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Written Answers

Volume 483: debated on Tuesday 18 November 2008

Written Answers to Questions

Tuesday 18 November 2008

Wales

Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many full-time equivalent staff in his Department assist special advisers; and what the cost of employing such staff was in each of the last three years. (237497)

House of Commons Commission

Portcullis House: Repairs and Maintenance

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission on what percentage of sitting days in the last 12 months have (a) one and (b) both water features in the Portcullis House Atrium been out of operation; for what reason the water features have not been in operation; what steps have been taken to restore them to working order; and if he will make a statement. (235313)

Both Portcullis House Atrium water features were out of service for one sitting day during the last 12 months on 10 November 2008, which represents 0.67 per cent. of sitting days. The water features were decommissioned for routine maintenance and repairs over the weekend of 8 and 9 November and the contractor failed to recommission them at the prescribed time, prior to the start of business on 10 November.

Scotland

Departmental Written Questions

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Questions for written answer were tabled to him in Session (a) 2002-03, (b) 2003-04, (c) 2004-05, (d) 2005-06, (e) 2006-07 and (f) 2007-08 to date; and how many were (i) answered substantively and (ii) not answered on grounds of disproportionate cost. (235384)

Details are as follows:

Session

Number of written PQs tabled

Number not fully answered on grounds of disproportionate cost

Number answered half factually and half at disproportionate cost

2002-03

128

1

0

2003-04

121

0

2

2004-05

120

0

3

2005-06

185

1

2

2006-07

258

1

1

2007-081

381

0

2

1 Until 31 October 2008

Leader of the House

Committees

To ask the Leader of the House what estimate she has made of the annual cost of the proposed (a) regional Select Committees and (b) regional Grand Committees, including remuneration for Committee Chairs. (236179)

The House of Commons Management Board has produced estimated costs of regional select committees, which were distributed in the Vote Office in advance of the debate in the House on 12 November, as an Explanatory Memorandum relating to the Government’s motions.

The House decided on 12 November that there should be no pay for regional Select Committee Chairs.

The estimated costs, excluding pay for Select Committee Chairmen, are as follows:

(a) select committees: £924,348

(b) grand committees: £312,080

Departmental Written Questions

To ask the Leader of the House how many Questions for written answer were tabled to her and her predecessors in Session (a) 2002-03, (b) 2003-04, (c) 2004-05, (d) 2005-06, (e) 2006-07 and (f) 2007-08 to date; and how many were (i) answered substantively and (ii) not answered on grounds of disproportionate cost. (235388)

The information is as follows:

Session

Total number of questions answered

Number of questions where whole or part of the answer could not be provided due to disproportionate cost

2002-03

146

8

2003-04

106

3

2004-05

53

0

2005-06

261

3

2006-07

205

9

2007-08 (to date)

228

11

Early-Day Motions

To ask the Leader of the House what recent assessment she has made of the methods by which hon. Members may add their names to early-day motions. (235325)

Hon. Members may add their names to an early-day motion by signing a copy of the motion or a piece of paper with the EDM number; by asking another hon. Member to sign on their behalf; or by asking in person in the Table Office for their name to be added.

The Procedure Committee recommended in May 2007 that there should be no move towards the electronic tabling of early-day motions without significantly stronger authentication than is currently required for parliamentary questions (First Report of 2006-07, HC 513, paragraphs 93 to 96).

The House endorsed this approach in its debate on the Committee’s Report on 25 October 2007.

The Procedure Committee is currently considering the issue of authentication as part of its inquiry into written questions.

Parliamentary Questions

To ask the Leader of the House if she will bring forward proposals to allow hon. Members to table no more than one Question for oral Answer to each Department which answers substantive and topical Questions in respect of each answering day. (236847)

I have no current plans to do so but I will keep the operation of topical questions under review.

Culture, Media and Sport

Arts Council England: Employment Agencies

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how much Arts Council England spent on recruitment consultants in each of the last five years; and which companies provided these services. (231370)

Arts Council England has provided the information in the table for spend on recruitment consultants.

Cost of recruitment consultants

£

2003-04

141,381

2004-05

108,366

2005-06

77,669

2006-07

189,733

2007-08

190,027

Total

707,176

The recruitment consultants used by Arts Council England were: Adept Recruitment, AEM International, Accountancy Addit, Advantage Placement, Anderson Leigh Associates, Ann Pettengell Gold Helm Ltd, Badenoch and Clark, Barkers Human Resources, Brand Recruitment Ltd, Buckley Prichard International Ltd, Capita Resourcing Ltd, Crystal UK Ltd, Eden Brown, Eventus Ltd, Facilities Recruitment Limited, Hays, HR Resourcing, Hudson Global Resources, Huntress Search Ltd, International Resources Group, JR Personnel, Key Personnel, Law Absolute, Macmillan Davies, Michael Page UK, Northern Recruitment Group PLC, Office Angels Ltd, Pan European Recruitment, Payroll Partnerships, Pure Resourcing Solutions, Robert Half Ltd, Roberts Knight SE, Select Appointments plc, Solutions Recruitment, Spherion UK, Synergy, Tate Appointments, The ID Group Ltd, The Principle Partnership, TFPL, Volt Europe.

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for which Government websites his Department are responsible; how many visitors each received in the last period for which figures are available; and what the cost of maintaining each site was in that period. (235041)

The information requested is as follows:

(a) Visitor figures for the period 2007-08 were supplied in my answer to the hon. Member for North East Hertfordshire the (Mr. Heald) on 17 November 2008, Official Report, columns 8-10W. Visitor figures for Breakout site are counted in the Culture (main departmental) website figures.

(b) Maintenance costs for DCMS websites are covered under one contract. In 2007-08 this figure was £8,741. in addition £4,800 was spent on editorial costs for the Breakout minisite.

English Heritage: Planning

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport which planning applications for renewable energy projects English Heritage have objected to in the last five years. (234843)

English Heritage has a statutory role in the planning process to provide advice to local authorities on planning applications that impact on the historic environment. English Heritage is consulted on approximately 16,000 planning cases a year. Since May 2004, English Heritage estimates it has been consulted on approximately 100 renewable energy projects and has raised concerns about just over 20 of these. Figures prior to this period are available only at disproportionate cost. The projects are set out in the following table.

Region

Formal applications consulted on

Number for which concerns raised

Project

Yorkshire

41

5

Ivy House, Rectory Road, Roos, East Riding

Hall Farm, Routh, East Riding

Chelker Reservoir, Craven, North Yorks

Brightenber Hill, Skipton, Craven, North Yorks

Grange Wind Farm, Flixborough Grange, North Lincs

North West

4

2

Brownrigg Hall, Allonby, Allerdale, Cumbria

Howes Farm, Skelton, Cumbria

North East

11

4

Green Rigg Fell, Ray Farm and Steadings, Tyneside (originally a single application but effectively became three interlinking schemes)

Kiln Pit Hill, Tyneside

East Midlands

8

3

Thackson’s Well Wind Farm, Long Bennington, South Kesteven, Lincs

Ellands Farm, Barnwell Road, Hemington, East Northants

Swinford Farm, Stanford, Leics

West Midlands

3

1

Lower Farm, Bearstone, Market Drayton, Shrops

South East

6

2

North Downs Wind Farm, Langdon, Dover

Gas Pressure Reducing Station, Juggs Road, Kingston Near Lewes, East Sussex

East of England

15

3

Bradwell Wind Farm

Hemsby, Yarmouth

Nr Toseland Hall, Cambs

South West

13

2

Batsworthy Cross, Knowstone, North Devon

Morwenstow, North Cornwall

London

0

0

Total

101

22

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what the policy is of English Heritage on planning applications for renewable energy projects. (234844)

English Heritage has a statutory role in the planning process to provide advice to local authorities on planning applications that impact on the historic environment. Within that context, English Heritage is supportive of renewable energy projects. It has been successfully encouraging pre-application discussion for all development proposals, including for renewable energy schemes, with the aim of ensuring that by the time a formal application is submitted, it takes full account of the historic environment and is therefore more likely to be successful.

Public Libraries

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many public libraries have opened in the last 10 years. (233946)

Information on the number of public library openings is not held centrally. But the data on the number of libraries open more than 10 hours is collected as part of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), Public Library Statistics. Therefore, the only way to obtain an accurate figure for the balance between library openings and closures is to consider the CIPFA statistics over this period, copies of which are available in the House Library.

In 1996-97, 3,572 libraries were open more than 10 hours. In 2006-07, 3,494 libraries were open more than 10 hours, a net difference of 78.

Racial Harassment

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which his Department is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. (236891)

Television: Licensing

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many pensioners in Enfield North constituency received a free television licence in each year since the introduction of the scheme. (235412)

TV Licensing, which administers free television licences for people aged 75 or over as agents for the BBC, is not able to provide geographical breakdowns of the number of free licences issued.

