December

344,854

1,568

2006

January

478,522

1,937

February

433,721

276

March

488,739

1,168

April

381,253

649

May

439,567

11,353

June

445,730

17,570

July

428,291

6,976

August

412,352

2,024

September

446,578

3,476

October

450,290

2,019

November

440,177

3,408

December

329,109

494

2007

January

501,330

10,681

February

428,770

300

March

507,266

1,361

April

430,195

99

May

469,008

1,340

June

469,811

6,295

July

470,183

2,184

August

447,142

674

September

447,620

63

October

489,968

147

November

467,329

345

December

332,005

406

2008

January

515,566

772

February

470,003

2,127

March

445,518

266

Notes: 1.Information includes old system (CSCS) and new system (CS2) telephone calls. 2. The agency does not limit its system capacity to take calls and service providers have assured the agency of sufficient trunk capacity. Clients will only hear an engaged tone as the result of a technical fault usually at network level. Clients hearing an engaged tone will often redial immediately and unwittingly add to the problem. Certain months have seen a disproportionately high number of such incidents.

Children: Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the value of child maintenance arrears owed by non-resident parents to children in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency was in each year since 1997. (200088)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Susan Park, dated 15 May 2008:

In reply to your recent parliamentary question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the Chief Executive. As the Chief Executive is currently on annual leave, I am responding, with his authority, on his behalf.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the value of child maintenance arrears owed by non-resident parents to children in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency was in each year since 1997. [200088]

Information on the value of child maintenance debt is only available for cases managed by the new computer system (CS2) at constituency level from February 2007.

The amount of debt on the new computer (CS2) owed by non-resident parents where the parent with care lives in Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey constituency was £2,194,000 at March 2007 and £2,535,000 at March 2008. The latest figures for March 2008 are un-audited and subject to change. Final national figures will be published with the Agency's Annual Report and Accounts later this year.

This debt has accrued over the 15 years of the Child Support Agency's operation and is owed by non-resident parents as a result of their failure to meet their responsibilities to their children. Some non-resident parents do their utmost to avoid their responsibilities, for example by moving house or changing jobs whenever the Agency tries to collect maintenance.

The Agency has collected and arranged a record breaking £1.01 billion in child maintenance in the year to March 2008, of which £126m was arrears. This improving performance will provide a stable foundation on which the new Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission can build.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what proportion of parents with care claiming income support received child maintenance in each month since 2003. (200810)

The administration of the Child Support Agency is a matter for the chief executive. He will write to the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Susan Park, dated 15 May 2008:

In reply to your recent Parliamentary Question about the Child Support Agency, the Secretary of State promised a substantive reply from the chief executive. As the chief executive is currently on annual leave, I am responding, with his authority, on his behalf.

You asked the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what proportion of parents with care claiming income support received child maintenance in each month since 2003. [200810]

The proportion of child maintenance cases with a positive maintenance outcome, where the parent with care is claiming income support is provided in the attached table. It should be noted that the information the Agency holds relates to cases only. A parent with care can have more than one child maintenance case. Benefits data is only available on a quarterly basis and the latest available data covers the period to May 2007.

Maintenance outcomes—cases in receipt of income support.

This table shows the number of cases where the parent with care is in receipt of income support and where a payment was received or which had a Maintenance Direct arrangement in place over a three month period. This is presented as a proportion of the total number of cases which have a positive maintenance liability or on which a payment was made. This relates to the Secretary of State target for 2007-08 on Maintenance Outcomes.

Date

Child maintenance cases (%)

February 2003

60

May 2003

62

August 2003

58

November 2003

55

February 2004

54

May 2004

53

August 2004

53

November 2004

51

February 2005

51

May 2005

53

August 2005

53

November 2005

54

February 2006

54

May 2006

57

August 2006

58

November 2006

58

February 2007

57

May 2007

58

Notes to table:

1. Table shows proportion of cases from which a payment was received including Maintenance Direct, as a proportion of the total number of cases with a positive maintenance liability, where the parent with care is claiming income support.

2. A parent with care is deemed to be in receipt of income support if they or their partner is claiming income support.

3. Benefits data is only available on a quarterly basis.

4. Latest available benefits data is at May 2007.

5. Figures rounded to nearest whole per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what safeguards for children will be in place if the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission uses bailiffs to seize non-payers' property. (205923)

The Commission will be required, as the Child Support Agency is now, to have regard to the welfare of any child likely to affected by any discretionary decision such as the decision to enforce the collection of maintenance arrears through the use of bailiffs. All bailiff firms, including those contracted to the Agency, must comply with the National Standards for Enforcement Agents, a set of common standards produced by the Government as a code of practice.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the total cost was of (a) salaries for permanent civil service posts, (b) salaries for permanent non-civil service posts and (c) payments to temporary or agency workers in his Department in each month since May 2005. (199966)

The information requested is as follows:

(a) Permanent civil service posts

The total payments made to civil service permanent personnel in each year since May 2005 is as follows:

2005-06 April to March is £2,302.33 million;

2006-07 April to March is £2,265.63 million;

2007-08 April to March is £2,221.01 million.

