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Written Answers

Volume 477: debated on Friday 13 June 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Friday 13 June 2008

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agriculture: Exports

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely effect of the most recent US Farm Bill when enacted on British farming exports. (208915)

The Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (“the Act”) represents a missed opportunity during a time of high commodity prices to reduce the levels of trade distorting domestic support given to US agriculture. The impact of domestic support payments on global agricultural markets is difficult to disaggregate at the country by country level and we have not conducted detailed analysis of the impact of changes in the Act on British farming exports. The Act makes relatively minor changes to the commodity title in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (i.e. the last US Farm Bill).

Agriculture: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what funding his Department has provided to young farmers' organisations for the provision of skills and development in each of the last three years; and what plans he has to provide such funding in the next three years. (209362)

DEFRA has provided £51,500 to the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs for each of the last three financial years covering the period 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07, a total of £154,500 over three years. The National Federation for Young Farmers Clubs have used this funding for a range of developmental activities for their members, aged 10 to 26 years, including skills training and competitive activities .

Funding of £51,500 for the National Federation of Young Farmers Clubs has been committed for the period 2007-08. No further commitments of funding have been made at this time.

Animal Products

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many animal by-product plants were approved in each of the last three years. (210045)

The following table shows the number of animal by-product plants approved in the last two financial years:

Number of plants approved

2006-071

1,095

2007-081

1,084

1 Financial year April to March

Animal Health (AH) have an approval period of two years, then plants are re-approved. As a result no figures are available for more than two years ago, as those plants will either have been re-approved or are no longer operating. The AH re-approval overwrites the original dates, making it impossible to distinguish between new and re-approved plants.

Bovine Tuberculosis

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he expects to respond to the Fourth Report of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee Session 2007-08, HC 130-I, on badgers and cattle TB; and what the reasons are for the time taken to respond. (210295)

[holding answer 11 June 2008]: We have no date for a response to the Committee’s Report at this time. There is a great deal of complex evidence to consider in relation to bovine TB and badger culling and we have been determined to get the views of all the interested parties over recent months. As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State explained in his letter to the Chair of the EFRA Committee on 28 April, it will take time to produce a response that deals thoroughly with the Committee’s recommendations. The matter is receiving our full attention.

Coastal Areas: Dogs

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether dog-owners will be consulted on coastal access provisions in the Draft Marine Bill; and whether he plans to increase access to the coast to people with dogs under the Bill. (210182)

We have held discussions with the Kennel Club about the coastal access provisions in the draft Marine Bill which aim to improve public access to the English coast for walkers and for those who may be accompanied by a dog.

We have no plans to specifically consult dog owners but anyone wishing to comment on the draft Bill may do so by writing to the Marine Bill Team, Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs, Area 2C, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3JR, or e-mail:

MarineBillConsultation@defra.gsi.gov.uk.

The closing date for responses is 26 June 2008.

Dogs: Electric Shock Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research evidence was reviewed by his Department on the use of electric shock training devices for dogs prior to commissioning further research. (209150)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make an assessment of the animal welfare consequences of the use of electric shock (a) collars, (b) mats and (c) leads in training dogs. (209515)

My Department is aware of a number of scientific studies on these devices, but considers that to date those studies published are not sufficiently robust. Further research into these types of collars is a priority. An Open Competition Call was published in DEFRA's annual research requirements document in August 2005 inviting bids for research on the effect of both electronic and non-electronic training aids on the welfare of dogs. A single proposal was received in response to the call but it did not satisfactorily meet the advertised requirement and it was rejected.

In July 2006, DEFRA circulated a revised call for research in the form of a limited tender call. The call invited proposals for studies to assess the effect of specific electronic pet training aids (excluding electric fences) on the welfare of dogs. The call encouraged an epidemiological approach, based on observation of collars already in use. One proposal was received in response to the call and a study commissioned which is due to complete in 2010.

DEFRA has also asked the Companion Animal Welfare Council, advisory body to Government on companion animal welfare matters, to undertake an independent study of available evidence on the use of these electronic training aids to help inform policy and complement the DEFRA funded study.

The study will not cover electric mats and leads. We are not aware that these devices are used to any significant extent. If they do cause a dog to suffer unnecessarily then it would be possible to bring a prosecution under the Animal welfare act 2006.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when his Department’s research into electric shock collars will be completed; what the cost of the research is; and when he expects to decide on whether to ban electric shock collars. (210180)

The study to assess the effect of electronic training aids on the welfare of dogs commenced in 2007, and it is expected to be completed in 2010 at a cost of £469,000. Details of the research project are available on the DEFRA website. We will not be making any decision on whether to ban electronic training aids until we have considered the results of the completed research project.

Institute for Animal Health: Compton

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had on the future of the Institute for Animal Health at Compton; and if he will make a statement. (209835)

[holding answer 9 June 2008]: DEFRA’s Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer was a member of the independent review panel, chaired by professor Sir John Beringer, to advise the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) on the future in terms of funding, governance and risk management at the Institute for Animal Health (IAH).

Among other things, the panel recommended that the BBSRC Council should consider the future of IAH Compton in the context of work to develop a new centre at Pirbright. DEFRA is currently in discussion with the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and the BBSRC about the future of the Pirbright centre.

Livestock: Disease Control

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many convictions there were for non-compliance with requirements on cleansing and disinfecting livestock vehicles in each of the last five years. (210043)

Over the last five years, the numbers of successful prosecutions resulting from non-compliance with cleansing and disinfecting requirements for all vehicles, including road, air and sea, are as follows:

Number of Convictions

2003

1

2004

2

2005

4

2006

4

2007

2

Meat: Smuggling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to find alternative sources of funding for the provision of border controls designed to stop the importation of illegal meat following the reduction of his Department's funding. (209747)

Anti-smuggling controls on all products of animal origin at the Great Britain border except at border inspection posts are operated by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and resourced directly from their budgets. The reduction in DEFRA's funding will not impact on this.

Funding continues to be available for DEFRA to help increase public awareness of the rules and regulations that are in place to restrict personal food imports.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for Northern Ireland (DARDNI) retains responsibility for anti-smuggling controls in Northern Ireland.

All commercial imports of meat from outside the EU must be checked on entry to ensure that they comply with the import requirements. The costs of these checks must be recovered from the importer under EU law. If a consignment does not comply with the EU rules, it must be re-exported or destroyed and additional costs incurred during this process are also recovered from the importer.

Quarrying: Derbyshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many representations he has received about quarrying on Longstone Edge in Derbyshire; and if he will take steps to end quarrying in the area covered by the 1952 planning permission. (210468)

[holding answer 12 June 2008]: Since the beginning of 2007 we have received over 70 representations from fellow Members of Parliament and stakeholder organisations and also over 70 representations directly from members of the public about the quarrying on Longstone Edge in Derbyshire.

We are taking a close interest in this case and are in regular contact with the National Park Authority to try and find a long-term solution.

Wildlife: Smuggling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many live animals were seized on entry to the UK in the most recent year for which figures are available; and how many of them were (a) destroyed, (b) repatriated, (c) placed in the care of Government agencies and (d) placed in the care of charities. (210129)

[holding answer 10 June 2008]: There are no central records for the seizure of animals in recent years, although figures may be kept by the appropriate local authority.

Staff from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seize live animals only in connection with Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora. Data on animals seized under the Regulation are set out in HMRC’s Annual Reports. In 2006-07 there were 39 seizures, comprising 1,229 separate animals.

Animals are only destroyed on the basis of expert advice from qualified veterinarians, who also carry out the necessary euthanasia. Most animals that are seized will be placed into the care of zoos, registered keepers/breeders, breeding programmes, or registered societies.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what reasons and on what basis charities taking over care of animals seized on entry to the UK are required to pay fees to take possession of the animals; and if he will make a statement. (210130)

[holding answer 10 June 2008]: Costs may be involved if animals require quarantine. If an owner is not available, the relevant local authority is responsible for paying for an initial two week period. However, rabies susceptible animals have to go into quarantine for a six month period, and these costs must be met or the animals will be destroyed or returned to the exporting country. If there is no owner or importer to claim responsibility for the animals, and charities wish to save the animals from being euthanized—it is the responsibility of those charities to meet the costs of the quarantine period. This is a decision made by the charities, and they would not receive compensation for this from public funds.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether charities taking over care of animals seized on entry to the UK are compensated from public funds for the cost of that care. (210131)

[holding answer 10 June 2008]: Charities are not paid compensation from public funds for care of seized animals on entry to the UK.

Transport

Airports: Noise

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many UK residents live within a 50 db Leq contour around an airport; (209265)

(2) how many people live within the 57dB Leq noise contour around a UK airport.

The Secretary of State publishes annual aircraft noise contour maps and reports (which include population statistics) for the three London airports (Heathrow Gatwick and Stansted) which are designated under section 80 for the purposes of section 78 of the Civil Aviation Act 1982 for noise control purposes.

These follow the standard UK practice of producing aircraft noise contours for the average summer's day (Leq 16 hour, 7.00 am to 11.00 pm) where ‘summer’ is the 92-day period from 16 June to 15 September.

Aircraft noise contour reports for 2007 in respect of Heathrow Gatwick and Stansted are to be published shortly. The number of people falling within the 57dBA Leq contour is 251,900, 4,800 and 2,500 respectively.

The Secretary of State is not responsible for the production of aircraft noise contour maps/reports at non-designated airports. The publication of such material is a matter for local decision.

The reports and maps for Heathrow Gatwick and Stansted are available on the Department's website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/aviation/environmentalissues/nec/

Additionally, population statistics are summarised for these airports and for some of the non designated airports in table 3.10 of Transport Statistics Great Britain 2007—this table can be found on the Department's website at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/energyenvironment/.

Although 54dBA Leq aircraft noise contours are sometimes produced as a sensitivity analysis, aircraft modelling below such levels is generally considered to be unlikely to generate accurate and reliable results. However we do intend—under the auspices of the Department's Aircraft Noise Monitoring Advisory Committee—to review the issues and practical difficulties of noise monitoring at lower levels.

Aviation: Disabled

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps are being taken at EU level to phase out aircraft which do not meet disability access standards on routes operated wholly within the EU. (208247)

There are no plans to phase out aircraft which do not meet disability access standards.

A new EC Regulation gives rights to disabled passengers travelling by air. The Department for Transport is currently consulting on its revised Code of Practice ‘Access to air travel for Disabled Persons and Persons with Reduced Mobility’ which provides guidance to the aviation industry on how to comply with its obligations under the Regulation. Although not covered by the Regulation, this guidance also includes material on accessible aircraft design.

We aim to publish this Code when the EC Regulation comes fully into force from 26 July 2008.

