Written Answers to Questions
Tuesday 20 January 2009
[holding answer 14 January 2009]: The information requested is not collected centrally in the recorded crime statistics.
The recorded crime statistics only hold data for racially or religiously aggravated offences as defined by law. Specific details relating to the victim or alleged offender are not collected.
Antisocial Behaviour Orders: Glasgow
All police forces across England and Wales have now implemented the Policing Pledge. The Pledge gives the public a clear minimum standard of service and states that neighbourhood policing teams will spend at least 80 per cent. of their time visibly working on behalf of the public in their neighbourhood.
The Policing Green Paper explained the new relationship between the Government, police and public. The Home Office has now adopted a more strategic role allowing for grassroots accountability and an enhanced role for Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) in providing public assurance about the quality and standard of policing in all forces. Police authorities will wish to be satisfied that the Pledge is being delivered for local people and HMIC will validate the delivery of the Pledge through their inspection process.
Additionally, if the public do not feel the standards within the Pledge are being met they can raise it locally with the police themselves or through their police authority.
The Information Commissioner does not recommend plotting individual crimes at street level because of the potential identification of individuals and premises. All 43 forces in England and Wales therefore publish crime maps to, at least, ward level, with information on burglary, robbery, theft, vehicle crime, violent crime and antisocial behaviour incidents.
Metropolitan Police: Disciplinary Proceedings
Metropolitan Police: Racial Discrimination
Police: Disclosure of Information
The Home Office does not issue guidance on internal police policy; this is a matter for chief officers and their police authorities.
However, the general practice is for police officers working in a multi-agency team who have concerns about work practices or the conduct of colleagues within the team, to raise these concerns through their usual management channels or with their Professional Standards Department, which they may contact through a confidential line if necessary.
If police officers suspect a fellow officer of acting in a way that could result in disciplinary or criminal proceedings, and feels unable to raise these concerns through usual procedures, they may raise their concerns within their force or directly to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, using their dedicated report line.
The implementation of the recommendations from the Morris Inquiry is a matter for the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA), which commissioned the inquiry.
The Inquiry recommended that there should be an independent full case review of Operation Helios, to examine the issue of race discrimination. This coincided with an investigation conducted by Essex police, with Independent Police Complaints Commission oversight, into Operation Helios, which included in its terms of reference that “allegations of racism made by the complainants will be fully addressed”.
On receipt of the report from Essex police, the Metropolitan Police Authority considered that no further action was required to meet the Morris Inquiry recommendation.
Police: Road Traffic Control
The Metropolitan police employed 612 officers (full-time equivalent) whose primary function was listed as traffic as at 31 March 2008. City of London police employed 26 such officers on the given date. The requested data are not collected by London borough.
Police strength data are not collected by parliamentary constituency areas. Data are collected at the basic command unit (BCU) level and at the force level. Romford is within the Havering BCU.
The information requested is published annually in the Home Office Statistical Bulletin “Police Service Strength, England and Wales” copies of which are available online and in the Library of the House.
BCU data are not collected by police rank and so data relating to Havering BCU for all officers and for PCSOs are given in the following links:
31 March 2007
31 March 2008
Data for the police ranks requested are collected at the force level and so data relating to the Metropolitan Police Service for each officer rank (Table 4) and for PCSOs (Table 10a) are given in the following links:
31 March 2007
31 March 2008
Procedures Relating to Soham Murders Inquiry
The Government reported on the outstanding Bichard Inquiry recommendations as part of their full response to the Magee Review of Criminality Information, which was presented to Parliament on 4 December 2008.
Future updates on progress will be provided as part of reporting on the broader improvement agenda for criminality information recommended in the Magee Review.
The information requested is not available.
The arrests collection held by the Home Office covers arrests for recorded crime (notifiable offences) only, broken down at a main offence group level, covering categories such as violence against the person, burglary, robbery and sexual offences. From these centrally reported data we are not able to identify specific offences from within the main offence groups.
During the course of the Tackling Demand Review, a pilot marketing campaign, was conducted in Westminster and Nottingham. The experience of this campaign led to the Review's recommendation that the Government should consider running a marketing campaign aimed specifically at sex buyers to raise awareness about trafficking for sexual exploitation. The Government have accepted this recommendation and will run this campaign to support the implementation of the Review's other recommendations.
[holding answer 14 January 2009]: The dates of arrest are as follows:
Six individuals were arrested on 9 August 2006;
Three individuals were arrested on 10 August 2006;
One individual was arrested on 23 August 2006; and
One individual was arrested on 30 June 2007.
Terrorism: Stop and Search
There are no powers contained within the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 to stop and search. Stops and searches are conducted under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Information on the number of these searches conducted from 2000-01 to 2006-07 (latest available) are provided in the table. Information for 2007-08 is due to be published in April 2009 and information for 2008-09 (when the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008 came into force) is due to be published before the end of 2009-10.
Number Stops and searches in order to prevent acts of terrorism (Total searches) 2000-01 6,400 2001-02 10,200 2002-03 32,100 2003-04 33,800 2004-052 37,000 2005-06 50,000 2006-07 41,900 1 Formerly sections 13A and 13B of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 and repealed under the Terrorism Act 2000 (which came into force on 19 February 2001). 2 Figures updated since publication of the 2004-05 Bulletin.
Stops and searches in order to prevent acts of terrorism (Total searches)
1 Formerly sections 13A and 13B of the Prevention of Terrorism (Temporary Provisions) Act 1989 and repealed under the Terrorism Act 2000 (which came into force on 19 February 2001).