These figures have been estimated for 2007-08 as the actuals are not yet available.

The monthly breakdown year is as follows:

Permanent civil servant posts

Month

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

April

183,650,663

181,439,533

May

178,704,279

180,166,267

June

184,184,323

181,831,394

180,073,281

July

229,628,089

231,126,553

219,259,385

August

190,244,934

183,848,704

187,483,048

September

188,554,349

186,551,446

184,955,302

October

186,835,067

188,370,270

185,059,758

November

188,899,193

188,042,007

181,294,277

December

186,083,845

188,042,007

177,426,758

January

184,543,406

185,373,839

181,190,191

February

184,543,406

185,576,914

183,882,559

March

208,369,227

184,509,680

178,780,928

Total

1,931,885,839

2,265,627,756

2,221,011,287

(b) Permanent non-civil service posts

The Department employs 17 non-executive directors to provide an oversight to a number of business units including the Departmental Board. The total salaries paid for 2007-08 were £334,606.16.

(c) Payments to temporary or agency workers

The total payments made to agencies to provide interim personnel in each year since May 2005 is as follows:

2005-06 April to March is £52.99 million;

2006-07 April to March is £61.98 million;

2007-08 April to March is £37.02 million.

The Department employ temporary staff “casuals” for short periods, they are recruited direct not by an agency.

These figures have been estimated for 2007-08 as the actuals are not yet available.

The monthly breakdown for temporary workers—non-agency staff—is as follows:

Month

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

April

1,498,908

951,052

May

1,296,724

876,862

June

1,623,087

1,572,925

927,159

July

2,195,072

2,480,285

1,402,637

August

2,620,664

3,137,604

1,798,865

September

2,589,109

2,614,197

1,537,918

October

2,734,967

2,093,475

1,399,916

November

2,968,417

1,974,241

1,591,649

December

3,171,526

2,099,779

1,609,386

January

3,320,723

2,201,425

1,597,096

February

3,201,721

3,217,885

1,895,901

March

2,833,316

2,673,278

1,634,024

Total

27,258,602

26,860,726

17,222,465

The monthly breakdown for temporary workers—agency staff—is as follows:

Month

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

April

288,429

2,030,908

May

6,175,451

3,494,735

June

3,498,063

2,968,338

3,035,100

July

6,295,453

1,975,004

3,681,014

August

2,149,253

6,843,648

2,559,968

September

2,628,591

3,769,897

3,507,816

October

5,918,081

2,837,485

2,878,247

November

2,839,595

3,564,802

3,753,694

December

444,857

3,675,319

3,093,747

January

2,633,343

8,618,533

3,327,606

February

2,949,923

4,153,205

4,506,148

March

13,258,606

(1,878,670)

3,960,853

Total

42,615,765

42,991,441

39,829,836

A monthly breakdown of information is not available for the period prior to April 2007 and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

The following special points should be noted.

The total spend figures are the total paid to agencies for the supply of interim personnel (agency workers), this includes the fees paid directly to the interim personnel and also the fees paid to the agencies for their supply. The agency payments are normally based on a percentage mark-up and are variable depending on the agency and the category of personnel supplied. The average margin for all supply categories utilising the Department's primary supply vehicle the CIPHER framework agreement is 15 per cent.

The total spend figures have been obtained from a number of sources including the Department's Financial and Resource Management systems and it should be noted that the figures are based on current account codes and category descriptors and may be include some miscellaneous non-interim personnel expenditure because of the difficulty in categorising. The figures for 2007-08 have only recently been extracted and are subject to further validation.

Housing Benefit

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what discussions his Department has had with the Department for Communities and Local Government on the effect of the proposed reduction in backdating facilities for housing benefit on (a) eviction levels and (b) homelessness. (200093)

The Department for Work and Pensions works closely with the Department for Communities and Local Government on a wide range of issues, including the impact of housing benefit policy on people who are homeless or at risk of

homelessness.

The Department for Communities and Local Government are aware of the proposed reduction in backdating timescales for housing benefit and council tax benefit claims and have seen a copy of the impact assessment. Officials from both Departments are working together to mitigate any impacts by undertaking an awareness-raising campaign among landlords, local authorities, customers and welfare rights agencies. Work on this is well underway and it is clear that a high proportion of stakeholders are already aware of the planned changes.