Bus Services: Concessions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government is taking to encourage and enable local authorities to offer flexible alternatives to the national concessionary bus pass. (208893)

The Government are responsible for the statutory minimum off-peak bus travel concession that all Travel Concession Authorities (TCAs) are required to provide. The Concessionary Bus Travel Act 2007 preserves the flexibility of TCAs to enhance their schemes locally at their own expense. For example, TCAs may choose to offer their residents vouchers or tokens for local use in taxis, give concessionary bus travel beyond the statutory times, or extend concessionary travel to other modes. Any decision to offer these discretionary elements is a matter for individual TCAs.

Cars: Exhaust Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 22 April 2008, to the hon. Member for East Yorkshire, Official Report, column 1894W, on cars: research, how much expenditure her Department has incurred in testing vehicle emissions for the purposes of national emissions inventory modelling in the last three years; and by whom such testing has been conducted. (209252)

Expenditure by the Department on emission factor testing and analysis for the purpose of the national atmospheric emissions inventory model in the last three financial years (2005-6, 2006-7 and 2007-8) amounted to some £279,860. This work was carried out by Shell Global Solutions (UK), Tickford Powertrain Test Limited and AEA Technology PLC. Copies of the resulting reports may be found on the Department's website at

www.dft.gov.uk/pqr/roads/roads/environment/research/cqvcf

or by navigating from the Department's home page (www.dft.gov.uk) to DfT home > Policy, guidance and research > Roads and vehicles > Environmental issues > Research > Cleaner and Quieter Vehicles and Cleaner Fuels.

A small amount of emissions factor testing work has also been carried out in the course of the Department's annual enforcement programme of checks on manufacturers' production.

In addition, some £110,000 of expenditure was incurred on research into improved methodologies for emissions modelling.

This was undertaken by the Transport Research Laboratory.

Cars: Hampshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many cars in (a) Southampton and (b) Hampshire have been registered in bands F and G since (i) 1 March 2001 and (ii) 23 March 2006. (211400)

The numbers of licensed cars registered in Southampton and Hampshire at the end of 2007 with carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the present Band F (186 to 225 g/km) and Band G (over 225 g/km) were as follows:

186 to 225 g/km

Over 225 g/km

Southampton

Registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 December 2007

6,920

2,641

Registered between 23 March 2006 and 31 December 2007

1,118

365

Hampshire

Registered between 1 March 2001 and 31 December 2007

79,474

41,997

Registered between 23 March 2006 and 31 December 2007

17,933

8,522

Cars with carbon dioxide emissions greater than 225 g/km are taxed in Band F if they were first registered between 1 March 2001 and 23 March 2006.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2008, Official Report, column 7W, on departmental data protection, what the appropriate level of vetting is for individuals contracted by her Department to supply specialist data and IT audit resources. (209280)

All staff, consultants and contractors must complete, prior to taking up their posts, the HMG baseline standard checks to positively establish identity and obtain background information on the subject by taking up references. The checks are regarded as providing sufficient assurance as to reliability and integrity for an individual to have access to UK material marked Restricted and Confidential, and occasional access to Secret material. Satisfactory completion of the baseline standard procedures is also required before an individual is issued with a permanent pass for departmental buildings and before an individual is given access to any of the Department's IT systems.

In addition to the baseline standard, individuals who require access to the Department's sensitive IT systems or processes, including for IT audit purposes, may in some circumstances require Security Check (SC) clearance. Any such requirements for SC clearance, for IT audit or any other purposes are determined on a case by case basis.

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many pages have been deleted from her Department’s website in each of the last 12 months, broken down by subject matter. (209032)

For the period 1 June 2007 to 31 May 2008, the Department removed 537 web pages from its website. Typical page removals include expiry of advertised job vacancies; replacement pages with up-to-date versions of the content; and removal of guidance and content perceived to be out-of-date.

The following table breaks down content removed by subject matter.

Subject area

Number of pages deleted

About DfT

72

Aviation

2

Consultations

10

Crime and public transport

1

Economics and appraisal

0

Evaluation

1

FOI

4

Freight

48

Press Office

29

Railways

74

Regional and local transport

9

Road safety

9

Roads and vehicles

112

Science and research

4

Shipping and ports

1

Social inclusion

0

Sustainable travel

17

Transport and Works Act

1

Transport Direct

2

Transport evaluation

0

Transport for you

111

Transport security

17

Transport statistics

13

Departmental Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008, Official Report, column 1393W, on transport: policy, what research documents and consultation on the effects of her Department's policies on different groups in society her Department has sponsored; which of these were conducted by (a) her Department and (b) external organisations; and what fees her Department paid in respect of each such project in each year since 1998. (209255)

The information requested, which is readily available from 2007, is listed in the following table. Further information dating back to 1998 can be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Year

Projects

Firm

Cost (£)

2007-08

Developing guidance and advice to address the social and distributional impacts of road pricing

Centre for Transport Studies, University of the West of England

25,000

2007-08

Evidence base review on mobility: choices and barriers for different social groups

Centre for Research in Social Policy

119,430

2007-08

Understanding travel needs, behaviour and aspirations of people in later life

NatCen

100,819

2007-08

Understanding travel aspirations, needs and behaviour of young adults

NatCen

109,831

2007-08

Accessibility planning -evaluation scoping study

Atkins and CRSP

88,057

2007-08

Assessment of accessibility standards for disabled people in land based transport vehicles

Human Engineering, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association

164,998

2008-09

Travel needs behaviours and aspirations of disabled people

NatCen

97,599

2008-09

The role of the car

Nat Cen

98,834

2008-09

Assessing social and distributional impacts in transport scheme appraisal and evaluation

Atkins, BMRB, Centre for Transport Studies, University of the West of England

201,333

Departmental Visits Abroad

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many journeys have been made to (a) Paris, (b) Lille and (c) Brussels on official business by staff in her Department in the last three years. (209257)

The Department for Transport (central) and five of its agencies do not record details of journeys by destination, and could provide the information only at disproportionate cost.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency recorded 0 journeys to Paris, two to Lille and seven to Brussels over the last three years. The vehicle Certification Agency recorded seven journeys to Paris, two to Lille, and 13 to Brussels in 2007-08, but could provide information for earlier years only at disproportionate cost.

Departmental Vocational Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what proportion of its staff her Department has provided vocational training in the last three years. (209430)

The proportion of Department for Transport staff who have been provided with vocational training in the last three years is as

follows:

Staff receiving training

Total staff

Proportion (percentage)

2005

8861

19,286

46

2006

8499

19,143

44

2007

7617

18,840

40

Driving Under Influence

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government have taken to reduce the levels of drink-driving. (209947)

[holding answer 12 June 2008]: The Government aim to reduce drinking and driving through a combination of effective law enforcement, maintaining a tough penalties regime and continuing to invest in high-profile national publicity campaigns.

Police enforcement has been enhanced in recent years by enabling blood specimens to be taken from unconscious, hospitalised drink-drive suspects. The police have also been given powers to carry out evidential roadside breathtesting, subject to type approval of appropriate devices.

The Road Safety Act 2006 contains a number of other measures designed to deter drink-driving and reduce reoffending. These include enabling powers to require serious, including repeat, offenders to retake the driving test at the end of their disqualification; to improve the operation of the drink-drive rehabilitation scheme; to close loopholes in the law relating to high risk offenders; and to create a statutory alcohol ignition interlock programme.

We have recently launched the THINK! Summer 2008 drink-drive publicity campaign, which is running in parallel with the police's enforcement campaign throughout June. This is a multi-media campaign which builds on the Moment of Doubt commercial launched last year emphasising the serious personal consequences of a drink-drive conviction. The new campaign focuses on the 11-year driving licence endorsement for most drink-drive offences.

We remain committed to public consultation on further measures for tackling drink-driving, including ways of making police enforcement easier, and are aiming to publish a consultation document within the next few months.

Eurostar

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many Eurostar tickets were paid for by her Department in each of the last three years; and what her Department's expenditure on such tickets was in each year. (209258)

Heathrow Airport: Security

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the division of responsibilities is between her Department and BAA on security at Heathrow Terminal 5. (209054)

The Department is responsible for the National Aviation Security Programme which sets out mandatory measures and associated guidance for the UK aviation industry. Implementation of the relevant measures is the responsibility of airport operators and airlines. We work closely with industry to ensure that these measures are delivered, and have worked particularly intensively with BAA at Heathrow both prior to and since the opening of T5.

Railways: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what guidance her Department issues to rail franchise holders on their duty to co-operate with other franchise holders seeking to fulfil the terms of their franchise. (210925)

In principle, franchisees are solely responsible for the delivery of contracted rail services, as these do not depend on co-operation with other franchisees. However, train operators have reliability and punctuality targets in their franchise contracts and are required to work with other operators and Network Rail to drive up performance on shared routes. There are also contractual requirements to work with other operators where necessary, for instance on timetable development, in the event of disruption, or with station improvement work.

Roads: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 20 March 2008 to the hon. Member for City of York, Official Report, column 1391-2W, on roads: accidents, on how many occasions the information provided by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to the police and courts has subsequently been found to be incorrect. (209263)

It is not possible to provide these figures as the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency does not hold this information.

Roads: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what mechanisms are in place to ensure road safety is upheld when road maintenance is taking place. (209946)

[holding answer 12 June 2008]: The Department for Transport recognises that during road maintenance and street works it is important to protect adequately both road workers and road users. To enable highway authorities, statutory utilities and contractors to maintain safety there is comprehensive, national guidance on how to design and operate temporary traffic management in Chapter 8 of the Traffic Signs Manual. This guidance is developed by the Highways Agency in association with industry and other stakeholders such as the Health and Safety Executive. Additional guidance, mainly for workers undertaking urban utilities work is also included in "Safety at Street Works and Road Works: a Code of Practice". Both documents are published on the Department's website at www.dft.gov.uk.

These documents recognise that the principle of maintaining adequate safety requires workers to be protected with cones, barriers and safety zones. However, as cones and barriers can pose a risk to road users speed limits are often imposed to reduce that risk, with enforcement measures where practicable.