2 Figures updated since publication of the 2004-05 Bulletin.
Driving Under Influence: Accidents
International Monitoring Commission
The next Independent Monitoring Commission report is expected in May 2009 in line with its six monthly reporting cycle. The IMC is an independent body and the contents of reports are a matter for the Commissioners. Their practice has been to refer to any events in the period reported on which they judge to be relevant to their remit.
Police Service of Northern Ireland: Recruitment
As reaffirmed by the St. Andrews Agreement, our commitment to the continuation of the 50:50 provisions is strictly time bound and is focused on our objective of reaching 30 per cent. Catholic composition in the PSNI regulars by 2010-11. We remain on target to achieve this and ending the provision at that time.
Probation Board for Northern Ireland: Labour Turnover
This is an operational matter for the Probation Board for Northern Ireland, which operates independently of Government. I would encourage the hon. Member to write directly to Brian McCaughey, Director of Probation, PBNI, 80-90 North Street, Belfast, BT1 1LD.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Afghanistan: Politics and Government
[holding answer 12 January 2009]: Together with our EU partners, the UK is committed to improving the human rights situation in Afghanistan. The Afghan Government and judiciary are obliged by law to respect these commitments. As part of our broader efforts to strengthen the rule of law in Afghanistan, we are spending some £31 million on policing and rule of law activities during 2008-09.
The duty of protecting Afghanistan's citizens, including legislators, lies first and foremost with the Government of Afghanistan. Our continued presence in Afghanistan, providing both military (over 8,000 troops) and development/reconstruction assistance, helps to improve security for all of Afghanistan's citizens. As part of our wider efforts to improve the overall security situation and respect for law and order, we encourage the Afghan authorities to take seriously any credible threats against human rights defenders. Where appropriate, we also raise individual human rights cases with the government of Afghanistan, both publicly and in private. We also provide financial support to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, which promotes, protects and monitors human rights.
Colombia: Armed Forces
Serbia: Entry Clearances
The UK does not participate in the EU common Schengen acquis or in decisions to liberalise the Schengen visa regime, including in respect of Serbia.
Serbia's progress towards liberalisation of the Schengen visa regime for Serbian citizens will be determined by the fulfilment of all criteria specified in the EU Visa Liberalisation Roadmap which the government of Serbia agreed with the EU in June 2008. The EU intends to report annually on the progress made by Serbia against the Visa Liberalisation Roadmap.
Serbian nationals have been subject to a UK visa regime since 1991. The UK Border Agency undertook a comprehensive review of the UK's visa regimes, the Visa Waiver Test, in 2007. The results of this review, in the context of Serbia, mean the Government have no plans at present to lift the visa requirements for Serbian citizens.
USA: Capital Punishment
[holding answer 12 January 2009]: To date there have been no representations made on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal. While we and our EU partners continue to oppose the use of the death penalty around the world, including in the US, this case has not been brought to the attention of the EU as a case which violates the minimum standards—as set out in the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty—which the EU uses to determine when to intervene in individual cases.
The Scotland Office does not hold records showing the breakdown of the salary bill by quarter, however the full year costs are shown in the following table.
£000 SO and OAG 1999-20001 1,976 2000-01 3281 SO only 2001-02 2,459 2002-03 2,842 2003-04 2,571 2004-05 2,182 2005-06 1,888 2006-07 1,889 2007-08 2,250 1 Part year, the Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999.
SO and OAG
1 Part year, the Scotland Office was established on 1 July 1999.
Culture, Media and Sport
My Department continues to work closely with sponsored bodies responsible for culture to ensure that funding over the SR08 period is used to support the Government’s objective to increase participation in culture by adults from a lower socio-economic background.
Arts Council England is conducting audience segmentation analysis to gather fresh data about which groups engage with the arts and will use this as the basis for a national campaign to encourage the broadest range of people to do so. English Heritage is also looking at barriers to engagement with the historic environment experienced by people in lower socio-economic groups. Through the Renaissance in the Regions programme the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) is seeking to increase participation and achieve greater diversity amongst the visitors to regional hub museums across England. Entry to DCMS-sponsored national museums and galleries has been free for all since 2001.
In September last year, 10 pathfinder Find Your Talent projects were set up with an investment of £25 million to test various ways to deliver a five-hour cultural offer to ensure that all children and young people aged 0-19 can access a wide range of high-quality artistic and cultural experiences. In November 2008, my Department announced the Free Theatre initiative which offers free tickets to young people up to age 26. Evaluations of the annual ‘Heritage Open Days’ initiative, indicate a significant increase in visitors from the lower socio-economic groups in 2006 and 2007 to those sites where records allow comparison with previous years.
The DCMS ‘Taking Part’ survey is being used to measure participation by adults from the priority groups. The most recent results, published in December 2008, indicate that the proportion of adults from lower socio-economic backgrounds attending a museum or gallery during the previous 12 months was 30.6 per cent., a 2.3 per cent. increase compared to the baseline established in 2005-06. For visits to historic environment sites the comparable figures were 59.4 per cent. attendance, an increase of 2.3 per cent. on the 2005-06 baseline. Attendance at arts events was 18.3 per cent. of this group with no significant statistical change on the baseline.
My Department’s strategy for the creative economy, Creative Britain—New Talents for the New Economy, includes the ambition of working with employers and sector skills councils to establish up to 5000 apprenticeships in the creative industries by 2013.
To date, over 160 employers have signed up to offer the Creative Apprenticeship, a mix of on the job and off the job training with 13 apprenticeships started and a further 130 due to start later this year. There are also pilots with the BBC at Mediacity:uk and the Savile Row Tailors.
Once established, the National Apprenticeship Service will monitor starts and completions of all approved apprenticeships.
Creative Britain Review
[holding answer 14 January 2009]: In January 2007, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) commissioned the Work Foundation to produce Staying Ahead, a report analysing the economic performance of the Creative Industries in the UK. The cost of producing this report was approximately £84,000.
