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Written Answers

Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Thursday 26 June 2008

Scotland

Departmental Homeworking

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many staff in his Department are authorised to work from home. (212517)

All the staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice who are both committed to achieving a work life balance for all staff. No staff in the Office formally work from home.

Departmental Pay

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what estimate he has made of the average pay per hour worked by (a) permanent and (b) temporary staff in his Department in the last period for which figures are available, broken down by pay band. (212505)

Staff in the Scotland Office are on secondment from the Scottish Executive or the Ministry of Justice, and the office reimburses those Departments for the costs involved. The office does not maintain a record of the hourly pay of staff; such information is held by the parent Departments.

Departmental Public Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much was spent on (a) new furnishings, (b) art and (c) new vehicles by his Department in each of the last three years. (213521)

The Scotland Office spent the following

£

Furnishings

Art

New Vehicles

2005-06

33,077

371

0

2006-07

15,989

431

0

2007-08

13,347

514

0

Wood

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much timber and timber products were procured by his Department in each of the last five years; and at what cost. (213752)

The Scotland Office does not separately record expenditure on timber products from other similar expenditure; total expenditure on office furnishings was:

£

2003-04

9,085

2004-05

32,236

2005-06

33,077

2006-07

15,989

2007-08

13,347

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how much timber and timber products were procured by his Department originating from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed FLEGT partner in each of the last five years; and at what cost. (213753)

All timber and timber products procured by my Department over the last five years have come from sustainable sources. The amount procured and the cost could only be established at disproportionate cost. The Scotland Office forms part of the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Justice does not keep separate records for the timber and timber products used in that part of its estate.

Electoral Commission Committee

Peter Hain

To ask the hon. Member for Gosport, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, whether the Commission has received a report from the police on the case of the right hon. Member for Neath (Mr. Hain). (214217)

Transport

Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) reviews, (b) consultations and (c) task forces her Department is (i) responsible for and (ii) scheduled to establish; on what date each such initiative (A) started and (B) is expected to be completed; and what the purpose is of each. (213488)

[holding answer 24 June 2008]: Details of the Department for Transport's current consultations and reviews have been placed in the Libraries of the House. The Department has no task forces.

Invalid Vehicles: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which London boroughs operate a Shopmobility scheme; and what funding is provided for the scheme from the public purse in each of those boroughs. (213801)

We understand that there are three Shopmobility schemes operating in London: in Camden, Kensington and Chelsea and Wood Green. Shopmobility centres are not centrally funded by Government, and data regarding how much funding these schemes receive are therefore not available.

M1

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects the Highways Agency to implement its proposals for widening the M1 between junctions 10 and 13; and what estimate she has made of the cost of the scheme. (209287)

We announced in March that we had asked the Highways Agency to investigate alternative options for adding capacity to the M1 between junctions 10 and 13, including hard shoulder running. This work is under way and due to be complete by the autumn. The timetable for implementing improvements will depend on the option selected. Cost estimates are subject to further work and validation.

Motorways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the average cost per mile of (a) motorway widening and (b) deploying hard shoulder running. (209069)

The “Advanced Motorway Signalling and Traffic Management Feasibility Study”, published on 4 March 2008, assumed a capital cost of £5.6 million per kilometre (for both directions, 2004 prices) for hard shoulder running. In addition operating costs of £92,000 per kilometre per year (2004 prices) were assumed. These costs were based on experience from the M42 hard shoulder running scheme, with some adjustments for development of design and allowance for risks. By way of comparison the capital cost of conventionally widening this section of the M42 was estimated at between £18 million and £25 million per kilometre in current prices.

Official Cars

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 10 March 2008, Official Report, column 8W, on departmental official cars, what other suitable cars are available for non-Cabinet Ministers to use. (214012)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency does not hold a list of suitable cars; it is for each Minister to choose a suitable car for official use in line with the criteria set by the Prime Minister.

Oil: Prices

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the change in levels of (a) urban and (b) inter-urban congestion following recent increases in the price of oil. (213023)

[holding answer 23 June 2008]: Data on urban and inter-urban congestion can be found in the Department's Transport Statistics Bulletin, Road Traffic and Congestion in Great Britain Q1 2008 at:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/162259/162469/221412/221546/224925/224965/368305/368322/roadtraffgbq12008.pdf.

Provisional data on inter-urban congestion up to March 2008 are included in this bulletin. May 2008 data will be released on 3 July. Data on urban congestion are included for the period to August 2007. We have not yet analysed our urban data after this date and so do not have an estimate of changes in congestion since then.

BERR have recently published new oil price projections in light of a consultation on them that ended early this year. They can be found at:

http://www.berr.gov.uk/energy/environment/projections/recent/page26391.html.

BERR propose reviewing these assumptions on a regular basis, at least annually.

We are currently in the process of producing new road transport forecasts (which will include congestion) based on these updated oil price projections. We are also aiming to release new appraisal guidance with fuel prices based upon them shortly.

Railways: Fares

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which train operating companies’ franchise agreements permit them to increase fares by more than one per cent. above inflation for a given period of time; and by how much and over what period of time this is permitted in each case. (209075)

Southeastern and Northern have RPI plus 3 per cent. regimes. Southeastern is for the entire franchise area until the end of 2011; fares regulation will revert to RPI plus 1 per cent. from January 2012. Northern has an RPI plus 3 per cent. regime for the Leeds and West Yorkshire area only—this applies for the length of the present franchise. Both regimes were approved on the basis of supporting rolling stock investment in those franchises.

Railways: Rolling Stock

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the number of uncommitted carriages held by rolling stock companies available for use by train operating companies who wish to lease extra carriages. (211091)

[holding answer 13 June 2008]: There has been no formal assessment carried out. It is up to the leasing companies to manage their portfolio of vehicles and offer them for lease to the market. However, current market indications are that there is very little suitable off-lease rolling stock available. Any vehicles which are off lease are being offered to the operators.

Roads

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport under what circumstances control of an A road would be moved from the local authority to the Highways Agency. (213961)

The roads managed by the Highways Agency on behalf of the Secretary of State are of strategic importance, either nationally or regionally, and carry large volumes of long distance traffic.

The composition of the strategic road network was reviewed as part of the Government's Transport White Paper “A New Deal for Transport: Better for Everyone”, published in 1998. The factors taken into account in identifying this network are set out in the White Paper and in the accompanying document, "A New Deal for Trunk Roads in England".

If the Secretary of State for Transport were to judge that the function of a local authority road had changed such that it now met the factors established in that White Paper, or if a road formed a better alternative to an existing trunk road, the road could be transferred to the strategic road network and managed by the Highways Agency.

The only other circumstances in which that can occur is during the delivery of major improvement schemes to the strategic road network, when very short sections (a few hundred metres or less) of local authority controlled roads can be transferred to the Highways Agency as part of the realignment of roads and reconfiguration of junctions required by the scheme.

Roads: Planning

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her Department’s definition of route protection status is in the context of planned road developments. (209306)

The Highways Agency issues a Direction (TR111) under article 15 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995, which requires a local planning authority to

Refer planning applications, which fall within 67 metres of the centre line of the proposed route, to the agency, whereby the agency could impose a direction restricting development

Notify anyone who submits a local search on a property within 200 metres of the proposed route.

In most cases a TR111 is put in place at the same time as a preferred route is announced.

Rolling Stock

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the 1,300 extra carriages referred to in the High Level Output Statement include the carriages for the London Midland line announced prior to July 2007. (212949)

The 217 new carriages ordered by London Midland and announced in June 2007 as part of the West Midlands Franchise Awards Process, are part of the 1,300 extra carriages promised in the High Level Output Specification. The new carriages will allow existing carriages to be cascaded, delivering extra capacity as set out in the Rolling Stock Plan.

Rolling Stock: Consultants

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how much her Department had spent on consultancy fees on the procurement of new Pendolino carriages for the West Coast Main Line on the latest date for which figures are available. (212613)

There are two components associated with this project. The first is the four new 11-car sets which are the replacements for the Grayrigg set, written off after the accident. The second component is the new 62 vehicles to be added to the existing fleet so that 31 trains are extended from nine to 11 cars. The total consultants fee up to end of period two (24 May 2008) for both the replacement sets and the new 31 two car sets is £518,000 on a project budget of £169 million for the period to 2014.

Transport: Bedfordshire

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the relative merits of (a) a guided busway and (b) a reinstated railway between Luton and Dunstable; what account she has taken of (i) climate change policy and (ii) the trend in oil prices in forming her view; and if she will make a statement. (213490)

[holding answer 24 June 2008]: The Luton to Dunstable Busway local transport major scheme is being promoted by Luton borough council. The proposed scheme involves the construction of approximately 12 km of busway, linking the centres of Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis with London Luton airport.

As part of the process of assessing whether the Busway was the best option to progress, I understand that the council evaluated a number of alternative schemes including heavy rail and light rail. The assessment concluded that none of the alternative options provided as good value for money as the Busway.

The scheme was granted initial Government funding approval in December 2003. Following two public inquiries, the scheme secured all its statutory powers in November 2006 under the Transport and Works Act 1992.