Schools: Cycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 31 March 2008, Official Report, column 700W, on schools: cycling, which 36 local authorities have received funding from her Department under the Bikeability programme. (209273)

35 local authorities were offered cycle training grants in 2007-08, plus a grant to Transport for London. 34 authorities outside London took up the grant, with one later deciding they were unable to deliver the additional training. The 34 authorities outside London were:

Bath and North East Somerset council

Bedfordshire county council

Birmingham city council

Blackburn with Darwen borough council

Buckinghamshire county council

Coventry city council

Cumbria county council

Dudley Metropolitan borough council

Durham county council

Gateshead council

Hertfordshire county council

Kirklees metropolitan council

Leicester city council

Luton borough council

Manchester city council

Merseyside LTP Partnership

North East Lincolnshire council

Northampton county council

Oldham metropolitan borough council

Redcar and Cleveland borough council

Rotherham metropolitan borough council

Sheffield city council

Somerset county council

South Gloucestershire council

Staffordshire county council

Stockport metropolitan borough council

Stockton on Tees borough council

Stoke-on-Trent city council

Surrey county council

Tameside metropolitan borough council

Warrington borough council

Wigan council

Wiltshire county council

Wolverhampton city council

In March this year we announced that 69 local authorities would receive cycle training grant in 2008-09. These are:

Bath and NE Somerset council

Barnsley metropolitan borough council

Bedfordshire county council

Birmingham city council

Blackburn and Darwen council

Blackpool borough council

Bolton metropolitan borough council

Bradford city council

Brighton and Hove city council

Buckinghamshire county council

Bristol city council

Bury metropolitan borough council

Coventry city council

Cumbria county council

Devon county council

Doncaster metropolitan borough council

Dudley metropolitan borough council

Durham city council

Essex county council

Gateshead metropolitan borough council

Hampshire county council

Hartlepool borough council

Hertfordshire CC

Kent county council

Kirklees metropolitan borough council

Lancashire county council

Leicester city council

Luton borough council

Manchester city council

Medway district council

Merseyside LTP Partnership

Middlesbrough borough council

Northamptonshire county council

North Somerset district council

North Tyneside council

Nottingham city council

Nottinghamshire county council

Northumberland county council

Oldham metropolitan borough council

Oxfordshire county council

Redcar and Cleveland metropolitan borough council

Rochdale metropolitan borough council

Rotherham metropolitan borough council

Rutland borough council

Salford city council

Sheffield city council

Shropshire county council

Slough borough council

Solihull city council

Somerset county council

Southend borough council

South Tyneside council

South Gloucester council

Staffordshire county council

Stockport metropolitan borough council

Stockton on Tees metropolitan borough council MBC

Stoke city council

Surrey county council

Tameside metropolitan borough council

Telford and Wrekin council

Thurrock council borough council

Torbay borough council

Warrington borough council

West Berkshire DC

Wigan metropolitan borough council

Warwickshire county council

Wiltshire county council

Worcestershire county council

Wolverhampton metropolitan borough council

Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether her Department plans to re-evaluate its transport appraisals using the current guide price for oil of $120 per barrel. (208923)

The Department does not plan to re-evaluate appraisals on the basis of the current guide price for oil. Transport improvements have long-term impacts many years into the future and current oil prices will necessarily only provide some of the evidence. The Department of Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) analyses both current oil prices and factors determining long-term trends in the price of oil. The Department for Transport provides promoters with fuel price forecasts based on BERR forecasts.

Transport: Disabled

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the baseline number of (a) trains and (b) buses accessible to people with disabilities is against which the 2008 to 2011 public service agreement 15 will be monitored; and if she will make a statement. (208361)

[holding answer 4 June 2008]: At 1 January 2008, the number of rail vehicles compliant with the Rail Vehicle Accessibility Regulations was 4,700 (which is 31 per cent. of all rail vehicles) including approx 4,600 heavy rail trains (42 per cent. of that group). The Department for Transport records the number of accessible rail vehicles as they enter service.

Data on the number of accessible buses are collected for the annual Public Transport Statistics Bulletin for Great Britain. There was an increase in the percentage of low floor buses up from 50 per cent. in 2005-06 to 58 per cent. in 2006-07. We have met the voluntary target agreed with the bus industry which is that 50 per cent. of buses should be low floor by 2010. All full size buses must comply with the Public Vehicle Accessibility Regulations, which include a requirement for low floor, wheelchair accessible buses, by 2017.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Bankruptcy: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many people were declared bankrupt in each London borough in each year since 1997. (210275)

The following table shows the number of bankruptcies in each London borough between 2000 and 2007 derived from postcodes provided by bankrupt individuals; figures for earlier years are not available on this basis.

Bankruptcy orders

London borough

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Barking and Dagenham

49

45

40

82

86

132

224

228

Barnet

66

86

85

94

135

215

250

270

Bexley

62

69

66

89

119

178

182

168

Brent,

55

58

47

68

91

112

197

186

Bromley

60

77

64

80

123

219

312

272

Camden

42

66

50

105

143

202

264

227

City and County of the City of London

7

1

2

5

6

7

10

14

City of Westminster

58

63

82

99

123

169

190

193

Croydon

72

76

85

96

139

207

282

266

Ealing

58

43

55

74

108

154

194

201

Enfield

53

71

66

76

119

120

187

231

Greenwich

58

48

77

90

121

190

250

283

Hackney

29

45

58

76

129

195

265

224

Hammersmith and Fulham

30

36

52

45

98

134

147

155

Haringey

52

39

54

62

113

135

217

232

Harrow

50

56

50

55

64

98

153

150

Havering

62

56

49

89

94

169

181

230

Hillingdon

69

49

47

74

83

163

202

195

Hounslow

41

61

44

62

120

153

202

186

Islington

46

45

67

76

142

199

243

239

Kensington and Chelsea

53

58

60

83

125

149

181

141

Kingston upon Thames

42

23

55

46

79

89

130

109

Lambeth

56

73

95

154

372

403

319

261

Lewisham

59

60

52

70

109

180

238

273

Merton

41

36

43

64

91

107

105

109

Newham

53

38

61

98

112

150

243

230

Redbridge

42

62

51

73

95

143

195

208

Richmond upon Thames

33

45

65

64

81

103

136

150

Southwark

35

54

69

107

182

246

274

241

Sutton

31

41

59

59

98

125

183

138

Tower Hamlets

88

76

102

131

169

214

249

237

Waltham Forest

45

48

31

55

96

134

216

210

Wandsworth

50

57

48

87

93

140

164

175

Notes:

1. Classifying bankrupts into administrative geographies is done using the postcode that the bankrupt individual provides. The use of this in assigning an individual to a borough is thus only as reliable as the postcode information provided.

2. In particular, inaccurate or missing postcodes mean that the numbers in the table will be subject to an element of missing data. Nationally, this proportion has been decreasing from about 12 per cent. in 2000 to less than 4 per cent. in 2007.

Employment: East of England

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he is taking to increase the number and improve the retention of jobs in the East of England; and if he will make a statement. (209093)

As part of the Government’s wider strategy on job creation and retention in the East of England, the Regional Development Agency, EEDA is charged with developing a strategic vision for the region. EEDA is currently completing a review of the region’s economic strategy (RES) and this will provide the basis for co-ordinated action to bring about sustainable improvements in the region’s economic performance and meet its aspirations to increase the overall employment rate to 80 per cent. by 2031.

To support the delivery of this ambition, EEDA has developed a number of programmes which contribute to the achievement of higher employment levels by:

Encouraging new business growth and improving the survivability of small and medium sized businesses by providing business support services through Business Link and the Manufacturing Advisory Service. EEDA is planning to boost the level of specialist business support services available in the coming year with the introduction of new services delivering specialist ICT, design and innovation advice.

Providing a range of specialist support activities to attract mobile foreign direct investment to the region through EEDA’s sister organisation, East of England International and to provide export advice to companies looking to compete in overseas markets.

Providing financial help in the form of grants and loans to support SME growth throughout the East of England.

Improving the employability of individuals unable to participate in the region’s economy and increasing the number of employment opportunities available through EEDA’s Economic Participation programme.

Supporting the development of the region’s science base by investing in the development of high quality science parks and enterprise hubs.

The Chancellor’s pre Budget report in 2007 also enabled RDAs to take lead responsibility for co-ordinating and managing the response to industrial crises or natural disasters which have the potential to create substantial economic shocks and impact severely on business.

EEDA’s work will ensure the continued and improved prosperity of the East of England including increasing the number of jobs, managing the changing structure of jobs (a greater proportion of jobs requiring more skilled labour), and retaining the number of jobs.

Post Offices: Devon

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which post office branches in east Devon made a loss in each of the last five years. (209930)

This is an operational matter for Post Office Ltd (POL). I have therefore asked Alan Cook, managing director of POL, to reply direct to the hon. Member. Copies of the letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Post Offices: National Lottery

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on locating lottery ticket machines in post offices. (209809)

The provision of lottery terminals in post offices is a commercial matter for Post Office Ltd and Camelot.

Lottery terminals are the property of Camelot, and as part of its licence it is bound to review all potential sites and to operate a fair policy on the roll-out and allocation of terminals, ensuring that a strict selection criteria is adhered to, and that one retailer is not unduly favoured over another.

Children, Schools and Families

Children: Day Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many mothers receive childcare allowances in (a) Leeds Metropolitan District and (b) Leeds West constituency. (209213)

I have been asked to reply.

The most recent estimates of the average number of families benefiting from the child care element of working tax credit, by local authority and constituency, based on final family circumstances and incomes, are published in the HMRC publication “Child and Working Tax Credit Statistics. Finalised Awards 2006-07. Geographical analyses”. This publication is available on the HMRC website at:

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/personal-tax-credits/cwtc-geog-stats.htm

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the cost of training the children's workforce in line with the recommendations set out in the Sector Skills agreement issued by the Children's Workforce Development Council in December 2007. (211199)

No estimate has yet been made of the training costs arising from the recommendations in CWDC's Sector Skills Agreement Gap Analysis Report.

Departmental Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the reasons were for his Department’s performance against each public service agreement target set in 2004 which it did not meet, as referred to in the Departmental Annual Report 2008. (211169)

The Department published its Departmental Report on 19 May 2008 which included latest assessments against Spending Review 2004 PSA targets. Two target elements were reported as not met:

PSA target 6 (element 1)—By 2006 85 per cent. of 11-year-olds achieve level 4 or above, with this level of performance sustained until 2008.

PSA target 7 (element 1)—By 2007 85 per cent. of 14-year-olds achieve level 5 or above in English, mathematics and ICT (80 per cent. in science) nationally, with this level of performance sustained to 2008.

PSA target 6 (element 1) was first reported as not met in the Autumn Performance Report 2006 (CM 6992) which also included the following information on performance:

Provisional 2005/06 results of Key Stage 2 tests show that 79 per cent. of 11-year-olds achieved level 4 or above in English (no change over 2004/05) and 76 per cent. achieved level 4 or above in mathematics (an increase of one percentage point over 2004/05).

Although primary standards are now at their highest ever level, the headline Key Stage 2 targets have not been met.

Compared to 1996/97, about 95,000 more 11-year-olds are now achieving the target level for their age in English and 83,000 more are doing so in mathematics. The 2005/06 results showed the largest increase in children achieving above the target level 4 in English since 2000.

Since 1996/97, the increase in standards and in the quality of teaching and learning in schools has been dramatic and sustained. Ofsted have stated that teaching in primary schools has never been better and describes the current generation of newly-qualified teachers as the best trained ever.

PSA target 7 (element 1) was first reported as not met in the Autumn Performance Report 2007 (CM 7279) which also included the following information on performance:

The 2006/07 provisional results of the National Curriculum Key Stage 3 tests show that 74 per cent. of 14-year-olds achieved level 5 or above in English, 76 per cent. achieved level 5 or above in mathematics, and 73 per cent. achieved level 5 or above in science. This represents an increase of three percentage points from the target’s 2003/04 baseline in English, three percentage points from the target’s 2003/04 baseline in mathematics, and seven percentage points from the target’s 2003/04 baseline in science.