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what powers the Television Licensing Authority has to instruct bailiffs to collect unpaid television licence fees. (236181)

The Television Licensing Authority does not have powers to instruct bailiffs to collect unpaid television licence fees.

Olympics

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend East of 6 October 2008, Official Report, columns 635W, on departmental buildings, what the cost of this refurbishment was. (233880)

The rooms in 26 Whitehall were redecorated as part of the redecoration programme covering the whole of the building (26 Whitehall). Further additional costs specifically relating to the relocation into the building by the Office of the Minister for the Olympics were incurred to a value of £8,485 plus VAT.

Since then, my office has moved to co-locate with officials from the Government Olympic Executive in 2-4 Cockspur street to enable more integrated and efficient work. Here a new office was constructed and furnished between July and September 2008, at a cost of £40,625 plus VAT. These costs cover both my own ministerial office and that occupied by my private office.

Members: Correspondence

To ask the Minister for the Olympics when she plans to respond to the letter from the hon. Member for Walsall North of 30 September 2008 regarding a constituent. (234487)

[holding answer 10 November 2008]: A letter of response has been sent to the hon. Member for Walsall, North today.

Olympic Games 2012: Caravan Sites

To ask the Minister for the Olympics (1) what steps she (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to provide stop-overs for caravans on (i) the M20 and (ii) other routes from Channel ports to the Olympic venues; what recent representations she has received on this issue; and if she will make a statement; (235489)

(2) what steps she (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to provide campsites to cater for caravans, motor caravans and trailer tents for persons attending the Olympic Games in 2012; what recent representations she has received on this issue; and if she will make a statement;

(3) what recent discussions she has had with the Caravan Club about the provision of caravan sites for those attending the Olympic Games in 2012; and if she will make a statement;

(4) what discussions she has had since January 2008 with (a) the Mayor of London and (b) Transport for London on the provision of caravan sites for those attending the Olympic Games in 2012; and if she will make a statement.

Along with the Greater London Authority, Transport for London and others the Government will be considering visitor plans as host city for the games.

We recognise that motor home and caravan users may wish to visit the UK for the 2012 games. The Olympic Delivery Authority has had initial discussions with the Caravan Club about existing and possible caravan sites with a view to considering how the provision of public transport and licensed sites can be integrated for 2012.

Olympic Games 2012: Contracts

To ask the Minister for the Olympics which contractors have won landscaping contracts for the London 2012 Olympics; in which (a) country and (b) county each is based; and what proportion of landscaping work on the site has been awarded to each. (235921)

The landscaping management contract for the north of the Olympic Park has been awarded to BAM Nuttall Ltd., a UK-based company with offices in Surrey.

The contract covers approximately 42 hectares of hard and soft landscaping works on the Olympic Park. It is worth noting that this award provides for the Tier 1 management function only; the tier 2 works packages are yet to be let by BAM Nuttall and will offer the landscape industry further London 2012 opportunities.

The landscaping contract for the south of the Olympic Park is due to be awarded in 2009.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what (a) environmental and (b) other criteria were considered in deciding on the bids for landscaping contracts for the London 2012 Olympics. (235922)

The North Park has been evaluated to date and environmental considerations taken into account in the selection of BAM Nuttall Ltd. as contractor for management of delivery the North Park.

The evaluation criteria used to award that contact fall under two main headings of Commercial and Technical. Under these two headings, the Technical evaluation is further broken down to consider Quality and Functionality, Experience and Capability and Project Delivery whilst the Commercial evaluation is further broken down to consider Price and acceptance of Contractual Terms.

Tier 2 works packages are yet to be let by BAM Nuttall and will be evaluated under ODA criteria for inclusion, equality and diversity, environment, and sustainability.

Olympic Games 2012: Finance

To ask the Minister for the Olympics what outstanding requests from the Olympics Delivery Authority for resources from contingency funding are under consideration; and if she will make a statement. (229333)

[holding answer 23 October 2008]: The next London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Annual Report will be produced in January and will include fully updated financial information, including the outcomes of agreed contingency requests. Thereafter, we will publish a quarterly financial update which will include any changes to published budgets.

To ask the Minister for the Olympics pursuant to the answer of 27 October 2008, Official Report, column 690W, on Olympic Games: finance, how much is to be given to each Home Country Sports Council; and to what types of projects the money will be allocated. (232277)

[holding answer 3 November 2008]: I have been asked to reply.

The Home Country Sports Councils’ contribution of £290 million to elite and community sport as part of the overall Olympic budget is from their existing national lottery resources.

It is for the Home Country Sports Councils to determine how this money is spent on support for elite athletes and coaches, facilities for elite and community use, and community sport programmes. Sport England, for example, have provided funding for the Lee Valley Athletics Centre, which is used by the local community and elite athletes, contributing to our world class performance goals as well as to the legacy goal of getting 2 million people more active by 2012, including 1 million through sport.

Performance Appraisal

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many staff for whom she is responsible did not achieve an acceptable assessment grade in their annual report in the latest reporting year for which figures are available. (235215)

Racial Harassment

To ask the Minister for the Olympics how many complaints of racial abuse relating to staff for which her Office is responsible have been (a) investigated and (b) upheld in the last 12 months. (236903)

There have been no complaints of racial abuse investigated or upheld in relation to any of my staff in the last 12 months.

Northern Ireland

Departmental Older Workers

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many people over the age of (a) 55 and (b) 60 were recruited to his Department in the last 12 months; and what percentage of all recruits this represented in each case. (234256)

Of the 58 people recruited to the Northern Ireland Office in the last 12 months, one (1.7 per cent.) has been aged between 55 and 60 years of age. None has been over the age of 60.

Until recently, age requirements for appointment to the Civil Service were that appointees should have reached the age of 16 on or before 1 July prior to the date of appointment, and be less than 65 years of age at the date of appointment. This policy has recently been reviewed and, with effect from 1 September 2008, there is no longer an upper age limit for appointees.

Departmental Sick Leave

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what estimate he has made of the number of hours of work lost through sickness absence on the part of staff working in his Department in the last 12 months. (234258)

The Northern Ireland Office records sickness absence in days and not in hours; the estimated figure relating to working days lost by NIO staff for the 12 month period from 1 October 2007 to 30 September 2008 is 15,287.57 days.

Drugs: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of measures to combat drug-related crime in Northern Ireland. (233492)

Drug misuse in Northern Ireland, which has a lower incidence of Class A drug use than elsewhere in the UK, is falling. However, Government take the harm caused by drugs very seriously and will continue to prioritise the targeting of criminal gangs involved in the supply of illegal drugs.

The PSNI is committed to building on recent successes in disrupting the supply of drugs in Northern Ireland with an increased number of significant arrests and seizures. During 2007-08 the PSNI were responsible for frustrating, disrupting and dismantling 58 crime gangs involved in importing drugs into Northern Ireland and supplying them onto the streets. The PSNI and NIO work in partnership with devolved Departments, agencies and community and voluntary organisations to tackle alcohol and drug misuse, as part of the DHSSPS ‘New Strategic Direction for Dugs and Alcohol’.

Tackling the supply and sale of illegal drugs in Northern Ireland is a key priority for the Organised Crime Task Force (OCTF). OCTF partners work closely together with their counterparts in the rest of the UK and the Republic of Ireland to tackle the scourge of drugs. Government’s focus is on closing down the supply chain and stopping drugs reaching our streets.

Since the beginning of 2008 the PSNI have uncovered 77 cannabis factories; as a result of these operations, drugs to the value of £15.5 million have been seized and 72 people charged.

Olympic Games 2012

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what recent discussions he has had with the (a) First Minister and (b) Deputy First Minister on Northern Ireland's contribution to the 2012 Olympics. (234296)

I have had had no recent discussions with the First and Deputy First Ministers on this matter.

Plain English

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much his Department has spent on Plain English Campaign training courses in each year since 2005. (231234)

The Northern Ireland Office has not commissioned or delivered Plain English Campaign courses from 2005 to date.

Saville Inquiry

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how much the Saville Inquiry has cost to date; and how much it is expected to cost. (234177)

I am advised that the cost of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry is £184.9 million up to the end of October 2008. The Inquiry’s most recent estimate of the final cost is £191 million. The Inquiry is working with the Northern Ireland Office to introduce additional measures controlling future costs as a matter of urgency. If this estimate alters, I undertake to notify the House.

Transport

Airports: Construction

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what his Department's planned spend on matters related to the expansion of Heathrow and Stansted airports is in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. (234900)

The 2003 Future of Air Transport White Paper made clear that the Government would not fund airport development. That would be the responsibility of the airport operator. However, we are committed to the delivery of the policies in the White Paper and for 2008-09 our non-staff costs for Heathrow and Stansted expansion related work is budgeted at £1.5 million. This includes provision for follow-up work to the “Adding Capacity at Heathrow Airport” consultation exercise and preparation for the Department's potential involvement in the Stansted second runway planning inquiry.