The Department for Transport is now currently considering a request from Luton borough council to move the scheme to the next approval stage within the Department's local major scheme process. As part of our assessment of Luton's Conditional Approval bid, the Department will be revisiting the earlier analysis of the environmental and modelling aspects of the scheme in the light of developments since Programme Entry was granted in 2003.

Transport: Exhaust Emissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 9 June 2008, Official Report, column 38W, on transport exhaust emissions, what mechanism is in place to achieve the European Commission’s 16 per cent. greenhouse gas reduction target over 2005 levels for the UK’s non-traded sector, with specific reference to the reduction to be made in the road transport sector. (211573)

[holding answer 16 June 2008]: The EU’s proposed 16 per cent. burden-sharing target for the UK’s non-traded sector is still subject to negotiation and applies to the entire non-traded sector. As such it will not be broken down into specific sectoral shares, for example between the transport and domestic heating sectors. The Government’s framework for managing carbon budgets, including road transport emissions, will be established under the Climate Change Bill currently before Parliament.

Further details are available from the Bill website:

http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/uk/legislation/index.htm

In summary this framework will involve a requirement to meet emissions reduction targets in 2020 and 2050, and to set legally binding five-year carbon budgets starting from 2008. It will also involve annual progress reporting to Parliament and advice to Government and scrutiny from the independent Committee on Climate Change. In setting these budgets the Government will take account of their international and domestic obligations such as the EU’s Climate and Energy package (including the 16 per cent. burden sharing target) and the Kyoto target.

Waterloo Station

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects the former Eurostar platforms at Waterloo to reopen for use for domestic rail services. (213002)

The Department is working closely with Network Rail and Stagecoach South Western Trains (SSWT) to finalise the design and costs of the partial conversion of Waterloo International to accommodate some domestic services. Therefore some services, most likely on the routes to Windsor and Reading, could use platform 20 of Waterloo International from the timetable change date in December 2008.

It is primarily the railway infrastructure outside Waterloo that limits the number of trains that can use the station rather than the number of platforms. Therefore the need is to run longer trains rather than more trains. So we are planning to make all the platforms at Waterloo long enough to accommodate 10 car trains and to modify the junction layouts on the approaches to the station so that, ultimately, all the platforms at Waterloo, including those once used by Eurostar, can be used by 10-car domestic services. Such a scheme would allow the use of longer trains than currently use the short platforms and would result in a large increase in capacity on the South Western network.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Domestic Wastes: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which London boroughs use wheelie bins as the main form of household waste collection. (210346)

DEFRA does not keep records on the types of waste collection system operated by local authorities. Decisions on local waste collection and recycling services are rightly for individual local authorities to make in close consultation with their residents. The Government strongly encourage local authorities to use good practice and to consider the overall carbon impact of their collection services. The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) provides local authorities with advice on this.

Fisheries

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which species fished by UK vessels have fallen below sustainable fishing levels; and in which year fish stocks were first threatened in each case. (212806)

Since 1998, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has applied precautionary reference points as the basis for its advice, identifying which harvesting rates meet precautionary criteria. These criteria aim to ensure sustainability by keeping spawning stock biomass (SSB, the weight of mature fish) above a minimum precautionary level, Bpa (set high enough to allow a margin of error sufficient to keep SSB above a lower limit level, Blim), and keeping the fishing rate (F) below a maximum precautionary level, Fpa (set low enough to allow a margin of error sufficient to keep F below an upper limit level, Flim).

Based on advice from ICES in 2007, which evaluated stock assessments using fisheries data for years up to and including 2006, and survey data up to and including 2007, the following stocks fished by the UK have experienced unsustainable fishing levels when compared to the maximum precautionary level:

(i) North Sea

Herring since 2006

(ii) West of Scotland

Haddock since 2006

(iii) Irish Sea

Cod since the introduction of precautionary reference points in 1998, sole since 2006

(iv) Western Channel

Both plaice and sole since the introduction of precautionary reference points in 1998

(v) Widely distributed

North-east Atlantic mackerel since 2001, blue whiting since 1999

For a number of stocks it has not been possible to make a quantitative comparison because the level of F was uncertain in 2007. This includes some stocks which have shown a long-term decline, such as cod in the west of Scotland.

Fisheries: Quotas

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much UK fishing quota was not used in 2007; what estimate he has made of the amount of quota allocated for 2008 which will not be used; what steps he plans to take in respect of unused quota; and if he will (a) buy back and (b) allocate to the under 10 metre fleet any unused quota. (213257)

[holding answer given 23 June 2008]: In total, 87 per cent. of all UK quota was fished in 2007. No estimate has been made of the amount of quota that will not be used in 2008 as many factors affect uptake, making it very difficult to make a meaningful estimate.

I am working closely with the industry to ensure that potentially unused quota is made available to the under 10 metre fleet. I have no plans to buy back quota and allocate this to the under 10 metre fleet. However, I am planning to publish next month a consultation document on measures to assist the under 10 metre fleet.

Litter: North-East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many fixed penalty notices have been issued for litter-dropping in (a) Wirral West constituency and (b) Merseyside in the last 18 months; and what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the issue of fixed penalty notices on littering in urban areas. (212980)

DEFRA collects data on the number of fixed penalty notices issued for litter-dropping by each local authority in England. The table contains statistics on the number of fixed penalty notices issued and reported by each local authority in Merseyside.

Local authority

April 2005 to March 2006

April 2006 to March 2007

Knowsley

72

21

Liverpool

100

757

Sefton

0

0

St. Helens

0

4

Wirral

151

1

1 No data.

A full breakdown of the available data can be found on the DEFRA website.

DEFRA has not carried out a direct assessment of the impact of fixed penalty notices on instances of littering.

Local authorities in England have the power to issue fixed penalty notices for littering offences, or can choose to take a prosecution. English local authorities issued 43,624 fixed penalty notices for littering offences in 2006-07 compared to 33,033 in 2005-06, the payment rate was 77.1 per cent. in 2006-07 compared to 54 per cent. in 2005-06, and 233 local authorities made use of the powers to issue fixed penalty notices in 2006-07 compared to 197 in 2005-06. Local authorities have a variety of tools available to them to make local assessments as part of their cleansing and enforcement strategies, including data sources such as the national indicator on cleanliness, the Local Environmental Quality Survey of England and the extended Local Environmental Quality Survey of England.

Maps: EC Law

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether he plans to consult on legislative and other means of implementing the INSPIRE Directive. (211259)

DEFRA has been working with stakeholders across central, devolved and local government, as well as the wider geographic information community, in considering how to implement the INSPIRE Directive. We will, in due course, be consulting further on how we propose to transpose the directive into UK legislation, and on its subsequent implementation.

Marine Management Organisation

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what budget has been allocated to the Marine Management Organisation implementation team within the Marine Fisheries Agency; and what the grade of the Director of the team is. (211559)

I am keen to achieve a smooth transition from the Marine and Fisheries Agency to the Marine Management Organisation, and to start work towards the new organisation in good time. A budget of £1 million has been allocated to support the continued development of the Marine and Fisheries Agency in 2008-09, mindful of its probable transition to the MMO. This work is not dependent on the parliamentary process.

The post of director of the MMO implementation team is at grade 6.

Sewers: Urban Areas

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on the (a) responsibility for, (b) ownership of and (c) maintenance of urban drainage systems; and if he will make a statement. (212958)

DEFRA recently consulted on options for the allocation of responsibility for the ownership and long-term maintenance of sustainable drainage systems, as part of the consultation on “Improving Surface Water Drainage”. This consultation was launched alongside the Government's Water Strategy, “Future Water”, and closed on 30 April 2008. We will publish a summary of the responses in late July, followed by a Government response to the consultation and proposed course of action later in the year.

Solvents: Waste Disposal

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice he has issued to local authorities in relation to the disposal of waste paints and solvents from domestic properties. (211948)

I approved the recently published National Household Hazardous Waste Forum’s “Haz Guide”, which provides advice on the disposal of waste paints and solvents.

This can be found on the internet on the National Household Hazardous Waste Forum’s website at

www.nhhf.org.uk.

Work and Pensions

Ageing

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will publish the results of projects on which his Department has jointly worked with France and Germany at EU level on managing ageing populations and tackling the causes of poverty. (211212)

My Department collaborated in a seminar on active ageing held by France in November 2007, which brought together UK, French and German policy experts on extending working lives. On June 23 Germany hosted a follow-on event mainly involving employers and other stakeholders from the three countries. This work is part of the continuous process of Governments across the European Union learning from each other and sharing good practice. There was no published report.

My Department exchanges good practice on welfare reform with all EU member states. This aims, for example, to increase participation in employment under the Lisbon Jobs and Growth Strategy and contribute to the eradication of poverty under the EU Social Protection and Social Inclusion process. The Lisbon Strategy includes a target for an EU employment level by 2010 of 50 per cent. of older people of working age. The spring European Council in March noted that an employment rate of 43.5 per cent. had been achieved by the end of 2006, 6.5 percentage points from the target.