Recent slow progress has meant the 2007 target has not been met. However, there has been some progress in 2006/07 with provisional results showing improvement in attainment in English, science and IT.

The 2006/07 results mean that 95,000 additional pupils reached the expected level in English compared to 1997, with 95,000 more reaching the expected level in mathematics and 75,000 in science.

To build on these results, the Making Good Progress pilot which started in September 2007 will help all children to progress well at school, giving the brightest pupils an opportunity to reach their full potential, and ensuring that those at risk of falling behind are identified and supported in their learning. A new secondary curriculum will be introduced from next year, which will give teachers more flexibility and provide additional time to help children who are at risk of falling behind to master the basics, as well as offering more stretching opportunities for those who excel.

Tools, guidance and training on Assessing Pupil Progress have now been rolled out for reading, writing and mathematics; speaking and listening and science will follow over the next year. The effective tracking of pupil progress is the most common feature of successful schools, and these materials will support schools in doing that. Through the National Strategies, targeted intervention materials for pupils who fall behind is also continuing.

Pre-school Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) private and voluntary independent and (b) maintained day nurseries there were in each year since 1997. (211168)

The Childcare and Early Years Providers Survey collects information on the ownership of child care provision. The estimated number and proportion of full day care providers by type of ownership, from 2001, is shown in the following table. Data for previous years are not available.

Ownership of full day care provision

2001

2003

2005

2006

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Number

Percentage

Private

6,300

81

7,700

78

6,750

59

8,300

65

Voluntary sector

400

5

900

9

2,300

20

3,000

24

Local authority

400

6

600

6

1,000

9

700

5

School/college

100

1

700

7

450

4

600

5

Other

700

9

400

4

750

6

300

2

Note:

Percentages may not sum to 100 per cent. due to rounding.

Communities and Local Government

Fire Services: Procurement

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of new appliance chassis which will be procured for use by Fire and Rescue Services in 2008-09; and if she will make a statement. (210589)

Firebuy Ltd., the body responsible for establishing contracts for FRS national procurement, monitors the use of these arrangements. A framework contract for pumping appliances was let by Firebuy in April 2007. 77 orders were made from this contract in 2007-08 of which 47 are due for delivery during 2008-09. To date in 2008-09 a further 86 pumping appliances have been ordered from this contract, plus orders for 15 specialist appliances through other Firebuy framework contracts.

Fire Services: Uniforms

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of Fire and Rescue Services which have opted out of the Integrated Clothing Project element of the FireBuy scheme for 2008-09; and if she will make a statement. (210588)

The contract for the Integrated Clothing Project has recently been signed between Firebuy Ltd. and Bristol Uniforms. We expect that a large number of fire and rescue authorities will use the contract when their current arrangements end. We know that some fire and rescue authorities are likely to seek agreement from CLG to go outside national arrangements for operational or other reasons. Firebuy will work with FRAs, where necessary, to assist them with the procurement process.

Home Information Packs

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to raise stakeholder and public awareness of home information packs over the next two years. (200333)

Along with the industry, we will continue to raise stakeholder and public awareness of Home Information Packs (HIPs) in the medium term, including through direct contact with key stakeholders, the HIPs website and other marketing activities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what plans she has to evaluate the (a) effectiveness and (b) public understanding of the revised home information pack scheme; and if she will make a statement. (201924)

The Government will continue to monitor the effectiveness of Home Information Packs (HIPs). Along with the industry, we will continue to raise stakeholder and public awareness of HIPs in the medium term, including through direct contact with key stakeholders, the HIPs website and other marketing activities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to make the home condition report a mandatory component of the home information pack in the event that the industry does not secure its inclusion by voluntary means. (207395)

The home condition report remains a valuable element of the home information pack. The Government will continue to work with stakeholders to make a success of the voluntary uptake of the HCR. The mandatory option has not been ruled out should this voluntary approach not work.

Housing: Low Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the average length of time to process a (a) Home2own, (b) Homebuy and (c) first time buyer’s initiative application was in the last 12 months. (201571)

We do not hold data centrally on the average length of time it takes to process a Home2own, HomeBuy and First-Time Buyer’s Initiative application in the last 12 months. This can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

HomeBuy Agents who administer the HomeBuy scheme and the First-Time Buyer’s Initiative are required to send applicants confirmation of their eligibility status within eight working days of initial receipt of a fully completed application form.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many applications there were to (a) Home2own, (b) Homebuy and (c) the First-time Buyers initiative in each year since each was established. (201651)

[holding answer 25 April 2008]: We do not hold data centrally on the number of applications that have been received by Home2own, HomeBuy and First-Time Buyer's initiative, since each scheme was established. This can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

Local Government Finance: Lancashire

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what central Government grant financing to (a) Hyndburn Borough Council and (b) Rossendale Borough Council was in each year from 2002-03 to 2008-09. (210062)

The central Government grant financing to Hyndburn borough council and Rossendale borough council from 2002-03 to 2008-09 is shown in the following table.

£000

Hyndburn borough council

Rossendale Borough Council

Outturn

2002-03

8,447

5,039

2003-04

9,602

5,839

2004-05

10,107

8,078

2005-06

10,530

6,325

2006-07

11,650

7,992

Budget

2002-03

8,363

5,015

2003-04

9,698

6,278

2004-05

9,370

5,363

2005-06

9,385

5,619

2006-07

10,775

6,627

2007-08

10,808

6,900

2008-09

11,379

6,823

Note:

Budget figures can differ from outturn figures because not all grants are known with certainty at the beginning of the financial year.

Source:

Communities and Local Government Revenue Outturn (RO) and Revenue Account (RA) budget returns

Central Government grant financing is defined here as the sum of Formula grant (Revenue Support Grant and redistributed non-domestic rates) and Specific grants inside Aggregate External Finance (AEF), ie revenue grants paid for a council’s core services.

Figures exclude grants outside AEF (ie where funding is not for an authority’s core services, but is passed to a third party, for example, rent allowances and rebates), capital grants, funding for the local authority’s housing management responsibilities and those grant programmes (such as European funding) where an authority is simply one of the recipients of funding paid towards an area.

Comparisons across years may not be valid owing to changing local authority responsibilities.

Regional Planning and Development

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the budget for the implementation of the Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration is. (210616)

There is no separate budget for the implementation of the Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration. Full details of the Department's expenditure in 2007-08 can be found in Annex B to its 2008 Annual Report: ‘Community, Opportunity, Prosperity’ (Cm 3794).

Regional Planning and Development: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent on implementing the Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration (a) in total and (b) for (i) staffing costs, (ii) administrative costs, (iii) communication costs and (iv) the costs of public consultation. (210617)

Given the wide-ranging nature of the proposals contained in the review, much of the information requested could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The consultation document ‘Prosperous Places: Taking Forward the Review of Sub-National Economic Development and Regeneration’ includes an impact assessment of the potential cost of the proposed local authority economic assessment duty, and further assessments will be carried out of the impact of the legislation the Government intend to bring forward.

The costs of public consultation incurred to date have been:

£

Web publication of SNR issues paper December 2007

7,000

Web publication of Prosperous Places March 2008

12,000

Eight regional consultation events May 2008

40,000

Analysis of responses to Prosperous Places so far

39,000

Total

98,000

These costs have been shared between this Department and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

Culture, Media and Sport

Departmental Public Participation

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much his Department spent on (a) written consultations, (b) consultation roadshows and (c) stakeholder focus groups in each of the last three years. (205840)

The information requested is as follows:

(a) The expenditure on written consultations in each of the last three years is as follows:

2005-06

The 1954 Hague convention on the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict and its two protocols of 1954 and 1999

The BBC Charter Review Green Paper—A strong BBC, independent of Government

Consultation paper on a cultural test for British Films

National lottery shares 2009 consultation

Review of the Marine Historic Environment Working Groups

Total cost: £38,610

2006-07

Welcome Legacy: A Tourism Strategy for the 2012 Games—a consultation

Understanding the Future: Priorities for England's Museums

Heritage Protection for the 21st Century—White Paper

Review of the Marine Historic Environment Working Groups

Total cost: £54,579

2007-08

All consultations web-based

Cost: £ zero spend

(b) No consultation roadshows have been held in the last three years.

(c) The spend on stakeholder focus groups in each of the last three years is as follows:

2005-06

BBC Charter Review: Focus on the BBC Trust and the enforcement and collection of the licence fee

Attitudes towards allocation of lottery funds to arts and film, heritage and sport

Heritage Protection Review seminars

Total cost: £94,279

2006-07

Cost : £ zero spend

2007-08

Cost: £ zero spend

2007-08

Cost: £ zero spend

Defence

Armoured Fighting Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Piranha V vehicles have been built and subjected to mine explosion tests of the type to which US candidates for the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected programme have been exposed; and if he will publish the results. (208678)

The FRES Utility Vehicle protection requirements include those based upon latest Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and mine explosion threat assessments. The down selection of Piranha 5 as the provisionally preferred design for the FRES Utility Vehicle included an assessment of the current design and the ability to develop the design to meet the FRES protection requirements. Subject to Piranha 5 being confirmed as the preferred design, further work will be undertaken during the demonstration phase to confirm that Piranha 5 protection capabilities will meet the FRES requirement. This will include actual IED and mine explosion tests. None of the results of these assessments will be published as their disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces and commercial interests.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of (a) CRVT, (b) Saxon, (c) Warrior and (d) Challenger vehicles are (i) in service, (ii) fit for purpose and (iii) out of service. (209573)

The information requested is set out in the following table.

In service (total fleet)

Fit for purpose (currently available) (percentage)

Out of service (not available) (percentage)

CVR(T)

1,196

58

42

Saxon

147

97

3

Warrior

793

74

26

Challenger

345

95

5

‘In service’ has been defined as the total number in the vehicle fleet. ‘Fit for purpose’ has been defined as those that are available for use. This includes vehicles awaiting minor repairs and those currently in transit to operational theatres. ‘Out of service’ has been defined as those vehicles within the total fleet that are currently unavailable, including vehicles undergoing major repair, planned re-fit or awaiting a decision on disposal. This category includes vehicles destroyed on operations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment has been made of the interoperability of the Future Rapid Effects System and the equivalent capabilities of other European countries. (210169)

The MOD has provisionally selected Piranha as the preferred FRES Utility Vehicle design. Our assessment is that Piranha 5 has the potential to meet the programme's interoperability requirements. This includes the requirement to be interoperable with NATO and other allies.