Resources for subsequent years are currently the subject of internal business planning which will take account of the latest position on developments with both airports.

Aviation

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what the average number of passengers on internal flights within Great Britain in the last period for which figures are available is, expressed (a) in passenger numbers and (b) as a percentage of passenger-carrying capacity; (234340)

(2) how many internal flights within Great Britain there were in 2007; and what estimate he has made of the overall number of passengers who travelled on such flights.

In 2007, there were 293,000 passenger flights departing airports in Great Britain to fly to another airport in Great Britain. These flights carried 17.2 million passengers. This equates to an average of 59 passengers per flight, equivalent to 64 per cent. of estimated seat capacity.

Aviation: Certification

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many type approval certificates for aircraft were issued by the Civil Aviation Authority in each of the last three years; (236845)

(2) what the average time taken for the Civil Aviation Authority to give type approval for usage to an aircraft has been in the last three years.

Under EC Regulation 216/2008 the type certification of the majority of aircraft manufactured or registered in EU member states is the responsibility of the European Aviation Safety Agency. This has been the position since 2003 when the agency came into being. However, certain aircraft types listed in Annex II to the regulation are not covered by the agency's remit. The aviation authority of the member state in which any such aircraft is registered remains responsible for its type certification or, in the case of aircraft not eligible for a type certificate, the approval of a permit to fly.

The CAA has not issued any type certificates for aircraft covered by Annex II to Regulation 216/2008 in the last three years. However, the CAA has issued seven type approvals for a permit to fly in that time. The time taken to process applications for such type approvals is very much dependent on the quality of information provided by the applicant. For CAA type approvals involving a UK manufacturer, past experience shows that the average time taken for the approval process is approximately nine months.

British Railways Board (Residuary): Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what funding his Department provided to the British Railways Residuary Board in 2008-09. (234897)

As at 11 November 2008, British Railways Residuary Board Ltd. has required no funding from the Department for Transport in this financial year.

Bus Services: Concessions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport which local authorities offer free bus travel before 9.30 am to pensioners. (234996)

A list of the 186 authorities in England that offered free travel before 9.30 am as at 30 June 2008 has been placed in the House Library.

Concessionary travel schemes in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are the responsibility of the devolved administrations.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent discussions he has had with local authorities on the provision of central Government funding to local authorities for free bus travel for pensioners. (236274)

Written representations have been received from a number of local authorities but to date there have been no direct meetings. Officials have met with several local authorities, and representatives from local government are present at our regular stakeholder working groups, where funding is a regular subject for discussion.

The Government remain confident that the total funding package of approximately £1 billion funding for statutory concessionary travel is sufficient, in total, to meet the cost to local authorities.

Congestion Performance Reward Fund

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the criteria are for making awards from the Congestion Performance Reward Fund. (234899)

The Congestion Performance Fund was established to incentivise the 10 largest urban areas in England to outperform their local congestion targets.

Reward funding is available from the fund, up to a total of £60 million over four years. The first set of payments, totalling £5 million, were made in 2007-08, reflecting the fact that areas had produced delivery plans giving confidence that their targets would be met or exceeded.

The first set of performance-related payments was announced in 2008-09 to areas that statistically significantly exceeded their expected performance, based on 2006-07 journey time data. Areas that did not exceed their target trajectory were eligible for a reduced payment if they could demonstrate that they were actively delivering the programme of work set out in their delivery plans.

Future payments from the fund will reflect the extent to which an area's performance data show that they are on track to do better than their local target.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority: Telephone Numbering

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority has considered changing its 084 telephone numbers for the public to 03 numbers; and if he will make a statement. (236166)

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency has never provided public services that are accessed by use of an 084 number.

Driver and Vehicle Licensing Centre: Databases

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many local authorities accessed records held by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency via the web enabled enquiry system in 2007-08; and for what purposes. (235014)

During the financial year 2007-08, DVLA vehicle records were accessed by 355 local authorities via the web enabled inquiry system. The purposes for the requests were for investigations into:

Abandoned vehicles;

Fly tipping;

Untaxed vehicles;

Noise nuisance as a result of the vehicle/its use;

Dog fouling;

Fly posting;

Bus lane violations

Nuisance vehicles;

Damage to street furniture.

Electric Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will place in the Library a list of attendees at the International Experts Meeting held (a) in London on 27 October 2008 and (b) at Millbrook, Bedfordshire on 28 October 2008. (234720)

I have been asked to reply.

A copy of the list of attendees at the International Experts Meeting on Electric Vehicles, held on the 27 and 28 of October 2008, will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Freedom of Information

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he expects his Department to complete the internal review regarding the freedom of information request E0004045; and if he will make a statement; (236797)

(2) when he expects his Department to complete the internal review regarding the freedom of information request (a) E0004073 and (b) E0004295; and if he will make a statement.

These requests for an internal review of previous freedom of information decisions are being handled in accordance with departmental procedures. A decision will be reached as soon as possible, within the timescale allowed for in the Information Commissioner's guidance.

Heavy Goods Vehicles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many miles heavy goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes travelled in Great Britain in (a) 2006 and (b) 2007. (234339)

Goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes gross weight travelled 18.1 billion vehicle miles in 2006 and 18.3 billion vehicle miles in 2007.

Road traffic by vehicle type data are published in table 2.1 of “Road Statistics 2007: Traffic, Speeds and Congestion” annual bulletin. Copies of the bulletin have been deposited in the Libraries of the House. This table can also be found on the Department’s website at the following web address:

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/roadstraffic/speedscongestion/roadstatstsc/roadstats07tsc

Motor Vehicles: Crime

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps the Government has taken to reduce the numbers of road users who drive without valid (a) driving licences and (b) MOT certificates. (236331)

It is clearly important to keep unlicensed drivers and unroadworthy cars off the road—and we do all that we can to assist the police in detecting and prosecuting offenders.

A significant step has been in providing 24-hour roadside access for the police to driver licensing information (including access to a photograph where one is available). Another followed the introduction of central computerised records of MOT test results—which means that the police can also check MOT status at the roadside. This means the police are able to identify unlicensed drivers and vehicles without a valid MOT and take appropriate action.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps the Government has taken to prosecute vehicle owners who do not have valid car tax. (236332)

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) operates a comprehensive package of measures to make vehicle excise licensing easy to comply with but very hard to evade. DVLA's approach to combating vehicle excise duty (VED) evasion ranges from the issue of penalties directly from the vehicle record, out of court settlement letters and magistrates court prosecution of evaders, through to direct roadside enforcement action to wheel clamp and impound unlicensed vehicles. DVLA also works in close partnership with the police and local authorities on initiatives to tackle evaders. This approach is proving highly effective as demonstrated by the results of the most recent statistical survey showing an overall compliance rate of 98.5 per cent. by revenue collected.

Official Cars

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the annual budget of the Government Car and Despatch Agency is for providing transport for (a) Ministers, (b) senior civil servants, (c) other members of the Government and (d) the wider public sector. (234904)

The Government Car and Despatch Agency (GCDA) is an executive agency of the Department for Transport and is required to recover all the cost of its activities through charges to its customers. It does not therefore have an annual budget. GCDA has to compete with others to provide services to its customers, ensuring that the Agency operates as efficiently and as cost effectively as possible.

In addition, I refer the hon. Member my answer of 6 November 2008, Official Report, columns 643-4W.

Public Transport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what work has been conducted by his Department to encourage and facilitate the use of intelligent transport systems; and from which budgets such work has been funded in each case. (234901)

The Department for Transport is one of three sponsor partners of the Future Intelligent Transport Systems (FITS) programme which is looking into innovative ways to solve transport problems.

To facilitate the deployment of ITS applications, the Department has developed a web based ITS Toolkit which contains case studies and guidance on monitoring of ITS related schemes. Both of these initiatives are funded through the Transport Technology and Standards Division programme budget.

The Department also provides funding and support to research and development for a number of transport technologies that have the potential to help deliver its objectives. Examples include real time bus information, journey planning and better traffic management and control systems. These activities are usually funded through the budget of the sponsoring division.

Public Transport: Concessions

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will meet representatives of the Youth Parliament to discuss concessionary fares on public transport for young people aged 11 to 18 years old who are in full-time education. (235320)

There are no plans at present to extend statutory concessionary travel to young people aged 11 to 18-years-old who are in full-time education. However, I value the work of the UK Youth Parliament and I will consider any requests to meet that I receive from their representatives.