Asbestos: Farms

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what representations the Health and Safety Executive has received from the farming industry on the proportionality of regulations concerning the disposal of white asbestos. (211255)

The Health and Safety Executive has received no recent representations from farming industry representatives on the proportionality of the regulations concerning the disposal of white asbestos, but an official has recently met members of the National Farmers Union at their request to discuss the international classification of white asbestos.

Carer’s Allowance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the earnings threshold is for those claiming carer's allowance; and if he will consider raising the threshold. (213015)

The Carer's Allowance earnings limit was increased to £95 a week in October 2007 as a special measure to improve support for carers. The Government's 10 year strategy for carers published on 10 June 2008 “Carers at the heart of 21st century families and communities” committed to looking at the current structure of benefits for carers, and stated

“Within the context of wider welfare reform and the fundamental review of the care and support system, we must create a system of carers' benefits that is able to provide support where it is most needed and that can adapt to the wide range of needs that carers have.”

Carer’s Allowance: Hemsworth

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many people receive carer's allowance in (a) the Hemsworth constituency and (b) Wakefield district. (213016)

The available information is in the following table.

Carer's Allowance cases in payment: November 2007

Number

Hemsworth parliamentary constituency

1,090

Wakefield metropolitan district council

3,310

Notes:

1. Caseload figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Totals show the number of people in receipt of an allowance, and exclude people with entitlement where the payment has been suspended.

3. This information is published at http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/tabtool.asp

Source:

DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.

Child Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will bring forward amendments to regulations governing child support so that payments received in lieu of a company car are treated in the same way as the provision of a company car in calculating the level of child maintenance. (213551)

Payments made in lieu of a company car are treated as income within the child maintenance calculation, in the event that such payments are subject to tax. There are no plans to amend regulations in this respect.

However, under child support legislation, expenses incurred by persons “wholly, exclusively and necessarily” in the course of their employment are disregarded as income when the child maintenance liability is calculated. In some cases this can include expenses relating to company cars.

Cycling

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy to extend the cycle to work scheme to employees in his Department. (212616)

It is this Department’s policy to extend the cycle to work scheme for our employees. The scheme will be launched in autumn 2008.

Industrial Accidents: Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions for what reasons fatalities involving at-work vehicles are not included in the fatalities of workers recorded annually by the Health and Safety Executive; and if he will make a statement. (212851)

[holding answer 20 June 2008]: Fatalities recorded by the HSE are notified under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 (RIDDOR), which only require employers to notify HSE of fatal accidents that occur within the workplace or when they involve a specific road side activity.

The police are responsible for the investigation of fatalities that occur on public roads, whether or not the vehicle is involved in a work activity, and collect information which is used by the Department for Transport to compile their Annual Statistics on Road Casualties.

Industrial Health and Safety: Redcliffe Bay

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether a risk assessment of the Redcliffe Bay oil storage depot site near Portishead has been completed by the Health and Safety Executive. (211491)

The Oil and Pipelines Agency (OPA), as the operator of the Redcliffe Bay fuel storage depot has the duty under the Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH), to conduct and complete a risk assessment for the site.

The COMAH Regulations are enforced in England and Wales by a competent authority comprising of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and the Environmental Agency (EA).

OPA has produced a safety report which included the main results and arguments of the hazard analysis and risk analysis, and submitted this to the competent authority for assessment as required by COMAH. In the safety report, OPA was required to demonstrate that it has taken all measures necessary to prevent major accidents and to limit the consequences to people and the environment of any that might occur. The HSE has completed its part of the competent authority's assessment of the Redcliffe Bay Safety report, and this has been included in the competent authority's conclusions on its overall determination of the case for safety made by OPA in the report.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions when he expects to reply to the letter of 20 May from the hon. Member for Walsall North on home responsibilities protection awards to pensioners. (213958)

Women and Equality

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many (a) new builds and (b) major refurbishments for a cost in excess of £0.5 million were completed by the Government Equalities Office since its establishment. (213763)

Departmental Expenditure

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much was spent on (a) new furnishings, (b) art and (c) new vehicles by the Government Equalities Office since its inception. (213531)

Departmental Home Working

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many people in the Government Equalities Office are authorised to work from home. (212511)

Subject to line management approval and operational need, all staff in the Government Equalities Office can be authorised to work from home.

Departmental Trade Unions

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality which trade unions represent members of staff in the Government Equalities Office. (212473)

The trade unions who represent staff in the Government Equalities Office are Public and Commercial Services (PCS), FDA and Prospect.

Wood

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how much timber and timber products were procured by the Government Equalities Office originating from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed FLEGT partner since its establishment; and at what cost. (213762)

Solicitor-General

Crown Prosecution Service: Wales

To ask the Solicitor-General how many Crown Prosecution Service personnel are employed in (a) Rhyl and (b) Colwyn Bay. (214143)

The Crown Prosecution Service does not have an office in Rhyl. Cases originating from this area are dealt with by staff based in Colwyn Bay. There are 42 members of staff working in the Colwyn Bay office.

Departmental Official Hospitality

To ask the Solicitor-General what the (a) date, (b) venue, (c) total cost and (d) per capita cost of all internal staff parties held by (i) the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office and (ii) other agencies in her Department have been in the last 12 months. (211781)

There has been only one internal staff party held by the Attorney-General’s Office and its superintended Departments in the last 12 months. This was held by the Serious Fraud Office on 5 October 2007 at the Serious Fraud Office, Elm House. The total cost was £685.59, the per capita cost was £4.66.

Prisons: Crimes of Violence

To ask the Solicitor-General how many reports of assaults on prison staff by inmates, made with a view to prosecution, the Crown Prosecution Service received in each of the last five years for which records are available; and how many such cases were prosecuted. (213840)

The central records maintained by the Crown Prosecution Service include no information on either the employment of victims of crime or the custodial status of defendants. To obtain this information, by reference to individual case files, would incur disproportionate cost (Code of Practice on Access to Government Information, part 2, clause 9).

Northern Ireland

Departmental Inquiries

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what independent inquiries have been commissioned by his Department in the last five years; what the (a) purpose and (b) cost was of each; and what steps were taken following each such inquiry. (212318)

The Robert Hamill inquiry, the Rosemary Nelson inquiry, and the Billy Wright inquiry are independent public inquiries which have been established by my office in the last five years. Their terms of reference, announced on 16 November 2004, are:

The Robert Hamill inquiry

To inquire into the death of Robert Hamill with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary facilitated his death or obstructed the investigation of it, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; whether the investigation of his death was carried out with due diligence; and to make recommendations.

The Rosemary Nelson inquiry

To inquire into the death of Rosemary Nelson with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the Royal Ulster Constabulary, Northern Ireland Office, Army or other state agency facilitated her death or obstructed the investigation of it, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; whether the investigation of her death was carried out with due diligence; and to make recommendations.

The Billy Wright inquiry

To inquire into the death of Billy Wright with a view to determining whether any wrongful act or omission by or within the prison authorities or other state agencies facilitated his death, or whether attempts were made to do so; whether any such act or omission was intentional or negligent; and to make recommendations.

The costs to the end of May 2008 of each public inquiry are:

£ million

The Robert Hamill inquiry

15.62

The Rosemary Nelson inquiry

27.39

The Billy Wright inquiry

16.75

The inquiries have not yet completed.

Devolution

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what discussions took place regarding the Irish language at recent talks between the Government, Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party; (213114)

(2) what discussions took place on the devolution of criminal justice and policing at recent talks between the Government, Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party;

(3) what subjects were discussed at his talks with the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin at the time of the establishment of the new Northern Ireland Executive; what the outcomes were of such discussions; and if he will make a statement.

The recent talks between the Government and the Northern Ireland First and deputy First Ministers covered a number of issues including the forward investment strategy for Northern Ireland, the economic situation, devolution of policing and justice, continuing concerns around paramilitary organisations, parades, sites, the Irish language and education.

The First and deputy First Ministers have confirmed that these discussions will continue in Belfast, involving all the parties in the Assembly.

Equality

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will take steps to establish a strategy to tackle age discrimination and promote age equality in the provision of goods and services by the Department; and if he will make a statement. (210465)

As responsibility for equality matters in the Northern Ireland Civil Service (stemming from statutory obligations arising from Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998) has been devolved to a local administration, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has no direct responsibility for the development of proposals to tackle age discrimination and promote age equality in the provision of goods and services.

Irish Language: Broadcasting

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what the purposes are of the £6 million allocated by his Department for Irish language broadcasting; and if he will make a statement. (213118)

The additional money is being provided to enable the Irish Language Broadcast Fund to continue beyond its current end date of 2009 to the end of the CSR period.

The fund was established in response to the Joint Declaration of 2003 for the purpose of providing financial support for Irish language film and television production.

Water Charges

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what changes are to be made to the financial arrangements regarding water charges following recent talks between the Government, Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party. (213116)

Policy on water is a devolved matter for the Northern Ireland Executive within the context of the UK public expenditure system.