In the future, selection of designs to meet the requirements of the other vehicle families will similarly take account of interoperability.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the most recent planned in-service date for the Future Rapid Effects System is. (210170)

In common with all defence equipment programmes, the in-service dates for the Future Rapid Effect System family of armoured vehicles will be fixed at the main investment decisions. It is our policy not to release or discuss in-service dates ahead of the main investment decision.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) what discussions have taken place with General Dynamics on where the Future Rapid Effects System will be assembled; (210171)

(2) what requirements have been placed on General Dynamics to use the UK supply-chain of small and medium enterprises in the Future Rapid Effects System programme;

(3) what assessment has been made of when General Dynamics will have a demonstration vehicle ready for the Future Rapid Effects System programme;

(4) whether General Dynamics have specified a platform weight for the Future Rapid Effects System.

Where FRES vehicles will be assembled has been the subject of discussions with all the companies participating in the initial wave of competitions to select the Utility Vehicle (UV) Design, the UV Integrator and the System of Systems Integrator. The specific provision in the FRES Acquisition Strategy covering vehicle manufacture also featured in the documentation issued to the companies involved.

There have been no further discussions with General Dynamics on where vehicles will be assembled since the announcement on 8 May 2008 that Piranha 5 had been selected as the provisionally preferred UV Design.

No specific requirements have been placed on General Dynamics to use the UK supply-chain of small and medium enterprises in the Future Rapid Effect System programme. Promoting the use of UK-based small and medium enterprises where they add value to the programme is, however, clearly desirable.

The assessment of when a demonstration vehicle would be available was an area of focus during the Utility Vehicle trials in 2007, as was specifying a platform weight for the Future Rapid Effect System. Our assessment is continuing and these areas will remain a focus during the forthcoming programme of risk reduction work that will address a number of commercial, programme and technical issues.

Only when the MOD is satisfied on all the issues being addressed during the programme of risk reduction work, including when a demonstration vehicle will be available and a platform weight specified, will General Dynamics achieve preferred bidder status and these decisions will be made.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence whether it is a requirement of the Future Rapid Effects System programme that it should be able to be transported in an aircraft. (210175)

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much has been spent on the Future Rapid Effects System programme. (210176)

Expenditure to 31 March 2008 on the Future Rapid Effect System since the launch of the assessment phase in 2004 is £130 million.

Bombs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what advice he received from the military on methods of disposing of cluster munitions before taking the decision to sign the Dublin Convention. (210665)

Ministers did not receive military advice on methods of disposing of munitions prior to the Dublin Conference.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the cost of disposing of the UK's cluster munitions. (210695)

We are in the process of implementing the provisions of the adopted convention on the UK's cluster munitions and assessing their likely disposal costs. As soon as they become known I will inform the House.

Departmental Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his Department's expenditure on external consultancy was in 2007-08. (210711)

The MOD's external assistance expenditure figures for 2007-08 are currently being compiled.

It is planned that they will be placed in the Library of the House before summer recess.

Departmental Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 1 April 2008, Official Report, column 795W, on Departmental databases, if he will list (a) the companies and (b) the categories of personal information involved. (199949)

The Ministry of Defence, including its agencies, has contracted the following US-based companies to provide services involving the use, storage, processing or analysis of databases of personal information held by the Government on UK citizens, in each case the type of personal information is indicated, both in general terms and by Data Protection Act category.

Company

Type of data

DPA category

Human Resources Technologies Inc. (Virginia)

Information about Royal Navy members and the wider RN community

Personal data (non-sensitive)

SuperLetter.Com Inc (Florida)

Details about users (serving personnel and their family and friends) of e-bluey service

Personal data (non-sensitive)

Galileo International LLC (Colorado)

Traveller details

Personal data (non-sensitive)

Carlson Wagonlit Travel (Minnesota)

Traveller details

Personal data (non-sensitive)

My answer of 1 April 2008 referred only to the first of these service providers. Since then an in-depth exercise to carry out a review of the Department’s holdings of personal data has been completed and a further three service providers (SuperLetter.Com, Galileo and Carlson Wagonlit Travel) have been confirmed.

The Department, including its agencies, has contracted with a number of UK based subsidiaries of USA registered service providers over the last five years. All those whose details are known centrally following the recent review exercise are listed as follows.

Company

Type of data

DPA category

EDS UK Ltd.

Service personnel HR and training data. Service recruit and potential recruit data.

Sensitive personal data

IBM UK Ltd.

MOD civilian HR data.

Sensitive personal data

FitLinxx UK Ltd.

Fitness training programmes for RAF personnel and records workout sessions.

Sensitive personal data

Rackspace Ltd.

Service personnel and family/friend data. Army and RN Cadet information. Civilian recruit information.

Sensitive personal data

Warships

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on what date Sea Dart missiles were removed from (a) HMS Exeter and (b) HMS Southampton. (210668)

HMS Exeter had her Sea Dart missiles offloaded in July 2007 and HMS Southampton’s were removed January 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what operations (a) HMS Exeter and (b) HMS Southampton have taken part in over the last six months. (210669)

During the last six months HMS Exeter has been deployed on a NATO led Operation Active Endeavour in the Eastern Mediterranean. HMS Southampton has not taken part in any operations in the last six months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many days (a) HMS Exeter and (b) HMS Southampton were (i) out to sea and (ii) undergoing maintenance in the last six months. (210670)

Between 10 December 2007 and 10 June 2008 HMS Exeter was out at sea for 53 days and undergoing maintenance for 20 days. HMS Southampton was out at sea for 34 days and undergoing maintenance for 46 days. The remainder of their time was spent alongside on port visits, leave, trials and work up periods.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when he expects Sea Dart missiles to be returned to (a) HMS Southampton and (b) HMS Exeter. (210672)

I am withholding the information as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. HMS Exeter and HMS Southampton continue to be armed with weapon system capabilities required to meet their tasking.

Warships: Guided Weapons

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the operational purposes of the Royal Navy’s Sea Dart missiles are. (210671)

Sea Dart is a medium range air defence missile. The principal operational purpose of missile is to engage and destroy attacking enemy aircraft or missiles. The secondary operational purpose is toengage and destroy enemy ships.

Navy

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the Royal Navy's monthly Sitrep for each month since January 2008. (210662)

The naval monthly sitreps (Situation Reports) are designed for internal circulation to naval requirement managers, giving a range of statistics about strengths, inflows and outflows of Naval staff by various dimensions such as specialisation and rank.

The numbers in the reports are not fully rounded, with numbers under 10 being unrounded. Because this might allow personally identifying information to be revealed, only fully rounded versions can be placed on the Library.

A fully rounded version of the main Sitrep for December 2007 is available in the Library of the House. I shall place a copy of the fully rounded version of the latest edition (May 2008) in the Library of the House, however, previous editions could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

Nimrod Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the cost of QinetiQ’s consultations on Nimrod were over the last three years. (209727)

The cost of work relating to Nimrod aircraft carried out by QinetiQ over the last three financial years was £26.1 million.

Nuclear Submarines: Decommissioning

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average time taken for the decommissioning of nuclear submarines is. (209578)

The submarine decommissioning process is defined as starting when a vessel leaves service with the Royal Navy and concludes when the disposal process is complete, including both the transfer of radioactive waste into long-term storage at a National Waste Management Facility and the disposal of the hull.

No UK nuclear submarine has completed this process as all 14 ex-Royal Navy nuclear submarines are currently in afloat storage at either HM Naval Base Devonport or Rosyth Dockyard. It is not therefore possible to provide an average figure for the time taken for submarine decommissioning.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what safety checks are in place to monitor current submarines in decommission. (209579)

Submarines that are being decommissioned are subject to regular safety checks as laid down in their respective safety cases; these are controlled in accordance with the safety management arrangements of the sites at which they are stored. These arrangements are approved by the relevant nuclear regulators. Checks include a weekly watertight integrity check and radiological surveys conducted at a periodicity ranging from a month to a year.

Safety checks form part of a broader maintenance regime which includes yearly scheduled maintenance and docking every 10 to 15 years to allow a complete survey and re-preservation package to ensure further safe afloat storage until final disposal.

Wines

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the estimated value of his Department’s wine stores is. (209581)

It is not MOD policy to hold stores of wine. Small amounts that are purchased from public funds, as required, for specific functions as part of official entertainment are not accounted for centrally, and their total value could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

MOD’s own regulations on the provision of official entertainment are contained in JSP 462 (Financial Management Policy Manual), a copy of which is available in the Library of the House.

Duchy of Lancaster

Committee of Departmental Green Ministers

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster for what reasons the Committee of departmental Green Ministers no longer holds meetings. (210707)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East (James Duddridge) on 21 January 2008, Official Report, columns 1544-45W.

Employment

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) how many (a) men and (b) women were in work in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK in 2007-08; (206761)

(2) how many (a) men, (b) women and (c) single parents were unemployed in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK in 2007-08;

(3) how many single parents were in work in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in 2007-08.

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell dated 13 June 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your parliamentary questions asking: how many (a) men and (b) women were in work in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK in 2007-08; how many (a) men, (b) women and (c) single parents were unemployed in (i) Jarrow constituency, (ii) South Tyneside, (iii) the North East and (iv) the UK in 2007-08; and how many single parents were in work in (a) Jarrow constituency, (b) South Tyneside, (c) the North East and (d) the UK in 2007-08. (206761, 206775 and 206774).

The Office for National Statistics compiles labour market statistics for local areas from the Annual Population Survey (APS) following International Labour Organisation definitions. Estimates for single parents are compiled from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (LFS) household datasets.

Table 1, attached, shows the number of men and women aged 16 and over, resident in the Jarrow constituency, South Tyneside, the North East and the UK who were in employment in 2007. Table 2, attached, shows the number of men and women aged 16 and over, resident in the Jarrow constituency, South Tyneside, the North East and the UK who were unemployed in 2007. Estimates are obtained from the APS for the 12 month period ending in September 2007, which is the most recent period for which estimates are available. Estimates for the North East and UK have been provided from the APS for consistency with the estimates for Jarrow and South Tyneside. These will differ from figures published in the Labour Market First Release which are based on Labour Force Survey data.

Table 3, attached, shows the number of single parents aged 16 plus, with dependent children, resident in the Jarrow constituency, South Tyneside, the North East and the UK who were in employment and unemployed in 2007. Estimates are obtained from the LFS household dataset for April-June 2007, which is the most recent period for which estimates are available.

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

In order to produce estimates for small geographical areas, LFS household and APS estimates are provided based on survey microdata. The LFS household datasets are consistent with the UK population estimates published in February and March 2003, whereas APS datasets are consistent with the latest population figures, so the two are not directly comparable. LFS household datasets reweighted to the latest population estimates are currently expected to be available in summer 2008.

Table 1: Number1 of persons employed aged 16 plus by gender and region

Thousand

12 months ending September 2007

Male

Female

Jarrow

20

17

South Tyneside

34

30

North East

618

545

UK

15,691

13,351

1 Weighted to 2007 population estimates. Source: Annual Population survey.

Table 2: Number1 of persons unemployed2 aged 16 plus by gender and region

Thousand

12 months ending September 2007

Male

Female

Jarrow

1

1

South Tyneside

4

2

North East

49

30

UK

918

685

1 Weighted to 2007 population estimates. 2 Number of unemployed people measured using the internationally agreed definition recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Source: Annual Population survey.