Public Transport: Visually Impaired

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the Answer of 28 October 2008, Official Report, column 837W, on public transport: visually impaired, if his Department will instigate collections of data on the number of visually impaired people injured whilst using public transport; and if he will make a statement. (235654)

There are no plans to instigate collection of such data. Any such collection would place a burden on public transport providers as well as presenting practical difficulties in ensuring the collection of reliable and comparable information.

Railway Heritage Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) role and (b) remit is of the Railway Heritage Committee; what projects it is conducting; and from what budgets the costs of each such project are met. (234908)

The Railway Heritage Committee exists to designate railway records and artefacts held by specified bodies within the rail industry which are historically significant and worthy of permanent preservation. It also agrees which institution should hold those records and artefacts when they are no longer needed by the business that owns them and the terms on which they should be offered for preservation.

The Committee meets at regular intervals to consider the case for designation of particular items but is not itself responsible for any preservation projects. Its costs are met by the Department for Transport. Its annual budget for 2008-09 is £120,000.

Railways

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many rail passenger journeys were made in (a) 1997 and (b) 2007 (i) England and (ii) from Blundellsands and Crosby railway station. (236696)

The Department for Transport does not hold information on rail passenger journeys from Blundellsands and Crosby railway station. This information may be available from Merseyrail, the Train Operating Company running services from this station, whose website address is:

www.merseyrail.org.

In addition, statistics on rail passenger journeys are published by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) in the National Rail Trends Yearbook, which is available in the House Library, or from the ORR website:

www.rail-reg.gov.uk.

Railways: Expenditure

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how much capital expenditure his Department incurred in relation to rail travel in (a) 1997 and (b) 2007; (236698)

(2) how much his Department plans to spend on the maintenance and development of railway stations in (a) Crosby constituency and (b) England in the next three years;

(3) how much capital expenditure his Department incurred in relation to railway stations in Crosby constituency in (a) 1997 and (b) 2007.

Details of total Government expenditure on the railway are published by the Office of Rail Regulation in National Rail Trends (NRT). Copies of this are available in the Library of the House. National Rail Trends states that in 1997-98, Government expenditure on rail travel was £1,829 million and rose to £5,147 million in 2007-08.

The Department for Transport does not hold details of capital expenditure on railway stations as this is the responsibility of the relevant train operating company or Network Rail.

Roads

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research his Department has (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated on the number of vehicle miles travelled on (i) motorways and (ii) other roads annually. (236844)

The Department for Transport produces estimates of road traffic in Great Britain each year. This involves commissioning about 10,000 manual traffic counts each year. Each count lasts from 7am to 7pm on a weekday outside of holiday periods. The manual counts are combined with data from around 180 automatic traffic counters which count continuously throughout the year.

Data from both sources are combined to calculate annual estimates of the total distance travelled by type of vehicle, road class and geographical area.

The methodology used for the road traffic estimates was subject to a National Statistics Quality Review in 2006. This was published in January 2007 and is available at:

www.statistics.gov.uk/about/data/methodology/quality/reviews/transport.asp

It is estimated that vehicles in Great Britain travelled 63 billion vehicle miles on motorways and 256 billion vehicle miles on other roads during 2007. This is the most recent year for which data are available.

Further information and data for previous years are available at:

www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/statistics/datatablespublications/roadstraffic/speedscongestion/roadstatstsc/roadstats07tsc

Roads: Accidents

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many (a) men and (b) women aged between 17 and 21 years were killed in road traffic accidents in (i) Hemel Hempstead, (ii) Hertfordshire and (iii) England in each of the last three years. (237123)

The information requested is given in the table:

Number of fatalities

2005

2006

2007

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Male

Female

Total

Hemel Hempstead constituency1

0

0

0

1

0

1

0

0

0

Hertfordshire

5

2

7

4

2

6

5

2

7

England

362

94

456

373

95

468

333

92

425

1 Based on 2004 parliamentary boundaries

Roads: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the Highways Agency has budgeted for expenditure on major road projects in (a) 2009-10, (b) 2010-11, (c) 2011-12, (d) 2012-13, (e) 2013-14 and (f) 2014-15. (234338)

The following table sets out the current Highways Agency major projects spending plans for the remainder of the CSR 07 period.

£ billion

2009-10

0.8

2010-11

1.2

In July, the then Secretary of State announced a £6 billion investment package up to 2014 to improve and make better use of strategic roads. Detailed spending plans and annual budgets have not yet been determined and will be set in the light of progress on individual projects.

South West Trains: Tickets

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce a decision in response to the application by South West Trains to change its ticket office opening hours. (237184)

A formal application to review ticket office hours has been received from South West Trains under the major change procedure and is subject to consideration by the Secretary of State under normal industry processes.

Speed Limits: Motorcycles

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has to deploy average speed cameras to detect motorcycles travelling at excess speed; and if he will make a statement. (236323)

The Department for Transport is not responsible for speed camera deployment which is entirely a matter for local road safety partnerships. Evidence shows average speed cameras are effective at reducing road casualties and reducing the speed of all types of vehicle. Traffic law enforcement devices require type approval by the Home Office before they can be used. At the moment there are four average speed cameras going through the type approval process. As type approval depends on the outcome of tests and manufacturers’ reactions, it is not possible to guarantee that any particular device will be successful or that type approval will be granted within any specific time scale.

Stansted Airport: Air Pollution

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the effect of adjacent green field land in mitigating air borne pollution from Stansted Airport. (234837)

The Government have not made any detailed assessment of this matter. The Government's policies in respect of Stansted airport were set out in the 2003 ‘Future of Air Transport’ White Paper, and take account of its environmental impacts as well as its economic and other benefits.

Traffic Radio

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the annual budget for Traffic Radio on DAB digital radio is for (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. (234903)

The Traffic Radio budget for the years 2008-2011 is as follows:

£

2008-09

2,945,000

2009-10

2,431,000

2010-11

2,488,000

These figures include for the provision of content production, DAB bandwidth (MUX) purchase, management fees, communications and cost to deliver the service via the internet.

Transport: Local Authorities

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what transport grants are to be provided by his Department to local authorities in (a) 2008-09, (b) 2009-10 and (c) 2010-11. (234898)

The main capital and revenue transport allocations from the Department for Transport to local authorities in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2010-11 are provided in the following table.

£ million

2008-09

2009-10

2010-11

Integrated Transport Block Funding

576.791

589.383

602.383

Highways Maintenance formulaic funding

652.997

693.003

763.008

Highways maintenance non-formulaic

50.212

62.614

45.609

Major projects1

752

767

783

Capital de-trunking schemes

34.937

32.284

33.782

Capital road safety grant

17.527

17.382

17.201

Urban congestion performance funding

15

20

20

Concessionary Fares

212

217

223

Tyne and Wear Metro specific grant

27.074

41.970

n/a

Transport for London2

2669

2793

3017

Cycling England3

20

60

60

1 Major projects allocations include provision for Highways Agency regional schemes as well as local authority schemes. It is for individual regions to advise on the balance.

2 Grant to Transport for London (TfL) includes provision for resource spend which for authorities outside London is supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government through formula grant.

3 Cycling England allocations for 2009-10 and 2010-11 include £15 million each year from DCSF.

Revenue funding for de-trunking, road safety and rural bus subsidy is delivered to local authorities via the Department for Communities and Local Government’s area-based grant. Allocations for 2008-11 can be found at:

http:///www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/xls/770696.xls

Vehicle and Operator Services Agency: Recruitment

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport who is the employer of staff within the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency. (234780)

All those who work in Government Departments or agencies are employed by the Crown and have the rights and obligations which attach to that status, but for the purposes of rights under specific legislation the Department or agency may be the employer in accordance with its delegated powers or be treated as the employer for the purpose of exercising delegated functions.

Waterloo Station

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) when he expects the work on linking one of the former Eurostar platforms at Waterloo International to the main domestic Waterloo terminal to be completed; and how long after the completion date it will be before the first new train services are using the new platform 20 at Waterloo; (235670)

(2) how much it has cost in total to link the former Eurostar platform at Waterloo International to the domestic Waterloo terminal;

(3) what plans he has for bringing the remaining four Eurostar platforms at Waterloo International into use by domestic trains after the first of these platforms is linked to the domestic Waterloo terminal; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what the annual cost of maintaining the platforms at Waterloo International Terminal without any train services is expected to be; and if he will make a statement;

(5) what feasibility studies his Department has commissioned on the future of Waterloo Terminal and Waterloo International Terminal; when these are expected to report; whether they have been asked to look into a long-term option of a 24-platform station, with each platform capable of accommodating 12 car trains; and if he will make a statement;

(6) when he will announce a decision on new train services into Waterloo, following the decision to link one platform of the former Eurostar platforms to the main station; and if he will make a statement;

(7) how many extra trains per day into Waterloo will be made possible as a result of the decision to create a platform 20 from one of the former Eurostar platforms.