Home Department

Alcoholic Drinks: Young People

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people were (a) cautioned, (b) prosecuted and (c) given a penalty notice for disorder for selling alcohol to people under the age of 18 years in (i) 2006 and (ii) 2007. (191297)

The number of persons issued with; a caution, penalty notice for disorder and proceeded against at magistrates courts for offences relating to selling alcohol to people under the age of 18-years-old in England and Wales for 2006 can be viewed in the following tables 1 and 2.

Court proceedings data for 2007 will be available in the autumn of 2008.

Table 1: The number of persons issued with a caution, and proceeded against at magistrates courts for a certain alcohol offences in England and Wales for the year 20061,2,3,4,5

Offence description

Proceeded against

Caution3

Holder of occasional permission or his agent knowingly selling to, knowingly allow consumption by or allowing any person to sell, intoxicating liquor to a person under 18. Selling etc. intoxicating liquor to person under 18 for consumption on the premises

736

22

Sale of alcohol to person under 18

395

36

Wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18

1

3

Allow sale of alcohol to an individual under 18

17

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Data Includes the following offence descriptions and corresponding statutes:

Holder of occasional permission or his agent knowingly selling to, knowingly allow consumption by or allowing any person to sell, intoxicating liquor to a person under 18. Selling etc. intoxicating liquor to person under 18 for consumption on the premises. Licensing (Occasional Permissions) Act 1983 Schedule (Sec 3) para 4(1). Licensing Act 1964 Sec 169(1).

Sale of alcohol to person under 18. Licensing Act 2003 S. 146(1)

Wholesaler selling intoxicating liquor to a person under 18. Licensing Act 1964 Sec 181A(1) as added by Licensing Act 1988 Sec 17.

Allow sale of alcohol to an individual under 18. Licensing Act 2003 Sec 147(1) and (5).

3 From 1 June 2000 the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 came into force nationally and removed the use of cautions for persons under 18 and replaced them with reprimands and final warnings. Reprimands and final warnings are included in the data.

4 The Licensing Act 2003 came into force on 24 November 2005.

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

Source:

Court proceedings data held by RDS—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice

Table 2: The number of persons issued with a penalty notice for disorder for the offence Sale of alcohol to person under 18 in England and Wales for the year 20061,2,3,4

Sale of alcohol to person under 18

2006

3,195

1 These data are on the principal offence basis.

2 Data include the following offence descriptions and corresponding statute:

Sale of alcohol anywhere to a person under 18. s.146(1) of the Licensing Act 2003.

3 New legislative reference with effect from 24 November 2005 on implementation of Licensing Act 2003.

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

Source:

Court proceedings data held by RDS—Office for Criminal Justice Reform—Ministry of Justice

Animal Experiments

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many animal experiments carried out between 2002 and 2004 had death as an end point, broken down by categories of usage defined in the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. (201170)

The Home Office does not authorise death as an experimental end point. Where death as a result of the authorised treatment or procedure can be expected, we strive to set earlier end points so that animals are killed before they reach a point at which death would occur. We do not, therefore, collect or hold the information requested.

Extradition: USA

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many people have been extradited from the UK to the US to face charges connected to terrorism in the last three years. (200653)

Since 1 January 2005, one person has been extradited from the UK to the US on terrorism-related charges.

Genetics: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many residents of East Yorkshire and Humberside had samples of DNA recorded on the national DNA database as a result of being sampled by Humberside Police at the latest date for which figures are available. (198855)

[holding answer 22 April 2008]: I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Beverley and Holderness (Mr. Stuart) on 25 March 2008, Official Report, column 71W, in which the figures for Yorkshire and Humberside were provided.

Identity and Passport Service: Glasgow

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what information was considered in advance of the decision to downgrade the Glasgow office of the Passport Agency. (199977)

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) modelled in detail the numbers and types of staff likely to be needed to undertake the back office operations from now until post 2017. This showed that, despite increasing volume from ID card demand, there will be a reduction in traditional examining and related production and customer support posts in IPS, due to the process efficiencies to be delivered from increasing automation and processing by the new Application and Examination system. These changes put pressure on IPS to adopt a more efficient operating model and to adjust its staff structure in some offices. Glasgow emerged for this proposal for the reasons that it has a relatively small production capacity; it currently has lower output per full-time equivalent compared to the larger offices; it already has an established capability for carrying out post issue counter fraud activity and there are opportunities for redeployment. The service to the public will remain the same.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the decision to downgrade the Glasgow office of the Passport Agency was taken. (199978)

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) Board met on 31 March 2008 to consider the proposal to remove back office operations from Glasgow office. IPS is now in a 90 days consultation period with the trade union side which must be completed before IPS can make a final decision on how to proceed. That consultation period started on 8 April 2008.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when the Identity and Passport Service instructed Post Office Ltd to redirect mail for the Glasgow office of the Passport Agency to centres in Peterborough and Durham. (199979)

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) has not instructed Post Office Ltd to redirect mail for the Glasgow Passport Agency to IPS offices in Peterborough and Durham. Postal application processing continues at the Glasgow office.

Identity and Passport Service: Translation Services

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how much the Identity and Passport Service spent on translation services for those applying for a passport in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. (191192)

In the 2006 calendar year IPS spent £3,000 on translation services. In the 2007 calendar year IPS spent £117,000 on translation services. Figures are rounded to the nearest £1,000.

Identity Cards

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how a single audit trail will be created from the identity card transactions linked to the biometric, biographic and administrative databases which will make up the National Identity Register. (202451)

[holding answer 29 April 2008]: An audit record will be kept of occasions when an individual's record is checked or amended. The biometric, biographic and administrative components of the national identity register will each have their own audit record so information from these individual audit records will only be brought together to support the security of the register, in the interests of national security or the prevention and detection of serious crime, or to respond to an individual's request for data subject access.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many fingerprints from a person's hand are planned to be recorded and stored on identity cards. (210838)

The information, including the number of biometric fingerprints to be recorded and stored in the chip on the identity card for British citizens, will be prescribed in secondary legislation to be approved by Parliament under section 6 of the Identity Cards Act 2006. However, our intention is that during the enrolment process we will record 10 fingerprint images which will be stored on the national identity register with two of the holder's fingerprints stored on the chip on the identity card. This is also the procedure planned for the identity card to be issued to foreign nationals.

National Identity Register

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the biometric fingerprints to be stored on the National Identity Register will be rolled or plain impressions; and how many fingerprints will be stored on the register. (209347)

The precise manner of enrolment of fingerprint biometrics has yet to be finalised for identity cards to be issued to British citizens under the Identity Cards Act 2006. However, it is intended that 10 plain fingerprints will be recorded and stored on the national identity register. This will be compatible with fingerprint biometrics recorded for identity cards to be issued to foreign nationals under the UK Borders Act 2007.

Organised Crime: Crime Prevention

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what proportion of funding from the Tackling Gangs Action Programme has been allocated to Greater London. (213814)

The Tackling Gangs Action Programme committed £1.5 million of funds to build on enforcement, community reassurance, risk management and Third Sector delivery in neighbourhoods within Birmingham, Liverpool, London and Manchester where guns and gangs have caused serious harm. Over £573,000 of this funding was allocated for work in parts of London. A further £1 million is being allocated to the four areas for enforcement, intelligence, safeguarding, prevention, and community reassurance work.

Passports

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department pursuant to the answer of 12 March 2008, Official Report, column 410W, on passports, what the reason is for the difference in current average processing time for straightforward, properly completed passport applications between each of the regional offices excluding London. (197457)

[holding answer 31 March 2008]: The amount of postal work received in each office in 2006 varied according to the local catchment area, transfers of work between offices to match short-term capacity to demand, and the office's capacity to deal with the applications received. The policy is to ensure that all straightforward, properly completed applications are processed within 10 days. In 2006, the average time within which applications were processed ranged from 3.4 to 5.3 working days.

Research Development and Statistics Directorate: Publications

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many and what percentage of reports produced by her Department's Research, Development and Statistics Directorate have been published in the last 10 years; and what the titles of the unpublished reports are. (200356)

Most Home Office research reports are published except when the Home Office Chief Scientific Adviser decides not to publish in a Home Office series on the grounds of inadequate scientific quality following independent and external peer review or the results are badly out of date or on public interest grounds.

Since 1998 a total of 993 research and statistics outputs have been completed and published. Details of these publications are available on the Research, Development and Statistics website at

http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/rds/pubsintro1.html.

We have not identified any publishable research reports produced in the period 1997-2001 that have not been published, but completing a full search of available records cannot be undertaken without incurring disproportionate cost.

For the period 2001-08 the following 22 completed research reports were produced but have not been published. This excludes projects where no report of publishable standard was produced. During the period 2001-08, 800 research outputs were published, hence the percentage not published in this period is just over 2 per cent.