Table 3: Number1 of employed and unemployed2 lone parents aged 16 plus with dependent children3

Thousand

April-June 2007, not seasonally adjusted

Employed

Unemployed

Jarrow

1

4

South Tyneside

2

4

North East

44

4

UK

1,049

113

1 Estimates are weighted to the 2003 population estimates. 2 Number of unemployed people measured using the internationally agreed definition recommended by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). 3 Dependent children are those aged under 16 and those aged 16-18 who are never-married and in full-time education. 4 Sample size too small to provide an estimate. Source: LFS Household datasets.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what the (a) employment rate and (b) the number in employment of the working age population was for (i) the UK population of working age, (ii) foreign nationals of working age, (iii) UK nationals of working age and (iv) UK-born workers of working age in each year since 1997 according to the Office for National Statistics’ reweighted statistics; what the difference in figures for each such category was as a result of the reweighting; and what the figures were in each quarter since 1 January 2005. (208688)

[holding answer 5 June 2008]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 13 June 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking what a) the employment rate and b) the number in employment of the working age population was for (i) the UK population of working age, (ii) foreign nationals of working age, (iii) UK nationals of working age, (iv) UK born workers of working age in each year since 1997 according to the Office for National Statistics’ reweighted statistics; what the difference in figures for each such category was as a result of the reweighting; and what the figures were in each quarter since 1 January 2005. [208688]

The National Statistics approach to presenting the number of migrant workers employed in the UK was, on 20 May 2008, brought into line with the definitions used more widely for Labour market statistics and is now based on the number of people at a given time who were born outside the UK, aged 16 or over, and in employment. However, because you have requested that the estimates are provided on the basis of working age, nationality and UK born, your question has been answered on this basis.

Table 1 presents figures for the April to June quarters from 1997 to 2004, for the UK, Non UK and total working age population, by nationality and country of birth. These figures are provided using the population estimates published in 2003 and 2007. Table 1 also shows the same information for each quarter from January to March 2005 to January to March 2008. Table 2 shows the differences between the 2003 and 2007 weighted figures provided in Table 1.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

Table 1: People in employment and employment rate of working age1 by nationality and UK born2 in the United Kingdom—not seasonally adjusted

Thousand and percentage

Total population

UK nationals

2003 weights3

2007 weights3

2003 weights3

2007 weights3

Levels

Rate

Levels

Rate

Levels

Rate

Levels

Rate

April-June 1997

25,544

73

25,631

73

24,609

73

24,686

73

April-June 1998

25,752

73

25,858

73

4

4

24,821

74

April-June 1999

26,060

74

26,206

74

25,084

74

25,212

74

April-June 2000

26,387

74

26,564

74

4

4

25,456

75

April-June 2001

26,607

74

26,810

74

25,452

75

25,629

75

April-June 2002

26,735

74

26,967

74

25,499

75

25,701

75

April-June 2003

26,935

75

27,201

75

25,614

75

25,843

75

April-June 2004

27,015

74

27,354

74

25,585

75

25,883

75

January-March 2005

27,148

75

27,591

75

25,607

75

25,996

75

April-June 2005

27,136

74

27,607

75

25,615

75

26,032

75

July-September 2005

27,386

75

27,900

75

25,828

76

26,276

76

October-December 2005

27,207

75

27,741

75

25,587

75

26,048

75

January-March 2006

27,182

74

27,733

74

25,491

75

25,969

75

April-June 2006

27,187

74

27,775

74

25,430

75

25,938

75

July-September 2006

27,384

75

28,000

75

25,554

75

26,085

75

October-December 2006

27,323

75

27,957

75

25,437

75

25,991

75

January-March 2007

27,126

74

27,776

74

25,223

75

25,794

75

April-June 2007

27,226

74

27,895

74

25,205

75

25,784

75

July-September 2007

27,444

75

28,146

75

25,414

75

26,023

75

October-December 2007

27,513

75

28,232

75

25,428

75

26,050

76

January-March 2008

4

4

28,131

75

4

4

25,870

75

Thousand and percentageNon UK nationalsUK born2003 weights32007 weights32003 weights32007 weights3LevelsRateLevelsRateLevelsRateLevelsRateApril-June 1997934609436023,6387423,71074April-June 19984—4—1,036604—4—23,84574April-June 1999976609936024,0567524,17375April-June 20004—4—1,108604—4—24,43875April-June 20011,153621,1796224,4317524,59475April-June 20021,234621,2646224,4267524,61175April-June 20031,321631,3586324,4737624.69276April-June 20041,429651,4696524,4717624,76276January-March 20051,541661,5946624,4727624,85176April-June 20051,518641,5726424,4447624,84976July-September 20051,558651,6236524,6157625,05276October-December 20051,619661,6926624,3767624,82576January-March 20061,689671,7646724,2617524,72475April-June 20061,756681,8376824,1777524,67075July-September 20061,828691,9136924,3327624,84976October-December 20061,882691,9626924,2077524,74476January-March 20071,899671,9786723,9787524,52975April-June 20072,014682,1036823,9487524,50875July-September 20072,020682,1136924,1047624,69476October-December 20072,077682,1736824,1117624,71876January-March 20084—4—2,254694—4—24,54775 1 Working age is 16-59 for females and 16-64 for males.2 The LFS may undercount the certain groups because:it excludes students in halls of residence who do not have a UK resident parentit excludes people in most types of communal establishments (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites)it is grossed to population estimates that only include long term migrants (staying 12 months or more)3 The 2003 population weights were used to weight LFS until 14 May 2008. The 2007 weights have been used to weight the LFS from 14 May 2008.4 Estimates are not available for this period.Source:Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Table 2: Differences as a result of reweighting, for people in employment and employment rate of working age1 by nationality and UK born2 in the United Kingdom as a result of reweighting—not seasonally adjusted

Thousand and percentage

Total population differences

UK nationals differences

Non UK nationals differences

UK born differences

Levels

Rate

Levels

Rate

Levels

Rate

Levels

Rate

April-June 1997

87

0.0

77

0.0

10

-0.1

72

0.0

April-June 1998

106

0.0

4

4

4

4

4

4

April-June 1999

145

0.0

128

0.0

17

0.1

117

0.0

April-June 2000

177

0.0

4

4

4

4

4

4

April-June 2001

203

0.0

177

0.0

27

0.1

163

0.0

April-June 2002

232

0.0

202

0.1

30

0.1

185

0.1

April-June 2003

266

0.0

229

0.0

38

0.1

219

0.0

April-June 2004

338

0.0

299

0.0

40

0.0

291

0.0

January-March 2005

444

0.0

389

0.1

53

0.0

379

0.0

April-June 2005

471

0.0

417

0.0

54

0.1

405

0.0

July-September 2005

513

0.1

448

0.1

65

0.2

437

0.1

October-December 2005

534

0.1

461

0.1

73

0.1

449

0.1

January-March 2006

552

0.0

477

0.0

74

0.1

463

0.0

April-June 2006

588

0.1

508

0.1

80

0.2

493

0.1

July-September 2006

616

0.1

531

0.1

85

0.3

517

0.1

October-December 2006

634

0.1

553

0.1

80

0.1

537

0.1

January-March 2007

650

0.1

571

0.1

79

0.2

551

0.1

April-June 2007

668

0.1.

579

0.1

89

0.2

561

0.1

July-September 2007

702

0.1

609

0.1

93

0.2

590

0.1

October-December 2007

719

0.1

622

0.1

96

0.2

606

0.1

January-March 2008

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

4

1 Working age is 16-59 for females and 16-64 for males.

2 The LFS may undercount the certain groups because:

it excludes students in halls of residence who do not have a UK resident parent

it excludes people in most types of communal establishments (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites)

it is grossed to population estimates that only include long term migrants (staying 12 months or more)

3 The 2003 population weights were used to weight LFS until 14 May 2008. The 2007 weights have been used to weight the LFS from 14 May 2008.

4 Estimates are not available for this period

Source:

Labour Force Survey (LFS)

Epilepsy

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many (a) children and (b) adults have died from an epilepsy-related cause in each of the last 10 years. (209817)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 13 June 2008

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking how many (a) children and (b) adults have died from an epilepsy-related cause in each of the last 10 years. (209817)

The most recent figures available are for deaths registered in 2006. The table below contains the number of deaths which were certified as due to epilepsy, in children aged under 16 and adults aged 16 and over, from 1997 to 2006 in England and Wales.

Number of deaths from epilepsy1 by age, England and Wales, 1997-200620 to 15 years316 years and over1997477611998428151999388282000358042001489662002469072003481,0272004489322005441,017200642976 1 Selected using the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision (ICD-9) code 345 for years up to and including 2000, and Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes G40-G41 from 2001 onwards.2 Figures are for deaths registered in each calendar year.3 Excludes deaths at ages under 28 days.

Life Expectancy

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster which 100 local authority wards have the (a) highest and (b) lowest (i) male and (ii) female life expectancy. (210022)

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

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 13 June 2008:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent question asking which 100 local authority wards have the (a) highest and (b) lowest (i) male and (ii) female life expectancy. I am replying in her absence. (210022)

The tables attached provide the figures for period life expectancy at birth, for wards with the 100 highest and 100 lowest life expectancies for males (tables 1 and 2) and females (tables 3 and 4), in England and Wales, 1999-2003 (the only period available). Copies have been placed in the House of Commons Library.

These figures are experimental statistics—that is, statistics which are in a testing or consultation phase and are not fully developed—and should therefore be treated with caution. Life expectancies for wards can be based on very small numbers of deaths and small populations. They may therefore be subject to large variations even when aggregated over five years, as shown by the width of the ’95 per cent. confidence interval’ in the tables. The precise ranking of wards may therefore be due partly to chance, as are the extreme results of the wards with the highest female life expectancies.

Lone Parents: Leeds

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what his latest estimate is of the number of lone parents with children under 16 years old in (a) Leeds metropolitan district and (b) Leeds West constituency. (209211)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 13 June 2008:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what the latest estimate is of the number of lone parents with children under 16 years old in (a) Leeds Metropolitan District and (b) Leeds West constituency. (209211)

The number of lone parent families in the UK with children under 16 can be estimated using the Labour Force Survey (LFS). The table below shows these estimates for Leeds Metropolitan District and Leeds West constituency.