Works to convert platform 20 of Waterloo International for domestic usage will be completed by December 2008. This will provide the capability to operate domestic trains into this platform from this time. The Department for Transport has sought to engage with South West Trains to seek their agreement to operate train services into this platform. The cost of the works to link the former Eurostar platform at Waterloo International to the domestic Waterloo terminal is in the region of £2.9 million.

Beyond this, it is primarily the railway infrastructure on the approaches to Waterloo rather than the number of platforms that limits the number of trains that can use Waterloo station as a whole. Therefore, we are seeking to run longer trains rather than more trains. This is in accordance with the strategy set out in the White Paper "Delivering a Sustainable Railway" published in July 2007.

Network Rail are seeking to provide the necessary additional capacity on the South Western network by extending platforms at stations where required, and are currently taking forward detailed feasibility studies into making all the platforms at Waterloo long enough to accommodate 10 car trains. They will also need to modify the junction layouts on the approaches to the station. It also includes making full use of the remainder of the Waterloo International platforms.

Such a large and complex 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 to address crowding. The infrastructure works are planned to be completed by 2014. Additionally, for the longer term, Network Rail is also considering how to upgrade the station to accommodate 12-car rolling stock.

Discussions are under way with South West Trains to determine the scope, timing and cost of providing the additional rolling stock that will deliver our strategy. Any proposals made by South West Trains will be evaluated to contractualise the requirements. However, as you would expect, this is subject to concluding value for money negotiations with the train operator.

The platforms at Waterloo International are an integral part of the terminal building which is operated and managed by BRB (Residuary) Ltd. (BRBR) as a single site. As such it is not possible to accurately allocate the cost of the platforms on a stand alone basis. The total annual costs of managing the entire facility are in the order of £2.5 million. These costs are partially offset by rental income of approximately £340,000 per annum and BRBR are looking for further opportunities to generate income while the terminal is non-operational.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what estimates his Department has made of the number of passengers travelling into Waterloo in (a) 2007, (b) 2008, (c) 2009, (d) 2010, (e) 2011, (f) 2015, (g) 2020, (h) 2025 and (i) 2030; and what the basis is for such estimates; (235677)

(2) what recent representations his Department has received from organisations in the rail industry on his forecasts for passenger numbers travelling into Waterloo; and if he will make a statement;

(3) whether he plans to revise his forecasts of future passenger numbers travelling into Waterloo; and if he will make a statement;

(4) if he will review the accuracy of the methodology and base figures used to forecast future passenger numbers travelling into Waterloo; and if he will make a statement.

We have made a series of estimates of the overall volumes of passengers forecast to travel. The basis of these estimates is the Network Modelling Framework, a forecasting system that incorporates standard industry agreed demand forecasting methodology.

No representations have been received on the overall forecasts.

Forecasts of the overall volumes of arriving passengers at Waterloo during the morning peak were published as part of the HLOS. We have reviewed our forecasts for the CP4 period and concluded that no changes should be made to the extra peak demand to be accommodated by 2013-14. We will monitor actual outturn against forecasts over CP4.

The industry methodology used to forecast rail passenger demand is reviewed on a regular basis. The HLOS forecasts used a base year of 2004-05. There are no plans to revise these base figures.

International Development

Democratic Republic of Congo: Overseas Aid

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what plans the Government has to provide humanitarian aid to the displaced people of the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. (235179)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 17 November 2008, Official Report, columns 116-17W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Coventry, South (Mr. Cunningham).

Television

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development whether the television licence fee in his official Ministerial residence is paid for from public funds. (235344)

Ministers in the Department for International Development do not have the use of an official ministerial residence.

Children, Schools and Families

Academies: Kettering

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how many (a) primary and (b) secondary school pupils he expects to attend the two new planned academies in Kettering. (237201)

Under the proposals which are currently being developed, the following number of places are planned: (a) 30 nursery and 840 primary school places and (b) 2,700 secondary school places (including 500 post-16 places).

Education Maintenance Allowance: Telephone Services

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what estimate he has made of the numbers of calls to the Learner Support Helpline that went unanswered in each month since January 2008; and if he will make a statement. (236805)

This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) who operate the education maintenance allowance (EMA) for the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and contract with Liberata to deliver EMA and the helpline and assessment payment body. Mark Haysom, the LSC’s Chief Executive, will write to the hon. Member with the information requested and a copy of his reply will be placed in the House Library.

Pre-school Education: Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) how many and what proportion of early years settings have been found to be (a) outstanding, (b) good, (c) satisfactory and (d) inadequate by Ofsted since 1st September 2008; (233559)

(2) how many Ofsted inspections have been completed in early years settings since 1st September 2008.

[holding answer 6 November 2008]: These are matters for Ofsted. The Chief Inspector, Christine Gilbert, has written to the hon. Member and copies of her replies have been placed in the Library.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 11 November 2008:

Parliamentary Question Number 233559: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, how many and what proportions of early years settings have been found to be (a) outstanding, (b) good, (c) satisfactory and (d) inadequate by Ofsted since 1st September 2008.

Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for a response.

The numbers and proportions of settings receiving each inspection grade are shown in the table below. These figures are taken from provision inspected between 1 September 2008 and 31 October 2008 and include only active providers on the early years register. Our figures use the most recent inspection visits, where the reports have been quality assured or have not been withdrawn from publication. Therefore, there is a discrepancy between the total number of inspections given here and in the response to Parliamentary Question 233562, which includes all inspections including some that have not been quality assured or published.

Number and percentages of Early Years Register (EYR) inspections between 1 September 2008 and 31 October 2008

Grade

Number of inspections

Proportion of total inspections (percentage)

Outstanding

110

6

Good

1,052

55

Satisfactory

629

33

Inadequate

131

7

Total

1,922

Please note that, as the selection of provision for inspection each year is not random, these figures should not be used to make judgements about the standards of national early years provision.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Rt Hon Beverley Hughes MP, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

Letter from Christine Gilbert, dated 11 November 2008:

Parliamentary Question Number 233562: To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, how many Ofsted inspections have been completed in early years settings since 1st September 2008.

Your recent parliamentary question has been passed to me, as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector, for a response.

There were 2,549 inspections of provision recorded on the early years register (EYR) between 1 September 2008 and 31 October 2008. The early years register comprises those settings which provide care for children in the early years age group (aged from birth to the 31 August following a child's fifth birthday) where at least one individual child attends for more than two hours a day. There are a number of exemptions from registration, including schools that make provision for pupils aged three. The full list of exemptions is available from Ofsted's leaflet Registration not required, available at:

http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/Ofstedhome/Formsandguidance/Browseallby/Other/General/Registration-not-required/(language)/eng-GB

The total number of inspections is taken from the figures available on the first working day of November and includes all inspections of active providers, including some that have not been quality assured or published. Therefore, there is a discrepancy between the total number of inspections given here and in the response to Parliamentary Question 233559, which gives outcomes of inspection and only includes those that have been quality assured or published.

A copy of this reply has been sent to Rt Hon Beverley Hughes MP, Minister of State for Children, Young People and Families, and will be placed in the library of both Houses.

Schools: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the per pupil average dedicated school grant will be in (a) each local authority in England and (b) England for the 2009-10 academic year. (236987)

The Department allocates education funding to local authorities on a financial year basis. For the 2009-10 dedicated schools grant, the guaranteed units of funding for pupils in all local authorities and the England average can be found in the revised 2009-11 indicative DSG allocations file at the following link:

http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/docbank/index.cfm?id=13059

This link works and is maintained regularly, being the location where the figures are officially published, and where any further information relating to the guaranteed units of funding and dedicated schools grant for 2009-10 will be updated.

Innovation, Universities and Skills

Adult Education: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department spent on the Adult Education and Skills Strategy in (a) the most recent year for which figures are available and (b) in each of the previous five years, broken down by main budget heading. (232396)

The majority of funding for adult further education and skills is managed by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and included in the LSC budget. Some funding is spent outside the LSC and included in other lines. A breakdown of expenditure from 2002-03 to 2007-08 included in the Adult Education and Skills Strategy line in Annex 2, Table 11 of the 2008 Departmental Report is set out in the following table.

Outturn (£ million)

2002-03

2003-04

2004-05

2005-06

2006-07

2007-081

Adult Education and Skills Strategy

245

172

182

191

168

176

Of which:

Skills Funding for Regional Development Agencies

42

42

43

43

44

45

Skills For Life Development (non-LSC)1

47

46

46

60

27

25

Capital Funding for UK Online Centres and Wired Up Communities

90

Sector Skills Development Agency

17

35

70

68

75

81

Learndirect and Adult Guidance(non-LSC)2

19

18

4

6

9

9

Investors in People UK

2

5

5

5

6

6

UK Skills Sponsorship

4

3

3

3

4

5

Other Adult Education and Skills Strategy

24

23

11

6

3

5

1 Estimated

2 These lines do not show the full expenditure on these programmes as some expenditure is included in the LSC budget. In particular where funding reduces significantly, this is because funding has been transferred to LSC.