Following this report, DCMS, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) produced Creative Britain in February 2008, which outlined 26 commitments seeking to maximise the contribution of the Creative Industries to the UK economy. The costs of producing this document were approximately £74,000. Of this, BERR provided £30,000. It is difficult to estimate the staff costs as most of the officials from each Department involved (DCMS, BERR and DIUS) were engaged on other projects at the same time.
The Gambling Commission have advised that on 1 October 2008 following an extensive consultation exercise, they published a revised version of their Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP), which came into effect on 1 January 2009.
The LCCP can be viewed at the following web link:
Since the publication of LCCP, the Gambling Commission has consulted on proposals to add a new licence condition and code of practice provision to LCCP. These proposals set out the requirement that holders of different categories of premises licences ensure that the gambling activity which corresponds to the licence type is actually offered as the primary activity at those premises. A supplement to LCCP setting out any new conditions and codes relating to this consultation will be published in due course.
[holding answer 19 January 2009]: The Digital Britain Steering Board has met on the following dates: 14, 21, 28 November 2008, 5, 12 December 2008 and 9, 14 January 2009.
Further meetings are scheduled for: 23 January, 29 January, 13 February, 27 February, 13 March, 27 March, 10 April, 24 April, 8 May and 22 May 2009.
The meetings are confidential and it would therefore not be appropriate to publish attendance or the Minutes.
Sport England: Assets
[holding answer 19 January 2009]: Sport England does not own any land or buildings outright. The Sports Council Trust Company, of which Sport England is a member and controlling share holder, owns the following land and buildings:
National centres: Bisham Abbey; Lilleshall and Plas y Brenin.
Regional offices: Ashland House, Crewkerene, Somerset; Caversham lake and boathouse facility and the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
The approximate net book value of land and buildings owned by the Sports Council Trust Company, as shown in the Sport England 31 March 2008 financial statements, is £107 million.
Sport England: Reorganisation
Sport England have advised that they are planning to complete their organisational change process by the end of March 2009, and they are currently on schedule to do so. However, some posts will be externally advertised and depending on their notice periods successful candidates may not all be in place.
The Government's investment in PE and sport in schools has had significant success in increasing participation in these sports.
Schools were asked to indicate the range of sports provided by their school during the academic year. Details of the percentages of schools which provided the indicated sports are provided in the following table, highlighting the progression of school participation annually (academic year).
2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 Athletics 90 91 92 93 93 Badminton 31 32 35 37 39 Basketball 65 63 67 69 69 Cricket 85 85 89 90 90 Cycling 21 27 34 42 46 Gymnastics 94 93 95 95 94 Hockey 77 74 77 78 77 Netball 84 81 81 81 81 Rugby League (inc tag rugby) 12 11 12 133 34 Rugby Union (inc Tag Rugby) 67 71 74 66 68 Squash 5 5 6 7 7 Tennis 70 71 76 79 79 Volleyball 27 25 28 30 30 1 Surveys prior to 2006/07 did not include ‘tag rugby’ in definition. Base: All schools (2003/04—6,574; 2004/05—11,498; 2005/06—16,898; 2006/07—21,745; 2007/08—21,631).
Rugby League (inc tag rugby)
Rugby Union (inc Tag Rugby)
1 Surveys prior to 2006/07 did not include ‘tag rugby’ in definition.
All schools (2003/04—6,574; 2004/05—11,498; 2005/06—16,898; 2006/07—21,745; 2007/08—21,631).
The following table shows the sports or activities which schools had club links to during the academic year.
2003/04 2004/05 2005/06 2006/07 2007/08 Athletics 32 33 38 40 43 Badminton 10 10 12 14 17 Basketball 27 25 28 28 30 Cricket 45 46 52 56 57 Cycling 4 5 6 8 10 Gymnastics 24 26 31 35 40 Hockey 20 19 22 23 25 Netball 26 26 29 30 32 Rugby League (inc. tag rugby) 10 9 10 118 20 Rugby Union (inc. tag rugby) 39 41 46 44 48 Squash 3 3 4 5 6 Tennis 27 30 36 39 40 Volleyball 3 2 2 3 4 1 Surveys prior to 2006/07 did not include ‘tag rugby’ in definition. Base: All schools (2003/04—6,574; 2004/05—11,498; 2005/06—16,898; 2006/07—21,745; 2007/08—21,631)
Rugby League (inc. tag rugby)
Rugby Union (inc. tag rugby)
1 Surveys prior to 2006/07 did not include ‘tag rugby’ in definition.
All schools (2003/04—6,574; 2004/05—11,498; 2005/06—16,898; 2006/07—21,745; 2007/08—21,631)
Our PE and Sport Strategy for Young People will continue that success story, and we are investing over £780 million to 2010-11 to offer five hours of sport a week. The National Governing Bodies of Sport will receive ring-fenced funding as part of their Whole Sport Plan budgets, aimed at developing further links between schools and clubs, and increasing the number of young people involved in volunteering and leadership in sport.
Badminton and volleyball are also among the four sports which will benefit from ‘Premier League 4 Sport’, a new scheme launched this month, which will drive participation among young people in partnership with the 20 Premier League football clubs.
The challenge for all these sports is to make themselves attractive to young people, so that young people choose to take them up.
UK Sport: Surveys
(2) when UK Sport's annual athlete survey will be carried out; when it will report; and for what reason it has been delayed.
UK Sport have advised that they will next carry out an athlete survey in the autumn of 2009 and would expect to report the headline findings by the end of the year. Although they had previously planned to conduct a survey early this year for March publication, UK Sport are now seeking to strategically align their athlete survey with the end of year reviews of sport that are conducted as part of Mission 2012—after the summer competition season. In addition UK Sport are now seeking to supplement findings with focus groups and other data gathering across the year.