Reports where a decision was made for the research to have limited distribution on the grounds of security, or practical operational considerations

Merseyside Middle Market Drugs Unit Evaluation and Middle Market Drug Evaluation—Wales (Operation Tarian)

An Examination of Referrals to Multi-Agency Public Protection Panels in 2002-03

Dealing with Mentally Disordered Offenders in the National Probation Service

Enforcement of warrants

ECP placement providers

Information held on forensic databases

Research into police complaints

Exploring the geodemographic and distant relationships between stranger rapists and their offences

Predicting the accuracy of stranger rape victims' statements

Homicide enquiries that begin as missing persons enquiries

Research into gay victim homicides

The Sentencer Information Service (SIS)

Research that was not published

Neighbourhood wardens: an evaluation of selected schemes

Approved premises: referrals, admissions and outcomes

Implementing Diversionary Restorative Justice: Lessons learnt

Process study of offender management in the North West region

Organised crime: revenues, economic and social costs, and criminal assets available for seizure

Completed research where release has not been confirmed at this time

UK annex to "Conditions of entry and residence of third country highly skilled workers in the EU": a European Migration Network (EMN) study1

UK annex to "Return": an EMN study1

Anti-social and other problem behaviours among young children: patterns and associated child characteristics

Characteristics associated with resilience in children at high risk of involvement in antisocial behaviour

Anti-social and other problem behaviours among young children: findings from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Childhood.

1 Approval to publish has been given for these reports.

Defence

Afghanistan: Peacekeeping Operations

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer of 20 June 2008, Official Report, column 1203W, on Afghanistan: peacekeeping operations, what the cost was of providing care and support to troops injured during service in (a) Afghanistan and (b) Iraq in 2007-08. (214219)

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

AWE Burghfield: Planning Permission

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the Answer to the hon. Member for Portsmouth South of 5 January 2008, Official Report, column 1061W, on AWE Burghfield, what the timetable is for submission of all proposed planning applications at (a) AWE Burghfield and (b) AWE Aldermaston. (213572)

The following table represents the latest programme position for the submission of planning applications for AWE Aldermaston and Burghfield as included in the Site Development Context Plan 2005-15, updated in April 2008.

Project

Site

Timing of planning application

Conventional Manufacturing Facility

Burghfield

With West Berkshire planning authority

Assembly/Disassembly Facility

Burghfield

Last quarter of 2008

Enriched Uranium Facility

Aldermaston

Early 2009

Hydrodynamics Facility Main and Support Building

Aldermaston

Mid 2009

Systems Engineering Facility

Aldermaston

Beyond 2010, but not yet determined1

Small Scale Formulations

Aldermaston

1

Chemical Processing

Burghfield

1

Emergency Response Capability Facility Training Extension

Burghfield

1

Combined Non Metallurgy and Material Science

Burghfield

1

High Performance Computer

Aldermaston

1

New Office Accommodation Phase 3

Aldermaston

1

Landscaping

Aldermaston

Planning permission not required2

Landscaping

Aldermaston and Burghfield

2

Defence Equipment

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what percentage of (a) weapons mounted installation kits, (b) Warrior vehicles, (c) Saxon vehicles, (d) Scimitar vehicles, (e) combat vehicle reconnaissance tracked vehicles and (f) 0.5 inch heavy machine guns have been fit for service in each year since 2003. (191444)

Officials are currently compiling information from a range of sources which will take some time to complete. I will therefore write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.

Substantive answer from Bob Ainsworth to Nick Harvey:

I undertook to write to you in answer to your Parliamentary Question on 6 March 2008 (Official Report, column 2709W) about equipments fit for service and available for Army training.

The percentage of specific equipments fit for service in each year since 2005 are shown in the table below. Information is not available prior to 2005.

Percentage

2005

2006

2007

2008

WMIK

72

70

71

76

WARRIOR

62

53

44

46

SAXON

62

65

33

33

CVR(T)1

67

56

50

50

1 CVRT figures include SCIMITAR (which is a CVR(T) variant)

The main SAXON variant—the General War Role (GWR) was drawn down and disposed of in 2007 leaving two much smaller fleets of specialist SAXON variants. Relatively minor fluctuations in availability in these small fleets have a marked effect on the overall percentage compared to their effect on the previously existing significantly larger fleet. Availability data is not collated centrally for 0.5 inch Heavy Machine Gun.

You also asked about specified equipment types available for Army training in each year since 1997.

In theory the whole fleet is available for training including the deployed assets since some training is undertaken in operational theatres, although, of course, at any one time a number of equipments will be under repair, maintenance, conversion etc.

This number will vary from day to day and we do not maintain statistics on average availability. We can however provide snapshots as I did in my reply of 20 February 2008 (Official Report, column 699W). I attach a copy of the relevant Hansard extract.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department has spent on (a) new capital investment and (b) refurbishment of property in each of the last 10 years, broken down by project. (212863)

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

However, in Financial Year 2006-07 the Department spent over £600 million on property and other infrastructure capital investment (not including equivalent PFI expenditure). The diverse nature of the estate means that this investment could relate to projects ranging from new housing and accommodation blocks to resurfacing of runways and specialist military infrastructure.

Refurbishment of property is not readily distinguishable from other maintenance expenditure except to the extent that costs are capitalised and included within other capital investment.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how frequently his Department restates the asset values of its building estate. (213418)

In accordance with Financial Reporting Standard 15, the Department is required to undertake a professional ‘existing use’ valuation of its estate at least every five years. The Ministry of Defence fulfils this obligation with a five year rolling valuation programme where 25 per cent. of the estate is valued in the first four years and the fifth year is used to capture any residual assets. The last five year programme ended in financial year 2007-08.

Between formal valuation, asset values are revised annually using indices provided by the Defence Analytical Services Agency. Where assets are held for disposal they are valued at open market value and are subject to annual revaluation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) new builds and (b) major refurbishments were completed by his Department for a cost in excess of £0.5 million in (i) 2005-06, (ii) 2006-07 and (iii) 2007-08 to which the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method or equivalent was applied; how many such buildings were assessed as (A) pass, (B) good, (C) very good and (D) excellent; and if he will make a statement. (213695)

In March 2006 the Department introduced the Defence Related Environmental Assessment Methodology (DREAM), which the Office of Government Commerce recognises as equivalent to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM), for Ministry of Defence construction projects.

The value of each project completed to these standards is not separately identifiable and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

The numbers of assessments completed to these standards for the years in which information is available is shown in the following tables. The smaller proportion of projects reaching the top standards in the first two years is due to the fact that project teams were still developing their understanding of environmental performance assessments and how best to meet these new requirements.

Assessment method

Total new builds assessed

Number new builds reaching excellent standard

Number new builds reaching very good standard

2005-06

BREEAM

49

3

6

2006-07

DREAM

18

9

3

2007-08

DREAM

9

9

0

Assessment method

Total refurbishments assessed

Number refurbishments reaching excellent standard

Number refurbishments reaching very good standard

2005-06

BREEAM

32

1

1

2006-07

DREAM

4

2

2

2007-08

DREAM

9

7

0

Departmental Conferences

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list the conferences hosted by his Department in each of the last two years; and what the cost was of each conference. (211691)

Departmental Manpower

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many jobs his Department expects to relocate under the policy of civil service job dispersal. (213417)

Under the Lyons review, the MOD plans to relocate some 5,000 civil service and military posts out of London and the South East by March 2010. This is against the MOD’s Lyons relocation target of 3,900 that was agreed and published as part of the 2004 spending review.

Departmental Marketing

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department and its agencies spent on branding and marketing activity in 2007-08. (212029)

Ministry of Defence accounts for the 2007-08 financial year are currently being audited, so final figures on marketing and branding expenditure are not yet available.

European Fighter Aircraft

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many Eurofighter Typhoons are now in service with the RAF; when the remainder are scheduled to enter service; and if he will make a statement. (213038)

Forty-nine Tranche 1 aircraft are now in service with the RAF. Deliveries from Tranche 2 (91 aircraft) are planned to commence in September 2008 and to continue until 2013-14. Negotiations with Partner Nations and industry on Tranche 3 are under way and expected to continue throughout this year.

India: Defence

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what progress has been made on (a) joint military training and (b) co-production of defence equipment since the joint declaration with India on 20 September 2004. (212194)

There has been a significant increase in the breadth and depth of defence co-operation between UK and India since the Joint Declaration of 2004, and combined military training involving all three Services is an important dimension of our security relationship.

The UK also has a strong commitment to partnering with India in the field of defence equipment production. We are well placed to support India's efforts to develop a sustainable defence manufacturing sector that produces a positive contribution to the economies of both UK and India.

The growing relationship is underpinned by a regular dialogue between our respective Defence Ministries at the highest level that provides for the exchange of ideas, the sharing of experience as well as a forum for the resolution of any problems.

Military Aircraft: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the percentage shortfall in availability of spare parts for each type of Royal Air Force (a) fast jet, (b) tanker and transport aircraft and (c) maritime reconnaissance aircraft. (212018)

The off the shelf satisfaction rate (OTSSR), defined as the percentage of demands for spares satisfied direct from MOD stock, is as follows.

Aircraft

OTSSR1 (percentage)

Typhoon

72

Harrier

97

Tornado F3

97

Tornado GR4

98

Hawk

2

Tristar

87

VC10

86

C-17A Globemaster

2

Nimrod MR2

97

1 As at 30 April 2008.

2 Provided under an aircraft availability contract with industry; spares availability is not measured.

For Hercules C130, I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 24 April 2008, Official Report, column 2178W.