Source:

The figures for total expenditure on the adult education and the skills strategy line are taken from Table 11, Annex 2 of the 2008 Departmental Report for the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills.

Airwave Service

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what organisations for which his Department is responsible (a) use and (b) are planning to use Airwave handsets. (234699)

As far as we are aware none of the organisations for which DIUS is responsible use, or are planning to use, Airwave handsets.

Apprentices

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many and what proportion of apprentices (a) were school leavers, (b) were further education college leavers, (c) were already employed by the employer providing the apprenticeship, (d) had been in employment with a different employer and (e) were from another category in each year since 2002. (235175)

Information on what route apprentices have come from is not currently available. However, a national apprenticeships vacancy matching service is being developed by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to provide a high quality service to employers wishing to recruit apprentices, and to young people and adults considering an apprenticeship. This service will help deliver the objective outlined in World-class Apprenticeships to expand and improve the quality of our apprenticeships programme. The service will be available across England by April 2009. Part of the future role of the service will be to provide the new National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) with management information on apprenticeships.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) how many and what proportion of (a) large employers, (b) medium-sized employers and (c) small employers in England offered apprenticeships in each year since 2002; (235176)

(2) how many and what proportion of advanced apprenticeship places in England were with (a) large employers, (b) medium-sized employers and (c) small employers in each year since 2002;

(3) how many and what proportion of level 2 apprenticeship places in England were with (a) large employers, (b) medium-sized employers and (c) small employers in each year since 2002.

Data on the number and size of the employers supporting apprentices are not collected via the individualised learner record (ILR) and hence the information requested is not currently available.

From the 2009/10 academic year, this information will be available on the ILR when a unique employer identifier will have to be provided by all employers of apprentices.

We can provide an estimate of the size of employers that offer and have recruited apprentices from the National Employer Skills Survey (NESS). These data are based on over 79,000 establishments that were surveyed April and July 2007.

Findings of the NESS show that (from Table 1) 6 per cent. of all employers surveyed have recruited an apprentice. 15 per cent. of employers with between 100 and 199 employees have recruited an apprentice, while 26 per cent. of employers with over 500 employees have recruited an apprentice.

From Table 2, 14 per cent. of all employers surveyed have offered an apprenticeship. 25 per cent. of employers with between 100 and 199 employees have offered an apprenticeship, while 40 per cent. of employers surveyed with over 500 employees have offered an apprenticeship.

Table 1: Percentage of employers that have recruited an apprentice

Number of employees of employer

All employers

2-4

5-24

25-99

100-199

200-499

500+

Percentage of employers that have recruited an apprentice

6

4

8

11

15

19

26

Source:

NESS

Table 2: Percentage of employers that have offered an apprenticeship

Number of employees of employer

All employers

2-4

5-24

25-99

100-199

200-499

500+

Percentage of employers that have offered an apprenticeship

14

10

17

21

25

30

40

Source:

NESS

Counterfeit Manufacturing: Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps are being taken to tackle the trade in counterfeit goods on internet auction sites. (235829)

The Government's plan for the creative industries, Creative Britain: New Talents for the New Economy, PP1067, published in February 2008 and available in the Library of the House, recognised online infringement of intellectual property rights as a particular concern. That document set out the Government's general action plan for intellectual property enforcement, of which online enforcement forms an important segment. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is now leading in the Government's delivery of that plan. In line with the plan, local authority trading standards officers have been given expanded powers to deal with intellectual property crime. The Government have just completed a consultation on introducing exceptional summary (above £5,000) fines in magistrates' courts. The consultation is designed to align the penalties for online and physical copyright offences. And there is ever growing cooperation between law enforcement agencies and internet service providers. For example, eBay work closely with officials at the IPO and the enforcement agencies. During 2007, eBay trained some 7,000 law enforcement officials globally, assisted in over 66,000 investigations and the arrest or conviction of over 500 individuals.

Departmental Buildings

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Rochford and Southend, East (James Duddridge) of 6 October 2008, Official Report, columns 527-28W, on departmental buildings, what the cost of the refurbishment was. (233877)

The cost of the refurbishment at Kingsgate house, undertaken by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform on behalf of the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, was £5.1 million. This provided a cost-effective working environment, with flexible desking on the basis of eight desks for every 10 people, movement-activated lighting to reduce power consumption and video conferencing facilities to reduce travel costs.

Departmental Data Protection

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) universal serial bus flash memory data storage devices, (b) mobile telephones, (c) personal digital assistants and (d) laptop computers, used to store restricted or confidential data have been lost by or stolen from his Department in each year since 2001. (235332)

The following table shows how many items used to store restricted or confidential information which have been lost or stolen by the Department since it was created in June 2007. The records do not distinguish between lost and stolen items. Before June 2007, the functions which make up the Department were part of other Government Departments, and records are retained by the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform.

2007

2008 (to date)

(a) Universal serial bus flash memory data storage devices

0

0

(b) Mobile telephones

0

0

(c) Personal digital assistants

2

1

(d) Laptop computers

11

0

1 Lost and subsequently recovered.

Departmental Information Officers

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many press and communications officers are employed by (a) his Department, (b) non-departmental public bodies and (c) its agencies. (230763)

The information requested is as follows:

(a) There are currently 12 permanent Press Officers and one temporary Press Officer supplied through the Central Office of Information in the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills. There are 30 Communications Officers employed by the Department in its central communications function.

(b) and (c) For much of its business, the Department operates through a number of arm’s length bodies including 20 non-departmental public bodies and other agencies. It is the responsibility of each body to manage its staff and costs. Therefore the Department does not hold the information requested centrally and there would be a disproportionate cost to gather the information requested.

Departmental Internet

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many (a) page hits and (b) visitors his Department’s website received in 2007-08. (235324)

DIUS was formed following Machinery of Government Changes on 28 June 2007. Prior to the current website being launched in October 2007, a temporary DIUS site existed for which website statistics are not available. Between October 2007 and March 2008 the DIUS website has received:

(a) 5,429,920 hits

and

(b) 494,596 unique visitors.

Departmental Older Workers

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people aged over (a) 55 and (b) 60 years were recruited by his Department in 2007-08; and what percentage in each case this was of the number of new recruits. (228752)

The Department was formed as part of the Machinery of Government changes announced on 28 June 2007. Figures are available from 28 June 2007 to 30 September 2008. The information is set out as follows:

Number

Percentage

Over 55

6

Over 60

1

Percentage of new recruits (over 55)

4

Percentage of new recruits (over 60)

1

Departmental Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many civil servants working in his Department and its agencies have pensions with a cash equivalent transfer value of over £1 million. (229549)

It is not appropriate to disclose pension information for civil servants other than Board Members whose details are shown in the Remuneration Report in annual Resource Accounts. A copy of the Innovation, Universities and Skills Resource Accounts for financial year 2007-8 can be found in the Library or accessed electronically using the following link:

http://www.dius.gov.uk/publications/DIUSResourceAccounts2007-08.pdf

Similar information for the Department’s agencies can also be accessed electronically:

National Weights and Measures Laboratory (NWML):

http://www.nwml.gov.uk/Admin/Documents/annual %20report%20and%20accounts%20200708%20web%20version.pdf

and

Intellectual Property Office (IPO):

http://www.ipo.gov.uk/about-anrep0708.pdf

Departmental Public Relations

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department spent on (a) entertainment, (b) advertising and promotion and (c) public relations consultancy in 2007-08. (228099)

The Department does not hold public relations or consultancy spend data at the level of detail sought. To determine the public relations consultancy spend would be at disproportionate cost. Entertainment and advertising and promotion spend for 2007-08 was as follows:

£000

Percentage of total spend

Entertainment

81

0.0003951

Advertising and Promotion

470

0.0022930

The total spend for 2007-08 was £20,505,604,000 as reported in the 2007-08 Resource Accounts.

Higher Education: Admissions

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of successful undergraduate university applicants from (a) the UK, (b) EU member states other than the UK and (c) non-EU states were accepted for a science, technology, engineering or mathematics course in each year since 2002. (232268)

The latest information is shown in the following table. Figures for the 2008 year of entry will be available in January 2009.

The figures are taken from data collected by the Universities and Colleges Admission Service (UCAS) which are limited to students who apply to full-time undergraduate courses via the UCAS application system. The figures do not therefore cover part-time students, nor those full-time students who apply directly to higher education institutions.