The decision not to carry out a survey in 2008 was taken by UK Sport as a result of the uncertainty about the number and range of athletes that would be available to survey at that time. UK Sport will of course be able to benefit from the post-Games athlete survey carried out by the British Athlete Commission and they are confident that the other activity planned will inform Mission 2012 up to and until the next survey in 2009.
United Utilities: Sports
(2) what representations he has received on the increases in water charges being imposed by United Utilities on (a) sports and (b) other clubs in the north-west; and if he will make a statement.
I am aware of this issue and will—along with my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who is responsible for the natural and marine environment be seeking a meeting with Ofwat to establish what options are available to ensure community sports clubs are not disproportionately affected by these charges.
I have also asked Sport England to see whether there is any systematic help they can provide to ensure community sports clubs' water charges have been calculated correctly.
My office in 26 Whitehall was 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 Minster 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 and special advisers.
No money has been spent on wallpaper in any of my offices since the inception of the Minister for the Olympics role.
Olympic Games 2012: Construction
[holding answer 19 January 2009]: There are several levels of engagement with the London Fire Brigade (LFB), much of it facilitated by the secondment of a member of the LFB to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA)—a secondment that has been in place for over a year and ensures excellent co-operation and communication between the organisations.
The LFB is party to the development of designs for both venues and the Olympic Park—through a technical officers team, of which they are part, which is associated with the Safety Advisory Group established by the host boroughs (led in this case by London borough of Newham). This team reviews, comments on and assists in the development of designs which are aimed at reducing fire and other related risks for the venues for London 2012.
Finally, there is a Blue Light Liaison Group which ensures that emerging plans for operational responses to emergencies, both during construction and subsequently, are co-ordinated between the Metropolitan Police, London Ambulance Service, London Fire Brigade and other relevant parties including the ODA.
[holding answer 19 January 2009]: Landscaping contracts are the responsibility of the Olympic Delivery Authority and are awarded following a competitive tendering process. The Authority is a public body whose procurements are subject to the public contracts regulations.
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 landscaping contract for the south of the Olympic Park is due to be awarded in 2009.
[holding answer 19 January 2009]: Construction of the temporary roads, hard standings and bridges giving access and lay out space at the Olympic Park construction site was completed up to August 2008 until the installation of the fifth (and final) temporary bridge. The completion of this work, including the establishing of the two main entrance plazas—one in the North and one in the South—fulfilled one of the 10 published key milestones set by the ODA (in Demolish, Dig, Design) to be delivered by the Beijing 2008 games.
The positioning of temporary roads and hard standings onsite, however, will continue to change in response to the needs of each of the individual venue and infrastructure construction areas within the Olympic Park construction site. This will ensure the safe, secure and efficient movement of people and materials to, through and around the Olympic Park site throughout the construction period as work develops.
Olympic Games 2012: Disadvantaged
The Personal Best Programme, formerly known as the Pre-Volunteer Programme, uses the excitement of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to inspire the most disadvantaged people to acquire and develop their skills for work through volunteering.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has identified that up to 70,000 Games-time volunteers will be required. It has committed to recruiting up to 10 per cent. of these through Personal Best.
It is hoped that 20,000 disadvantaged people from London will be involved in Personal Best. So far, this programme has been trialled in 11 boroughs with 875 Londoners taking part. This includes the five host boroughs which are areas of significant disadvantage. Over the next six months the programme will be rolled out to every London borough. Building on the success in London this is now being offered to regions, the South East and North East being the first.
Although not all graduates of the scheme will become Games-time volunteers, they will build self esteem through community volunteering, work experience and gain transferable job skills through a nationally recognised qualification.
LOCOG has recently launched its Trailblazer volunteer scheme giving volunteers the opportunity to work within LOCOG itself. The scheme began with a three month pilot with 23 volunteers on 19 January 2009 and has been promoted in the host boroughs. If successful, LOCOG intends to involve 60-70 volunteers over the year, increasing the number of participants in the run up to 2012.
Olympic Games 2012: Security
Olympic Games 2012: Voluntary Organisations
The Government, through the Office of the Third Sector and the Government Olympic Executive, and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games have been encouraging volunteering organisations to take part in work in preparation for, during and after London 2012 since the early stages of the bid to win the games, through hosting a number of events at both ministerial and official level.
The Government’s ambition to maximise the opportunities for a volunteering legacy from the games is reflected in our legacy promise to get thousands more young people giving time to their communities as a result of 2012. This has recently translated into my launch of the “2012 Challenge” in December 2008, a public commitment by Government and key third sector organisations to work together to ensure this ambition is realised.
House of Commons Commission
Industrial Health and Safety
Significant numbers of the Common House Moth (Tineola bisselliella) were first reported in the House in early 2008 and preventative treatment has been undertaken since then. In order to minimise the use of pesticides and the consequent risk of exposure to potential toxicants, a process involving moth pheromone has been employed.
Monitoring of moth activity shows that moth numbers within the House of Commons estate are generally reducing. However, activity in T block remains an issue and alternative methods of eradication are being considered. Measures are likely to involve spraying within offices and heat treatment of items contained in them in order to kill larvae. Members with offices in areas affected will be consulted in due course.
The amounts spent on staff reward and recognition schemes have been:
Actual Forecast 2006-07 2007-08 2008-09 Non-consolidated performance pay 572,254 548,217 642,242 Staff recognition schemes 2,739 3,985 5,173 Total 574,993 552,202 647,415
Non-consolidated performance pay
Staff recognition schemes
In addition, there are long service and other staff awards, which include non-cash rewards. The amounts involved are not collated centrally, but are modest in nature.