Television

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department spent on (a) commissioning and (b) funding the production of television programmes (i) in each of the last three years and (ii) in 2008-09 to date; what programmes these were; and which companies made them. (213553)

The MOD does not generally fund the commissioning or production of any television programmes. Documentaries are funded by the television companies that pay for additional use of MOD assets.

The Ministry of Defence has, however, partially funded one television series in the period stated. This series was entitled ‘Everest—Man to Man’ and was jointly funded by the Army and the Bravo television channel. The Army invested £230,000 in the Bravo production, which was a six part documentary showing the variety and challenges of life in the service and the quality and training of personnel.

Wood

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) how much timber and how many timber products were procured by his Department in each of the last five years; and at what cost; (213728)

(2) how much timber and how many timber products were procured by his Department originating from independently verified legal and sustainable sources or from a licensed FLEGT partner in each of the last five years; and at what cost.

This information is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

MOD policy requires that all timber or wood-containing products, excluding paper, paper products and card, must be procured from legal sources. In addition, every effort is to be made to acquire these items from a sustainable source. Where practicable, the use of reclaimed, re-used or recycled timber or timber products should be considered.

These requirements have been published in a Department Timber Strategy which can be found on the MOD website at

http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/HealthandSafety/DSC/ModTimberStrategy.htm

This strategy incorporates the revised Government requirements for procurement of timber, which will apply from 2009 and 2015 respectively.

Communities and Local Government

Community Infrastructure Levy

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether the community infrastructure levy will be chargeable upon extensions to domestic dwellings. (213885)

Our publication on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) published on 24 January set out, at paragraph 78, that the Government do not intend that CIL liability will arise in relation to householder development by homeowners.

The 24 January CIL publication “The Community Infrastructure Levy” is available in the House Library.

Further announcements on the CIL will be made shortly.

Geographical Information Systems

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she will publish the national strategy for geographical information; and if she will make a statement. (211260)

It is expected that ‘Place Matters: The Location Strategy for the United Kingdom’ will be published, with a full statement, before the summer recess.

Home Information Packs

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to issue a formal response to the Carsberg review on home information packs. (213921)

Sir Bryan Carsberg's report stresses the importance of improving both information and service provision through better regulation.

We will consider Sir Bryan's recommendations in conjunction with the Stakeholder Panel on Home Buying and Selling.

Homelessness

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the level of homelessness was in each region in each of the last 10 years, broken down by (a) ethnicity and (b) disability. (212347)

Information about English local authorities’ actions under the homelessness legislation is collected quarterly at local authority level.

Information collected includes the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.

National and regional data on acceptances and temporary accommodation are published in our quarterly statistical release on Statutory Homelessness. This is published on our website and placed in the Library each quarter. The latest release was published on 12 June 2008, and provides national and regional acceptance figures in table 3, and temporary accommodation figures in table 7, both dating back to 1997:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/housing/xls/840324.xls

Information collected on acceptances includes details on (a) the ethnicity of the applicant, and (b) acceptances found to be in priority need through vulnerable due to the applicant or member of the household having a physical disability or mental illness/disability. Though the information is collected on a quarterly basis, extracting 10 years worth of data would exceed disproportionate cost thresholds. We have provided three years worth of data in the answer: for 1998-99 (10 years ago), 2003-04 (when total acceptances peaked), and 2007-08 (the most recent year for which data are available).

(a) Table 1 shows the total number of accepted households in each region by ethnicity 1998-99, 2003-04 and 2007-08:

Table 1: Households accepted as owed a main homelessness duty, by ethnicity

1998-99

White

Black

Asian

Other ethnicity

Not stated

Total acceptances

North East

4,080

30

30

330

4,460

North West

10,000

220

400

220

2,260

13,090

Yorkshire and the Humber

7,040

150

400

210

410

8,200

East Midlands

6,710

140

370

80

350

7,650

West Midlands

11,350

810

1,080

300

440

13,990

East of England

7,810

130

170

170

400

8,690

London

11,510

5,340

2,430

5,070

2,240

26,590

South East

11,310

220

350

280

520

12,660

South West

8,440

90

50

80

270

8,930

England

78,250

7,090

5,280

6,440

7,200

104,270

2003-04

White

Black

Asian

Other ethnic origin

Not known

Total acceptances

North East

7,630

100

80

150

400

8,350

North West

15,250

630

660

620

880

18,040

Yorkshire and the Humber

11,500

440

470

1,470

2,300

16,190

East Midlands

7,950

410

420

290

530

9,600

West Midlands

11,730

1,230

1,280

680

680

15,600

East of England

9,670

230

280

470

540

11,190

London

11,100

9,210

3,310

4,850

1,620

30,080

South East

13,220

350

440

560

590

15,150

South West

10,030

350

80

360

400

11,230

England

98,080

12,960

7,020

9,430

7,930

135,420

2007-08

White

Black

Asian

Mixed ethnicity

Other ethnicity

Not stated

Total acceptances

North East

3,370

70

80

20

40

40

3,600

North West

7,170

390

320

140

190

330

8,540

Yorkshire and the Humber

5,540

370

380

150

150

760

7,350

East Midlands

4,120

270

190

110

50

40

4,780

West Midlands

6,100

850

850

270

290

790

9,160

East of England

5,130

240

200

90

60

200

5,910

London

5,340

4,320

1,590

520

1,070

960

13,800

South East

4,740

220

190

80

80

200

5,510

South West

4,000

180

50

60

40

210

4,520

England

45,490

6,900

3,860

1,430

1,980

3,510

63,170

Note:

Some totals may differ slightly from those in the Statistical Release, due to rounding

(b) Table 2 shows the number of accepted households in each region where the priority need category was being vulnerable as a result of (i) physical disability and (ii) mental illness or disability in 1998-99, 2003-04, and 2007-08:

Table 2: Households accepted as owed a main homelessness duty, by priority need category

Applicant/household vulnerable due to:

(i) Physical disability

(ii) Mental illness or disability

All priority need categories

1998-99

North East

170

180

4,460

North West

390

650

13,090

Yorkshire and the Humber

240

430

8,200

East Midlands

250

310

7,650

West Midlands

500

670

13,990

East of England

420

800

8,690

London

1,820

2,480

26,590

South East

660

1,240

12,660

South West

530

500

8,930

England

4,980

7,250

104,270

2003-04

North East

310

580

8,350

North West

730

1,290

18,040

Yorkshire and the Humber

590

1,120

16,190

East Midlands

360

610

9,600

West Midlands

610

950

15,600

East of England

680

1,400

11,190

London

2,230

3,100

30,080

South East

880

1,620

15,150

South West

740

1,410

11,230

England

7,120

12,070

135,420

2007-08

North East

160

170

3,600

North West

380

510

8,540

Yorkshire and the Humber

330

470

7,350

East Midlands

190

270

4,780

West Midlands

330

450

9,160

East of England

310

480

5,910

London

800

970

13,800

South East

320

450

5,510

South West

280

360

4,520

England

3,090

4,140

63,170

Note:

Some totals may differ slightly from those in the Statistical Release, due to rounding

Information collected on households in temporary accommodation does not contain detailed ethnicity or disability details, but, since 2006-07, does provide the number of households where the applicant belonged to an ethnic minority group. Table 3 shows the number of ethnic minority households in temporary accommodation by region since 2006-07.

Table 3: Total households in temporary accommodation, at end of each financial year, by ethnicity

2006-07

2007-08

Total in TA

Of which:ethnic minority

Total in TA

Of which:ethnic minority

North East

450

10

360

20

North West

2,380

470

2,190

490

Yorkshire and the Humber

2,050

220

1,790

270

East Midlands

2,050

160

1,330

110

West Midlands

1,620

230

1,550

450

East of England

5,190

330

4,290

270

London

59,810

35,900

55,500

36,090

South East

8,440

960

6,320

800

South West

5,140

330

4,180

240

England

87,120

38,610

77,510

38,740

Since 1998, information has been collected on the number of people who sleep rough—that is, those who are literally roofless on a single night. A table showing rough sleeper counts by region for the past 10 years is available in the Library of the House.

Details on rough sleeper ethnicities and disabilities are not collected centrally.

Housing: Construction

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many new dwellings have been built in each region in the last three years; and what estimate her Department has made of the number of new dwellings which will be completed in the next two years. (213384)

The following table shows annual new house building completions in each region in England between 2005-06 and 2007-08.

Region

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

North East

7,637

8,193

7,976

North West

20,619

18,110

19,174

Yorkshire and Humber

16,035

16,391

15,669

East Midlands

16,886

18,153

17,624

West Midlands

16,191

15,101

13,520

East

20,251

22,598

22,529

London

18,809

21,997

19,854

South East

28,209

27,578

30,502

South West

18,761

19,456

20,653

England

163,398

167,577

167,501

Source:

P2/P2a house building returns from local authorities and National House Building Council on new build completions.