Accepted applicants to full-time undergraduate courses by subject group and home domicile 2002 to 2007

Year of Entry

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

UK acceptances (number)

331,725

333,942

334,295

360,244

345,564

364,544

STEM1 (percentage)

38.5

38.2

37.7

37.5

37.9

37.4

Non-STEM (percentage)

61.5

61.8

62.3

62.5

62.1

62.6

EU acceptances (number)

11,992

12,572

15,452

17,247

18,280

20,661

STEM1 (percentage)

39.7

40.5

39.7

37.5

39.2

38.8

Non-STEM (percentage)

60.3

59.5

60.3

62.5

60.8

61.2

NON-EU acceptances (number)

24,398

27,793

27,797

27,878

27,046

28,225

STEM1 percentage)

43.5

42.3

43.6

43.0

42.3

42.0

Non-STEM (percentage)

56.5

57.7

56.4

57.0

57.7

58.0

1 STEM subjects include Combined Science courses.

Source:

UCAS

Higher Education: Finance

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of the income of each university in England derives from funding provided by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. (235318)

The table sets out the figures for 2006/07 which is the latest year for which data are available. The data are derived from institutions’ returns to the Higher Education Statistics Agency.

Percentage

Total England

37

Anglia Ruskin University

44

Aston University

35

Bath Spa University

59

The University of Bath

35

University of Bedfordshire

48

Birkbeck College

51

Birmingham City University

38

Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies

61

The University of Birmingham

34

Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln

63

The University of Bolton

54

The Arts Institute at Bournemouth

64

Bournemouth University

45

The University of Bradford

36

The University of Brighton

50

The University of Bristol

39

Brunei University

38

Buckinghamshire New University

43

The University of Cambridge

19

The Institute of Cancer Research

25

Canterbury Christ Church University

43

The University of Central Lancashire

44

Central School of Speech and Drama

59

University of Chester

47

The University of Chichester

54

The City University

22

Conservatoire for Dance and Drama

78

Courtauld Institute of Art

29

Coventry University

42

Cranfield University

16

The University College for the Creative Arts

59

Cumbria Institute of the Arts

63

Dartington College of Arts

69

De Montfort University

51

University of Derby

52

University of Durham

36

The University of East Anglia

37

The University of East London

43

Edge Hill University

55

The University of Essex

37

The University of Exeter

37

University College Falmouth

47

University of Gloucestershire

52

Goldsmiths College

48

The University of Greenwich

44

Guildhall School of Music and Drama

7

Harper Adams University College

52

University of Hertfordshire

35

Heythrop College

15

The University of Huddersfield

52

The University of Hull

40

Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

28

Institute of Education

31

The University of Keele

36

The University of Kent

39

King’s College London

34

Kingston University

46

The University of Lancaster

30

Leeds College of Music

70

Leeds Metropolitan University

53

The University of Leeds

34

Leeds Trinity and All Saints

54

The University of Leicester

34

The University of Lincoln

58

Liverpool Hope University

55

Liverpool John Moores University

49

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

45

The University of Liverpool

33

University of the Arts, London

50

London Business School

9

University of London (Institutes and activities)

10

London Metropolitan University

51

London South Bank University

37

London School of Economics and Political Science

17

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

19

Loughborough University

34

The Manchester Metropolitan University

48

The University of Manchester

29

Middlesex University

41

The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

36

Newman College of Higher Education

64

The University of Northampton

46

The University of Northumbria at Newcastle

40

Norwich School of Art and Design

61

The University of Nottingham

31

The Nottingham Trent University

49

The Open University

56

Oxford Brookes University

34

The University of Oxford

27

University College Plymouth St. Mark and St. John

49

The University of Plymouth

55

The University of Portsmouth

49

Queen Mary and Westfield College

39

Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication

67

The University of Reading

35

Roehampton University

56

Rose Bruford College

68

Royal Academy of Music

31

Royal Agricultural College

34

Royal College of Art

56

Royal College of Music

29

The Royal College of Nursing

14

Royal Holloway and Bedford New College

34

Royal Northern College of Music

45

The Royal Veterinary College

46

St. George’s Hospital Medical School

34

St. Martin’s College

44

St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham

54

The University of Salford

38

The School of Oriental and African Studies

34

The School of Pharmacy

46

Sheffield Hallam University

46

The University of Sheffield

34

Southampton Solent University

48

The University of Southampton

34

Staffordshire University

53

The University of Sunderland

44

The University of Surrey

24

The University of Sussex

41

The University of Teesside

52

Thames Valley University

53

Trinity Laban

49

University College London

30

The University of Warwick

26

University of the West of England, Bristol

40

The University of Westminster

45

The University of Winchester

49

The University of Wolverhampton

45

The University of Worcester

49

Writtle College

55

York St. John University

48

The University of York

29

Higher Education: Further Education

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the adequacy of higher education representation at regional level of further education colleges who are providing higher education. (236564)

Further education colleges which also provide higher education can offer a distinctive form of excellence for some students who may not otherwise participate in higher education. We are satisfied that there is good co-operation and collaboration at national, regional and local level between providers of further and higher education in order to help learners realise their full potential. However, it is for the institutions within particular regions to decide for themselves on how they should be represented at regional level.

Higher Education: North West

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent meetings his officials have had with organisations from the north west to discuss widening access to higher education in the region. (235947)

Ministers and officials speak to many institutions and organisations about issues that affect individuals' progression to higher education. Widening access to higher education is a Government priority. Our policy initiatives are taken forward by our stakeholders who work closely with organisations at local level.

There are five Aimhigher Area Partnerships in the north west which engage with a wide range of schools, colleges and higher education institutions in the region. The Aimhigher programme's primary purpose is to widen participation in higher education.

Furthermore, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the North West Universities Association (NWUA) are both members of the Regional Skills and Employment Board. The Board membership also includes the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the North West Development Agency (NWDA), the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils and Government Office North West etc. The Board last met at the start of October to discuss key regional priorities/challenges. The need to upskill very significant numbers of those already in work to Level 4+ was one of the issues discussed.

The LSC also sits on the Steering Group for the NWUA-led Higher Level Skills Pathfinder which meets monthly. The Pathfinder (funded by HEFCE/NWDA) seeks to increase the capacity of HEIs to deliver higher-level skills in the workplace.

HEFCE has recently received a report from Action on Access (the national co-ordination team for widening participation in higher education) providing an analysis by region of applications and entry to HE from all areas across the country using the Index of Multiple Deprivation as a measure. That report shows that between 2002-03 and 2006-07 the total number of entrants to higher education has increased by 8.9 per cent. in the north west. This growth largely comes from the 20 per cent. most deprived groups with participation from the most deprived neighbourhoods increased by 28.3 per cent.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills (1) what discussions he has had with the Learning and Skills Council on its working relationship with the Higher Education Funding Council for England in the North West; (236358)

(2) what recent discussions he has had with the Learning and Skills Council on its regional higher education strategies, with particular reference to the North West region.

Ministers from the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) hold regular meetings with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) to discuss a wide range of issues. Although there have been no recent discussions with Ministers relating to higher education in the north-west, Mark Haysom, the chief executive of the LSC, holds regular meetings with his regional directors to review progress on regional skills priorities, including on the regional contribution of the LSC to higher education skills. There are also regular formal meetings between the LSC and HEFCE chief executives and chairmen.

The forthcoming Grant Letter to the LSC will underline the continuing importance of close engagement between the LSC and HEFCE to ensure that more people can progress into higher education and to provide the higher level skills that employers need to remain competitive.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what arrangements the Higher Education Funding Council for England has for working with further education colleges that operate in conjunction with higher education providers in the North West region. (236374)

The Council works effectively with all institutions which help learners to acquire higher level skills. Progression from further to higher education is important in enabling learners to realise their full potential. HEFCE officers meet with senior staff from both further education colleges which provide higher education and higher education institutions in the North West in the normal course of HEFCE business. The Council’s policies and practices are designed to facilitate close collaboration between different providers in the interests of learners and those seeking higher skills.

Students: Bexley

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many people in Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency received (a) adult learning grants and (b) career development loans in the last period for which figures are available; and what the total monetary value was of such grants and loans. (236459)

The Learning and Skills Council administer the adult learning grant and career development loans (through three high street banks), on behalf of the Department.

So far in the 2008-09 academic year, six individuals have received support from an adult learning grant in the Bexleyheath and Crayford constituency. The total value of adult learning grant paid to those individuals so far is around £1,140.

For the period 6 April 2008 to 12 November 2008, a total of 11 career development loans have been issued to individuals residing in Bexleyheath and Crayford. The total value of these loans is £74,174.