My hon. Friend, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, and I regularly meet ministerial colleagues and Welsh Assembly Government colleagues to discuss issues affecting Wales, including broadcasting and digital switchover.
As Minister with responsibility for digital inclusion, I am keenly aware of the various issues that surround these subjects and have also met with representatives of various stakeholders—such as the Office of Communication (Ofcom), the BBC, ITV and S4C—to hear their views.
In addition, my officials are actively involved in a number of cross-Government groups, which include representation from the Welsh Assembly Government, that discuss and monitor the ongoing Switchover process. The Wales Office was also involved in discussions that surrounded the recent review of public service broadcasting being undertaken by Ofcom. Through this work, we will continue to ensure that Wales has a strong voice in these important issues.
Care and maintenance of the Wales Office's two offices (one in London and one in Cardiff) were, until 2005-06, managed by the Welsh Assembly Government. Specific costs for the Wales Office were not systematically identified.
Since 2005, the premises have been managed within the Ministry of Justice (previously the Department for Constitutional Affairs). The following tables give the available information by year for maintenance, decoration, and other improvements.
£ 2004-05 97,388 2005-06 42,972 2006-07 59,707 2007-08 35,843
£ 2003-04 5,121 2005-06 — 2006-07 65,364 2007-08 —
Improvement works (the 2005-06 figure includes £79,809 to replace a lift to meet health and safety and disabled access standards. The 2007-08 figure includes the cost of specialist exterior stonework cleaning of the listed London building, which was recommended on heritage preservation grounds).
£ 2005-06 85,238 2006-07 13,819 2007-08 77,042
We have no wallpaper. There are no plans for further spending on departmental decoration at this time.
Departmental Data Protection
Since the inception of the Wales Office in 1999, there have been four losses of mobile telephones. After ascertaining the facts, the Department had no reason to take action against the individuals concerned. There have been no losses of laptop computers, memory sticks, or desktop computers.
Departmental Ministerial Policy Advisers
Departmental Written Questions
The majority of staff working in the Wales office are seconded from other Government departments. Therefore, the individual’s home department under The Civil Service Management Code carries out the necessary security checks. Sections 1.1.5 and 1.1.6 deal specifically with checks before appointment.
Leader of the House
Departmental Data Protection
There have been no further losses following the answer I gave on 12 November 2008, Official Report, column 1262W, namely that since June 2007, one laptop has been reported stolen from the Leader of the House of Commons Office. The laptop was used to update the office website and did not contain any personal data or other sensitive information. No data have been lost. No members of staff in the Leader’s Office have been investigated, suspended or dismissed for losing memory sticks, laptop computers, desktop computers and mobile phones.
Following a machinery of government change, information prior to 2006-07 is available only at disproportionate cost.
The precise nature of parliamentary privilege has been regularly and hotly debated over the centuries and is a key factor of our parliamentary democracy. The prime responsibility for parliamentary privilege in the House of Commons lies with the Speaker and the Committee on Standards and Privileges.
Armed Forces: Manpower
The MOD collates, on a quarterly basis, management information on “fit for task”, which provides a measure of the medical fitness of all trained armed forces personnel. These figures are broken down into three categories: Medically Fully Fit, Medically Not Fully Fit and Medically Unfit. It should be noted that the majority of those personnel who fall under the category of Medically Not Fully Fit remain fit enough to work in some capacity and therefore continue to make a contribution to operational effectiveness, often within theatres of operation.
Information from the last four quarterly returns of those personnel within the Naval Service and RAF are shown as follows. Personnel numbers are rounded to the nearest 10, and percentages rounded to one decimal point:
Number Percentage of total trained strength Number Percentage of total trained strength 2007-08 Q3 Fully Fit for Task 31,350 89.6 36,880 89.0 Not Fully Fit for Task 3,530 10.1 4,330 10.5 Unfit for Task 100 0.3 200 0.5 Q4 Fully Fit for Task 31,130 88.9 36,010 88.9 Not Fully Fit for Task 3,790 10.8 4,290 10.6 Unfit for Task 90 0.3 210 0.5 2008-09 Q1 Fully Fit for Task 30,610 88.1 35,540 88.7 Not Fully Fit for Task 3,970 11.4 4,340 10.8 Unfit for Task 100 0.3 160 0.4 Q2 Fully Fit for Task 30,330 88.0 35,010 88.5 Not Fully Fit for Task 4,060 11.8 4,390 11.1 Unfit for Task 80 0.2 180 0.4
Percentage of total trained strength
Percentage of total trained strength
Fully Fit for Task
Not Fully Fit for Task
Unfit for Task
Fully Fit for Task
Not Fully Fit for Task
Unfit for Task
Fully Fit for Task
Not Fully Fit for Task
Unfit for Task
Fully Fit for Task
Not Fully Fit for Task
Unfit for Task
The Army currently collates quarterly figures only for its deployable elements, rather than for its total trained strength. This provides snapshot figures of Personnel Unable to Deploy (PUD), though many of these will be able to undertake non-deployed duties. The following table provides the figures for 2008 of the number of personnel recorded as unable to deploy for medical reasons. Personnel numbers are rounded to the nearest 10, and percentages rounded to one decimal point:
1 March 2008 1 June 2008 1 September 2008 1 December 2008 Personnel in Deployable Units 70,230 69,700 72,780 73,240 Medical PUD 3,810 3,610 3,780 3,900 Percentage of Deployable Element 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.3
1 March 2008
1 June 2008
1 September 2008
1 December 2008
Personnel in Deployable Units
Percentage of Deployable Element
The MOD is in the process of introducing a new and more accurate data-capture system, which will enable it to report validated, comparable data on a tri-service basis.