The Department does not publish forecasts for house building.

Housing: Low Incomes

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) how many affordable houses are forecast to be built in settlements of less than 10,000 in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010; (212903)

(2) how many affordable homes in settlements of less than 10,000 were completed in each year since 1997.

We have substantially increased our investment in affordable housing, with £8.4 billion being invested initially through the Housing Corporation, and then the Homes and Communities Agency over the next three years. This is planned to deliver 70,000 affordable homes a year by 2010-11, of which 45,000 will be for social rent.

We have set the Housing Corporation a target to provide 10,300 affordable homes in settlements of less than 3,000 between 2008-09 and 2010-11. We have not set any targets for settlements of between 3,000 and 10,000.

We have only partial information on affordable housing completions in settlements of between 3,000 and 10,000, which would not provide a representative picture.

Housing: Rodents

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library a copy of the background data on rodent presence in domestic properties collected as part of each of the English House Condition Survey reports since 1997. (213540)

I have been asked to reply.

The report on the 1996 data was published in 1999 as: “MAFF (1999) Rodent infestations in domestic properties in England: a report arising from the 1996 English House Condition Survey. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Crown Copyright 1999. PB 4822”. A copy of this was placed in the House of Commons Library at the time.

The 2001 report is available on the DEFRA website. I will arrange for a copy to be placed in the House of Commons Library.

A further report on 2002-04 will be available soon.

Housing: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether she plans to revise her targets for the decent homes standard to be met by 2010; and if she will make a statement. (212333)

The Government remain committed to making all social housing decent and to increasing the proportion of private housing in decent condition occupied by vulnerable groups. Some social landlords will need to go beyond 2010 to make their stock decent, and individual dates have been agreed. But based on returns from social landlords, we are currently still expecting 95 per cent. decency by 2010. Progress towards meeting the private sector decent homes target is ahead of trajectory.

Housing: Thermal Insulation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what research her Department has evaluated on the effect of installation of cavity wall insulation on dampness in buildings. (212602)

The Government have conducted research on the subject of driving rain and damp penetration through cavity walls and this work was published within Building Research Establishment (BRE) Digest 127—‘Index of exposure to driving rain’, and the BRE booklet—‘Rain penetration of cavity walls: report of a survey of properties in England and Wales’.

This research formed part of the evidence which led to the development and revision of two relevant British Standards; BS 8208 Part 1:1985 ‘Guide to assessment of suitability of external cavity walls for filling with thermal insulation’, and BS 8104: 1992—‘Code of practice for assessing exposure of walls to wind-driven rain’. A simplified version of these British Standards is incorporated within Building Regulations Approved Document Part C—‘Site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture’.

Multiple Occupation

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the (a) number and (b) proportion of homes converted to multiple occupancy in each local authority area in each year since 1997. (213482)

Travelling People: Caravan Sites

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will make a statement on the implications of recent High Court ruling in relation to the unauthorised Traveller camp on green belt land at Crays Hill, Essex; and whether she plans to revise planning regulation or guidance as a result. (213588)

The High Court judgment handed down on 9 May 2008 is a matter for those who were party to the claims made to the High Court. The Secretary of State is not party to the claim and does not intend to make a statement. The Independent Task Group on Site Provision and Enforcement examined the Government's planning framework for Gypsies and Travellers and found it to be essentially sound. There are currently no plans to revise it.

Travelling People: East of England

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what the evidential basis is for the projection in the East of England Single Issue Revision Consultation that the Gypsy and Traveller population in the east of England will show an annual increase of 3 per cent. in the future. (213445)

The East of England Regional Assembly published in February 2008 its draft Single Issue Review “Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation in the East of England.” This will be subject to an Examination in Public in October 2008.

Guidance on assessing the likely growth in household formation for the period beyond 2011 is contained in the document “Preparing Regional Spatial Strategy reviews on Gypsies and Travellers by regional planning bodies”, published in March 2007, a copy of which is available on the Department's website. This report stated that a household growth rate of 3 per cent. a year compound would provide the best indication of long-term requirements in assessing the future need for Gypsy and Traveller pitches.

Duchy of Lancaster

Leonard Cheshire Foundation: Finance

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster when he last met representatives of Leonard Cheshire Disability to discuss their funding. (212651)

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

Children, Schools and Families

Children’s Centres

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made of the effects of children's centres to local communities. (214114)

There is a comprehensive national level evaluation of Sure Start in place, which began in January 2001 and will run until 2010. To date 27 reports have been published, including the latest Impact Study findings in March 2008. These can be found at

http://www.surestartgov.uk/research/evaluations/ness/nesspublications/.

The findings of the latest Impact Study evaluation conducted when the children were three years old found that living in an area with a Children's Centre that was formerly a Sure Start Local Programme (SSLP) was associated with positive impacts on five of the 14 outcomes investigated. Children living in former SSLP areas exhibited more positive social behaviour and greater independence/self regulation, while parents made greater use of support services, exhibited less negative parenting and provided a better home learning environment. The analysis of the most recent data shows beneficial effects for almost all children and families living in SSLP areas and provides almost no evidence of adverse effects on population sub-groups such as workless or lone parent families.

Pre-School Education: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families pursuant to the answer of 19 June 2008, Official Report, column 1150W, on Pre-School Education: Finance, whether the expenditure shown in the answer includes funding awarded to increase the early years entitlement to 15 hours per week. (213954)

Local authorities spent £246,003 on increasing the free early years entitlement to 15 hours per week in 2006-07 and were allocated in excess of £45 million in £2007-08 for the same purpose. These sums are in addition to the £3.6 billion for 2006-07 and £4.0 billion for 2007-08.

Vocational Guidance

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what recent steps the Government have taken to improve career and further education guidance to young people. (213876)

Connexions services were transferred to local authorities in April. This will help to clarify and reinforce shared responsibilities locally for young people's information, advice and guidance (IAG). It will also facilitate the development of better integrated services more attuned to local needs. The Education and Skills Bill will make the delivery of Connexions services a statutory duty of local authorities. It also requires schools to deliver careers education impartially and to have regard to principles of careers education and to good practice guidance linked to the principles.

In March the Secretary of State wrote to all local authorities, setting out his expectations for the Improvement of IAG, emphasising their key role within 14-19 partnerships for improving IAG to young people on learning options. Furthermore strong emphasis on IAG in the Diploma Gateway process has meant that only those consortia with effective IAG provision are able to deliver the new Diplomas.

The aforementioned measures provide a context through which the quality of provision will be raised. Further improvements are being made through

The launch, in April 2008, of the new IAG support programme which will provide online support and resources, including good practice materials, briefing on key learning and careers issues and high quality careers materials for use in the classroom. The programme also includes the development of an online guide for practitioners which will provide up-to-date, impartial information on learning options that can be printed off for young people and their parents and carers.

The commissioning of research in 2008 that will help us to profile the skills gaps of careers coordinators in schools. This will, in due course, lead to the development of new continuing professional development provision for careers staff.

The publication by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) of a new 'Framework for Economic Well-being 11-19: career, work-related learning and enterprise'.

The commissioning of the Training and Development Agency (TDA) to review the support that they provide for the delivery of careers education in schools.

The development of arrangements for the provision of a free consultancy service, which will help 14-19 consortia to map their provision against the IAG quality standards and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. Consortia will be able to draw down help from the Diploma support programme to help them to respond to identified weaknesses.

Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform

Animal Welfare: Departmental Responsibilities

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will consider the merits of ensuring (a) the disclosure of non-commercially sensitive information and data in product records relating to animal testing of cosmetics and (b) the sharing of such data to avoid the need for repeat experiments in respect of European Council Directive 76/768. (211599)

The seventh amendment to the cosmetics directive introduced a requirement that data on animal testing relating to cosmetic products or their ingredients, and performed by manufacturers, their agents or suppliers, be included in the product information accessible to the competent authorities (Article 7a(1)(h)). This requirement is now contained in the Cosmetic Product (Safety) Regulations 2008 Article 16(1)(i).

However, the UK has operated a voluntary ban on the testing of cosmetic products on animals since 1996. This ban was made compulsory on 11 September 2004, with the implementation of the Cosmetic Products (Safety) Regulations 2004 (SI 2004/2152), which implement the seventh amendment to the EU Council directive on the safety of cosmetic products and which introduced a ban on the testing of cosmetic products in the EU.

By March 2009, cosmetic manufacturers will no longer be able to use animals to test any ingredients or combinations of ingredients for cosmetic purposes, even if alternative methods are unavailable. The same deadline sees the introduction of a marketing ban in the Union on any cosmetic product whose ingredients have been tested on animals. The only exception will be certain toxicity tests for which the deadline has been extended for four years to 2013.

At present virtually the only tests on cosmetic ingredients that are carried out in the EU relate to substances which are already in use in cosmetics and for which safety concerns have been raised, either by or to the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products. If regarded as necessary, any animal tests would normally be carried out by a test house on behalf of the pan-European industry, in collaboration with the Commission and the SCCP.