Rented Housing: Cambridge

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether (a) addresses and (b) rental values were used by the Rent Service to determine the median rent for the Broad Market Rental Area in which Cambridge lies. (205721)

It is the responsibility of the rent officer to collect information on lettings achieved in the private rented sector for the Broad Rental Market Area.

The information is gathered from a variety of sources and is as representative of the market as possible and to ensure that the lettings information is current the database is limited to the past 12 month period. The information held is sufficient to both confirm its validity and identify the size of the premises.

Social Security Benefits

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people made a successful claim to receive (a) housing benefit, (b) council tax benefit and (c) pension credit backdated for (i) three months, (ii) six months, (iii) nine months and (iv) 12 months in each the last five years. (200092)

The information requested is as follows:

Housing benefit and council tax benefit

The information is not available in the format requested because of the restrictions of the breadth and reliability of the data available.

As part of the Equality Impact Assessment covering changes to the time for claiming housing benefit and council tax benefit for pensioners and a change to the backdating period allowed within housing benefit and council tax benefit for working age customers, which is available on the DWP website, an estimate of the proportion of housing benefit and council tax benefit caseloads affected by the proposals is provided. There are, however, important caveats to these estimates which must be noted.

Figures on the number of claims that are successfully backdated are derived from the single housing benefit extract (HBSD-IAD scan). The backdating variable in the single housing benefit extract was introduced relatively recently (April 2007) and accordingly we have no means of corroborating how robust the data is against historical data. Furthermore, given that the data only goes back six months, there is an insufficient pool of evidence to derive reliable figures from the data. These concerns should be allayed with time as the scan data improves.

Based on the first six months of data available, it is estimated that approximately 0.2 per cent. of new housing benefit and council tax benefit claims would be affected. In absolute terms, this is approximately 3,000 housing benefit and 3,000 council tax benefit claims per year (in Great Britain). These figures may be subject to revision as more data become available and raw figures should be treated with caution given the nature of the data.

Pension Credit

The information is not available in the format requested. Precise information on the time customers take to claim pension credit (known as backdating) is not routinely collected. The information in the following table estimates the possible maximum extent of backdating by examining the difference between the date of first payment and date at which entitlement begins. In some cases where payment starts after entitlement the delay will be due to processing times, evidence gathering and verification work which routinely accompanies claims for pension credit.

Estimates of the number of claims for pension credit by backdating period between 2003 and 2006ThousandMonths of backdatingOctober 2003 to March 2004April 2004 to March 2005April 2005 to March 2006April 2006 to March 20070-3 months2,2201901701703-6 months16013020306-9 months16010109-12 months14012070Total on flows2,380610310280 Notes:1. Estimates of the number of claims by length of backdating period have been rounded to the nearest 10,000 cases2. Care should be taken when interpreting the table. The Department does not routinely collect information on backdating periods and these have been estimated by comparing information on the date entitlement starts and the data pension credit is put into payment. Estimated backdating periods therefore include unknown periods of time that are due to processing, evidence gathering and verification work which routinely accompany every claim for pension credit.3. Due to rounding the numbers of successful claims by period of backdating may not sum to the total number of successful claims.4. There will be people flowing onto pension credit that will have zero backdating. These cases will be captured in the 0-3 month group.Source:Experimental statistics of pension credit on flows.

Defence

Armed Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what recent representations he has received in relation to the capacity, funding and equipment of the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. (204623)

[holding answer 9 May 2008]: I regularly receive representations concerning the capacity, funding and equipment of the armed forces. Ensuring that our armed forces have the capabilities they need to achieve the tasks we ask of them as safely and successfully as possible is my highest priority.

Armed Forces: Deployment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the (a) armed forces, (b) Army, (c) Royal Navy and (d) Royal Air Force (i) are preparing to deploy on operations and (ii) have recently returned from operations. (193102)

Given the rotational nature of operational deployments, the proportion of RAF and Army personnel preparing to deploy on operations is broadly the same as the proportion that has recently returned from operations. For the RAF this is approximately 7 per cent. For the Army this is approximately 9 per cent. These figures include both Regular and Reserve personnel. Equivalent data for the Royal Navy could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of the (a) Army, (b) Royal Air Force, (c) Royal Navy and (d) Royal Marines were in breach of the guidelines on individual separated service at the end of the 2007-08 financial year. (199474)

The current levels of Individual Harmony (Separated Service) including operations and all other military tasks, as at 22 April 2008 (Q4 2007-08), show that:

Less than 1 per cent. of RN/RM personnel were in breach of the single service guidelines.