Armed Forces: Northern Ireland
Defence Equipment: Procurement
We have recently assessed that the Dragon Runner Micro-Remote Control Vehicle (RCV) is the most suitable solution available to meet particular requirements for Explosive Ordnance Disposal. The Department has allocated no funds to the purchase of Dragon Runner Micro-RCVs as these costs are attributable to current operations. Such additional costs of current operations are funded from the Reserve.
Defence Medical Services: Manpower
(2) what the (a) inflow and (b) outflow was of personnel in the Defence Medical Services in each month in 2008, broken down by (i) service and (ii) type.
I am placing the available data of the type requested covering the period up to September 2008 for the Royal Navy and RAF in the Library of the House. The data for the Army is only available within proportionate costs, in the summary form shown up to 2006.
In considering procurement decisions, the Ministry of Defence needs to ensure that it secures the best equipment available for our armed forces whilst at the same time ensuring value for money for the taxpayer. Open and fair competition is the most effective method of making sure that we achieve this. Therefore, the MOD does not mandate that a certain proportion of all expenditure on defence procurement is spent on products produced by UK-based companies. Furthermore, any such action would be against EU law, which forbids the provision of preferential treatment to any company, except in respect of essential security interests which is covered by Article 296 of the European treaty.
[holding answer 19 January 2009]: Worldwide, Service Family Accommodation (SFA) properties are at the following Grade for Charge (GfC)—an assessment of the chargeable condition of accommodation, along with other factors such as its size, location and closeness to amenities.
GfC Number of properties G1fC 11,305 G2fC 27,043 G3fC 21,136 G4fC 9,393
Number of properties
SFA properties are either owned by Annington Homes Ltd. (the majority in England and Wales), the MOD (in Scotland and Northern Ireland) or provided by the host nation as is the case overseas.
Departmental Telephone Services
The use of 0844, 0845, revenue-sharing telephone numbers and those with an 03 prefix is determined at local level in accordance with individual business requirements and obtained directly from the supplier. Records of such numbers are not held centrally and information relating to them, including any revenue accrued, could be provided at disproportionate cost.
Estonia: Defence Sales
The sale price for the three Sandown class ships to Estonia was £32 million (the gross return to MOD). The net return to MOD, however, will be adjusted by costs for regeneration of the vessels and training of crew prior to delivery. Regeneration is being carried out under incentivised arrangements and thus the final costs will not be known until completion of the work. In accordance with HM Treasury delegations, a business case was prepared and scrutinised by the appropriate authorities.
No work was undertaken, other than normal decommissioning activities, on these three vessels, in the year prior to the signature of the sales agreement in September 2006. Therefore no additional costs were incurred.
I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 5 November 2008, Official Report, column 484W. The Ministry of Defence (MOD) does not collect this information. Independent research was commissioned from the University of York by MOD and its colleagues in the Ex-Service Action Group on Homelessness (ESAG), the research found that the percentage of veterans among London’s homeless population was 6 per cent. in 2007 compared with 22 per cent. in separate research in 1997. We are exploring opportunities for further research to find out the extent of veterans homelessness in the rest of the country.
Ex-servicemen: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The health care of all veterans has been the responsibility of the NHS since 1953. Former service personnel with mental health problems, including post traumatic stress disorder will benefit from the Government’s decision to extend priority treatment to all veterans whose condition is considered by their GP to be due to service. Veterans are also designated as a Special Interest Group (SIG) in the Department of Health’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Programme. This will train 3,600 new therapists by 2010-11 in England. Additionally, five NHS trusts across the UK are piloting a new model of mental health care for veterans, one of which is located in Camden and Islington, and another one is based at the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. These will provide a holistic service with social support networks complementing health care. Since 1996, the NHS Trauma Service in Hull has worked with veterans to develop and raise awareness of a suitable care pathway.
The MOD also provides a Medical Assessment Programme at St. Thomas’s hospital for those that have concerns about their health due to service, since 1982.
The health care of veterans is a matter for the national health service and the four UK health Departments. Information is not held by the MOD on how many veterans have been treated for post-combat stress disorder in each of the last three years in London and North Yorkshire.
The numbers of Hercules C-130J and C-130K that are not fit for purpose (FFP) are provided in the following table. The figures shown reflect the position on 13 January 2009.
Aircraft type Total fleet Numbers of Hercules not FFP C-130J 24 7 C-130K 19 111 1This figure includes 4 retired aircraft which are awaiting disposal.
Numbers of Hercules not FFP
1This figure includes 4 retired aircraft which are awaiting disposal.
Aircraft are classed as not FFP if they are undergoing scheduled maintenance, modification programmes and any other unforeseen rectification work that can arise on a day to day basis or awaiting disposal. The figures do not reflect the fact that an aircraft assessed as not FFP may be returned to the front line at very short notice to meet the operational need.
Weather radar coverage over England was reviewed in 2001. As a result new weather radars have been installed in Kent and County Durham. The density and coverage quality of the network in England is considered to be among the best in the world.
The catchment of the River Severn mainly falls under the coverage of the weather radar on Clee Hill, Shropshire. The coverage quality is assessed as being in category one (the highest of three categories used to classify network coverage) for that part of the catchment lying between Newtown and Gloucester, and category two above and below these points.
The Met Office routinely assesses the accuracy of rainfall estimates derived from radar. The assessment is made by comparing rainfall accumulations recorded by rain gauges with accumulations derived from the collocated radar data.
The Met Office does not routinely derive statistics which are catchment specific.