Number of lone parents with children under 16 (Thousand)

Leeds metropolitan district

20

Leeds West constituency

3

Source: LFS quarterly data, April to June, not seasonally adjusted

Migration

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (1) what international (a) immigration, (b) emigration and (c) net migration was for (i) each Government Office region in England, (ii) each local authority area in England, (iii) Wales and (iv) Scotland in each five year period since 1987; and what proportion per 1,000 population these figures represent; (205759)

(2) what net international migration was for those living in the UK and born (a) in the UK and (b) elsewhere in the periods (i) 1987 to 1997 and (ii) 1997 to the most recent year for which figures are available;

(3) how many and what proportion of those immigrating to the UK were employed in manual and clerical occupations prior to arrival in the UK in each year since 1997;

(4) what proportion of the resident population was born abroad in (a) 1987, (b) 1997 and (c) the most recent year for which figures are available; and what forecast has been made of future trends in the proportion of the population born abroad;

(5) what the net change in the number of foreign-born residents in the UK was between (a) 1987 and 1997 and (b) 1997 and the most recent year for which figures are available; and which 10 countries were the most frequent countries of origin of foreign-born UK residents in each such period.

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 13 June 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your questions on international migration and foreign born residents in the UK. The following questions are all answered by this letter:

What international (a) immigration, (b) emigration and (c) net migration was for (i) each government office region in England, (ii) each local authority area in England, (iii) Wales and (iv) Scotland in each five year period since 1987; and what proportion per 1,000 population these figures represent. (205759)

What net international migration was for those living in the UK and born (a) in the UK and (b) elsewhere in the periods (i) 1987 to 1997 and (ii) 1997 to the most recent year for which figures are available. (205785)

How many and what proportion of those immigrating to the UK were employed in manual and clerical occupations prior to arrival in the UK in each year since 1997. (205786)

What proportion of the resident population was born abroad in (a) 1987, (b) 1997 and (c) the most recent year for which figures are available; and what forecast has been made of future trends in the proportion of the population to have been born abroad. (205790)

What the net change in the number of foreign born residents in the UK was between (a) 1987 and 1997 and (b) 1997 and the most recent year for which figures are available; and which 10 countries were the most frequent countries of origin in each such period. (205791)

Tables Al, A2, and A3 give figures for Parliamentary Question number 205759 between mid-1986 and mid-2006, the latest year for which figures are available based on the International Passenger Survey (IPS). The international immigration and emigration data for local authorities are only available from mid-2001 onwards. The footnotes to the tables provide the basis for the figures. (205759)

Table B gives an estimate of net international migration by country of birth (UK and elsewhere) between 1987 and 2006. Data from 1991 to 2006 are based on Total International Migration (TIM) whilst data from 1987 to 1990 are based solely on the IPS, as estimates of TIM are not available prior to 1991. TIM is the measure of long term international migration introduced from 1991 and which is based mainly on data from the IPS supplemented with other data and adjustments for people not counted by the IPS. (205785)

The number and proportion of immigrants to the UK employed in manual and clerical occupations prior to their migration between 1997 and 2006 is shown in Table C, based on TIM. (205786)

Estimates from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) show that 7 per cent of the UK population was born abroad in 1997, and 11 per cent of the UK population was born abroad in 2007, the latest year for which figures are available from the LFS. No comparable estimates are available for 1987 as prior to 1992 the LFS was not conducted throughout the year, and thus it is not possible to provide an average over four quarters for 1987. No projection has been made of future trends in the proportion of the population to have been born abroad. (205790)

Between 1997 and 2007 there was an increase of 2,323,000 UK residents who were born abroad. Table D gives the ten most common countries of birth of foreign born UK residents in 1997 and 2007. No comparable estimates are available for 1987. (205791)

Copies of the tables have been placed in the House of Commons Library.

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster pursuant to the answer of 19 May 2008, Official Report, column 49W, on migration, what estimate the Office for National Statistics has made of the direct and indirect contribution of net migration to population growth by (a) 2031 and (b) 2056; and what proportion of total population growth each figure represents. (208820)

[holding answer 5 June 2008]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 13 June 2008:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your question regarding what estimate has been made of the direct and indirect contribution of net migration to population growth by (a) 2031 and (b) 2056; and what proportion of total population growth each figure represents. (208820)

Net migration affects population growth both through the immediate direct impact of migrants themselves and the indirect impact through future births and deaths of migrants.

As part of the latest (2006-based) national population projections from ONS, a full analysis has been made of the impact of the assumed level of net migration on population growth in the period to 2031. This is available at

http://www.gad.gov.uk/Demography_Data/Population/2006/methodology/mignote.asp.

The following table summarises the results and shows corresponding figures for the period to 2056.

Projected population growth by component, United Kingdom, 2006-56

Million

Between 2006 and 2031

Between 2006 and 2056

Total population increase

11

18

Resulting from:

Assumed net migration

5

10

Natural change assuming no migration

1

Additional natural change from assumed level of net migration

2

7

As previously advised in my replies to earlier PQs from you (207695 and 177459), the underlying assumptions for the projections are demographic trend based and should not be seen as predictions. Long-term projections should be treated with particular caution. Population projections become increasingly uncertain the further they are carried forward.

Tenants

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of the proportion of (a) men and (b) women aged (i) 20, (ii) 22, (iii) 25 and (iv) 30 years old who lived with their parents in (A) 1985, (B) 1990, (C) 1995, (D) 2000, (E) 2005 and (F) 2007. (208791)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 13 June 2008:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking what estimates has been made of the proportion of (a) men and (b) women aged (i) 20, (ii) 22, (iii) 25 and (iv) 30 years old who lived with their parents in (A) 1985, (B) 1990, (C) 1995, (D) 2000, (E) 2005 and (F) 2007. (208791)

Information on adults living with their parents is available from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) and is provided in the table below. Adults who live with their parents with a partner or child are not included as living with their parents as they form a separate family. Since data are not available for all the requested years before 2001, two alternative years are provided to present a time series.

Proportion of individuals who are living with their parents, by sex and selected ages, UK

Sex

Age

1997

2001

2005

2007

Male

20

68

68

70

65

22

57

56

60

56

25

36

35

34

37

30

13

12

14

13

Female

20

49

50

50

52

22

36

34

35

39

25

19

18

21

21

30

5

5

4

5

Source:

LFS quarterly data, April to June, not seasonally adjusted

Transport: Wales

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what figures the Office for National Statistics holds on the number of people in Wales who live more than two miles away from a bus route or a railway station. (209903)

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

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 13 June 2008:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent parliamentary question regarding what figures the Office for National Statistics holds on the number of people in Wales who live more than two miles away from a bus route or a railway station. I am replying in her absence. (209903)

The Office for National Statistics does not hold the requested information, but the Department for Transport are responsible for the National Travel Survey which may provide some of the requested information.

Unemployment: Suffolk

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many and what proportion of households in Suffolk had no one in full-time employment in each of the last five years. (209388)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 13 June 2008:

As National Statistician I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question on how many and what proportion of households in Suffolk have no-one in full-time employment in each of the last 5 years. (209388)

Estimates in the attached table are provided from the Labour Force Survey (LFS) household datasets for the April-June quarter to be consistent with those published in the “Work and worklessness among households” First Release, which is available on the web at: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/work0807.pdf

The households are weighted to the population estimates published by ONS in February and March 2003. They do not incorporate the more recent population estimates used in the headline LFS series.

Estimates are based on working age households, which are households that include at least one person of working-age, that is a woman aged 16 to 59 or a man aged 16 to 64.

The LFS is a sample survey covering over 52,000 households in the United Kingdom in each three month period. As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

Number and proportion of working-age1 households in Suffolk where no-one is in full-time employment 2003-07, April to June of each year

Levels (Thousand)

Percentage2

2003

36

21

2004

34

20

2005

31

17

2006

44

21

2007

50

24

1 A working-age household is a household that includes at least one person of working age, that is a woman aged 16-59 or a man aged 16-64. 2 In calculating percentages, households with unknown economic status have been excluded. Note:1.Estimates are weighted to the 2003 population estimates. 2. As with any sample survey, estimates from the Labour Force Survey are subject to a margin of uncertainty. Source: LFS household datasets.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Afghanistan: Reconstruction

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what the cost of running the provincial reconstruction team in Lashkar Gar was in each of the last five years; (209681)

(2) what the objectives are of the provincial reconstruction team in Lashkar Gar; how many personnel the team has; and what the team's performance against its objectives has been over the last five years.

[holding answer 9 June 2008]: I am not able to provide figures for the cost of running the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) because we estimate that to locate, retrieve and extract such information would involve disproportionate cost. The UK employs a broad range of staff in support of the government of Afghanistan to help develop a stable and secure Afghanistan. Over 100 civilian staff in Kabul and over 40 staff in Helmand are employed from across the Government, including the Stabilisation Unit, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Afghanistan Drugs Inter-Departmental Unit. Their roles include work in governance, stabilisation, reconstruction and development, security sector reform and counter narcotics.

The PRT in Helmand is focused on developing Afghan local capacity in development, security and governance, and is helping administer over £36 million the UK plans to spend towards the province's reconstruction this financial year. Since the UK took over the PRT in May 2006 we have seen early progress on these three fronts, with PRT officials delivering valuable assistance in a challenging environment. Since May 2006, the PRT has implemented 247 quick-impact projects valued at £18 million. This has supported a number of building projects (including schools, parks and police stations), police training and women's rights projects. DFID has also committed £10 million per year over three years (2006-09) to support the government of Afghanistan's long-term development programmes in Helmand.

Departmental Freedom of Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether it is the policy of his Department to release the home addresses of (a) senior and (b) middle-ranking officials, if requested under the Freedom of Information Act 2000; and what assessment he has made of the implications for personal security resulting from the release of such data. (207215)

[holding answer 22 May 2008]: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office does not generally release the home addresses of officials for reasons of privacy and security. If asked for this information under the Freedom of Information Act, the Department would deal with requests on a case by case basis, applying appropriate exemptions if it is necessary and appropriate to do so.

Departmental Legal Opinion

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what hourly rate his Department has agreed for the payment of Jonathan Sumption QC in relation to his work for the Department on the legal proceedings brought by Mr. Stuart Wheeler. (207717)

[holding answer 2 June 2008]: The Government always ensure that they are represented at the appropriate level and secure an hourly rate which represents value for money for the tax payer. The Government are very confident of the strength of their case and, in responding to this action, will apply to recover its costs from the applicant.

Diplomatic Service: Languages

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what proportion of heads of mission employed by his Department speak the language of the country to which they are accredited; and if he will make a statement. (209383)

99 per cent. (101 out of 102 missions in countries where English is not widely spoken) of heads of mission employed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office speak the language of the country to which they are accredited, with varying degrees of fluency.

Eastern Congo: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of proposals for the appointment of a UN High Level special adviser on human rights for Eastern Congo; and what reports he has received on progress towards establishment of the post. (209412)

The Government are fully supportive of proposals for the appointment of a special adviser on human rights for Eastern Congo to monitor commitments made under Article 3 of the Goma Agreement. Officials are taking this forward with their international partners and with the Congolese. We believe that any such position or mechanism should be part of the Congolese Government’s post-Goma machinery, the “Amani programme”, and are working with Congolese officials to take this forward.

Eurojust

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with Members of the European Parliament on the future of Eurojust; and if he will make a statement. (208736)

I have been asked to reply.