10.3 per cent. of the Army were in breach of Separated Service guidelines. (This is a year on year improvement from 14.5 per cent. in 2005-06 and 13.4 per cent. in 2006-07.) The Army continues to monitor separated service with due diligence utilising directed recruitment and retention initiatives targeted at Pinch point Trades in particular.

9.2 per cent. of RAF personnel breached the single service guideline. This is a decrease of 0.8 per cent. on the previous quarter. There has been an increase over the past year due to changes in the reporting procedures that have brought the RAF into line with the RN and Army rather than an increase in commitments.

Armed Forces: Health Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how many military personnel had rehabilitation treatment at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court in each of the last five years; (184705)

(2) how many service personnel had rehabilitation treatment at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre, Headley Court after their return from (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan in each of the last five years.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many personnel were treated at Headley Court Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in each year since 2004. (199495)

Headley Court records the total number of ‘patient episodes’, i.e. the number of reviews (of which there may be many) of individual patients, as well as new patient referrals. The total numbers of such episodes over the last five financial years are shown in the following table:

In-patients

Out-patients

Total

2003-04

1,963

2,607

4,570

2004-05

1,544

2,913

4,457

2005-06

1,408

3,093

4,501

2006-07

1,685

4,219

5,904

2007-08

1,885

4,825

6,710

These statistics require further explanation. Patient referrals cover a wide range of injuries. Furthermore, as well as serving as the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre (its core task), Headley Court is also the Regional Rehabilitation Unit for London and Overseas.

Over the period covered by these statistics, there has been an increase in military operational tempo. This has led to an increase in patient activity overall and a more complex patient group requiring repeat admission to Headley Court. There have been changes in the balance between the numbers of patients requiring a ward bed and those who do not, including an increase in specialist clinics such as consultant-led visiting clinics and prosthetic clinics.

The increase in ward beds to the current total of 66 (through the addition of a 30-bed temporary ward annexe in May 2007) and improved ways of working have helped to enable the increased throughput of patients. However, it continues to be the case that most injuries treated at Headley Court have not been sustained on current operations in Afghanistan or Iraq. As an example, on 2 May, 46 ward beds were occupied, of which 23 were occupied by service personnel earlier evacuated from Afghanistan and Iraq. Most of the non-ward bed spaces (around 110 in total) are occupied by in-patients on a regular basis, but mainly by patients who have sustained injuries elsewhere.

However, information requested by operated theatre could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many armed forces personnel have been referred to (a) a regional rehabilitation unit and (b) Headley Court in each year since 2003. (200941)

The following table shows the total number of new patient referrals, for a course of treatment, of armed forces personnel to all 15 of MOD's Regional Rehabilitation Units (RRUs). Full figures are not available for 2003-04.

1 April to 31 March

Number of new patient referrals

2004-05

4,320

2005-06

6,122

2006-07

7,168

2007-08

7,312

It should be noted that patient referrals cover a wide range of injuries, only a minority of which have been sustained on current operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

For total patient referrals to Headley Court, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave him and my hon. Friend the Member for Nottingham, South (Alan Simpson) today.

As well as having the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre as its core task, Headley Court has also hosted the Regional Rehabilitation Unit for London and overseas patients (if they are not treated by the one of the two RRUs located in Germany). Figures for referrals to the Headley Court RRU are included in the answer referred to previously, as well as in the table. These figures could be separated out only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence with reference to his announcement of 6 May 2008, what the source of funding for the £24 million to be provided to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Headley Court is. (204572)

Armed Forces: Housing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much Annington Homes paid to the Government for land it sold to the east of Layer Road, Colchester, previously occupied by Ministry of Defence housing; and what percentage this represented of the value of the proceeds received by Annington Homes. (199229)

The 1996 Sale Agreement between Annington Homes Ltd. (AHL) and the Ministry of Defence related to the sale and value of properties rather than parcels of land. It has not proved possible to identify the specific site referred to or the number of properties it might have represented, and therefore we do not know what percentage the land represented.

Armed Forces: Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) target and (b) actual (i) inflow, (ii) outflow and (iii) voluntary outflow rate of each pinch point trade was in the last 12 months. (200952)

The following tables provide information on current pinch point trades. As can be seen, not all of the information on current pinch point trades is available. This is largely evident in the Army figures as there is insufficient data held on the Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) system. During the transition to JPA, which was introduced to the Army in April 2007, some data was lost. This data is currently being rebuilt although it may be some time before reliable information is available. Target figures are not available as they do not exist. Not all pinch point trades can be rectified by inflow as the pinch point may appear at more senior levels; this loss of experience cannot necessarily be grown through inflow. Some gaps can be filled by promotion pull but the challenge is to stem voluntary outflow.