All the recommendations from the Service Pension Taxation Inquiry (Millen Report) have been implemented. Identified Armed Forces Pension Scheme underpayments and overpayments have been rectified. Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs has paid back tax to those affected by the incorrect taxing of invaliding pensions and compensation payments have also been made.
To prevent further issues, business process and legislation recommendations have also been implemented or subsumed by wider changes. These changes include the creation of the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, and the introduction of Armed Forces Pensions Scheme 2005 (AFPS 2005), the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and the Compensation and Pensions System (CAPS).
Russia: Military Aircraft
The following table details how frequently Quick Reaction Alert aircraft have been launched to identify Russian military aircraft approaching the NATO Air Policing Area for which the United Kingdom has responsibility, in each month of 2008.
Number January 2 February 0 March 1 April 1 May 1 June 0 July 1 August 1 September 1 October 1 November 0 December 1
The following table details how frequently Quick Reaction Alert aircraft were launched to identify Russian military aircraft:
Number 2006 1 2007 19 2008 10
All Russian military Aircraft have remained in International airspace and have not entered UK airspace.
UK armed forces possess white phosphorus munitions for the purpose of producing a smoke screen to provide cover and thus protection for our soldiers on the battlefield. These are conventional munitions that are not outlawed or banned by any convention or protocol. I am withholding information on the size of the stockpile of these munitions on the grounds that its disclosure would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces. UK training in the use of white phosphorus emphasises that it should be used solely for its intended purpose and not as an anti-personnel weapon.
Communities and Local Government
Gypsies and Travellers
The Government have no plans to revise the guidance contained in ODPM Circular 1/06 as suggested by the hon. Member. Local authorities have a general duty under the Race Relations Act 1976, as amended, to actively seek to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote good race relations in all they do. We will be publishing good practice guidance on the management of Gypsy and Traveller sites shortly.
Planning policy for the provision of Gypsy and Traveller sites is set out in ODPM Circular 01/2006: “Planning for Gypsy and Traveller Caravan Sites”. Local authorities have a duty to assess the accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers and identify enough land to meet the number of pitches set out in the regional spatial strategy. The Homes and Communities Agency will continue to provide funding for the provision of new public sites.
The Independent Task Group on Site Provision and Enforcement concluded the Government's planning policies for Gypsy and Traveller sites in England are sound. The Government have committed to keeping Parliament informed on the work undertaken to address the issues they highlighted. We will publish a progress report later this year.
In 2007 we announced a renewed commitment to community cohesion with a £50 million investment over three years and a new public service agreement to build cohesive, active and empowered communities. We continue to support local authorities in delivering improvements in cohesion by providing a framework of guidance and targeted local support. We are also working with faith communities to build interfaith work and support social action.
Financial Assistance: Local Authorities
People need their council to offer real help through improved services and low tax. We have given them billions of pounds of extra funding, and financial freedoms, to help them do so, including putting in place the first-ever three-year settlement last year which gave councils an extra £8.9 billion.
Council Housing Waiting Lists
Our forthcoming refinements to town centre policy will make clear that councils should plan proactively to secure a mix of units in new developments to provide for small businesses including starter premises.
In addition, small business rate relief, introduced in 2005, offers up to 50 per cent. reductions in rates bills for businesses occupying only one property.
Statutory Services: Over-60s
The Government, through their Supporting People programme, fund a variety of non-statutory services for older people, through local authorities. The SP programme, created in 2003, is administered through top tier local authorities, many of which are borough councils. Over 800,000 older people are supported to live independently through this programme, and services provided include home improvement agency and handyperson services, and wardens. However, it is for local authorities to determine how to best meet the support needs identified in their communities and the Department for Communities and Local Government does not prescribe any particular model of support or services.
In addition, the Disabled Facilities Grant is a mandatory grant used to provide adaptations to the homes of disabled people and older people to live independently in their homes. Adaptations include improving access to a home, and to the basic facilities within a home, for example by providing ramps, door widening, stair lifts and level access showers. Each year, around 35,000 people benefit from a Disabled Facilities Grant. This Government have substantially increased the Government funding for the Disabled Facilities Grant programme from £57 million in 1997 to £156 million in 2009-10. Local authorities also contribute towards the cost of adaptations from their own resources.
Council Housing Rents
The retention of council house rent receipts is being considered as part of the Review of Council Housing Finance and Rents Policy which is being undertaken by my Department and Her Majesty’s Treasury. The review is currently in its final stages and will report to the Chief Secretary and Communities and Local Government Ministers this spring. It will inform the spending review and will be followed by a period of formal consultation.
South-west Spatial Strategy
The Secretary of State received around 35,000 responses from individuals and organisations to the consultation on her proposed changes to the south-west regional spatial strategy. This is the largest number ever received to such a consultation. My officials at the Government office for the south west are currently assessing the responses and the Secretary of State will consider proposals for a revised timetable shortly.
This Department has various policies and programmes for example the Decent Homes Programme, Building Regulations and Energy Performance Certificates that already address energy efficiency in existing homes. The Government will shortly be consulting on a Heat and Energy Saving Strategy, to provide a route map to greener, warmer homes, which will save energy and help householders reduce their fuel bills.
Infrastructure: West Sussex
Local authorities in West Sussex are set to receive at least £36.4 million in 2009-10 and £47.6 million in 2010-11 in grants from central Government which can be spent on local infrastructure. Figures for 2011-12 will be dependent on the outcome of the next spending review. In addition, local authorities in West Sussex will receive at least £6.3 million in PFI credits in each of these three years.
Local Area Agreements
We are working closely with local authorities as part of the current LAA annual review to address delivery issues and ensure that priorities and targets remain the right ones for each local area in the light of the economic downturn. This will lead to refreshed LAAs in the spring.