Consumer Direct: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform pursuant to the Answer of 11 March 2008, Official Report, column 251W, on non-departmental public bodies: finance, to the hon. Member for Brent East, what the budgeted operating cost for Consumer Direct is for 2008-09. (203913)

Consumer Direct’s allocated budget has now been agreed and will be £16.7 million for 2008-09. The budget for 2006-07 and 2007-08 was £19 million.

Consumer Direct is currently expanding its service to handle first-tier consumer advice calls in both the energy and postal sectors as of 1 October 2008. The budget stated above does not include a provision for these additional calls. Funding for these calls will be provided in the first instance by BERR and recovered from industry via a licence fee. The details are still being finalised by BERR, but there is an undertaking that Consumer Direct’s extra costs will be covered.

Direct Selling: Greater London

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform which London boroughs have cold calling-free zones. (213805)

This decision to set up a cold calling control zone is for local authorities. The Government do not collect this information centrally.

Labelling

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform if he will make a statement on the regulations governing food and clothing labelling in the UK; and whether there is a requirement to include country of origin on clothing. (213598)

The Textile Products (Indications of Fibre Content) (Amendment) Regulations 1986 require that all textile products bear an accurate indication of their fibre content and that the indication should consist only of permitted generic names for fibres. A textile product is a product which contains at least 80 per cent. by weight of textile fibres.

Generally speaking, there is no requirement in the law of the UK to include the origin, care or size of textile products. There is nothing to prevent voluntary labelling on those matters but this would be subject to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, which require traders not to mislead consumers.

Food labelling regulations are a matter for the Department of Health.

Overseas Trade: China

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to increase trade between the United Kingdom and China; how much his Department spent on trade promotion between the United Kingdom and China in 2007-08; and if he will make a statement. (209099)

The information is as follows.

(a) My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform joined my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister at the January 2008 UK-China Summit with Premier Wen in Beijing, where a new bilateral trade target was agreed of $60 billion trade in goods and services by 2010. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State also attended a parallel business summit, with accompanying business matching event—the first large joint initiative arising out of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding signed in June 2007 to help promote more balanced bilateral trade between the UK and China. My right hon. Friend also visited Hong Kong and Shenzhen, China on 4-6 June to meet influential business and government leaders, and to promote the strengths of UK business.

(b) My right hon. Friend is expected to lead a business delegation to Beijing this autumn to discuss market access issues and practical initiatives to promote bilateral and more balanced trade at the next meeting of the annual bilateral Joint Economic Trade Commission.

UK Trade and Investment spent £3.213 million on trade promotion in 2007-08, including £1.7 million in grant in aid to the China-Britain Business Council.

Post Offices: Closures

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform what advice he has received on the extent to which state aid to the Post Office is permissible under EU law. (214156)

The UK Government already compensate Post Office Ltd for the provision of Services of General Economic Interest (SGEI). The legal base for this is the Community Framework for State Aid in the form of public service compensation. The compensation enables Post Office Ltd to maintain a network beyond its optimum commercial size and provide the services required of it by the Government.

Any further public funding of individual post offices would need to be assessed on a case by case basis for its compatibility with the state aid rules.

Treasury

Banks

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when he plans to publish the draft Banking Reform Bill; and if he will make a statement. (213513)

We will be publishing a further consultation on our banking reform proposals shortly, and intend additionally to publish some draft clauses on a consultative basis before the House rises for the summer recess. The Government intend to bring forward the legislation this autumn.

Banks: Iran

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps are planned to be taken through the Financial Action Task Force to ensure that certain Iranian banks cannot abuse the international banking system to support proliferation activities and terrorism. (212044)

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has expressed concern that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s lack of a comprehensive regime for anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) represents a significant vulnerability within the international financial system. In addition to its role in setting and monitoring standards for AML/CFT in general, the FATF has warned the financial sector of the risks posed by Iran and advised jurisdictions on implementation of the financial provisions of UN Security Council Resolutions relating to Iran’s nuclear activities.

The FATF issued statements on Iran in October 2007 and February 2008. These statements warn businesses in the financial sector about the heightened risks of money laundering or terrorist financing arising from the deficiencies in Iran’s AML/CFT regime, and recommend that they apply increased scrutiny and due diligence to transactions associated with Iran. The FATF has also met Iranian authorities to discuss measures to improve Iran’s AML/CFT regime. The FATF is keeping the risk posed by Iran under review and discussed progress at its meetings in London this month. In response to these FATF statements, HM Treasury has issued advisory notices to UK businesses on the heightened risk of money laundering or terrorist financing from Iran.

At its June 2008 meeting in London, the FATF reaffirmed its public statement of 28 February 2008 regarding the anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism risks posed by Uzbekistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan and São Tomé and Principe, and the northern part of Cyprus. It welcomed the actions taken by its members to advise their financial institutions of these risks, and noted it was concerned about the lack of progress by, in particular, Uzbekistan and Iran. The FATF will continue to assess the situation and take further actions in October, as necessary, to protect the international financial system.

The FATF has also produced guidance on implementation of the financial provisions of UN Security Council Resolutions relating to Iran’s nuclear activities. The FATF published Guidance in July 2007 on “Implementing Financial Provisions Of UN Security Council Resolutions To Counter Proliferation Of Weapons Of Mass Destruction”, including guidance on implementing targeted asset freezes as required by UNSCR 1747. In October 2007 the FATF published “Guidance Regarding The Implementation Of Activity-Based Financial Prohibitions Of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737”; advising jurisdictions on preventive measures to guard against the use of the financial system to support Iran’s nuclear programmes.

A new mandate for the FATF has been agreed under the UK presidency which recognises its increased role in combating proliferation finance. The FATF will shortly publish a typology study on proliferation finance, detailing the extent of the threat and the methodologies used by proliferators.

Goldman Sachs

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department paid in consultants' fees and other payments to Goldman Sachs in each year since 1997. (199525)

A new accounting system was introduced in 2002-03 and data on transactions prior to that date could be provided only at disproportionate cost.

No record of any payments could be found for the period 2002-03 to 2006-07.

Goldman Sachs was jointly engaged by HM Treasury and the Financial Services Authority to provide financial advice on Northern Rock in September 2007. The Treasury plans to publish information at a later date about the cost of the advice it received in relation to Northern Rock, including financial advice. As the Chancellor informed the chairs of the Treasury Committee and Public Accounts Committee on 11 October 2007, Northern Rock has indemnified the Treasury in respect of certain costs and expenses, including adviser costs.

Ordnance Survey: Databases

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what datasets and property attributes the Valuation Office Agency supplies to Ordnance Survey for the Ordnance Survey MasterMap Address Layer 2 product. (213541)

The Valuation Office Agency supplies Ordnance Survey with the published council tax address lists and non-domestic rating lists for England and Wales.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what Ordnance Survey datasets and mapping products the Valuation Office Agency uses. (213542)

The Valuation Office Agency uses the following Ordnance Survey products and datasets:

1: 10 000 Scale Raster

1: 50 000 Scale Colour Raster

1: 250 000 Scale Colour Raster

Land-Line Plus®

OS MasterMap® Topography Layer

OS MasterMap® Address Layer

OS MasterMap® Address Layer 2

ADDRESS POINT®

Boundary Line™

Code Point® with Polygons.

Smuggling: Northern Ireland

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the size of the illicit market for (a) cigarettes, (b) spirits, (c) diesel and (d) petrol in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years. (213557)

The size of the illicit markets for cigarettes and spirits is not estimated separately for Northern Ireland. Figures for the UK were published by HMRC in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’ in October 2007. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06. This publication is available in the House of Commons Library.

Because of difficulties in measuring cross-border shopping across the border with the Republic of Ireland, it is not possible to produce estimates of the illicit market for Northern Ireland in diesel and petrol. However, estimates of the share of these markets in Northern Ireland that are not UK-duty paid were also published in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what the estimated total revenue loss was as a result of illegal trading in (a) cigarettes, (b) spirits, (c) diesel, (d) petrol and (e) counterfeit goods in Northern Ireland in each of the last two years. (213558)

The total revenue losses as a result of illegal trading in cigarettes and spirits are not estimated separately for Northern Ireland. Figures for the UK were published by HMRC in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’ in October 2007. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06. This publication is available in the House of Commons Library.

Because of difficulties in measuring cross-border shopping across the border with the Republic of Ireland, it is not possible to produce estimates of the total revenue loss as a result of illegal trading in diesel and petrol for Northern Ireland. However, estimates of the share of these markets in Northern Ireland that are non-UK duty paid were also published in ‘Measuring Indirect Tax Losses—2007’. The two most recent years covered were 2004-05 and 2005-06.

These estimates include all forms of illicit activity and do not separately identify each of the component parts such as counterfeiting, smuggling or fraud.

Justice

Bail Accommodation and Support Service: Peterborough

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice if he will place in the Library representations received in the last 12 months by the East of England Regional Offender Manager in respect of the ClearSprings contract for bail accommodation in Peterborough from (a) Peterborough city council, (b) Cambridgeshire Probation Service and (c) Cambridgeshire Constabulary; and if he will make a statement. (211286)