Data for previous years is not held centrally and can be provided only at disproportionate cost. All three Services employ retention measures targeted at specific trade groups. For example, in the RN financial retention incentives (FRIs) are used to retain GR7 Instructors (£100,000 for pilot), MERLIN Aircrew and Lieutenant X Sub-Mariner Advanced Warfare Qualified (£25,000 with a Return of Service of four years). Other incentives include more flexible use of Full Term Commissions and the introduction of a Professional Aviator Pay Spine for air crewmen.

Similarly, in the Army, FRIs are used as incentives for Infantry at identified key decision points and there is considerable focus on improving wastage during training. To retain Royal Engineer Explosive Ordnance Disposal personnel the Army has introduced specialist pay and extended the course to increase first-time pass rate. REME Recovery Mechanic is another trade where the removal of Class 1 time bars, development of an apprenticeship scheme and the instigation of early eligibility for promotion to LCpl has helped to aid retention.

The RAF have FRIs for a number of trades (fire fighter, nurse and gunner); introduced more flexible manning policies (such as re-engagement to 22 years for selected Base Rank personnel) and opened up Continuance as a way of retaining experience.

Royal Navy

Pinch point trade

Strength

Shortfall (Percentage)

Inflow

Outflow

Voluntary outflow (Percentage)

Lt X SM Advanced Warfare Course Qualified

75

8

9

12

4.00

RN Harrier GR7 Instructors

7

57

n/a

n/a

0

Lt GR7 Harrier Pilots

35

51

n/a

n/a

4.50

Merlin Pilots

112

39

4

2

2.50

Merlin Observers

116

46

3

1

1.50

Merlin Aircrewmen

102

22

4

0

n/a

Leading Hand Warfare

1,108

41

189

52

8.30

Strategic Weapons Systems Junior Ranks

110

20

28

14

11.00

Able Bodied Warfare Specialist (Sensors Submariner)

173

23

26

18

14.00

Able Bodied Warfare Specialist (Tactical Submariner)

121

21

23

10

11.00

Able Bodied Diver

136

30

22

8

13.00

Able Rate 1 Seaman

351

15

32

34

19.00

Able Rate 1 Warfare Specialist

754

24

277

98

14.80

Able Rate 1 Communications and Information Systems

375

13

137

50

14.70

Leading Aircraft Controllers

75

44

7

6

6.50

Royal Marines Other Ranks

5,976

9

557

494

5.80

Sea-King and Lynx Avionics Supervisors

348

18

n/a

n/a

5.60

Cat A Nuclear Watchkeepers

217

24

27

8

5.00

Petty Officer Mine Warfare

56

27

10

1

2.40

Cat B Nuclear Watchkeepers

417

18

34

25

8.00

Army

Pinch point trade

Strength

Shortfall (Percentage)

Inflow

Outflow

Voluntary Outflow (Percentage)

Infantryman Pte-LCpl

13,740

8.5

REME VM Pte-Cpl

3,140

14.6

5.8%

REME Armourer Pte-Cpl

321

16.8

5.1%

REME Rec Mech LCpl-Cpl

214

36.5

5.7%

Int OPMI Cpl-Sgt

498

26.0

5.0

RE Clk of Wks SSgt-WOl

276

15.1

1.8

RE ME Fitter Spr-LCpl

407

20.0

8.2

RA Gunner LBdr-Bdr

3,370

11.3

AMS ITU Nurse Cpl-Capt

30

23.1

AMS EM Nurse Cpl-Capt

37

30.2

AMS Radiologist Maj+

1

75.0

AMS Orth Surg Maj+

7

46.2

AMS Gen Surg Maj+

10

41.2

AMS Anaesthetist Maj+

20

59.2

AMS Gen Med Prac Capt+

137

10.5

5.8

AMS Radiographer Cpl+

12

57.1

10.4

AMS RGN

263

26.9

8.5

AMS ODP Cpl+

75

21.9

3.6

RA UAV Op (Level 4) LBdr-Bdr

57

47.7

10.9

RE ME Geo Spr-WO2

270

26.2

5.8

RE EOD Cpl-SSgt

500

28.7

3.8

RE ME C3S Spr-LCpl

740

22.8

9.5

RLC Ammo Tech Cpl-SSgt

314

15.4

4.2

RLC P&C Op Pte-Cpl

547

8.5

5.9

RLCChef Pte-LCpl

2,461

5.4

2.5

RSigs IS Engr Cpl-Sgt

400

-0.8

3.7

AGC(SPS) Mil Admin Pte-Sgt

3,557

10.4

CAMUS Musician

253

16.2

REME Aircraft Tech LCpl-Sgt

545

-7.9

REME Avionics Tech LCpl-Sgt

289

4.3

Royal Air Force

Pinch point trade

Strength

Shortfall (Percentage)