New Housing Estimates
As at 30 September 2008 there were 72,130 households in temporary accommodation. This is 13 per cent. lower than at the same time last year. The number of households in temporary accommodation has now fallen for 12 consecutive quarters and is 29 per cent. lower than the peak of 2004.
Building Regulations: Floods
Officials in my Department have ongoing discussions with a large number of bodies including representatives from local authorities, product manufacturers and the development and insurance industries on this and other issues relating to the building regulations.
Sir Michael Pitt’s review of the summer 2007 floods recommended that
“Building Regulations should be revised to ensure that all new or refurbished buildings in high flood-risk areas are flood resistant or resilient”.
The Government’s response, published in December last year, indicated the Government’s support for this recommendation.
Parts A and C of the building regulations, and the associated guidance, address the requirements on structure and on resistance to contaminants and water (but not currently flooding) that have to be satisfied by most new and refurbished buildings. The Government are currently considering these requirements and how best ‘flood performance’ could be included within amended building regulations. We plan to consult on this in the summer.
Domestic Visits: Wellingborough
Greenbelt: North Yorkshire
The area of Green Belt land in North Yorkshire for each year for which data is available is presented in the following table.
Hectares 1997 56,040 2003 56,730 2004 56,730 2006 58,410 2007 58,450
The first robust estimates of the area of Green Belt land at local authority level were for 1997. In 2003 it was decided to collate Green Belt estimates on an annual basis to monitor the department’s Spending Review 2004 Public Service Agreement 6 indicator. However, figures were not published for 2005 due to the extensive quality assurance necessary in that year.
Home Information Packs
Information about English local authorities’ actions under the homelessness legislation (Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected quarterly at local authority level. Data collected include the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.
The hon. Member's question asks for figures for the months of December and January. The total number of households accepted as owed a main homelessness duty (‘acceptances’) are collected on a quarterly rather than monthly basis, and numbers in temporary accommodation are a snapshot as at the end of each quarter. Monthly data are therefore not available, but data are provided in the following tables for the last (October to December) and first (January to March) quarters of each year since 1997:
Acceptances October to December quarter Temporary accommodation as at December 31 1997 130 322 1998 133 386 1999 73 327 2000 113 404 2001 79 356 2002 46 327 2003 73 331 2004 73 285 2005 55 144 2006 36 169 2007 46 152
Acceptances October to December quarter
Temporary accommodation as at December 31
Acceptances January to March quarter Temporary accommodation as at March 31 1997 109 252 1998 96 346 1999 119 326 2000 108 339 2001 138 392 2002 52 351 2003 76 274 2004 70 246 2005 35 137 2006 38 145 2007 50 136 2008 28 159
Acceptances January to March quarter
Temporary accommodation as at March 31
Mid-year rough sleeping estimates have been published annually since 1998, and give a snapshot of the number of people sleeping rough on a single night, based on local authority street counts in those areas where there is a known or suspected rough sleeping problem. Rough sleeping estimates for Eastbourne borough council are shown in the following table.
Number of rough sleepers in Eastbourne borough council (mid-year estimate) 1998 11 1999 3 2000 1 2001 0 2002 0 2003 0 2004 3 2005 3 2006 6 2007 6 2008 0
Number of rough sleepers in Eastbourne borough council (mid-year estimate)
Information about English local authorities’ actions under the homelessness legislation (part 7 of the Housing Act 1996) is collected quarterly at local authority level, about households rather than individuals.
Data collected includes the number of households accepted by local housing authorities as eligible for assistance, unintentionally homeless and in priority need, and therefore owed a main homelessness duty (to secure that suitable accommodation is available). If a settled home is not immediately available, the authority must secure temporary accommodation until a settled home becomes available.
Information on the number of households housed in temporary accommodation is reported quarterly by local authorities as at the last day of each quarter. The figures include: those households which have been accepted as owed the main homelessness duty; those for which inquiries are pending; those being accommodated for a limited period because they have been found intentionally homeless and in priority need; those being accommodated pending possible referral to another authority, and those being accommodated pending the outcome of a local authority review or county court appeal.
The number of dependent children (or expected children) in these households is also collected, but data on the number of adults is not. Figures for total households, households with dependent children and total children reported by the Eastbourne borough council over the last five years are shown in the following table.
Total households in TA arranged by local authority Total households in TA arranged with dependent (and expected) children Total children (and expected children) within these households1 2003-04 246 205 — 2004-05 137 54 82 2005-06 145 67 100 2006-07 136 76 127 2007-08 159 96 163 1 Children in TA was not collect until the 2nd quarter 2004.
Total households in TA arranged by local authority
Total households in TA arranged with dependent (and expected) children
Total children (and expected children) within these households1
1 Children in TA was not collect until the 2nd quarter 2004.
Homes and Communities Agency
The forecast full year running costs for the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in 2008-09, and planned budgets for 2009-10 and 2010-11, are £86 million per annum; in addition £4 million is being provided to the HCA in 2009-10 for transitional costs. The HCA has 789 permanent staff (‘full-time equivalent’) currently in post plus 30 staff on secondment to the HCA from my Department, from an establishment of 972 (‘full-time equivalent’). It is not possible, however, to provide an estimate of the number of HCA staff working on cohesion-related issues, as many staff working on housing and regeneration will address cohesion-related issues to some extent in their work as part of the mainstreaming of cohesion into discussions with local partners.
Local Government: Mortgages
Local Government: VAT
London Pensions Fund Authority: Finance
The Valuation Tribunal Service does not have its own non-domestic rates manual, instead it subscribes to, and uses as its reference work for national non-domestic rating, the commercial publication “Ryde on Rating and the Council Tax” published by Lexis Nexis, ISBN 978-1-4057-3119-5.