Union Learning Fund: Crosby

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many workplaces in Crosby constituency are in receipt of funding from the Union Learning Fund; and how much the fund has spent in Crosby constituency since its establishment. (236719)

Trade unions have a key role to play in promoting the development of learning and skills in the workplace. To help them do this more effectively we introduced the Union Learning Fund in 1998. This source of funding is helping trade unions use their influence with employers, employees and training providers to encourage greater take up of learning at work and boost their own capacity as learning organisations.

With the help of the Union Learning Fund, trade unions and their union learning representatives have been able to develop successful partnerships with employers to raise skill levels in the workplace. There are now over 20,500 trained union learning reps who have helped more than 600,000 workers back into learning since the fund was introduced. Over 200,000 were helped last year, many from those hard to reach groups, who employers and training providers find it so difficult to engage with, including over 34,000 workers with poor basic literacy and numeracy skills.

Union Learning Fund resources are allocated directly to trade unions at a national or regional level. Detailed information on the number of workplaces involved and the associated level of funding at a constituency level is not held by the Department.

Vocational Training

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent discussions his Department has had with the Higher Education Funding Council for England on the effectiveness of prioritisation of skills funding at higher levels through its Strategic Development Fund. (235920)

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) set out its specific priorities for advancing its strategic aims and objectives through its Strategic Development Fund (SDF) at:

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/finance/fundinghe/sdf/spp.htm

with its criteria for SDF bids published at:

www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/hefec/2007/0722/.

The SDF currently offers funding for four specific priority programmes, one of which is ‘employer engagement’. This supports a broad programme of high level skills activities in response to Government's priorities set out in the 2008 grant letter, and in order to create the platform for achieving the higher skills ambition set out in the Leitch report.

My officials are in regular contact with HEFCE regarding employer engagement activities funded through the SDF and receive periodic updates on progress and new developments.

Treasury

11 Downing Street: Utilities

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much was spent on (a) heating, (b) electricity and (c) water bills for (i) No. 11 Downing street and (ii) Dorneywood in each of the last five years. (221190)

The information requested in respect of No. 11 Downing street is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Dorneywood is owned and operated by the Dorneywood Trust, a registered charity, at no cost to public funds.

Bank Services

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) if he will take steps to restore assets belonging to UK depositors of Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) following the freezing of Icelandic assets; (233556)

(2) what estimate he has made of the losses in excess of £50,000 incurred by UK depositors in Kaupthing, Singer and Friedlander (Isle of Man) following the freezing of Icelandic assets; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 6 November 2008]: On 8 October, the Treasury made Landsbanki Freezing Order 2008 in order to freeze funds and financial assets relating to Landsbanki. Landsbanki is the only Icelandic bank which has been made the subject of a freezing order.

Bank Services: Pensions

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment he has made of the effects on pension funds of major banks ceasing to pay dividends. (228544)

Pension fund exposure to these assets, while not insignificant, is unlikely to be large relative to their total holdings. None the less, these are volatile times for financial markets and the Government are committed to doing whatever it takes to stabilise the banking system, protect savers and taxpayers and support the wider economy.

Banks: Government Shareholding

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether the ordinary shares in (a) HBOS plc, (b) RBS plc and (c) Lloyds TSB plc purchased by the Commissioners of HM Treasury are ordinary voting shares; whether ordinary dividends may be paid before all shares held by the Government are redeemed or sold in each case; how many directors the Government will be able to appoint to the Board of Directors in each case; and what restrictions will be put on the emoluments of the directors of each of these banks; (229573)

(2) whether the preference shares purchased by the Commissioners of HM Treasury in (a) HBOS plc, (b) RBS Group plc and Lloyds TSB plc are (i) redeemable, (ii) fixed rate, (iii) non-cumulative and (iv) non-voting shares; what the (A) nominal value and (B) rate of dividend is of each type of preference shares; and what the (1) earliest date the company can redeem the shares and (2) latest date the shares have to be redeemed is for each type of share.

[holding answer 23 October 2008]: The Government have agreed to underwrite issues of ordinary shares in RBS, Lloyds TSB and HBOS totalling £28 billion. The Government will buy any shares which are not purchased by existing or new shareholders. These shares are voting shares.

The Government are also purchasing preference shares in the firms. The preference shares, which HM Treasury has agreed to invest in RBS, Lloyds TSB and HBOS are redeemable, fixed rate, non-cumulative and non-voting shares. As soon as the preference shares have been repaid, payment of ordinary dividends would be permitted.

The Government's investment is subject to certain conditions, details of which are available in the agreements with the banks. Copies are in the Library.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on what date each of the different share categories under the £37 billion purchase by the Commissioners of HM Treasury in (a) HBOS plc, (b) RBS Group plc and (c) Lloyds TSB plc will be subscribed. (229576)

[holding answer 23 October 2008]: The indicative timetable included in the circular issued to shareholders by Lloyds TSB shows that they expect the ordinary shares in the merged entity to be issued on 19 January 2009, subject to shareholder approvals. The RBS circular similarly indicates that they expect the ordinary shares to be issued on 1 December 2008. We expect the new preference shares to be purchased on the same day as the ordinary shares are issued.

Banks: Italy

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what guidance his Department has provided to public authorities on the safety of placing deposits in Italian banks. (236086)

Banks: Republic of Ireland

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what assessment has been made of the (a) safety, (b) risk profile and (c) security of deposits made by local authorities in Irish-owned banks operating in the Republic of Ireland. (236131)

Betting: Regulation

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer of 11 November 2008, Official Report, column 1083W, on betting: regulation, what plans there are to transfer the regulation of spread betting from the Financial Services Authority to the Gambling Commission. (236976)

Departmental ICT

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Fareham (Mr. Hoban) of 27 October 2008, Official Report, columns 778-80W, on departmental ICT, for what reasons (a) HM Revenue and Customs and (b) the Valuation Office Agency were not listed in the answer. (236025)

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is a non-ministerial Department, and the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) is an agency of HMRC. Neither HMRC nor VOA are agencies of HM Treasury.

Departmental Visits Abroad

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how much his Department spent in 2007 on visits by its staff to Brussels; and how many such visits were made by (a) air and (b) rail. (234387)

In 2007-08, the Treasury spent £232,000 on official visits to Brussels representing 1,270 visits, of which 19 were by air and 1,251 by rail.

Financial Services Authority: ICT

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) how many complaints have been received concerning the Gathering Better Regulatory Information Electronically electronic reporting system, in the last 12 months broken down by subject of complaint; (236840)

(2) what the (a) original budget and (b) final costs for the design and implementation of the Gathering Better Regulatory Information Electronically system;

(3) which IT systems the Gathering Better Regulatory Information Electronically system has replaced;

(4) how much his Department has spent on the design and implementation of the Gathering Better Regulatory Information Electronically IT project.

The matters are the responsibility of the Financial Services Authority, whose day to day operations are independent from Government control and influence.

Government Departments: Property

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 3 March 2008, Official Report, column 2184W, on Government Departments: property, what area of actual vacant space is recorded on the e-PIMS database, aggregated to include sensitive and non-sensitive records in a non-identifiable manner. (235856)

The current total area of actual vacant space recorded on e-PIMS as at the end of October 2008 is 274,357 sq m. Of this, the area of vacant space marked as sensitive totals 644 sq m.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 3 March 2008, Official Report, column 2184W, on Government Departments: property, if he will place in the Library a list of the names and addresses of the current non-sensitive vacant space recorded on the e-PIMS database and the area vacant for each address. (235857)

Housing: Valuation

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Bromley and Chislehurst (Robert Neill) of 18 June 2008, Official Report, column 988W, on housing: valuation, when the boundaries of the localities were last amended or updated. (235867)

Update and amendment of individual locality boundaries occurs frequently on a care and maintenance basis. The information requested is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. Amendments to localities do not affect current council tax bands.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar (Mr. Pickles) of 22 July 2008, Official Report, column 1393W, on housing: valuation, when the numerical co-efficient values were last amended or updated. (235876)

Update and amendment of individual locality coefficients occur frequently on a care and maintenance basis and do not affect current council tax bands. The information could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many domestic dwellings in England are marked with a property details activity code of (a) 30, (b) 60 and (c) 70 according to the Valuation Office Agency's records. (236184)

These activity codes have been applied to dwellings in England between April 2003 and October 2008:

Code

Number

30

1,205,756

60

1,225,299

70

259,193

Lloyds TSB

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what elements of Government support for Lloyds TSB are conditional on that company completing its proposed merger with HBOS; and if he will make a statement. (229247)

The boards of both HBOS and Lloyds TSB decided it was in their interests to merge, and it was in the expectation of the merger going ahead that the terms of the package were agreed with both firms. If for any reason the merger did not go ahead, it would be a matter for both firms to agree with the FSA their capital needs.

National Association of Estate Agents

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what meetings (a) Ministers and (b) civil servants in his Department have had with the National Association of Estate Agents in the last 12 months; and on what dates. (235079)