Inflow

Outflow

Voluntary outflow (Percentage)

Officers

Medical

220

20.90

15

20

2.00

Operations Support (Intelligence)

230

1.30

6

11

1.30

Operations Support (Regiment)

240

10.10

6

19

2.40

Operations Support (Provost / Security)

140

1.40

17

35

3.70

Operations Support (Flight Operations)

190

11.60

18

24

2.50

Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service

130

27.80

11

1

2.00

Administration (Training)

200

13.40

10

24

5.60

Chaplains

60

24.10

1

11

2.00

Medical Support

80

12.10

8

1

2.00

Operations Support (Fighter Control)

300

13.30

21

22

1.70

Other ranks trades

Weapons System Operator (Air Load Master)

450

18.20

26

47

1.70

Weapons System Operator (Linguist)

50

25.40

3

7

3.80

Air Traffic Controller (ATC) / Flight Operations Manager (FOM) / Flight Operations Assistant (FOA)

11,200

26

381

4124

ATC -3.30

1

2

3

4

FOM/FOA (5.9)

Fire Fighter

480

13.20

48

108

14.90

Gunner

1,630

10.40

144

225

7.50

Movements Operator / Controller

860

2.20

34

73

3.90

RAF Police

1,350

-5.60

84

172

4.40

Staff Nurse (Registered General Nurse)

280

7

48

53

7.10

Intelligence Analyst (Communications)

240

16.10

19

45

7.60

Environmental Health Technician

40

16.70

7

9

2.40

Radiographer

10

9.10

0

1

9.10

Mess Manager / Steward

460

7.60

20

42

3.80

Musician

150

14.30

15

21

1.90

RAF Physical Training Instructor

490

5.20

33

21

3.60

Armed Forces: Separation

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the separation rate was for married personnel in each service in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) officers, (b) other ranks and (c) all ranks. (205128)

The information is not held in the format requested and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The following table shows annual divorce rates1 for Army and RAF UK Regular Forces2 personnel for each calendar year since 1997 up until the most recent data available, by officers and ranks. Naval service data are not available as the naval service groups ‘separated’, ‘divorced’ and ‘widowed’ together.

1 Rates are calculated as a percentage of the average married strength during the calendar years. The term ‘divorce’ includes ‘decree absolute’ and ‘marriage annulled’. It excludes ‘decree nisi’ and individuals who are separated.

2 UK regular forces includes nursing services and excludes full-time reserve service personnel, Ghurkhas, the Home Service battalions of the Royal Irish Regiment and mobilised reservists. It includes trained and untrained personnel.

Percentage

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

20061, 2

Army2

All

4

4

2.1

2.3

2.2

2.6

2.4

2.4

2.1

1.9

Officers

4

4

0.9

1.1

0.9

1.4

1.1

1.0

1.1

1.1

Ranks

4

4

2.3

2.5

2.5

2.9

2.7

2.7

2.4

2.1

RAF

All

4

1.6

1.6

1.8

1.8

1.8

1.7

1.9

1.9

4

Officers

4

1.0

0.9

1.4

1.5

1.3

1.1

1.2

1.5

4

Ranks

4

1.8

1.8

1.9

1.9

2.0

1.8

2.0

1.8

4

1 Figures for 2006 are for the most recently available 12 months which cover the period up to 1 December 2006.

2 Following the phased introduction of a new personnel administration system, marital status data are no longer available. This table shows the most recently available data.

3 For the years 1999, 2000 and 2001, annulments are excluded from the calculations for divorce rates, as the information was not available, however the remaining years do include annulments in their calculation.

4 Denotes data is unavailable.

Note:

Percentages are calculated from unrounded figures and are shown to one decimal place.

Armed Forces: Staff Turnover

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the (a) inflow and (b) outflow was of staff in each regional rehabilitation unit in each year since 2005. (203208)

The Inflow and Outflow of staff for the MOD’s 15 RRUs is provided in the following table. The figures include staff deploying on, and returning back from, operational deployments.