Home Office Ministers have regular contact with Members of the European Parliament (MEP) to discuss the full range of JHA business. In relation to the future development of Eurojust, my officials briefed UK MEPs on the Government’s position on the draft Council Decision on the strengthening of Eurojust in October 2007 and May 2008. The opinion of the European Parliament on that proposal is expected during the plenary session of 16-19 June 2008. In relation to the Government’s position on the future development of Eurojust, I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 13 May 2008, Official Report, column 1564W.

Kashmir: Cemeteries

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the government of India on the removal of bodies from mass graves in Indian-held Kashmir. (209967)

We have not raised the removal of bodies from mass graves in Indian administered Kashmir with the Government of India. However, we have called for an improvement in the human rights situation on both sides of the Line of Control and remain concerned over reports of human rights violations, including continuing allegations of human rights violations by Indian security forces.

Kashmir: Human Rights

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he has had with the government of India on the human rights situation in Indian-held Kashmir in the last 12 months. (209968)

We continue to raise our concerns over alleged human rights violations in Kashmir on both sides of the Line of Control, including with the Government of India. Human rights issues in India, including in relation to Indian administered Kashmir, were raised at the EU-India Human Rights Dialogue in March. We have called for an end to all external support for violence in Kashmir and an improvement in the human rights situation.

Passports: Fees and Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what charge is made to British nationals applying for a standard UK passport at each British consular post. (210855)

The charge for a standard UK passport at each consular post overseas is currently £119.00. Fees are set in sterling and collected overseas in local currency.

Sudan: Armed Conflict

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of the political situation and level of stability in Sudan, with particular reference to the north of Sudan and Khartoum and Omdurman. (208886)

Calm has returned to Omdurman and Khartoum after the attack by the Justice and Equality Movement on 10 May. Darfur remains unstable and we advise against all but essential travel to the region. We are telling both the Government of Sudan and the rebels that there can be no military solution to the Darfur conflict and all sides must engage constructively in the UN-African Union led mediation process which, as my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister has made clear, the UK stands ready to support.

Sudan: Internally Displaced Persons

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will commission research into the number of displaced Darfurians not included in the recent national census in Sudan and its effect on the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. (209374)

Enumeration for the first national census since 1993 took place between 22 April and 6 May. The UN Population Fund will assess the extent of coverage, including of Darfurians, once the census questionnaires have been returned. Full census results are not expected before November 2008.

The UK is a member of the Monitoring and Observation Commission which played a key role in the formation of a census monitoring team. The UK also funded consultants who coordinated the training and deployment of the monitoring team.

Zimbabwe: Elections

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made on the effects of the pattern of distribution of food and medicines in Zimbabwe on the forthcoming presidential elections in that country. (208455)

We express our concerns about the worsening humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe, including the distribution of food and medicines, to African leaders and others in the international community, at every available opportunity. The UK will continue to support the Zimbabwean people. We provided £45 million last year supporting the poorest and most vulnerable Zimbabweans, including helping to feed up to 3 million people and providing treatment for more than 30,000 HIV/AIDS patients.

Health

Abortion

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many spontaneous abortions there were in each year since 1990, broken down by (a) length of gestation of the pregnancy, (b) age of the woman and (c) health authority. (209095)

Dental Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) molar root treatments, (b) crown fittings, (c) simple denture fittings, (d) full denture fittings, (e) cobalt chrome denture fittings and (f) extractions there were in each of the last five financial years. (209200)

This information could be provided in the form requested only at disproportionate cost. Such information as is available is set out as follows.

Information on the number of claims including a crown and an extraction, for general dental services (GDS) and personal dental services (PDS) for the years ending 31 March 2005 and 31 March 2006 are given in Annex D of the ‘NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England 31 March 2006’ report.

This report, published by the Information Centre for health and social care on 23 August 2006, is available in the Library and is available at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/primary-care/dentistry/nhs-dental-activity-and-workforce-report-england-31-march-2006

Information on the incidence of certain treatments (including root-fillings, crowns, partial dentures, full dentures and extractions) was collected from a sample of courses of treatment (CoTs), for 2003-04 and the first four months of 2007-08. This information is shown at Table 2 of the ‘Dental Treatment Band Analysis, England 2007: Preliminary results’ report.

This report, published by the NHS Information Centre for health and social care on 4 October 2007, has been placed in the Library and is available at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/primary-care/dentistry/dental-treatment-band-analysis-england-2007:-preliminary-results.

The report ‘Dental Treatment Band Analysis, England and Wales, 2007-08’ provides equivalent information for the whole of 2007-08, and is due to be published by the Information Centre for health and social care in August 2008.

The reports relate to treatments provided within national health service dental services and not private services.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of people registered with a NHS dentist in (a) 1997, (b) 1999, (c) 2002 and (d) 2006. (209848)

The number of people registered with a national health service dentist, for adults and children and in total, in England, as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006 are available in Annex A of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report, England: 31 March 2006”. Information is provided by strategic health authority (SHA) and by primary care trust (PCT).

This information is based on the old contractual arrangements, which were in place up to and including 31 March 2006. This report is available in the Library and also at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/primary-care/dentistry/nhs-dental-activity-and-workforce-report-england-31-march-2006

Under the new contractual arrangements, introduced on 1 April 2006, patients do not have to be registered with an NHS dentist to receive NHS care. The closest equivalent measure to ‘registration’ is the number of patients receiving NHS dental services (“patients seen”) over a 24-month period. However, this is not directly comparable to the registration data for earlier years.

The number of patients seen by an NHS dentist for the specified period, in England, is available in Table C1 of Annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2006-07” report. Information is available for the 24-month periods ending 31 March 2006 and 31 March 2007. The information is provided by SHA and by PCT.

This report is available in the Library and is also available at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dental0607

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the number of hospital admissions related to (a) dentistry and (b) dental problems in each of the last 10 years. (209849)

The number of hospital admissions where a dental consultant was responsible for the patient is set out in the following table. It is not possible categorise the data by 'dental problems' as requested.

A person may be admitted to hospital more than once so the following data do not represent a count of patients.

Hospital admissions where a dental1 consultant was responsible for the patient—national health service hospitals England and activity performed in the independent sector in England commissioned by English NHS, total admissions 1997-98 to 2006-07

Number

2006-07

238,967

2005-06

234,186

2004-05

211,701

2003-04

210,104

2002-03

209,803

2001-02

203,521

2000-01

205,708

1999-2000

212,417

1998-99

215,316

1997-98

200,519

1 The main specialties used to define 'dental consultants' in the data above are oral surgery, restorative dentistry, paediatric dentistry, orthodontics and oral and maxillo facial surgery. Notes:1. Figures have not been adjusted for shortfalls in data (i.e. the data are ungrossed). 2. Assessing growth through time HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. During the years that these records have been collected in the NHS there have been ongoing improvements in quality and coverage. These improvements in information submitted by the NHS have been particularly marked in the earlier years and need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. Some of the increase in figures for later years (particularly 2006-07 onwards) may be due to the improvement in the coverage of independent sector activity. Changes in NHS practice also need to be borne in mind when analysing time series. For example a number of procedures may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and may no longer be accounted in the HES data. This may account for any reductions in activity over time. 3. Data QualityHospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by over 300 NHS trusts, and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England. Data are also received from a number of independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The Information Centre for health and social care liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies and the effect of missing and invalid data via HES processes. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain. 4. Finished admission episodes(FAEs)A FAE is the first period of in-patient care under not represent the number of in-patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the year. 5. Consultant main specialtyThis defines the specialty under which the consultant responsible is contracted. Care is needed when analysing HES data by specialty, or by groups of specialties (such as acute). Trusts have different ways of managing specialties and attributing codes so it is better to analyse by specific diagnoses, operations or other recorded information. Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), The Information Centre for health and social care.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the average distance a person has to travel to see an NHS dentist in (a) Cornwall, (b) each constituency in Cornwall, (c) the South West and (d) England; and what estimate he has made of that distance in each year since 1979. (210117)

The requested information is not available. It is for primary care trusts (PCTs) to commission local dental services to meet local needs. PCTs are expected to develop robust commission plans. These will include consideration of access to local dental services at the time and place that people want.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many NHS dentists there were who accepted new patients in (a) Cornwall, (b) each parliamentary constituency in Cornwall, (c) the South West and (d) England in each year since 1979. (210118)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many dentists are employed full-time by the NHS, broken down by strategic health authority; (208974)

(2) how many dentists are employed full-time by the NHS in (a) Eastbourne constituency, (b) East Sussex and (c) England;

(3) how many dentists were employed full-time by the NHS in each of the last 10 years;

(4) how many dentists are listed on the primary care NHS list for (a) Eastbourne, (b) East Sussex and (c) England.

The number of dentists on open national health service contracts in England as at 30 June 2006, 30 September 2006, 31 December 2006, and 31 March 2007 are available in Table E1 of Annex 3 of the “NHS Dental Statistics for England: 2006-07” report. This information is provided by strategic health authority (SHA) and by primary care trust (PCT). This information is based on the new contractual arrangements which were introduced on 1 April 2006. The information is shown by type of contract held. Dentists are employed on three types of contract: general dental services (GDS), personal dental services (PDS) and trust led dental services (TDS). Dentists can hold more than one contract and more than one type of contract at the same time. Those on TDS contracts are employed directly by the NHS.

This Report, published by the Information Centre for health and social care, on 23 August 2007, is available in the Library and is available at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/dental0607

The number of NHS dentists, in England, as at 31 March, 1997 to 2006 is available in Annex E of the “NHS Dental Activity and Workforce Report England: 31 March 2006” report. The information is provided by SHA and by PCT. This information is based on the old contractual arrangements that were in place up to and including 31 March 2006. This information covered GDS and PDS dentists only.

This Report, published by the Information Centre for health and social care, on 23 August 2006, is available in the Library and is also available at:

www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/primary-care/dentistry/nhs-dental-activity-and-workforce-report-england-31-march-2006

The numbers quoted are headcounts and do not differentiate between full-time and part-time dentists, nor do they account for the fact that some dentists may do more NHS work than others.

The methodology for counting and reporting the NHS dental work force is currently under review. The review, led by analysts at the Information Centre for health and social care and the Statistical Directorate of the Welsh Assembly Government, working in liaison with the Dental Services Division of the NHS Business Services Authority, aims to ensure that following the first year of the new dental contractual arrangements, the figures provide an appropriate measure of the work force.

The work force data provided in the 2006-07 report will therefore remain the latest available until this review is complete. The review is currently at consultation stage which is due to end on 11 July 2008.

The intention is to publish work force data in the “NHS Dental Statistics for England, 2007-08” report, due to be published in August 2008.

The Information Centre is also due to publish the report “Dental Working Hours 2006-07 and 2007-08” in August 2008. This Report should contain some analysis of the full-time equivalent work force and NHS commitment at SHA level.