RRU

Inflow

Outflow

Colchester

2005

22

16

2006

9

9

2007

10

7

Aldershot

20051

n/k

n/k

2006

10

1

2007

3

Edinburgh

2005

2

2006

5

2

2007

2

4

Aldergrove

2005

3

2

2006

3

5

2007

7

6

Catterick

2005

9

0

2006

3

4

2007

7

8

Bulford

2005

4

2

2006

3

3

2007

4

3

Cranwell

2005

0

0

2006

0

0

2007

1

0

Honington

2005

0

0

2006

1

1

2007

1

0

Halton

2005

1

1

2006

2

2

2007

2

1

Portsmouth

2005

1

1

2006

4

3

2007

1

1

Plymouth

2005

0

0

2006

4

6

2007

4

5

Headley Court

2005

1

0

2006

0

0

2007

1

1

Gutersloh

2005

4

2

2006

5

5

2007

2

2

Hohne

2005

4

0

2006

5

1

2007

1

1

1 Figures are not known as the RRU was run by Sodexho Ltd.

The RRU facility at Lichfield currently consists of a Multi-Disciplinary Injury Assessment Clinic, staffed by members of the unit Medical Centre. Separate inflow/outflow figures for the rehabilitation element are therefore not available.

Armed Forces: Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many service personnel have obtained civilian qualifications issued by his Department in each of the last five years. (205308)

No civilian qualifications were issued by the Ministry of Defence to armed forces personnel during the last five years. For the purposes of issuing civilian recognised qualifications, Defence only became a national awarding body in February 2008 and intends to start certification from July 2008.

Armed Forces: Uniforms

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 7 May 2008, Official Report, column 834W, on armed forces: uniforms, how much one complete set of Combat Soldier 95 uniform cost in each year since 2004. (205124)

There are nearly 200 NATO stock numbers that are classified as Combat Soldier 95, and what is issued varies according to the role of an individual, and therefore, there is no single figure available. However, the approximate basic uniform cost, comprising jacket, smock, trousers, cold weather shirt, vest, thermal liners, waterproof jacket, overtrousers, gloves and gaiters (and excluding items such as helmets, boots and socks) is as follows:

£ (excl. VAT)

Year

Price

20041

152

20051

136

20061

130

2007

132

2008

130

1 Please note that some individual costs are not available for these years due to the transfer of contract. The price has therefore been assumed to be as per the next available year for the same item.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 7 May 2008, Official Report, column 834W, on armed forces: uniforms, how much has been paid to Cooneen Watts and Stone Ltd. for the production of the Combat Soldier 95 uniform since 2004. (205125)

This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Cooneen Watts and Stone Ltd supply a large number of items to the MOD. Details of those items which form part of Combat Soldier 95 uniform are not recorded separately.

Armoured Fighting Vehicles: Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will re-evaluate the Future Rapid Effect System project with particular reference to (a) the delivery schedule, (b) cost projections, (c) vehicle reliability, (d) the successful completion of all tests, (e) excessive weight, (f) excessive noise, (g) limited visibility and (h) reliability of the weapons system; and if he will make a statement. (204780)

Piranha V was announced as the provisional preferred design for the future rapid effect system (FRES) utility vehicle on 8 May 2008, Official Report, columns 39-40WS. This announcement followed completion of the MOD's assessment of the evidence gathered during the utility vehicle trials and the further work to fully understand the commercial implications of the three competing designs. It is because of our early recognition and understanding of many of the issues raised that we have decided to embark on a focused phase of risk reduction early in the FRES UV development to give the programme the very best chance of success.

The selection decision was made by following the guiding principles of a competitive assessment to select a design that best met the Army's requirement for a combination of value for money through life, timely delivery, high performance and growth potential. In common with all defence procurement programmes, we will re-evaluate the performance, time and cost parameters of the FRES programme right up to the point at which we take the main investment decision.

AWE Burghfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what occasions his Department has asked AWE Burghfield to cease live nuclear work in the last 12 months; and for what reasons each such request was made. (205233)

There are no occasions when the Ministry of Defence has asked AWE Burghfield to cease live nuclear work.

On 20 July 2007, AWE was affected by flooding resulting in temporary disruption. At that time, AWE plc., the nuclear site licensee, took a decision not to undertake live nuclear work until remedial work had been undertaken. This decision was made in consultation with the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate and with Ministry of Defence officials, and was consistent with our planned operational programmes. Live working has now resumed.

Bombs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how often CRV-7 weapons have been used in each year since 2000; and in which theatre they have been used. (193320)

CRV-7 rockets of various types have only been used operationally in Afghanistan since 2000. As of 21 April 2008, some 2,506 rockets have been fired by Apache helicopters since that capability was deployed to Afghanistan in August 2006 and, as of 29 April 2008, some 3,731 rockets have been fired by Harrier aircraft since that capability was deployed to Afghanistan in September 2004. In none of these operational engagements was the CRV-7 MPSM variant, which can deploy a small number of sub-munitions, employed.

Departmental Domestic Visits

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions he has visited (a) Scotland, (b) Wales and (c) Northern Ireland in an official capacity in the last 12 months. (204398)

Official visits in the last 12 months by MOD Ministers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are set out in the following table. Visits may last more than one day, and may contain several engagements. The Secretary of State has conducted visits to Scotland in his capacities both as Secretary of State for Scotland and Secretary of State for Defence.

Scotland

Wales

Northern Ireland

Secretary of State

29

0

1

Minister (AF)

5

1

1

Minister (DBS)

2

0

1

USofS

3

2

0

All ministerial travel is undertaken in accordance with the ministerial code.

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much was spent on the most recent redesign and implementation of his Departmental website. (200166)

The Ministry of Defence and armed forces collectively maintain four corporate websites. Redesign and implementation costs on these were as follows:

Website

URL

Cost (£)

Year

Note

Ministry of Defence

http://www.mod.uk/

400,000

2005-06

Further enhancements to the site were made between June 2007 and April 2008 at a cost of £150,000

Royal Navy

http://www.royal-navy.mod.uk/

270,000

2006

The Royal Navy corporate website was re launched on 6 February 2006. An additional refresh was carried out in 2007 of the front page, RN live & Global operation at a cost of £110,000.

British Army

http://www.army.mod.uk

266,500

2006-07

This is the first major redesign of the Army website since 1998. Launch is expected within the next few weeks.

Royal Air Force

http ://www.raf.mod.uk/

119,579

2006-07

The redesign project was conducted through the Central Office of Information

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many people were employed by the Ministry of Defence in the most recent year for which records are available. (201006)

The number of civilian personnel employed by the Ministry of Defence is published in Civilian Personnel Statistics 1 (CPS 1), “Civilian workforce by grade equivalence and budgetary employing area”. A copy of the latest publication, as at 1 January 2008 can be found at:

http://centre.defence.mod.uk/dasa/natstats/cps1/cps1tab1.html

The next edition of CPS 1 is due to be released on 30 April 2008 containing figures as at 1 April 2008.

The number of service personnel employed by the Ministry of Defence is published in Tri-Service Publication 1 (TSP 1), “Strength, intake and outflow of UK Regular Forces”. A copy of the latest publication, as at 1 March 2008 can be found at:

http://www.dasa.mod.uk/natstats/tspl/gender.html

The next edition of TSP 1 is due to be released on 22 May 2008 containing figures as at 1 April 2008.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what his Department’s expenditure outturn, excluding the cost of operations, was in each year from 1992-93 to 2000-01; (205467)

(2) what his Department’s expenditure outturn, excluding the cost of operations and the security and intelligence services, was in each year from 1979-80 to 1991-92;

(3) what in near cash terms the (a) resource and (b) capital outturn was for operating in (i) Afghanistan, (ii) Iraq and (iii) the Balkans in each year from 2001-02 to 2004-05.

MOD identifies the costs of operations in terms of the net additional costs it has incurred. The costs that the Department would have incurred regardless of the operation taking place, such as wages and salaries, are not included. Savings on activities that have not occurred because of the operation—training exercises for example—are taken into account in arriving at the net figures.

The annual audited near cash figures (excluding indirect resource costs) for the costs of operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans for the years 2002-03 to 2004-05 were as follows:

£ million

Operational costs for Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans

Direct resource outturn

Capital outturn

Total near cash outturn

Peacekeeping costs: 2004-05

817

174

991

Of which:

Balkans (Bosnia/Kosovo)

75

2

77

Afghanistan

58

9

67

Iraq

684

163

847

Peacekeeping costs: 2003-04

1046

269

1315

Of which:

Balkans (Bosnia/Kosovo)

94

- 1

93

Afghanistan

34

10

44

Iraq

918

260

1178

Peacekeeping costs: 2002-03

Of which:

Balkans (Bosnia/Kosovo)

133

20

153

Afghanistan

224

75

299

Iraq

556

218

774

Although resource accounts were published for 2001-02, MOD does not have a full breakdown of operational costs for that year. However, the total operational costs were as follows:

£ million

Balkans (Bosnia/Kosovo)

235

Afghanistan

221

Iraq

0

Total

456

The Department did not produce full accounts until the introduction of resource accounting and budgeting (RAB) for the financial year 2001-02. Prior to this financial year, the Department’s outturn was reported in the end of year Appropriations Accounts and Estimates reports, copies of which can be found in the Library of the House. Appropriations Accounts do not, however, separately identify the cost of operations or the costs of the security and intelligence services and this information is not held centrally and would be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Gibraltar: Armed Forces

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Royal Navy vessels have visited Gibraltar in the last 12 months. (205633)

During the 12 month period (1 May 2007 to 30 April 2008), Royal Navy vessels have visited Gibraltar on 59 occasions. In addition (and for completeness), seven Royal Fleet Auxiliary Vessels have visited Gibraltar over the same period.